Pleasure Palace Band LogoThe Pleasure Palace Band was formed in the early 90’s by drummer Gary, and guitarist/vocalist David in Gary’s basement. Soon after, Uncle Dicky joined the band as a keyboard player and vocalist, and “Slowhand” Mark followed on lead guitar. “Moe Joe Vak became a member soon thereafter, as a guitarist and vocalist. In 1995, Uncle Dicky finished the basement in his house, “The Pleasure Palace”, and the band started playing regularly there. They took on the name “The Pleasure Palace Band”, to represent the one place they always play.

The Pleasure Palace basement became legendary as Uncle Dicky decorated it with great tapestries including many Grateful Dead ones, a Bob Marley one, and many more psychedelic ones. Along with the tapestries, the basement became filled with black lights, peace signs, posters, many unique signs and pictures, a bar, a fridge, Cheech and Chong Bobblehead dolls, a Three Stooges Cardboard Stand Up, and the like, making it into one of the great basement studios of all time.

When you walk through that basement door, it’s like you’ve instantly gone back in time right into the summer of 1968! As John T. (a professional sax player, and guitarist) famously said one time when asked if he was coming back, “How can I not come back? This place is great!” The only thing really missing is Timothy Leary. But, as The Moody Blues sang, “Timothy Leary’s Dead.” However, if anyone knows who’s “Outside Looking In”, please let us know!

“Discount Al” joined the band as a conga player and percussionist soon after the basement was completed. You can really hear Al get down on “Sympathy for the Devil”, and “Black Magic Woman”. Al moved south in 2010 after playing in the band for 15 years. He immediately formed the PPB South with Bass Howard.

On 9/9/99 all hell broke loose at The Palace. It’s the day the band changed forever. Gary quit the band in a huff, the cops came banging on the basement window because people were complaining that the music was so loud, and a good friend of ours got so drunk he ended up with his head in the toilet. Meanwhile “S-Bone” Steve, joined the band that night and became the new drummer and vocalist. Prior to this infamous night, John R., a neighbor of Uncle Dicky’s, had loaned his drum kit to the band. It became a permanent fixture at the Palace. S-Bone spruced it up with his own gear and a new day dawned at The Palace.

A while after S-Bone joined the band, Discount Al, brought in “Bass” Howard as the bass player we never had (Moe Joe had played some bass prior to this for a few years on some songs, but he certainly was no Howard), and the band was complete. Howard summed up the nonsense that infests almost every band one famous night by saying to one particular guy during a common argument; “Hey, don’t fuck with my play time”. This little declarative statement of his put everything into perspective as the band gets together and plays for fun, and basically a boys night out. It beats the hell out of poker.

After Howard moved away a few years later, “Bronkhorst” Mitch joined the band as its new bass player. Bronky brought in a lot of Cream and Mountain songs, and other great rock and roll tunes. He continually urged the band to play more complex songs and is a “Walking Encyclopedia” of rock and roll music. Bronky starts each session on acoustic guitar before he picks up his bass. He even plays the drums on Moe’s original tune “Mustang” and sings some cool songs as well. He is a very talented and versatile musician.

When Moe Joe left town in 2005, Dave D. – “Da Ripah” joined the band. Dave is a very talented and versatile guitar player who’s into all kinds of different music from Reggae, to The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Clapton, and some very classic old rocks tunes. “Da Ripah”, as he calls himself, is so full of energy that he’s amazing. He can play rolling licks non-stop in the band for three hours straight, then go upstairs and play Uncle Dicky’s acoustic guitar for another hour while we all sit around and bullshit, and then go out to a bar and perform for a crowd till the wee hours of the morning. We don’t know how he does it. Perhaps it’s because he’s a bit younger than the rest of us, but nothing stops this man of many talents. If you wanna know how Dave got his nickname, just listen to “Southbound”, and you will understand!

The band plays once a week at The Pleasure Palace, mostly on Thursday or Friday nights. Occasionally there are Saturday night or Sunday afternoon sessions (where our fans come to join us), but Thursday and Friday are the norm. Lately there even have been Double Headers on Thursday and Friday with different drummers (S-Bone on Thursday and Heavy Hands on Friday). Uncle Dicky is the lone player and man who has played in every single session since 1995. It’s not strange because The Palace Studio is in his house. This year, 2015, will mark 20 years at the Palace and the 1,000th band session there, all of which Uncle Dicky has played. No one else has come close to that number. On this amazing anniversary he will receive from the band a “Gold Plated Organ”. Oh wait, he already has one of those in his pants!! Yuck, yuck. (He always wanted to be a Rock Star).

Over the years there have been many additional guest players and singers in the band, including guitarists Dr. J, Bob, Zak (who also sings “The Seeker”), Robbie, Jack, Michael, Brandon, and Mike O; trumpet player Ira, saxophonist John T.; drummers, Heavy Hands Heitz, John R., and Paul; bass players Santi, Piet, Al, MG, and Jazz Man Jonno, and vocalists Mike S. (backup on “You Don’t Love Me”, “Red House/Hasidim/Hungry Blues”, and “All Along the Watchtower”), Jessy (lead singer on “Kiss”), and Robbin. In fact, now Heavy Hands has become a regular replacement for S-Bone on Friday nights when Bone can’t make it to the Palace. Heavy Hands is an old friend of Da Ripah’s. He’s a very cool and unique guy who brews his own beer known to the world as “Heitz’s Home Brew”. It’s surprisingly pretty good.

Da Ripah, Heavy Hands, and Jazz Man Jonno are the new ”Young Guns” in the band. In 10-20 years they will be the ones touring as the PPB with perhaps one or two original members fo’ sure to include Ol’ Uncle Dicky. However, they will have to pay up for the rights to do so. After all, the original members need to fund their retirement accounts! So, look out for them in years to come. If you see them around town you’ll be able to say, “Hey, where the hell is Gary, David, Slowhand and Moe Joe?

David was a fixture on Thursday nights bringing in his huge collection of Grateful Dead tunes, Dylan songs, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello songs, among other great artists. His knowledge of The Grateful Dead is amazing. He’s also such an eclectic guy and music enthusiast that he brought in many songs for the band to try, some from some obscure bands that only he knows, and had to teach the guys the songs.

Moe Joe played for many years, mostly on Friday nights entertaining the crowd with Springsteen songs, Fogerty tunes, The Allman Brothers, and more, plus some original music he wrote including “Amnesia”, “Mustang”, “You Better Be True”, The Hungry Blues” (see Red House/Hasidim/Hungry Blues), which includes his classic oldie but goodie, “The Hasidim Blues”, and his own made up lyrics (because he didn’t know the real ones) to the popular Lenny Kravitz tune “Fly Away”, on which Slowhand Mark plays one of the meanest guitar leads you’ll ever hear.

Speaking of “Slowhand” Mark, he is the man behind most of the tunes here on the site, the first lead guitar player the band ever had, and the only one for the first 10 – 13 years or so until Bob and Dave D. joined the band. Mark can play it all; fast driving rock guitar leads, slow and mellow smooth tunes, awesome blues, and a great slide guitar. He also is a serious “Guitar Enthusiast” and electronics master, owning many classic guitars and some pretty amazing equipment to get the unique sound he provides to the band.

Uncle Dicky does it all at The Palace. He sets up every session, provides the food and drink, records every song, makes the CD’s, and tracks the Set Lists. He can always be seen “Bangin’ on his own Piano” while he’s getting in tune to the straight and narrow. “Who” said that? Oh yeah, “The Who” said that! His nice “Sinatra” trained and styled voice brings some smooth sounds to the Dylan tunes, Dead songs, The Band songs, and many other classics you can hear him perform on this website.

Bob, who only plays once every 3-6 months now, is a master guitar picker, in the realm of Mark Knopfler and Earl Scruggs. He can really pick it. You can hear Bob’s great guitar work on a number of songs including Glendale Train, Steppin’ Out, You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, Friend of the Devil, Baby Blue, and Bob’s Jam.

The Pleasure Palace Band has played over 800 different songs with a wide variety of musicians, and the beat goes on to this day. There have been several groupies that follow the band from the lovelies “JJ”, Wendy, Marcia, and Ellen, to the infamous Killer. Even Uncle Pete has sat in on many sessions in his Tie-Dyed Pleasure Palace shirt designed and produced by “Discount Al”. Pete is famous for his vocals on Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, which he usually is when he’s at The Palace.

Even though some of its members have performed out, and even played professionally, The Pleasure Palace Band, while playing for many people, has never performed an outside gig, preferring to keep its music sacred for The Pleasure Palace only. But, more importantly, because no one wants to lug any equipment around and deal with all that goes with playing out after a long hard week at work (can we get some roadies please, Jackson?). The Palace is a great place to hang out at and get loose with the band. There is no place like it in the world!

Over eight years of “Set Lists” from January 2007 till now, are listed on this website. Also, check out the cool “Photos” of the band, our friends, the amazing Pleasure Palace Studio, and the recently added “Players” page. We hope you enjoy the site, and the music. We’re always looking for more fans, but we don’t really need them to have a good time. The PPB will live forever!

Enjoy the Music!