For Squirrels

Message Board - A thank you to the band, Travis's Dad, Walter Winnick, Andy Bender, and the FS Community

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A thank you to the band, Travis's Dad, Walter Winnick, Andy Bender, and the FS Community Posted by: Kevin on: 2018-02-10 19:38:01 (post a reply)
Wow, It's pretty cool that this is still active. Well done to whoever is keeping this alive. So I'll contribute here in case anyone related to the band ever looks here, because I really want to say thank you.

For Squirrels played an important part in my life, as I imagine it did for anyone who is still looking here. But this band is deeply tied into my life story.
In 1995 I was 15 years old, and FS was my absolute favorite band. I met a girl at work, and during our first shift together Mighty KC came on the radio. I was shy and not good at talking to girls, but I mentioned that I liked the song and thought it was a cool tribute to Kurt Cobain. Turned out she was big into Grunge Music but didn't know that was what the name of the song meant. We started talking about the band and what a great song that was. We really connected and started talking about other music. We became best friends and eventually started dating. For Squirrels became an important part of our relationship in those early days, it was our favorite band together.

When the band was coming to our home town of Philadelphia to play a show in '96, my girlfriend and I went for one of our first real big dates together. I remember Jack playing with his zero gravity sling as he was still recovering. Travis had is awesome light up guitar. The show was amazing, Travis had people climb up on stage and sit there for a few songs. To this day it is one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen. Travis talks about it in an interview on the NDTDYH CD extra video. I still have a signed Example poster from the band from that night.

For me personally, the band inspired me to get into music, audio production, and computer design. I ran one of the early FS fan sites (used to be linked on here somewhere but it died with the death of GeoCities). Some of the pictures and video rips on here look to be the ones I had ripped and/or digitized back in the '90s from the Launch magazine disc and the Subrosa CD-extras. Some of those "uncredited pictures" were from my site too.

By 1997 I was still helping where I could with the website, promotions, radio call-in blitzes, etc. The band was touring with Creed for NBTDYH. They were coming back to Philly, but were playing a show that was 21+, and I was still underage. My girlfriend was a little older, so she could get in, but I could not. I posted about my dilemma on the old Sony 550 message boards. There was a great discussion about what to do and the awesome community of fans were brainstorming on how I might be able to sneak in. We tossed around everything from fake IDs to sneaking me in a back door. I was a bit too much of a rule follower to be comfortable with any of those options, but I would have done anything. Some awesome people really wanted to help. Then I received an email that I will always remember. It was from Travis's Dad. He said he saw my post and wanted to help. As someone who is a Dad now, I still think this is incredibly cool. Here he was reading the message boards for his son's band, I would do the same thing if my son ever makes it. Add to that he saw this kid posting messages trying to sneak into the show, and he reached out to help.

Thanks to Travis's Dad and Walter Winnick (their manager) I was able to get in with the band - basically as a roadie. It was awesome. My GF and I met up with Travis before the show and had a great chat with him and the rest of the band. We told Travis that Disenchanted was our favorite song, as it had become "our song". I remember Travis said he wasn't sure if he could still play that one and he looked at Andy Lord and asked him if he even knew it - Andy just made a goofy face and shrugged. I got to help push some gear in to the venue after hanging out, I was a roadie after all. My girlfriend and I watched the show with Andy Bender (tour manager) stage side, best seats in the house, and I got some awesome pictures for my website. The band didn't play Disenchanted that night as expected. But a few years ago I was listening to a recording someone else had made from that night's concert...there is a point during the show where Travis starts playing the intro for Disenchanted, mutters something to himself, tries again, curses and then stops. I hadn't realized it that night, but Travis had started to try and play it but I guess it had been too long since he played it and couldn't quite get it. So Travis, if you ever see this, thank you for trying. That was really cool of you and I never said thank you because I didn't catch it that night.
After they were done playing I had to leave, I wasn't allowed to stay in there for Creed (I was OK with that). So my GF and I hung out in the tour van with Andy B. He shared stories about his brother Tim, as well as Jack and Bill. He told us all about the band's life on the road. It was fun to hang out with Andy, and he gave me a lot of useful info for my website. I always appreciated that.

I stayed in contact with Walter and Travis's dad for a little longer. Walter would send me merch and promo items and info/projects to help spread the word of the band (early grass roots internet marketing). For a then 17/18 year old this really inspired me and helped drive me towards a future profession. Younger me didn't know that then, I just wanted to help this band that I cared a lot about. But it got me some amazing experience. Both Walter and Mr. Tooke fed me info to help my site and both gave me some career guidance advice which was amazing.
Mr. Tooke, I hope you are well, and if you ever see this - my sincere thank you. You really helped me on an awesome path for my career and life. I am forever grateful.

I kept my website going for a while but as the band's activity died down I began my march into adult life and wasn't able to stay as active helping out. When Geocities was shut down I scrambled to save as much content as I could, but a lot of it is lost to time.

My girlfriend and I went on to get married. For Squirrels has always remained a big part of our past and Disenchanted has always been our song. In fact, Disenchanted was the song we had our first dance to during our wedding. Nobody else knew the song, and it is REALLY LONG for a wedding song. But we didn't care, it was our song. I doubt anyone in the band ever thought that one of their songs would be played for a wedding, but it was. We are still married and have two kids who probably wouldn't be here today if I didn't have For Squirrels to talk about on that first day of work and the band that has remained a big part of the fabric of our life.

I went on to have a successful career doing Audio and Event Production. I never quite got into the music business, but I've done live sound in different forms ever since my teenage years. I've done the live sounds for some major bands and for major events you see on TV. I've always been very much inspired by a love of music fueled by this amazing band. Aided with the info and advice from Mr. Tooke and Mr. Winnick and driven by my amazing experiences and interactions with this band and the fantastic people within their orbit.

I know everyone has gone on to have different lives, but if any of you ever see this, know that you guys made an impact that you don't realize. Mine is one of many stories I'm sure. It is amazing how music can change the world, even in small ways. I hope you are all doing well and hope this reaches you, a sincere thank you.
Re: A thank you to the band, Travis's Dad, Walter Winnick, Andy Bender, and the FS Community Posted by: Pete on: 2018-02-19 22:56:46 (post a reply)
Damn man, that's incredible!! I got a little choked up just reading that. It's so awesome that the band means as much to you as it does me, someone that didn't get into them until around 2002. Cheers friend!

Currently Listening to: Superstar
Re: A thank you to the band, Travis's Dad, Walter Winnick, Andy Bender, and the FS Community Posted by: Al in Cal on: 2018-02-24 11:43:55 (post a reply)
Hello Kevin..

I got onto For Squirrels in late 1995. Mostly just a few songs I found online all the way out here in California where the band didn't get near as much radio airplay and title exposure as they did in the east. People around here saw it more like a James Dean kind of thing. Their crash and deaths got as much attention as their work did. But for myself.. I heard them. Jumped right out at me, actually.

Tonight I found them to be a cold weather-type of study. That's what happens on quiet winter nights when a random song on the playlist triggers the mind to wander fondly onto topics of the past and finds its way through a cup of coffee and down the roads of Googledom.

After about two hours of exploring facts and sounds, this is where I arrived-- and with "Left Behind" looping on my headphones, I ready your story.

It's not often that we are treated to having that oh-so "perfect alignment"-- when focused thoughts, wonders and emotions all intersect like magic at the precise moment.. but you and the band together just gave me one of the most profound and enjoyable ones I have ever encountered. Thank you.. very much.

I am 62 now, and never had kids. Instead I've spent those years just going around "adopting" whomever I wanted whether they know it or not. It certainly makes for an interesting family. For Squirrels got adopted a long time ago.. and I hope you don't mind if I add you and your wife as well :-)

And finally, thank you to any and all who keep this site up and running! This is my first visit, and I look forward to returning!

Currently Listening to: Left Behind
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