A Brief History of SQUEELER




Towards the end of the cretaceous period, when the last dinosaurs of progressive rock still wandered over a dry ice-misted terrain, strewn with Moog synthesizers, stacks of Marshall amplifiers, and the last wailings of the wah-wah pedals and fuzz boxes died away, a band emerged that would take rock music back down the evolutionary ladder. This was a new dawn: the dawn of, "Boulevard".


Thus it was that in the early 1980's Jake Simmons, a lithe, gothic man-beast with long flowing golden locks, and chest hair that made Tarzan look like an ape-man, took time out from playing lead guitar with 'Izzy The Push' and joined Steve Rubenstein and Dennis Overton to form the head and thorax of 'Boulevard'. The hind quarters took the form of a bass
player called Adam who completed the anatomy with his large, heavy, fretless instrument.


Dennis was a medical student who would, one day, pupate into a guitarist / anaesthetist but, at the time, he hammered away on his large, shiny, orange coloured rig, making passable impressions of Bonzo Bonham.


Steve Rubenstein had a black moustache, played a Gibson Les Paul (copy!), and drove a Morris Minor Traveller with which he would try to seduce Dennis' girlfriend, Suzanne.


This led to visceral internal tensions in the band from the outset, and what resulted was an ephemeral and eclectic mix of songs ranging from, 'Natural Born Boogie' by Humble Pie, 'Just What I Needed', by The Cars and a self-penned number called 'Le Mans', all played with an urgency which betrayed an urge to get off stage and beat each other to a pulp.


After two years the band realized that, whilst "Boulevard" was a cool name for an all-black American light jazz combo wearing vanilla suits with Louisiana blue-striped trousers, cravat’s, spats and a smile as wide as the Mississippi, this was not the name for an eager, thrusting, no-nonsense, lock-up-your daughters, run for your money, "Can I have mustard with that?", "You move over your own side!", rock and roll band.


Furthermore, Dennis had tired of sitting at the back of the band working hard for little recognition. He wanted someone else to do that. He wanted the limelight; he wanted fame; he wanted to sing and play the guitar. He wanted his girlfriend back from Steve, who had finally won her over after she had seen the size of his Great Dane.






Fortunately Dennis knew just the right man to step into his shoes and take over the drumming vacancy. Despite this, they settled on "LoanWolf" - a man at home in any natural environment and who could move silently and undetected through his own mind without anyone noticing he was there.


This most infeasible of drum players started out by sitting in the corner of pubs such as 'The Junction' in Harborne, dressed in a poncho which he thought made him look like Clint Eastwood but which, in fact, made him look more like Demis Roussos. When provoked he would lift up the poncho to reveal a small pair of bongos which he would slap menacingly until the heat caused the skin to swell and tighten and make a pained high pitched repetitive, rhythmical sound. At this point, he wo
uld usually be set upon by angry locals and ejected onto the street where he would be set upon, again, by passers by.


It reached the point that good, decent, law abiding Christian folk would cross the road to assault him. And so, soon after that, he gave up the poncho and the bongos and bought a Premier kit from the drummer in 'The Mushrooms' for the then princely sum of £150. He, like Dennis' girlfriend, had been taken for a ride.


The band was re-named, "Jeffrey Squeeler And The Nubb". Implicit in the name of the band was the notion that Dennis was "Jeffrey Squeeler" and the rest of the band were "The Nubb". However, Dennis railed against this idea and immediately denounced his alter ego as being a self centred, two faced, communist, breast feeding she-devil. He became confused about his own identity, unnaturally morose and given to wandering. He was finally arrested for asking an assistant in Marks and Spencers which cup-size she thought he was.






In the end, The band's name was shortened to "Squeeler", retaining it's proper noun spelling, and the first gig was played to a packed pub in Stirchley, Birmingham (UK), in 1984. Dennis had paid for a professional PA system and mixing desk by taking out a second mortgage on his remaining testicle. It proved worthwhile and remains the only time that LoanWolf ever had a fully miked drum kit.


The band kicked off with, 'Ice Cream Man' by Van Halen and featured a virtuoso guitar solo by Jake on Dire Strait's, 'Sultans Of Swing'. Steve Rubenstein made a cameo appearance on, 'Statesborough Blues'  but the set descended into acrimony when the entire band stopped playing two thirds of the way through 'I Want You To Want Me'. They tried to blame the drummer. He though it was a cheap trick.


The band fell into a dormant phase for the next four years as the members left Birmingham University and dispersed like satanic seeds from a heathen pod. Nevertheless, in 1988 LoanWolf, who was working in Hereford, got together with Mark Evans (guitar) and Mark Walters (Bass), and joined up with Dennis for an open-air party in Kemble, near Cirencester.


This was an atmospheric mini-festival on a mid-summer's evening with bands playing on a hay wagon and the audience seated on hay bails, the smoke from barbecues rising up in front of a tent village. 


Squeeler played support to 'Fergie's Toes' and 'The Mushrooms' and featured a song that was to become a Squeeler standard: 'Stay With Me' by The Faces, as well as a number of their own songs including, 'After The Incident', 'Hooked', 'St Helier Sunshine' and the now infamous, 'Climbin' Up The Ladder'.






The following year the band metamorphosed again to reappear at the same venue. This time LoanWolf recruited the help of bearded blues guitarist, Roger "Drop the pod Virgil" Baynham (so called after a legendary toileting accident). They had originally met on a potato harvester and something immediately clicked. Roger tried to explain that he had a bad back and that he had to wear the corset for medical reasons; the leotard simply stopped it chaffing his skin.


Roger was a laid back dude who drove a Volkswagen Beetle and liked to smoke roll ups and discuss his influences; 'The Allman Bros', 'Blind Faith' and other lesser known bands!  He played in an authentic blues band called, 'Maxwell Street' but was happy to take time off to deviate into the unwholesome world of pop/rock.


Dennis made a reappearance dressed in a black cassock, which he had borrowed off a man of some bizarre religious denomination, and struck a strange sight standing below the stage lighting (which consisted of a single unprotected fluorescent tube and which gave the impression of some sort of horizontal halo).


The band was short of a bass player and were indebted to 'Filbert' for having the balls to step up and play bass guitar… even though he had never done so before! The set that y
ear included, 'High Heel Sneakers', 'Get Back', 'Cocaine' and Lynyrd Skynyrd's version of, 'Call Me The Breeze'.


This Summer event had, by now, become well established and over the next couple of years Squeeler supported some accomplished bands such as, 'Rhythym Republic' and 'Ninety Proof'. It was organized by Kieran Casserley: a sort of agricultural Harvey Goldsmith, who wouldn't have looked out of place standing on a hickory stump and playing his fiddle with The Charlie Daniel's Band.






It was at this point that Dennis introduced a new member to the band: a fellow anaesthetist called Nev who had an o
pera singer's voice and dimensions but who still retained a butt like two hard-boiled eggs wrapped tightly in a handkerchief. He was already in a band, modestly named, 'Right Said Nev’, but the titanium-throated front-man agreed to join Squeeler and, with Dennis retaining a few numbers for variation, and with twin vocals now available on most songs, the band's musical ambitions increased, ultimately leading to performances of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love'.

In true rock style, the band went through a succession of bass players like a pack of condoms: using them once, before discarding them outside on the pavement, humiliated, crumpled and full of sperm.

Dave "De Ville" Deaville was a talented bass player, introduced by Nev, who made cheese as well as music and who played twice with the band. Unfortunately, he was afflicted by an urge to run offstage and defaecate at the end of every other song.  At first, ardent fans thought that this was some sort of heavy rock trademark, such as Alice Cooper’s beheading or Ozzie’s animal biting antics. In fact, it was gastroenteritis and ended with Dave lying dormant in a Swiss clinic for the next seven years with doctors pondering over him and sound engineers trying to set up his bowel sounds as a backing track to a hip hop number.





In the mid-nineties Jake re-joined the band, followed shortly afterwards by fellow Izzy the Push bassist, Richard Evans. This injection of professionalism and, in the case of bass playing, stability, took the band to it's pinnacle of musicianship. With up to three guitarists available (Jake, Roger and Dennis) Roger was now free to play keyboards, which also increased the
band's repertoire. A softer side emerged with songs such as 'Angels' and 'Easy' and the piano solo at the end of 'Layla'. Nevertheless, the underlying core of the band remained rooted in the best of Seventies rock music from 'Free', 'Bad Co', 'Thin Lizzy', 'Deep Purple', and 'The Rolling Stones'.


Richard Evans was a test driver for Jaguar cars and his expert driving skills were demonstrated by his ability to moon through the windscreen at wickedly excessive speeds. His frequent rear end appearances on speed cameras earned him the nick-name, "The Neubergring".


Squeeler were now playing more gigs and were no longer a support band but the real thing. Memorable venues included Warwick University, Keele University and Worcester Rugby Club. But one highlight was the band's tour to Ireland.






One of Dennis's friend's asked the band to play at his wedding in The Republic Of Ireland. Roger couldn't make it but a tour van was arranged. This had the lettering, "Ermin Van Hire" and it was felt that this could be made to sound like a Dutch heavy rock band. And so the name of the band was changed to match the free publicity.


Dennis went on his Harley-Davidson with a German girlfriend and there was some surprise that they both managed to arrive intact. Nev wasn't so lucky and rang the wedding hotel from a hospital near Dundalk to say that he had turned his BMW over (something about a bumpy road) and his girlfriend had a broken arm. Nev was shaken and, although in one piece, wasn't at all
certain that he would make the gig, which was only a few hours off.


Thus it was that Jake and LoanWolf set off to comb the hotel for a computer in order to download the words to the songs so that Dennis could have a go at them.


Meanwhile, Richard had an allergic reaction to the flowers on the wedding tables and another expedition set off to search the hotel for antihistamines and inhalers. By the time they returned Richard's head had inflated to the size of a balloon and he was led away to recover.


Things were looking decidedly bleak when, to great relief, Nev arrived and the band took to the stage with no time to spare. The first number went well enough - 'Angels' being a request from the bride'. After this it was noticeable that the audience began drifting away - there was a world cup football match between England and Argentina (the one where David Beckham was sent off).


This meant that the remaining audience was composed almost entirely of older Irish women who couldn't wait for the ceilidh band to come on and, when Squeeler launched into 'Alright Now', they came rushing up with their hands on their ears and waving their arms about, protesting that it was too loud.


The guitarists duly turned down the volume but, half way through, 'Bad Case Of Loving You',  the same thing happened and the song had to be abandoned whilst Nev and Dennis negotiated with them.


This was bad...even the priest was busy arming himself with Guinness bottles and trying to devise a way of making them rifle during flight. In an act of desperation, LoanWolf began singing and drumming, "A mouse in a windmill in old Amsterdam', and the rest of the band followed stoically right up to, "A mouse with clogs on, well I declare! Going clip clipetty clop on the stairs, oh yeh!"


There was a sublime, but all too brief moment, when the protesting audience paused as one and tried to understand… was the band mocking them, or was it some form of Irish folk music after all? However it took only seconds for them to resume their hostilities.


The band made one more attempt to placate them, this time playing 'Dancing In The Moonlight' by the Irish band, Thin Lizzy. But, after reaching then end of that, they abandoned the stage.


The ceilidh music went on for two hours and, by then, the audience had swelled with the returning youths who soon tired of the relentless acoustic folk music and requested that the band return to the stage. Now it was the turn of the previous antagonists to drift away and the response was much more positive. Although the band had travelled all that way, and come through trials and tribulations just to play a shortened set, it ended well enough.





It was too good to last – the egos too large for one band to contain. The fragile meniscus of friendship finally collapsed and bad feeling spilt out like blood spattered amniotic fluid from ruptured membranes, delivering forth a mottled, blue coloured baby called hatred, which gasped in gulps of air before screaming abuse at all and sunder.

The friction began to develop as between shifting tectonic plates: It started with small things such as Nev making a remark to Dennis that perhaps his singing on the Theme From Friends might be “a little flat”. Dennis was not one to hold a grudge, but he could handle a switchblade knife like a street fighter and he lunged for Nev and tried to open him up like a large plum tomato. Nev moved quickly for a big man but, in attempting to deal a savage blow to the back of Dennis’ head, he made a sickening, thudding contact with Loan Wolf’s solar plexus. Loan, who looked bemused at the best of times, appeared thoroughly perplexed before that feeling gave way to other emotions: guilt, blame, anguish, fear, tearfulness, insomnia, nausea, the feeling he wanted to shower repeatedly and scrub his own skin off and then, finally and definitively, anger. He leapt through the air at the retreating Nev with a crazed look in his eyes but, in doing so, clipped Dennis’ genitalia with his foot causing him to scream out, double over and go down like a man kicked in the genitals.

The ensuing tangle of thrashing and gouging bodies whirred in a violent melee for a full half an hour before Nev announced, brutally, that he was leaving the band  - for good.

That year, Squeeler borrowed Mark, the singer from Maxwell Street, who gamely and enthusiastically fronted the band. Without Nev, though, it was a sombre affair with singing, dancing, snogging, drinking, molestation, deviancy and more snogging but none of the usual fun that the band traditionally enjoyed. Life just didn’t seem quite the same without their surly, pugnacious, self-effacing, bellicose Fred Flintstone look-alike.



After a disastrous audition on The X factor, in which Nev gave his all to a version of "Toot Sweets" from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, Simon Cowell got shirty and said it was a poor song selection. Nev was on him before the last syllable left his mouth and it was only calmed down by the tender, imploring words of Sharon Osborne. She christened him her “Silverback” because of his uncanny resemblance to the handsome rainforest ape of the same name.


It was perhaps this that led to him taking up a post at Bristol Zoo as part of an experiment in teaching the rudiments of music to primates. Unfortunately, he left hastily after a controversial new technique to enthuse a long armed hairy Gibbon in the use of the bassoon went fundamentally awry and as well as the Gibbon needing urgent veterinary attention, Nev was left with a lasting distaste for all things monkey.


When he reflected alone, at home in the bath, he yearned. Afterwards, his mind took him back to happier times with Squeeler. It was then that he had his eureka moment. “What the heck – I’ll rejoin the band!”


Thus it was that Squeeler was reunited and made whole again and Nev was resurrected as The Rock God that he deserves to be.






In spite of the somewhat unbelievable nature of some of the band history so far, perhaps the most incredible episode did actually occur one summer’s evening in 2006 at The Queens Head in Wolverley, near Kidderminster.


Jake was playing with Izzy The Push, when they had a guest appearance: Dennis singing vocals on Daytripper. Not only that, but Robert Plant appeared and joined in and sang a couple of Zeppelin numbers (“Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “What Is And What Should Never Be”) plus four other songs.


The small pub was packed to bursting and Dennis, a lifelong Zeppelin fan, freaked in the throbbing, pulsating atmosphere and achieved an uncontrolled, retrograde ejaculation causing him to
collapse in a dead faint. Jake, however, kept his cool and played faultlessly drawing looks of admiration from Plant, who was standing next to him with a look on his care-worn face which said, “So where do you go to my lovely, when you're alone in your bed?” Jake responded, and with a simpering look,  “Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home!”, to which Plant retorted arrogantly,  “Squeeze my lemon, ‘til the juice runs down my leg” at which Jake threw back, “I I I I I’m not your steppin’ stone”, to which Plant said, “I’ll be your long haired lover from Liverpool” at which Jake shot back, “Knowing me knowing you, ah ha, there is nothing we can do!” at which they threw themselves into each other’s arms with wild and gay, lustful abandon, with nothing but a Fender Stratocaster and Jake’s large, flexible plectrum between them. The rhythm section struggled onwards and the audience were transfixed as Plant whispered, “Je t'aime, Je t'aime”, and Jake responded with, “Ten past eleven”.


Meanwhile Loan Wolf had become increasingly jealous of Plant’s attentions on Jake and dived at Plant screaming, “Hey dude mother fucker - he my bitch now - leave his ass behind or I’ll put your Turkey white ass in the stir and I ain’t Jivin’ your ass, no sir!


This seemed to connect with something in Plant, and he turned, almost apologetically, and hit Loan straight in the throat. But Loan was made of stern stuff and he grabbed a half eaten cheese and pickle baguette off a table and rammed it up Plant’s left nostril, right up to the hilt, before rotating it through 180 degrees so the Branston pickle was smeared over his sinuses and he stumbled back over the drum kit and sat down heavily with a crash of cymbals. He sat there dazed for a moment. The band had stopped and the audience looked on in mute amazement. Then, in a whimpering, shaky and somewhat nasal voice, falteringly at first but then gathering strength, Plant was heard to sing,  “Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end, we’d sing and dance for ever and a day” at which the entire pub joined in, “We’d live the life we choose, we’d win and never lose, those were the days, oh yes those were the days!”




There comes a time in every rock musicians career when they have a thought; “I know – I’ll breed Alpacas!” Now most of them recognize this as a synaptic aberration in the human brain manifesting itself as a rogue thought, and, either dismiss it out of hand or may muse for a while on the possibility, before dismissing it out of hand.


However, Richard had such an unclean thought recently and, after looking at the practicalities and logistics of it all, has concluded that he will be taking delivery of his first flock (actually it’s a herd, Rich) imminently. He has studiously attended night classes in Alpaca husbandry and could now inseminate an adult Alpaca with its eyes blindfolded. Consequently he has decided to take early retirement from the band to take up this new career in The Welsh Countryside where, no doubt, his farming neighbours will be extremely jealous of his outsized ‘sheep’. The band will miss him and wish him all the best.





Having awoken from his extended sleep in Switzerland, Dave was surprised to find his own bowel noises at the top of the rap charts in the diminutive kingdom. Leaving in his hospital robes he boarded a plane to great cheers from his growing number of fans – The Ulcerative Colitis Society have already adopted him as their figurehead – and he fled
back to England to rejoin the band.


Dave is welcomed back to the band for his talented bass and keyboard playing and backing vocals and also because he has a fiercely guarded disinterest in Alpacas. Furthermore, he can keep the band well supplied with mature organic cheese well into the future.





...and the journey continues!

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