CENTER OF GRAVITY
1997 - 1999
It was twenty years ago today that a band called Center of Gravity played their first show. We were 16 years old. I was on guitar and vocals and a friend I had known literally since birth was on drums next to me. We made a lot of noise that night and for many of the nights that followed; adding friends to the stage along the way, writing and recording music that was all our own, all Center of Gravity.
Photo’s were taken, tapes recorded shows, flyers were handed out and performances were filmed. Some of those memories were saved and boxed away. Since then I have been looking for the right time and median to share the archive I had amassed. There were a few attempts over the years to pull the collection together but they never made it very far.
The Complete Center of Gravity box set will be released in the coming months to mark the twentieth anniversary of the band. The box will contain the entire archive or recordings, videos, photos, artwork, and accounts from the band's tenure.
Today I’m sharing the first piece of the archive, the cassette tape recorded at The Iron Horse in Easley, SC on Saturday, September 13, 1997. The first performance of Center of Gravity.
September 13, 2017
THE BOX SET
center of gravity
The Complete Center of Gravity box set is presented in a custom engraved wooden box and contains every recording ever made by the band from 1997 to 1999. The enclosed USB drive holds over 170 audio files, 6 concert videos, photographs, posters, and more from the archives; the bulk of which have never been released until now.
Center of Gravity’s 1999 studio album "Selftitled" is included in the box set on CD. The album was never released while the band was together and only saw a limited pressing of 10 copies for friends and family. Now it has been restored and presented here for the first time as originally envisioned.
Also part of the set are a number of items right out of archive and into the box including an original copy of the band’s 1998 cassette tape “Blue”, setlists, and flyers to name just a few.
Rounding out the box is a hardbound book that pieces together the archives and tells the story of Center of Gravity. The book contains accounts of performances and more with photos and artwork from the archive to help illustrate the experience.
More details will be shared as the release date nears.
The first show
September 13, 1997
The Iron Horse
1. Cool Blues Riff
2. Bring It Down
3. From Everything (Comes Everything)
4. When I Find Myself
5. High And Dry
6. Revisiting December
9. Past One Yet
11. The Ends
This was Center of Gravity's debut, our first live performance after spending the summer writing and rehearsing songs. We were just a two piece band at the time with Russ Chapman on Drums and myself on Guitar and Vocals.
The Iron Horse was a little hole in the wall in old downtown area of Easley; directly across from the railroad tracks from where it borrowed its name. It was also unfortunately very close to the police department so there were always sound complaints. Michael Case ran the place which also doubled as a Christian Coffeehouse; at the time I wasn't into that side of it but I really can't state how important this place was for myself and every other kid with a guitar in the area. The Iron Horse was an outlet for kids to be open and create and just to be. The stage was open to anyone, just pick a Saturday and show up. The walls were all written on by the bands and people that came to listen and the stage seemed to move every few months or so.
On this night the stage was in the back room against the outside wall. I remember writing down the lyrics to the Radiohead cover "High and Dry" right before the show against the pool table in the lower room. The tape had some technical problems at the end of "Italy" and the song “Live Through This” was not recorded but the tape came back around for "The Ends" so nearly all of the set was captured. Future member Ben Hayes was at the show and you can hear him in the small audience.