Bands: The Tone II


Early promo shot. We were all dogs!

Band officially formed: Jan. 1998


  • Xavier "Bonz" Polk - Drums
  • "Austin" James Ford - Harp
  • Mike Pintagro - Bass
  • Big R - Guitar




    Demo June 1998


    Mike and I were deployed together to Kuwait. Once we got there, I found out he could play bass. Well, there was a music room there, complete with amps, guitars drums and PA gear. We put together a band to jam for the soldiers when we got out of the field. It was a resounding success.

    I decided that we would have to continue this when we got back to Texas. While in Kuwait, I was informed that harp player "Austin" Jim Ford was also at Fort Hood. He was part of our band in Korea. WAY too cool! When we got back, I rented a house just for the band. Turns out we had some great neighbors, and they loved the band! (NO COMPLAINING)

    Jim and Mike

    Jim and Mike during rehearsals.

  • During the time of forming the band, I went ahead and hit a bunch of pawn shops to get some gear. I picked up the Hiwatt head and a 1 x 15 Peavey cab for the bass. I also got real lucky with the drums. There was a shop that was remodeling, and the guy had two drum sets. Well, he saw me looking at the Pearl export he had. It was raining, business was slow, and he needed to unload the set because of the remodeling. The set was listed at $900 w/cymbals. He told me I could have it for $500. SWEET! I snagged it up, and also added a set of rototoms I found for $80. Was a great drum shopping day.

    I also decided to purchase a PA system. I decided on making it expandable (separate power amp and mixer) in case I wanted to beef it up later. This cost me over $4,000 when I got finished, but it was worth it. We had gear to spare. Now for the drummer.


    Mike at the outdoor gig.

    When I was in the local music store looking for a drummer, I heard someone JAMMING on the skins in the drum sales room. To add to the craziness, the guy was screaming. I figured this dude was so good that he had to be playing with someone. Turned out that he was a gospel drummer at a local church, and didn't really play anything else. I could see that this kid had some serious talent. I asked him to come over and try out a session with us.


    Xavier's drum solo. Man that kid could play!

    Turns out he really liked what we had to offer. The band was together. Because Xavier was so good, we could do songs I had never before thought possible. Even tunes like Dazed and Confused and Whipping Post we really nailed. It was totally awesome.

    But alas, I was getting ready to leave the Army and get married. So, after the hours and hours of practicing, we disbanded before I could get out there and promote the band to local club owners.


    The gig from hell.

    I must say, this was a real fun bunch of guys, and some real good talent. Seems like I run into that a lot, then don't maximize the possibilities like I should.

    Big R and Xavier

    Playing the '65 Strat while recording.

    Where are they now?

    "Austin" Jim Ford is retired in South Texas. Mike is still in the Army. Xavier is MIA. Need to find him!

    UPDATE: Xavier e-mailed me from his hometown of Orlando, Fla. He is the music minister at his church. He is also playing in a band and doing real well. Heh, heh, time for a reunion . . .

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