I certainly did not realize that this band had such a lasting effect on so many people. For me, it was, and is, the ease with which I can relate to subject matter of the songs and the uncomplicated way the music was matched with the lyrics. I am not a musician, so I have to say the overall sound of the band caught my ear, which then led me to pay close attention to what they really had to say.
My “discovery” of the band occurred in San Antonio, Texas while listening to a college radio station. This was probably late 1980s, about the time that “End of the Day” was released. I am from Fort Worth and was going to school at the time. I have always had a fondness for songs about places/events with which I am familiar. Well, the song, “Star Telegram” struck a chord with me for obvious reasons. I purchased the other two albums out at that time (Translate Slowly and Saturday) and started “wearing them out”, becoming a huge fan of all of their work. The band’s name change really did not affect me, as my discovery of them happened right around the time that issue was being resolved, at least legally. I had heard that the band was formerly known as Zeitgeist, but unfortunately, I tuned in a little late. I then moved back to Fort Worth right around the time that the band’s last album was released, and embarrassingly, was not even aware of it’s existence until now. I hope that I can locate a copy so I can “rediscover” the band.
I only saw them “live” once, at a bar on St. Mary’s Street in San Antonio. I was one of the “crazies” up at the front acting silly. Man, that was fun. The band seemed to be having a lot of fun and sounded great.
It is sad, but true that things do not last forever (i.e., the band being together). But, I cannot wait to get home and “plug them in”!!!
-Morgan Burkhart ( Dec. 18, 2006)
I “discovered” the Reivers (then Zeitgeist) late one night while home on break from boarding school on IRS’s the Cutting Edge w/ Peter Zaremba, if I remember correctly. Mid-80’s. I then procured a tape of Translate Slowly that summer at a Record Bar in Myrtle Beach, SC while I was living down at Pawley’s Island. In retrospect, I find it amazing that such a sucky record chain would have that album.
By the time I got to see them in person, I had turned all my friends onto them, and they were about to put out their last album, unbeknownst to me. This was in 1991 I think, and I was then a student at USC in Columbia, SC. Someone had seen in the local free paper that The Reivers were playing down in Charleston that weekend, so we loaded up 2 SUV’s of kids and road tripped down to Chas. This was also the year Guns & Roses, who I hate, put out some double album, which was a big deal to some people, because I remember listening to it returning from the show at full volume with everyone but the driver and myself passed out somehow, with Axl Rose yelling at 150dB.
The show in Charleston was at a place called the Music Farm, which nowadays is legenday in SC and is in a great venue. In those days, however, before it moved to a spacious and suitable location, it was located in a converted building that had hosted a pizza place and dry cleaners on East Bay St. Very plush and impressive digs. The building has since been razed.
But there was a smattering of fans at the show; our crowd overshadowed everyone else, and being young, drunk and blown away by the experience of actually bumping into this band in our lifetime, our presence was very known, much to the chagrin of probably everyone there, including the band. But they took it in stride and were great sports.
The last song was Electra, and a friend of mine and I were allowed to join one of the gals(don’t remember which one now, 15 years later) onstage and slur along, which was one of the best times of my life up to that point, and won me many points with my date, who obviously had more to imbibe than I.
As the band packed up afterward and we lavished praise on them, I managed to make off with John’s Fender guitar strap, which still makes me feel like a common thief, as I still use it on my acoustic guitar. However, I’m consoled by the fact it’s one of those cheap straps that Fender practically gives away, so I figured he should upgrade anyway, plus I think they only performed once or twice after that anyway. Sorry, and thanks, John! Your strap’s right here, keeping my acoustic in place!
-Michael Musgrove (Dec. 9, 2006)