The Rousers at first consisted of three friends from Weston, CT. who had played together in highschool bands under such names as "Billy Universe and the Satellites" and "Step n'fetchit". That would be Jerid O'Connell, Tom Milmore and Bill Dickson. Our big faves were the New York Dolls. Bill Dickson and Jerid O'Connell were then art students at the School of Visual Arts. One of Bill's classmates was design student Jeff Buckland. Among other things, Jeff and Bill shared a keen appreciation of the soulful Negro pop typified by Ben E. King. Jeff joined the Rousers as the lead singer. Tom Milmore at the time was taking audio engineering classes, driving a van for some outfit in Norwalk, CT., and playing bass in a band. Fellow Westonite John Hannah was then running through his inheritance in St. Thomas, trying to make a restaurant survive. It didn't. We hailed him back to play bass, and he did.

Disgruntled with the Rouser experience, Jeff Buckland quit. The Rousers quickly found a replacement in Michael Hatfield, a Brooklyn barber (or "hair stylist") with an eccentric, operatic vocal manner. (Michael's half-brother(?) Kenny Hatfield is a well regarded guitar player (especially by himself)). During this time, we met and took on Bob "Mr. Beebob" Rowland as a manager. We liked him so well we bought him a satin baseball jacket. We earned some excellent reviews in New York Rocker and other pubs and began to draw crowds, based more on Michael's intimidation of his acquaintances than on anything else; in short, we began to pull together as a band and to leave Buckland in the dust. Or so we thought.. .

Buckland Bounces Back: 1979-1982

Realizing that Michael made us uncomfortable (he is very intense), we asked Jeff to rejoin, an offer he accepted.

"It's Just Business. . .": 1980

In an action that haunts to this day, Bill, Tom and Jeff were persuaded by the addled minds of Idlewild Entertainment to kick Jerid and John (the rhythm section) out of the band. Swell thing to do to your friends, eh? But we did it. We were convinced that our careerist cruelty was justified. Maybe it was, but fame and fortune were not forthcoming. . .

Fresh Meat: 1980-82

 Sal "King" Capazucca: Drums

  • Sal made his reputation on the scene as drummer for The Boyfriends, a semi-glam band managed by Andy Somers, who later was a partner in Idlewild Entertainment. Sal became a great pal and his grunting while playing has continued to inspire.

 

Brett "Wildman" Wilder: Bass

  • Brett was about 18 when he joined, and had already gotten plenty of experience playing in Justin Trouble, (aka Justin Love), through whom he was acquainted with Johnny Thunders. Brett is often considered "too smart for his own good" or maybe just "too loud for jazz". A good player and playmate.

 

It's the 80's, man

  • The Rousers broke up in 1982. Brett and Bill went on to play white soul music in The Backbones with former Sender Philippe Marcade. Tom and Sal formed Syntax Error and Verite, dance-oriented synth pop outfits. Somewhere in there Tom, Sal, Brett and Bill got together once more as The Praise Jockeys, a hard rocking band that enjoyed great press and not much popular success.

 

Here they come again: 1997

  • Yes, time flies. Between 1982 and 1997, we all crossed paths, played together and apart in different bands and grew to be the fine examples of manhood that now characterize The Rousers.

 

And there they go... 1999 and beyond

  • In the spring of 1999, following a series of wonderfully played but somewhat dispiriting appearances (ever-dwindling audiences), Brett Wilder left the band to pursue his wiggy career playing guitar with The Go Downs, Boilermakers, and whatever ugly tribute night beckons.
  • In November '99 Bill took over bass chores from the departed Brett and The Rousers rocked on as a trio. 

 

And then...

  • At some point in 2001, physics teacher and multi-talented Honkin' Hank Kandel was spied blowing baritone at the Brazenhead Inn on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn and recruited to Rouse. The band played for a year or so with Hank, but this experiment ran its course, and it was trio time again. The Rousers recorded an album (Playing The Rock and Roll For You) and played in Brooklyn and New York City for the next decade or so. Then one day...

 

Nowadays: Fall of 2016

  • Brett Wilder is back! The Rousers are now restored to quartet status, and continue to rock madly and perform in the NYC area and record. Look for an opportunity to enjoy them live!

 

The Rousers first line-up - Jeff Buckland, Bill Dickson, Tom Milmore, Jerid O'Connell and John Hannah