The Spinns: Pop a top, again | Music Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The Spinns: Pop a top, again 

Before the accident: The Spinns, onstage at the Local 506 in 2005

Photo by Ross Grady

Before the accident: The Spinns, onstage at the Local 506 in 2005

Rob Walsh manages the bar at The Cave, Chapel Hill's famously long-lived dive and venue. Like the dimly lit underground room where he works, Walsh has been an integral part of Franklin Street music for quite a while, whether as an instrumentalist, bandleader or, with his tattooed knuckles and endearingly gruff humor, a character.

Today, he's the bassist of psych-metal trio Bitter Resolve, though he previously played in the much-missed hard rock outfit Dirty Little Heaters. But a trebly, reckless garage-punk band named The Spinns preceded both. This weekend, the trio re-forms for two shows—and, well, lots of drinking.

"It seems like every couple of years our livers are drawn to one another," quips Walsh. Indeed, there have been a few reunions in the seven years since the band split up; together, the members are hard partiers. Singer Todd Colberg has since published a book about his late nights and long drives with the band.

The Spinns formed in 2002, when guitarist Colberg and drummer Josh Johnson brought in Walsh on bass. "Josh and I were hanging around a bunch," Walsh remembers, "so it only seemed natural to play together."

The band soon hit a steady drinking, hard-gigging stride—and found a welcoming niche in what was a garage-friendly Chapel Hill scene.

"It was a rock 'n' roll time back then," explains Walsh. "Todd and I lived in a house behind (Chapel Hill Chinese restaurant) Hunam for three years with no heat or hot water and very little electricity, rent free. So it was easy to quit jobs and go tour."

They shared stages with raucous janglers and genre giants such as The Black Lips and The Detroit Cobras and played Local 506's Sleazefest, a massive garage and rockabilly celebration led by Southern Culture on the Skids. Previous 506 owner Dave Robertson's faithful support of that scene made the 506 a de facto hub for straightforward rock music; Sleazefest was wide open and wild, so much so that Walsh only remembers that The Spinns played a few, not when or how it went. Those lost evenings fueled the breakup.

"The drugs and booze were proving to be too much," Walsh says.

While Walsh remains in Chapel Hill, playing his road-tested Gibson SG bass in area bands, Johnson lives in Los Angeles and Colberg is in New York City. When Johnson's current band, the damaged and delightful Paint Fumes, played New York, he caught up with Colberg. They realized they would be in North Carolina over the same holiday weekend. After Christmas, they'll practice, drink and perhaps record for two days straight. Then The Spinns will play two shows and disband again.

Walsh looks forward to the old, familiar whirlwind: "I miss those wackos."

This article appeared in print with the headline "Two reunions."

  • "It seems like every couple of years our livers are drawn to one another," Rob Walsh quips.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

Thanks to the band at Motorco tonight. It was beautiful. I never get chills in late June during a Carolina …

by Shocka Kahn on Four Years After His Death, Jason Molina Lives on Through a New Book and a Revived Reunion (Music Feature)

Great story about a fine couple with a meaningful dream. Pulling for you all the way, Andrew and Gretchen!

by Jeff Korsmo on Chapel Hill Native Andrew Weathers Hops from Oakland to a Tiny Texas Town in Pursuit of New Musical Experiments (Music Feature)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Thanks to the band at Motorco tonight. It was beautiful. I never get chills in late June during a Carolina …

by Shocka Kahn on Four Years After His Death, Jason Molina Lives on Through a New Book and a Revived Reunion (Music Feature)

Great story about a fine couple with a meaningful dream. Pulling for you all the way, Andrew and Gretchen!

by Jeff Korsmo on Chapel Hill Native Andrew Weathers Hops from Oakland to a Tiny Texas Town in Pursuit of New Musical Experiments (Music Feature)

there actually is a back door that cuts the transit between the two venues in half. someone might be willing …

by Daniel Stark on How Do You Solve a Problem of Two Like-Minded Shows in the Same Building on the Same Night? (Music Feature)

The Cry of Love debut album is still one of my favorites, and it's a damn shame that Kelly saw …

by bluesbro71 on Cry of Love vocalist Kelly Holland died depressed, but not alone (Music Feature)

I was the drummer for the Screamin Cheetah Wheelies, and toured together in 93 when both bands' 1st cd came …

by Terry L Thomas on Cry of Love vocalist Kelly Holland died depressed, but not alone (Music Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation