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Band bios

Here's the insider info on The Costellophones:

Mark Woodruff
(vocals, drums)

Rick Watson
(bass)

Roland Salinas
(guitars, backing vocals)

Ed Ferguson
(keyboard, backing vocals)

Chris Bennett
(drums)

Sometimes, original Costellophones member
John Kelley
sits in on guitar and Mark's son, Alec Woodruff, sits in on bass.


- Mark's bio

In addition to drumming and singing with The Costellophones, Mark also is lead vocals for the seven-piece '80s tribute band, Airwave 80s (which you can book through Gigmaster's).

Mark also provides drums and backup vocals for The Carport Casanovas, a country-western band in Austin. Mark started playing drums in high school around 1979, totally as a hobby and completely untrained. His first band was embarrassingly named Mustard, for reasons unknown. Mark banged around on an old, classic Slingerland kit for several years before replacing it in 1995 with a much quieter and more neighborhood-friendly electronic Yamaha kit. He bought an old Rogers acoustic kit in 2003, and then he upgraded to an all-maple Pacific CX kit in 2006.

Mark also created My Private Lessons, a web site to help music students find good music teachers by zip code: www.myprivatelessons.com

- why did he start an EC tribute band?

I've been a big Elvis Costello fan since my roommate, Tom, got me hooked on the "My Aim Is True" album in 1980, when I was a freshman in college. In our dorm room at the University of Texas, Tom and I used to make crude cassette tape recordings of Costello tunes using his bass and my thrown-together drum kit (a snare, a hi hat, and a cardboard box for the kick drum). On almost every long drive across Texas, Costello's music has accompanied me and kept me so energized that I could never fall asleep at the wheel.

- I met my wife, thanks to Elvis Costello

I met my wife during summer school at the University of Texas in 1984. We were both living in Kinsolving Dorm -- usually a womens' dorm, but coed during the summer. The roof of the dorm is a flat recreational area where students play volleyball and lounge around. I was throwing the Frisbee with my roommate when it got away from me and landed at the foot of a lawn chair on which Stacia was reading and listening to a cassette. It was Elvis Costello's Armed Forces album. It offered me the perfect chance to introduce myself and proclaim that I, also, was a big Costello fan. We were married three years later.

- I met Elvis Costello

My son, Alec, and I drove to Houston in March 2005 to see Elvis Costello in a small amphitheater downtown. Alec was 14 then. We sat 12 rows from the stage until Elvis said to what was a surprisingly quiet crowd, "If any of you people want to come up here by the stage and rock 'n' roll, get the f*** up here!" We bolted to the front of the stage and watched the entire concert right at the edge of his wingtips. After the concert, as we were leaving, Alec asked me, "If we wanted to try to meet him, where would we go to do that?" We walked around to the back of the building by the loading dock to see if we could catch him. About 20-30 other fans had the same idea. Elvis came out 20 minutes later, all smiles, and spent half an hour talking, shaking hands, signing autographs, and posing for photos. He was totally cool and extremely patient. Because he was so accommodating to all the doting fans, Alec and I now refer to him as, "Our friend." Alec, by the way, was mad at me for not telling Elvis that I met my wife in college because she was listening to the Armed Forces album. As Alec said, "I wouldn't even be here if it weren't for that album!"

My son Alec, btw, is becoming somewhat of a superstar bass player and songwriter (he also plays guitar and has played viola since 2001). Here's Alec singing and playing a song he wrote called "The Shoreline" with his band, Maiden Austin. Here's the band playing Eric Johnson's, "Cliffs of Dover."

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copyright 2009 Mark Woodruff