Vandal: You Want It? You Got It!

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You Want It? You Got It! CD
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Track List

01 Sweet Revenge
02 Playing With Your Life
03 Center Of Ridicule
04 U Want It, You Got It!
05 Fake Reality
06 Burning Up The Night
07 City Girl
08 Down and Out
09 Working Class Blues
10 Sweet Revenge
11 Misery Loves Company
12 When The Looks Are Gone
13 Last Laugh
14 Better Off Dead
15 Torn
16 Working Class Blues (2013)

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  • You Want It? You Got It!
  • Description
Vandal is:

Bob Johnson - Vocals (1987)
Stacey Thomason - Vocals (1989)
Lance Thomason - Vocals (1990)
Mark Jurczeski - Guitars (1987)
Dan Donegan - Guitars (1989, 1990)
Kurt Bonomo - Guitars (1989, 2013)
Bob Feddersen - Bass (1987, 1989, 1990)
Steve 'Fuzz' Kmak - Bass (1989,1990, 2013)
John Sullivan - Drums & Vocals (1987-Present)

When growing up in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a suburb just south of Chicagoʼs Midway Airport,
it is almost a foregone conclusion that one would be into Led Zeppelin, The Beatles,
Rush, and the like. Bassist Bob Feddersen and drummer John Sullivan were no
exception. Since the seventh grade, they, along with guitarist Kurt Bonomo had played
in a band that played everything from the Beach Boys to Black Sabbath - anything that
would get them booked at gigs, parties, churches, weddings; the more, the merrier.
By the time they were in high school, they had built a nice following among their
classmates and neighborhood friends, and they began to get bigger and better
bookings. One of these was opening for a local band named ʻFuryʼ at Moraine Valley
Community College. Never before this fateful evening in 1984 had the band heard
music from Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, or Dio. How had they never heard these amazing
songs before now? After the shock of what they had just witnessed (as well as the
shock of being blown off the stage) wore off, the band started listening to these groups
and others, many coming out of Hollywoodʼs Sunset Strip scene. Eventually, the band
rechristened themselves with a new name and sound. It was now 1986. From now on, it
was all about the metal. From now on, it was all about VANDAL.
Bob and John got a tip on a killer singer who had just left his previous band. They were
told he hung out at Sinbadʼs Arcade. “Uh-Oh, that place was where troublemakers and
badasses hung out”. Sure enough, they pull up to Sinbadʼs, and a dude that looked just
like Vince Neil (in full metal attire, nonetheless) was doing skateboard tricks in the
parking lot. “Hey dude, are you Bob Johnson?” they asked sheepishly. “Who the fuck
wants to know?” he shot back. “Uh, well, weʼre in a band called Vandal, and Linus from
(the band) Nineteen said we should find you to join our band.” “Yeah I heard of you
guys, letʼs jam Tuesday”. Sweet! When Tuesday came around, Johnson belted out an
ass-kicking ʻRun to the Hills, and they knew they found their singer. So did the 40
friends that piled into Johnʼs bedroom to witness the audition!
With the eventual addition of Mark Jurczeski on guitar (and later, Gino Buonamici, then
Jeff Ernst), VANDAL began writing songs and playing gigs. The main hub of the
under-21 music scene was ʻKatzʼ, a club in Chicagoʼs south suburbs that featured many
of the areaʼs metal bands that would go on to play at the Thirsty Whale and other ʻlegitʼ
venues. The band began packing the place and became a force to be reckoned with,
playing with more ferocity and attitude than your average ʻglamʼ band. After they
released their 6-song demo, ʻUnder Arrestʼ, they were considered by fans and bands
alike to be among the best around town.
Although VANDAL was gaining momentum and recognition, it was always a band filled
with friction and trouble. Even at their young age, the band was partying hard,
seemingly using Motley Crueʼs ʻUncensoredʼ video as the blueprint for their lifestyle. In
1988, After their one-millionth fight about who-knows-what, Feddersen and Sullivan
parted ways with Johnson, and re-grouped with their old friend Kurt, and two new
friends from the band ʻApparitionʼ that they had been hanging out with - guitarist Dan
Donegan and singer Stacey Thomason.

These were fun times for VANDAL, and though there is not much in the way of recorded
material besides a 3-song demo, this was the longest lasting and most productive years
for the band. They were packing the thirsty Whale and the Gateway Theatre, winning
battle of the bands, getting played on WVVX, winning over new fans, and having a great
time. Stacey and Dan were a lot of laughs, fun to work with, and also proved to be quite
handy, building a KISS-style light-up VANDAL sign. John added some pyro to the mix,
lighting his gong on fire, and building homemade flash-pods with a friend. There were a
few small fires here and there, but in the late 80ʼs, this was still considered somewhat
acceptable.
All fun aside, by early 1990, VANDAL could not figure out how to get to the next level,
and although they were doing everything humanly possible to promote the band, they
were still young (19 to 21) and had no idea what to do next in order to achieve their
dreams of fame and fortune. The band felt like they were spinning their wheels. At that
same time, Stacey was having voice-related issues. The band turned to Staceyʼs
younger brother Lance Thomason, who was becoming quite the well-known rocker
himself, to join the group in place of his older brother, and hopefully give the band the
shot in the arm it needed.
Within a short period of time, Feddersen, Sullivan, Donegan, and Lance Thomason had
re-emerged with a leaner, meaner sound, and cut the 1990 release simply tiled ʻVandalʼ.
The band began storming back in the clubs, and getting on local radio. But it was shortlived.
The band was featured on the January 1991 cover of Chicago Area Music
Monthly (CAMM Magazine), and by the time the issue came out, Lance had already left
VANDAL to join Sandra Dee.
After trying out various singers, and for a short time reuniting with Stacey on vocals
(with longtime friend Steve ʻFuzzʼ Kmak on guitar alongside Donegan), it was clear that
the band had run its course. John left the band to join up with Lance and Sandra Dee,
now named ʻGrooveyardʼ, who had relocated to San Francisco, and the other members
went off as well to pursue their own musical interests. It was the end of an era.
Interestingly enough, many of the members of VANDAL went on to have successful
musical careers (in varying degrees). John Sullivan and Bob Feddersen eventually
reunited to form LOUDMOUTH, who were signed in 1998 to Hollywood records after
some public support from Metallica. The bandʼs song ʻFlyʼ appeared in the movie Varsity
Blues, and made it to number 7 on the Billboard charts. The soundtrack earned the
band a gold record, and they toured with the likes of Godsmack, Black Label Society,
Megadeth, and Kid Rock.
These days, Sullivan And Kurt Bonomo play together in the Chicago-based cover band
80ʼs Enough. They do 30-40 shows a year, and recently opened for Bret Michaels and
Styxʼs Dennis DeYoung. John also has a band that plays his original material (John L.
Sullivan and the Ragged Glory). His song ʻGhost Townʼ took first place in the ʼGreat
American Songwritersʼ Contest, and his band played at SXSW, and was the featured
artist on WXRTʼs ʻLocal Anestheticʼ show.

Dan Donegan and Fuzz, of course, went on to form the multi-platinum metal group
ʻDisturbedʼ. (Warner Bros.) They have sold out arenas and stadiums worldwide for over
10 years, and have had four consecutive #1 albums, a record shared in the U.S. with
only Metallica and the Dave Matthews Band. They have appeared on countless
magazine covers and in music videos. They have outlived most of their peers that
emerged in the nu-metal era, and have survived and thrived in an era of declining music
sales and increasingly short lifespans for bands and artists. They have truly achieved
the Rock and Roll dream.
Recently, Sullivan, Bonomo, and Fuzz re-recorded an old VANDAL song, ʻWorking
Class Bluesʼ at Fuzzʼs studio, United Technique Recording, in Chicago, which is
included with this release. Bob Johnson, who originally wrote the lyrics, came by the
studio to offer his blessing and support, and was the catalyst and originator of this whole
re-issue project.

So thatʼs the story of VANDAL, at least the parts that can be remembered. Itʼs basically
the story of a bunch of crazy kids from the south suburbs of Chicago that loved Heavy
Metal, loved playing in a band, and did the best they could with what they knew.
Although VANDAL never got to ʻthe next levelʼ, there will always be a ton of great
memories - friends made, friends lost, the shows, the parties, the chicks... But you know
how it is - thatʼs Rock and Roll! At the very least, VANDAL was the beginning for other
stories that will be told in the future, and maybe will be considered a tiny leaf or bud on
that great big Rock and Roll family tree that keeps on growing, and, with a little love and
attention, will hopefully continue to grow for generations to come.