By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
Many years ago, when I wasn't completely bald, I used to book some good punk rock revues at the now-defunct Gables Pub, and one of the bands that featured frequently on my lineups was Lose the Rookie. Before the whiskey and pitchers took their tolls, these gigs were full of bonhomie and fun. People got drunk, glasses were broken, make-outs occurred in the restroom, and everyone got home okay.
I'm no superman, I'm no elitist — I'm just a guy who likes his music with honesty, and Lose the Rookie always delivered. The group formed in 1998 with the dual guitar works of Paul Chase and Tim Rhode, the rhythm section of Jim Miller (drums) and Bryan Goldsmith (bass), and the vocal stylings of ne'er-do-well extraordinaire Julio Pena. LTR was a quick crowd favorite, given their penchants for tight melodic punk with technical hardcore; intricate breakdowns; soaring oohs and ahhs; sugary hooks; onstage shenanigans; catchy sing-alongs; and sharp wardrobes.
That nothing more than a five-song CD-R freebie ever made it into the hands of South Florida consumers is a testament to the band's eternal tinkering in the studio — a loss to lovers of the genre everywhere. But there are all the old tales: the mini tour with Corky (later the Getback) and the Knockouts (later Stay Hitt), the unofficial residency at the Hungry Sailor (currently Sandbar) in Coconut Grove, and how on the Sailor's final night, everyone ripped everything off the walls and a woman climbed onstage and peed.
There are a lot of shrugs concerning the lack of product, but in the end, it's these stories that have cemented this band into the local lore and made it okay in my book. Age has taken its toll: Bryan is married and vying for a spot on the fire department, Tim and Paul have been responsible contributors to society, Jim's got his hand in the World Wide Web, and Julio is relocating his young family to Central Florida. Maybe they'll put those tracks down. Maybe they won't. One thing is certain: Lose the Rookie shows were always fun and memorable. That is all as a spectator you're entitled to. Enjoy.