Reunited Band Members Host CD Release Party October 20 At Bunker Bar

Nobody’s Kidz in 1982 featured (from left) Paul Bucher, bass; Pat McSurley, drums; Rick Yore, guitar; John Kuser, guitar and Bethany Ballard, vocals. Their song, “Hold on Me,” took second in a national songwriting competition.
Having fun in the studio are (from left) John Kuser, Pat McSurley, Rick Yore and Paul Bucher. PHOTOS COURTESY OF KIDZB4

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — It had been decades since Paul Bucher, John Kuser, Pat McSurley and Rick Yore took the stage together as Nobody’s Kidz – a band that was a semifinalist in the FM-104 WIOT songwriting competition in 1982. Yet when McSurley moved back from Arizona in 2013, he called Bucher and asked if he wanted to jam with the guys, hoping that the stars would align. Turns out, getting together after 33 years wasn’t too hard. “We were kids in a candy store,” Kuser laughed. With McSurley on drums, Bucher on bass, Kuser and Yore on guitar and all sharing vocals and songwriting, the men got together for fun – and ended up with a CD. On Friday, October 20, the reincarnation of the band – KidzB4 – will hold a CD release party at Bunker Bar, 1950 S. Eber Rd., just north of Airport Highway. Dirty Lies is a compilation of songs written by the band members, recorded mostly at Action City Records in Texas, Ohio, and mastered at Eber Road Studios by Brad Binkley. Binkley’s daughter, Maddison, aka Muddy, will perform with Shakin’ Shivers during the October 20 party. While Kuser graduated from Napoleon High School, the other three met in 1966 in Anthony Wayne schools. “Our roots are so far back,” said Bucher. “We tested out different instruments jamming in Pat’s barn.” When Yore moved to the area in seventh grade, the three joined forces. Their influences were Grand Funk Railroad and some Jimi Hendrix. As sophomores, the crew played at Miami Children’s Home, where chunks of the ceiling in the auditorium fell down on the stage. In 1978, Kuser joined the trio in their band Moto-Vation, which toured a tri-state area. In the early ’80s, after a brief break, they formed Nobody’s Kidz, opening for national acts including Steppenwolf, Dr. John and Mitch Ryder. In 1982, the year that MTV launched, a Nobody’s Kidz music video – featuring students at Anthony Wayne High School running around in the background – played on Basement Tapes in the wee hours of the morning. Along with vocalist Bethany Ballard and her Pat Benatar-like voice, Nobody’s Kidz recorded the song “Hold on Me,” which was a favorite on FM-104 WIOT that same year. As a result, the band was a semifinalist in the national competition, winning $2,000 in prizes. John Cougar Mellencamp’s manager offered the band a spot on the artist’s east coast tour, but by then, the band was falling apart, each one going a separate way. “It was bittersweet,” Bucher said, explaining that he was ready to hit the road in a national tour. “There are too many ‘what ifs’ in life,” Kuser added. Kuser went on to become a rock photographer, with portraits of bands such as Queen, Kansas, Styx and Led Zeppelin gracing magazines and newspapers, many now hanging on the walls of Third Street Cigar in Waterville. He continues to work as a professional photographer, known as JLK Photography. McSurley is now director of environmental services for Elizabeth Scott Community, which is owned by Bucher. Yore works at Hale Chrome. “We’re all in our late 50s, early 60s, and still rocking it,” Bucher said. “We’re not Nobody’s Kidz any more, but we’re a reincarnation of that.” Getting together to write and perform is great at this stage in the game, McSurley said. “It’s just like old times,” he said. The new CD features 11 songs, 10 of which are written by a combination of the band members. “The Wizard” is a song originally performed by Uriah Heep. “We all have an equal share. We’ve all been in bands where one guy is controlling things,” Kuser said. “It’s cool that we can all bring something to the table and no one shuts us down.” McSurley describes the new release as “in-your-face guitar rock with solid vocals and flares of acoustic sounds.” KidzB4 will play songs off the CD, plus new ones that have been written since, including “Gotta Ride Away.” While the feathered hair and spandex of the early ’80s look is gone, KidzB4 promises to rock like it’s 1982. The October 20 event begins at 7:00 p.m. A $10.00 donation includes a new KidzB4 CD or download, munchies and cash bar.

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