The Rock Land Neanderthals

 

Mitch Mullenbach - Vocals

Mitch just blew in from MN in Sept. 2016 because the winter winds got a bit much for him to tolerate. He started his musical journey in junior high when his parents made him make a choice to join band or join choir. Mitch chose the latter because "the girls in choir were cuter". That decision eventually led to Mitch's 20 year run of playing in the Minneapolis music scene.

 

 

 

Jared Bader - Guitar/Vocal

Jared Bader grew up on a farm near Grand Island, Nebraska.  After playing guitar for several years he enrolled at the Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena, CA where he had the opportunity to study under Frank Gambale, Grammy award winning fusion guitarist.  Later Jared attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and earned a Bachelors degree in music education.   Jared played in various jazz, rock, and country music groups during this time including: Humbuba, Sling Shot, Minutia Stew, and the University of Nebraska Jazz Ensemble 1 (which was actually featured on Emeril Live because one of the sax players won a cheesecake contest).  After landing a teaching job in sunny Arizona, Jared is now happy to be away from the harsh winters of the Midwest and playing with one of the best rock bands around:  Rock Land

 

Bill Clancy - Drums

Another Rock Land member from New York, Bill has been involved with music almost all of his life. He started playing drums when the week only had six days; somewhere around 1968. He moved to the Valley in 1975, but had to leave the kit behind. An unfortunate accident brought Bill and the drums together a few years later, and he's been annoying friends and neighbors since.

Bill has played in many bands in recent times; Ffroggs, the Lord Dome Connection, and Midnight Haze just to name a few. He's also helped in the studio and done guest appearances with many other local Valley musicians. 

 

 

 

Cliff Daniel - Bass

Cliff started his musical career in the 5th grade, playing the trumpet. He stuck with it through his senior year of high school. Participating in just about every school music program available. Concert, marching and pep band, pit orchestra, jazz ensemble, whatever. If a trumpet was needed, he was there.

After high school, he put the trumpet away and began to learn guitar from a friend. Somehow his fingers would never really cooperate with his desire to play all those darn chords! And a bass player was born. The fact that all his friends were "guitar players" pushed him toward bass too.

Over the next twenty plus years Cliff learned as he went from jam to jam and band to band. He's been involved in both original and cover bands. Highlights of his career this far include playing bass for such notable rock icons as Noiz, The Thang, Tangent, Neon Blue, Velcro Kitty, Vertical Hold, Bonejak, Diesel Rock Bombs, Scratched Vinyl, Category 5 and Swampcooler. Yeah we never heard of any of them either, but don't tell him.

 

We found Rocky while on a visit to Florence prison. He was giving guitar lessons to inmates. It turned out that he was arrested for scaring kids at the Mesa museum of natural history and that put him at Florence doing his community service. We decided to hire him as a sound man, since he would work for flat rocks with dollar signs painted on them. Or a handful of beef jerky.

Later on we learned that he had escaped from a Canadian scientific research center some years earlier. Scientists in north western Nova Scotia had thawed him back to life after finding him during an archeological dig in a frozen peat bog. The best dating methods at the time indicated Rocky was born during the Paleomessizorrasic period. When he was unearthed he was clutching the earliest known example of a stringed instrument. Fortunately for Rocky the Canadians lost interest and gave up searching for him a long time ago.

Rocky always had a tough time dealing with modern life. He was frequently in trouble for throwing things at animals at the Phoenix zoo. Eventually, we had to fire him for trying to club female dancers over the head and drag them by the hair back to the equipment trailer. His whereabouts are unknown, but last we heard he found work in insurance commercials. Though he's no longer allowed in any bars in the valley, Rocky will always have a place in Rock Land.

Unfortunately we have no actual photos of Rocky because he would shriek in horror at the sight of a camera. Thinking it would steal his soul.

 

 

Rocky

Past Members

Photography by Alex Wood