The photo above was taken at the last gig we did as a full band in October 2014 at the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival in Newport. I believe we did that show 8 or 9 years in a row.
The band started as three girls in 2002. Myself, Donna Compos and Joyce Sampson. We worked together for a year and decided we needed a lead guitarist. William “Suekey” Sukeforth joined and Beyond Blonde was born. The meaning behind our name you ask? We were all blonde and someone said, we were Beyond Blonde. We had a Nurse with military training on drums (Donna Compos), a Strategic Professor at the War College on bass (Joyce Sampson) me? I was a cool mom/singer/song writer and played guitar. We also had Suekey, who was, and still is, one kick ass guitar player as well as blonde. So, proving blondes really do live outside the stereotypical blonde box, Beyond Blonde became our band name. I’ll never forget the first time someone asked me the name of the band and when I told them they said “Oh, I’ve heard of you guys”. We had literally just named the band. chuckle, chuckle but the name stuck and people remembered us.
From 2002 – 2005 we had many journeys. NY, FL, OH, KY, RI, MA, CT tours. Recorded an album, started on a second; shared the stage with Steven Tyler, John Butcher Axis, Danny Klein and many more. We were heavily involved with the Middlesex Human Resources concerts and volunteered our time. We did a lot of benefit shows for The Station Fire Foundation, Rock for Christmas in NY and when ever we could, would support our local community with a benefit concert. We have opened for The Cowsills, Joan Jett, The Spinners and shared the stage with some awesome musicians from all sorts of bands, famous and not so famous. It was a blast!
Bands can have different objectives and mine was very different from Joyce’s. In 2005, New Years Day, Joyce left the band. We still remain friends today and work on music projects together. After Joyce resigned, our search began for another bass player. I believe we went through 5 before finding Mike Kaczmarczyk as our permanent bassist. Then Donna got sick with cancer. Talk about a sad day. Jesus, Mary and Joseph she would say. She was a freakin’ trooper that girl. The girl rocked out until she could no longer play and Mick Coste took over and stayed with us until 2015. There were sad times, fun times and trying times through to 2012. I struggled from 2012 to 2015 before deciding I really needed a break.
If you want to hear some good stories about the early days….talk to Suekey! He remembers all the good shit. Anyway, the quote below is so true in this Beyond Blonde quick story. I did reflect and along with meditation/yoga and P.A.U.S.E.ing when necessary I took myself on a spiritual journey and I’ve learned to be calm in my soul. I am grounded and ready to rock and roll once more!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton