"Our last drummer disappeared and [went to] jail for art theft," says Tim Malley, guitarist and singer for Tim and the 23s. "After our second practice with him, we couldn't get ahold of him. It seemed really strange because we thought he liked the music. After a few weeks, we just figured he flaked and split without returning our calls."
The missing drummer did get around to contacting the band.
"[John] said he had to lay low for a little while but wasn't too specific. It eventually came out that he was being tried for art theft. He worked at a gallery that sold hand-painted replica artwork. They were the paintings that you see people copying from the museums around the world: Van Gogh, Monet, Munch, the classics. He was stealing them from the back and then selling them on his own."
Malley says auditions earlier this year indicate a shortage of capable local drummers.
"We tried whatever we could -- going to bars, recruiting at parties, and placing ads on craigslist. At one audition, we got a [Hurricane] Katrina victim who spent all his FEMA money on a drum set. I felt kind of bad for the guy because he couldn't play that well. There were a couple of good players, but they wouldn't do anything unless we guaranteed them big pay at every gig."
Tim's former drummer is reportedly still jailed and awaiting trial. Tim and the 23s appear with their new drummer on Friday, October 19, at 710 Beach Club.