Big News! The original Benders have reunited to record a new CD containing a killer new version of Can't Tame Me. Check out the story and song on our new Youtube video.
Welcome to the Benders page and here's the story of the group. I went away to college in 1964. After arriving I met some guys jamming in the basement of our dorm. Guitars and bass but no drummer. So off I went to Minneapolis MN to buy myself a drum kit. We started practicing and before long we were playing local clubs and college dances and frat parties. We played the current hits of the day and since there were only two bands on campus we got plenty work. At one of our practices sessions we started jamming to a couple of original songs. Of course, we thought they were kind of cool, so we decided to record a 45. Geno, our bass player knew of a little studio in Wausau WI. So we packed up our gear and made the trip to Wausau. This was the first time any of us had been in a recording studio. We pretty much did the songs live. Think it was only a two track machine, so no overdubbing here. Gerry, our lead guitar player had just got a new fuzztone pedal and he was anxious to try it out. Hence the crushing lead solo on Can't Tame Me. It was punk before the term ever existed. We pressed 300 copies, most of which went to friends on campus and family. After college the band split up and we went our separate ways and the little Can't Tame 45 was forgotten. Or so we thought. In 1993 A guy contacted me for a magazine called Lost and Found and wanted to do an article on the Benders. Couldn't figure why but I never turned down free press. So the article came out and then the little 45 was forgotten again. Then a few years ago I got a email from Gerry telling me to check out eBay. One of our old Benders records was up for sale. To both of our surprise the 45 sold for over $2000 dollars. Unbelievable! Seems there is a market among record collectors for old 60's garage rock. Several websites rate Can't Tame in the top 100 garage rock singles of all times. Then in 2012 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote an article about the Band and the 45. At this point Gerry and I had connected by email and we wanted to see if we could get a hold of the other guys to let them know about the article. Sadly we found out that our rhythm guitar player had passed away. We did finally locate Geno (bass) living in Texas. He was the one that suggested a Bender reunion. Gerry and I had both continued performing but Geno had gotten out of the business. But he volunteered to drive up from Texas if we wanted to get together. So we reunited at my house outside of Milwaukee WI. We hadn't seen each other in over 40 years. Sometimes you meet old long separated friends and it's kind of awkward. We were all pleasantly surprised how easily we got along together after all these years. Swapping old band and college stories and jamming together. We had so much fun that I contacted a small recording studio in Milwaukee and we set up some recording time. Honestly, even though I played drums on the original Can't Tame Me I was a pretty poor drummer so I recruited Scott one of my old Barry's Truckers band mates to lay down the back beat for us. At that point we hadn't decided what we would do with the tracks. But we were so pleased with the results that we ended up putting them on a five song EP CD. We included the two original tracks from the 45. Then we made a kick butt remake of Can't Tame Me. I wrote a new song that tells the story of the Benders called The Benders Can Play and Geno added a blues shuffle original called Momma Don't Need No Downtown. For packaging and the CD we decided to make it look just like the original. It came out very cool. Looks just like a miniature 45. If you ever come across an old Bender Can't Tame 45 grab it. It's worth some bucks. Maybe this new little EP CD will be worth something someday. Regardless, at our ages it shows that seniors can still rock.