-A Note from Editor Stuck: Life has been catching up with me and my Showgo Brethren, so massive apologies for not having some good show calendars in the last few weeks, but enough of that, let’s discuss what you’re about to read: This is from my brother in Ska aka Little Brother #2, Kyle Dols, and it’s his personal journey through ska music, DIY promotion and a strong personal connection with the songs of a great band, Westbound Train. I thought this would be a nice addition and a new voice to here from aside from my tawdry ramblings as of late. Something like this, I believe, deserves to be shared:
In highschool I teamed up with my older brother Kristof and his best friend Jesse to form what we called The Skamission. Our mission? To put on some amazing ska shows for Eastside kids.
Kristof and Jesse would handle venues and band relations, and I was on poster design and partial promoting. The glory days of that brief time when the seattle ska scene was blowing up? We were there. Every Recliners and Natalie Wouldn’t show, the birth of the Georgetown Orbits: We were there.
It started out as fun little ska shows in the Bellevue Skate King, combining skanking and rollerskates with tiny stages for an overall amazing experience.
Then, the Ska Brawl happened.
The details still allude me, but somehow we got promotion rights for a national tour featuring the Toasters, Westbound Train, Satori, with 3 opening slots for local acts (Natalie Wouldn’t and Georgetown Orbits as far as I can remember).
Nobody thought we could make money off this show, but 3 kids and a bunch of passion SOLD OUT Studio 7.
To add to the pride of that achievement Lynval Golding of The Specials came up to me and said he loved my artwork, and over delivering some sandwiches I got to know Westbound Train, my ultimate favorite band.
It was one of the happiest experiences of my life, to have had a part in that moment. To share something with so many people and meet so many idols.
4 years later I saw Westbound Train again.
Walking into the show I spotted the trombone and sax players outside. Walked up and said “Hey I doubt you guys remember me, but I just got my first tattoo and its a Westbound one…” “Yeah man! You’re the Skamission dude! You gotta come backstage and show Obi Fernandez!”
Ended up catching up and smoking a cig while Obi exclaimed “Man I don’t even have a Westbound tattoo and it’s my band”
Halfway into the set they slow it down and do a shoutout to me, dedicating the next song to me and my first tattoo. They start playing “Salvation”. 3 weeks before the show I had tried to commit suicide, and they could have not chosen a more perfect song.
It was all I could do to not start crying. I was so moved. Strangers all around me were slapping me on the back, dancing with me, and asking to see the ink. There, at that show, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
After the show I talked to the band about what I had just gone through and how much that song meant to me. Snow starting to drift down, I receive the biggest ska group hug ever achieved in the Seattle winter.
The picture my brother took of us has been on my desk ever since, and I will always cherish these memories.
Also, I met Morgue Anne for the first time when she blatantly hit on me as I was flyering for a Skamission show outside the Bellevue Square Mall, and we all know what that relationship gave birth to.
3 young men putting on shows at skating rings…… Funny how much those times influenced the rest of my life.