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Kix today with current bass player Mark Schenker
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I History of the original band I

I The Early Days I

As told by original founding member Ronnie Younkins.

"Kix was started by me and Donnie Purnell in Dec. of 1977 in Hagerstown, Maryland.
The first song we played together was Atomic Bombs. At first we played with two guys, a guitarist and drummer, from Pittsburg, PA. The first practices were at the Old Mill Inn, in Williamsport, MD, just outside of Hagerstown. However, since they lived so far away the rehearsals didn't work out. So we started rehearsing with Brian Forsythe, one of the best guitarists around, whom I asked to join the new band. Soon after, we invited Donnie Spence to join us as a drummer. Unfortunately though we had to pick him up every day for rehearsals, since he didn't have a car.

Steve Whiteman was added to the band after a couple of other lead singers (Terry Brady and Sam Smith) didn't work out for various reasons. Steve also played drums, so him and Donnie Spence, who also happened to be a good singer, would alternate drums and lead vocals. Early on though it became clear that Steve was the superiour vocalist: he sang all the hard songs.
We had met Steve at a show in Ridgely, WV. We had heard about him through the grapevine, and all went to see him play with his old band. During the break we took him out to the car and played him a cassette of our original songs. We asked him to join right then and there. A week later Steve moved to Hagerstown, to join what was then called "The Shooze."

After a while Donnie Spence didn't work out anymore, so we recruited Jimmy as the new drummer for "The Shooze." Jimmy Chalfant was well known in the area, he was Donnie Purnell's old bandmate and had played with him in all of his previous bands, "Fire and Rain", "Starship" and "Jax." I used to go see Donnie and Jimmy play in those bands. From the beginning I had envisioned this as the perfect line-up: Donnie (who I knew to write cool songs), Jimmy and Brian, all musicians I knew from around town and strongly respected."

So by late 1979 the classic Kix lineup of Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Ronnie "10/10" Younkins (guitars), Brian "Damage" Forsythe (guitars), Donnie Purnell (bass, keyboards, backing vocals), and Jimmy "Chocolate" Chalfant (drums, backing vocals) was complete.
They changed their name to "The Generators," when they realized there was another band out of Chicago, named "The Shooze." They began recording their first album on Atlantic Records in 1980 before eventually settling on "Kix."

The rest is history, as they say. Sit down with your KIX album collection and you can see what happened.

I Major Events Explained I

Ronnie left the band for a short time in 1982. He was kicked out for drug use and moved to L.A. Brad Divens replaced him and recorded "Cool Kids." Ronnie however was back for the following tour. It took six more years for Ronnie to hit rock bottom on Christmas of 1988 when he didn't show up for a show at Hammerjacks/Baltimore. He entered rehab in January of '89. He was back shortly after and has been sober ever since.

Brian quit the band and moved to L.A. in 1993. He was replaced by Jimi K. Bones. However, Brian was back as a hired gun to play on 1994's "Show Business." He played a few shows after the album was released, but soon happily departed the band again. In '95 Jimi K. left as well, and was replaced by Baltimore guitarist Pat Dement. Only a few months later, before Christmas of the same year, the band went on an extended hiatus, only to call it quits a year later.

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