Yes, this is the story of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll cover band in all history. The BERZERKERZ are a rare attraction. They’re a .999 fine, twenty-four carat 100% pure higher order function. They’re what’s needed and it’s about time. They’re the kinda group you can count on to shout fire in a crowded theater, or wave a pistol in a crowded juke. The BERZERKERZ don’t have time for any nonsense, their plate is full. So stand up, put your hands in the air (if you still care) and prepare to be BERZERKED into stark oblivion!
Historical Time Line:
o May ’96 – December ’96: The first inkling of possibilities enter the heads of guitarists Nic Scavdis and Aaron Kurchev. Realizing these very possibilities, they begin the first practice sessions. A bassist is needed.
o January ’97: Come into picture one Seth Litchney. With a guitar background and a brand new bass for Xmas, the core trio is formed and forges ahead with the plan. Schemes were hatched, songs were learned. The sky was the limit, save one crucial fact that would haunt them over and over: no drummer.
o February ’97: The heavens shined down upon the band. Upon an invite to Paul Harkey’s house to watch the NHL All-star game, a startling discovery was made. The Harkey’s had a drum set. Not only that, but both brothers, Pauly and Greg, played. The formula was almost together.
o March ’97: After a solid month of practice, a seven song set list had been devised. It was implemented after the annual Turn-a-bout dance to a crowd of roughly 30 people in the sunroom of Nic’s house. All those present became instant fans.
o May 8, ’97: With the set list expanded, and rumors of further performances
running rampant, the band knew it was time once again. A rogue show at
Mike Kolowski’s house was blatantly advertised through stunning flyers.
The authority figures, fearing the band’s power, attempted more than once
to clamp down on the event. They were unsuccessful. On that night,
in the face of an oncoming storm (of more than one kind) The BERZERKERZ
astounded a crowd of 100 hardcore fans with their greatest performance
ever. It was a pivotal moment.
o June – July ’97: The coming of summer sent the boys their separate ways for a few weeks. Practice sessions were sparse, and tension was running a bit high. Aaron and Nic were experiencing some artistic differences, while Seth, Paul and Greg fueled their emotions with bandwagon tactics. The George Scavdis Graduation Show brought about an all-time low in morale and proficiency.
o August ’97: Hurt by the Graduation Show, and well aware of the pending doom of the band when Aaron left for college in the fall, the BERZERKERZ pulled every last drop of effort from the music gods in their souls, and prepared for the farewell tour. It was to be their finest moment. During practice, tensions were still a problem, but the goal in mind overcame them. The set list was fine-tuned nearly to perfection. The fans, although harder to assemble in the summer months, were sent word of the last show. On Friday, August 15th, before a crowd of their 50 most faithful fans, they emerged from the sunroom to the outdoor stage to play their way into the sunset. There were some minor problems with the set, including a nearly fatal incident when the trampoline broke under the weight of a fan and a renegade spring nearly took out Nic’s eye, but otherwise it went off without fail. Everyone scrambled for a piece of the guitar that was smashed at the end like they were grabbing a piece of history. It was a Last Stand to be remembered
o October '97: Shortly after the Last Stand show, Aaron left for "college" in another state (it is believed he was actually sent to Siberia by the KGB to infiltrate, exploit, and then drain a Vodka factory, although no evidence was ever produced to prove this). The gap in the guitarist spot left a mammoth hole to be filled, but filled it had to be. Enter one Jason Holler. His blazing skill on lead guitar provided a new angle for the band. Nic focused on singing all the songs and the band began to practice for the next phase--homecoming '97. A coup was formed, plans were drawn, and favors passed under tables to quiet hands. Then finally, after a brilliant pitch by Nic, the faculty committee gave in to popular demand, and allowed the band to play. A LARGE set list was painstakingly decided upon and meticulously practiced. On the night of reckoning, a nervous crew, minus Nic (who was at dinner with a girl who will remain unnamed), waited in the wings in feverish anticipation. Time passed. People began to gather. More time passed. The DJ began to play. More time passed. The boys began to fear the worst. A last minute contingency was considered involving a special guest, but was never implemented. Just as the fans were getting restless and the teachers were complaining, Nic burst in the door. The band rushed the stage to the roar of a gracious crowd. The set went off well, and everyone was mucho impressed. The show pulled the biggest crowd The Berzerkerz ever played for. Plus, just when the crowd thought it was over, the "special guest" stepped onto stage in a trench coat and dark sunglasses. The group buzzed with anticipation when he threw back his disguise to reveal none other than Aaron Kurchev returned from distant lands to play Shook Me All Night Long and finish the show. The people were pleased, but none realized how long it would be before The Berzerkerz would be seen again.
o August '98: The summer of '98 saw a brief rekindling of the band in another Scavdis house show. Jason Holler and drummer Josh Limpley were put into the lineup...Jason as lead guitarist and Josh in lieu of the Harkey boys (by now they had moved back to Canfield, the mythical American Utopia spoken of in many urban legends). As usual, tempers flared as egos jockeyed for position. Guitarist pitted against guitarist, singer against singer, friend against friend. It also featured an appearance by Tony Scavdis on the bass line to Brown Eyed Girl. Little practice was done, so this show flew primarily on pure musical talent (which thankfully was in abundance in this group). The small crowd of close followers was present as usual, but few else. The show left the band in a state of uncertainty as to the future...
o June '99: 1999 was not a good year for the Berzerkerz. As usual, Aaron was working unbearable long hours at Geauga Lake, Seth was slaving away on the rooftops of Alliance, and J. Holler was sleeping for the county. The most devastating blow, however, came in the form of a benign tumor on the spine of Nic. It required surgery and put him out of commission for the entire summer. There were to be no concerts in '99. Well, the Berzerkerz are not ones to be left out in the cold and forgotten about. The lack of playing in '99 only fueled their desire and brought about a renewed sense of purpose for the band.
o May '00: Summer 2000 saw the advent of the B2K tour. This was to be the last and greatest attempt to gain stardom and test the bands true potential. This summer would make or break the band. Well, things did not get off to a good start. "The drummer situation" as it was called never fixed itself. Nic, Seth, and Aaron played the majority of the summer without a drummer. Hopes died further when work schedules brought practice time down to a mere night every week. Just as all chances for a show were about to fade, one last opportunity presented itself. There was to be a party to celebrate Nic's 21st birthday, and it was decided to play a small sampling of the Berzerkerz best stuff at the time. Six songs on that July 29th. Nothing more, nothing less. Although it wasn't spoken, all knew this was likely to be the last show, period. Things started to look up when Greg Harkey agreed to make an appearance to drum one last time. However, hopes were then smashed in true Berzerker style when he pulled out one day before the show. But the gods of rock 'n' roll were smiling on this ragtag bunch that fateful day. Jeff Litchney, Seth's older brother, gave in and came to play drums for them. He received the quickest crash course on the songs and everything was set. As usual, the faithful fans flowed to the Scavdis household for the only concert on the B2K tour. Spirits were high, the beer flowed like a raging river, and the music sounded as good as it ever has.
But summers and winters scatter, and time goes by far too fast. These days of our youth are soon gone, and we are left with nothing but memories and bad home video footage. The BERZERKERZ were able to take what they had...some talent, some equipment, and a great love for rock 'n' roll, and turn it into something great. It is a time and place that none will soon forget. But so it goes that all good things come to an end. Thus the BERZERKERZ packed up their gear, said good-bye to their loyal fans, and rode off into the sunset...once and for all.