Uncle Cookie

Seattle

In 1970 I moved into a communal house on the fringes of Seattle’s University District. We were either trying to make it through college or were about to realize that college and the careers it was preparing us for were not what we wanted. As part of our attempts to avoid homework or for that manner any kind of work, we began playing around with tape recorders. At some point we moved out to the Snoqualmie River valley near Carnation Washington. we called our funky old former dairy farm The Loon Lagoon Home for Retired Balloonists 

The Loon Lagoon gang at our Munchkin Meadows organic farm in the early 1970’s

To see photos of life at Loon Lagoon go here…

Fritzl Pipeworks woodblock by Carl Smool
Fritzl Pipeworks woodblock by Carl Smool
We called ourselves the Fritzl Pipeworks Band. We were named after our soapstone pipe company. It wasn’t a real company but we did sit together and carve soapstone pipes which we sold at the Pike Place market. The band part was really only in jest. Recordings of off-key singing, banging on pots and pans and echoey recording sessions of urination, giggling and chipmunk style vocal gibberish occupied a fair amount of our time. Some of these recording have survived to this day but were never released.
limited release collection for the band member s of early reel to reel recordings of home experiments by the group of people who later formed Uncle Cookie. these recordings were done in 1969-1970. Recorded on a Sony reel to reel by Conrad Uno.

 

 

Arc Welder silk screen poster designed by Carl Smool
Arc Welder silk screen poster designed by Carl Smool

Participants included Seattle artist Carl Smool, Conrad Uno (who started PopLlama Records and released Young Fresh Fellows and others), Mike Freeman, Mark Sargent and myself. The most legitimately musical of us were Conrad Uno and Mark Sargent. Eventually, the goofing around evolved into a rudimentary 50’s style rock band called Arc Welder and the Car Parts. Mark Sargent became the guitar player, Conrad Uno, the bassplayer, together they found out they could write real songs. I tried unsuccessfully to play guitar, but gave up moved to LaPush to work on the fish docks and then later returned to be the Uncle Cookie sound guy…

mw at mixer
Mark mixing an outdoor concert by Uncle cookie under the mural at the Seattle Center

Cookie with Backdrops

Uncle Cookie performing live at rented hall in Seattle circa 1977

members: (left to right) Conrad Uno-bass and vocals, Ernie Shapiro-guitar,
Max Campbell-drums, Mark Sargent-guitar, vocals
Art in background: Carl Smool

See Uncle Cookie Pictures Here

 

Conrad Uno, Mark Sargent at toy piano, Max Campbell and Ernie Sapiro
Conrad Uno, Mark Sargent at toy piano, Max Campbell and Ernie Sapiro

In the mid 70’s Arc Welder became Uncle Cookie, I gave up the guitar and became the sound man, This was the beginning of my life as a recording/live sound mixing engineer. Uncle Cookie toured the Northwest rural tavern circuit performing cover material that ran the gamut from Aerosmith and Led Zep to Roxy Music, Rocky Horror, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and much more.

KRAB Benefit Flyer

When not touring, Uncle Cookie staged concerts of their original material in rented VFW halls throughout Seattle. We were very successful at filling halls, getting favorable press and even had a radio show on Seattle’s KRAB called the Original Optimist Radio Hour.

 

Janet Fly Official Portrait
Janet Fly the official fan of Uncle Cookie

Carl Smool made incredible full color silk screen posters and T-Shirts. We formed a strange entourage with made up names and wacky costumes and make-up. Part Rocky Horror part Country Gardeners. Mike Freeman,Soa Goodstitch, Lotta Hash, Janet Fly. It was a lot of great fun. Often, the self produced concerts we put together, shared the bill with the upstart punk scene and included such bands as the Feelings, Telepaths, Meyce and others. Uncle Cookie recorded one self produced single Hamburger/Kidnapped which was released on Little Orange Babies Records.

Hamburger SingleKidnaped Single

 

A side project of Uncle Cookie was…

 The Pink Chunk

By the end of the 70’s Uncle Cookie had splintered and various members went on to other projects. I began working with another Seattle band on the fringes of Seattle’s new punk scene,

Chinas Comidas…