The JASON HOFER-to-ED STARK-to-CHAD CALTON-to-ED STARK Story (Fall 1996 - Winter 1999)
Ed was first contacted by Sin Embargo guitarist/vocalist Kyle Kipp in mid-September '96 when Kyle was intent upon getting an early start at looking for somebody to take over for outgoing drummer Jason Hofer so the transition period between Jay and the new guy would not be so rough. Since Ed showed interest in working with an established band, Kyle talked to Ed for the first time on September 17, 1996. During the rest of that fall, Kyle and Ed worked together to pick up where Jason was going to be leaving off in early '97. Bassist Eric Kipp was first exposed to Ed on November 14, 1996, when he was finally able to go to Mt. Pleasant and practice with him and Kyle. Ed's first live appearance with Sin Embargo was on December 6, 1996, when he played two cover songs (Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings" and Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick") towards the end of Sin Embargo's regular set at CMU's Wesley Foundation in Mt. Pleasant. Jason took a break and sat out in the audience and actually heard what Sin Embargo sounded like live for the first time. Being mellow guys, both Jason and Ed got along well at this show.

After Jason found out that Kyle had found a new drummer, he pondered playing guitar behind Kyle during at least one Sin Embargo gig - while Ed drummed - since Jay was also a pretty good guitar player. So, on January 29, 1997, with a small bit of practice, a modified Sin Embargo took the stage at Rubble's in Mt. Pleasant with Kyle on guitar & vocals, Eric on bass, and Ed drumming the entire show for the first time, while Jason played rhythm guitar on about half the set (mostly originals). The first show that Sin Embargo played with Ed and without Jason was at a CMU Sigma Tau Gamma party in Mt. Pleasant on February 8, 1997. Jason assisted with the completion of Sin Embargo's new CD Super Fugue (on which he drummed) and completely left the group once he got married on June 6, 1997.

Ed drummed at two more Sin Embargo gigs in March '97 before the band went into a six month hiatus during the spring and summer of 1997 because of delays with completing Super Fugue and lack of shows. (There were at least a half dozen gigs that Sin Embargo - with Ed - could have played during this time, but they all got canceled or fell through for some reason or another that was out of Sin Embargo's control...) Ed spent the summer of '97 working (as did Eric and Kyle) and doing percussion workshops at CMU. In mid-September '97, Sin Embargo had an extensive photo session in Mt. Pleasant for future promotional purposes and to immortalize the 1997 line-up with Ed. Finally, in late September '97, one cool gig popped up in Mt. Pleasant at a CMU Phi Sigma Phi party - bringing Sin Embargo's longest dry spell to an end at last. Ed drummed two Sin Embargo gigs in Flint during October '97 (again a couple other potential gigs popped and fizzled at this time and in November), and three more in early December before moving to Hilton Head, South Carolina in late December 1997.

Sin Embargo was already booked for a show at Rubble's in Mt. Pleasant on January 14, 1998 when Ed decided to move away, so he felt obligated to drum at this last gig - although it required him to drive up to Michigan from South Carolina for just a day or so. However, just a week before the show, it turned out that Ed was unable to return to Michigan for this gig, so Kyle and Eric tapped Ed's predecessor Jason Hofer to sit in on that January 14, 1998 gig.

Unfortunately, during Ed Stark's tenure, no new original Sin Embargo material was written - let alone recorded - during 1997. There were just a couple of rough four-track recordings of practices, and a few decent tapes from the twelve live appearances Ed made in Sin Embargo. It was frustrating enough waiting for Super Fugue to get finished in the studio (which was finally in late November '97), let alone trying to write new songs and coordinate new recording sessions. Kyle and Eric wished Ed the best of luck with his adventures down in Hilton Head, South Carolina as they continued on with Sin Embargo and drummer Chad Calton, who joined the band in February 1998.

Evidently, though, things did not appear to go as well as Ed had originally hoped down in South Carolina, so he returned to Mt. Pleasant in June 1998 to resume school at CMU during the Fall 1998 semester. Ed was, however, called to fill in for Chad Calton during Sin Embargo's appearance at Columbiaville Days on August 8, 1998 since Chad could not get out of long-standing out-of-state family obligations during that weekend on such short notice. Despite the relatively short notice and no formal practice sessions between Ed, Kyle and Eric before the show, Ed "the King of Wing" pulled through very well.  Ed was called upon once again to fill in for Chad Calton at a Sin Embargo gig at New Moon Records in Mt. Pleasant on January 15, 1999.

During February and early March of 1999, drummer Chad Calton's commitment to Sin Embargo seemed to be wavering a bit for some reason.  Two Sin Embargo gigs (February 12th at the Hamtramck Pub in Hamtramck, and March 6th at the I-Rock in Detroit) had to be canceled at the last minute because Chad was the victim of bad winter weather.  After taking some time to reevaluate the "worthwhile-ness" of being in Sin Embargo (especially after falling victim to winter weather twice in one month), Chad left a brief message on Kyle's answering machine in Mt. Pleasant on March 16, 1999 abruptly announcing his departure from the band.  Ed Stark, who maintained regular contact with Kyle after returning from South Carolina, offered to fill-in for Chad at the two gigs Sin Embargo had booked at the time of his departure (March 27th at the Wired Frog in Eastpointe, and April 10th at Griff's Grill in Pontiac) upon hearing the news.  A few days later, Kyle and Eric decided to just have Ed rejoin Sin Embargo once again since he knew the songs and how the band operated, and strongly supported the group during Chad's tenure.

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Last modified on August 9, 2001.

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