Train Keeps A-Rollin'

The Piersons carry on as a trio for CD release party and for their sidelined brother

Rhythmically, Chadwick's drumming charges along with unkempt charm, while Moore's melodic figures and bubbly turnarounds bear the mark of a distinctive four-string stylist.

One of the more intriguing omissions from Last Train's final sequence is a number titled "Rock Star."

A jaunty paean from Sedillo to Moore written during the band's estrangement, it penetrates the thin veneer of local music celebrity: "I miss my brother, sometimes/We really don't get along/It's plain to see that we're not so strong/ . . . So glad, so sad there goes a rock star/You didn't need no cash 'cause all the drinks are free."

Last chance gasp: The Piersons, clockwise from top left, Patrick Sedillo, Jimmy Campisano, Tony Chadwick and Scott Moore.
Angela Koscal
Last chance gasp: The Piersons, clockwise from top left, Patrick Sedillo, Jimmy Campisano, Tony Chadwick and Scott Moore.
A boyishly innocent-looking Moore: "There really can't be a Piersons without him."
A boyishly innocent-looking Moore: "There really can't be a Piersons without him."

"It was all about Scott," says Sedillo. "I think he was kind of bummed we didn't put it in the final running. But the arrangement wasn't right."

In what would've been another ironic twist, one of the early titles bandied about for the album was Congratulations, I'm Scotty -- a not so subtle play on the title of the Gin Blossoms' sophomore record.

"I told Scotty about that and he liked that a lot. In the end, it's probably best we didn't use that one. It's probably a little too tongue-in-cheek," he adds, smiling. "Now, I can't think of a more appropriate title than Last Train Down. With this record we started to feel like survivors. The idea that the Piersons could work as a limited thing. That it didn't have to be all-consuming, but that we could still play rock 'n' roll."

But deciding whether to release the record or hold off in light of Moore's situation took a far more agonizing route.

"The first thing I thought of that morning on the way to the hospital was, 'Okay, we're gonna fix this.' Whatever needs to be done, we'll do. Unfortunately, it was out of our hands. Two weeks later, after all this misery, Jimmy and Tony and I meet. I have no idea what we're gonna do. We had to give an answer to the [promoters] about the CD release party. And I felt there was no way we could do it. I didn't want to bring another bass player in 'cause it's an insult to Scott and it just wouldn't feel right. It's to Tony and Jimmy's credit that they saw this compromise, to do it as a three-piece with Jimmy on bass -- sort of picking up the flag for Scott."

Before the accident, Moore was uncharacteristically vocal about his eagerness to get the record out. So with the blessing of his family, the group decided to continue without him -- if only for the CD release and a possible warm-up gig.

As to the future, Sedillo is clear on one point. "We have an 'if and when' rule. If and when Scott can play bass, he will. Until then, we won't be playing as the Piersons. There really can't be a Piersons without him."

In the meantime, plans are already in the works for a benefit gig or festival to help defray Moore's medical costs. As to how the sardonic bassist would regard all the fuss being made about him, Sedillo is certain it would be met with something more than a withering disdain.

"Oh, he'd hate it! He'd hate anyone making a big deal about him. Especially something like this," he laughs, pointing at the album's artwork, which bears a dedication and a photo of a boyishly innocent Moore staring up from the CD tray.

"When he's well enough to see that, man, he's going to be pissed. He'll probably call us a bunch of names. I'll be real glad when he's able to do that," says Sedillo. "We all will."

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