Local rock band Stanley J Tucker has ties to Bakersfield College

James Macias, Reporter


The Stanley J Tucker Band is a ringing hard rock powerhouse with a visionary drummer who is a student at Bakersfield College and has literally never seen a thing.

This rock ’n’ roll refugee is composed of six members: Stanley J Tucker, lead vocals/lead guitar; Jason Keeney, 33 Rhythm Guitar; Russ Wonderly, 46 Bass Guitar; Brian Benson, 35 Rhythm Guitar; and Anthony Rodriguez, 26 Drums.

The members, all from Bakersfield except for Wonderly all BC alumnus, have referred to their musical stylings as “progressive metal” or alternatively they also proclaim it to be “ear splitting, in your face, good ol’ fashioned rock and roll.”

Their most recent performance was at Jerry’s Pizza and was enthusiastically received by the crowd.

Their music rings out like a demonic call to arms mixed with a down-home harmonic classic rock feel until the two somehow become one.

Tucker’s presence would fill the room even if he didn’t say a word, but while he can seem a bit soft spoken, he clearly never runs out of things to say and offers a strong stage presence.

“I’ve been trying to put this band together for more than 10 years,” said Tucker at an impromptu meeting over pizza after their performance. “I had a band in ’08. Brian was in it, but that fell apart. I spent two years making my (solo) album ‘American Revolution,’ and I made some music videos … pretty much took it as far as I could on my own and I wanted to start playing shows when Russ and Anthony came along.”

The name of the band has had an interesting history which tucker decided to relate at this point.

“It really goes back to 2002 when I was up in a tree trying to cut a branch, lost my footing and fell 12 feet, broke my back and my heel bone,” Tucker said. “When the doctor came into my hospital room he told me I had broken my Kalcaneous and I said ‘that’s a great name for a rock band!!!’ Kalcaneous was the name of the first band, but we discovered that when you googled it all you got was page after page of feet. Also I noticed that Stanley J Tucker was a lot easier to remember.”

Wonderly chimed in with a cheerful attitude that turns out to be pretty typical of his behavior.

“Evidently he (Tucker) had made some music videos and a mutual friend showed them to me, and I said: ‘I wanna jam with that guy!’ I was told he needed a bass player and drummer, and I said I knew a guy.”

When Wonderly mentioned he knew a blind drummer, Tucker said: “That sounds cool.”

Tucker is quite adamant that he had no reservations or hesitation at all about considering a blind man as his drummer. “Well I just feel like your supposed to close your eyes when you play music anyway. You have to feel it man,” Tucker said.

He went on to describe their first session together.

“First, we tried a jam session at this tiny little studio that had no A/C, and afterward I looked around and said ‘that’s all we need!’ Brian and I have been neighbors for many years so he’s been a part of each of my projects, but I thought we needed one more guitarist in case Brian couldn’t make it (to a show) or something because all of our music has been written for two guitars and since then its just turned into three guitars.”

The group found their third guitar at an open mic night at Trouts in Oildale.

The performance that they caught was spoiled by an overzealous guitarist next to Jason who turned his amp up loud enough to drown out everything else, and they are adamant that Rodriguez is the only one who actually heard their future brother play that night. Tucker was so impressed by Keeney’s stage presence that he decided on the spot to hire him.

From there they became what Rodriguez has referred to as “my only real family now that my grandma is gone.” They all agree that they share a deep bond of brotherhood cemented through their music and muse.

The Stanley J Tucker Band is an upcoming rock and roll powerhouse easily reminiscent of Korn, Black Sabbath or Metalica in their early days.

After a very long chat, the guys summed up their thoughts and feelings about their band and its music when Anthony said; “Music is my medicine” a sentiment which they all echoed passionately.

If that’s the case then we all must be very sick.