After Howard left, we started looking for a guitar player, and Anthony mentioned this guy named Chris McLernon . . . .
What most people don’t get, is chemistry–whatever you want to call it–is everything in a band. Joe and I had known each other for a few years by this point, we had roomed together, the pranks were legendary . . . anyway we had a rapport. I’m part Irish, Joe is Italian, and we must have watched The Untouchables a thousand times and died over the Irish/Italian mob jokes. On occasion I was “McFly you Irish bug” and he was “You EYE-talian.”
So I hear McLernon and I’m already thinking, ‘cool another Irishman, hope he can play.’ Anthony had known Chris for a while, so there was already chemistry there. . . so we set it up.
So, we jammed a song, and not only could he play, he could play like I had not heard in a while–old school, badass leads–just a monster slide player, which was what we were looking for. Then after the first song, he and Anthony joked, and Chris looks at Anthony and said something that finished with “ . . . EYE-talian” . . . then looks dead at Joe, leans back and over his shoulder says to me, “They hate it when you say that.” Or as Joe would later say, “Like I wasn’t even in the room!”
There was magic in that moment. There was an instant bonding, we all started dying laughing. It was like we had been friends and playing together for years.
That was how we met Chris and how we finalized the lineup, which later became Mother Mary.