Circa 1975- 1976 Mark Roebuck and Eric Schwartz begin playing
original music as an acoustic duo. They record twenty plus songs
live on the Schwartz family living room stereo, including the song
Circa 1976 Haines Fullerton begins hanging around Ardent
Studios in Memphis, then a nexus for area musicians to meet, support,
and collaborate with one another. He makes the acquaintance of Alex
Chilton and Jody Stephens and soon appears with Alex on the John
Byrd Band's recording of "Friend At a Very Good Time"
and "Earthman Blues."
Summer 1977 Mark Roebuck and Eric Schwartz begin playing
professionally, performing original acoustic music weekly at the
Olde Town Tavern in Petersburg, Virginia.
Spring 1978 Mark and Eric begin performing at Pavilion XI,
a University of Virginia student pub. Haines Fullerton -- by now
also a student in Charlottesville, Virginia at UVa -- begins playing
in the guitar heavy rock/fusion band Friction Free.
Summer 1979 Hugh Patton tours Europe with the American Jazz
Band and Chorus - a group composed of high school students from
the Mid-Atlantic region - playing five countries in the course of
Spring 1979 Fullerton catches Mark and Eric's acoustic act.
The three form what would later become "The Deal."
Summer 1979 Mark, Haines and Eric record four songs at Ardent
Studios in Memphis with Haines' old friend Allen McCool playing
Fall 1979 Hugh Patton and Jeff Roberts, also students at
UVa, join the Deal on drums and bass/vocals respectively.
Early 1980 The Deal records four songs on a four-track tape
recorder at their home in Charlottesville, including the version
of "Don't Go Out" that appears on Goodbye September.
Summer 1980 Jeff Roberts leaves the band and is replaced
by Jim Jones on bass and vocals. Jim Jones is a classically trained
pianist with a strong voice who has never before played bass. The
first official act of the newly constituted Deal is to buy him a
bass at a Richmond, Virginia pawnshop.
Fall 1980 The Deal begins regularly performing live.
Fall 1980 The Deal records another series of four tracked
songs including the recordings of "Rebel, Rebel" and "DC-10s"
that appear on Goodbye September.
Early 1981 The material is successfully shopped by the band
in New York City. Spring 1981 The band steadily increases the pace
and geographic range of its live performances.
Summer 1981 Allen McCool moves to Charlottesville from Memphis
to be the band's soundman.
Summer 1981 Michael and Richard Berardi offer the Deal a
recording/publishing deal with 3B Publishing. The Deal records a
three-song demo at the Berardi's private recording studio in New
January 1982 The Deal signs a five-year management contract
with Linda Stein (then manager of the Ramones and Steve Forbert),
contingent on her landing a recording contract for the band with
a major label.
Spring 1982 The band is signed on with Premier Talent Agency,
putting the Deal in the company of The Clash, Eurythmics, Journey,
Eddie Money, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pretenders, Roxy Music,
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Talking Heads, U2, The
Who, Van Halen and Steve Winwood.
April 9, 1982 Linda Stein brings ex-husband Seymour Stein
to Charlottesville, Virginia to hear the Deal play at a local bar
called The Mousetrap. Seymour Stein was and is the head of Sire
Records, then a Warner Brothers subsidiary, and is best known for
signing Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, the Ramones and Talking Heads. Seymour
is impressed and suggests that the band would be a great fit on
fellow-Warner-Brothers-label Bearsville Records.
Fall 1982 Albert Grossman, head of Bearsville Records and
ex-manager of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Peter, Paul & Mary,
visits Charlottesville to hear the Deal; commits to signing the
Late 1982 In one furious two-day session, the Deal records
11 demo tracks at Bearsville Studios, including the versions of
"Maybe I'll Just Keep You Hanging On," "Hopie,"
"Pass Away" and "Marianne" that appear on Goodbye
Spring 1983 The Deal and Bearsville Records enter into a
five-album recording contact.
Late 1983 The Deal records an E.P. for Bearsville Records,
produced by Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, Marshall Crenshaw, Go-Gos,
Bangles). The versions of "Picture a Lady" and "Time
Won't Come Back" that appear on Goodbye September are from
these sessions. Shortly after the completion of the EP, Warner Brothers
severs its relationship with Bearsville, and leaves Grossman's label
without established distribution outlets. The E.P. is never released.
Late 1983 The Deal considers but decides not to sue LA
Reid, now head of Arista Records, and his band the Deele for
Spring 1984 Dejected, Hugh Patton and Eric Schwartz leave
the band. Eric goes to law school, Hugh follows two years later.
Live performances cease.
Summer 1984 Jody Stephens, formerly of Big Star, is chosen
to replace Hugh on drums. Jody moves from Memphis to Charlottesville
and rehearses with the band for about three weeks before deciding
that he, in fact, doesn't want to leave his girlfriend and start
over with a young band. Jody moves back, goes to business school,
and eventually ends up at Ardent Studios (more on this later).
Fall 1984 The Deal returns to record more material at Bearsville
Studios, this time without a formal recording contract. Todd Rundgren
records a guitar solo on "5:45," veteran session player
Rob Sabino, of Madonna, Mick Jagger and David Bowie fame, adds keyboards,
and Charles De Chant, session player on most of Hall & Oats'
classic material, contributes a sax solo. Haines Fullerton produces
and Mark McKenna engineers the sessions. The versions of "5:45,"
"Strangers in Disguise" and "Lighting Candles in
the Rain" on Goodbye September are from these sessions.
Fall 1985 Mike Clarke, an accomplished Charlottesville musician
who had played in several locally-popular bands, including most
recently Left Lane, is chosen as the Deal's new drummer. Live performances
January 25, 1986 With the Warner Brothers relationship finished,
Bearsville Records needs partners for distribution and marketing.
Albert Grossman flies to Europe to market his label and its acts,
taking with him tapes of the Deal's recently completed work. Midway
through the transatlantic flight, Grossman suffers a heart attack
and dies. The master tapes remain legally tied up with Bearsville
and are never released.
Fall 1986 The Deal decides to breaks up.
Early 1987 Jody Stevens, now business manager at Ardent
Studios, convinces the band instead to come to Memphis and record.
It is to be a "spec deal," wherein the band records free
and in return the Studio takes a percentage if it can get the album
picked up by a major label. Haines Fullerton and John Hampton produce.
Alex Chilton sings backing vocals on one track and Jody Stephens
plays percussion on another. Bobby Hamilton and Sal Crocker also
join on keyboards and saxophone respectively. The version of "Cinnamon
Square" on Goodbye September is from these sessions.
Fall 1987 Unable to get a major label to bite, the band
releases the album independently, entitling it Brave New World.
The album receives almost universally positive reviews - the Washington
Post calls it "remarkably assured pop classicism," and
the Raleigh News & Observer describes it as: "One of the
best independent releases by a regional band to surface in years."
Sadly, it will turn out to be the Deal's only full-length album.
June 1988 On the basis of Brave New World's "Cinnamon
Square," Musician magazine names the Deal one of the twenty
best unsigned bands in the world. The magazine had received 1,962
Fall 1988 The Deal breaks up.
Fall 1989 Mark Roebuck forms Burning Core together with
Mike Colley and Warren Richardson. Burning Core takes Mark in a
strikingly new direction, blending rap, funk, rock and jazz roots
into a cutting edge style. Although a part time project, the band
secures a New York publisher, places songs on several compilation
CDs in Europe, and later opens shows for Dave Mathews Band and Public
Fall 1989 Mark Roebuck and Dave Mathews begin informally
writing songs together. Mark enlists Dave's assistance in recording
Tribe of Heaven, a 10 song acoustic project. Of the ten songs, five,
including The Song that Jane Likes, are co-written by Mark and Dave.
Four are by Mark alone, and one is a cover of the U2 song "In
1990 The annual Billboard International Songwriting Contest
awards fourth place in the rock catagory to "5:45" off
Brave New World and an honorable mention in the urban/rap category
to "Don't Strangle the Child," co-written by Mark and
Mike Colley as Burning Core.
Fall 1991 Mark asks the recently formed David Matthews Band
to come perform on Tuesday nights at Eastern Standard where Mark
is a bartender. The bar is located on the downtown mall in Charlottesville,
Virginia. The pay is $50 for the group, plus free drinks. The band
accepts and is given its first steady, paying gig.
Summer 1992 Mark moves to San Francisco, but having decided
that a "real job" is in order, he goes back to school
in Virginia, obtains a masters degree, and begins a career as a
Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His musical efforts after this
point are all in his spare time.
November 1993 The Dave Mathews Band releases Remember Two
Things, including The Song the Jane Likes, co-written by Mark Roebuck
and Dave Mathews.
Summer 1993 Haines comes out of self-imposed post-Deal exile
and begins playing again, jamming informally with Dave Mathews,
Shannon Worrell and other Charlottesville musicians. Shannon Worrell
will go on to release Three Wishes independently in 1994, and Lucky
Shoe (as Monsoon together with Kristin Asbury) in 1996 on the Virgin
subsidiary label Enclave.
September 1994 The Dave Mathews Band releases Under the
Table and Dreaming, including #34 co-written with Haines Fullerton.
1992-1995 Haines turns to various religious writings, searching
for direction and meaning. His intensifying spirituality, while
inspiring to many, becomes increasingly insular and messianic. Some
older friends become concerned that its appearance is "cult-like."
September 20, 1996 Haines takes his own life. A few days earlier
he had gone into a neighborhood pawnshop and bought the small caliber
handgun used in the suicide.
Summer 1997 Mark and Mike Colley decide to head off in yet
another direction. They form a new band, Sub Seven, along with Pete
Adamy on bass and vocals, and Garry Mills on drums.
July 1998 Sub Seven releases Wild Hallucinations From the
Deep Sleep Deprivation, a collection of songs by Mark Roebuck and
Mike Colley. Sub Seven records the CD itself, then has it mixed
in Richmond, Virginia by Wayne Pooley who is best known as the studio
engineer on many of Bruce Hornsby's RCA recordings.
1999 Charlottesville musician Tim Anderson begins systematically
- he might say obsessively -- collecting and digitally preserving
every scrap of Deal music he can find. He eventually accumulates
twenty digital tapes with approximately 48 hours of music.
February 1999 Hugh Patton, after a long hiatus away from
music, helps found Speeding Lisa
, a popular band made up of all ex-pats living in Kiev, Ukraine.
Fall 2000 Mark is called out of post-Sub-Seven "retirement"
by a group of Charlottesville's best, determined to expose his work
to a new and broader audience. The musicians form a kind of Charlottesville
"super group," having all been in very successful East
Coast bands themselves. They are Charlie Pastorfield of the Skip
Castro Band and The Believers; Rusty Speidel of SGG&L; Tim Anderson
of the Urgents, Wolves in the Kitchen, Stoned Wheat Things, the
Hanks, and Spike Jr. and His Saddle Sores; and Jim Ralston of Baaba
Seth and Last Days of May. The group calls itself, appropriately,
January 2001 Hugh Patton plays his last gig with Speeding
Lisa and moves to Manila. Marc Lewis, an investment banker in Kiev
and former drummer of Mickey Rat (which later became the legendary
80s metal band Ratt), replaces Hugh on drums. Speeding Lisa continues
to rock Kiev today.
Summer 2001 Tom Bickel, an early fan of the Deal, contacts
Bruce Brodeen of Not Lame Records about the group. Tim Anderson
follows up and sends an exhaustive compendium of Deal recordings
to the label. Not Lame Records decides to release an anthology of
the Deal's work.
Scheduled for Early 2003, Goodbye September is released
on Not Lame Records.