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Feed the Kitty comes home

Photo courtesy of Feed the Kitty
Feed the Kitty, a band comprised of UA alums, say that despite doing shows in other college towns, Tucson is still their favorite city to play.
By Kevin Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 6, 2003

UA alumni call Tucson their favorite college town to play

You could be Feed the Kitty. Consisting of former UA grads, FTK brought its Southern-fried Americana sound to the Orange County and Hollywood areas after its Tucson inception.

"I don't see this band ever ending," bassist Jed Mottley ('99) said.

The quartet met in UA dorms and bar scenes, eventually deciding to get together in March 1999 and see what happened musically.

FTK's first gig was Gentle Ben's in April 1999.

"It was on a Wednesday night and usually Dirtbag's is crazy on Wednesday night, but we just knew a shitload of people and we had like 400-500 people come," Mottley said. "It was awesome."

The chemistry of FTK breaks down like this: Tyler Newhausen ('01) on rhythm guitar and vocals, Chris Hagerty ('99) on lead guitar and vocals, Mottley on bass, and Jon Shumway ('99) on drums and vocals.

"We couldn't stop doing it," Mottley, 27, said of the band.

Although FTK has relocated to the Golden State, it tries to get back to the Old Pueblo whenever possible.

If nothing else, Mottley said, to catch glimpses of the female student body.

"The amazingly hot, young girls there are everywhere," he said. "The weather is good. That enhances them to be tan and fit. And the food... we miss that a lot too. A lot of people say that too, when they leave from there, there are some good eating spots."

When possible, FTK likes to frequent the usual bars and taverns around town and hit the famous "last call" spot on East Speedway Boulevard.

Drinking wasn't always so smooth for the FTK posse, however, as Mottley recalled an underage sorority date-dash gone sour.

Note to underage readers: the cops have always cracked down.

"We were on this shuttle," he said. "It got pulled over and ... we were being responsible and not driving.

So then the cops came on there and started ID'ing everyone and we were so wasted. We started talking shit."

Mottley and Shumway, both underage at the time, were then cuffed and tossed into the back seat of a squad car. "It was so funny though," he said. "In the back of the cop car we had the best fucking time. We couldn't give a fuck at that point."

Mottley ended up not getting charged, but Shumway had the long arm come down on him. This type of uneven ending to debauchery for the duo was not exclusive to Tucson.

Fresh off a huge gig at the Maloney's in Tempe, Mottley and Shumway ended up getting thrown out of the very bar they had just rocked.

"We were like, beyond wasted and it was understood that they were kicking us out and not letting us back in," Mottley said. "We walked out and we're like, 'Well we've got to go get our equipment in there, because we just played, we're not going to leave it here overnight.'

And the security guards would not let us back in to get it. We were so wasted and caused conflict."

Law enforcement was eventually called in and the pair was arrested ... again.

Perhaps Mottley was standing near a horseshoe, because a sergeant involved in the ruckus had gone to school with Mottley's older brother and ended up letting him go.

Shumway, meanwhile, was taken downtown for holding and later released.

The other half of FTK, luckily, stayed behind and packed up the equipment.

For the band's sake, no member has ever been seriously detained by authorities, ala Scott Weiland, for an extended period of time.

That fact obviously helped as they recently completed their first full-length LP, "Songs From The Whiskey Well."

The band members are taking some time off from their various part-time jobs to reunite with fellow alumni this weekend.

Feed the Kitty
247 N. Fourth Ave.
10 p.m. tomorrow
$3 cover

Gentle Ben's
865 E. University Blvd.
9 p.m. Saturday
$4 cover

"We have friends from all over coming back: from Chicago and Texas and all these different people," he said.

"They called us and they were like, 'We want to come back for Homecoming, if you guys go there and play, then even more people will come.'"

Although the band promised to "tear it up" when they get here, if nothing else, they'll get another shot to briefly enjoy the lifestyle and the surroundings they left years ago.

"There is nothing like that experience," Mottley said of the UA.

"We've been to some of these other college towns ... and Santa Barbara's great and all ... but I'm sure they didn't do it like we do it."

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