CITY OF ORIGIN: Bloomington
MEMBERS: Eric Ross Davenport (lead vocals, guitars); Wally Rivas (guitars, bass), Tony Padua (guitars/bass).
RECENT RELEASE: Carbon McCartney (Merit Records, 2007)
KINDRED SPIRITS: Start off with Sir Paul (in The Beatles or Wings guises), add a heaping of Lennon, toss some George ‘n’ Ringo in the mix, and sprinkle it with some Mick and Keith for good measure.
Eric Davenport’s outlook is a simple one. “We just want to be a good little rock ‘n’ roll band, and have a bit of fun,” says Legal Tender’s gran queso. “The fun days of rock & roll seem to have gone, for the most part. I always tell the young guys [that] rock is a whole lot different today then back in the ’50s and ’60s.”
And it is. How close are the reaches of Slayer to the Beach Boys? Generations have created a chasm between yesterday and today, and it’s up to bands like Legal Tender to do something about that.
Though Legal Tender is a work in progress (having recently assembled members Wally Rivas and Tony Padua), Davenport’s a fixture in the Inland Empire scene. His work’s influenced by the British Invasion, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, as the sounds on Legal Tender’s Carbon McCartney disc—which was recorded almost entirely by Davenport before he had the band—feature a massively original and modern tangent.
Nevertheless, Davenport’s apt to reference the Fab Four during the interview. “Well the [name] came from me mum,” says Davenport (picture him in his British best). “She thought that was a great name, so she was the woman upon the flaming pie who said ‘Thou shall be called Legal Tender’ and so it was.” OK, he lets us off the hook—it’s the same story as told by Lennon on how the Beatles got their name.
Legal Tender aims to release a single or EP sometime next year and Davenport says the band will be promoting a lot of its own shows. “By doing it that way the hope is to have a reasonable ticket price,” he says, “one that won’t send you to the poorhouse. Prices have just gotten way, way out of hand and Legal Tender wants, no, will do something about that.”