Mike Is Camping (Mike in the Woods)

There’s an interesting story behind this song, but you probably don’t care.

Back in the early 90’s, my friend Mike was really into 4-wheeling and camping in the mountains… as well as drinking lots of beer and shooting guns. ¬†My friend Chris and I were pretty much city boys, but we¬†would go on many wheeling trips with Mike. ¬†Chris and I wrote the lyrics to this song in ’92, and the original version of the song¬†(at that time called “Mike in the Woods”) was born.

I played the guitar and bass, programmed the drum machine and sang the lead vocals… Chris, well.. he pretty much just drank beer and shouted out a few background vocals.

In late 2014, I was sitting in my studio and I decided to remake the song. ¬†Chris didn’t participate this time, so I was able to redo the whole thing in about 2 hours. ¬†After you’ve watched this lyric video of the “new” version here, check out the original audio version of the song below it.

And 2 decades earlier… here’s the original 1992 version of “Mike in the Woods (Mike is Camping)”:


My First Time on Stage

1985… The band was called Iron Flyte, the venue was The Empire Theatre in Placerville, California.

I was 17 at the time¬†and had only been playing the guitar for about 2¬†years, but never in a band. ¬†The guys in Iron Flyte¬†were a few years older than me and had been playing together for years. ¬†Their rhythm guitarist left the band and I’d been hanging around them for long enough that they asked if I wanted to fill in.

I practiced with them for about a month, and then this show happened. ¬†I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up. ¬†I couldn’t even look out into the audience, and I barely moved from the position I was standing in the entire time.

I’m on the left… Check out that sweet mullet and rad clothes!
That was my first guitar, a 1984 Westone Raider II.

Dennis Setzer: vocals
Kevin Mogan: lead guitar
Jeff Moore: bass guitar
Frank Castillo: drums
Me: rhythm guitar

Original – State of Mind

Another embarrassing old song I wrote in 1994… ¬†This one is as touchy-feely, sappy, and sickeningly-sweet as could be. ¬†Yuck! ¬†Excuse me while I go throw up a rainbow.

The photo above is of me entertaining my friends Chris and Joe, as I would do frequently back in the day. ¬†Chris would also say, “Dance, monkey. Dance!”