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It had been the better part of a decade since Steven had performed any live music. He found himself now in a small, quiet town in Western Kentucky. He had come here to regroup – to recharge – to disappear. For no other reason than to see if he still could, Steven booked himself an acoustic gig at the local coffee and tea room. He played about two hours-worth of old Dementia Cookie Box music (mostly tracks from the Truth About Life) to a hungry audience of small-town adolescents. There was virtually NOTHING to do in this part of the state that would interest teenagers. The fact that someone was actually there that night to play something other than old country songs was nothing short of a miracle. At the time he was simply calling himself Steven Baker (something he had never done in the past… it was always some other moniker that eluded to a full-band operation: Love Spawns Lament, etc.)

Free CD samplers were given out in abundance that night, and everyone wanted to know when he would be playing again. This energy was exactly what the doctor ordered, and the next day, Steven took to MySpace to start looking for some new musicians and bandmates. The idea was rekindled. During the heydays of MySpace, it was easy to set up a profile page to include a music player and feature some of your own songs. He started up a page for the Dementia Cookie Box and used it as an online press-kit of sorts with photos, bio, and demos. He sent links to the page to all the prospective musicians in the area that weren’t currently involved with any projects. It wasn’t long before he hooked up with the likes of one Becca Petersen. She lived about a three-hours' drive away from him, but that didn’t stop them.

 

Steven made some video recordings (on actual video tape) of him playing the DCB catalog. The camera was trained on his hands to pick up fingering positions. Then he sent the tapes, along with lyrics sheets and guitar tab to Becca via snail mail so that she could practice them and learn them on her own. He also included the studio recordings for her to reference. After about a month of solo practice they decided to meet up. Each one drove about an hour and a half and they met in the middle at a beautiful park overlooking a large lake. The two practiced the songs together for several hours by the water that day – meeting in person for the first time mind you – but it was as though they had been playing together for years.

Steven and Becca rekindled the fires that would end up baking the best batch of cookie goodness ever! 

Becca and Steve
Becca and Steve
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Aside from playing copious amounts of guitar, Becca dabbled in electronic music. Her and Steven both shared an insatiable love for the Smashing Pumpkins as well. They began collaborating to come up with an entertaining and efficient stage presence for what would eventually be dubbed “The Resurrection Tour,” (resurrecting the Dementia Cookie Box, bringing it out of the basement and back onto the stage). Since they were working as a duet, and their gear was minimal: an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, a minidisc recorder deck, and a CD player full of drum loops, the duo was able to easily do some regional touring. They shared stages across the state with other acoustic acts and began building a buzz about the Dementia Cookie Box once again. Wally Bates, a friend of Steven’s, would occasionally play bass with them. In 2007, Steven decided to move to Bowling Green, Kentucky, to start back to college in pursuit of an arts education degree, and this is where the magic really happened. 

Not being immediately tied down, Becca was able to move as well and got herself a job working at the college. The hunt began for a drummer. Steven was tipped off by a guy at the local music shop about a gal that was a fantastic drummer and wasn’t currently involved with any projects, Sonya Fry. Sonya became the cornerstone that anchored the entire operation into solid footholds in Bowling Green. Sonya was the icing on the cake. Their first bar gig in town and first appearance on the local rock radio station were direct results of her inclusion in the band. Wally ended up moving back home, but Steven had met an eager bassist at their first show in town named Keith Oresky. Keith was happy to fill the bass slot for the cookies, and it was on! CDs and merchandise were sold, old friends drove across the state to help support Steven and his newly reformed Cookies. Show bookings came one after another, fans came one after another. Many cars on campus now sported “I like cookies” bumper stickers, and the Pain Relief tour was in full swing. It swung hit after hit, it swung high, it swung low, and then… a swing and a miss. As quickly as it all began, the band lost two of its members as a result of personal situations outside of anyone’s control, and Steven was forced to rebuild yet again.

(to be concluded)

The Cookie Gang
The Cookie Gang
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