Style(s): R&B, Rock, Soul
When this band cranks up that dynamite horn section, super lead-vocalist and a rhythm section that’s tighter than a G-string, we strike a groove so deep, so strong, and so full of funk, you’ll think you’re listening to the STAX/VOLT Revue circa 1967, or the Tower of Power way back in ’72!
And just when you think you have us pegged as a great “oldies” band, we’ll nail a contemporary new tune by Steely Dan, or whip out a slick original that evokes our Memphis R&B roots just to showcase our superb musicianship and contemporary approach to this timeless style of music. And no matter what we play, you won’t be able to sit still – you gotta get up and dance! Oh sure, there are other good bands in the Mid-South – plenty, in fact. But few have the experience, the chops and the energy to ENTERTAIN like The Distraxshuns. This band doesn’t just play great music – we put on a SHOW, one that’s high-energy, clean and above all, FUN for any audience.
Whether we’re entertaining a crowd of 20,000 on the Memphis Riverfront, working our magic at a private party, or jammin’ in a club setting, you always get 100% of what we have to offer – music played from the heart, with soul and with style, that will take your mind off your troubles and let you enjoy the occasion. Supported by a great sound and lighting system with our professional engineer who’s always there to make us sound our best. Live music presented like it oughta be!
Clarence “Big C” Cameron – lead vocals
Hailing from LaGrange, GA, Clarence has been singing all his life. Like many before him, he started singing in church, which has left a distinctive imprint on his singing style.
Clarence has spent the last 12 years on the blues scene in Atlanta, GA. He teamed up with The Ditraxshuns a year and a half after moving to Memphis to soak in it’s rich musical heritage. It has been harmony ever since!
Alan “Wild Bill” Wyse – keyboards, vocals, bandleader
Born and reared in Memphis, Alan’s actually had the pleasure of going to Graceland while Elvis was alive, although Elvis had no idea. (Charges were not pressed.) Alan’s been playing with The Distraxshuns since 1994, and says that it is the most entertaining band he has ever played with. In 1998 he was thrown into the leadership position of the band.
Over his 20 years of playing music he has had the pleasure of working with Joe Walsh, Sam the Sham, and local bands Touche’, and the Chase, among others. Alan’s family consists of his wife Cheryl, and three boys Christian, Michael, and Elisha.
Charley “Boom Boom” Carrington – drums, vocals
Charley is a native Memphian who has performed with many local acts, including The Rapids, New World, Junction, Montage, and G.T.O., to name a few. Charley was one of the original members of The Distraxshuns when it was formed by Charlie Johnson way back in 1992, and has been subbing with the likes of Larry Raspberry & The Highsteppers, Ruby Wilson, and The Drifters. His spare time is spent writing, painting, sculpting, and doing graphic art work.
Peter “Gizmo” Climie – saxophones, horn arrangements
Originally from Buffalo, NY, Peter moved to Memphis in 1992 to study classical music composition. He has performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Jazz Orchestra, James Govan and the Boogie Blues Band, Bo Diddley, and Son Seals, to name just a few. As a classical composer his music has been performed in 8 countries, on 3 continents, as well as bringing him 2 ASCAP Composer Awards, and being named Memphis Composer of the Year twice.
Peter lives in Memphis with his wife Beth and their perpetually precocious 2 yr. old, Grace.
Fleetis “Doc Bone” Hannah – trombone
The mystery man himself!! Not much is known about this guy, which might just be for the best. Fleetis has worked for the Memphis City School System for a number of years (nobody knows how many), was a Navy musician (no records can be found to verify this), apparently holds several post graduate degrees (although no school will admit to it), and has traveled all over the world (but he still won’t show anybody his passport). The only thing we can know for sure of is that he has the biggest bone in the band.
As you read this, Fleetis is most likely outside attaching his new vanity plates (DOC BONE) to his car.
Chris “Little Fat Lip” Cooper – trumpet
A Mid-South native, Chris graduated from the University of Memphis in 2000 with a degree in Music Education. While at the University of Memphis, Chris played in a wide variety of ensembles, touring and performing in five countries. Since then, he has been molding the fragile minds of today’s youth as a middle school music teacher. To keep his sanity, Chris also works as a freelance musician in the Memphis area. In addition to playing with The Distraxshuns, you may have heard him playing with The New Memphis Hepcats, one of Memphis’ most sought after swing big bands (shameless plug #1), or subbing in any one of the many groups on Beale Street. Chris is also for hire to play church services and weddings (shameless plug #2). In his spare time, Chris enjoys changing poopy diapers on his brand new daughter, Cara.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no one really knows the story behind the nickname. It could have been an unfortunate happening on his motorcycle, or a college dare gone bad. We may never know.
Eric “Shug” Westpy – bass, vocals
Also known as “Shug”, Eric grew up in New Jersey (Exit 19). As a bass player he has played in and around Memphis for almost 20 years. Some of the more notable groups include The Distraxshuns, Rubber Soul, Fatman & The Maniacs, and most recently, Buck Williams. He has also worked as a studio engineer and record producer.
For years Eric has maintained that a bass player is nothing but an uncoordinated drummer, and a drummer is just a tone deaf bass player.
Ronnie “The Professor” Vandiver – guitar, vocals
Ronnie has been picking and plucking with The Distraxshuns for over two years, now. We don’t know much about him and the few things he has told are most certainly untrue. (Frankly, we are a little worried.)
Here is what we have managed to find out for sure:
He is currently the guitarist for Billy Lee Riley. He has been variously sighted playing with Sonny Burgess, Nancy Apple, The Chesterfields, Neon Wheels, and The Silvertones. He once sat in the front row at a Frank Zappa & The Mothers show.