King Archie style, full entertainment

By Greg Dunlap

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of articles on bands in DeKalb’s music scene which focus on less mainstream, more alternative music.

The place: The Stevenson South cafeteria.

The event: Jamming Band to Band competition 1990.

The scene: Local boys King Archie are just about to wrap up their set when a friend of the band joins them onstage and proceeds to completely expose himself while taking slugs off a flask of vodka. The interlude gets the band disqualified and at the same time proves that King Archie was probably the best band to be seen all day.

“Well, I was particularly surprised that we were even in it (the competition),” said lead singer/guitarist John Porcellino. “We kind of figured that there was no way we would actually win, so we just decided to make it the most memorable experience possible.”

Later Porcellino added, “But the cool part was at the end, before they announced who won first place, they had the audience yell out who they thought won and pretty much everyone yelled for King Archie.”

The King Archie saga began back in 1987 under the name of T.A.C., but didn’t start playing gigs that “weren’t in people’s back yards” until late 1988. After several lineup changes the band settled on the current lineup of Steve Jacobek on guitar, Doug Mioducki on bass, Donald Ogilivie on drums and John Porcellino on guitar and vocals.

It was with this lineup that King Archie recorded their current tape “It’s Like Anything,” available in DeKalb at Record Revolution.

Porcellino describes King Archie’s stage show as “a complete entertainment package, not just a concert.” This can often mean anything from contests to skits to prize giveaways to extremely colorful costumes. “Playing in a skirt is usually pretty good,” he said.

However, sometimes these ideas backfire. “Whenever we have a contest, nobody wants to take part. So everything ends up being thrown out in the crowd at the end,” said Mioducki. Another problem is when the giveaways end up right back on the stage. “A lot of times the prizes get thrown back at us during the show. Nobody wants to keep them,” said Porcellino. Past prize giveaways have included Smokey the Bear soap, live fish, and Rubik’s Cubes

Porcellino and Mioducki both agreed that the Sex Pistols were a major stepping stone in exposing them to the world of music. “After I heard ‘Never Mind the Bollocks,’ all my other records were gone. Billy Joel, the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ soundtrack, all those records were out the window.” Mioducki agreed. “I started to really want to be a musician after I heard the Sex Pistols,” he said.

They also both agreed that DeKalb is becoming a much healthier environment for a band to grow and thrive. “Dekalb is a lot better now than it was four years ago when I was a freshman. And hopefully it will get even better still.” said Porcellino. “It seems like there’s a lot more bands now, and a lot better ones,” added Mioducki. He went on to name Temporary Sunfrog as his latest pick from the DeKalb scene.

As far as what the band members listen to on a daily basis, “Steve is a Pixies man,” Porcellino said. Ogilvie is reported to listen to a lot of Nitzer Ebb. Porcellino is a self-described “Duran Duran man” and Mioducki gets into Scratch Acid and their offshoot the Jesus Lizard.

King Archie’s collective favorite band is the Butthole Surfers, and they often cover the Surfers’ “Cowboy Bob” live.

In addition to King Archie, Porcellino is involved in a number of other area bands including Smile!, who recently played a couple of shows in South Carolina, and DeKalb’s first rap band MDMP. He also publishes a local art and poetry magazine entitled “Chesoikoe.”

King Archie will play April 18th at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago, and Smile! will play the same venue on April 11th. As an added bonus, at the King Archie date, everyone who brings in a recyclable good will receive a free t-shirt in commemoration of Earth Day.