About the Artist
If Grand Funk Railroad hadn't written a song called "We're An American Band," the Bottle Rockets would no doubt have stumbled onto the subject sooner or later. The band was fronted by singer/guitarist Brian Henneman, a Missouri native who formed his first band, Waylon Van Halen & the Ernest Tubbadours, in 1977 with friends Tom and Bob Parr. After a succession of names and a steady rise in musical competence, the threesome, then called Chicken Truck, began landing club dates both locally and in Illinois, where they became friends with the young Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy, who would later form Uncle Tupelo. When things with Chicken Truck went south, Henneman recorded a demo tape of new material, which Tupelo manager Tony Margherita began discreetly shopping around. After cutting a solo single backed by Farrar and Tweedy, Henneman re-formed his old band, with Mark Ortmann on drums, Tom Ray on guitar, and Robert Kearn on base, renaming the outfit the Bottle Rockets.