From Joey Mudd's old Myspace page:
Working with Jon Cook was one of the hardest parts of my life. Jon and I were friends and I first knew him as Wally. He was nicknamed this because supposedly one time while skateboarding he tried to ollie, or jump, a curb. He ended up slamming into a nearby wall, and so he was now Wally. Jon and I would usually skateboard together and listen to a lot of records. He turned me on to a lot of great music. Bands like Articles of Faith, Soulside, The Pixies (this was when Surfer Rosa came out), Kingface and anything new on Dischord.
Jon loved the Washington DC scene and scenesters like Ian and Alec Mackaye. He knew the lineage of the whole DC scene. From the Teen Idols, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, The Faith, to the Rites of Spring and Inner Ear studios, Don Zientara and Yesterday and Today records. Our love for this scene was something we developed together. We both wanted to be a part of that: DIY attitude, rocking ass music, and great people.
That's when we started having shows in Jon's mom's basement. My first band (Spot) and Jon's first band (Imposters) played there. We would put up a bunch of mattresses along the walls and set up drums, and a few amps, a mic and pack about 40 people in down there. This was over on Rutherford in the Highlands around 1986 - 87. These shows were so much fun. We had no where else to play because all of our bands were like 13-18 years old and we couldn't even get in places like Tewligans! So Peggy Cook's basement was now a part time all ages club. Any of our friends that wanted to play this venue were welcomed. Not only did our first bands play here, but also the first bands of Duncan Barlow (the Imposters/ Crisis) and other Highlandites. We had an impromptu act called the McDonaldland Rappers that would sometimes (attempt to) rap from the back of a package of McDonald's cookies. This act usually consisted of various members of whatever bands played that evening. I know that sounds silly, but teenagers do what they do. It was sweaty, silly, fun. We were usually worried more about somebody bringing alcohol or drugs over than anything else. That was a big NO NO. Most of us were straight and thought that the mere sight of a beer would get our shows BUSTED!
I used to rag pretty hard on ol' Wally. But I will give credit to Jon. He was pugnacious and driven to bring his favorite bands to Louisville and rub elbows with the big dogs of our local scene. This always rubbed a lot of the older guys the wrong way. They would be like "who is this Wally kid?" But Jon brought bands like Ignition, Soulside, and Fugazi to Louisville. When Fugazi first played in Louisville (only their second out of town gig) Ian and the guys stayed with Jon at his mom's house on Rutherford. Of course I came over too. I was a little awestruck hanging out with these guys. I remember Ian sitting in the corner in Jon's "Archie Bunker" chair reading the newspaper and commenting about world affairs. I thought, This dudes smart, and AWARE! Plus these guys were vegan, which was a total mind fuck. Say what?? You don't eat cheese either?? Damn revolutionaries!! This is Louisville, you better like some fried pork and bourbon, or you will offend everyone! I'll never forget Peggy Cook, Jon's mom, offering those guys bacon and eggs for breakfast with a cigarette hanging from her lips. Perfect! Most bands on tour would have bent over backwards for some home cookin'. But things are different when you're a diehard vegan. "Shit Jon!" She would always say. She was a hoot and always treated me like a long lost son.
I know that during these years I kind of treated Jon like a little brother too. He was a few years younger than me and always seemed to be egging people on to beat his ass. He was loud and sometimes rude, but pretty much always said what was on his mind. This of course drives people nuts. And although I wasn't much of a tough guy, I still felt the need to look out for him. Tim, Breck, or myself could say what we wanted to Jon, but outsiders were not allowed to pick on him.
Jon, Duncan, Breck and I use to talk about taking our little scene onto bigger and better places and showing the older scene that we too, could make music that was important and fun. We had banded under one name, Positive Youth For Unity (PYFU) and all of our shows were a PYFU production, and both Spot and Crisis had songs named that too. This was something we thought would build unity within the younger punk groups. It was an earnest attempt and we had no agendas other than fostering along a scene of teenagers wanting to share their ideas and music.
I met so many cool people at this time people that influenced me to this day, people like Drew Daniel. Drew joined with Jon and I to play with Cerebellum after our first show. He was fun, and always interesting. His tape compilations of noises, singing, and samples were ultra creative and blew me away! When Drew gave out copies of his first "released" cassette to some of his friends, I felt honored that I was given one too. The songs on that cassette are still great. This guy was different and I loved that he was in the band with us.
Will, Breck, and Joey 1989 Cerebellum in the studio
Cerebellum was a band that was created from the ashes of Lead Pennies (Jon Cook, Duncan Barlow, Will Chatham, Jeff Mikolites) and Spot. I remember Jon and I coming up with the name Cerebellum over the phone. We always loved the DC band Grey Matter, and were trying to come up with something similar and I said why not Cerebellum. It was definitely more sophisticated than Spot. So I liked it.
We were starting to graduate from high school at this point and starting to play around town a little more. We played several all ages shows at Teweligans. And a few basements as well. We also recorded a five-song ep with Slamdek. Scott Ritcher was a big supporter of ours and really helped promote the band. We recorded in a house in Butcher town with Todd Smith and really was one of the first times any of us had a hand in producing our own music on this level. 24 track and pre digital. That was such a fun session. Cerebellum had like 20 songs all in all, but we only recorded 5, and our final show as Cerebellum was held at the Café Dog on First and Broadway. From there Breck and I formed Crawdad with Kevin Coultas, and David Ernst. And the rest of Cerebellum turned into Crain. After about six months Breck moved to Florida and opened his skate shop and I joined Crain and started playing guitar and singing with the group.
I was super excited when Jon and Tim asked me to join. I saw them practice a few times and was really in awe of the power they produced with just three guys. This was different than Cerebellum. Will's drumming was so good. And they were so LOUD! The first time I sat in with them I felt like I was being swept up inside a huge wave of musical force and power. It almost knocked me down it was so powerful. I think that was one of our best attributes, the sheer force of the songs through volume and through our own energy. Those first years playing together (1990-91) we had a run of incredible shows, playing along side such bands as Teen Pregnancy! Lizard, Fugazi, Volcano Suns, Urge Overkill, and Antietem, all in Louisville. We were pretty much the house band at the Zodiac club. Which is where the Mercury paw ended up at 1st and Main. That was a cool place. We played a record release show there one time where we only printed singles for the paying customers that came to the show that night. It was a split 7" with Deathwatch, who were really an early version of Endpoint. The show that night was Crain, Endpoint, and Sister Shannon. And the flyers that Tim Furnish made for the show had a picture of Jon in nothing but his tighty whitey underwear skateboarding down the Cincinnati streets!