Douglas Hopper aka “Pockets”  joined King Rat in 2006.

After numerous run-ins with the guy at arbitrary shopping locations such as Target, PetsMart, Wal Mart and elsewhere -- I had a feeling.

I just kept inadvertently running into the dude. Once, I was searching up and down the aisles for my soon-to-be ex-wife, I turned the corner from linens to housewares and was startled by  “Hey fucker! How you doing?”

I was in the throes of ‘I-hate-shopping-hell,’ so i was happy to see a friend.

“Doug! What’s up man?”

“Oh, you know …. Just looking around for the shit we need.”

“Right on dude. I’m just trying to keep the peace.”  

Another time, I dropped a bag of mutt treats in doggy yum yum land. I stood up, looked to the right and saw Doug halfway down the lane shopping for mutt food. This time I didn’t say anything because I was pussywhipped by the fact that my wife at the time convinced me to get a Chihuahua.

Once again -- near hardware I believe -- our shopping baskets almost crashed into one another and wherever it was didn’t matter. He had a feeling too.

“Yo fucker. I keep running into you.”

“Yeah, what’s up asshole. Shopping our lives away, eh? Ha ha “   

This beast of a man, a clock of a drummer and an all-around stand-up guy kept appearing in my path. Not on purpose, but for a purpose. He himself said to his sweet wife Stephanie on the last encounter: “I’m going to join King Rat.”

Two weeks later King Rat’s drummer left for personal reasons and I, having toured with Pocket’s previous band St. James Gate, had Doug’s number.

We had a show in one week. Doug learned a dozen songs in two practices and we played the show and killed it. It was a douchy lineup with a bunch of hack bands that are not together to this day, but what is forged in my mind are Doug’s words: “What the fuck are we doing here?”

That question has echoed in the caterwauling cavern of my mind since then. And I believe Doug has helped me manufacture some answers.

Since Pockets joined the band we have released six recordings, namely Duct Tape and Dreams, Everything Burns, Sacred Things, Buy the Ticket Take the Ride, 20 Years A Million Beers and our newest -- No Apologies No Regrets.

Without Pockets, none of these projects were possible due to the fact that he defies labels. The stigma is that drummers are irresponsible and sketchy. Not Douglas Hopper ... this man delivers and does so “on time.”

The guy has not only a job, but a professional career. Yet, he keeps time for the kind of music he loves and participates in the tedious mire of album art, layout, liner notes and finance. Yeah … he manages the money.

King Rat was at a crossroads, Doug stepped in and helped me keep alive the notion that independent ideas thrive without mainstream influence. With his attack we shall continue.  

And for his sins, I wrote a song for him about his best friend, Dakota. R.I.P.

Nothing for Nothing

Everybody wants something for nothing

I want nothing for nothing

It’s a life of hi and bye the end is nigh I know that for one thing

I’ll pay the price for knowing you but I got something I wouldn’t trade for nothing

It’s better to choose and then to lose

Good times with you were so damn worth the blues

I want nothing for nothing

Life it flies on by and you left your mark on me for a long time

I’ll never erase your memory I bear the sign of when you were in your prime

We worked hard to bring you in to earn your trust to show that we were tender

In return you were a friend and to boot a ruthless home defender

The constance of impermanence it’s a short ride the ending ain’t a fun thing

But I got my money’s worth I got something I wouldn’t trade for nothing


You can access the this song and the rest of the jams here: