1999-2000: 5000 Days studio sessions, the semi-last show

In 1999 Ralph spent some time in the studio with each of The Bad Examples' line-ups recording songs which had been played live but never recorded during each of the incarnations of the band. The goal was an album which would span the history of the band, and be released on the anniversary of the band being together for 5,000 days. A studio album seemed to take the focus of the music away from where it needed to be, so plans were made to have a show which featured the three major line-ups of the band (the only line-up not represented was the Cheap Beer Night line-up which featured the late John Duich).

The 5,000 Days show was held on April 15, 2000 at FitzGerald's. It featured three sets, one with the Bad Is Beautiful line-up of Tom O'Brien, Terry Wathen, Pickles Piekarski, and Ralph Covert; one with the Kisses 50 cents line-up of Steve Gerlach with Terry, Pickles, and Ralph; and one with the final club line-up of the band of Rob Newhouse, Ron Barnes, Steve Wozny, with Pickles and Ralph. Billed as a 'farewell' show, it was more a putting to rest of The Bad Examples as an active day-to-day project in a way which honored and celebrated the achievements of the band and its members through the years. Definitely not a farewell show but no longer could Chicagoans count on a show every weekend throughout the year.

"5000 Days" a CD comprised of live material from this final show, was issued two years later sold only at concerts and through the Waterdog website..

Click on any chapter heading below for a chronological history!

The early days & the MEAT album
The making of Bad Is Beautiful; AEMMP Records signs the band
Bad Is Beautiful released, Europe, West Coast touring
CNR ends, Eat At Godot's
Landmark falls, enter Steve Gerlach, the Kisses 50 Cents band, the origins of Birthday
The return of Tommy O'Brien, Ralph tours Europe with the Moondogs, 1996 European tour
Rob Newhouse, Ron Barnes join the band; Sawdust and Spangles, Birthday come to life
The 5000 Days Studio sessions, The Last Show
Stages, Kids, and a Smash Record!