The beginnings of what would become Fiction Dog started when drummer Chris White and guitarist Warren Tews met at a party in the fall of 1989. Although they had gone to the same high school, they had never ran into each other until a mutual friend introduced them after both had graduated and coincidentally moved to the same city – Wausau, Wisconsin. They quickly found a bass player in Collin Lueck, whom Chris knew from college, and began jamming in Warren’s bedroom. Finding a lead vocalist proved difficult in the small central Wisconsin city, and they auditioned a number of promising talents – one of whom was local son Tim McKeough. Unfortunately, Tim didn’t get along with Dave, their other guitar player, so he wouldn’t commit to the band at the time.

After a year or so (and one very funny story), Dave was gone and Tim gave in to the pressure from Chris and Warren to join the band, then known as Teaser. They changed their name to Typhoid Mary and began to solicit gigs. The first opening gig was at the Loading Zone in Wausau, opening for the locally celebrated group Zuma J. Their first all-night solo show in Tomahawk, Wisconsin featured a light show by Gary Erickson, who threw lit cigarettes at the band for the entire night. What a card! A number of shows followed, each one a story in and of itself. During this time, the name Fiction Dog (borrowed from a poem by Jim Morrison) was brought up and took hold. A three-song demo called Leap was recorded at Mitch Viegut’s Premiere Studios in Wausau to display their writing ability.

Collin and the rest of band amicably parted ways after a time, and the hunt was on for another bass player. Gary Erickson (the cigarette tosser) was already a respected musician in the prominent Wisconsin band Storm, but was growing dissatisfied there. Since his girlfriend at the time had managed Fiction Dog, he knew the guys and came over with an armload of Kingsbury beer one night. By the next morning, the lineup was solidified and Warren had (temporarily) given up drinking. The first few gigs with Gary proved to be the most exciting to date, since his experience brought a cohesiveness to the band that had not yet been realized.

Original music was, from the start, a priority for the band, even though the area wasn’t too keen on anything but cover songs. In 1993, they jumped into the studio again and recorded fido, a full-length CD, hoping it would propel them into stardom, at least in Wausau. Within a few weeks of its release, it hit #1 at Inner Sleeve, the local independent record shop, and all was well.

Over the next few years they supported fido by gigging all over Wisconsin, tentatively venturing into Minnesota and Illinois. With each performance they became more and more solid. A “real” manager and booking agent were soon brought on board. Since they all held 9-5 jobs, the weekends were the only time to let the dog out of its cage, and they made it count by piling up shows every chance they could. They once opened for 80’s hair band Slaughter, and got a slot at the annual MetalFest in Milwaukee. Record contracts loomed and they hastily recorded a six-song EP, Mr. Salvation and the Tire Pumps, to demonstrate the growth of their writing since fido.

Things began to unravel in 1996 with the collapse of a record deal with Curb Records and the firing of their manager, Shaun Barusch. This disillusionment with the recording industry eventually led to the last “official” gig in September of 1996 in Manitowoc Wisconsin, at a bar ironically called the Dog House. Pat stole the sign.

They recorded a new full-length album in 2004, entitled bitter winter. The prerequisite arguments were not very civil but a product was eventually produced. Twenty-eight songs were recorded, 18 of which made it onto the album. The remaining 10 were released as Addendum in 2006.

Through it all, the members have managed to sustain a friendship and love of playing collectively as Fiction Dog. They may record some more or even play a gig, so keep an eye out.

Chris White (T-Fly) – Drums
Warren Tews (2Z) – Guitar
Tim McKeough (MC Q) – Vocals
Gary Erickson (G. Money) – Bass

Pat Nelson – Lights
Mitch Viegut – Engineering on Leapfido, and Mr. Salvation
Rico Jaeger – Live sound