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Member since February 09, 2010
Brian J Ellison (Brian Lee Koller)
Born, Brian Lee Koller a young Lois Koller had given birth to a son. It was 12/06/1964 @ The St Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, Ca. Lois being a small town girl raised on a cotton farm had traveled out of Arkansas for the first time. She found herself in California surrounded by sights and sounds she had only dreamed of. Somewhere in this dream she had sex for the first time and that is where my part of the story began. After
birth and some coaxing from my aunts and uncles my mother decided to move us to Anderson,Indiana to stay with my Uncle and his wife. This was somewhere between 1964 -67. After
staying in Anderson for awhile we finally moved to Muncie, In. and that is where I would end up call home.
My first memories of any distinction would be of a rabbit and a parakeet I had around the age of three. The second memory that sticks out in my mind is the neighborhood kids trying to teach me to ride a bicycle without training wheels for the first time. I cannot remember how many times I fell or how bad it must have hurt, but I do remember vividly the very first time I actually did it. I rode a two wheeler all by myself. That was a thrill of a lifetime for a young
four year old. It was around this same time my mom decided to have my name changed. She thought it would be a good idea at the time. Naming me after the man she thought "for sure" was my father. Sounding good in theory this name change would affect me later in life in more ways than anyone could imagine.
Now to the world I was known as Brian Jeffery Ellison. Though I never remember ever being called Brian until the fourth grade when I first learned my given name was Brian Jeffery everybody called me Jeff. I only went by the name Brian for three years of my life. My fourth grade year after transferring to one of the many schools I would attend in my lifetime, I decided I wanted to be called Brian. To this day there is only one classmate of mine that I grew up with that calls me Brian. He still doesn't know I like to be called Jeff and explaining it takes up too much time.
Always being the new kid, due to the fact that my mom and I never lived in one place for more than three years at a time kept me out of most cliques and usually led to being picked last for most sporting games even though I was one of the better athletes.
Around age seven I discovered that I had a natural ability to sing and play music. I had always been a singer. Singing in front of an audience which at that time consisted of mother stepdad and few of their friends) I was a natural ham. Music was something that never made me feel out of place.
Elementary school was a primetime for experimentation. I tried every instrument. Trumpets, Clarinet’s, I had to see if I could play them all. After graduation from the sixth grade it was time to move on to middle school. Hearing all of the rumors about hazing even at the middle school level my mother decided she was going to move me to a safer environment not realizing that hazing took place in every school, not just the one I was going to attend. By moving and starting a new school once again nobody new who I was, so nobody really bothered me. I didn't get any "swirly's" or stuffed in any lockers but did receive the occasional "wedgie". It wasn't until football season my seventh grade year that I finally started making some new friends.
My seventh grade year was also the year that desegregation of the school systems was to take place. Bringing black and white students together for the first time in many areas, the conflicts that followed would one day bring our races closer together. Just like the movie" Remember the Titan’s” ((written by) Gregory Allen Howard) we went through the same racial issues depicted by the author. We were some of the first that decided we can get along. Color was still an issue with the older generation, but as young as we were we new we could make a difference. It took several race riots at the bus stop for all of the ignorance to end. What were we fighting for? With a football team that never won a game in two years, we (the blacks & the whites) stuck by each other as Franklin Flyers and that was what made us winners. We would not realize just how important the way we treated each other would have an effect on racial relations for years to come.
After graduating to another level of schooling my mother decided to move us one more time. Now I was starting high school as the new kid once again. We had moved into the school district so late that I was not eligible to go out for the football team. That was when I once again turned to music and singing. Only staying in the Yorktown School District for nine weeks I transferred back to the city school system and started attending "Muncie Central High School". There I was instantly approached by the choir director after one day in my general music studies to join the school choir ensemble. I made a couple more lifelong friends my
freshman year but all my friends from middle school all went to Muncie Southside HS. I had made up my mind at that point that I was going to finish out High School at Muncie South. There I started playing xylophone in the Marching Band but with singing being my first love I never thought about playing another instrument. My senior year of HS was when my musical career started taking shape. The Jazz Band Bassist had graduated and there was no-one to take his place. Not being one to shy away from a new challenge I said I would do it. I didn't know how at the time but I knew I would give it my best. After getting a bass lesson from a friend who taught me what the notes were and a scale to go along with it, my fingers began to work like magic. It was the best training I could have received in the little amount of time I had to learn this new craft. I had a couple of little bands that never even reached a garage but those days quickly passed. Before I knew it I was playing the local bar scene while I was still in school.
My first band “Change of Pace” would lead me to the people I needed to meet in order to learn the professionalism needed to be a success. After graduation I had an opportunity to join a traveling band (TAXI) as their "Stage Manager" This too would be an invaluable lesson in life. Hanging out with people 10 years my senior kept me from making so many of the mistakes young people make when growing up. Being responsible forth care and maintenance of every piece of gear that went onstage did not leave me the luxury of being able to make mistakes. Things had to be perfect, night in and night out. From tuning all of the guitars to making sure everybody had drinks available on-stage I learned the business from the bottom up. Starting as "low man on the totem pole" I was quickly moved to light man after ours decided he had, had enough travel. It was at this time that the band had changed from “TAXI” to 10:01 ® ((Ten-O-One) 2008)). I was their light man for two years until I finally got asked the question;" Are you ready? " . "Are you ready to play" those were the words that sent me into jubilation. It was just another three years that 10:01 was together, but to me it was an eternity. Those three years felt like 20 at the time.
While having some time off I had to come up with some work, so I stopped in the biggest club in town and asked if there was anything I could do? I had noticed that the club owner was DJ’ing himself so I just asked how he liked it and would he like to be replaced. Despising spinning records he did not hesitate to give me the job. DJ'ing is where I learned how to be a front man. Hating dead air (when you do not here a sound in between songs) I started talking to the audiences while the our singer was getting a drink or just wiping off the sweat accumulating from working under the hot lights. I ended the 80's just like I had started them. Joining another one of the best bands in Indianapolis. This time it was “Schoolboy Crush “. A band I knew quite well by reputation. It happened in a similar fashion as when I got offered the job for 10:01 except this time their (Schoolboy Crush) agent Dave Humbert from US Artist (Formally Sunshine Promotions) called me with what turned out to be a three way call between him and I and SBC (Schoolboy Crush) Drummer " Rusty Scutt “saying those words I was dying to here “Are you ready to play?” "Hell Yes” was my response, I am so ready. I had to wait two more weeks for them to get back from their Florida Tour before I was to start rehearsing with them before they had to leave town again. I had three days to learn 40 songs and be ready get on stage and perform. It was the beginning of the next 8 years of my life. During this time I had been married and divorced. I finally lived somewhere for more than 3 years in a row. I had been in an award winning band ,nominated for Best Bassist which was an award I ended up winning in 1992 ( "1992 HiJynx Magazine Readers Choice Music Awards" ). I was with the Schoolboy's up until 1998 when after a change in the line-up I had, had enough of the road and it was time to take a break.
Not knowing what I wanted to do lead me back to DJ’ing, this time a strip club. The Jokers Wild is where I would spend the next couple of years drinking away my life. It had taken me
close to 20 years to get there, but I had become a full blown alcoholic. Never acting drunk you would not have noticed that I carried around a constant buzz. I never noticed myself until I
started hearing little kids saying "Someone smells like alcohol". Well I never let it bother me,though I should have. I kept on drinking.
After joining another local band here in Muncie I thought I was on my way back up the musical ladder to success. Joining forces with Singer/Songwriter & pianist Phil Kern we were on our way to releasing our first c/d together when Phil had an aneurism which caused him to have a stroke. He survived the initial attack and the local hospital not willing to check him out thoroughly because of lack of insurance sent him home stating:"we only think you have the flu". Well Phil had another attack and was dead two weeks later. He was an irreplaceable soul and the band just wasn't the same without him. After Phil's death we all just coasted around on
auto pilot until one night while we were playing I had the most intense pain ever felt. I had thought at the time that I was having a heart attack. Having to be talked into going to the hospital I reluctantly agreed to be driven to the emergency room. I was in the emergency room for close to 12 hours when they said they were going to have to keep me for observation. I went through two straight days of test before the doctor came into my room and said," I have good news and I have bad news, which would you like to hear first"? Well give me the good news I replied. The good news is that you didn't have a heart attack, the bad news is that you have a severe case of Pancreatitis and we are going to have to keep you for a couple of days.
Well after a week they released me and I went back to my daily routine of a screwdriver breakfast and a beer lunch, not taking anything the doctors had said to seriously. Then two weeks later I got hit with an even greater pain. Nobody had to talk me into anything this time. I drove myself to the hospital and was instantly taken to surgery so they could insert a PICC line
(its an acronym for a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) which was to be how I was fed and nourished for the next five months. No food, No water for five months. Just a swab of stuff
to keep my mouth moist was all I got except for the occasional ice chip. Needless to say this time the doctors told me that if I ever drank again it would kill me. That is when it truly sank in, I cannot ever drink again. That was June 4th of 2004. That was the day I had my last drink.
I would like to say that that is where the story ends but was just the start of my extended stays in the hospital. Finally in April of 2008 I was scheduled for another procedure like the one I had in 2004 but this time there were complications. The wire they were using to poke a hole through my Pancreas was too big and they were down to the smallest one made. Now I was left with only one other option other than to do nothing and that was experimental surgery. With a new technique developed by the IU Medical Center, Dr. Nakeeb gave me my options. Tired of living in constant pain even on morphine I jumped head first at the chance to be semi-normal. He explained this new procedure was a combination of two surgeries. The Frye and Whipple technique. Together the procedure simply called the Frye/Whipple was a process of slicing my pancreas in half, scraping out the calcified stones that were blocking my pancreatic output basically causing my pancreas to try and digest itself. After scraping out the stones the doctors then took part of my small intestine and sewed my pancreas back together creating another channel for the pancreatic juices to get into the small intestine where they belonged. So far it has been close to two years since my Frye/Whipple procedure and I have not had to take any pain killers for pancreatitis since.
I am back to playing music again. Both my 80's and 90's bands are currently working on a new c/d's so I should have two Christmas Presents to hand out this year (2010).
Bassist Jeff Ellison
K; Sutton Elementary
1-3; Selma Elementary
4-6; Anthony Elementary
7-8; Franklin Middle School
9th; Yorktown HS, Muncie Central HS
10-12; Muncie Southside HS Graduate 1983
1988 10:01 Best Band Indianapolis Monthly Magazine Readers Choice Award
1992 HiJynx readers Choice Best Bassist
2005 The Mayor's Community Service Award
2005 Best Local Entertainment Southside Sound the Muncie Star/Press Readers Choice Awards
Muncie Public Library; 1982-83
10:01 (Ten-O-One) (Band) 1983-1988
D.J; E T’s (Night Club) 1987-1990
Schoolboy Crush (Band); 1990-1998
D.J; Jokers Wild (gentleman’s club) 1998-2000
McGuff Roofing; 1999
Carpet Cleaners; 1998
Sales Clerk; Muncie Liquors & Save On Liquors 1998-2000
R & L Transfer (Warehousing, shipping & receiving) 1999-2000
Hoosyer Daddy; (Band) 2000-2004
Southside Sound; (Band) 2004-2008
WT Construction; draftsman, contractor, laborer, supervisor, vice pres. 1998-Present
RebelCat Records; Owner 2005-Present
2008 Delaware County Council Candidate