Major Dudes formed in late 2014 with a simple mission: let's make it hard on ourselves. When Danny Taylor (keyboards and lead vocals) and Paul Laginess (bass and vocals) set out for seemingly the umpteenth time to put a band together they figured the best way to finally solidify a project and to sustain it was to make it as appealing as possible, to themselves, naturally, and to any other musicians they could enlist.
We're talking two crusty old (both north of 60 despite...ahem...looking much younger) music veterans who have played in countless bands, and are both well past the need or desire to play anything other than what they're partial to. For starters, both are Steely Dan fans, and by definition, an SD lover is bound to have eclectic tastes in music generally. So, as with any Steely Dan song you could pick to perform, if you're choosing cover material by other bands meeting those lofty standards chances are great you'll have a strong and challenging playlist. And if your own material is influenced by bands like the Dan, and a host of others from Air Supply to Zappa (totally kidding about Air Supply) one might imagine the boys would be pretty passionate about playing that stuff as well.
So, the challenge for Danny and Paul was threefold. Find talented and like-minded musicians to fill out the lineup, select the material and do the tighten up on it, and find an audience to see and hear it. And, of course, along with that audience you have to find a venue(s) where this shall we say somewhat off the beaten path fare can be heard.
Apart from Danny and Paul, Guitarist Waldon Reed is a highly regarded Redford-based musician who has been teaching, recording CDs (a total of eight, four of which bassist Paul played on), and performing since the mid-1980s. David Reinstein is on saxophones and keyboards. He's played with more artists and bands than we could list. He's written and performed for radio, television and even movies. He played piano and composed music for Sam Raimi's "Oz: The Great and Powerful". On drums and lead vocals is veteran Jim Pryor. He's one of the hardest workers around. Major Dudes is sharing him with at least 4 other bands and he's been as busy over the last 3+ decades as he is now. Danny Taylor and Paul Laginess have been around since the early 70s and have been working with each other off and on for a good part of the last decade. Danny spent a few years recently in the latest two versions of The Rockets and has recorded dozens of great original tunes, some of which Major Dudes are performing currently with many more to be added going forward. Apart from his recordings with guitarist Waldon Reed, Paul has played with many groups and musicians over the years.
In addition, Paul owns Allen Park pizzeria Major Tomato with his two sons, and along with excellent, healthy pizza it also serves as a once monthly home for the sounds of Major Dudes. Finding a place to play an eclectic mix of music like Steely Dan tunes and original material might be tough normally but it's a little easier if a band member actually owns a venue. Problem solved.