Who are The Vetivers? The group, in various incarnations
featuring Ben Champion and Paul Solecki, has been together for
over 6 years and has somehow managed to sneak in an ocassional
practice or two reguarly. The band was originally formed by members of
the popular band Carnivorous Grass, and has gone on to adopt a more
serious, meaningful sound. The Vetivers have appeared at such venues as
The Bottleneck, Streetside
Records, AMC 30, Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Adrian's Cafe, and lots of
basements and backyards.
Read the official history of the band on the Bios
Behind the Name
So what the heck is this "vetiver" stuff anyway? The word was taken
from the R.E.M. song Find the River, but what does it actually mean? Well
here you go... all the info you could
ever want on the mysterious and illusive inspiration behind the band's name. Just click
The Vetivers Info Page is now organized according to
year. Below are the current 2003 articles. Click on a year for the
Vetivers News Archive.
November 25, 2003
YET ANOTHER BEN CHAMPION FOUND
First there was the
guy from the Vetivers Message
Board, now this! How many Ben Champions could there be in the
world? This Ben Champion, who is known as Ben Champion III to the
Vetivers, has his own little web
site. How many Ben Champions do you know? Collect 'em all!
BEN CHAMPION: SUBVERSIVE CITIZEN
Ben Champion has taken part in
some sort of event that criticizes the actions of George Bush and Tony
Blair. No, not their Anti-Vetivers legislation they are trying to pass,
but that whole war thing. You can see some more pictures of Ben, both
before and after he was beaten senseless by the police, here.
October 13, 2003
KIEL JOHNSON IS NOW ONLINE
The genius behind the Twelve O'Clock In All The World cover now has his own
web site, www.kieljohnson.com!
You can view his latest artwork and even buy some of his stuff, which is
guaranteed to go way up in value once he dies. As Vetivers fan(s), it is
your duty to buy so much of his stuff that he can hardly keep up with the
demand. Vetivers guitarist Paul Solecki even plans to buy something, but
first he must sell a Vetivers CD or two so he can afford it. So buy a
Vetivers CD, buy an original Kiel Johnson masterpiece, and while you're at it
buy some good salsa and send it to Paul in Ireland.
October 2, 2003
BEN CHAMPION TAKES ENGLAND BY STORM
The pubs in and around Oxford have reported record shortages today and
predict that the supply of all alcohol in England could soon be gone in a matter
of days if newly arrived Ben Champion and the rest of the Rhodes Scholars keep
up their frantic pace. Ben arrived just this afternoon and he has already
started to check out the legendary colleges and surrounding town, if you know
what I mean.
"Shmm, hxrkmkslab," said the Vetivers drummer when asked about his
experiences so far in Oxford. "Ifquiom!" He then hiccupped
several times then fell flat on his face.
September 30, 2003
ESCAPING THE NEGATIVE ZONE
Paul told me to write something for the Vetivers fansÖer fan since Iíll be
leaving Kansas on permanent basis. So here it goesÖ.
Well whatís there left to say? Iím going to move to Florida, and become a
part of the elite who actually go out and do something with their lives. Not too
long ago I went to a BBQ party at former Vetivers member Jimmy Marchís house,
and had a very interesting conversation with one of the guests. Jimmy had
mentioned to everyone that I was going to film school, and a grizzled old hairy
man approached me to make some small talk. Hereís how that conversation panned
Guest: So youíre going to film school, where at?
Guest: State school?
Clyde: No itís privately owned.
Guest: How long is the program.
Clyde: 13 months, but Iíll be in school for over 14 hours of the day. Itís
sort of like a boot camp.
Guest: Wow that sounds great!
Clyde: Yeah, Iím pretty excited.
Guest: (Depression sets in) I wish I did something like that with my life.
Clyde: YeahÖuhÖI meanÖ(doesnít know what to say next.)
Guest: All I do is work 9-5, come home, and watch TV all day.
Clyde: Oh that soundsÖumÖ.
Guest: Itís good that some people do something with their lives instead of
waste it away. (Continues with more self-loathing conversation.) My mother
always said blah blah blahÖbut when I graduated from junior high blah blah
Clyde: (Thinking) How the hell am I going to get out of this?
Great party eh? Letís examine the situation shall we? Basically, the guest
reminds me of what will happen if I donít do anything with my life. Iíll be
40 something, married, and lose myself watching compelling television shows such
as ESPNís Sport Center. If I donít go out and do something now, I may never
get a chance later, or my spirits will be broken so much, I wonít have the
willpower to do anything later (like that great conversationalist from the
party.) So whether if this entire endeavor works out or not, at least Iíll
have the confidence to say that I really tried to do something to escape this
blasted negative zone*. With that being said, Iíd like to thank all those who
have supported me in making this decision. I value you all. If youíre planning
to go to my sisterís b-day party next Saturday, youíll be able to catch my
latest film Sleep Paralysis on DVD. Will I be able to edit Jimmyís cardboard
performance into something tangible and entertaining? Find out next week!
Clyde Aaron Kim
Iím serious if you donít fuck off now, I will fuck you up!
* For those of you that donít know, the Negative Zone comes from the Marvel
comic book The Fantastic Four. The zone is often referred to an alternate
dimension that is vastly different from our own. One of the members of the
Fantastic Four, Ben Grimm, refers it to a dad-blamed crummy place to live. In
the song Cosmic Excelsior, which is based on the Fantastic Four comic, Clyde
uses the zone in the reference to describe Olathe.
September 20, 2003
PAUL CROSSES IRELAND IN A TOGA
Today a small country got a little bit bigger, as Vetivers guitarist Paul
Solecki travelled from Cork to Dublin wearing nothing but a sheet. The
occasion was the birthday party of friend Michael Rowan's dad and brother, but
the party happened in more places than just that house in Booterstown, a Dublin
suburb, thanks to Paul. Pedestrians and cars in Cork City got the first
glimpse of the once and future style, and passengers on the Dublin bound train
were the next ones to get thrilled. Nobody sat next to him on the train
for some reason. Upon arrival in Dublin, some kids started making fun of
him at the bus stop outside Heuston Station, but that did not deter him. A
nice ride in the front seat of the Number 90 bus ended at the O'Connell St.
Bridge, and Paul walked across the famous landmark to the DART station, his toga
falling off a few times on the way. Finally, the train ride to Booterstown
and walk down the Avenue completed the over four hour journey, where he joined
many other toga-wearing party-goers.
"This was a memorable evening," stated the sheet that stood between
Paul and the elements until 9:00 that next morning. "I had some wine
spilled on me, but at least it wasn't white wine. And I got to meet a lot
of other sheets. You know, when you first are manufactured, you have
dreams of one day being made into a toga, but most of us are resigned to
spending most of our lives spread out over mattresses or folded up in a
closet. I'm glad I got to live out the dream, at least for one
night. Thanks, Paul!"
September 16, 2003
PAUL STARTS A NEW BAND IN CORK
This evening, Paul and his new friend Barry had the first practice for their
new band, a yet unnamed future supergroup. Barry plays the drums and Paul
is on guitar, and halfway through the first practice they enlisted the third
member, Aoife, who also plays guitar. More details will be known after
their next practice on Monday, and regular readers of vetivers.com will be kept
up to date on the situation.
Some have speculated that the forming of a new band with another drummer has
something to do with the Ben Champion Scandal of recent weeks that you have
undoubtedly heard so much about (our team of lawyers at vetivers.com have
advised us against making any statements at this time), but Paul and Ben (and
probably 13 or 14 future bass players) will remain The Vetivers, no matter where
in the world we are.
September 5, 2003
RECORDS SONG FOR TEENAGE FANCLUB TRIBUTE
guitarist Paul Solecki has recorded a version of Guiding Star by Teenage
Fanclub to be included in the upcoming tribute album organized by the people
from their message
board. The recording consists of three guitars, two vocal tracks, and
one mandolin, all recorded by Paul on his four-track. This marks the Cork
debut of the famous four-track, which was used as a mixer for the Twelve
O'Clock In All The World CD and had the great honor of recording the first
Vetivers tape, The Vetivers in Stereo.
glad Paul still dusts me off and uses me every now and then," said the
four-track. "Sometimes it seems that he's forgotten about me, but
then he goes and uses me as a mixing board during a Vetivers gig or to record
his work with Bryce Holt, and I know everything is going to be fine. I've
got a new partner, a 220 to 110 volt adapter/converter, and we're getting along
great, so I can't forget to thank him for all his hard work. Without him,
I'd be burned out." sorry
about that bad pun!
August 5, 2003
PAUL FINDS OUT ABOUT FREE PROCLAIMERS CONCERT SEVERAL DAYS TOO LATE
Tonight Paul was minding his own business reading about the various musical
acts scheduled to come to Cork in the near future, when he found out that The
Proclaimers played a free concert in Mitchelstown, just 20 miles up the
road, a few nights before. He even said the word "shit" to
himself, an act usually reserved for a losing tennis match against Bryan Ross.
"I can't believe I didn't know about it," said Paul in shock.
"The Proclaimers are one of my favorite bands, and I was even on their web
site a week or two ago and it didn't say anything about this concert. I
would have gone! And it was free too!" Paul hasn't felt this
way since February when he forgot to go to the Damien
Dempsey concert that was just down the street from his house. He
remembered the next morning.
July 19, 2003
PAUL PLAYS 'CAHERSIVEEN' IN CAHERSIVEEN
Tonight, in the tranquil coastal town of Cahersiveen, Paul Solecki took the
mic for two songs, Roseville Fair and Cahersiveen. The latter, track 4 on
the new Vetivers CD, is about hearing Roseville Fair at a pub in that town three
years ago. Paul's friend Michael Rowan was there to witness the big
event. And although no mob of people carried Paul triumphantly through
the streets when he was done singing, they still liked it. Next up, Paul
will attempt to dig up the deceased ocean explorer and sing him Jacques
July 16, 2003
VETIVERS OF THE WORLD REUNITE
Tonight, Paul and Ben staged their reunion concert as the Vetivers played for
a few blankets and lawn chairs full of people in Ben's backyard. After
opening the show by themselves, they were joined on guitar and bass by Erin
Runnels for the rest of the show, and Jimmy March sat in with the band for
an encore performance. This concert marked Paul's debut on fiddle and
Ben's on accordion. Paul returned to Ireland the day after the concert and
Ben will be in England soon, so the next reunion concert will be held somewhere
other than America.
Who is this mystery musician that joined the Vetivers for this concert?
Vetivers.com has learned that Erin Runnels is a 20 year old pre-vet and animal
science major at Kansas State University and has six more years left
there. She is from Overland Park. Rumor also has it that she is fond
of Ben! Go figure.
July 13, 2003
THE VETIVERS REUNITE FOR PRACTICE
For the first time in almost seven months, Paul and Ben were together
again for a small practice at the house of former Vetiver guitarist Jimmy
March. Later on that evening, the two Vetivers continued their practice
in Ben's backyard, where they will be having their reunion concert in a
few days. They were joined by Ben's girlfriend Erin, who will be playing
guitar and bass with the band for that show. Jimmy will also sit in with
the band for the historic farewell concert, and Ben will make his debut on
accordion! The day after the concert, Paul will go back to Cork to
seek his fortune.
May 18, 2003
SIX YEARS OF THE VETIVERS
It's hard to believe, but it
was six years ago today that Paul and Ben formed the band that was later to be
known as The Vetivers! They were the only members of the band then, and
they still are today, but four other members have come and gone: bass
players Pat "Orlick" Danko, Jim Kelly, and Clyde Kim, and guitarist
Jimmy March. Those four chaps couldn't cope with the demands of fame that
every Vetiver has to go through, but you can count on Ben and Paul to not crack
under the pressure and keep delivering you the same quality music on the same
semi-occasional basis that they have for years, no matter how far apart they
live or how crazy Ben gets due to that craziness disease he has, I believe it's
January 28, 2003
PAUL MEETS TEENAGE FANCLUB
Tonight, Paul saw his favorite band Teenage Fanclub for the
second night in a row and even got to talk with Norman Blake for a few
minutes. Later on he had a few seconds to ask for autographs from Norman
and his bandmates Raymond McGinley and Gerard Love, but only to see the proper
way to behave in that situation in the future, when the Vetivers will hopefully
get a fan or two. In another twist of fate, Paul also briefly spoke with the famous Guitar George, who was with the
boys from Glasgow! Whether or not their paths will cross again is a
January 3, 2003
PAUL ARRIVES IN
Vetivers mastermind Paul Solecki has arrived in the country of his dreams,
Ireland. Over the next six months, he will climb mountains, swim in
oceans, meet dogs, learn set dancing, drink Guinness although it's not
that good, learn to play the fiddle, become a native speaker of
Irish, write a million songs, go to a few
classes a week at University College Cork,
make regular appearances at Charlie's Pub, play
darts, and turn all his white clothes blue. He will do much much more, of
course, but I can't go into that here.
The Vetivers News Archive
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To contact The Vetivers about booking information, to send a letter of love or hate, to set up a date with a band member, or for questions to the Vetivers, go back in time to when The Vetivers existed!