There are some educators and politicians who claim high school grads are ill prepared to earn a living (in the real world). There is another school of thought that feels the senior year is a waste of time. Stroke 9 could, depending on the point of view, argue both sides of the issue.
The group formed in San Francisco as a senior project for a class entitled "Rock Band." But following graduation, members went off to college. They re-formed the following summer ('93) and recorded their debut, the indie release, "Boy Meets Girl." It didn't do much. Their '95 release "Bumper To Bumper" faired better but didn't provide the breakthrough. So the group bought a derelict ambulance (for hauling the equipment) and hit the road, playing wherever they could, including malls.
There was one more addition to make things complete. Esterkyn and Gueldner placed a call to drummer Eric Stock asking if he could fill-in for a show one evening. At Sweetwater's in Mill Valley, Stock hit the stage with Stroke 9. Though Stock hadn't played with the group or even heard the songs, he thoroughly impressed the group. No wonder, Stock had toured with Modern English (long after their prime) and brought first rate abilities. However, his talents were in demand and he had to be persuaded to quit two other groups before signing on full-time.
Stroke 9's work led to a major label recording contact with Cherry/Universal. In late '99 "Nasty Little Thoughts" rolled out. "Little Black Backpack" with its biting lyrics (from Esterkyn) drew first blood but the jangle Rock of "Washin' + Wonderin'," and "Letters" were equally irresistible.
1993 Boy Meets Girl
1995 Bumper to Bumper
1999 Nasty Little Thoughts
2002 Rip It Off
2004 All In
2007 Last Of The International Playboys
"Nasty Little Thoughts" is Stroke 9's major label debut. Indie release "Bumper To Bumper" is the best from their pre-major label period.