SEOMPI--and acronym for "Self Expression On Musically Potential Instruments"--came together as a unit in 1970 in McAllen, Texas, formed by former Headstones and the Meat frontman and bassist Dave Williams, who had just finished a one year stint in Texas state prison on a marijauna possession charge. He rounded up bassist Patrick Rockhill and drummer Bill Reid for a peculiar dual-bass, no-guitar sound. SEOMPI cut and released their first 45, "Summer's Comin' On Heavy," with that dual-bass attack intact. Later they recut the song with the addition of guitarist Mitch Watkins, and Watkins became a part of the band from then on, moving it toward a more accessible, driving rock sound. In 1971, SEOMPI moved to Austin, which remained their home base throughout the rest of the band's existence. They developed a sizeable local following and were one of the very loudest bands around thanks to an awesome sound system put together by local soundman David Gardner, who would often record the band's rehearsals. The band dedicated themselves during the next few years to playing live gigs including opening spots for ZZ Top, Buddy Miles, and Foghat, a period that saw a few lineup changes with Billy "Skid" Rowe replacing Watkins and Lee Manley joining on drums. In 1974, SEOMPI called it quits. Reissue label Rockadelic assembled an album in 1997 from the more than six hours of source tapes SEOMPI had recorded. Gear Fab followed in 1999 with a reissue of the same material on CD.
by Stanton Swihart