With Widespread Panic out and about this summer, we decided to highlight EverydayCompanion.com. Here is a history of the project from Scott Holcomb and Ted Rockwell…
EverydayCompanion.com is the most comprehensive catalog of Widespread Panic related information available online. It has existed in one form or another for approximately ten years.
The Everyday Companion started out as a small setlist book created by Ted Rockwell in 1994 to distribute to a few of his friends. That book culled its information from a setlist file compiled by James Bateman, Colin Robinson and Steve Dearwent. Ben Tanen, the founder of Spreadnet (the first email discussion list for Panic fans), suggested Ted get in touch with Will Duckworth who was collecting setlists and storing them in a database. They decided to join forces, and the Everyday Companion was born.
Will used his extensive knowledge of database management and website design to create the first incarnation of the Everyday Companion website, which at the time was called Panicweb. Setlists were collected through tape trading, the Panicle (an early Panic fan newsletter created by Fred Adams), and posts made on Spreadnet. Early on, the Everyday Companion was very fortunate to have the help of David Schools, bass player with Widespread Panic. Schools put the research effort in touch with several people including Horace Moore, who was able to fill many gaps from his tape collection.
Ted, and his wife Lisa, used their knowledge of the graphic arts to create the first print version of the Everyday Companion which debuted at the ’96 New Years run at the Fox Theatre. Inspired by DeadBase, it contained setlists for all the shows though Fall ’96, band photos, overall song stats, song histories, places played, fan stories, and every time played stats.
Between the first and second editions, Ted and Will got in contact with the original Panic setlist scribe, Larry Acquaviva, who was on the road with Panic during their early touring days. Larry kept detailed notes, including setlists, from most of the shows Panic played between 1988 and 1992. Larry’s notes are the only record kept for many of those early shows. Unfortunately, Larry used his own code for many of the song titles instead of the standard song titles, so the setlists had to be translated using a "decoder key". Dave "Mr. B" Bredal volunteered to meet with Larry, and over the course of several days they dictated the setlists from these crumbling notebooks.
Starting in 1997, Garrie Vereen, a long-time roadie with the band, added his collection of setlist notebooks to the research project. His notebooks filled gaps in the setlist information from 1992 through 1997.
While Ted and Will were collecting setlist data and publishing books, other fans were collecting data on their own, eventually using EverydayCompanion.com as its distribution point. Bryan Irby was keeping track of song histories for all the songs in Panic’s repertoire including author and appearances on albums by a variety of artists.
Being an amateur guitar player and avid fan of playing Panic tunes, Scott Holcomb started collecting song and lyric transcriptions created by himself and many other Panic fans including Daniel Gold, Pete Millett, and Brian Sofer. Eventually, Scott merged his data with Bryan’s and hosted it at his own website, lgtsotr.com.
In the spring of 2000, Scott Holcomb was brought on to take over as data master. Scott took the website that Will had built, combined it with his collection of chord and lyric transcriptions and song histories, and added a massive song and show stats section, essentially creating the website as it exists today.
To date, we have published three full volumes of the Everyday Companion and one smaller book designed to take on tour named the Touring Companion. A new volume is currently in the works.
The Everyday Companion is the product of the energy of the fanbase for Widespread Panic. We will continue to strive to serve that fanbase with the most accurate information on the band and their side projects as is possible.