_This month we hear from the fans who have created The Samples fan site,
Let us dispel a common myth-Samples fans are not a dying breed. Sure, like
our band, we’ve been through the wringer more than once. We winced as we
watched Jeep MacNichol and Al Laughlin leave in 1997. We panicked when the
band announced that they were dead-broke and about to give up in 2002. We
groaned when Andy Sheldon went his own way in 2003. Yet The Samples kept
touring and recording, and we kept coming to see the shows and absorb the
musical energy that we love.
When The Samples hit their financial bottom in 2002, they turned to the fans
for what Sean Kelly once called "the last miracle." We came together,
scrounged up enough cash to get the band back on its feet, and things have
been uphill ever since. 2005’s release, "Rehearsing for Life," and
the following tour were yet another breath of life for both the band and us
fans. With a new lineup and new songs, The Samples rose like a Phoenix,
attracting a new generation of fans and reminding the stalwarts why we fell
in love with the music in the first place.
Now it’s 2007, and Samples fans are coming together once again-this time as
a collaborative online community we’ve dubbed Underwater People. The name is
a tribute to the now-defunct Samples mailing list, an artifact of The
Internet Part I. Technology has come a long way since those mailing-list
days, and we now have something far more interesting. We have a wiki.
"Whats’s a wiki?" you ask? It’s a completely collaborative site. All members
can edit and contribute to the site-uploading photos, writing album and show
reviews, posting setlists, adding tour dates…or whatever else they want.
At Underwater People, visitors are more than visitors, they are creators.
Together we are building what would not be possible alone.
We Underwater People are a young community, but growing quickly. The site
has been up little over a month, but we have already added the entire
Samples song base, a discography, setlists from several dozen shows, and a
download of the week. Soon we’ll be fleshing out the band biographies,
enlarging our photo and video library, reviewing all 18 Samples albums, and
collecting fan memorabilia. We’re always looking for more fans to help build
the community and the site. We welcome all-comers, new fans and old, so dust
off that almost-forgotten copy of "The Last Drag" and come say hello.