The Original What Went Wrong formed around 1981.  The name was actually the creation of our singer, Pam.  Sean Dever was supposed to play guitar, KG Morse was supposed to play drums and I was supposed to play bass, but things never got beyond the planning and noodling stage, most likely because we sucked.  Sean could pick out some stuff on guitar and KG was a fine drummer, and maybe Pam could sing, but I thought Sid Vicious was a good bass player; ie: we had no solid bass.  I still like Sid.  Aesthetically, anyway.  I love the aesthetic that you do something with nothing, that training is unimportant, that it's OK to play badly, just play.  Sometimes I regret going to music school.  Then I remind myself that the only way I'm ever going to change the conservatory is by getting my doctorate.  Whoa, major detour!  At that time I was punk by most any definition.  Pam gave up fairly quickly, so we tried to hire Erin, who could also play a mean keyboard, but we sucked so bad she wouldn't do it.  Sean quit fairly quickly after.  About this time I met the Henderson brothers: Michael and Kevin.  I'd actually seen them around for years before we figured out who one another were; Tucson was a small town.  I guess it was somehow inevitable that we should play, but I'm still infinitely grateful.  Michael was already a brilliant guitarist at the age of fifteen, and for some reason his interest strayed from heavy metal to punk.  One of the miraculous milestones of my life.  By this time I was actually practicing the bass a little, and some of my guitar experiments applied.  Sort of.  I co-wrote the first two songs with sometime friend Richard Bryant.  Michael suffered along with this for several months, far longer than KG, who had to 'leave town with his dad'.  I asked Rat to play drums.  My first meeting with Rat should be the stuff of legends.  You can read about it when I finish my autobiography.  In the meantime, suffice it to say that Rat Warthead would play drums for me, off and on, for a great many years.  The combination of Rat and Michael pointed out my deficiencies as a bass-player/singer quickly, and the source of the problem finally occured to me.  I have been playing and writing music since I was six, I can pick stuff out on almost any reed, string or brass, what was the obstacle with bass?  I was well aware that I was just about deadly competent practicing it alone, but with the band... what was the difference?  The difference was that I was singing.  And I realized then that my brain has a great deal of trouble thinking contrapuntally and monophonically at the same time.  And since I've always seen the bass as a fully contrapuntal instrument, and since normal western singing requires some monophonic thought, I couldn't do it.  If my guitar sounds contrapuntal, it is an illusion.  I have a very different relationship with guitar.  It's about sounds and fingerings to turn sounds into other sounds, not counterpoint.  I even fool myself sometimes, but any counterpoint is really coincidental.  So I can't play bass and sing nearly as well as I can play bass or sing to this day.  Once I resigned as bass-player  What Went Wrong took off.  Musically, anyway.  My devoting myself more wholeheartedly to singing and writing songs paid off to some degree.  But at our first gig the set was still mostly covers; Johny Glue played bass.  It wasn't all that grim, but it started a long history of heckling that followed us forever, sometimes charming like the chants of "What did go wrong?", sometimes terrifying like when the windows got smashed out of the 814 and I got thrown into the cymbals.  Anyway, Johnny was just too flakey.  We begged and begged Kevin to play bass for us, and finally he gave in.  What Went Wrong got pretty damn good musically immediately with nasty tight originals and covers like a note for note "Light My Fire" or a very not note for note "Hey Joe".  There were some decent recordings made of this incarnation, but no one seems to have them.  Lemme know if you find one.  Rat quit to tour with UPS.  We were adrift, Michael demoralized.  I was used to Rat quitting by this time, so I pressed on, hiring a string of hopeless drummers.  Xavier, Mark, Tom.  Well Tom was utterly brilliant, but he couldn't handle how different we had become.  Mike was into music from all over the world, and I was steeping myself in the western theories of harmony; our music wasn't exactly the normal punk rock fare.  Nor jazz nor heavy metal nor neo-classical nor alleatoric nor twelve tone nor avante garde for that matter.  We were just different.  And we certainly did have a following, but we certainly did not stand a chance of getting anywhere with it.  And then Kevin quit for good.  Kevin is a virtuosic guitarist and gifted writer in his own right, and it is the nature of the rock audience that the guitarist generally eclipses the bassist in their attentions.  I can't blame him, I completely understand, but we would miss him.  It would certainly never be the same for me.  But it might get better.  I'm trying to remember if we played out once or twice as a three piece then, I think we did, with Mark.  Yuck, bury that memory.  Then Chris Griffin came to town.  Actually, come to think of it, Chris joined us originally as our manager while Kevin was still with us.  He had a car, he could drive to the shows.  Of course, his car was a VW Beetle and fitting the band and the equipment into it was ridiculous.  The process required someone (usually me) to ride in the trunk.  But we got to shows.  And when Kevin quit Chris didn't let me suffer feeling I was neglecting what the bass should truly be or not paying close enough attention to my breathing for too long.  He changed his name to Gob Awful and picked up the bass.  Picked it up faster than any man I have known.  Probably didn't hurt to have Michael around, I know it's done wonders for me, and Gob did have musical experience on other instruments, but still it was amazing.  We recovered from the loss of Kevin as well as we possibly could, and Rat was back.  A very impressive band, that.  I do still have a recording or two of that lineup, I'll try to mp3 it sometime.  Rat quit.  We hired Dean.   Dean quit.  Rat came back.  Rat quit.  Mike and I formed Sloth.  Rat came back.  Rat quit.  We hired Bert, a fantastic drummer in his own right.  Rat came back.  Bert stayed.  This was my favorite incarnation of What Went Wrong.  If I can ever force two drummers to work together again I will be a happy man.  Bert quit.  They fired me.  Yes, you heard correctly.  Anyone who doesn't know who wants to should: that What Went Wrong did fire Matthew Mairs.  It seemed like a big deal at the time.  Something about their desire to explore instrumental music, something about how busy I was with the Hose.  I'm sure my insufferable ego and consistent tardyism and absenteeism had nothing to do with it.  Gob had experience firing me, it's actually not all that uncommon a skill, I've been fired from more bands than the average person has been in; he had kicked me out of Psychotic Cartoon People and we had all kinds of knock-down-drag-out fights in other projects, so this firing wasn't a big deal to him, I suspect.  But it freaked me out for a while.  Then they all moved up north and the gravity in Tucson and the Hose led me on to further adventures here in the sweaty city.

Sean Dever, guitar:  Maybe he can play, maybe he can't.  We will probably never know.

KG Morse, drums:  He could definitely drum.  Until he had to 'leave town with his dad'.

Pam, vocals:  Probably she could sing or she wouldna formed the band, but she quit at the first practice.

Michael Henderson, guitar and occasional keyboards and vocals:  While his heel did remain fused to his buttock through most of our carreer, I do not believe that you will find a more accomplished guitarist for his age.

Rat Warthead, drums and occasional keyboards:  It makes me sad he's not playing drums right now.  If you ever get a chance to see this kid play, do it!

Johnny Glue, bass:  Good friend, excellent bass-player, I don't think he liked how little we cared what the audience thought.

Kevin Henderson, bass:  If bass really is some kind of lesser guitar then he should never have profaned his incredible skills by playing it.  Of course I do not believe that it is, and I believe his playing proved that.

Xavier, drums:  Half a practice.  Bad.

Mark, drums:  Half a practice and I think a show I'm trying to forget.  Good drummer so long as he didn't attempt a fill.

Tom, drums:  Fantastic drummer, I don't think he liked how little we cared what the audience thought either.

Gob Awful, bass, vocals and keyboards:  Very fine musician and miraculous bass-player.  Why do we have to be mortal?

Dean, drums:  Good drummer, but I did get tired of feeling that his presence was a favor.

Bert, drums:  Yer a freak Bert, a brilliant freak but a freak nonetheless!  And yes, he can drum.

Matt Mairs, vocals and occasional bass, guitar or keyboards:  I started badly and finished bloodily.