About Squandered Youth

Kevin, James, Gary and Igor all have misplaced and misspent youth.
Happenstance brought these four excellent musicians together and boy can they rock!

Kevin McCaleb — Guitar and vocals: Kevin was a huge disappointment to his father. Dad played semi-pro baseball and Kevin was an all-star — or so he says — 2nd baseman. Kevin’s dad had dreams of his son following in the proverbial footsteps. Sons are sometimes such a disappointment. One night at age 16 Kevin was at a party and noticed girls flock to musicians and not to 2nd basemen. So he picked up a guitar and hasn’t stopped. Youth squandered is music’s gain.

Kevin got his first pro gig at 17 and has been in bands ever since. He toured with a band nationally in the 1980s and has in his somewhat checkered past opened for Eric Burden, Foghat, Head East and Edgar Winter. He says the famed keyboardist and vocalist gave him a t-shirt and signed a copy of a cassette of one of his albums.

Just a t-shirt and a cassette?

Kevin’s bands are always good from the Idaho band that was considered one of the Northwest’s best bands to Squandered Youth. His exceptional vocals and tasty leads have helped craft Squandered Youth’s sound.

Igor Mashir  — Guitar and vocals: Igor squandered his youth in Russia. He came to the United States in the 1980s for (redacted). Redacted? Apparently we can’t tell you what or why. What isn’t redacted and what we do know is that Igor is illegal in 17 countries — more than likely because of his singing — and he is definitely wanted by the CIA.

We don’t know why.

We don’t even want to know why but suspect it’s something about Russia, the last (Redacted) and Facebook’s (Redacted). Rumor has it CIA — in this case — stands for California Institutional Autos and they want him to return the car he rented.

Whatever the reason, Igor says he plays his guitars with Russian accent and makes drum beats with his teeth. We believe him.

By the way, that last statement wasn’t redacted. Drum beats with teeth? The visual makes us wish it was redacted.

Here’s what we do know about Igor that should never be redacted, the guy can flat play and offers up screaming guitar solos that blend perfectly with Squandered Youth’s unique sound.

James Cobern — Bass guitar and vocals: James is originally from the area around San Francisco Bay. If anyplace in the country spells squandering youth it’s San Francisco. He’s been playing in bands since he was 15 and started as a drummer.

James found the instrument too hard and — besides — who really pays attention to drummers anyway? It’s much easier to squander youth on guitar or bass. James moved first to guitar — which he still plays beautifully — and then to bass. He actually switched to bass because no one in his early bands wanted to play bass.

James did the Bay Area thing for years and then moved to Reno, Nevada and played in several bands there. Then it was off to Portland where he played in The Willies. That band released a CD from the independent label GET.

That didn’t work out so it was back to Nevada and this time Sin City Las Vegas and Vinyl Relic. Like all James’ bands, it was a good one but it wasn’t to be.

Another move North landed him back in Portland and the Northwest music scene. James is now hooked up with Squandered Youth and while youth has passed him by, James isn’t squandering his time. “Squandered Youth is a bunch of old fogies who can still kick %*&@#,” he said. That’s musically speaking, of course.

Gary Wolcott — Drums: Sometimes vocals. Sometimes is rare. That’s a good thing. Phil Collins he isn’t. Come to think of it, he’s realistic and says he’s not close to as good a drummer either. Gary wanted to play drums in band at age 10. He turned down the opportunity because he thought playing drums would make his dad mad.

Later in his teen years — and since like most drummers he beats non-stop on just about everything like tabletops, pans, pots, automobile dash boards, his own knees, etc. — Gary did manage to prove his 10-year old self to be somewhat of a profit. Drumming did make his dad mad.

His father was a drycleaner and wanted Gary to go into the business. It wasn’t his thing but faced with having to pay for the ruined tabletops, pans, pots and auto dashboards, Gary bagged the music thing and went into radio as a disk jockey. It didn’t pay much better than drumming but the paycheck was much more steady. That eventually evolved into doing broadcast news and later into film criticism. He still makes part of his living reviewing movies for the Tri-City Herald in Tri-Cities, Washington and for Portland area radio station KXL 101.1 FM.

Gary’s dad wanted him to join the family dry-cleaning business but  after paying for the pots, pans, etc.  By the way, Gary’s big claim to radio fame is being an original member of the KGON staff when the station went on the air in 1974. He just worked part time and part time doesn’t count when it comes to station reunions and all.

Later in life Gary — still beating on pots, pans, auto dashboards, knees, etc. — decided it was time to get serious about drums and has been steadily employed in the endeavor since. Gary is the founder of Squandered Youth and also founded both incarnations of the popular Portland band Brooklyn Street.