The Misspent Youth of Squandered Youth

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

Kevin McCaleb — Guitar, 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, Vocals

Igor Mashir grew up in Russia and immigrated to the United States shortly after his 18th birthday. International protocols, political secrets and that crap all say we can’t tell you exactly when that was, just know that it happened and for the Portland, Oregon music scene, Igor’s immigration from Russia has been a huge plus.

And since Russia has been mentioned, what you just read is not fake news.

More not fake news. Igor first landed on the East Coast and through the years made his way to Portland. Igor married the beautiful Tamara and they raised a family and he started a career. And part of that career has involved music.

For those that haven’t heard him play — and if you haven’t, you’ve missed something very, very special — Igor is a self-taught virtuoso whose influences include Richie Kotzen, Eric Gale, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Al Di Meola. By the way, more self-taught guitarists ought to be as good as Igor whose sizzling leads are turning the heads of Squandered Youth fans and those fortunate enough to catch the band. Hint, hint. Catch the band — SOON!

Like all of us, Igor has a few guilty pleasures. He says cheesy pop music is one of them and points to music from Modern Talking, Marie Mathieu and ABBA as being numbered among his first vinyl records. We’re assuming — and maybe this is fake news, maybe not — that buying cheesy pop records was legal in Russia in those days.

Igor also makes his own Kombucha. We don’t know why, we just know he does.

We do think this is fake news. Sources say Igor plays his guitars with a Russian accent and makes drum beats with his teeth. When he says that, his bandmates say they believe him. However, they believe it almost as much as they believe he was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone like his picture shows.

Here’s what isn’t fake news. Igor Mashir is one heck of a fine guitarist and — along with Kevin McCaleb — gives Squandered Youth the best tandem classic rock duo in the Portland, Oregon area.

Dave Timmins —Bass Guitar, Vocals

David Timmin’s mantra is, “Everything must groove and groove is everything.” That makes him a perfect fit as Squandered Youth’s bassist.

Like many of his era, David’s love of music started on a dreary morning in 1957 when he went out to the garage and turned on the Philco tube radio. Impatient with the warm up time, he turned the volume up as high as it would go. The next thing he knew, the sound of Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog was pouring out of that big Philco radio at stun-level volume and David was dancing uncontrollably.

David’s mother burst into the garage to find the cause of the commotion. She quickly turned off the radio. Nothing was ever said about the incident but the love of music bug that bites most musicians bit David on that day.

The next week the family went to a record store. Each child was allowed to select one 45 record. David chose the Rick Nelson cover of Fats Domino’s I’m Walkin. After many weekly record store visits, he soon had a collection of what would now be valuable, collectable singles.

In 1960, David bought his first LP record, Kinda’ Blue by Miles Davis. A richer musical fire was ignited. Later he picked up the trumpet, took private lessons, and played in school bands, brass choirs, and orchestra ensembles.

Then at age 14 David got his first guitar. Like many kids of that era, it was a $15 Sears Roebuck classical. When not banging out Beatles songs on the old family upright piano, David was teaching himself the intricacies of the latest Yardbirds or Animals songs on the guitar.

While a college student at The University of Portland, David took jazz guitar lessons and honed his musical theory chops. From 1978 until 1984, David played lead guitar in several Portland area bands that graced the stages of Frankenstein’s, Quinn’s Mill,The Rusty Pelican, Rock Creek Tavern, Charlie’s Mountain View in Government Camp and Timberline Lodge.

It was fun but real life called and David went to work for the 3M Company. He, his wife of now over 40-years, Kathleen and their children moved about the country until 2006 when David retired. By then he’d ended up in Medford, Oregon. That’s where the music bug bit again. David was recruited as a bass player for the hardest working band in Southern Oregon, Hogwild. They tore it up for three years.

In 2015, David and Kathleen moved to the Portland area to be closer to family and friends, and now he’s an integral part of Squandered Youth and is squandering — like the rest of the band — what remains of his youth.

When not playing music, David is usually listening to hard bop jazz and working on his 1967 and 1959 Volvo’s, or playing with his miniature Schnauzer, Myles. Sometimes just for the fun of it he argues with Kathleen.

Gary Wolcott — Drums, Vocals

The caption says vocals. Let’s make that sometimes and 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 that 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 owned a drycleaning business 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 from time-to-time Portland area radio stations.

By the way, Gary’s big claim to radio fame is being an original staff member of Portland, Oregon’s classic rock giant, KGON. This was in 1974 when KGON first went on the air. He just worked part time and part time doesn’t count when it comes to station reunions and all.

Later in life — still beating on pots, pans, auto dashboards, knees, etc. — Gary 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.