As a teacher, I am always drawn to the kids who don’t fit in.
They are the square pegs who struggle to fit in the round holes of the world.
They are the ones who never quite fit in, and those are the kids who will either sadly give up on life, or they will be the ones who change the world.
Timexx Seabaugh was one of those kids, and while he might not have changed the world yet, he’s determined to make it a better place with music.
He’s the Doctor in Dr. Fever and the Venus Flytrap, and his prescription for all is to let yourself go to the beat. Give in to your desire to lay down the funk…put it all out there. Reach for the stars beyond the sky, and just get down!
He tells the story of himself and his love affair with music in painstaking detail, and paints the picture of a little boy who was lost, but then found himself in music.
“My musical journey began pretty much at birth,” Timexx begins. “As soon as music entered my ears, I was hooked. Around my house, music was always being played or listened to. It didn’t matter whether it was a family gathering or a church function. There was music.”
His dad was a fan of classic rock and outlaw country, and his mother liked Bob Seger and Cher.
“It’s like music was wrapped around me like a baby blanket,” he muses.
If you see Timexx today with his crazy hair and his love of outlandish clothes, you can easily believe that as a preteen and teenager, he was somewhat of an outcast. Yeah…he was bullied, long before “bullying” came to be a thing on posters in every school in America.
So he didn’t have a lot of friends with which to socialize. He was kind of a sad kid, and being raised in rural Missouri was an isolating experience. To make matters worse, his family moved a lot. And with every move, there was a whole new set of kids to make fun of him. With every move there were new schools, and teachers, who didn’t understand him. Churches were not the houses of God and protection that they were supposed to be. Churches were just one more place where he didn’t fit in.
“Really,” he expresses, “for many years of my life television and music were my only friends.”
His dad began a new business of booking shows for non-profit groups, and it was then that Timexx started getting to meet entertainers, like Dave Dudley, The Florida Boys, Kenny Price, and even the whole gang from Hee Haw.
He was mesmerized by these people. They seemed to speak their own language.
It was like being raised in Vaudeville, but Ozark style, with Donkey Softball games and local fire and police fundraisers.
It was there he got his first exposure to magic, and became enthralled with it.
“I got to go onstage as a magician’s assistant. I was ‘randomly’ pulled from the crowd, and it was my job to act totally shocked when the magician levitated his female assistant,” laughed Timexx.
He was hooked. Because he loved that idea of being behind the scenes and knowing the secrets no one else knew.
“It was like I found my home. The crowd cheered for the magician and his wife, but I was also part of the act,” he noted. It was hoped this new-found celebrity would win him friends.
Nope, it just made the bullying more intense.
“But I didn’t care, because I loved that high I got from being onstage!” he recalled.
So from then on, it became his utmost desire to get back up on stage.
He tried acting, and even won the role of “Injun Joe” in a stage production of Tom Sawyer. But, of course, actors don’t get applause until the end of the show. He knew he needed more immediate attention.
And that is when it dawned on him to become a musician, because they seemed to get constant attention.
His family continued to be on the move, to Arnold, and then to Jackson.
By then he was sporting a Joey Ramone haircut. Not a popular look in Jackson, MO. He was regularly harassed by cops, and his, by Missouri standards, unusual looks would get him booted from stores, and even churches. But even disapproval is a form of attention, and he decided being different had its perks.
“I just started caring less and less about what other people thought of me,” he smirked. He discovered the Hair Bands, and Heavy Metal. Ozzy and Alice Cooper were his new role models.
Once he started singing, he discovered an electrical magic which seemed to flow through his body when he performed. He loved it!
A turning point came for him when he tried out for the Jackson High School Choir. The teacher was not too keen on him joining, but really didn’t expect him to even make it to the audition, let alone be able to sing.
But, he surprised her, and all his classmates when he belted out “Battle Hymn of the Republic and “Who’s Crying Now?” For the first time in his life, the other kids weren’t laughing. They were actually impressed.
But all of that didn’t take the chip off his shoulder from years of being ridiculed by teachers and students, so he then refused to join the choir. He took study hall instead, which fit his rebel soul pretty well.
He spent his study hall time writing lyrics for songs. Those songs got him his first recording contract and album.
He made friends with another kid in study hall who was also into music, and whose dad was in a band. But his high school academic career came to an end when he became much more interested in skipping school and hanging out with the “wrong crowd”.
He started his first band. He bounced around with bands from Missouri and Illinois, and then auditioned for bands in Los Angelos. He actually got to play with some of his Rock Star heroes.
“And now here I am in 2017, still singing!” said Seabaugh, happy at the thought of spending his life doing what he most loves doing.
His own life reminds him of a line from Almost Famous.
“Whenever I’m lonely, I can go to a record store and visit my old friends.”
Timexx currently plays in different bands, exploring different genres of music.
He loves Dr. Fever and the Venus Flytrap.
Of it, he says, “We really strive to present a fun show. We laugh, we love, we dance. Cape is between St. Louis and Memphis, so we have a lot of great music to inspire us. Our goal with this band is to have fun, and that’s what we do with the music, boogie-woogie song selections, our crazy suits, and my silly hair. It’s all about having a good time.”
But Timexx isn’t the only one in the band having a blast.
Donnie Cripps, like Timexx, has been a musician since his teenage years.
“I’ve been a musician since the age of 13,” he noted. His father was a musician who played gospel music in the Andy Acklin gospel group on WRAJ Radio on Sunday mornings in the 1960’s.
“Matter of fact, he died of a heart attack while performing,” added Donnie.
He says he always viewed music as an everlasting link to his dad. He grew up listening to his mother’s Motown records
But as he grew up, he developed his own love for rock and roll. He’s been in several bands over the years and even won a regional “Star Search” competition in 2000.
Donnie’s friend Bill Shivelbine suggested he put together a dance band, specializing in funk, disco and pop dance themed music.
It wasn’t easy to find other musicians who wanted to do that kind of music, but he finally combined with Timexx Seabaugh, and the spark was lit for Dr. Fever and the Venus Flytrap.
“We wanted to be different. We wanted to stand out in the public eye from every other band around,” he added. And that set them on the road to being one of the area’s favorite party bands, playing all over Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.
But it took time and money to become the band they are today.
“We wanted our music to be an event. So we invested a lot in our sound and light equipment,” explained Donnie. “And that did make our concerts a truly entertaining experience. We gain new fans every time we play somewhere, and they are really loyal. Some will follow us to wherever we play.”
So, come see Dr. Fever and the Venus Flytrap on Saturday at the Turning the Tide Benefit.
Donnie and Timexx both commented on what an honor it is to be included at this event.
As a youngster growing up in Cape Girardeau’s frequently flooded Red Star District, Timexx knows what devastating floods do to communities and neighborhoods.
“Some of them just never make it back,” he said with a rare serious note to his voice. “We do really want to help these people. Come see us and all the bands at Turning the Tide. We can all make a difference.”
The Boys of Boogie take the stage at 8:45 p.m.
As a teacher, I am always drawn to the kids who don’t fit in.