SEND HIM OFF! BIOGRAPHY …!
by Floyd Palmer
Left to Right: Kyle, Adam, and Connor; Shantytown Pub, 2014
It was the summer of 2014. The heat was staunch, the streets of Jacksonville were lined with shattered and soiled lasagna trays, and cocaine was elected interim king. It was an astonishing wasteland, with no hope on any horizon, proverbial or otherwise. Enter three giants. Three modern wise men. Three cultural maleficents with their eyes on infinite, intergalactic immortality. Their names? Billy Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and the other guy. The bass player. From Green Day. The band was Green Day. They were on tour. I think they had a guy playing guitar too, like just on a touring basis but not an actual official member. That must have been really difficult for him at times, I mean they guy played with them for years but you can’t call him a member? But I’m sure he got paid. Is that what he was in it for? What does it all mean?
Now, this historian isn’t sure whether Green Day actually played in Jacksonville that summer. But I will tell you this (and I don’t often say things like this): That was the summer of Send Him Off!. And of course, the summer wasn’t awarded to them by any official means. And why would it be? And how could? It? Be? Done? This? Way?
Send Him Off! played its first show that summer at Shantytown Pub in scenic Springfield, Jacksonville, Florida, USA. And it was fun. The band was made up of brothers Adam and Connor Dooling (guitar and bass, respectively) and Kyle Drury (drums), playing such original numbers as “Diabolical” and “Intro,” as well as whatever Hall and Oates tracks availed themselves. This band played one more show in December of that year at Burro Bar (which closed in 2016, R.I.P.)(also the show was a disaster), and unofficially hung it up. Kyle left to go to college, Connor was living in Orlando, and Adam remained in Jax, proving it difficult to move forward as a trio. Adam pushed ahead with his other group, Gov Club, and things proceeded in this direction for a handful of years.
In 2018, Connor moved back to Jacksonville and briefly joined Gov Club as a keyboard player/backup singer. Somewhere along the way, former Mother Superior and Dagger Beach guitarist Mitch Wylie asked Adam to fill in on drums for his cover band, The Little Dolls, at Fly’s Tie Irish Pub. He needed a bass player as well, so Connor came aboard. This lineup of Mitch (guitar), Connor (bass) and Adam (drums) would prove a preview of what most music historians now consider the band’s “classic” and also “current” lineup, and the trio began jamming more. They eventually incorporated Mitch’s Korg Electribe drum machine and started writing original songs, and began booking shows as Send Him Off!. Now Connor just sings, Adam plays bass, and Mitch operates the drum machine and plays guitar.
If you’re still reading, you’re one of the good ones. If you’re not…I suppose I could say anything I want about you. Like how you should wash your legs more often. Or that I’m desperately in love with you. I have been watching you from behind closed doors, peering directly through opaque textures with eyes that could play x-rays in other realities. I need you. You think you know me, but I’ve changed. I’m different now. I just want to be who you want. I’ll keep changing. I’ll devote my entire existence purely to being the person you want me to be. I see your eyes. They are an endless expanse, transforming me into a dolphin who is tasked with diving into them and swimming infinitely toward your heart, but ultimately exiting your mind, sliding down your spine, and tragically, out your behind. Be well, my dear.
Floyd Palmer is a local tiki bar advocate who spends his free time unearthing empty CD cases off Kernan Boulevard. He has contributed to a litany of North Floridian music blogs, including Noid Magazine, Orsay Can You See, Leonard Curry’s Fun Zone, and The Baldwin Stepmother.