ONCE UPON A TIME…
The year was 1994, just days after the Northridge earthquake. Every Friday night, a singer/songwriter named Steve Moramarco would come into the Onyx coffee shop, near the border of Los Feliz and Silverlake, and perform.
The Hill of Beans CD cover
Bean performing at Raji’s
Steve also had songs from his pop group Bean. In 1992, Bean put out a couple of 7″s, including a split that had two songs by Bean and two by a then-unknown artist named Beck. Beck was a friend of the band and Steve would often ask Beck who would open for them, playing his acoustic guitar (Beck’s song “Satan Gave Me a Taco” was an homage to “Satan, Lend Me a Dollar”.)
The official first show of The Abe Lincoln Story was Feb. 4 1994, and the early lineup of the band featured, accordian, trumpet, and upright bass.
After the Onyx, The ALS burst onto the club scene, playing shows with Beck, Weezer, and The Presidents of the USA, amongst other noteworthy acts. When Steve’s friend Jack Black asked to help him get a gig with his new band Tenacious D, Steve offered The D the opening spot at their weekly residency at Al’s Bar. (David Cross was at that very first show and, well, you know the rest…)
Inconic LA club Spaceland invited The ALS to play the club’s very first Monday night residency, along with All You Can Eat Spaghetti for $3.99.
“We live in a nation of refrigeration”
The Dance Party CD
In 1996, they released their first album, entitled Dance Party on Flipside records. It contained some of their more popular early tunes like Get High and Go to Work and Mathematics. The song selection was very eclectic – it covered everything from Latin-infused grooves to arena rock.
The Abe Lincoln Story at Spaceland, 2004
The album was in heavy rotation on WFMU New York, and the band prospered. They released a video for Rock! Scissors! Paper! and performed dates around the West Coast.
In 1999 Steve put The ALS on “double secret probation” and moved to New York for a change of pace. There he began focusing on comedy writing and studying at Upright Citizens Brigade with such future luminaries as Andy Milonakis, Jonathan Chase, and Eric Appel.
In 2004, Steve moved back to Los Angeles and decided to take The Abe Lincoln Story out of retirement and began writing new songs at a furious pace.
In 2007, The Abe Lincoln Story released Kings of the Soul Punk Swing with 12 tracks, including a cover of Frank Sinatra’s L.A. Is My Lady as well as original tunes like I Don’t Need a Bag! It was also around this time that Living Rock Legend Kristian R. Hoffman joined the band on the keyboards. (He appears in the Bag video but not on the record.) The band had several long-term residencies at Mr. T’s Bowl, a now-defunct bowling alley/club in Highland Park.
Photo of Abe Lincoln Story live opening for Cake in Ventura, CA
In 2011, Steve reformatted the band once again and began a monthly residency at Taix Restaurant in Echo Park. The Millionaire from Combustible Edison took over on guitar, Charlie Woodburn on the drums, Pat Hoed on bass and he was very happy.
In July 2012, they released their third album entitled “What Time Is It?! It’s ‘Story Time!” on their own label.
Steve immortalized in cartoon form for Festival Supreme in 2013.
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