Cesares Dog

Bryan Kohl at the Kiss Gig, November 1990Cesare’s Dog (1989-1991) was a memorable rock ensemble from Beloit Wisconsin.  Founded in 1989 by John Galuska (electric oboe, vocals), Eric Johnson (guitar) and Jonathan Levitt (vocals), the trio quickly recruited Bryan Kohl (lead drums) and Jeff Pedderson (bass); forming the classic Ceseare’s Dog line-up.  The group quickly offended, annoyed and generally disgusted the Beloit College campus with a series of trashy, loud gigs and public rehearsals during 1989-1990.

The band’s sound is fairly enigmatic.  If you think – heavy proto-punk guitar riffs with an electric oboe and singer that fancied himself part Morrissey, part Ian Astbury, part Lemmy – you might come up with something comparable.

The quintet recorded their self-titled debut in May 1990, which contain the bulk of the Cesare’s Dog classics like, “Take The Bullshit,” “Marijuana Sunset,” and “Crystal Structure.” The album also featured a softer, more progressive side of the band with “Wish,” and “Hash Pipe.”

The band reformed in the fall of 1990, moving Eric Johnson to bass guitar and moving in Scott Felton taking on electric six-string duties.  For a while, the band was met with more receptive audiences but again, with their ‘in yer face’ attitude and tendency for make-up and lighting instruments on fire, the band often faced unruly and unappreciative crowds.

In December 1990, the band recorded the follow up to the previous years self-titled debut with “La Raza,” a dark, intense look into singer Jonathan Levitt’s psyche.  Highlights here are two atmospheric pieces “I-25” and “In A Manner Of Sorts,” and the Motorhead inspired rocker, “Southwestern Journey.” In the spring 1991, Eric Johnson left the band and was replaced with former bassist Jeff Pedderson.

The band continued to play gigs sometimes with Levitt, sometimes with alternate vocalist Randy Fowler.  Eric Johnson rejoined the group in May of 1991 for a special outdoor ‘farewell’ gig.  Pedderson and Kohl went on to play with girl-power punk band Pussy at Beloit.   Galuska went onto conceive the concept album “Incidents of Travel in Central America,” and contributed to the Bill Enich “Guru of Love” project.  In 1995, Kohl moved to Madison Wisconsin where he would met up again with former Cesare’s Dog guitarist Eric Johnson and go on to later form  Sun Zoom Spark. (November 2010)

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