Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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November 4, 2013

Back in the Spots

Local bassist returns to area stages and first love

By MEL RHODES

Sometimes you come full circle – get the chance to return to your first love. That's basically what local bass guitarist Frank Dison did. After decades out of the music scene he's back to thumping out bass runs on area stages. And people are noticing. He just placed second in the bassist category of the East Texas Music Awards.

I know this because I bumped into Frank at the recent Crazy Water Festival. I spied him in animated conversation with someone in the sound stage area. I recognized him because I went to school with Frank... a hundred years or so ago.

In 1966, Frank the kid came to town with a military family. Fort Wolters was a beehive of activity in those days of the Vietnam War.

At age 14 he started doodling around on the bass and playing in local garage bands. This was a time of bellbottoms and paisley print shirts, of black lights and long hair – if you could get away with it – and a time of classic rock-n-roll. Through the late '60s and early '70s Frank played local venues (The Bag ring any bells?) with bands such as the Mystic Bank, Wicked Truth, Odessa and Blackhorse.

"These were really silly names back in those days," he said.

Frank said another local band and guitarist – The Visions and Gary James – were strong influences. The Visions cast pretty long shadows around here in the 1960s.

But for Frank, one day the music just stopped.

"I got out of the music business years ago (1980s) and got into the remodeling business around here," Frank said. "I did that until '08 when my back gave out big time."

Disabled, and unable to continue his construction work, Frank gravitated back to his roots – back to music.

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