» “These guys from Washington managed the Jamaican reggae star Eek-A-Mouse, and they became Bad Sneakers’ managers in 1985. But we never did get to meet Eek, and worse, we suddenly had a lot of down time. So of course I became a part-time journalist. Songwriting, journalism – it’s all just telling stories. And some of them are true.

“The truth is, I was burned out on the Bad Sneakers Way: debate everything, vote on everything, compromise everything. Honestly, sometimes we would vote on whether or not to vote on something. At first the creative friction shot off some sparks, but after five years it was just a grind.

“Working as a journalist, I was no longer locked into creating by committee. The illusion of control was stronger. In mid-1985 I quit writing songs for Bad Sneakers – going out on a high note with ‘Love into Logic.’ In early 1986 I quit Bad Sneakers. We were in the middle of making our third album at the time.

“In fact, I quit listening to music and stuck to talk radio for the next six years. I scraped by as a free-lance writer and then became editor of Fine Times, a Wilmington-based arts and entertainment monthly with 100,000 readers. The owners closed it under me and reinstalled me as editor of the statewide weekly Delaware Business Review – my stepping-stone to covering business for the Gannett Co.-owned News Journal in Wilmington and then a stint at USA Today.

“In the ’90s I jumped onto the dot-com Epotec Inc., rode it up and then down over five years as a content and online community manager. Along for the ride: former Bad Sneakers drummer Neal Tillotson, who became vice president of technology.

“I landed as a senior editor in corporate marketing at Bentley Systems Inc. – provider of software for the lifecycle of the world’s infrastructure, spanning architecture, engineering, construction and operations. I went on to work as editor in corporate marketing for Geneva Global Inc., an international philanthropic investment bank. And these days I’m knowledge manager at Regency Beauty Institute, based in Minneapolis, with 46 cosmetology campuses in 15 states. I work from my home in Wilmington, and I often collaborate with Regency’s vice president of technology, a bright guy named Neal Tillotson.

“The smartest thing I’ve ever done was to marry the former Eileen Smith in 1998. Unless it was teaming up with Neal to build this incredible Web site. No, marrying Eileen was smarter. But building the site was pretty cool too.”

Neal remembers Dale

Dale, 1980
Recording demos, 1985
Promo shot, 1985