The year was 1988.

The loud Jeff Mason met Steve Rogasis, a quiet boy, in Spanish Class. They soon realised each others talents, and started to jam. Steve introduced Big Head into the mix on bass, and the Trio started to jam collectively with a few people before forming the band Shrapnel.

Meanwhile, at the same time fellow Clansmen (Clan with a C, so as not to be confused with the guys in white), Dean Orman and Rich Holst were jamming with each other. They became comfortable, and sought out a drummer.

Melissa Crawford knew Dean and Rich, and was the cousin of Jeff, so she approached Jeff and told him about Dean and Rich. Thus later earning her the nickname of "The Cousin Of Pain".

Jeff now had to make a choice, he was friends with Steve and Big, but music is cut-throat and Big was a weak link. After a bit of pondering Jeff decided to give Dean and Rich a try, and set up the jam, but on the contingent that Steve had to be included as well.

Dean and Rich agreed and in December of 1988 the first jam took place. The collective unit was pleased musically, and personally, and the GOP was born.

The band learned many cover tunes in the speed metal / metal genres and quickly wrote three origionals.

About six months later The GOP played their first show at Behind The Scenes. A second show there was soon behind, then about three more at a place called The Fastlanes in Asbury Park.

With several shows under their belt, in a short amount of time, fun was being had, but it was hard learning new material. Being in High School jamming was a Friday night thing, and the songs had to always be right on for the shows. The band took a break from giging and started writing.

The GOP then played Faces in Keansburg, and several School functions, as well as a graduation party. At this point the cover to origionals ratio was about half and half.

Then in the summer of 1990, Rich decided to leave the band. He wanted a more mellow type music, and parted on good terms. He actually found his own replacement, The Stein. The GOP tried the Stein out, and everyone was pleased.

The Stein learned fast and The GOP soon played a Frat Party at Richs Frat, as well as a Battle Of The Bands. The GOP received descrimination at The Battle and in a contest "judged by applause", the GOP had the loudest applause, and the applauders were told "enough already" by the people running the show. The title of winner was handed to a band that had formed "nine days earlier" of local "popular" musicians.

The Set list was basically all origionals now, and covers were only played for fun, not necessity. A demo tape was recorded of four of the origionals, and The GOP played a Jersey City gig at Pearl Studios, then two shows at Club Bene, and a show at the Cafe Bar.

Another Battle of The Bands came around at the same place, and The GOP was goin in for revenge. Using the GOP initials but not name, The Grand Old Party entered The Battle just for shits and giggles. Unfortunately the play off on the GOP name didn't surprise everyone as planned because a worker on The Battle recognised Jeff's name as the contact for the band. The girl knew Jeff from School and Church Youth Group, and called him up in typical Stalker Fashion, saying "I know who you are" all creepily. She then changed the bands name on the information sheet so they knew we were comming.

The band was awesome at this point and continued to get better every week, but then in 1993, Dean moved to California to be with family who had moved there earlier. Although practicing weekly, The GOP hadn't gigged in awile. They tried to get a final gig, but didn't get one booked on time. Club Bene was giving the run around because the last show there had been a disaster. (A confusion on who was driving who resulted in a band member not getting to the show, then Dean broke a string and had no replacement. Vocals, bass guitar and drums doesn't sound that good with no guitars. Frustrated, the band packed up and left after a two or three song set. )

This marks the end of the Gladiators Of Pain journey. 1988 - 1993. A short time, but a fun one, in which a band grew fast and hard, and made a small name for themselves.

About two weeks after Dean left, Bene did call to book. I think The Stein hung up on them.

A few years later a reunion took place. Steve had to work so instead of half ass jamming the old tunes with one guitar, four new songs were written. Not in typical GOP meticulious note for note fashion of course, being it was a one day thing. But nonetheless four comical not known about songs were added to the repetoire. And The Stein actually did some back up singing and writing.