Since the summer of 2003, the band, The Pirates, has been creating quite a stir in the little town of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Back then, Timmy Probst, John Hostetter, and Bill Games were all seasoned stagemen, each with impressive histories. But it took a little bit of fate to bring this happening ensemble together.
It all began when Timmy was asked to fill in on a Thursday night booking at Peanuts, a funky little club on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach. He invited his newfound friend, John Hostetter, to help him cover the gig. He'd seen John sitting in with other musicians around town and thought that their styles would blend pretty well. They rounded out the trio with drummer, Bill Games, a local chef who had played on the road in myriad R&B and funk bands. He and John had also done a good bit of singing together at Peanuts over the previous year.
So, these three happy Pirates started rocking the boat every Thursday with their infectious blend of originals, country classics, and rock monuments. Their onstage spirit and banter was loose and often hilarious and they started to see a crew of regulars at the bar and on the dance floor. These folks became known as Pirateheads. And curious tourists came in to join them for nights of music and merrymaking.
Timmy was the first to pass away in 2007. John and Bill turned to Gary Buckels to keep the magic alive. He had been in a duo with Timmy long ago and had also served an apprenticeship for a brief spell in the past as a cabin boy with the band. It felt like an organic segue. Not long after that, Justin Innamorato was shanghaied on board to play bass. He'd been snoopin' around the ship for years and finally got caught.
When Billy had to retire due to health concerns, the Pirates commandeered John Rogers in the very next port to take over on drums and promptly set off for parts unknown with the rising tide and a fresh song in their hearts.
In 2016 fate reared it's ugly head and snatched John Hostetter away to ports unknown. Soon after, Bill Games also took that last trip. It is believed that they have both reunited with Timmy to form a heavenly new trio.
In 2017, Justin gave up his bucaneer ways, and Wayne Bishop signed on to keep those bass notes thumpin'.
Gary, Wayne and John continue playing all the great Pirate songs when they sail back into New Smyrna Beach on most Thursday nights to perform their magic on stage at Peanuts.
They like to say their sound is "real old rock and roll played by real old rock and rollers". And if you're ever lucky enough to get to New Smyrna Beach and hear the boys you'll definitely catch the spirit and want to become the newest Piratehead on the beach.