happy hunting were formed in late 1984 in DeKalb IL. happy hunting were Dekalb's answer to Johnny Thunder's Heartbreakers, sans the junk. A drunken collection of Stonesy pop swagger, comparable to a cross between Kiss and The Velvet Underground or Alice Cooper and Hank Williams Sr.
Originally there was Matt Parker (Guitar, Vocals), Tim Fowler (Guitar, Vocals) and Dave Fishman (Drums). At the time, Fishman and Fowler were also playing in the DeKalb band Blatant Dissent. Parker had most recently played bass, keyboards and guitar with Barrington, IL's The Reverbs (including two opening slots for The Clash in Des Moines and Davenport), backing up Reverbs mainstays Ric Menck and John Brabek. For a short time Tom Clark (later of Blatant Dissent) joined on bass - at this point the band was known as "The Banana Convention" and played their first show on January 20, 1985 at Northern Illinois University's Duke Ellington Ballroom for an anti-inaugural ball mourning the second term of Reagan. happy hunting played as a three piece for the next year until they added Frank Mundo to the lineup on bass. This lasted until the Spring of 1988 when happy hunting broke up for the first time. Fowler, Parker and Mundo went on to form The Deconstructives with drummer Tom Ellett. In this band Parker played bass and Mundo played guitar. When Mundo left the band in 1989 the band reverted to the happy hunting moniker. This line up lasted until 1990 after Parker and Fowler had moved to Chicago with Ellett the only remaining DeKalb resident. The band replaced Ellett with Tom Rose (ex-Blue Green God) on bass and Sport (ex The Francos) on drums, with Parker moving back to guitar. This lineup lasted until 1992.
At this point Parker began playing with Baby Nonstop (with Sport and other ex-Francos Mark Royko and Byronne Hepkema), while Fowler joined Lava Sutra and later The Chamber Strings. Later, Parker joined Chicago power-pop legends the Hushdrops and released a solo album (Private Jet) in 1998 featuring guest appearances by Fowler and members of the Hushdrops, as well as ex- Blue Green God drummer Don Yanek.
happy hunting regrouped in 2001 when Fowler and Parker found themselves living in the same bulding with a vacant unused basement. The album Butterfat Town, was produced at this time, featuring Sport on drums and released in 2002. 2004 saw the release of the New Wave/Classic Rock tinged According to St. Bernardus, then the 2006 release of de Opstapper followed by 2008's Joe! (A Rock and Roll Soap Opera). All recordings are available as free downloads at happyhunting.org. happy hunting played their first live show in 15 years at Silvies in Chicago in August of 2007 with Don Yanek on drums, with a redux at 2009's DeKalb Rocks! reunion in both Chicago and DeKalb.
Both Tom Rose (Bass) and Tom Ellett (Drums) have rejoined happy hunting.