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Mark Pender: The Basic Cable Band Bio

Hey party people! Meet Mark Pender! He's our lovely trumpeteer and more. We put him in front of a bunch of kittens, just for fun. We asked Mark to fill out our little questionnaire and this is what he had to say...

  • Real Name: Mark Pender
  • Nickname: The Love Man
  • Hometown: Grandview, Missouri
  • Instruments Played in the BCB: Trumpet, Harmonica, Guitar & Vocals
  • How You Started Working With Conan: We auditioned as a band; I knew everyone for a really long time. Jimmy, Jerry and Scotty from North Jersey. Wormy and Mike from hangin’ at Manny's Car Wash and forget LaBamba -- we've been playing together since we were in our early 20's.
  • Favorite Instrument You Don't Play: Guitar. Oh wait -- I do play that but not like a real guitar player.
  • Favorite Band: These favorites change all the time; I love so many people. But I'll say Jimi Hendrix Experience.
  • Favorite Album: Something Else, Cannonball Adderley
  • Favorite Song Of All Time: "Summer Soft" - Stevie Wonder
  • Favorite Song Of The Week: "Is this Love" by Cake
  • First Band You Were Ever In: Mass Transit, a funk band in Kansas City
  • First Concert You Ever Attended: Love Song with Phil Keaggy, electrifying Christian rock. I think I was 15 years old.
  • Favorite City To Play In: New York
  • Favorite Venue To Play In: The old Ritz -- now called Webster Hall
  • Coolest Rock N' Roll Anecdote: I'm touring with Diana Ross, OK not really rock and roll, but we're in Brussels, first time I'd ever been to Europe and we were there for 6 weeks straight. We were playing this theater and the audience couldn't have been more white. In the middle of the show, a black dude bounds for the stage, scales the 5 foot high stage and runs up to Diana. It was Marvin Gaye. I was a huge fan and completely freaked. After the show he comes backstage and is as cool and friendly as can be and he fires up a joint. Now no one had ever done that backstage at one of her shows and it seemed like it might have been grounds to get fired. Marvin fires up and tries to pass it and guys in the band are a little flipped out, everyone refusing. Finally I take it because I figure how often will you have the chance to smoke a joint with Marvin Gaye? So then I got fired and was sent home. No, actually it was cool and nobody said anything, It was Marvin Gaye after all.
  • Craziest Tour Story: Wow. I'm having trouble pinpointing just one so I have to compile a collective.
    1. In the early years, our bandleader Charles Earland waking us up in the middle of the night to get on the bus and walk out on a 10-day hotel bill. Complete with no noise, rolling the bus out of the parking lot with the lights out and taking off.
    2. Another time when the heat on the bus wasn't working and everyone stealing blankets from the hotel and the hotel manager walking out and saying the police were on their way if we didn't put them back.
    3. With Southside Johnny, LaBamba and I in the band having an all-night party at the Iwo Jima hotel near DC and us taking one of our crew guy’s beds with him in it and putting it in a parking space. Awoke next morning to hotel throwing the lot of us out.
    4. Diana Ross teaching everyone how to drink Schnapps, LaBamba and producer Jeff Ross on that tour. Damn she was crazy!
    5. In Europe telling the front desk the noise blaring from our room was probably from those Buddhist guys… didn't know it was the Dalai Lama.
    6. LaBamba and me throwing leftover ribs out of the tour bus into a pig truck at 60 mph on the Conan tour. Double pork!!!
  • Coolest Fan You've Ever Met: God that's hard. There's so many cool fans we met on the road last year and at the shows over the years. After that little problem last year I was feeling pretty down and fans at the shows on tour picked me up and dragged me to a much better place, all the way here to TBS. For years I'll be surprised while I'm out running errands and someone will stop and say, “Love you on the show” and I'm flying high for hours after that. Our fans are the best!!!!
  • Favorite Movie: I think it's a tie between "Blazing Saddles" and "The Godfather"
  • Favorite TV Show (Besides CONAN): For now it's "Shameless"
  • Favorite Food: BBQ anything
  • Drink Of Choice: Water (Yeah I'm boring as hell now!!!!)
  • Favorite Comedian: Come on!!!! COCO
  • Favorite Holiday: I love the fourth of July. It's warm, everybody's hangin and usually there's BBQ to be had. Of course there's also the fireworks, the great displays all over the country. When I was a kid we used to sell fireworks for the VFW with my dad and then we'd get tons of fireworks for free and spent hours and hours blowing stuff up. Gotta love it.
  • Favorite Sports Team: Kansas City Chiefs
  • Favorite Pair Of Shoes: My black Rockport boots, half cowboy half beatle boot with a zipper
  • Favorite Item Of Clothing: My black corduroy snap button shirt. I really should retire it.
  • Favorite Smell: Grass, plants and flowers the day after a rain when the sun is back out.
  • Lucky Charm: My trumpet, Josephine
  • Pets: Kiwi my pet Cairn Terrier
  • Scariest Movie You've Ever Seen: "The Omen" -- the first one. Had nightmares for weeks.
  • Best Halloween Costume Ever: Just after high school I did a suffocation victim with a clear plastic bag over my head and all the bleeding and discoloration.
  • Other Secret Talents: Disco dancing (not good) and growing kidney stones.
  • Best Conan Story: Last week we were all lined up for the show warm-up and from about 20 yards away Conan screams "Hey Andy", then hurls some kind of piece of trash or something towards him and accidentally hits Andy's assistant Jessica. Everybody's screaming at him, me included. A minute passes and Conan looks like he's not paying attention and Andy throws it back at him blindsiding him. Conan flops around crazily like a fish just pulled out of water, lands hard on the ground and lays there completely motionless for 3 or 4 minutes. Man he is totally dedicated to being crazy. I think I love him.