Is/Ought Gap is a rock band that was a part of the early 80's independent music scene of Athens GA. A scene made world famous by a People Magazine article, a film, R.E.M, the B-52's, Pylon and many other fine artists, musicians, and happy fans. Is/Ought Gap began in approximately late 1981. Its members went on to form well known Athens, GA bands Kilkenny Cats, Time Toy, Club GaGa, and Eat America. Is/Ought Gap did shows in the 80's both headlining and opening for the Circle Jerks, The Bongos, and R.E.M. Later there were several reunion shows where R.E.M did a surprise opening set and R.E.M. members and other Athens band members would perform as special guests. Michael Stipe in an interview with Matter Magazine said they are "the best bar band in America". Look for the CD, Lucky 7, to be released in May 2014.
The founding of Is/Ought Gap began in the Fall of 1980 when Bryan heard some Sex Pistols blaring from a dorm room down the hall at UGA in Athens, GA. Bryan Cook and Tom Cheek met then and formed an instant bond over like minded musical tastes, ideas and trips to the Salvation Army for the cool old clothes. They both also really loved new Athens band R.E.M. went together to shows at Tyrones. One night while talking to Peter and Michael at a Side Effects show Bryan told them they were in a band too, The Derogatories! Well the band didn’t exist but they knew it ought to especially after Michael mentioned on stage one night that the Derogatories were in the house! Some time passed with Tom and Bryan jamming in piano rooms in dorms and plugging in new old instruments through a stereo, and eventually Tom’s friend Haynes Collins came to Athens GA from their mutual hometown Lumberton, NC and they had the makings of a real band. Soon adding a drummer then finally finding the perfect cohort Allen Wagner. They got a practice space in the old Mack and Payne funeral home and friends came over to hear the 10 or so songs they worked up. The 1st show at a house party was announced on the Pylon “party line”. Bryan remembers remembers show #2 at the Coffee Club (Now Athen's veggie restaurant The Grit) like this:
“I remember being so nervous and we set up and then came back to the dorm to change clothes before the show. I thought I could take a quick nap but all of a sudden I was nearly late for our first real show… I rushed around, changed clothes 3 times and finally got there just in time. There weren't that many folks there but we played at the time we said we would and the crowd just kinda made a semi circle in front of us and just kinda starred at us, not dancing or anything, polite applause maybe. i remember Vanessa from Pylon was there.”