Whitey was an American independent rock band based in Chicago, IL. Consisting of founding members Christian Adams (bass, vocals, guitar, keys), Ronnie Kwasman (guitars), and Matthew Tucker (drums), the band was active between 1994–1997.
The trio formed in 1994 and released its only full-length album, How You Do (1995), produced by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Red Red Meat) at the now legendary and mythical Idful Recording Corporation in Wicker Park, Chicago. How You Do was released on Crank Records, an independent cooperative label run by fellow local musicians.
Influenced by classic, post-punk, and alternative rock, Whitey leaned heavily on the power trio aesthetic and dynamic, delivering powerful live sets. On record, the group explored the fringes of other genres but remained firmly rooted in rock. The Whitey moniker was borrowed from the 1979 comedy Caddyshack starring Rodney Dangerfield—”Hey Whitey, where’s your hat?”—further proof that the trio didn’t take themselves too seriously in the ultra-competitive local rock scene.
The 14-song debut album featured guest appearances from Bill Dolan (Five Style, Heroic Doses) on guitar, and David Singer (David Singer & the Sweet Science) on backing vocals. Plagued by distribution issues, the record may have sold upwards of 200 copies upon release.
Whitey performed regularly at the top local clubs in Chicago such as Cabaret Metro, Empty Bottle, Double Door, and many others. Riding on the buzz of How You Do, the band convened to record an EP with Dale Meiners (Wesley Willis Fiasco) at Ghetto Love Recording in late 1996.
Based on a combination of factors including a lack of commitment from several record labels and a general malaise among the Chicago indie rock scene, Whitey quietly went defunct in mid 1997, following a live performance at Poop Studios in Wicker Park.
After a short break, Adams, Kwasman, and Tucker formed Golden Tones.