I know, this topic is brought up a lot, but never seems to go anywhere. What about the early members of the band from 1983-1985?
First thing's first Dexter and Greg were the core of the band, playing together since 1983. How I understand it, this wasn't really a band, just two buddies jamming together. It was in 1984 that the actual band was started when they got other members, and this period is easily the most unclear.
What we do know is Doug Thompson was the first singer, James Lilja was the first drummer (confirmed by Dexter), and Greg was [obviously] on bass. There's conflicting sources as to whether Dexter was on drums (before Lilja) or guitar during this first formation (it's unknown when he switched).
That brings us to the guitarist; Marcus Parrish. Sadly, his role has been mainly lost over time (not even being featured on the Wikipedia page). But he has remained active as a musician since his departure from the band, and a previous forum member has inquired about his role in the band (and whether he was featured on "Hopeless"), to which he replied:
This is back in 2006, and the story is that him and Ron went to high school together. So I'd go as far as to assume that he was the first guitarist in '84, and his departure lead Dexter to pick up the role. That's just speculation, though.No. I left before any recording was completed. There is a rough live jam of a song called "Private World" out there somewhere on cassette but who knows where that went. I do still keep in touch with Ron. He and Chris Higgins are the only current/former band memeber I know. Peace.
Next, we have Jim Benton. I'm gonna be honest, I know absolutely nothing about him or his role in the band (except he was allegedly friends with Doug). The common word is that he was a drummer, but there's also those who claim he was a guitarist as well. It's believed that Lilja preceded Ron Welty, so Wikipiedia tried to fill the void by saying Benton played in between periods when Lilja wasn't in the band. Some even say he was the first drummer, which doesn't seem likely.
Not sure exactly when Noodles showed up in 1985, not like it matters, but it would be nice to know if he (or Dexter) played on "Hopeless." After his arrival in '85, the band became pretty solid as a four-piece band.
The only members accounted for today are Lilja, a successful gynecologist, and Parrish, still a guitarist. Thompson has sadly passed away around the time of Splinter.