"The idea to create Comboland is an example of something good coming from something bad," wrote Metro Magazine.
“The genesis of the idea is the death of David Enloe,” Smith explained during our phone chat. “He was the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of The Fabulous Knobs, along with Terry Anderson, Debra DeMilo and Jack Cornell. David and Terry met, I think, in junior high school. Terry may correct me on this, but I do know they’d been together for a long, long time. I didn’t know them well back in the day. I knew them a little. I did a lot of road case pushing for local bands so I could go see them without paying a cover.
Enloe passed away in November 2007. David Menconi wrote a fine obituary for Enloe, which is available online: www.newsobserver.com/105/story/796627.html. There’s also a great tribute to Enloe on MySpace:
Smith was not aware of Enloe’s illness, however, so when the news of his death reached him, it set him to thinking.
“When I heard about David’s passing, I moped around for a while thinking how horrible it was, and then I went to the storage facility where I keep all my vinyl records and packed up all my Triangle-area bands and brought it home,” he recalled. “I started listening to it, just sort of reminiscing, and it hit me that this stuff was still really good. It was a shame that these bands didn’t make it big-time.
“I decided it was time to start digitizing all this music,” he said. “Once I’d digitized it, then I had to play it around the house a little bit, so I made the play list and stuck it in Winamp and played it through the stereo system. I have a little program that will actually seg the songs, similar to what you have on a radio station. “Well, the songs sounded great, so I thought I’d stick in some newer stuff by Don Dixon. Then I downloaded some newer stuff and started experimenting. All this music sounded really good together, so I decided to make a radio station out of it.”