Craig O'Manion is an unwilling poet who happened to come along in an age of electric guitars and his introverted career and deep lyrics that often weave themselves around in circles have always kept him at odds with popular notions about how a rock musician should sound, act and live.
His 400+ songs have spanned several years playing as a solo artist and in The Beavers and before that Frictional Mission.
Craig O'Manion sang lead, played guitar and wrote for Georgia bands The Beavers and Frictional Mission.
This site is an overview of both The Beavers, Frictional Mission and some of his solo recordings.
Craig O'Manion is from Sylvan Hills, a rough and tumble neighborhood in Southwest Atlanta Georgia. He grew up playing in neighborhood bands with long-time drummer Bobby Carroll.
O'Manion and Carroll played together in the 90's first in Frictional Mission with bassist Ed Moody and later in The Beavers with bassist Loren Haefer. The tracks available here include these musicians.
Fame, as such, always seemed to allude both of these bands, not uncommon, but they continued to play live in Georgia through much of the 90's when they could.
At this point the story of Frictional Mission and The Beavers could pretty much trail off into the same obscurity they occupy in the 'music business', but as is often the case life is more interesting than just a few lines about how some guys were in a band.
Circulating about the group was an almost constant onslaught of every kind of bizarre event and cosmic resistance over the many years that O'Manion and Carroll played together. Again, this isn't uncommon for a rock band. But in this case the tension and energy of certain moments in the music kept everything spinning for much longer than most bands could endure.
In the early 90's Frictional Mission decided to promote themselves in a tiny pacific seaport, Prince Rupert B.C., a town they would never actually visit. For almost two years they kept themselves 'electronically' at the edges of the tiny culture there one way or another. In a way it was a microcosm of how you promote a band - the only thing missing was the band itself. Prince Rupert had a small circle of media that played right along. First, an article about the band in Georgia claiming to have a 'geographical obsession' with the city and their 'belief' that there was an invisible line from near O'Manion's house stretching across the continent to the 'city of rainbows'.
A local kayaker was attending a water conference in Georgia when he came to stay with the band for a couple of days on behalf of the Prince Rupert newspaper. When he returned he wrote a three page story about his visit with this 'odd group' from Georgia.
Frictional Mission appeared many times on CBC British Columbia network radio discussing their 'obsession with Prince Rupert'. On April fools day in 1996 they claimed that they had been chosen by the Olympic Committee in Atlanta to snatch Eagles from Northern B.C. to release at the Summer Games. The switchboards lit up with protests from Canadian animal lovers and the next day two B.C. newspapers carried the story in hopes of calming environmental fears. They also appeared on big screen several times, once to raise money for a dog shelter at a concert in Prince Rupert and another time to 'run for mayor' in a politally satyrical play entitled "So, you want to be Mayor [of Prince Rupert]". They also ran spots on the local television station promoting the station telling viewers that among the many things they COULD do in Georgia, they still COULD NOT watch Skeena Cable Ten - the local channel.
Footage was also shot for a short film entitled 'Line to the Rainbow' although the production was never finished. Prior to digital video editing devoting the time to it was prohibitive. Some very badly edited bits of this were passed around in Prince Rupert at one time.
The Beavers continued in much the same musical direction as Frictional Mission although bassist Loren Haefer brought both his Trombone to the sound as well as back-up vocals, which Bobby Carroll also started doing with The Beavers.
Rainbow Boulevard was the last effort by The Beavers and some of this material is or will be on this site.
In January 2002 O'Manion abruptly left The Beavers.
Haefer and Carroll played in two more Atlanta bands together in the next two years after that.
Craig O'Manion is still in the mountain area of Northern Georgia where he spends his time in what he calls a 'small zen practice'.
When he does write songs, and even less likely, record them as in the case of 'Firey Lake' which is available on this page, it's the same trance driven writing style of existential explosion and collapse that it ever was. If you can't take three of his verses and form a new religion or philosophy, he probably didn't write it.
Like many musicians he has had concurrent careers as a radio broadcaster and television director. In the 90's he directed Hispanic info-mercials and more recently odd instructional titles like "30 ways to Feng Shui Your Home". He dislikes acting and only appears one place in a film, the Orion release "The Heavenly Kid" where he plays a civil war soldier on a train to hell for about ten seconds. More recently he has been a writer on a number of esoteric and highly philosophical themes.
In addition to the recent song Firey Lake, O'Manion other recent solo recordings are towards the top of the music download page on this site.
He has classified his own music as the 'world's most distored folk songs'.