Friday, December 5, 2008
If you read the comments on the Scorgies site, you'll notice that "thegirlontheleft" remarked that a support group was needed for us Scorgies packrats. I guess that I must be the president of the Rochester chapter by now as I think about the vast amount of material I've processed (and now have to return). I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one who's been hanging on to old band fliers and yellowed Freetime clippings for the past thirty years.
As of today, there are over 117 posts up on the site covering a broad mix of topics, ranging from the early days of New Math (who morphed into the Jet Black Berries) to "German Sue" shout-outs. This website has become, for many visitors, a welcome reminder of the good times and creative energy that flowed through Scorgies. However, judging by the material I've processed so far, I have come to the sad realization that surface has barely been scratched. There are so many stories that still need to be told. With that said, here is a partial list of bands we need to hear more about (and this list is by no means meant to be complete; let me know who I've left out);
Delroy Rebop, Slighly Psychedelic, Uncle Sam, Rick Baker and the Commercials, The Royals, Oedipus Scream, Nehru Zombie, The Quatloos, The Projectiles, Miche and the Anglos, Paper Train, Woody Dodge, Blue Hand, Blue Hand, Passion B, The Hot Heads, Colorblind James Experience, Wilderness Family, 2nd Division, M Squad, Mission Emission, The Untouchables (Enerjets), Indirect Object (Detours, Essentials, Salamanders, Rosy Beats, High Risers), The Squire of the Subterrain, 2nd Division, the Diljoys, Down With People, The Rumbles, The B.B.B.'s, The Abecedarians, The Hidden Charms, The Swing Set, The Antoinettes, The Raunchettes, The Tearjerkers, Absolute Grey, Five Star Buffalo, Big and Pretty, Family Love Probe, Stripminers, The Bowery Boys (Fugitives, Earthlings), The Tinglers, Sonny Boy Willis (aka Syd the Kyd), Health and Beauty (aka Metzger, Landers and Seaman), The Resisters, The Lifters, Backseat Sally, The Majestics, Bahama Mama, John Mooney, The Chesterfield Kings, Passion B, Blue Hand, The Bulus, Five Star Buffalo, The Bootlickers, The Delta Rays, The Party Dogs, The Deserters, Miche and the Anglos, Cappy and the Frenchmen, Indirect Object, Transistor Sister, The Young Idea, The Infants, Koo Koo Boy, ZeZoZose, The Pants, Ernie O and the Donut Holes, Frantic Frank and the Flattops, The Fadeaways, Cranium Torque, The Flesh Marbles, The Shower Scene, Vignt Doits
Some of these bands played at Scorgies during the first wave, others came after Yuk-Yuk's but they all played.
Plus, we need to hear more about the following Scorgies gigs: Fear, B-Girls, Nikki and the Corvettes, the Replacements, Db's, Dream Syndicate, Beat Rodeo, Alex Chilton, True West, Long Ryders, Rain Parade, Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns, the Bangles, the Lyres, Hoodoo Gurus, the Neats, Love Tractor and the Dogmatics. Some very transcendant shows in that bunch.
So stay tuned, plugged in, revved up and psyched.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I don't really have an a image that conveys how I feel right now, but the cover of "Thinking of Little Willie John and a few Nice Things" will have to suffice. Little Willie John was an R&B sensation in the late 40's and early fifties; he signed to King records and had a string of hits for the label, most notably "Fever." The Tempo Project (which Gordy was a founding member of) will be focused in the coming months on recording songs Gordy brought to the band, and we'll try to incorporate music he wrote for other projects (like the Coffee Achievers).
Read more about Little Willie John here:
In other news:
Kevin Casey, a drummer who played with Gordy in Art Monk's Farm, is hosting the GordyStock Jam this Saturday (9/20) in Brockport. More than a few Badenovs and other friends of Gordon will be there.
Contact me via the Badenovs MySpace page for further information.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Gordy and Marty rehearsing for "Night of the Flaming Badenovs"
Adam (rear), Linda Pitmon & Gordy
When I learned of Gordon's passing from Adam, it hit me hard. While not an alumnus of Scorgies per se, Gordon Luzius was a member of the Coffee Achievers, the Ken Hardly Playboys and a host of other bands over the years, most recently the Badenovs. Over the past few months I've been had the pleasure of writing songs with Gordon, Adam, Brandon and Marty in a collaborative effort we've been calling the "Tempo Project" for lack of a better name.
Gordon was a vital member of Badenovs, a kindred spirit and a good friend. I'll miss our lively discussions and his unique contributions to our music. Gordy loved swapping stories between making loud noises on whatever instrument he chose to play. If it made a sound, Gordon could make music out of it. Period. End of discussion. He was as gifted on the guitar as he was on saxophone, clarinet and penny whistle.
While some cynics feel Forty-Somethings and Fifty-Somethings should not be making Rock and Roll Music (Rosa Maria Ingrassia recommends staying at home and reading a good book as an alternative), I've always felt that too many people have pent-up ya-ya's that need to be released. Gordon got the Ya-Yas out.
Chas Lockwood reminded me today that one of our songs had its origin in Brockport. The song was originally written for Family Love Probe; the Badenovs revived it, added it to our first CD "Step On It Big Boy" and it has been a staple of our live set ever since. It's one that Gordy played with us many times over the past few years.
The lyrics have a new meaning now, and I'll always think of Gordy every time I hear the song:
"We once talked about different sorts of things;
We once talked about the troubles that life brings
now I know about about the time it takes to tell
Now I know the difference all to well
Well you told me a story
And I, I believed every word
...and I said oh no"
Note: special thanks to blog contributor Russ Lunn for the Video below, shot at the
"Night of Flaming Badenovs" show at the German House:
At the request of family members, I have removed the comment I cross posted from Adam's blog. Please accept my apologies.
One new feature for Linkedin.com's groups is group discussion. I posed the question "What is your favorite Scorgies memory?" and so I am cross-posting the replies here:
"Having a happy puff in the DJ booth with Luke Warm! Also the Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers show!" Brian Goodman (Cousin Al and the Relatives, Projectiles)
"I have hundreds of great Scorgies memories, but once I was downstairs standing on the dance floor with a bunch of friends, and this unknown girl walked up to us and fell flat on her face right in the middle of our group. She slowly crawled to her knees, finally got up and said, "Anyone got any acid?" My friend Bill Heywood patted his pant's pockets and said "Fresh out." Lee Chabowski (Resistors)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
"Scram: Let's get the basics out of the way first. How did the four of you get together?
Beth Brown: We were from Pittsford, one of the nicer, more sheltered suburbs of Rochester. I had been in a new wave band right out of high school in 1979 called Hit & Run. We did originals and some covers: Blondie, Patti Smith, the Cars, Tom Petty and Talking Heads. We did some recording, and one of our songs was chosen to be on a Homegrown record. Homegrown was a radio show on rock station WCMF in Rochester, which interviewed and promoted local bands. We played a record release party and were introduced to all the "cool" musicians from the city. Nobody knew who we were, but when we played all eyes were on us and we got a really good reception. Hit & Run only lasted a year. Some of the guys went off to college.
A few years later, I was living at my parents' house when I met Matt and Mitch. I came home one night from working at the record store, and my younger brother was playing Dungeons and Dragons with a bunch of guys. Matt and Mitch were among them and I thought they were really cool right off the bat. They were in a band called the Cads (what a great name) with Matt's older brother, Will. They were doing their own material and although they weren't that great, there was something so artistic and intriguing about them. They knew I had been a singer in a band, and we decided to start playing together. They were seven years younger than me, but I didn't care in the least. We tried out a few drummers and that's when we found Pat.
Pat Thomas: Matt, Mitch and Beth had already been doing a bit of rehearsing when I met them. They had one original song. I saw an ad that Beth had put up in the record store where she worked. At the very least I thought I'd check out what Beth was all about, as I'd noticed her strutting through the record store.
Mitch Rasor: We made these stupid arty posters and put them around the city. They showed a frog playing lily pads and we said we were looking for a lily pad player. Some of the lily pad players we auditioned before Pat were truly bad. Pat came in with these tight mod striped London pants and a very 1970s porn star mustache. It was love at first sight.
Pat: My memory of that first rehearsal was that Beth was high-strung and intense, Matt was kinda shy yet friendly at the same time and Mitch had a certain charming confidence. For whatever reason I was into making music with these three people, even though they had no real songs yet.
Scram: I didn't know until reading the Greenhouse liner notes that Matt and Mitch were so young. What was it like being in a professional band at that age? What did your parents/classmates think of the project?
Mitch: My parents were completely supportive. We practiced in their basement; they came to many shows. My mother and I had a ritual of going out to lunch downtown and buying a new set of Rotosound bass strings the day before every gig. The band was the antithesis of the conformity, geographic isolation and intellectual frostbite of high school. Because of the band, most my friends were older, more educated and better medicated. People in school were not aware of the band; it was a different world based in the city compared to the suburbs. Ironically, after the freedom of the band, the travel, attention and camaraderie, I found my first year at Oberlin to be restrictive and confining, even though it was a place of incredible musical experimentation, politics and intense friendships.
Scram: Pat,where are you from originally, and when did you hit town? What was your musical background prior to the move? Did you have designs on forming a band in Rochester?
Pat: Like Beth, I was a few years older than Matt and Mitch. I grew up in Corning, NY, and moved to Rochester in June 1982 to work at Kodak. Before Absolute Grey, I was in many garage and cover bands. I'd also written and recorded some of my own songs, which had a strong Lou Reed/Bob Dylan vibe. When I first moved to Rochester, I was actually searching for a prog-rock band to join. I wanted something more along the lines of early King Crimson and Brian Eno. My taste has always been all over the map, but just before I hooked up with Absolute Grey, I'd gotten a bit tired of prog and really started getting into the Dream Syndicate as they reminded me of my big faves, the Velvet Underground.
Scram: Please describe the Rochester music scene of the time. It sounds like a friendly, close-knit scene. Did touring bands make it through town often? Did you have a supportive radio station or club scene? A good record store?
Mitch: I look back on the scene with some nostalgia because in hindsight, Absolute Grey was very hip in one area code. The scene was a close group of bands, friends and weirdoes brought together by the music. Rochester did not have real artistic depth, but it was an important stop on the national tour circuit between Cleveland/Chicago and New York.
Pat: There was a great record store, the Record Archive, where Beth worked. They stocked a lot of indie-rock, etc. (Now the store is kinda lame.) There were two great college radio stations, WITR and WRUR. A club called Scorgies, where we often played, had tons of great touring bands--Dream Syndicate, Long Ryders, Rain Parade, dBs, the Neats, Love Tractor, Let's Active, Lyres, the Three O'clock, Game Theory, Alex Chilton, True West. We often opened up for these bands and/or hung out with them. Most of the local bands were cool to hang with; we had a special relationship with Invisible Party. They made one hard-to-find seven-inch single, but later split into two separate bands called Lotus STP and the Ferrets."
The rest of the article can be read here: http://www.scrammagazine.com/absolutegrey