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There are few performers who leave me gob smacked and slack-jawed in a  really fan-boy way. I can usually maintain an intelligent conversation with a singer/songwriter that I admire, but there are some that just leave me babbling like a fool, I’m such a fan. Alex Chilton was one of those performers.

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Targets with Patti Schmitz

Targets with Patti Schmitz

Patti was the second vocalist for the Targets, a band started by former New Math bassist Robert Slide and guitarist Sue Metro. The Targets reunited at the Scorgies Reunion in 2008 and played a few songs as an adjunct to the New Math set. Patti had been battling cancer for a number of years and had been in and out of hospice for a few months in 2013.  Obituary from the Nov. 21 Democrat & Chronicle:

Patti (Schmitz) Pelitera

Henrietta: Nov. 16, 2013, age 52. Predeceased by parents & brother. Survived by husband, Chris; step-father, Irv; children, Jennifer (Charles), Catherine, Caleb, Justice & Noah; former husband, Randy; grandchildren; 8 siblings; many nieces & nephews. Trish will be greatly missed & loved by many.

Calling hours, Friday 3-5 PM at Metropolitan, 109 West Ave. Memorial Service, Saturday 11 AM at New Hope Church, 3355 Union St., N. Chili.

You can sign the guestbook here: http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/democratandchronicle/guestbook.aspx?n=patricia-pelitera&pid=168112480&cid=full#sthash.1Ulj0etX.dpbs

R.I.P. Tony "Mayhem" Gerardi

We’ve lost another Scorgies veteran, Tony Gerardi AKA Tony Mayhem. Tony was a vital part of the Scorgies scene, working his friend Mike Marchese as a roadie with Personal Effects and provided the lighting design and videos for Absolute Grey’s epic “Uptight Exploding Plastic Inevitable” show. A talented photographer, Tony was a mix of many elements and was truly loved by many folks. He will be missed. There will be a non-denominational service at the Paul W. Harris Funeral Home at 7:00 PM, November 8th, followed by a funeral mass on November 9th at St. St. Kateri at Christ the King Church at 9:00 AM. You can read the full obituary here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/democratandchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=anthony-gerardi&pid=167900988 and visit his memorial page here: http://harrisfuneralhome.com/online-obituary/2013-11-anthony-gerardi/10074294

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It’s been almost thirty years since the Rain Parade played Scorgies. That was an incredible night, of course. Absolute Grey was the opener, and Mark Theobald was behind the mixing board. The band at the gig featured Matt Piucci, Steven Roback, John Thoman, Will Glenn & Eddie Kalwa. Years later, Lynne and I seized the opportunity to catch up with Matt, Steven & John at their reunion gig in Atlanta at the Earl on January 19th, 2103.  They were reuniting that night as part of a fund raiser for Bobby Sutliff (of Windbreakers fame) who had been in a horrible car accident in June of 2012.

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The Antoinettes were the reigning girl group during the Scorgies era, playing out numerous times before venturing into the wilds of New York City to seek fame & fortune.  The band was fronted by keyboardist Meegan Voss, whose Syracuse band the Poptarts made some noise  in the CNY music scene. Meegan moved to Rochester with Margie Shears to start the Antoinettes and they were soon joined by Eastman School of Music  student Kim Milai on drums  and Poptarts veteran Cathy Kensington (aka Cathy VanPatten)  on guitar.

Scorgies era Antoinettes

Photo posted on Magpie Waltz

Scorgies era Antoinettes, left to right: Margie, Meegan, Kim & Cathy

So, where are they now? Megan continues to make music with her husband Steve Jordan as the Verbs; Kim teaches at an elementary school and has a side career doing children’s music. Cathy Kensington works as an editor and lives in the Chicago area.  Margie Shears, according to Cathy’s blog, lives in the Westchester NY area and works as a graphic designer.

According to Cathy, “after we did that demo, I left the band to follow my (then) boyfriend to Boston. The Antoinettes then added a guitarist (Sue Veneer) to replace me and a keyboard player (Magda– I don’t remember her last name) to take over that role so Meegan could devote her efforts to fronting the band. That was the band that ended up going to NYC and becoming the darlings of CBGB’s.”  I’ve picked one of the best songs recorded in that demo session, “If I Were To, ” a plaintive lament  that captures a contemplative Antoinettes pining for a boy they could not have.

Click on the link below to play the song in a new window,  right-click or control click to download the file.

If I Were To

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It all started in 1984… that’s the year a 16 year old by the name of Mick Alber snuck into Scorgies to see the Chesterfield Kings…. now, some of the bands that Mick has loved over the years are rallying together to help him defray some of his medical expenses.

 

Brian Goodman, Mick Aber and the late Bob Janneck


For many years, Mick Alber was a beloved member of the local music scene in Rochester NY. Recently, a severe flare up of ulcerative colitis has required that Mick have major, life-saving surgery.

In a better world, Mick Alber would be a legendary Disc Jockey, like L.A.’s Rodney Bingenheimer, a universally-recognized icon of the Rochester Rock & Roll scene. His friendship with long-time on-air partner Mike Murray began with a fortuitous meeting at a Scorgies Chesterfield Kings show in 1984 (Mick, 16 at the time, had snuck in). From that meeting, their partnership developed into one of the longest-running radio shows in Rochester history, Whole Lotta Shakin’ (now heard Saturdays 4-6 PM on 88.5 WRUR FM).

Whole Lotta Shakin’ has been a driving force in our music scene, a haven for local bands and a key element of “the Rochester Sound.” Over the years, Whole Lotta Shakin’ highlighted Upstate acts like New Math/Jet Black Berries, the Chesterfield Kings, The Projectiles, McFadden’s Parachute, Squires of the Subterrain, Dan Frank & the True Believers, Badenovs, SLT, The Insiders, The Hi-Risers, Frantic Frank & The Flattops, The Absolutes, The Ohm, The Moviees, The Quitters, The Thundergods, Cousin Al and The Relatives, The White Devils, The Chinchillas, The Presstones, Dark Charly & The Tombstones, Absolute Grey and others too numerous to mention.

In recognition of Mick’s contributions and in light of his medical condition, a slew of Scorgie’s era musicians have pulled together to organize “For the Love of Mick: A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Benefit” to help Mick defray some of the expenses surrounding his care. It will run from 12-9 PM on Sunday, March 6th at Abilene, 123 Liberty Pole Way.

Artists Schedule:

12-12:30 Dark Charly
12:30-1:00 Big Red & the Sideburns
1:15-2:00 The Ohm
2:15-3:00 Dan Frank & the True Believers
3:15-4:00 The Chinchillas (with Beth)
4:15-5:00 The Enablers
5:00-6:00 Jet Black Berries
6:15-7:15 The Pawns
7:30-8:00 The Stan Merrell Band with Cousin Chaz & Cousin Al
8:15-Close The Imaginary Band

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From Pee Wee’s notes: “Kevin has moved to New York. He came back to finish off some stuff and do this job. Everyone took their equipment home. Looks like this is really the last one. The last two songs they played were “Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Taking Care of Business”.

Not sure if that last statement is completely true; the tape cuts off 3/4 of the way through a cover of the Cramp’s “Garbage Man.” Kevin always honored his influences…

However, they did do another old cover that night that was especially appropriate, considering Kevin’s exodus to Manhattan… a cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway”

[audio:http://www.rockinrochester.com/mp3/runaway.mp3]
New Math's Last Gig - 12-28-1984

New Math's last gig

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This next tape was recorded by noted Scorgies soundman Pee wee  on a Maxell XLI-S normal bias cassette tape on a hot summer’s night in July, 1983 (anyone have the exact date for this show?). No other details about this tape, just a note from Pee Wee that right channel was a feed from the sound board and the left channel was from a well-placed room microphone. The song I’m posting is from the close of the set: “Invocation,” from the EP “They Walk Among You”. I’ve mixed the tracks for your (Mono) listening pleasure.

New Math – Invocation: [audio:http://www.rockinrochester.com/mp3/invocation.mp3]

New Math at Scorgies from 7-83

New Math at Scorgies from 7-83

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Don Scorgie was fortunate to have to have a great sound system in the club, and one of the best guys at the mixing board was Alan Paprocki, AKA the legendary Pee Wee (an oxymoronic nickname ‘cuz he was sooo tall). Pee Wee mixed for Personal Effects, Delroy Rebop, the Press Tones, New Math and other national acts. . Fortunately for us, he also ran a line out to a tape deck and made some killer tapes. I’ve been tasked with digitizing the Delroy Rebop & New Math tapes. So, without further delay, here’s a smidgen of New Math live on 3-25-1983:

New Math, Die Trying: [audio:http://www.rockinrochester.com/mp3/dietrying.mp3]

New Math 3-25-83 Scorgies

New Math 3-25-83 Scorgies

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Meegan Voss of the Antoinettes

Meegan Voss of the Antoinettes

It’s hard to pin the best way to keep in touch with folks these days. Hardly anyone I know writes letters or sends postcards anymore. Pretty much everyone (except Duane and Paul & Peggi) relies on their cellphones and either doesn’t have a land line or barely uses it. Email is old school; and Instant messaging is passe.

Having said that, I set out this past August to connect with Scorgies alumni using Web 2.0 resources and social networking and was able to contact a wide variety of Scorgies alum (like Rock and Roll Joel).

Working on a tip from a blog comment, I discovered that Meegan Voss (of the Antoinettes) continues to create and perform music in NYC with her husband Steve Jordan (of Late Nite Band and Xpensivve Winos fame). Their band is The Verbs. Great music, neat stuff. I can envision a Verbs/Atmomic Swindlers/Velveteen Fox show right now! It would rock, totally!

I was able to contact Meegan through the Verbs MySpace page and we exhanged smoe pleasantries. Here’s a message Meegan sent prior to the reunion:

You know Stan, I wanted to say “thank you” to Don because he was always supportive to The Antoinettes and gave us such great gigs. Our first was opening for Marianne Faithful at Scorgies! I was trying to send a post to Scorgies but wasn’t able to get in. I also wanted to say that The Gun Club and Jim Carroll gigs were some of the best that I’ve seen still to this day. It was such a great stage to play and the room lent itself to comment from the audience. It was always a happening. I don’t remember a dull show, do you? It’s an absolute crime the place isn’t still open and rocking. There was a club in Syracuse called Jabberwocky that should never have closed as well. Do you know how lucky we were to see these incredible national acts just breeze through our small city? Steve, my husband, never ceases to be amazed that I’ve seen pretty much anyone who was anybody play in a small club with a small audience. I would love to be at the reunion but I’m in rehearsal. Our new album is about to be released so there is a lot of work to be done.
Thank you for contacting me about it. I hope you have a blast at the reunion.

Meegan

p.s. tell the kid that worked at the record store that that was me and I say hi! I walked out when they wanted us to display all of John Lennon’s music the moment he was shot.

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