From the lens of Dan Pusateri, enjoy!
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Tags: New Math
From the March 17th 1995 issue of City Magazine, we have Luke’s Obit. I don’t have a credit for the author of this piece (H.B. Ward?), perhaps Chuck or Pat could fill in the rest of the details.
Andrew L. Ogrodowski, a lifelong local rocker known mainly as Luke Warm to his friends (and a few enemies), died on Friday, March 17, in his bedroom in his mother’s home in Greece. It was a warm spring evening and he’d been listening to the radio. He was 35.
His sudden death forces us to press the details of his life into some sort of comprehensible whole. Two years ago, when he was he was 33, Luke laughed, saying, “I’m just a guy who was saved by glitter and glam rock in the ’70’s,” as he tended bar downtown at the Abyss. As Luke perceived his life and tried – as he often did, to understand what it meant – that was no exaggeration at all.
The guy just wasn’t made to be normal. He invented and adopted the name Luke Warm around 1972, as a 12-year-old boy, to complete the elaborate stage persona he had conceived for his first rock band. After an early introduction to NYC glam rockers like T Rex, Luke gradually became the premier collector of rare T Rex records and memorabilia in the US.
Early in life. Luke stopped trying to fit in. “I remember a Red Wings game in the ’70’s,” recalled Luke’s friend and fellow musician Pat Lowerey on the phone recently. “There’s Luke walking down the stairs of Silver Stadium in a cape and full New York Dolls makeup in broad daylight. To him it was normal.”
Luke’s sense of style gave his rebellious energy an outlet and helped him find an identity. But unlike so many fashion bags, he never confused style with basic human grace. Lowerey, once the drummer for Luke’s best-known band, SLT, recalls a defining moment in Luke’s life. At one of SLT’s club dates, a band of hard core, head-shaved punks had been slated to open for them. Listening to them as SLT waited to go on, Luke appreciated the opening band’s energy at first, but then noticed that their lyrics were full of Anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist slurs. “These guys are skinheads!” he said to Lowerey.
That made him mad. “You know how some bands are too cool, like, ‘Don’t approach me?'” said Lowery. “Well, Luke wasn’t like that at all. As soon as he got on stage he just ripped into that band: ‘I Love Jews! I love fags! I live with a black chick!’ He was pointing at the skinheads and yelling into the mike, ‘We got a bunch of fuckin’ Nazis opening our show?'”
Like no one else in Rochester, Luke loved and devoted himself to the local rock scene. In the ’80’s he worked as a DJ and bartender (notably at Scorgies). But a career at the perimeter of the slam pit just wasn’t involved enough for him. His consuming love of music led him to moonlight as the music editor of Downtown magazine. Luke’s prose was as inflamed and confrontational as the music he loved. In an excerpt from the opening of one of his concert reviews (of a local band called “The Bulus“) in 1983, Luke demonstrated his fierce allegiance to Rochester Rockers.
“In this day and age when words mean nothing and dance means everything, it’s nice to see there are bands around to confront this idiotic way of thinking with an iron fist and the Bulus are that type of band. There is nothing wrong with mindless pop, rather fun its dumb way, but there should always be an imaginative, agressive edge to rock and roll to keep it on its often wobbly feet.”
Luke played guitar back then, too, but not, as most remember it, very well. Then, sometime in the summer of ’90, Luke disappeared from Rochester’s nightclub world. For 18 months, he spent his free time practicing by playing along with his collection of blues records. When he re-emerged, in early ’92, he was ready to form SLT – a band whose combination of power, intelligence, and expertise came close to what Luke had been grasping at for most of his life.
The band lasted little more than a year. But SLT is now legendary among Rochester rockers and Luke’s vision, infectious energy, and confidence in the band (“We’re the best rock and roll band in the world,” he used to shout) had everything to do with the legacy SLT left in its wake. Lowerey put it simply: “He wanted to combine the passion of music with intelligent lyrics and play it with such force.”
Luke’s death on March 17 cast a sad and sentimental pall over a crowd of Rochesterians known for dispassionate cool. His wake packed the Miller Funeral Home on Monroe Avenue with hundreds of black-leather rock and roll rebels. The line of tattooed, pierced and crying mourners strung itself through four rooms, heads shaking.
Luke’s mother, Helen Ogrodowski, welcomed every downcast punk who’d knelt before his closed coffin with a warm, appreciative hug. The phrase “He was a sweet guy, wasn’t he” was repeated over and over.
“He was crazy,” said Lowerey. “You could just call him up and he would do anything. If I needed him to do cartwheels naked down Monroe Avenue because I didn’t feel good, he’d do it immediately.”
“He was a great friend.”
audio clip courtesy Simon Ribas of the Presstones, see comments for details
Really enjoyed the show. Left without getting your #. You know us unemployed have to work together.
Don’t let the hair fool you I’m old enough.
Lou the Italian
Flower City Jukebox Vol. 2: “Rochester Rock n Rollercoaster Ride”
Hi-Techs: Boogaloo Rendezvous
The Most: Rockerfeller
The Targets: White Corvette
The Times: Rock ‘n Roll Reds
Hit & Run: I Don’t Wanna (demo)
Hypermarket: Something You Can Do For Yourself (unreleased)
Lotus STP: Townie Clan
The Fugitives: Screaming
Mission Emission: Postcard
New Math: The Restless Kind
The Projectiles: I’m Alone
Lalaland: Nobody’s Help
The Chinchillas: Love & War
Colorblind James Experience: Purple & Gold (outtake)
Personal Effects: Porch (live at Jazzberrys ’85)
The Rumbles: Third Uncle (live at The Warehouse) (Brian Eno cover)
Invisible Party: Waking World (live)
Nod: Power Doesn’t Need It (unreleased)
The Squires Of The Subterrain: This Old Raggedy Town
jump over to www.earcandyarchive.com to take a listen or download.
mega thanks to Tom Kohn for tracks 2,3,4 and to Jim Huie who supplied the lion’s helping of everything else.
First off, let me just say thanks to everyone involved with the Scorgies Reunion. I am sure my fellow Press Tones feel the same way (although some have trouble typing). Peter had our set planned out pretty good, clocking in at around 42 minutes, which would have allowed us a brief encore. For whatever reason, we ran long, and got yanked off the stage (set times were pretty rigid, and I’m not complaining, just letting you know), before we got the chance to do another number. So for your listening pleasure, here’s a live cut from when we played Abilene over the summer. It’s a song we usually finished the night with, called “Go Insane.” Back in the old days, Peter would take the solos, and at the end of the song, just leave his guitar in front of his amp until it started feeding back and annoying people. And then he’d wait some more before unplugging it. Flash forward, and now I do the lead work, and on this occasion, I started bending the strings pretty far, and so Peter started doing whale noises through the mic. It was a hoot.
Anyway, you paid for it, so here’s the song. . .
Somehow I wound up with a back stage pass for the Scorgie’s Reunion show at the German House in Rochester, NY. I took a few photos and had good time. It was really great to see everyone.
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From the J. Laben Archives. Enjoy:
What is with these weird hairstyles, this strange music? Are they serious? Are they poking fun? Or both?
The Ramones, a rock ‘n’ roll band of current popularity, have a song called “Teenage Lobotomy.” There are those who would suggest they sing from experience. Take, for example, the words to their song “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”:
“I don’t care about history,
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school,
Cuz that’s not where I wanna be,
Rock, rock, rock ‘«’ roll high school,
I just wanna have some kicks,
I just wanna get some chicks,
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll hi-igh school.”
Appearance is another strike against any claims to great mental stature on the part of the band. Tight jeans, sneakers and leather jackets, a real greasy-mean look, tell you these are the kind of guys who need permission from their parole officers to go on high school field trips.
But believe the image and you’re the fool. They’ve suckered you with rock ‘n’ roll’s favorite gimmick, theatrics, to sell you rockers’ favorite message, irrever¬ence. The Ramones’ lyrics and looks are mostly suitable trappings for their brand of music — high-speed, high-energy and high-volume rock ‘n’ roll.
Boy, they’ve got their nerve. But boy, they have their fun.
The Ramones pale in comparison with some of the other music going on these days within what is called the “New Wave.”
There is Fad Gadget, the band that uses a Black & Decker speed drill as an instrument. There is CRASH COURSE In Science, whose members make music with kitchen appliances and, in one song, become robots reading a cake mix: “Extract contents for cakes in the home.”
(more vintage theorizing after the jump!)
Like most people, I have a scattering of old newspapers, cassettes, videos, and records cluttering up my closet space. When I have the time, I try to convert cassettes and videos to CD’s, DVD’s, or stick it in a file on my computer (for YouTube or some other proper place down the line). Old mags and news clips get into bags like comic books or binders. All this takes a bit of time and expense, which I currently do not have. I only hope that when I kick it, that the cool stuff doesn’t end up in the trash. I already lost cassettes and videos due to deterioration; even some early Sony CD’s with labels won’t play anymore. A friend of mine has a cassette of John Cale playing at Scorgies. I’m hoping that he will preserve stuff like that. I have some video of Rick Baker & The Commercials now on DVD that I’m dying to upload. Many friends have bootleg cassettes of The Insiders that are impeccable. My suggestion is to preserve these things, only if you have the time or if the stuff is worth it in your heart. The best way, for now, is to get it on the internet so other fans can check it out. I thank Stan The Man, Tom Kohn, and others for getting this web site out. It may be a good starting place for your posters, stories, and a few website links to bands that are still at it! It doesn’t hurt to use a professional studio, if you have some bucks to convert and properly preserve stuff as well (not quite like the Eastman House working on 1920’s films, but to make stuff watchable and/or audible!).
Tags: Del's Corner
I asked Scorgie – what did “Weekends” mean on the posters….he laughed so hard…it really meant “weekends” – in the beginning, that’s when he had music scheduled – on the weekends! Not during the week – music on the “WEEKENDS!”
It was a great night of music and old friends and acquaintances at The German House Friday night. I got their at seven and immediately started reminiscing about bands that played at Scorgies with Del Rivers and Brian Goodman. I came up with a few that I haven’t heard mentioned. The Rockats, (http://www.myspace.com/therockats ) a rockabilly band from New York City played their a few times and Brian said they had a record release party at the Top of the Plaza. Another band was The Memphis Rockabilly Band (http://www.memphisrockabillyband.com/) who were their a few times and a lot of fun. The third I can remember was the Glen Phillips band (http://www.answers.com/topic/glenn-phillip) who played all instrumentals and were a little different then the regular Scorgie’s bands. He was a great guitar player!! I hope those three can jog some of your memories. Too Tall Steve walked in (http://myspace.com/tootallblues) and we immediately started laughing about the only time we played at Scorgies in my first band Crawlspace and our bass player wrapped his foot around the guitar chord and his bass head came crashing down!! Don’t ask me what year, maybe ’84-86′ ? I think Scorgie had some battle of the bands thing going. Well, it was great seeing those bands again and they sounded great !! I have to get that new Presstones cd !! Maybe Schwittek is think of giving me one.