March 2009

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I saw the Rochester music review in a recent issue of the City newspaper. It brought back many fond and painful memories and lessons of Rochester music legacy and lore. I was looking for somebody to fill me in on Luke Warm.

I remember him as a delightful character on the scene (during my original duration in it). I was in the Commercials and we played Scorgie’s, usually as an opening act, from 1982 until about 1984 or so. Obviously, I encountered Luke on every occasion. I gotta hand it to this guy. If he was in a band or had any musical ability – HE NEVER TALKED ABOUT IT IN FRONT OF ME – he never said “come check out my band” or anything of the sort. When I read the review on his musical efforts I was really shocked! Maybe I’m stupid, but I was NOT out of the loop in the old days at Scorgie’s…I was there almost every week for about two years straight. How did I miss him? Nobody spoke up, especially not Luke.

The really sad part is, not only was I denied a chance to hear him do his musical bit, but also the other guys in the bands I opened for (especially the members of the group Passenger), just sort of wrote him off as the club’s resident idiot/lush/foolish jester behind his back. So, being very young at the time, just wrote Luke off as a “happy drunk.” I scared him once by acting like he was interfering on my date with the young lady I  was with. The girl and I were there as “friends-only” (as she was probably under-age at the time), but I did kind of a “hey man, step off” gag, and he vanished in the crowd, tail between his legs.  Now, back then,  I could probably beat my way out of a paper bag…if it was wet. Anyway, a couple of the guys from the Clichés or something got a big laugh out of it.

So, I knew that he was very ill by the late 1980’s (when all us new wavers were hard up for gigs and had to settle on playing Schatzie’s) and I learned that he passed away several years ago when it happened. Tragic thing. It made me think real hard and thank God I’m still here. Thanks for bringing the info home to me.

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