The distance from point “A” to point “B” was very short in those days… I started hanging out at the Record Archive after moving to Rochester in 1981. I became friends with Rock and Roll Joel and became a disc jockey on WRUR FM. Joel really introduced me to the Rochester Scene. The first band I remember meeting and being in awe of was the Press tones. Pete and Simon came down to the station with Karen, Andi and Molly in tow. I was impressed.
The summer of 1981 was very important to me; I spent most of my time either working at the Record Archive or spinning records at WRUR. I would usually take any empty slot on the schedule, but held a regular slot entitled “Pipeline” (later “Primetime”) which aired after “Radio One.” After my shift at WRUR was done, I’d stop by Scorgies to see what was happening. The next band I befriended was Personal Effects. I loved their sound. They had a great single (as the Hi techs) on the Archive label “Screamin’ You Head” which we gave quite a lot of airplay to. It was great getting to know them during this highly creative and formative time in their life. My co-worker at the Archive, the incredibly sardonic Mike Holm, had joined them on guitar. I was deejaying at the Red Creek part time and caught that line up; it reminded me a bit of Gang of Four, one of my favorite bands. When Bernie joined the band I recognized him because he had worked with my friend (and future band mate) Andy Hargrave.
After I had been on WRUR for a while, regular listeners started to come over to the Record Archive and hang out in the Back Room. That’s how I met Pat Thomas (Absolute Grey) and Brian Goodman as well as other miscreants and misfits. Much to my surprise, Brian Goodman stopped in one day to ask me to manage his cousin’s band. As Brian told me at the time, he suggested to his cousin Al that they should “ask Stan the Man to manage the band. He can be Stan the Manager!”And that’s how I became manager of Cousin Al and the Relatives.
I soon found out that managing Cousin Al was akin to Captain Lou Albano managing NRBQ (they got the idea first; Cindi Lauper stole the idea from them). One part actual managing and 10 parts showmanship. I joined them for their gig on “Up All Nite with Brian Bram” and coordinated a video appearance for them on my cable access show “Wild Future” but the novelty was wearing off. Brian Goodman left the band to join the Projectiles. Jim Huie from the BBB’s joined the band and took Brian’s place. The next Relative to leave was Pete Badore (he later Joined Frantic Frank’s first band). All replaced Pete with Pete Latham (a re-Pete occasion, natch). Ken Stahl was added as second lead guitarist, leaving Chas playing rhythm.
At this point I wanted (as a manager) take the band to the next level. Joe King Carrasco had played Scorgies (he was a wild front man!) and had a video in heavy rotation on MTV (remember “Party Weekend”?). I felt that Al, with the right material, could go far. I had given Al some ideas (anyone remember “Cheese Dog?) and had ideas for publicity pictures. But Al wasn’t too keen about my ideas as they didn’t fit the Jan and Dean model of what a surf band should be like. He was a purist, god bless his surfin’ heart.
Around the same time, Jim Huie and Russ Lunn needed a roommate for a house they were renting on Richard St. I moved in, stopped “managing” Al and soon discovered I was forming a band with Jim Huie, Chas Lockwood and Pete Badore, the original bassist from Cousin Al (Al soldiered on with Ken Stahl and Pete Latham, recording Chaz’s “Surfing on the Barge Canal”). One day, while working at the Record Archive on Monroe Ave (the first satellite store), I made Pat Thomas a mix tape entitled “Invisible Party” which then became our band name. We were aching at that time to catch up to Absolute Grey and play out.
This iteration of Invisible Party would later go on to record the first single released by Dave Anderson’s Jargon Records. Like Cousin Al, we too would lose Pete Badeore as a member. True to form, Pete’s shoes were filled by Pete Latham. Later on, we would flesh out the sound with the addition of Andy Hargrave on guitar. This is the lineup in the picture above. However, I think our antics had started to catch up to us and our landlord decided it was time to sell the house we had been renting.
Looking back, I guess i would say the one thing I remember most about Scorgies was opening for the established local bands and headliners like the Neats, Willie Alexander and 10,000 Maniacs. Great shows with our friends Absolute Grey; they would cheer us on as much we would cheer for them. A good opening slot gave up-and-comers like us tons of exposure. Take a look at the list of shows archived on this site and you’ll notice that Paul and Peggi provided a lot of bands their first Scorgies exposure. Opening for Personal Effects was like playing ball at a class AAA club, honing your talent until you would get called up to play in the Big Show.
All in all, there was an air of potential possibilities back then.
Tags: Invisble Party