Starship Beer & Colorblind James Experience

Colorblind James Experience with Starship Beer I went to Scorgie’s on my birthday in 1985; a friend had recommended that I check out this new group in town, The Colorblind James Experience….he described them as “a bit different” and that I would enjoy the fact that they used vibes; since I was (and still am) a Tuned Percussion player, that was a big plus.

We arrived a bit early, and found out that there was an opening group called STARSHIP BEER! I thought, “Yeah, what a far-out name” but just how far out this group was I just did not know at the time; their set started out quiet enough, but grew in intensity, and their assault was unrelenting!! Imagine elements of Pere Ubu co-mingling with The Sun Ra Arkestra, creating this throbbing maelstrom of sound and you might get just a hint at how unruly it was….most people just left the room and escaped upstairs, but I and a few other brave listeners STAYED and revelled in the sonic din that was emanating from downstairs; as the set progressed, members of Colorblind James joined in on the rumblings, then after what seemed a small eternity (which in reality was about 45 minutes in total) the “Sonic Ritual” stopped.

After a suitable break, the Colorblind James Experience came out and knocked my socks off for the first time, the first of the many many times they would do so…….later on, I found out that Starship Beer ACTUALLY HAD A RECORD, and it was called “Nut Music As Free As The Squirrels!”  Needless to say, the title does not disappoint! But groups like them & Rochester’s own HEALTH AND BEAUTY would inspire me to go from merely mucking about at home and seek out other like-minded music nuts to work with (they know who they are); years later, Phil Marshall kindly supplied me with a tape of Starship Beer’s set from that very first show….it was intriguing to hear it again, but it kinda paled in comparison with Actually Being There!

Just a few years back the prestigious ATAVISTIC RECORDS re-issued the Starship Beer album as part of their “Unheard Music” series!

Was it Just another night of Music at Scorgie’s?   I DON’T THINK SO!!!!!

Mike Rae

p.s. hey Phil it’d be great to hear that CBJE show again someday!!


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