Circa 1980, "The Scene"

More from the Tom Kohn archives… today, I’m posting the “Scene” supplement to the “Music Wave of the Future” article. Note the picture of Geoff Wilson playing bass!

The authenticity of this article has been called into question by none other than Cheetah Chrome, who states that “the story is NOT true… the real news story that night was that Johnny Blitz was only able to play half the set (this was right after returning after his stabbing) and his drum tech finished for him. I remember the night clearly – and it wasn’t the way it’s written.”

This jibes with reports that Dave Sterns story had “mischievous” sources and that some of the interviewees were bent on pulling Dave’s leg and stretching the truth. See comments for more info.

Geoff Wilson, lead singer and bassist for The Bowery Boys.

Geoff Wilson, lead singer and bassist for The Bowery Boys.

Click here for the article.

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  1. Martin Edic’s avatar

    I remember this article because it was so unbelievably inaccurate. New Math banned from Scorgie’s? The Arcade in an article about New Wave? Hilarious. Dave was the classical music reviewer who took the occasional foray into the local music scene where I think people told him some whoppers knowing they’d make it to print.
    I did see the Dead Boys at the Arcade- today’s supposedly ‘bad’ punk can’t hold a candle to these guys. They were nuts and covered with beer and blood by the end of the night.
    They didn’t survive life too well though…


  2. Simon Ribas’s avatar

    Well, the Arcade did have New Wave Mondays for quite a while.


  3. Jason L. Brown’s avatar

    And I could be wrong but some hoary memory tells me DEVO played the Arcade in ’78 or so. Although I wanted to be I wasn’t there – too young to get in the door at the time and too scrawny and pimply to successfully float a fake ID . . . .


  4. Stan the Man’s avatar

    DEVO was at the Triangle Theater in ’79 with the Flashcubes as opening act; ticket scan here:


  5. Jason L. Brown’s avatar

    See, there you go . . . I don’t know how I got the Arcade into my head, but then, there’s more than a few other false positives rattling around in there that could use dislodging.

    Thanks, Stan.


  6. Martin Edic’s avatar

    That Devo show was absolutely amazing- at one point they were wearing red smocks each with one letter of DEVO on them and jumping up and down while singing We Are Devo. The light were down and all you could see were these big yellow letters jumping up and down.


  7. Simon Ribas’s avatar

    Was that the same show where they hads the yellow paper suits that looked like raincoats? I remember the report on the local news after the show or the next day, and they were making a point about how weird the whole thing was. That show was a hoot too. I remember the guitar player had sawed off the cutaway part of his les paul and put it back upside down.


  8. JP’s avatar

    Damn. I missed the Dead Boys show. Some Record Theatre / record company sponsored thing was going on at that bar / restaurant on Union St., can’t remember the name of it, and we were all there drinking trays of free Kamikazes. I was with Sherry from RT and driving her car (how?) and not sure but I guess Gary & Karen also. Sherry was too drunk to go in so I reluctantly stayed with her in the car until she was able to “walk”. We both fell asleep, missed the show and woke up in an empty parking lot. Got to see them at CB’s later and there again for the Johnny Blitz benefit.
    Those were the days………….


  9. C. Laben’s avatar

    Doesn’t anyone remember that the Ramones first played at the Penny Arcade in 1977? What A great show that was… We were lucky enough to meet the band at the House of Guitars earlier that day and drive Joey (along with Seymore Stein’s (Pres. of Sire records) wife Linda) back to their Hotel on Ridge Road. Lucky for me, since that was enough to have the band sneek me in the back door that night since I was only 15 at the time… Still one of the best shows I ever saw… And I also remember some weird ass video playing on the wall behind Devo while they were playing at that triangle show.


  10. Brian Goodman’s avatar

    I remember that because 24 yr old girlfriend went & I was also 15 so I didn’t get to go!
    I did go to the House of Guitars and got my Rock-a-way beach 7 inch signed.
    There was also a commercial filmed that day! I was so short that you can’t see me!
    I remember I asked Joey what he was listening to and he said The Heartbreakers ( I thought he meant Tom Petty!) .

    That Triangle Devo show was a great show!!!


  11. ds’s avatar

    The Ramones show at the Penny Arcade was a rescheduled show from earlier in the year (winter) which they cancelled because “they didnt want to come up to Roch, where its so cold”. That was the way I heard it then.

    There is a copy of the Ramones House of Guitars commercial on Youtube. Check out and go back in time.

    Joeys legs took up all of that tiny Arcade dressing room.


  12. C. Laben’s avatar

    Thanks for the great link to that HOG commercial! I was also standing in the back – you can see my face (I think) for a split second… But my friend Brian Overacker got the best spot – right up front there on the right… Also in that commercial is Susan Emil (on the left) who was the PR girl for Sire Records – she sent me a whole bunch of cool demos and pins (Ramones, Dead Boys, etc…) for while after that until she found out I was only 15 (I might have told them I was older so they would let me in to the show).


  13. JP’s avatar

    Yes, that is Suzanne Emil. We met when I was at Record Theatre in Midtown Plaza and kept in touch often and visited her at Sire a few times. She asked me to pick the Ramones up at the airport (she & Linda took a cab) and Talking Heads when they came up. I remember Joey & Dee Dee were sick as dogs. We stopped off at Burger King on Ridge Rd. near Dewey before going to the HOG. They were a sight hunched over their food trying to look alive and everyone in the place was staring at them. Still, the show was a BLAST!


  14. Jlaben’s avatar

    Ahhhh…the first Ramones show at the Arcade.

    When I was driving Joey and Linda Stein around in my MOM’S Station Wagon (with the wood grain side panels – looked like Clark Griswald’s Family Truckster), the only advice she could give me was to “be careful- remember what happened to Bowie in Rochester”.

    For those too young to remember, he was busted for weed here, I think.

    Anyway, we “offered” Joey some of our local medications, and I still remember to this day his response…”No thanks…I already too blasted”.

    I also have a copy of the HOG TV commercial shot the day of the gig – and still, to this day, can’t believe that Brian O. got in the spot while we did not- and I got a bunch of stuff signed by the original 4 Ramones…including copies of the first and second album, and a 3′ x 3 cardboard poster cutout of “Rocket to Russia”.

    I think our “limo service” at the Arcade show helped us get the opportunity to open for them a couple of times later on.

    Speaking of the Arcade, how about the Hot Rods show there? OUTSTANDING.


  15. Cheetah Chrome’s avatar

    Ahhh…sorry, but the above story never happened. We played Rochester only once,and it was EXTREMELY boring and uneventful. No one EVER beat me up at gig period – my roadies would have killed them (if I didn’t). Since you don’t mention anyone being hospitalized after this ……well…… it did get ya some ink,I suppose….CC


  16. Mitchell Levine’s avatar

    In my life, I’ve never heard of Zenith II. Anyone recall them?


  17. Jason L. Brown’s avatar

    Zenith II was an incarnation of Zenith Effluveum. You can get an idea here:


  18. Carl Mack’s avatar

    Hey World! Carl Mack here, drummer for Zenith Effluveum, which recorded the album “Almost Made it in the USA” in my parents basement in East Irondequoit in 1978. We played CBGB’s on November 11, 1977. I was working at Record Theatre in Midtown Plaza, Michael Ferrera (composer of most of the music) was working at House of Guitars, Jim Fabris was beginning furniture work with his Dad. We were listening to Can, Amon Duul, Faust, Floh de Cologne, Magma, and other (mostly) German Rock bands, and the influence is strong on this record. It is really a good record, made on a 4 track TEAC with Orange amplifiers, Moog Taurus bass pedals, Telecaster guitars, and my six piece SONOR drums. We played Scoorgies a little, but not too much, also Penny Archade and special events we produced (some with Armond Schaubrook). I still play music and much more. re: Zenith II. It came about in 1983, when I moved to New Orleans and the band continued. I also have many copies of the album “Almost Made it in the USA” and will sell them cheaper then the $192.50 listed on E-Bay!!!!! cheers



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