The Galaxys was our first real band. I was 12 years old, my Brother Mike was 10. We started the band with 2 brothers from down at the west end of Brian St – Dick and Bob Miller. When we started this group Mike played drums and I was playing bass – more so because we needed a bass. I had a Sears amplifier with 2 12″ speakers and a Silvertone guitar. So what do you do if you’re the bass player and you have a regular guitar – I would crank the bass way up and the treble way down to make it sort of sound like a bass guitar.
Bob played lead and Dick played rhythm. I think Bob had a Stratocaster and Dick had a Telecaster or maybe the other way around. I do remember somewhere along the line we stripped and painted Dicks guitar candy apple red – it was the early 60’s and the hot rod stuff from California was finally hitting the east coast. Dick eventually bought a Country Gentleman.
Our’s and my first real band job was playing at Bullwinkle’s Bar on Lake Avenue owned by Betty Meyers. Actually we got the job because my Aunt Sis worked there and new Betty well, or that’s what we thought. That store turned out way deeper but that’s for a later date. I think we got $5 each for it. After that we played around at the teen dances in our neighborhood.
Thinking we were going to be the next rock and roll stars we saved some money up and recorded a record at Vince Jan Studios on St. Paul St in Rochester. I’m thinking it was something like $60 for the recording time and a bunch of 45’s. It was SO Cool. We got the pizza place across from Aquinas High school to put it on the juke box. Because they weren’t real pressings they didn’t last many plays and had to be changed out regularly – we went through 3 or 4 copies – mainly because we played it all the time when we went there. The songs we did were Sleep Walk by Santos and Johnny and Walking The Dog. I think Vince was pretty experienced with up and coming rock stars – he told us to run through a couple tunes to warm up. We didn’t know till after the warm up that we were being recorded. And then when listening back to them in the STUDIO at his suggestion those became the sides for the 45. I still have a working copy that I’ll transcribe and put up here.
I think back about what we did at 10 and 12 years old and am pretty impressed with us – practicing, learning how to put together pa systems and such and then going out and getting the jobs. I somehow didn’t electrocute myself when fixing up junk pa amplifiers – back then there were no transistors – they were all tube amps with 300 – 400 volts on the tubes. I ended up becoming the “repair guy” at Duke Spinners when he was at the corner of Dewey Ave and Driving Park.