Musically Speaking

When I was 13 or 14 my sister got this idea to record her kids while they were young. With this in mind she bought a Wollensak 1/4″ tape recorder. This was a great idea – only she had no clue how to operate it. But you need to realize it was a different world then – you didn’t just pusWollensakRevere3h the button. Being technically capable back then I learned how to use it and started recording all kinds of things. Being in bands I found the perfect thing to do with it. I remember carrying that thing from where I lived on Brian St down to Ridge Rd – to the 414 Club because there was a new group in town – The Show Stoppers. A great group, an instant hit in the area. I don’t remember all the members but at the time I recorded them Bat McGrath and Don Potter where in the group. So one night I drag it down to the 414, set it up on one of the tables and ran a plug over to the wall. It was such a new thing to do nobody questioned it – it was a curiosity thing. I would drag that thing everywhere.

It wasn’t a great machine compared to today I can take my iPad and get a better quality recording – but for the times it was way cool. At one point it developed a squeal – there was a felt pad that held the recording tape against the recording head. That developed a squeal that if you pressed on it it would go away for a bit. But, it always came back. So some of the recordings have that in there. I’ve tried filtering it out but it’s in the totally wrong frequency range. After music discoed out and the family started I was at Kodak and as luck would have it ended up running the Magnetics Lab working with tape of all kinds and sizes.

Some of the later records get a bit better but the majority are with the old Wollensak. A couple years ago when doing another “cleaning” of the garage I ran across my box of tapes. Hadn’t thought about them in years. I thought I check them out and see if they were any good. Talk about oldies but moldies – some of the tapes were actually moldy. During my divorces they spent a few years in my brother Mikes barn, then in various garages.

McKain Miller Band

About the same time that I was starting the Hey Red Band with Beth from the short lived Soul On Tap I got a call from Jerry Garcia - the drummer that left SOT just before the first gig. He was in a new project and they needed a keyboard player. Hey Red...

Justin Crossett Band

This group is based out of Holley NY, I'm not sure of  the exact years, I think I first joined them in 2012. We didn't play out a lot and at very many places but I loved the tunes this group did. A good mixture of Stevie Ray, Derek Trucks, Susan...

Gunthers Bus

Gunthers Bus was formed in late 1967. We practiced at the at the Auditorium Theater on Main St in Rochester. I don't remember the practice being more than a few weeks before we had our first night out at Duffy's Hotel which was in the triangular building...

The Krista Hartwig Band

The Krista Hartwig band started as a little trio project with Me, Krista and JP from Bordertown. It was group to have a good time, which we did. We still do a thing here and there when asked, mostly benefits. Rainbow Connection Always Steal My Kisses House...

Jacobs Downtown Trolley

Jacobs Downtown Trolley - JDT - was a group that went through a couple versions. We played a few places around town - Ronnies Suburban Inn - it was at the corner of East River Road and Jefferson - quite a bit. Also did a good stint at the Pittsford Tavern at the four...

The Show Stoppers

I wasn't in this group but it was one of the early recordings I made. It was a great group. I recorded them at the 414 Club on Ridge Rd west in Rochester. They were a great sounding group and were packing the 414 club. Too bad the recording wasn't better. We didn't...

The Hey Red Band

The Hey Red Band came about because another band that just made it out of the basement dis-banded (pun intended). I had joined Doug Kanter (Bass) and Jerry Garcia (Drums) in their group Soul On Tap. They also had Beth Steele on vocals and Ray Belizia on...

Bordertown Country Rock

Bordertown Country Rock was my chance to dip my toes into country music. I had never been in a country band and thought it would be fun for a while - which it was. I had seen an ad on Craigslist for a keyboard player. I had a lot of fun with Bordertown and...

The Galaxies

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...

The Fabulous Furys

The Furys - I placed an ad in the paper and got a call from The Fabulous Fury's. They were a group from the Pavilion/Leroy area. They had recently gotten a job at The Varsity Inn in Geneseo. It was owned by the same brothers (Jack & Bob Friel) that...

Greenwich Mean

Geenwhich Mean - These recordings where done at a practice session we had. On Lake Ave near State St and Lyell Ave was a Pawn Shop where I worked. The owner was a guy named Sam Cash, no idea what his real name was. His brother, The General, was the manager...

The Majestics

The Majestics  – no connection with the group called The Majestics that’s around to day. We were in the 13-15 year old range. One of the only groups I don’t have a recording of. My friend, now passed away, Dominic Spironza was the singer. I also remember...

Here Below

The Here Below was somewhat of an in between group  of various incarnations. The one in these recording consisted of myself, my brother Mike on drums and a Bill Gillian on guitar. This was recorded at the East Bloomfield Hotel on New Years Eve, We...

The Obsessions – The Vistas

It was 1964/65 when I joined the group Dave Smith (whom went on to be at big influence managing Fender) was just leaving to go to college and I think the Air Force. Leaving behind Jim Meyers on Bass, Butch Biaca on Guitar, Dennis Marinelle on Drums and so I was asked...

ZaksPack or ZaksPak or The PrattPack

First formed in 1998 by Leon “Corky” Zak (the Zak in ZaksPak) and Mike Bonafede. Leon’s at every show and most always drags along his little brother Mike on drums. We’ve gone thru a bunch of incarnations since the core group first formed. With Leon...