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.

Jacobs Downtown Trolley – JDT – was a group that went through a couple versions. We played a lot of 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 (maybe it was Tallows Town Tavern at that time?) at the four corners in Pittsford.

I was searching old newspapers and found one of our ads for the Penny Arcade on Lake Ave. 1974 – shown below.

Also found a photo from back then – I was into photography and my friend Jim had bought a Nikon camera while he was stationed in German – it was cheaper that way. I took this photo and did all the processing myself – must have done something right that it lasted all these years.

The version of the band in the photo back row is Todd (?) – bass, Me, Tom Porpigglia – guitar. First row – ex wife, Sam Tripani – drums, and Louie something – our other vocalist.

Sam wasn’t with us very long. My brother Mike Bonafede was our drummer for a while. I think in this recording we had a different drummer – can’t remember his name but I know he left to join the navy not very long after this. Tom Porpiglia was on guitar most of the time and is the one in the recordings. My ex-wife was the lead singer along with Louie ?.  A few of the better quality recordings below were done at an all night dance for Muscular Distrophy that we played I think 12 to 3am slot.

Down The Road A Piece

One Way Out

Listen To The Music


Seems To Me