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 push 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.
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 owned The Varsity Inn on Scottsville Rd. I went out for an audition and joined the band. We lasted over 2 years there playing Friday & Saturday nights and sometimes a teen dance on Sunday. For a B3 player it was a great job – didn’t have to move the equipment. I think we may have moved it once or twice, I vaguely remember doing a wedding maybe in Mumford or Caledonia. Here’s The Fury’s doing Jackie Wilsons – I Don’t Want to Lose You. The vocal is a bit distorted.
I Don’t Want to Lose You
The members included Me, Richie Meyers on lead guitar, John Meyers on drums and Dave Zascoda on bass and trumpet. For a short while we brought in a couple horn players – I think the trumpet player was Paul Burgio and there was an alto sax player, but I don’t remember his name. Somewhere toward the end of the stint with them we started talking about getting a few jobs at other places – but that meant someone had to go out and get the jobs. My ex-wife and I took a trip up toward the Thousand Islands and stopped at as many bars and clubs as we could on the way and with a cassette tape player would go in and try to get booked. I would go in and play the tape and then ask for any open dates. Up at a club in the Thousand Island area I hit a winner – they had a new up and coming group coming in and needed an opening act. The guy said he liked the tape and I was there at the right time – we could have the job. I went back and told them and they said it was too far to drive to play one night. That really sucked – the group was Earth, Wind and Fire.
And When I Die
I Don’t Want to Lose You Now
God Bless The Child
Who’s Makin Love To Your Old Lady
I Love Your More Each Day
More And More
You Don’t Know What I Know