It turns out that Steve Giusti is even more of a packrat than I am.
Well, that’s sort of starting the story in the middle, and I guess it does Steve a disservice, too. I apologize. Let me try again.
On Saturday, I went out to eat with my old bandmates from Live Wire.
It was great fun. We talked about old times and long-ago people, and we made some tentative plans to get together for some jam sessions. We haven’t played together, as a complete group, in almost 30 years. It should be interesting.
At one point during the dinner, Steve pulled out a scrapbook he had brought along.
It contained all sorts of photos, old ticket stubs from venues we played, miscellaneous memorabilia, and even an original set list from one of our gigs. Great stuff.
Prior to my seeing that collection of his, I assumed I was the only one who had saved much of anything. I had one of our T-shirts, a bumper sticker, a few photos, and (so far as I’m aware) the only recordings of us in existence. When I saw Steve’s book, it blew me away. I asked if I could borrow it, to show to MY WIFE (she and I didn’t meet until 9 years after the group had disbanded, so I thought she’d be interested in seeing some of it.) As I was leaving with his treasures – which I promised to guard with my life, since I knew how much the stuff meant to both of us - Steve suggested that perhaps I could publish some of the items on my blog.
Why, yes, Steve, I do believe that’s something I’d like to do.
Without any further ado – and, for once, I really mean that – here are some of the relics from my previous life.
I know this shot was from when we played The Beachcomber. It was the only gig we ever played where I set up on that side of the stage. And, as it turned out, it was bad luck for me to do so. The gig went alright, and people liked us, but I broke a string (the G) about halfway through our set. I didn't have a spare, so I had to play on only the remaining three for the rest of the night. If anyone had noticed, and known what I was doing, it would have been fairly impressive, but since we were mostly playing our original tunes to a new crowd, for all they knew I always played them on just the three strings.
Just including this one to show the crowd. It's proof that people did actually come to see us play!
This shot doesn't include me, but it's a great shot of the other guys. I want to give them their props, anyway. From left to right...
Ronnie Bower - Guitar, Vocals (A great songwriter with an ear for tremendous pop hooks, he is also a good vocalist. When we sat down to write songs together, they were some of the most pleasurable moments of my creative life.)
Marty "Sucks" Murphy - Lead Vocals, Flute, Sax, Harmonica, Guitar, Percussion (A showman par excellence. Marty worked the crowds like no other. And his instrumental versatility let us spread out quite a bit from standard three-chord bashfests. His flute playing was unique, and good.)
Steve Giusti - Drums (And my favorite drummer, too. We were tight on rhythm, man. Steve's fills played to my strengths and covered my weaknesses. Utterly selfless, he did whatever the rest of us needed. Great guy.)
Ron Frattasio - Lead Guitar (Inventive, powerful, unafraid, but totally lacking in the sort of ego that blows groups apart. He never tried for the spotlight except when it was his turn, and higher praise than that I do not have.)
Some of the tickets Steve saved. Remember that this was 1980 & 1981, so what do those prices translate into these days? Ten dollars? Fifteen dollars? Note the one that has us playing for six hours. Not bad value, eh?
Newspaper clipping following the benefit. I include it not only because we were all proud of the amount of money we raised for the family, but also because it shows that I actually did go by that name then.
Oh, man, look at that hair! People sometimes asked me if I dyed it. Nope. All gone now, of course.
Marty, Me, and Ron F. in a classic pose.
Nu Pixie, Hyde Park.
I'm not positive, but I think this was at McCarthy's, the Mattapan club where we were more-or-less the house band.
My guess, deduced from the fact that Ron's hand is not on the fretboard, is that this was taken during my bass solo in the song Live Wire. I got to stretch out for three minutes or so each night, with Steve providing excellent accompaniment on drums.
Bumpersticker, and an actual set list from McCarthy's. You'll notice we played four sets a night when there. Of the 33 songs, 13 were original compositions. If an encore was called for after the fourth set, we reverted to Living After Midnight, our opener in set one.
Just a nice shot of the entire band, taken from the balcony.
My time in Live Wire (Powerline) was a blast, and I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the jam sessions. When they happen, perhaps I'll publish some photos of what we all look like now as compared to then. Whatever else the photos will show - a little more weight, a lot less hair - maybe they'll also show five guys having a great time together. It is hoped that some things never change.
Soon, with more better stuff.