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Somehow I wound up with a back stage pass for the Scorgies Reunion sho

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w at the German House in Rochester, NY. I took a few photos and had good time. It was really great to see everyone.

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There is one undeniable fact. Don Scorgie had enough instinct, guts and taste to provide a platform for all of this. The whole thing would not have happened in Rochester without him. I want to thank him.

I did a series of paintings called “Local Icons” in 1988 and included him but I want to thank him here for some of the best times of my life.


blaster aging gracefully – click photo for context

We made a list of our gigs as Personal Effects by referencing the dates on the stack of old posters and cassette tapes. Hard to believe we played Scorgies over seventy times and counting. I wish we’d had a blog back then to keep track of it all.

The sound system there was one of the best of any club we played and the room sounded great. We had this General Electric blaster that we used to duct tape up to the top of the wooden column in front of the bar at Scorgies and it made some damn good tapes. Arpad transferred a few of the tapes to cd.

This thing was heavy, mostly steel, and it had separate tweeters and a solid bass output. It didn’t need any “Stereo Enhancer” setting. There were two mics in the upper corners of the front face and on top there were two good sized VU meters with separate knobs for input levels. I remember dropping it out of my bike basket and it is featured in a boat up in the 1000 Islands in Duane Sherwood’s video for “Nothing Lasts Forever“. We took it everywhere and eventually ran it into the ground.

Here is a version of Taana Gardner’s “Heartbeat” recorded live at the Peppermint Lounge on our blaster.


None of the Personal Effects material has ever been available on cd so we revisited the six releases and picked twenty songs to put on a compilation cd that we hope to have available at the show next Friday. One of the songs that made the cut was “Lucia’s Supper Club.”

I remember finding a pack of matches on Culver Road (I think) from Lucia’s Supper Club in Olean, NY. There was a gondola on the front and we were intrigued by the “Supper Club” name. We wrote a song about the place and put it on “It’s Different Out There” LP. The illustration I did for the cover sort of pictures Lucia’s the way we imagined.

Years later we found Olean on the map and drove down there for dinner at Lucia’s. We ordered Chicken Picatta and it was delicious. We brought an album with us and left it with the chef. I detailed our trip there on this Refrigerator entry. A few months later we received this letter in the mail.

Personal Effects - It's Different Out There

Hi, I just had to write to you…

I was browsing the Internet this week and came across your info on the web. What prompted me to write to you is that I am Lucia Bardenett’s great-granddaughter. She was the “Lucia” of Lucia’s Supper Club in Olean. Oddly, this weekend we are celebrating my grandfather’s (Lucia’a son) 87th birthday. Nonna (as we called her) died in 1986, so my grandfather is really the last of the restaurant’s founding immediate family. My grandfather was her only child. He had 6 children who gave him 15 grandchildren and 2 of those have given him 3 great-grandchildren. I am the oldest of the 15.

So there’s a little info for you. I didn’t want to go on and on, but anyone who would be so intrigued by a pack of matches to write a song, design an album cover, and make a trip to Olean would probably be interested.

I am forwarding the link to your website to all of my family members (as you can tell from the above is quite a few). Could you tell me how to get a copy of that song? The mp3 version on your site won’t work for me. If you have a chance, could you even send me a copy of the lyrics. We’d be interested to see what you imagined about our family’s old restaurant.

By the way, I can guarantee Nonna would have gotten a kick out of your album cover; she was such a character! Marie Rakus Olean, NY

Here’s the cd version of Lucia’s Supper Club.

Paul Polaroids

Here’s a batch of polaroids here from the Scorgie’s days. They aren’t all from Scorgies but they are all polaroids. I wish I had taken more from the stage because they are my favorite.


Chuck Cuminale aka Colorblind James Experience at Scorgies on March 8, 1985
Colorblind James Experience at Scorgies in 1985

I went to high school with Chuck Cuminale. He was best friends with my brother then and they were college roommates at Geneseo later on. They both moved to Oswego where Chuck put together an early version of his band called “Colorblind James and the White Caps.” Scott Regan from WRUR’s Open Tunings took my brother’s place in the cold water flat there. Scott and Chuck played in Jug bands in Oswego. We caught the White Caps performing at the Red Creek in 1980 and fell in love with the band. We played their “America, America” 7 inch nonstop.

Chuck moved to San Francisco for a while and and started playing with his brother-in-law, guitarist, Phil Marshall. They moved back to Rochester and Chuck immediately put a band together. I remember recommending Bernie Heveron as a bass player and that seemed to work out. Bernie played with us in Personal Effects for a few years. Bernie wrote “She’s A Witch” from Colorblind James’ first lp. We asked Colorblind to play with Personal Effects at Scorgies on March 8th, 1985 and these photos were taken that night by Gary Brandt. We played together again at Scorgies in August of that year.

Gary Meixner from the “White Caps” rejoined the band in Rochester. That’s him on the left. He later went on to form the infamous “Widerness Family.” Dreamland Faces do a beautiful version of Gary’s “Crossing Lake Rielly.” Bernie Heveron is on bass. Jimmy Mac settled into the drum chair and occupied it until Chuck’s death. Chuck is shown above playing guitar and Phil Marshall is on the end on lead guitar. Phil went on to form La La Land and the Hot Heads. You can see here there is a vocal mic on all four players in the front. Each of these guys put their own stamp on this band but in the end the band was all Chuck’s. I loved this band and I miss Chuck.

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Three of the Hi-Techs, Martin Edic, Peggi Fournier and Paul Dodd, before going on stage at Scorgies in 1980

Three of the Hi-Techs, Martin Edic, Peggi Fournier and Paul Dodd, before going on stage at Scorgies in 1980

Robert Slide, New Math’s original bass player, sent took these photos

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Ned Hoskin, Peggi Fournier, Paul Dodd and Martin Edic pictured on Hi-Techs postcard that came with Archive Records single, Boogaloo Rendezvous” b/w “Subscriptions”. Thanks to Stan for postcard image.

The Hi-Techs were different. Our lead instrument was a soprano sax. We loved the Contortions and James White, Bush Tetras, Kid Creole and James Brown. The Hi-Techs recorded “Pompeii” in 1979 in the basement of Robert Slide’s (Robert  played bass with me in New Math’s first line up) house. Duane Sherwood played synth swishes. Tom Kohn and Marty Duda released the song on their “From The City That Brought You Absolutely Nothing” compilation. Ned joined the band in 1980 and we played about twenty gigs at Scorgies before forming Personal Effects. Our first gig was opening for New Math. This was fitting as I had left New Math a few months before and we were all friends. Kevin Patrick called us at the last minute, as in the night of the show. Peggi and I were already in our pjs when he called. We used to practice a lot so we were ready. We wrote all of our material and our songs were fast. We could barely keep up with them. We had lots of songs and never did the same set twice.

Dick Storms asked us to record a single for his new Archive Records label. Dick had already put out Bahama Mama’s “Lonesome Cowboy” single. I played with New Math on “Die Trying” which Dwight Glodell recorded so we lined him up to produce the single. We did this at Craig Fennesy’s studio in the basement of his house in Hilton. We met Kevin Vicalvi there and he became our sound man and friend for life. “Boogaloo Rendezvous” b/w “Subscriptions (Are My Prescription)” became the second release on Archive Records. Bill Jones printed the cover at Asymmetrical Press on Smith Street. We started playing gigs in Buffalo with bands like the Stains, Paper Faces, The Vores, The Jumpers, and 10,000 Maniacs.

Peggi sang most songs and Ned Hoskin sang a few. Ned liked the Clash and the Boss so his songs had a sincere, working class hero vibe to them. Ned wrote the anthem, “Warren”, for Brian Horton and Blue Hand played it every time we saw them. Ned was a great rhythm guitar player and a big part of the Hi-Techs sound.

We recorded a second single for Archive called “Screamin’ You Head”. It was backed with “A Woman’s Revenge,” a funky number that was based on the Kiss and Darling photo novellas that we used to devour. You could buy them at Bertha’s on East Main near where we practiced. Bertha was too big to get up from behind the counter so she barked orders at another woman who just couldn’t move fast enough for Bertha. “Screamin’ You Head” got quite a bit of play in clubs in NYC. A Danceteria DJ named Iolo was instrumental in getting us club dates in New York and eventually our deal with Cachalot Records but by then we had morphed into Personal Effects.

One of the most interesting gigs Hi-Techs did was a live performance at Channel 31 in 1980 (before it went Fox) with Ozzy Osbourne. There was some other band on the bill too but I can’t remember who that might have been. It seems like Marty Duda had something to do with this date. They tried to record all three of us in one night and Ozzy went first. When we got there Ozzy’s roadies were all drunk. They had spent most of the night in the bar downstairs on the corner of Alexander and East. And they took forever to get their stuff taken down. We set up around three in the morning and played three songs – “Pompeii”, “Boogaloo Rendezvous” and “A Woman’s Revenge”. Here is a video of that performance. Channel 31 used the live audio in the first song and then they synced the footage of our second and third songs to the vinyl versions of those songs because they fucked up the sound. And they got Kathy Buckley to prance around as if she had anything to do with the band. That kind of bummed us out at the time.

Hi-Techs – “Pompeii,” “Screamin You Head” and “A Woman’s Revenge”

(From the Channel 31 show “After Hours,” recorded sometime in 1980-81)
To view this video in high quality, go to YouTube and select the “watch in high quality” link.

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This is a diagram of Duane Sherwood’s light set-up at Scorgies. Apparently he wasn’t going to be able to make a gig and he may have left these visual instructions for Jeanne Perri who often helped us behind the scenes. Unlike other clubs at the time, the sound system and lights were always at Scorgies. But it seemed only Duane knew what to do with the lights.

When Duane wasn’t behind the board, even when some relatively big name band was on the stage, the lights would not be focused on the players, not clustered in any logical order so that blue and red lights would both be on a subject at once cancelling each other out, or all the lights would be flashing all the time. Duane carefully orchestrated the back row of lights to work in tandem with the front spots and he was able to produce startling results. He paced himself too. The lighting produced a mood that fit the music and punctuated the highlights. And he always saved a big bang for the right moment.

Duane Sherwood and Jeanne Perri doing lights at Scorgies

Duane did lights for New Math as well as Personal Effects and the Majestics. We took him with us to New York, Boston, Cleveland and Washington. We could hardly play without him. And it wasn’t just lights, Duane’s theatrical flair was largely responsible for the direction of the multimedia shows that we did at the Community Playhouse, RIT, the Top of the Plaza and laser light show at the Planetarium.

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MX-80 at Scorgies

MX-80 rolled into Rochester to play Scorgies on Thursday, October 30, 1980. They had just released their first album on Ralph Records entitled “Out Of The Tunnel” and they were touring the East Coast. Martin Edic, Peggi and I caught MX-80 at Max’s in NYC and some other place uptown before their appearance here. Each show was sensational.

Peggi and I were good friends with Rich Stim, lead singer and sax player (pictured on the left). Rich taught Peggi how to play play sax. The first song she learned under his tutelage was Hava Nagila. And the drummer, Dave Mahoney, was my best friend and roomate for years. Peggi and I were in a band called the Chinaboise with these two in Bloomington, Indiana. Bruce Anderson, second from left, could be the best guitar player in the world and Dale Sophiea is a monster bass player. Peggi and I left Bloomington for Rochester and MX-80 eventually moved to San Francisco.

We opened for them in Rochester and in Buffalo. They made the Hi-Techs sound like a toy band with their powerful anthems, “Follow That Car”, “I Walk Among Them” and especially “Someday You’ll Be King”. We were blown away by their performances. Unlike most of the Scorgies bands, MX-80 is still around. Check out their video of “We’re An American Band“.

Here’s an mp3 of “Someday You’ll Be King”

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