Search Results for peter wolf

Total Results: 81


Peter Wolf

If the notoriously nocturnal Peter Wolf ever had a day job it would be ironically appropriate if it was working as a haberdasher because of the many hats he has worn over his long career; including musician, songwriter and commercial radio disc jockey. Peter Walter Blankfield was born on March 7, 1946 in the Bronx, NY and growing up he planned on being an artist. His commitment to music began early in his life after attending an Alan Freed Rock…


Peter Wolf

In March of 1968, Peter Wolf followed Joe Rogers onto the airwaves to become the second DJ at WBCN’s American Revolution. Born in New York City, Wolf studied art and painting before the blues refocused his attention on music and he settled in Cambridge. Soon the singing novice and harmonica trainee became a regular in the nightclubs, meeting and jamming with A-list favorites like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf and James Cotton….


Peter Simon

Peter Simon wore a lot of hats and was many things to many different people. But one thing is for sure: he was one of a kind; both eclectic and unique. Simon gave everything he had to everything he did. He was the perfect combination of perpetual teenager and ancient mariner and lived a casual beatnik life. He documented with his camera some of the biggest names in music from the ’60’s to his death on November 18, 2018 from a heart…


The Hallucinations

Before singer Peter Wolf and drummer Stephen Jo Bladd joined up with what would become The J. Geils Band, they were playing in the blues-rock-soul and, in the words of Wolf, “attitude-heavy” band The Hallucinations. Their live shows built them a large local following, and they served pretty much as the on-call opening act at The Boston Tea Party when it was still on Berkeley Street. Legend says that Wolf became the band’s…


Peter Malick

The first single Brookline native Peter Malick ever bought was “Great Balls of Fire” when he was around 8. His first instrument was clarinet. But when the Beatles and the Stones hit, he exchanged the clarinet for a guitar. He was 12. And when he first heard Lee Dorsey singing “Working in a Coal Mine” on WILD, his musical tastes switched from pop to soul and blues. Yet when he started performing in bands – the first one was PPMWW (members were,…


Peter Dayton

Guitarist and singer Peter Dayton came to Boston and studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. While educating himself in this regard, he also rode a rocket to local fame as the front man in La Peste, one of the most compelling punk bands to ever emerge from the area. But even as the hard rockin’ trio edged to the pole position among the city’s volume dealers, the guitarist and singer abruptly announced…


A Blues Summit In A VW Bus

Steve Nelson was the manager of the Boston Tea Party in 1967-68. Rock & Roll evolved from a mixing of musical cultures, a concoction cooked up from different ingredients to create tasty new licks. We all know the story of Sam Phillips at Sun Records looking for a white boy who could sing black music, and finding Elvis. If you were around Boston in the late Sixties, you could get a good whiff of that strange brew at The Boston Tea Party. It…


Peter Malick Listens To The Universe

Peter Malick is a guitarist and record producer from Boston who early in his career played with legendary piano bluesman Otis Spann and lived at his home in Chicago. My entry into the bigtime happened not long after my 14th birthday. The place was a bar on Huntington Ave, and it was my first gig outside of either school, or in a church basement. I was the youngest band member, and I innocently walked up to the big Irish police officer who was…


Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor is a singer, sister, songwriter and mother. She was born in Boston and grew up with her four brothers — Alex (A.T.), James, Livingston and Hugh — in Chapel Hill, N.C. where her dad was Dean of the University of North Carolina Medical School. She is a member of one of the most famous musical families in the world and has enjoyed a lot of success as a performer and recording artist. Kate formed her first band at age…


Peter Rowan

Equally adept at playing guitar and mandolin, and at singing and yodeling, Wayland, MA native Peter Rowan is best known as a local king of bluegrass, since he first joined Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys in the mid-’60s. But he’s been involved with many styles of music, from Tex-Mex with The Cupids to folk-rock with Earth Opera and a mix of blues, jazz, folk, bluegrass and classical in Seatrain. He played full-out bluegrass with his brothers…


Ed Vadas

With a towering presence and commanding on-stage versatility, Ed Vadas, born in Worcester, MA on September 26, 1944, was affectionately known as Vast Ed Vadas to many on the folk and blues circuits of New England and beyond. A lifelong performer, songwriter, actor, philosopher, storyteller, blues scholar, and teacher, Vadas was above all a musician’s musician. Originally moving to Amherst to attend UMass after a stint in Vietnam, he ultimately…


Steve Berkowitz

  Steve Berkowitz has been an artist manager, tour manager, booking agent, concert promoter, guitar player (aka T. Blade), retail record buyer, recording studio owner (Syncro-Sound), D.J., truck driver, NCAA basketball referee, Columbia and Sony Records (Legacy) executive, roadie and soda jerk who was raised in the Brighton section of Boston, Massachusetts.  “I’m proudly from Brighton, from the projects of Fidelis Way. My…


Hot Tin Roof

A magical venue known as the Hot Tin Roof opened in 1979 at the airport on Martha’s Vineyard. George Brush and Herb Putnam, together with Carly Simon, operated the nightclub in those days as a combination restaurant and music venue. Featured in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Newsweek, People magazine, The Roof (as locals affectionately called it) would ultimately be covered in every publication that…


Jim Parry

In March 1968, a week after his first show on the fledgling WBCN, Peter Wolf ran into Jim Parry, a Princeton graduate and self-professed “unregenerate folkie,” who had journeyed to the folk music Mecca of Harvard Square. Parry remembered, “He said, ‘I’m doing this show at this new station, but I’ve never engineered before and I have no idea how to do that.’ I said, ’Oh, gee, I did that when I was in school.” So, as simply as that, Parry joined…


The Boston Tea Party

“This is our favorite place to play in the whole country.”  – Lou Reed, onstage with The Velvet Underground at the Tea Party, 12/12/68 MMONE celebrated the 40th anniversary of The Boston Tea Party, the legendary 1960s rock ballroom, with a gathering of 100 Boston-area music people on 1/24/07. At that event The Bostonian Society unveiled an historical marker to be placed on the building at 53 Berkeley Street (at the corner of Appleton…


Steve Nelson

Co-Founder and President Emeritus of the Music Museum Of New England. Steve managed the legendary rock and blues club The Boston Tea Party (1967-68), owned The Woodrose Ballroom in South Deerfield, MA (1969), and produced shows as “The Woodrose Presents” at The Paramount Theater in Springfield, MA (1970). Growing up on Long Island, NY in the 1950s, he was a fervent fan of rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm ‘n’ blues, a loyal listener to the great DJs…


Al Perry

Al Perry appeared on the air during the nightly Peter Wolf broadcasts, working the controls for ‘Wooa-Goofa’ during ‘BCN’s formative months in 1968. But he’d actually been at the station for six months by that point, hired when WBCN still featured classical music. “I swept floors; then I got my FCC license and did a little news and weather at the top of the hour. When Ray Riepen came in I started selling [commercial time].” This meant that…


WBCN

WBCN-FM, a collective of free-spirited radio pioneers, launched from the fading grandeur of a classical music radio station rapidly spinning out of business. On the night of March 15, 1968, Mississippi Harold Wilson (Joe Rogers) touched the needle to Cream’s “I Feel Free,” declaring FM independence and the beginning of Boston’s underground radio experiment, dubbed “The American Revolution.” Boston Tea Party owner Ray Riepen saw that the stereo…


Johnny A.

John Antonopoulos was born in Malden, MA in 1952 and from day one his last name was invariably getting mispronounced; “it’s always been Johnny A. since age eight,” he explains. Johnny started out playing drums at six years old and when he reached eleven in 1964, and heard The Beatles, his parents bought him a $49 Lafayette guitar. And the rest is history. In the seventies, he formed The Streets and the band had a lot of local…


The J. Geils Band

The powerhouse blues-rock sextet The J. Geils Band was one of the premiere American studio and concert acts in the ’70s and ’80s. Originally The J. Geils Blues Band out of Worcester, MA  — including guitarist J. Geils, harmonica player Magic Dick and bassist Danny Klein — in 1968 manic frontman Peter Wolf and his former bandmate in The Hallucinations Stephen Jo Bladd joined up, followed…


J.J. Jackson

J.J. Jackson came to WBCN in the fall of 1968, after the underground rock station had shrugged off its classical music past and programmed free-form music 24/7. Once slotted into the midday shift, he would achieve industry notoriety as the earliest radio proponent of an unknown new band named Led Zeppelin and later, as one of MTV’s first group of video jocks. Jackson held down a computer technology job, but was a novice DJ himself, on WTUF at…


Charlie McKenzie

Charles R. (Charlie) McKenzie was born and raised in West Roxbury, MA. and he loved music. He was an early entrepreneur — while attending Catholic Memorial he was booking local bands for CYO dances he was able to make a little pocket money and be involved with the music he adored. Although he was not a musician he had an amazing ear for talent that would serve him well later in his career. He started that career working for the Warner…


Orphan

Many noteworthy bands ascended from the greater Boston area during the early-to-mid-60s.  Some of them made it to the national and international stage while some of them simply “made it” locally.  Some never made much more than a footnote in Boston musical history. But one group created a unique vibe of their own and etched an indelible stamp on the Boston rock & roll scene and beyond.  Known initially as The Orphans, a name…


Opening for The J. Geils Band at Boston Garden

Jon Butcher was guitarist/singer/songwriter for The Jon Butcher Axis and is presently with Farren Butcher Inc. It’s hard to pinpoint single events as being the greatest, having the most impact and generally being the most memorable. I’ve been luckier than most in the scope of my career, with an abundance of memorable events and professional milestones. Few of those events however rise to the occasion of seminal. With all of the…


Bunratty’s/Melody Lounge/Local 186/The Wonder Bar

In 1885, the site of Bunratty’s was owned by wealthy area residents the Baldwin family, and the brick building itself was constructed in 1920 at 186 Harvard Avenue in the heavily Irish Allston/Brighton neighborhood. Much later, it became a bar and was named after an Irish castle, but it originally opened as a Vaudeville theatre that morphed briefly into a movie theater. Decades later, Dennis Mullins bought the bar and had his grand…


Amphion

The music management company Amphion brought a new level of professionalism to the bands they handled in Boston in the late Sixties. Formed in the summer of ’67 by M.I.T. student Ray Paret and Williams College alum David Jenks, they got their start with a band they heard at the Unicorn Coffeehouse: Ultimate Spinach, a psychedelic creation of its leader/songwriter Ian Bruce-Douglas. Ray and David landed them bookings at The Boston Tea Party and…


The Unicorn Coffee House

825 Boylston Street, Boston, MA In the 1960s American folk music experienced a great revival. The movement was centered in Greenwich Village, New York and in the Boston area.  There were many  coffeehouses in eastern Massachusetts presenting live music.  In Harvard Square there was Club 47.  In Boston’s Back Bay, there was the Unicorn. It was owned by George Papadopolous, who also operated the rock club Psychedelic…


Van Morrison

Van Morrison is a semi-legendary figure in pop and rock circles because of the huge catalogue of work he’s released during parts of five decades. He’s been a punk rocker, a balladeer, a mystic, a bluesman, a Celtic bard, and more. Though New England wasn’t a big part of Morrison’s life in actual time spent in the area, a good case could be made that if it weren’t for his days in Boston during the late 60’s,…


Face to Face

Face to Face, formed in Manchester, NH, was a Boston-based New Wave act that recorded three albums for national labels before it disbanded in 1988. The band melded high-octane vocals with savvy arrangements and steely guitar work. The group actually cracked the top forty in the early 80’s with the tune “10-9-8.” Originally signed to Epic Records, that debut album included fiery rockers like “Over The Edge” and “Out of My Hands” as well as smart…


Charles Laquidara

WBCN’s most enduring personality came to WBCN after returning to Boston in December 1968 from years of acting study. The future DJ hadn’t gotten the big break he needed: at one point he auditioned for the lead role in The Boston Strangler, but as an unknown, lost that part to Tony Curtis (an event Laquidara would rue on the air for his entire career). But his timing at WBCN was perfect: he replaced the departing Peter Wolf just as the station…


Bobby Chouinard

Drummer Bobby Chouinard was born in Brockton, MA in 1953, and after cutting his teeth with the likes of Utopia, Orphan, James Montgomery, Duke and the Drivers, and Wiley Crawford, he moved to the New York City nightclub scene, where his powerhouse drumming style fueled late ’70s rock ‘n’ rollers Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding. Chouinard spent the Eighties working with everyone from Billy Squier, Ted Nugent, Peter Wolf, and…


The Woodrose Ballroom

In the late 1930s, The Gables Ballroom in South Deerfield, Massachusetts (just north of Amherst) held dances with touring big bands such as McEnelly & His Orchestra (“New England’s Waltz King”) and Helen Compton and her 42nd Street Girls (“Dazzling Young Princesses of Rhythm”).  It also presented the Robak & Fronc WMAS Broadcasting Orchestra, a local outfit with future Polka Music Hall of Fame inductee Jan Robak. In 1969, rebranded…


The Short, Beautiful Life of The Performance Center

Peter Wassyng has spent a life surrounded by music. In addition to his work below, he had a long career as a record promo man for Capitol Records, EMI-America and A&M Records, among others. My lifelong journey in the music industry began in earnest when I helped Roger Abramson manage The Performance Center, a small two-room club on the third floor of The Garage in Harvard Square at 36 Boylston Street (now JFK Street). Although the club only…


Wendy Carlos

In a four-decade-long music career filled with many achievements and much acclaim, Wendy Carlos played a significant role in getting popular music instrumentation to catch up to the radical ideas of the late 20th century’s most revolutionary artists. Carlos primarily achieved this with her most well-known release, 1968’s Switched-On Bach, an album that boldly reimagined classic musical and brought the sounds of esoteric electronic instruments…


Long View Farm Studio

Long before white Europeans arrived from ships and formed settlements along the Atlantic coast, native inhabitants worshipped this sacred land spread across a grassy hill in central Massachusetts. Yet, even these early Americans could not foresee how the power and magic of this place would profoundly change those who came to live and visit in the centuries to follow. For in the 19th and 20th Centuries, the flatlands gave way to tiny villages…


Exploring The Catacombs With Van Morrison

Joe Bebo is a musician and author of In The Back Of The Van: The Story of One Unforgettable Summer, available at Amazon. During the summer of 1968 I played drums with Van Morrison when he first played in the Catacombs. It was located on 1120 Boylston Street just down the street from Berklee at the time, where I was going to school. Unlike the other clubs we played that summer, like the Boston Tea Party and the Supermarket, the Catacombs was a…


James Montgomery

James Montgomery was born on May 12, 1949 in one of the blues capitals of the world: Detroit, Michigan and learned the tricks of his trade from the masters James Cotton, John Lee Hooker and Jr. Wells at the legendary Chessmate Club. His father labored for Chrysler as a public relations exec, his brother John also worked in the music industry and his younger brother Jeffrey was a LGBT activist. In the music world his family tree is short and…


Tommy Hadges

On the fabled first night of WBCN’s “American Revolution;” March 15, 1968; DJ Tommy Hadges stood at Joe Rogers’ side as the latter placed the needle on Cream’s “I Feel Free” and commercial underground radio fired its first shot in Boston.  Both jocks were Tufts University students who found their way to M.I.T.’s WTBS-FM and the attention of entrepreneur Ray Riepen, who hired them for his fledgling radio project.  When the overnight…


Billy Ruane

Billy Ruane was many things. During the mid and late ’80’s through much of the ’90’s, his larger than life personality was a major force in moving the nucleus of the local music scene from Boston to Cambridge; specifically Central Square but also Harvard, Porter and Inman Squares where he promoted shows and was a major scene fixture. Single handedly, he shaped the scene. Billy was an unforgettable figure; a real cartoon…


Duke Levine

The first time Duke Levine picked up a guitar was when he was 8. The youngest of five kids, his older brothers all played, and Duke (real name Robert) and his sister soon developed an interest. That first one was an acoustic that belonged to his brother Rick. After just one strum, Duke thought something along the lines of, “Hey, I’m making a pretty good sound!” What he didn’t know was that Rick, who did a lot of fingerpicking folkie stuff, had…


Crystal Syrup: Unfinished Business in the Brockton, MA Music Scene

I was part of a fledgling and largely unknown band in the mid-sixties that emerged out of the local music scene and where new, exciting and inspiring sounds were coming at us from all directions. Like many of us that grew up during the sixties and specifically in the age of British Invasion music that began when the Beatles made their first live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on the evening of February 9, 1964, I was among those 73 million…


The Boston Sound

Depending on what you were listening to in 1968, your recollection of the “Boston sound” is either: (a) it was just another example of record company hype, with little to show for it; (b) it was a good opportunity for some creative and talented Boston-area bands to get much-deserved national attention; or (c) it was a little of both. The “Boston sound” was a record company promotion also called “the Bosstown sound.” But by either name, it was a…


Grabbing the Horn by the Bulls at Boston Garden

Jon Pousette-Dart, fronting his namesake band or as a solo performer, has been a mainstay on the New England music scene for over forty years, Let’s see. I’m on the island of Nantucket one summer, where I had family who lived year round. I was hanging out with old friend Eugene Grimaldi at the Chicken Box, where John Hammond was to play that night. As we were standing at the bar late in the afternoon, Eugene said to me, I’m…


La Peste

A punk rock powerhouse trio with dark, shadowy subject material and high-velocity wail, La Peste took its name (translated as “The Plague”) from the book by Albert Camus. La Peste’s appearance on the Boston scene at the tail end of the 70’s was sudden and striking. Fronted by the tall, dark, and handsome Peter Dayton, the band blasted out of its rehearsal hall/apartment and quickly made a mark in the local circuit,…


Tony Raine

Tony Raine came from England, and his life reached legendary proportions in the local entertainment industry when he moved to New England. He was born on August 4, 1955 in Blackburn, Lancashire. Blackburn is thirty one miles from Liverpool and twenty one miles from Manchester and his father was a drummer:  He has one brother Mick who also played drums in a band called Kuba from North Wales whose claim to fame was opening for The Alarm a…


Orchestra Luna

I started writing songs in New Haven on a discarded church piano, in a house jammed with artists, musicians and poets. Meanwhile, my sister Lisa, had moved to Cambridge and thought I’d like it up there. I hitchhiked, moved, and wound up in Somerville. I worked in Quincy at a group home for delinquents. With salary  saved I bought an upright, hoisted it into my 3rd floor apartment, put tacks in the hammers to brighten the sound and…


Cliff Goodwin

Super six-stringer Cliff Goodwin was born in Worcester, MA on August 4th, 1953; and his father played sax and piano. His early influences initially included The Beatles but he  quickly discovered the British blues scene: Clapton, Beck, and Page, and these great guitarists set the stage for his colossal career in music.   By the time Cliff was in the seventh grade, at thirteen years old, he formed a Beatles-inspired band, The Exit…


Norman Greenbaum

Norman was born in Malden, MA on November 20, 1942, was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home; and attended Hebrew school as a child. He first listened to Southern blues and the folk music popular during the late fifties and early sixties, and performed with various bands in high school. Greenbaum then attended Boston University for two years where he played at local coffeehouses. Norman nails it: ‘Gee, It’s been fifty-five years since…


B.B. King, his B.B. ring, and B.B.

Steve Nelson was the manager of The Boston Tea Party in 1967-68 “Twas the 18th of April,” the anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride, 1968, a Thursday night. Two weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Racial relations were tense in Boston. Playing The Boston Tea Party that night was a black bluesman making his first appearance before a white audience in Boston after many years playing chitlin’ circuit clubs in the city. B.B. King….


Dale Dorman

Dale Dorman’s 45 year career in radio did not start in Boston but for anyone that has ever turned on the radio in New England his iconic voice and razor sharp wit were instantly recognizable. Dale was born in 1943 near Syracuse NY and it didn’t take long for him to figure out that he wanted to be behind the microphone. At the young age of five Dale heard a radio broadcast and once his mom explained how it all worked-he instantly decided…


Fat City Band

It takes a passion to create something.  For Paul Redmond, founder of the Fat City Band, he had two: harmonica and collecting blues records.  As a kid, he took piano lessons, but with harmonica here was something he could carry and practice wherever he went.  While serving in the Marine Corp reserves in his late teens and early 20s, he would always have one with his gear to regale his fellow Marines with blues grooves and, of…


Wilson Pickett Goes “Surf”ing at The Midnight Hour

Bassist extraordinaire James “Hutch” Hutchinson has toured the world playing with rock’s greatest heroes, including a 35-years-and-counting stint with Bonnie Raitt. So……..during summer vacations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, for a couple of weeks each year, my family would rent a second floor flat just south of Boston in Nantasket. I loved it as it was not far from the amusement park, Paragon Park, directly across the street…


15 Lansdowne Street

When a home run sailed over the Green Monster at Fenway Park in 1968, it landed on Lansdowne Street and maybe bounced into the taxi garage across the way.  But by New Years Eve that year, the sound of bat hitting ball had been replaced by the sound of drumstick hitting drum head  and the garage had been transformed into The Ark, a rock club built at #15 by promoter Charlie Thibeaux.  A neophyte to the music business, his…


The Fools

Hailing from Ipswich, Massachusetts, the quintet first known as The Rhythm A’s, then later as The Fools, got together around 1975. Rich Bartlett, Doug Forman, Mike Girard, Chris Pedrick, and Stacey Pedrick assembled live performances that included rock-pop music wrapped around skits, slapstick, and audience participation. Radio programmers liked their “Psycho Killer” spoof, “Psycho Chicken,” and the record was a…


The Zulus

The Zulus grew out of one of Boston’s most hallowed late-seventies institutions – Human Sexual Response. That band featured a tight musical unit backing up three lead singers who generated a great deal of heat onstage and one huge local hit in “Jackie Onassis”. After national recognition, Human Sexual Response lost two-thirds of its front lineup and subsequently much of its unique character. Not to be deterred, Wild Kingdom…


Pousette-Dart Band

Jon Pousette-Dart captained the Pousette-Dart Band through four albums of well-received countrified folk/pop for Capitol Records between 1976 and 1980, a run that acquainted a generation with his formidable gifts as a singer, songwriter, arranger, guitarist and all-around musical adventurer. During this time, the Pousette-Dart Band became one of the busiest touring groups in the U.S., working with fellow travelers like the Byrds, Bonnie Raitt,…


The Pandoras

From 1964-1968 The Pandoras was an all-girl band (one of the first!) playing a few original tunes and a bunch of popular covers at concerts and dances throughout New England. They started out as a trio, with Simmons College students Kathy Kinsella and Pinky Keehner on rhythm guitar and lead guitar, and Sally Levy on drums. Elysee Thierry eventually came in on bass, but personnel changes also followed. Levy left and was replaced by drummer Nanci…


Ric Ocasek

Baltimore born, this owlish singer/songwriter/guitarist has had a well-documented impact on the Boston and national (even international) scenes as the driving force behind The Cars. Dropping out of Bowling Green University, Ocasek (born Richard Otcasek) fell in with fellow musician Ben Orr (when he was still known as Ben Orzechowski) and formed bands in Cleveland and New York City before reaching Cambridge. The two put together a folk trio…


Big Dipper

After parting ways with Peter Prescott and his post-Mission of Burma project Volcano Suns two years before that group released their 1987 debut The Bright Orange Years, guitarist Gary Waleik and bassist Steve Michener (who also served in fellow-Bostonians Dumptruck) recruited guitarist/vocalist Bill Goffrier, and drummer Jeff Oliphant to form Big Dipper. Mixing post-punk jaggedness with Amerindie jangle, the band gigged regularly throughout…


Extreme

First called The Dreams, the Bay State band’s original 1981 lineup was Gary Cherone, Paul Geary, Eddy Goulart and Peter Hunt. By their first recording in 1984, Goulart had been replaced by David Rich, and they were known for energetic stage shows. For mystery-shrouded reasons, the band lost their name, and by 1985 they were the “ex-Dream,” which morphed into Extreme. Another lineup change resulted in Pat Badger and Nuno…


Earth Opera

Some music people believe the 60’s Boston band Earth Opera once had a good shot at being the East Coast answer to the Grateful Dead. It never happened, but it’s easy to understand such enthusiasm. The band’s core members featured singer/songwriter/guitarist Peter Rowan and mandolin virtuoso David Grisman, and also included John Nagy on bass, Paul Dillon on drums, and Bill Stevenson on keyboards. The group’s sound leaned…


Canobie Ballroom Record Hops

Wayne Ulaky was a bassist and vocalist for the Beacon Street Union. I first moved to Salem, New Hampshire in 1958, aged 10. Salem was a very small town at the time, and Route 93 did not yet exist over the NH border. The only access from Massachusetts was via Route 28, or by train that stopped at “Salem Depot.” In fact, that was officially the name of the town, and they dropped “Depot” years later when the train system was discontinued….


Mission of Burma

The post-punkers Mission of Burma — originally the trio of Roger Miller (guitar), Clint Conley (bass), and Peter Prescott (drums), then a quartet with Martin Swope (“tape manipulator”, etc.) — had a great four-year run from 1979-83, highlighted by trenchant tracks such as “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” and “Academy Fight Song”. The band recorded one EP (1981’s Signals, Calls and…


Tim Jackson

Tim was born April 29, 1949 to a family passionate about theater and the arts. His mother, Polly, was an artist and her father a successful painter and watercolor artist in Boston whose family arrived in 1620 on one of the the Mayflower ships. His father William, from Brooklyn, was a blue-collar worker who worked his way up as an ad man who lost his job at age 50 because he had never earned a high school degree. He was a hardworking funny guy…


Iron Horse Music Hall

With its five colleges and population of the progressive, cultured, and curious, the Pioneer Valley in Western MA, and Northampton in particular, was an ideal spot for a new coffeehouse and music listening room in 1979. Not that there weren’t already plenty of clubs, concert halls, and boogie bars in the area, there were. But the Iron Horse Coffeehouse, which opened Saturday, February 24, 1979, with a capacity of 60 was different, soon becoming…


Barrence Whitfield

Barrence Whitfield (born Barry White) came to Boston from New Jersey in the late ’70s to attend Boston University after fronting hard rock, disco, and even progressive rock bands. But he never sang any soul or R&B music until he met Boston musicians, including ex-Lyres guitarist Peter Greenberg, who shared Whitfield’s love of high energy soul and R&B music performed by artists like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Little Richard….


What’s the best concert you ever saw? Tommy Can You Hear Me?

Author John Stover was a music fan in the Boston area. We all have our desert island list of books and albums.  These are tangible things, things we save and hopefully might pass on to our kids.  (“What’s an album, Dad?”)  But what if you could go back in time and revisit the best concert you’ve ever seen?  What would it be?  Where were you?  How high were…


DMZ

Boston’s late-seventies rock scene exploded after a Big-Bang event — the release of the Live at the Rat double album recorded in September 1976. From the seminal bands on that record and their breeding ground, the Rathskellar club in Kenmore Square, a beachhead was established that would mark Boston as a major source of new music for decades. DMZ was one of the first bands out of the gate, weighing in with a pair of tracks on Live at the…


The Dogmatics

When punk music first exploded in Boston during the late 1970’s and 1980’s, all major record labels had their main offices in NYC and kept their eyes and ears on what was happening on the local music scene in New England. The Dogmatics were playing garage punk before the genre even had a name and their sound was specific to the area and showcased their power, passion and pride.   Twins Pete and Paul O’ Halloran…


Monoman + Oil Truck = Mission of Burma?

Clint Conley is the bassist for Mission of Burma and a producer for WCVB’s Chronicle . I spent my high school years in Darien, Connecticut–a leafy suburb of NY–ravenously consuming music from all spheres — Soft Machine to Slade, Ornette to Iggy, Beefheart, Bowie, and, always, always, the Kinks. Just about the only person who could keep up with my listening habits was Jeff Conolly, a year younger than me. He was…


The Proletariat

“People are always telling us to smile onstage,” said Peter Bevilacqua, bassist for the Proletariat. “But we’re serious. We believe so much in what we’re doing.” Why smile when it’s more fun to sneer? Dogmatic lyrics, belligerent vocals, shadowy, guitar-dominated soundscapes, a heavy de-emphasis on image—Fall River (MA)’s the Proletariat occupied that exhilarating, cramped space between punk and post-punk. Deranged with frustration and…


Lyres

From the ashes of DMZ, or in this case the bottom of a staircase, rose the band Lyres. In a major band altercation in 1978 in DMZ’s rehearsal space, lead singer Monoman tumbled down two flights of stairs. Mono was reborn Jeff Conolly (aka Jeff Conolloid, Joselito Gomez, Lynn Pokemonojeff) and Lyres was formed. Lyres (not “The” Lyres as some obscure group from the 50’s once recorded under that name) is Jeff’s band. Songwriter, keyboard player…


Tone-Cool Records

Blues harpist Richard ‘Rosy’ Rosenblatt set up a basement recording studio and started Tone-Cool Recording Studio in 1985. The name was based on a rather obscene French pun. He began with his own 11th Hour Band, T.Blade & The Esquires (ex-Cars Manager Steve Berkowitz’s band), Dennis Brennan’s Push Push, Paul Rishell, ‘Earring’ George Merriweather and the ‘Boston Blues Blast’ compilation. Rosy…


Newport Folk Festival: A Triptych

The mid-1960s were a time of transition in popular music.  We had been through the roots of rock with Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis, and multitudes of other talented rock artists.  In the early part of the decade, we became enamored with folk music.  The easy sounds of Tom Rush, the Kingston Trio, and Peter, Paul, and Mary gave our parents a little break, although Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were always available to drive them over…


Tom Hambridge

Tom Hambridge was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. He was known in school and on the music scene as T.H.; drummer extraordinaire. During this time, whenever Chuck Berry or Roy Buchanan came to town for a performance,  he would get the call and become their band leader/drummer. He also performed with super stars Bo Diddley, Martha Reeves, Peter Noone and a ton of others. For more than a…


Parker Wheeler

For the past twenty- seven years, since 1990, Parker Wheeler has hosted his Sunday Night Blues Party at The Grog, in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In the process, he has become a local legend because of his great talent playing the blues harp, and for bringing the best artists in the area to participate and perform at his North Shore long- time landmark jams.   Wheeler’s parents met in college, as seniors at the…


The Western Front

At the very first: more intimidating than actually scary, upon reflection. The Riverside area of Cambridge at Western Avenue and the River Charles was not always so friendly to skinny white boys back in the early seventies. There was an oasis in that social tension, but you had to look for it.  Walking in to the Western Front for the first time I remember just a spoonful of trepidation.  It was nothin’ but a loving spoonful, as I came…


Brandy’s I

During the late 60’s and early 70’s there was an enormous amount of unknown and known musicians making music in the Boston area. I was personally involved in this movement for years. Although there were many nightclubs throughout Boston, I would like to touch on the one place I considered one of the best for music, entertainment and fun: “Brandy’s I.” Brandy’s I, was located in the Packard Square area of Allston, Massachusetts at…


Michael Bolton

Singer-songwriter Michael Bolton was born Michael Bolotin in New Haven, Connecticut. Bolton’s father, George, and mother, Helen, were also born in New Haven. As a boy, he lived with his family in several New Haven locations, including homes on Whalley Avenue, Elm Street and Ella Grasso Boulevard. Prior to becoming the singing sensation known to millions of his loyal fans, Bolton was very active in the New Haven music scene. At a very early age,…


The Rusty Nail

More than three decades after burning to the ground in late July 1985, the Rusty Nail in Sunderland MA, just north of the Hampshire/Franklin County line, is still lovingly remembered as one of Western Massachusetts’ iconic musical venues. During its run beginning in the early 1970s, the Nail drew music aficionados from the Albany, Brattleboro, and Hartford areas as well as from much of Massachusetts, including nearby UMass Amherst. Tom Waits,…


Shakespeare Got Booed Too

Sailors, some in civies, but obvious, standing by the beer stand, hissed and booed.  We were seventeen, sneaking into the good seats.  When people had to pee we’d stroll down and take their place. That night, nobody got up. The sound was terrible. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band I’d seen at Paul’s Mall on Boyleston St. in Boston was not well represented. Gospel singers at the previous Newport Folk Festival had plugged in.  There…