It’s Only A Song

Personal Effects’ version of Skeeter Davis classic, “End of the World.”

Our neighbor works from home, like we did for so many years, but he says his workload has been cut in half. That’s better than so many others who have been laid off. But the toilet paper factory is hiring.

If you are a glass half full kinda guy there are so many other bright spots to this virus. There is much less pollution in the world. Google and Facebook are selling more ads than ever. Amazon and Instacart are hiring. Paid sick leave should finally be a no-brainer. And child care. Think of the minimum wage health care workers who are scrambling now to find someone to watch their kids while they are out of school. Virtual offices are buzzing. Education should have already moved online. And how about some good old infrastructure. Get out there and fix the potholes while no one is on the roads. I know it is all yin and yang but I’m looking for a positive bump as we navigate these circumstances.

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Lucia’s Supper Club

Photo of Lucia's Supper Club in Olean, New York 2002
Photo of Lucia’s Supper Club in Olean, New York 2002
Matches for Lucia's Supper Club in Ocean, New York. Found on the sidewalk in Rochester, New York.
Matches for Lucia’s Supper Club in Olean, New York. Found on the sidewalk in Rochester, New York.

Many years ago we found a book of matches from Lucia’s Supper Club, a restaurant in Olean, New York. I don’t remember where we found them but they made an impression. We wrote a song about Lucia’s as we imagined it. If it was a supper club, there surely was more to it than the food, so we came up with a fictional band that took the stage after dinner. We recorded a song, “Lucia’s Supper Club,” for the album “It’s Different Out There” I did a drawing for the cover of the lp picturing what we imagined Lucia’s Supper Club looked like .

Personal Effects "It's Different Out There" on Earring Records 1985 EAR 3
Personal Effects “It’s Different Out There” on Earring Records 1985 EAR 3

In 2002, on my birthday, we decided to track the place down. We weren’t even sure where Olean was but thought it was closer to Rochester than it turned out to be. The restaurant was still in business but but it was not as glamorous as we had pictured it. We had dinner there and when the waitress pronounced the name of the place she said “Loo-chia’s” instead of “Loo-cha’s”. Oh well, too late for that detail. I posted a piece about our visit in the Refrigerator and Lucia’s granddaughter spotted it and sent us this note.

“Hi, 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 a ratty live version of Personal Effects “Lucia’s Supper Club” from Idol’s in Rochester, New York. Bob Martin plays guitar, Paul Dodd plays percussion, Peggi Fournier sings and plays keyboard, Robin Goldblatt Mills plays bass.

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Long Live Sparky

Inside Sparky's garage on Hall Street in Rochester, New York
Inside Sparky’s garage on Hall Street in Rochester, New York

In 1982 our next door neighbor had had enough. We were rehearing in our basement and it wasn’t the band noise that bothered him, it was our guitar player’s muffler. That and the coming and going at all hours. The houses on Hall Street were close together and equipment had to be unloaded at three in the morning. We found this letter taped to our back door.

I couldn’t imagine that we would ever be friends but we lived next door for twenty seven years. I wasn’t even able to tell him were were gonna move so I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride with me. When he got in the car I told him to turn around. The back of our car was loaded with furniture and boxes and took a drive tor new place. He liked it.

Sparky was born in Kentucky and Peggi and I spent a lot of time in Indiana so there was that hillbilly connection. I told him I played in a country band there and he claimed to be in a country band then. I never knew what to believe from Sparky. I knew he had a gun and he sat in the dark in his house on Halloween it nearby. He told us so. He claimed to to have shot a sewer rat out front. And we saw him hosing down noisy crickets at night. He only went to fifth grade and I spent an afternoon trying to teach him fractions. He raked his lawn in his pajamas while smoking a pipe. I started keeping track of Sparky episodes.

After we moved he regularly came to visit and we would stop by to check up on him. At the funeral services tonight we learned he stopped by people’s homes all over town. He seemed to get younger and happier each time we saw him. He bought homemade Polish sausage from a woman in Buffalo and we grilled it in the backyard. Did it really come from Buffalo? It was the best sausage I have ever had in my life.

I was happy to see some of my photos of Sparky on the board at the funeral home and a photo of my painting, “Sparky Goes To A Gig.” A country singer dressed in black with a wide brimmed hat and red scarf sang “The Streets of Laredo” and then a Johnny Cash medley. Sparky was ninety two, an age when all his friends should have been dead but the funeral home was packed. We told his daughter we would send her a link to this video that Peggi shot.

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Nothing Lasts Forever

Peggi Fournier performing with Personal Effects at Scorgie's in Rochester, New 1983. Photo by Ed Richter.
Peggi Fournier performing with Personal Effects at Scorgie’s in Rochester, New 1983. Photo by Ed Richter.

I got completely sidetracked the last few days organizing my digital life. It started when I came across some early eighties Hi-Techs songs that were never released so I did a web page for that band and that project led directly to the next band, Personal Effects. I sorted through folders and folders within folders of old band photos and found the one above that I don’t remember seeing before. I created a mini website for the band just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Community Playhouse Multimedia Show.

Duane Sherwood wanted to get the band members together for a photo in front of the place to mark the anniversary but that wouldn’t have been as much fun as any of these old photos.

The band played the Scorgies Reunion a few years back and released a 20 song compilation cd. I have no idea why we didn’t put Bernie’s “What’s The Attraction?” on there or “Nothing Lasts Forever.” I guess that is what the website is for. Bob Martin says he has video of us performing “Is That All There Is?” so this may be an ongoing project for a defunct band. Hey, we played with “Defunkt” at Danceteria in New York.

Personal Effects "It's Different Out There" on Earring Records 1985 EAR 3
Personal Effects “It’s Different Out There” on Earring Records 1985 EAR 3
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Playing Ball With Matisse

Jalisco Ball Players the Met in NYC
Jalisco Ball Players the Met in NYC

The focal point of our NYC trip was the Matisse show, “In Search of True Painting,” at the Metropolitan. There were no photos allowed so I have committed the images to my psyche. Matisse is the master of color and form and expression and this show is arranged like a master class in painting. You see versions Matisse did of the same painting hung side by side and you see how he reworked them to better tell the real story. He often photographed his paintings in various stages, the photographs helped him and they are shown here to help us. But just standing in front of these perfect paintings is an exhilarating experience.

When they kicked us out of the Met we took a train up to Harlem to visit a different nephew. He’s finishing law school at Columbia and he had a few suggestions for good soul food in his neighborhood. The Col. Young American Legion Post on 132nd between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglas sounded like the funkiest so we hiked uptown.

This place was in the basement of an old brownstone and it appeared to be full of regulars. We were asked to sign a guestbook on entry and everything on the menu was ten dollars. Your choice of Oxtail, Whiting Fish, Fried Chicken, Roast Pork or Turkey plus two sides (Collard Greens, Red Rice, String Beans or Cabbage) with some deadly Rum Cake included for dessert. Our waitress called everyone “dear.” I would love to draw everyone in this place, the Modigliani-like woman with the Art Noveau hat, the older woman with the stark white wig, the guy at the bar with the big smile and bad teeth. A four piece band was setting up and the Hammond B3 player told he crowd he had been here fifteen years now. Could this place be an alternate universe Lucia’s Supper Club?

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Changing The Channel

Duane Sherwood shot many of the Personal Effects videos back in the day so it is only natural that he would want the best quality of his videos up there. Copies of his videos were posted years ago when YouTube’s standards were lower and if you don’t have a channel YouTube will make one for you with those clips. So we set up a Personal Effects Channel last night and Duane is posting better quality videos as I write this.

On the other side of the coin he found some live footage of the band performing at the Community Playhouse in the SouthWedge nearly thirty years ago. Not sure who shot it, maybe Russ Lunn, but this stuff is low quality, underground and I love it. Duane masterminded the visuals, co-ordinated the dancers and prop guys and ran the light show.

Reset the counters.

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Modern Art And Poetry

Art opening at ISquare in Rochester, New York
Art opening at ISquare in Rochester, New York

Back just in time for winter and last night’s art opening at I-Square at the future four corners of Irondequoit. I have a few pieces in a show with Wendie Menzie, Ed Buscemi, Todd Beers and Richard Harvey. That’s Richard Harvey’s work shown to the left of mine in the photo above. It was a cool little gathering with coffee and homemade sweets. Peggi made ginger snaps with cayenne pepper following Shelley’s recipe.

We met I-Square developer, Mike Nolan, and our friend Charlie’s little sister. It gave me the opportunity to tell her the story Charlie told me of their other sister taking the ring off a famous dead man’s finger. I told the story to Chuck Cuminale and he wrote a song about it for Colorblind James. Charlie and Chuck are both dead now and Charlie’s sister had no idea there was song about all this.

Poet and artist, Todd Beers, said he gets all fired up at openings and can’t wait to get back and start work on something. I told him openings have exactly the opposite effect on me. Todd said he saw Peggi and me in my two portraits and he a sang a line from an old song of ours.

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Lodestar

Brian Williams was talking about all the gigs he’s done over the years with John Mooney and Bob Henrie. He was saying how he wished he had taken the time to jot down the the specifics of each gig. Tom Whitmore from Watkins and the Rapiers was there. He lives in Geneseo and Brian asked him if he remembered a place called Gentleman Jim’s. I said I had played there with New Math and someone stole Gary Trainer’s guitar after the gig. Brian said he was on that same bill playing with the John Mooney band. It seems like I have always know Brian but I guess not.

Let’s see, I played in a working C&W band in Bloomington, Indiana and then a New Wave band in Rochester called “New Math”. Both of those lasted a couple of years and then I started playing in a band called the Hi Techs which sort of morphed into Personal Effects. Those bands lasted for most of the eighties and somewhere in the nineties we started playing as Margaret Explosion. Time flies. Tonight we play at the Little Theater Café.

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Blank Slate

Yummy Cafe on Mount Hope in Rochester, New York
Yummy Cafe on Mount Hope in Rochester, New York

I’d like to saunter into the Yummy Cafe, take a look around, pick something out, something brand new or at least creatively arranged and freshly presented but the Yummy Cafe is closed so I’m left with one move. I must go to the well and surprise myself.

Although I never set foot in the Yummy Cafe I see their demise as an opportunity, an opening that was impossible to see until I established a nearly blank slate this summer with the white wall in my painting room. I reviewed old paintings and sent most to the trash and then sold a series of 1996 Crime Faces at our garage sale. I even cleaned off my big plywood drawing table and gave it a new coat of white paint.

But the real turning point came on Wednesday morning while sitting on the porch. Peggi had the B Section and said, “There’s a new Crimestoppers page.” I always read the B section but somehow I never got to it and it wound leaving in Thursday’s trash pick up. I’ve saved every Crimestoppers since 1995 and painted most of them but I’m turning the page. I’m on the precipice.

Here’s Personal Effects Love Never Thinks

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All Hail The Queen

George Jones & Peggy Lee painting by Paul Dodd
George Jones & Peggy Lee painting by Paul Dodd

I’ve will soon be able to cross one of the items on our summer to do list off. Our garage is almost organized. It had become a dumping ground since we moved in. People keep asking us if we’ve seen the Hoarders show. We don’t get cable so we haven’t but I can imagine. I’ve been pushing the limits of our Waste Management pick-up service each week for the last month. I have a pile of old paintings out there including the one above. I’m stripping the old canvases and saving the stretchers.

I’ve been a fan of Peggy Lee since “Lady and the Tramp“. Now that we digitized our music library iTunes calculates it will take months to hear it all but we can’t go an hour in shuffle mode without hearing a Peggy tune. As it should be. So I was ecstatic to see Kevin’s post this morning. We played it three times in a row. Stunning arrangement. Minimal for maximum impact. Please stop reading this and visit “So Many Records” now.

Our old band, Personal Effects, covered “Is That All There Is?” and our new band, Margaret Explosion, covers “Fever” and we don’t do very many covers. Duke Ellington called her “The Queen”.

Peggi and I were watching tv at her parents house in the mid eighties and a Peggy Lee tv special came on. We flipped out and scrambled to get a VHS cassette in the machine. Peggi’s dad said, “Not that old broad?”. Peggy (with a “y”) had already had a stroke and she was having trouble with one side of face but she was god like.

Soon after we visited Peggi’s (with an “i”) sister in LA and asked if she knew where Peggy Lee lived. She had a hunch so we headed up in the Hollywood Hills. We bought a star map and Peggy Lee was not on it. We asked around and had it narrowed down to a particular street in Bel Air. We walked the whole street and looked at every house so I’m sure we saw it.

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How Do You Like Me Now?

Peggi getting her eyes examined at Dr. Goodfriend's office
Peggi getting her eyes examined at Dr. Goodfriend’s office Rochester, NY

Peggi and I had back to back eye exams today at Doctor Goodfriend’s. His partner, Doctor Searl is the father of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad’s bassist, Jamie. The Dub Squad’s playing in Buffalo tonight at the Nietzsche’s in Buffalo. Not a good night to drive to Buffalo. We used to play Nietzsche’s back in the eighties. It’s a funky old club in a quiet part of town, nothing like the rough and tumble Continental. Nice warm sound to the room. I really liked the place.

Joan Weissegger and Cheryl Mitchell, two classmates from Rl Thomas came out to see Margaret Explosion last night. I saw them chatting with another classmate, Mike Allen AKOS, while we were playing. Yet another classmate, Jeff Munson, is usually there but he’s in Mexico. It’s kind of odd how you get thrown together in high school and then see these same people for your whole life. That kind of thing happens in Rochester.

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I’m Going Up Front

Amy Kawabata, a fourth year animation student at RIT, asked Margaret Explosion to put some music to her newest film. She’s planning on entering the project in the Ottawa Film Fest and possibly the Brooklyn Film Fest where Duane Sherwood’s video to one of our songs, 4AM, caused a sensation a few years ago.

Peggi stopped out to see her mom last night and they were talking about her mom’s wedding which was very small, just the groom’s parents (Peggi’s paternal grandparents). Peggi’s mom expressed some displeasure that her father was attending to another woman and wasn’t able to make his daughter’s wedding. Then Peggi’s mom jumped the rails and said “Of course, you and Paul weren’t there either because you were to busy”. Peggi said, “Mom, I wasn’t even born”. And then they both had a good laugh.

Steve Lippincott, who lives in Portland and is working on a story about Personal Effects and the Rochester scene, knew that we knew the guys in MX-80 so he sent us some stuff he found on a bit torrent site. One cd was MX-80 Live in the back room at Record Archive when it was over on Mount Hope. The show was broadcast live on WRUR in 1980. It sounded amazing. Dick Storms interviews the band at the end.

The other MX-80 cd that Steve sent was from the night after at Scorgies. The Hi-Techs opened the show and MX tore up the place. It sounds great too and it also sounds pretty familiar. It was made from my cassette tape recording of the night. In fact between the “Theme From Sisters” and MX-80’s classic, “I Walk Among Them” you can hear Bill Jones talking to me as I manned the tape machine. He was having a problem with one of his presses. Bill printed the cover to the Hi-Techs first single on Dick Storm’s “Archive Records” label. You can also hear Martin Edic exclaim, “I’m going up front!”

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Tree Stuff & Lightning

Mist on one of the ponds in Durand Eastman Park
Mist on one of the ponds in Durand Eastman Park

Steve Lippincott who runs the EarCandy Archive in Portland is doing a profile of Rochester bands in the eighties so I spent some time this weekend putting together cd versions of a few of Personal Effect’s old albums for him. We did a compilation in November for the Scorgies reunion but that was just a smattering of songs from the various vinyl releases.

Bob Martin carved out the perfect bass boast eq curve for the songs from “90 Days in the Planetarium” lp and I wanted to use it on the whole cd but I couldn’t fine the settings in CuBase. I called Bob and he had me set up an AIM account so he could take control of my computer from his house. While we were on the phone I watched as he searched my computer for the old files and set me up through iChat.

Joe Sorriero emailed us and asked if we wanted to do gig with Nod at the Bug Jar. It sounded like fun so I replied without much thought and then mentioned the gig to Peggi. She read the email and pointed out that Joe was asking “Personal Effects” to play. I didn’t catch that. I thought he was asking “Margaret Explosion” to play with them since we had recently played together together at Abilene. I guess we could handle it.

I digitized all our cds and and I rely on the mp3 tags for liner notes but this song that Peggi and I have fallen in love with was only marked “nod4”. So I dug out all the cds and spot checked the songs trying to identify this thing. I finally determined it is from their most recent cd entitled, “Tree Stuff & Lightning”. I think Chris Schepp gave me a copy of it before it was released so never got the right tags. Peggi wants the lyrics to this so I thought I would post it here and see what happens.

“World Still Wants You” by Nod from “Tree Stuff & Lightning”.

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590 Infrastructure Installation

Route 590 infrastructure in Irondequoit, NY
Route 590 infrastructure in Irondequoit, NY

“Irondequoit ain’t just pretty. It’s my home.” Apologies to Bat McGrath and his “Naples” song. Bat was just in town for a house concert and we watched a few songs at the D&C’s website.

One of the prettiest sites in town these days is the town’s infrastructure installation over on 590. These things have been here all winter while construction on the four new traffic circles has been on halt. There are probably a hundred or so of these things over there of all shapes and sizes. I wonder if they are still going to call it 590.

There are a number of Irondequoit legends. One of them is about how the Kodak executives over in the Oakridge Drive area voted down the final leg of an expressway loop that would have crossed the northern edge of the town connecting the end of 590 with the northern end of 390 in Greece. I always thought it was pretty cool that 590, an expressway, dead ended at Marge’s. In fact we did a song about it on our Planetarium release.

I’ve been looking at these concrete structures all winter waiting for a sort of warm, hazy day to photograph them. They look particularly good with some snow around them but snow and sun make impossible to get the rich grays in these thing. I want to thank who ever is responsible for the installation. I’m not sure how long the show is running.

I was on my bike. In fact it’s visible in this photo. The only reason I am mentioning this is because of what happened on my way home. I came up behind three teenage girls who were walking home. One of them had bright red orange hair and it was course like Raggedy Ann’s. I didn’t want to get caught looking at them so I darted off the road down the embankment. Just as I did this I noticed the girls looking at me. My bike crumbled beneath me in the mud and I went over the handlebars. I tried to get up quickly but my handle bars were at an angle and my basket was all bent up. I hit my thigh on that post above the front wheel. It must have looked hilarious and I’m laughing as I type this even though my thigh hurts.

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Who Says You Can’t Go Back?

Personal Effects on stage at Scorgie's reunion at the German House in Rochester, NY
Personal Effects on stage at Scorgie’s reunion at the German House in Rochester, NY

Look how old the Scorgie’s crowd got! (click photo for full shot) Funny thing, the band hasn’t changed a bit. I posted a few more on the Scorgie’s site.

There are so many familiar faces in this photo like Earl with the video camera and Arpad and Brian Williams from the Goners and Monica from the HOG (along time ago) and Nick Gerber down front and my sister Ann (it’s hard to get her out) and Rick & Monica and Mary Caine and Bob Mahoney and Martin Edic and the guy in Peggi’s yoga class and Passion B’s drummer, Tim Dodd, and Stan the Man & Lynn, Amy & Howie and Doug Rice and Jeff & Mary Kaye, Mark Schwartz and Maureen Outlaw and Trish from the LDR and Ashley Black.

I can’t find Chris Schepp, Cheryl & Mark, Billy & Nancy, Dick Storms, Danny, Russ Lunn and Beth Brown, Olga, Jon who used to take a lot of photos, Fran, Del, Pete Presstone and Scotty and Jeff Labin, Andrea Kohler and Jason and Mike Mohawk and Rock n’ Roll Joel, Richard Casa, Chas Lockwood, Ralph Meranto, Gary Brandt and Chuck Perry but I saw or talked to them all at some point. And there’s Duane Sherwood way in the back doing the lights.

Man, it was really good to everybody.

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Last Call!

Bob Martin and Chris Schepp with Personal Effects blaster
Bob Martin and Chris Schepp with Personal Effects blaster

Way cool article in the morning paper about the Scorgies Reunion tomorrow. Cool picture of Peggi on the front page! And Frank DeBlase did a great piece in City. He used my Polaroids on the cover of this week’s issue.

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.

Here’s Personal Effect’s version of Tanya Gardner’s “Heartbeat” recorded live at the Peppermint Lounge in 1985 on our blaster.

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Paean to Rochester

We pulled Personal Effects songs from our vinyl releases and put a compilation cd together for the Scorgies reunion. This song from 1987’s “90 Day In The Planetarium” didn’t make the grade but I’m posting it here because it is full of what is now ancient local history. And it is also one of the few songs I sang or yelled. Here’s the lyrics. I’ll provide annotation below.

Personal Effects “Silver Finger Nails” from “90 Day In The Planetarium” 1987

It’s Saturday night
and I’m the designated driver again
but that’s alright
I promised I would be good

Nino’s Pizzeria or Vic & Irv’s
50 miles an hour through the Can of Worms
Uncle Sam or Tammy Whynot
First we gotta go to Moneymatic

Down to Bertha’s to pick up a six
Everybody’s going to the party at Dick’s
Steve is such an intellectual
Come on Steve, get in the pool

That’s Bart on the radio
MX-80 Sound from San Francisco
590 North dead-ends at Marge’s
When in doubt. Whip it out.

The girl in the bakery has silver finger nails
So Much. Tom Mercer Lives.
The girl in the bakery has silver finger nails
Bob loved Sara. Sara nevr did

Ninos’s and Vic & Irv’s are still around and the best in their class. The Expressway’s Can of Worms was reworked so driving 50 mph through it is no longer a thrill. Uncle Sam was Rochester’s best hard rock band and Tammy Whynot was Deb Clifford’s C&W outfit. They used to play Snake Sisters on South Avenue where Lux is today.

Bertha’s was around the corner on East Main from where we rehearsed. Bertha carried “Kiss” and “Darling” photo novellas and I remember buying “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” there but mostly she sold beer to the locals. The way over-sized Bertha was simultaneously chatty with her customers and abusive to her help. The party at Dick’s was a summer one at Dick Storms’. Everyone was in the pool but Steve Dollar, the entertainment critic from the D&C.

Bart was our favorite WITR dj because he wasn’t afraid to play MX80 Sound. 590 North will soon no longer be an expressway the comes to a dead end. They are tearing it up and adding four traffic circles. Calabrese’s Bakery on Culver is gone but not the memory of the punky girl packing my order with silver finger nails.

“So Much” was favorite piece of poetry. It was spray painted on a wall in the Can of Worms. “Tom Mercer Lives” was written all over town. I think Ted Williams knew Tom or tracked him down. And “Bob loved Sara” with “nevr” spelled like this was sprawled across one of the expressway bridges as you headed downtown nearby where Armand Shaubroak’s “Keep America Free. Let it Grow” billboard was.

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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 in 1985. 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. A few months later we received this letter in the mail.

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

Personal Effects "It's Different Out There" on Earring Records 1985 EAR 3
Personal Effects “It’s Different Out There” on Earring Records 1985 EAR 3

Here’s Personal Effects version of Lucia’s Supper Club from the cd “Personal Effects – A Compilation.”

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Scorgie’s Mania

Martin Edic, Peggi Fournier and Paul Dodd of the Hi-Techs backstage at Scorgies in 1980

Jeff Spevak from the Democrat & Chronicle, Michelle from Freetime and Frank DeBlase from City newspaper all called today wanting to talk about the November 21st’ Scorgie’s Reunion. When I say “talk” I really mean they were looking for usable quotes. Jeff wanted a funny story because everyone else had one. I kind of didn’t answer that one even though I could think of a few. I did put put about fifty Polaroids from Scorgies days from those days up on the Scorgies site this afternoon.

Robert Slide sent this photo to us this morning. He played bass in New Math when I was in that band. I think he took this photo when the Hi-Techs played with New Math at Scorgie’s. There’s only about ten days left before the show. We had a rehearsal yesterday afternoon but we still haven’t been able to get throught the forty five minute set we have planned. We have two Margaret Explosion gigs between now and then. Ken Frank was suggestting that we try a few of the Personal Effects songs at those gigs.

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