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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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.


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.


Leaving The Leaves Alone

Lots of leaves in the backyard
Lots of leaves in the backyard

Wow, do we have a lot of leaves! This is what our backyard looks like. We put some big yellow leaves on our table as a centerpiece for our post high school reunion dinner party. Jeff Munson and Mary Kaye came by and Marianne Gocker and her friend, Dave. We learned another classmate, Holly Clarke, was in the Woodstock movie without her clothes. I’m going to have to re-watch that classic. I don’t think we have room for any more leaves in our compost pile. We need to find a few more creative uses for them.

Frank DeBlase liked the Polaroids I put on line yesterday. He asked me to drop some of them off at City to use in the Scorgie’s piece that he’s doing next week. While I was out I stopped by with a package of seals that I photographed for a site we’re building. The Post Office parking lot was empty. How come we don’t get Veteran’s Day off?

I was too tired to paint last night so I spent a few hours trying to track down a problem with the Lightbox javascript on the Scorgies site. It started acting flukey yesterday and and now runs the photos from one gallery right into the next. Bill Jones called while I was duking it out. He asked me to do a logo for The Art Pile, his e-commerce site for artists. I like doing logos.

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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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Ground Control To Major Tom

Electro Harmonix Poly Chorus
Electro Harmonix Poly Chorus

My ears are still ringing from rehearsal last night. We played for three hours but still didn’t get through the forty-five minute set we plan on doing at the Scorgie’s reunion. Peggi is playing her Farfisa and relearning the chords to the songs she wrote. And she ordered a new Electro Harmonix PolyChorus from Sound Source so she can do the crazy sax parts in “Low Riders” and “Love Never Thinks”. Rob at Sound Source told her they’re still making the box because Kurt Cobain loved it. It looks exactly like her old one.

We ‘re watching he World Series and rooting for the Phillies but they can’t seem to get anything going tonight. I really like the Lincoln MKS commercial with Cat Power doing Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.


Deer Nuts

Deer eatting acorns in the front yard
Deer eatting acorns in the front yard

I obsessed over the leak in our skylight for the last three days. It took me that long to pinpoint where the water is getting in. It’s a Velux window and it came with the house. They wrapped the wood frame with metal and had to bend it around the corners. They cut the top part to make the corner and stuck a tiny rubber gasket in there. Water rolls down the edge of the window, on top of the frame and when it hits that corner it builds up and finds its way through the rubber gasket into the window frame. And then rolls down the rafters out on to the ceiling where it turns the plaster mushy. It was a half-assed design held for a while and then gave out. If we get a warm spell I plan to take the window out and re-frame the opening. I’m hoping to find a better solution for the metal cladding than the one Velux came up with.

The deer around here are on a high protein diet gobbling up the acorns that are all over our lawn.

I wrote a piece this afternoon on the Hi-Techs and posted it on the Scorgies site. And I talked to Martin Edic on the phone about doing a song with us at the reunion. That conversation will be our rehearsal.

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Get Me Off This Train

Peggi Fournier of Personal Effects performing live Scorgie’s in Rochester, New York

The weekend zipped by and I never found time to paint so I’m thinking of taking Columbus Day off (just like the mail man) and getting some painting in then. I also want to fix the leak in our skylight if I can. It’s supposed to be warm again. It was almost eighty today but we spent most of the day down at the pool fixing the leak in our our pump.

Personal Effects was asked to play the Scorgies Reunion on Friday, November 21st at the German House in Rochester. We got our first rehearsal in last week and we dug up a bunch of old songs to teach Ken Frank (the newest PE bass player) and relearn ourselves. Most of the songs were fast! I found this slow one to try next week.


Progress or Passage

Margaret Explosion at Little Theater Cafe in Rochester, New York
Margaret Explosion at Little Theater Cafe in Rochester, New York

John Gilmore brought a Wegman’s precooked chicken over for dinner last night. We had a salad and some salsa waiting for him but the salsa was too hot for John. We gobbled it all down and raced off to the Little for our last Margaret Explosion gig until November. We’ll use our down time next month to rehearse for the Scorgies Reunion gig. Haven’t touched most of that Personal Effects material in twenty years.

Bob Martin was out of town last night so we played with Jack Schaefer. We got through the night without doing any songs and that is usually a sign that there will be some magic on the recording. Paul Brandwein was there to hear the band and marvel at his art on the walls. We had just seen him at the Billy Bang show on Monday. Mick Sarubbi was there with his mono recording rig set up. That’s his mic in the foreground of this shot. Here’s our recording of one of the tunes from last night. We’ll have to A/B it to Mick’s.

Back home we checked out the photos that John Gilmore took at the Little while iTunes shuffled away in the background. Patsy Cline’s “Does Your Heart Beat For Me?” leveled me for some reason. Does that old stuff really sound better? Is there such a thing as progress or just passage? Like Irene (Palermo) Baurschmidt told me at our reunion, “We’re getting old, Paul”.

Dreamland Faces ignores these issues and plays timeless music. They’ll be playing saw & accordions tomorrow night while Jenn Libby projects some films at the Visual Studies Workshop – 8PM. Pick up a copy of their new BROWN HORN instrumental record while you’re there. I will be entertaining my mother-in-law.

I used the 25 dollar B&N gift certificate that the class gave me for being on the reunion committee to order the Marlene Dumas book, “Measuring Your Own Grave”. The book is a companion piece to her upcoming show at MOMA. She is my favorite living artist.

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On Air

Peggi DJing at WRUR With DJs Stan Merrill and Joel Rosenthal looking on.

Margaret Explosion played last night at the Little Cafe and we play one more time this month. Bob will be out of town for that one so we will either go as a trio or play with bass clarinetist/guitarist Jack Schaefer. We had pretty good gig last night and came up with few nice tunes. Margaret Explosion is off next month so we talked about getting together to rehearse for The Personal Effects reunion at the German House in November. We plan to go with The Margaret Explosion lineup and then get Martin Edic and Bernie Heveron and possibly Robin Goldblatt (all three former PE bass players) up for a song each. Should be a breeze.

We’ve been digging through old photos from the Scorgies days to post to the Scorgies site and we came across this one of Peggi on air at WRUR’s studios. I used to listen to her show while I worked downtown at Multigraphics. That’s Stan the Man and Rock n” Roll Joel marveling at her on air presence. This must have been around 1980.


Bring Out The Jazz

Pete and Shelley kept us up til two last night or maybe we kept them up. I don’t remember. They left Rochester this morning with their new laptop and my old Kodak digital camera. They should be able to generate enough solar power up there to keep these two electronic devices going in the woods.

Peggi and I met the other members of Margaret Explosion at the Little Theater at noon. We were asked to be a prop for a photo in the cafe that will be used in an upcoming brochure. Were played a few improvisations while they set up the shot and then started talking about the upcoming Scorgies Reunion. We tried acoustic versions of Personal Effects songs, “Zeke’s Baby Girl”, “I Had Everything”, “Baby, Baby”, “Bring Out The Jazz” and one where Bob was playing “Porch” and Peggi was playing “Fascinating Game”. Ken didn’t really know the songs but he sounded great. It was the first time we had done these songs in twenty years or so.

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Better Than The Orange Monkey

New Math performing at the Orange Monkey in 1977. Robert Slide - bass, Gary Trainer - guitar, Paul Dodd - drums, Kevin Patrick - vocals, Dale Mincey - guitar
New Math performing at the Orange Monkey in 1977. Robert Slide – bass, Gary Trainer – guitar, Paul Dodd – drums, Kevin Patrick – vocals, Dale Mincey – guitar

Tom Kohn from the Bop Shop asked 4D Advertising to develop a site for Scorgies, the old rock and roll club on Andrews Street. He is planning a reunion for November 21 at the German House and he wanted people to be able to share their memories of the place and the many bands that played there. I wrote this short little piece to to kick off the blog on that site and I’m throwing it up here to encourage people to contribute to the site.

Don Scorgie is obviously the key figure in this whole story but probably not in the way you might think. I don’t think he was much of a music fan at least not like I am or most of you are. When I first met him he was behind the bar at street level on Andrews Street. And that fact that he was on that side of the bar had nothing to do with who was doing the drinking.

I was playing drums with New Math at the time and we rehearsed around the corner in the Cox Building on Saint Paul.  Geoff Wilson from the Bowery Boys was the elevator operator in this building in later years but it was pretty much deserted when we moved in. We got in the habit of stopping in Don’s place after practice for beer. I never drank too many because I had to ride my bike back home.

Don was sort of an old salt like Popeye the Sailor man. Being next to the river he had nautical theme going with rope railings and a fish net hanging from the ceiling that was just beginning to collect the Spanish moss style dust clusters that became such a fixture here. The guy who rented him the juke box when he opened this place was probably the one who picked out the 45s. It was just generic mid seventies crap. I think Kevin Patrick, who was working as record promo guy at the time, talked Don into stocking the juke box with the good stuff. In later years, it seems Danny Deutsch, who now runs Abilene, was in charge of the tunes and at some point it seemed like every time you walked into that place you heard Bobby Darin’s “Mack The Knife”. But it wasn’t Don calling the musical shots.

One night after rehearsal Don took us down to the basement at Scorgies where he had just installed the first section of green indoor outdoor carpeting on the step up section next to the bar. It was the first time we had set foot in what people think of as Scorgies. He had a few picnic benches down there and he told us he was planning on setting up an indoor putting green. This was going to get people down in the basement of a century old building? We laughed at the idea.

I remember us, and it was probably Kevin doing most of the talking, trying to convince Don that what he had here, an empty room with no chairs or tables, was the perfect rock and roll club. All he needed was a stage and a sound system. So Don built the plywood stage and he eventually rented a sound system from Mark Theobald. Mark mixed the bands if they didn’t have their own guy. New Math was the first band to play here but I had already left the band at that point and was playing with the Hi-Techs.

This is just the way I remember it. That doesn’t mean this is really the way it went down.


Wrestling With All The Little Pieces

Poster for HI-Techs and Prestones at Scorgies in Rochester, New York on 04.07.1981
Poster for HI-Techs and Prestones at Scorgies in Rochester, New York on 04.07.1981

There’s a Press Tones show tonight at Abilene. I don’t think we will make it but you never know. We are headed over to Bill and Geri’s to see the progress they have made on their tiled house. I see a lot of people cover their original wood siding with aluminum but not Bill and Geri. They have been slowly applying all shapes and sizes of colorful tile to the side of their house.

We worked on the Scorgie’s site for Tom Kohn today. Tom is planning a Scorgies Reunion show at the German House in November with some of the bands that used to play there. New Math, Personal Effects, Absolute Grey and The Press Tones are on the bill. We have been setting up a site for Tom that will hopefully run itself. People should be able to post stories, pictures, posters, mp3 files and videos to the site without 4D Advertising wrestling with all the little pieces.

Today we spent a good bit of the day getting this slideshow script to automatically size and post thumbnails without distorting them and also size and post larger files that can viewed in a Lightbox slide show. The Press Tones sent in a poster from one of their gigs that was actually a poster that I made for our band, The Hi-Techs. We played this date with them opening. I hadn’t seen ithe poster in a while.


Best Club In Town

Margaret Explosion in the Green Room at WXXI studios
Margaret Explosion in the Green Room at WXXI studios

There was nothing green in the Green Room at WXXI (unless you count Peggi’s shirt). The management and staff were pros and they treated us like kings (except when Pete and Shelley were caught pouring beer from the tap before they had officially opened the bar). Between songs during the performance Julia Figueras asked about the Scorgie’s days. After the show, Gary Trainer from The Atomic Swindlers said, “Forget about Scorgies. This is the best club in town.” We had a blast.

Margaret Explosion in Green Room at WXXI
Margaret Explosion in the Green Room at WXXI studios