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Targets with Patti Schmitz

Targets with Patti Schmitz

Patti was the second vocalist for the Targets, a band started by former New Math bassist Robert Slide and guitarist Sue Metro. The Targets reunited at the Scorgies Reunion in 2008 and played a few songs as an adjunct to the New Math set. Patti had been battling cancer for a number of years and had been in and out of hospice for a few months in 2013.  Obituary from the Nov. 21 Democrat & Chronicle:

Patti (Schmitz) Pelitera

Henrietta: Nov. 16, 2013, age 52. Predeceased by parents & brother. Survived by husband, Chris; step-father, Irv; children, Jennifer (Charles), Catherine, Caleb, Justice & Noah; former husband, Randy; grandchildren; 8 siblings; many nieces & nephews. Trish will be greatly missed & loved by many.

Calling hours, Friday 3-5 PM at Metropolitan, 109 West Ave. Memorial Service, Saturday 11 AM at New Hope Church, 3355 Union St., N. Chili.

You can sign the guestbook here: http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/democratandchronicle/guestbook.aspx?n=patricia-pelitera&pid=168112480&cid=full#sthash.1Ulj0etX.dpbs

R.I.P. Tony "Mayhem" Gerardi

We’ve lost another Scorgies veteran, Tony Gerardi AKA Tony Mayhem. Tony was a vital part of the Scorgies scene, working his friend Mike Marchese as a roadie with Personal Effects and provided the lighting design and videos for Absolute Grey’s epic “Uptight Exploding Plastic Inevitable” show. A talented photographer, Tony was a mix of many elements and was truly loved by many folks. He will be missed. There will be a non-denominational service at the Paul W. Harris Funeral Home at 7:00 PM, November 8th, followed by a funeral mass on November 9th at St. St. Kateri at Christ the King Church at 9:00 AM. You can read the full obituary here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/democratandchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=anthony-gerardi&pid=167900988 and visit his memorial page here: http://harrisfuneralhome.com/online-obituary/2013-11-anthony-gerardi/10074294

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The Antoinettes were the reigning girl group during the Scorgies era, playing out numerous times before venturing into the wilds of New York City to seek fame & fortune.  The band was fronted by keyboardist Meegan Voss, whose Syracuse band the Poptarts made some noise  in the CNY music scene. Meegan moved to Rochester with Margie Shears to start the Antoinettes and they were soon joined by Eastman School of Music  student Kim Milai on drums  and Poptarts veteran Cathy Kensington (aka Cathy VanPatten)  on guitar.

Scorgies era Antoinettes

Photo posted on Magpie Waltz

Scorgies era Antoinettes, left to right: Margie, Meegan, Kim & Cathy

So, where are they now? Megan continues to make music with her husband Steve Jordan as the Verbs; Kim teaches at an elementary school and has a side career doing children’s music. Cathy Kensington works as an editor and lives in the Chicago area.  Margie Shears, according to Cathy’s blog, lives in the Westchester NY area and works as a graphic designer.

According to Cathy, “after we did that demo, I left the band to follow my (then) boyfriend to Boston. The Antoinettes then added a guitarist (Sue Veneer) to replace me and a keyboard player (Magda– I don’t remember her last name) to take over that role so Meegan could devote her efforts to fronting the band. That was the band that ended up going to NYC and becoming the darlings of CBGB’s.”  I’ve picked one of the best songs recorded in that demo session, “If I Were To, ” a plaintive lament  that captures a contemplative Antoinettes pining for a boy they could not have.

Click on the link below to play the song in a new window,  right-click or control click to download the file.

If I Were To

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Mark's Story

Scorgies was a place for music and community. I wasn’t allowed. Luke Warm hated me and I could see why. No one in that joint gave me the time of day. And none of my buddies ever wanted to venture into downtown at the notorious “Scorgies”. I remember driving my buds around town to every lame ass dance place in the burbs until I got fed up and got the complaining pricks out of my car and into mommies bed just before midnight. Not getting laid at 19 will get a kid a little ornery I guess.

Once in awhile I’d go downtown to Andrews Street and just hang out till last call. Later I hooked up with some WITR guys and eventually did a show at the station. I remember the John Cale show since we drove him to the gig in either an AMC Pacer or a Pinto after an on air interview. Saw the Press Tones a lot and Colorblind James and The Ramones and so many Personal Effects Shows. Caught a few of the earlier gigs like The Cramps and New Math. Was a semi-regular in 84-85 for awhile but most of the crew I hung with wasn’t interested in the downtown scene. Eventually I lost a few friends suffering through pitchers and Donkey Kong one night at The Vineyard at Pittsford Plaza.

I remember lusting after Andi and getting hammered with my WITR partner Mike Baldwin. Later I spent some years working with Uncle Roger at WCMF and watching a high school classmate play drums with bands like The Projectiles (Brian Goodman).

But like I said I wasn’t a regular. I watched bands all over town in all sorts of different venues, often with an eye towards getting laid. Scorgies wasn’t about scoring, although I probably stumbled out of the place taking a girl home a few times. For a time I lived pretty close to the place. Often I’d find a place to park (very hard at times) go in for last call and walk the couple of blocks home.

You’d always find a friend in that place and very often some good music. And you’d also find someone in there who’d like to cut you or spit in your drink. I loved it.

Ever so slightly off-topic, but who besides me fondly remembers WSAY? 1370AM? It was the radio-station that was so bad it was good; so awful it was great? If there ever was such a thing as “underground” radio in Rochester, this was it! You’d be rocking out to, say, anything from Talking Heads to Van Halen, and suddenly a priest and two nuns would start reciting Rosary! Good times!

WSAY: By the 1970s, WSAY had become, in effect, a free-form radio station. Brown had little input into the music played on the station, leaving the choices in the hands of the DJs, who played everything from blues to country to heavy metal, interrupted promptly every night at six for the daily reading of the rosary (one of several paid blocks of time on WSAY).

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Here’s a brief but good Scorgies story.

First just a bit o’ history:  In the late ’70s and early ’80s I was a regular at Scorgies and saw many great shows there. (Good thing the drinking age was 18). It was the center of my friends and my music universe, to be sure. Myself and my college crowd considered ourselves “New Wavers” or at least aficionados of the latest music. We shopped at Record Archive and listened to WUWU, the great Buffalo alternative station, and wore CBGB T-shirts that we bought at House of Guitars.   We saw all the bands; Press tones, New Math (freakin’ trancendental!), Personal Effects (Peggy Fornier had been my high-school Spanish teacher), Chesterfield Kings, etc. I remember a number of times trading insults with the Country Music Rednecks that were going to the Country Warehouse (which shared the same parking area). Oh how they hated us leather-clad kids with mod haircuts and cigs hanging from our lips.

I was even in a very short-lived band with Beth Brown before she was in Absolute Grey. We were called “Seizure Salad”!

As always, I digress. On to the story…

So, one night in early ’82 I was hanging at Scorgies with my friend Lisa Button, and as often happened we were there until they pushed us out the door at two-ish. The bands were finished, and as we were guzzling last-call, a track came on the sound system. It was this mesmerizing, driving song with this great, drony guitar riff. It immediately caught my ear. I said “Wow! Who is this band?”

Lisa replied, “Oh, it’s this new band from England called… (wait for it)…..U2.”

That’s right, she said England.

The song was “I Will Follow.”

I went to Record Archive to find their LP the very next day. That was a lucky twist in-and-of-itself because Island Records US distribution was on strike, and I had to buy “Boy” as an import. $20!!! The import version had completely different cover-art  and was a much nicer package than the US version. It even had one different song. I still have it, and I think it’s worth a few bucks now.

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In the spirit of the Little Rascals, as in, “Hey, let’s put on a show!” now comes your chance to turn that frown upside down, and start cashing in on the baby boomer nostalgia. Instead of just moping to your friends that, “hey, I used to play there,” you can now say, “Hey, I own it!” That’s right, the original temple of it all is up for sale. Anyone want to go in halves?

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Closing Time….

The last poster was kind enough to post a couple pics.  In the post, it was mentioned that they weren’t sure when Scorgies closed.  For the record, it was July 9th, 1994.  Technically it was about 4:30AM July 10th.

I Was, sadly, the last person to exit the place and lock the doors for the last time.  I was the last Manager of the vaunted Rochester social landmark known as Scorgies.  Don walked out ahead of me, and I turned the key for the very last time.  It was an extremely sad day for me, and this is really tough.  I don’t really feel like getting in to it right now, but sometime soon when I am in better spirits, and have more time…I’ll return and post some thoughts and stories.

I was deeply saddened, when on November 21st at a dinner for my current job… that old Rochester bars came up.  It started with a Wayne County fellow mentioning the old Dolphin out in Sodus Point.  When I mentioned the good-old days of Scorgies, I was told of the big article in the paper and the upcoming reunion.  That was Friday Nov. 21st at 9pm.  That weekend I went online, and much to my chagrin…I found this site.

This pained me beyond words.  My wife and some close friends witnessed me moping for days.  You see, every 6 months for the past decade, I do a Google search for “Scorgies”.  And you rarely find anything of substance related to our old haunt.  I do it b/c there is one period of my life I reallllly wish I had more connection to.  More old pics, old memoribilia, etc.  For some reason, I collected little, and took even fewer pics.  A lesson I learned that following year in 95.  And from 95 on, I am a total picture nut.  You usually won’t find me far away from at the very least, a disposable camera or my cell camera.

Anyways, somehow, in between the last time I had searched, and the weekend of NOV 21st….ALL OF THIS HAPPENED!!!  And it pains me tremendously, that I missed this reunion.  Was Tommy there?  Did Don and Eileen attend?  Did Shaff or Big Pat come out of the woodwork?  How bout Charlie?  Last I heard, he was in Atlanta.  UGGGGGGGGGGGGH!!

Anyway, I’ll be back.  Just typing this much has made me terribly melancholy.  I miss Luke like you wouldn’t believe, it was hard seeing his pic and reading your rememberances.  I’ll share a bunch of Luke memories, some Don stories, etc…at a later date.

How bout the infamous Elvis Costello story?!?!  Has that made it’s way on to the site anywhere?  How about a copy of the famous Rolling Stone Article, from what, 1983?  As part of my Google searches over the years I have attempted on multiple occasions to contact Rolling Stone to find the article, with no response.  Hell, I’ve even contacted Freetime about 3 times in the hopes of getting copies of Old Scorgies ads…and no one ever gets back to me.

Anyway, please comment, and I will return!

Ox

I was up there for a holiday visit & went by Scorgies to take a photo for posterity.  I don’t know how long it’s been since it closed for the last time, but the 2nd floor windows are broken out.  I shot a couple of panoramic photos & decided to post them as a bookend to the reunion show.  Sort of a reality check.  I’m sure everyone will recall that the further door on the left was the original entrance to the upstairs bar, and the nearer door on the right led to the restaurant side as well as the stairs down to the live room.  Those who were in bands will also recognize the alleyway side entrance where they would load in. 

panoramic view of Scorgies, December 2008

Panoramic views of Scorgies, December 2008 (click to view full size)

(Article mostly Re-printed from Shindig & Freetime Magazines in the 1990’s – by Del Rivers)

I still can remember standing in The Mason Jar (a local bar known for serving beer in canning jars)…as well as Scorgies…listening to Luther and The BBB’s. What we heard was a mixture of 1960’s Retro-Rock combined with early 1980’s Power-Pop. The BBB’s were stand-outs among Rochester bands like The Bowery Boys (w/Geoff Wilson), The Insiders (w/Walt O’Brien), and The Chesterfield Kings (w/Greg Prevost). Of these die-hard followers of The Kinks, The Monkees, The Byrds, and The Who; Luther and The BBB’s stood out like a set of new Goodyear Tires instead of some cheapo retreads. The snappy Pop tunes created were on par with Syracuse, NY’s Flashcubes (w/Gary Frenay) or with any other Power Pop band that was on Bomp! or Voxx Records in the early 1980’s. Luther and his boys have progressed to that arena (musically, at times) that includes Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, or early Squeeze.
As time goes around, BBB members have followed different routes…Doug Cox, who briefly formed NYC’s Tonebenders, is now climbing telephone poles; Mike Abrams, now a family man, played a roll in both The Projectiles and The Infants; Judd Williams (known as a “legend” in Boston) plays with The Lyres, Riviera Playboys, and now tours with The Amazing Royal Crowns; and finally Jeff “Luther” Holtzman carried The BBB’s flagship through the ’80’s and ’90’s. (The BBB’s briefly changed to The 3-B’s as well). Many future members included ex-Insiders Walt O’Brien and Bob Janneck; It’s My Party/Housecats/Shakin’ Bones members Ken Peters and Hank “Blast” Karuth. In the lean years, Luther worked as a D-J for local bars and co-wrote songs that ended-up as releases from myself and/or McFadden’s Parachute.

Aside from my usual “namedroppings”, a good listen to the CD (Volume One) speaks for itself. Utilizing rare vintage instruments; Luther has created an array of cool, original Rock’n’Roll as well as some updated cover songs in the bonus set. Check out the Rockabilly-influenced “The Echo”, the yearly Christmas standard “Are You Ready For Christmas”, the Psychedelic “Knee Wash”, and aggressive Power-Pop songs like “Rest Of Your Love” and “In My Mind” – all guaranteed to become repeat listeners. (On Whole Lotta Shakin’ – we usually played his “Credit Card Christmas” which isn’t on the CD).

Despite the choking cigarette smoke, and overwhelming odor of urinals (at The Mason Jar – not Scorgies!); that time was a worthy Rock’n’Roll memory and the music is still vital today. I can’t wait ’til Volume Two comes along without the ‘smells’ attached to the memories!! Hail to the Great Rickenbacker!!

(Note: Since this article was written, Luther has retired from performing but has recorded about four other unreleased volumes of music with and without Dave Anderson from Saxon Recording. His former band mates now play as Shakin’ Bones). – Del.

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