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Band(s) You "Discovered"


Keith Nivan

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John had it all: the good looks, the sound, the songs, the stage presence, and a great back-up band. Too bad the 'powers-that-be' tried to take all of that and turn it into something fake.

Early since you're from "South Jersey", maybe you or someone else can tell me what became of the Stone Pony's house band, "Cats On A Smooth Surface"? They were a nice bunch of guys that played a tight and impressive set of music. I saw them a couple of times in the 1980's, met them during one of their set breaks, and was there one night when it was my birthday and the sang "Happy Birthday" to me.

Marvin

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When I was younger I lived in the Geauga Lake (Now Aurora) and Geauga Lake park was right down the road. I used to sneak in during summer vacation and send the day there.

A local popular radio station WIXY 1260 AM use to have there yearly picnic there. I saw bands play there like Paul Revere and the Raiders, Hermans Hermits, The Animals, Dave Clark Five.

and the Association. This was a great place to see band.

Then a few years later I started going to Chesterland Hullabaloo and saw groups like

James Gang with Glenn Schwartz(sp) and then Joe Walch, The Raspberries (Both before and after Dave) Freeport Express. Damnation of Adam Blessing, and Glass Harp (with Phil Kagy).

It was a great time for music in Cleveland.

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Actually, a little bit of trivia,,, Rusty Pitrone who is the Road manager for the reunion tour and worked as roadie, sound technician, and road manager for the second edition of the Raspberries (with Scott & Mike) was in North River Street Rock Collection. He played sax and was one of the lead singers. Rusty is now a master carpenter besides working with me and Dugie on the reunion tour. We bill ourselves as “The Old Crewâ€, enjoying every moment. And I even mixed sound for Circus after leaving the Berries in 73 when the Balzar brothers played with the band.

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I´ve known about the succesful prog band Porcupine Tree since they released their first album,reviewing their records,etc,I made good friends with his manager these early days,and he´s still my friend(Regards,Richard Allen)Richard is probably the most compassive and assertive man I´ve evr known.Dougjack reminds me of him a lot,but what I really loved and still love of that time was the English neohippie crossover combative bands like Kava Kava,The Moonflowers or Praise Space Electric.

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I used to love seeing North River Street. I remember them being a staple down at the Plato. They did an unbelievable cover of MacArthur Park and Questions 67 & 68. Their horn section was remarkable. Tiny Alice, Rastus, Reign and Magic were the other bands I used to follow. Cleveland was such a great place to see live music back in the late 60's and early 70's. I remember going down to the Allen Theatre to see Cat Stevens after he released Tea For the Tillerman and as we were leaving, I noticed the board announcing the next act to appear. Some group called Derek and the Dominoes. We had no idea who they were. Sorry I missed that one.

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I came up with the name, "Circus"...I was in a band in Solon,Ohio with a girl singer by the name of Mary Anne Gaffney...after we broke up, she became girlfriend/boyfriend with Phil Alexander, the singer in...Circus! Also during this time Eric himself came to a couple of practices, along with Marty Murphy, to rehearse in the hopes of taking this band on the road; we never made it that far. This was before Raspberries, but after Cyrus Erie...maybe the spring of 1970, because I remember McCartney's first LP was released then, ...and Kent State shootings.

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Not being Canadian, I can't say I discovered them, but I did hear a lot about Barenaked Ladies from a friend of mine even before they became an "arena band" in Canada. By the time they became an "arena band" in Canada, they were still relatively unknown in the States and pretty much only people in the "border states" knew about them. They were playing much smaller venues there than in their home country. I saw some great shows of theirs in upstate NY back in those days, including a wonderful New Year's Eve show, a show at the college cafeteria where I used to work ($7 for a faculty/staff ticket! and I stood right next to an amp!), a festival show and a very cool one at a little dance hall in the Muskokas during the height of blackfly season...it was great!

Then in 1998 they got big...no, not saying they sold out, but I do kind of miss the days when it was just a little group of us connoisseurs who would go see them. Gee, I used to come home from those things with my coat pockets full of stray macaroni noodles from people throwing during "If I Had $1,000,000"...a habit that began to annoy the heck out of 'em...can't blame them for that...oh well, I never threw.

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Marvin, I feel sad about Dan Fogelberg...hoping against hope for his recovery.

Shout-out to sllvnbil...LOL, I know the Penny Arcade (although I don't think I ever went inside). Now THAT was a classic biker bar...up on the Lake Ontario beach in Rochester...or more properly in Charlotte (pronounced "shar-LOT" and don't forget it, or they will know you're not a local!)

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