Early 1980's Cleveland Pop / Punk combo. The name was inspired by the
beer called "Beer."
"Fire and Rain," (written by James Taylor of course) was performed on one of the rare occasions the Generics left their basement and played for a few people at a suburban house party. Tom Hamilton - bass. Tom Hawk - guitar and lead vocals. Mark Vocca - guitar and vocals. Bob Richey - drums. That vintage sound courtesy of a stereo cassette deck and a couple of cheap mics.
Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. Tony played in the Cleveland, Ohio bands Starvation Army, Sissy, Hucklebuck and Buddy Love Combo. He loved life and was loved by many: his family, wife, children, friends and fans. You are missed Tony. I played in Starvation Army with him back in the late '80's / early '90's. Below is just one memory from those years.
was a great guy.A perfect balance of
smart and smart-ass.A real straight up
Cleveland guy.They don't get better.His many friends, his family...they all know
that.He did have his quirks
though.Since I played with him in a
band for a while, and went on a couple of tours with him, I got to know a few of those quirks
firsthand.Just little things that made
him unique.It's funny what you think of at times like this, but one thing that has
been on my mind the last week concerns Tony and electronic guitar tuners.Mainly I remember how much he disliked them. In the two years I was in a band with Tony, I
never once saw him use one.Let's face
it, clubs and bars can be very noisy places when you are trying to get ready
for a performance.All of us used an
electronic tuner, it's just easy and more reliable then the ears when you are an environment where it's so loud you can't hear yourself think.Not Tony though.He'd scoff at tuners: "I don't like those things."Of course he usually was in tune and he sure knew how to play the hell out of his guitar, so it never really mattered. Still, just out of curiosity I recall questioning
him a few times about his aversion to electronic tuning gadgets.On one of those occasions I remember him telling me: "I don't need them…because I
am in tune with nature.I AM IN TUNE
WITH THE COSMOS!"Of course my
response was to laugh (at, with) him.Right Tony, I think you are also in tune with a few beers!That was Tony though.He was known within the band circle to occasionally be slightly "out there."On his own plane of existence, I mean.Planet Tony.A deep thinker I
guess is another way to put it.Anyway, later
during the gig I began to notice something...something out of tune.Who is it?Well it couldn't be TONY. He's in tune with the cosmos...so it must be
the rest of us!Now I think, well, he
really is in tune with the cosmos - and the cosmos is now a much better
place.Unfortunately he has left a
vacuum on this level of existence, here in Cleveland.We are not a better place without Tony...but we are a better
place for having known him and having good memories of him.So I just want to say, so long Tony.See you 'round the cosmos sometime.
Tonight Cleveland's DEATH OF SAMANTHA are playing their first gig in nearly 20 years.
I saw DOS many times back in the 1980's. I think I was probably at their second or maybe third-ever gig, way back when they were only a 3-piece band. Even in that early stage I liked them right away. They had some really good songs...not to mention an additional mysterious "it" that all great bands seem to have.
This particular recording captures them at the very first gig they played with their then-new guitar player, Doug Gillard. It was at the long-gone Pop Shop near Cleveland State University. The date was May 25, 1984 and they had not yet recorded their first single. With John Petkovic's permission, I was allowed to tape their set on my boombox that night. He also told me, "In 28 years from now, please post one of the songs on something called the internet." I didn't know what he was talking about of course, but now it is clear what a visionary person he was/is.
I should be at their show tonight, but alas can not make the drive to Cleveland. Sucks. Oh well, I hope they don't wait another 20 years to reform. I don't think I can hold out that long.
I don't know how long this will be here. It might disappear if someone from the band objects...
Welcome! This is free download music site. In the 1980's and 1990's I (Tom) played in the Cleveland, Ohio bands The Offbeats, Starvation Army, Agitated, Children's Crusade, Swank Motel, Buddy Love Combo, Dumbshits and others. In 1999 I left Cleveland for Seattle, WA, where I lived for 5 years. From 2004-2012 I lived in Pittsburgh, PA with my wife Denise. In December 2012 we moved to Cleveland Heights, Ohio where we currently reside. I no longer play in bands, but still occasionally write and record songs, playing all the instruments myself. Some are posted on this blog; others no one has heard except myself.