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...
I'm an old guy, so I've seen this happen plenty of times. "(fill in the blank rock star), dead at age 27." Why is that such a common age for rock 'n roll endings? Jimi, Janis, Brian Jones, D. Boon, Kurt and quite a few others checked out at that age.
I never bought any of Amy's records (yes, I still call them records), but she had style and a lot of talent. Too bad she also had some other things in excess. Very sad to see a life - any life - thrown away. This will probably sound bad, but I don't care: people like her piss me off. People with addictive personalities are selfish. It's all about them. It has to be that way, they can't be any other way. It's either a cure or a quick death. There are really no other roads to travel...and the only way to a cure is to look beyond yourself and realize that OTHER PEOPLE MATTER. It's not all about you.
Sorry, that's all probably nonsense. What do I know about it anyway? I've never been an addict or an alcoholic; I'm also not a psychiatrist. I do know a good song when I hear it, though. Here's one of Amy's, the song "Help Yourself," from her first CD "Frank." So long Amy...you should have stuck around longer.
I don't know anything about this group other than this is probably from the 1960's and the A-side is a gender-specific rewrite of Sam and Dave's "Soul Man."
Last week I was using this post solely to promote the fact that I was selling this single on eBay. I had placed a clip of the first 1:15 minutes of the A-side song. Now that the auction is over, as promised, here are the full versions of both sides of this obscure soul 45. Click the folder below and you will be directed to my Skydrive "Funky Sisters" files, where you can download the two mp3 files.
Once again this post is a departure from my previous practice of only featuring my own solo and band recordings. I don't see why I should limit myself to any one thing. Therefore I will continue to post more obscure records from my collection...at my usual snail's pace.
You might be able to listen to one of these songs on YouTube, but here you can download them right into your iPod, or whatever gadget you use to listen to music.
It's been a long time since I put anything up here. I haven't been recording any songs. Too much other things happening right now...and not particularly inspired at any rate.
The other day I bought a USB turntable at a yard sale for 10 bucks. Because I've been using it to put sound clips on my eBay listings, I thought I'd post an oldie here. For no particular reason, my goal was to see how fast I could make the sound file, take a picture and post this. Turns out it took only 23 minutes.
According to some website, this was recorded on November 25, 1958, the very same day I turned 2 years old.
This is a real cool and raw garage instrumental thumper. Enjoy.
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.