Time Travelling Again…

Even during this hectic, crazy time of year, I had two unexpected trips back in time to the 1970’s, both about as different as could be.

The first was a pleasant surprise; I got a CD copy in the mail from an old friend who had found a cassette tape of a band I had performed in, back around 1975 or so, in my younger days in the clubs. Thinking it was just a dub of tapes I already had, I wasn’t expecting much.

It turned out to be a live recording of a club date that I didn’t have in my archives. Even the though the recording itself was horrible by today’s standards (noisy cassette, auto-level recording, too close to the guitar amp, etc.) I could still make out the songs, the various band-members who were singing on them, and the in-between song patter.

The drummer (and lead singer) Peter Wells, is no longer with us, sad to say, and I’ve lost contact with the bass player (Rob Viola) and the guitarist (Dal Bauder). Even so, the energy, excitement and exuberance just pops out of the songs – everything from the Doobie Brothers to the Beatles to Chicago to Stevie Wonder. This band was FUN, and made some great music.  (Dal, you were SMOKIN HOT on that Strat, buddy!)  I really miss you guys! Would love to get in touch with them and catch up, and give them copies of this and the other masters I saved from those days.

The other fun trip back in time was also a labor of love; I’m involved with the newly-launched Bruce Montgomery Foundation, and I have been working on restoring some of Bruce’s works, as well as making CD and DVD copies of his various projects from his amazing and varied career.

One of Bruce’s CD private compilations contains a work commissioned by William Smith and the Philadelphia Orchestra, entitled “Herodotus Fragmnets” – an orchestral and choral piece, inspired by the futility of war, dating back to the days of Sparta and Thermopylae in Greece. The recording is from the work’s premiere performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, in the Academy of Music conducted by William Smith on April 28, 1970.

I don’t have any production notes with the original analog master tape, but judging by the logo sticker on the box, I’m sure it was recorded by none other than my predecessor at Magnetic Recorder Reproducer Company, Mr. Albert Borko.

I never met Al; I came to the company when it was rechristened “Magnetik Productions” in the mid 1980’s, but it’s thrilling to hear something done correctly. (It sounds like it could have been done yesterday, actually.)

Nice job to all! I’m humbled to be helping preserve the work of Bruce Montgomery, William Smith, and Al Borko….and a little bar band playing rock’n’roll in a smokey club somewhere in Willow Grove, PA.