Friday, December 05, 2008
The Other Side...
After seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in '64 my friends Lou Maresca, George Menella and I started a band named "The Other Side".
At first we practiced at our parents houses, easing the pain inflicted on our families by playing at a different house each time.
I can still remember my Dad asking my Mom: "Do they ever finish a song?", as we searched for the right chords and rhythms. We played in the streets, at block parties, birthday parties and at school dances and "Battle of the Bands" shows held in St. Stephen's School Auditorium. We also did a few outdoor shows at Prospect Park and Carroll Park.
Competition in Brooklyn was tough, there were lots of other groups also looking for the same bookings.
In the fall of 1970 me and my buddies rented out a neighborhood meeting hall, The Luso-American Cultural Center on Henry and Rapelye Streets to stage one of our shows. The club was a popular neighborhood location, with a full size stage and backstage area. It was used mainly for catered affairs like engagement parties,'football weddings' and anniversaries. We drew a crowd of nearly a hundred people and played a lot of Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Cream and Rolling Stones songs, all with extended jams for about four hours.
Here we are, together again, nearly four decades later, in front of the still-existing hall.
We're thinking about having a Halloween Show at the same location in 2009.
That's our good friend Chuck Farranto sandwiched between me and Lou in the bottom photo.