You can't imagine how often I have gone back and forth on whether or not to keep doing the Weekly Band E-Mail.
My current health situation is very complicated. Without going into all of the gory details, let's just say that I am more like that little creature from Middle Earth who is crawling around the cover of Led Zeppelin III. I am unable to stand up or walk anywhere without either Meg or one of my two kids literally holding my hands and taking me to another part of the house.
Fortunately I have six (yes, you read correctly) different doctors who are all helping me cope with all of this. The latest fear is that my kidneys are starting to fail, and I am going to have a blood test for that on Wednesday afternoon.
During the three years I have been doing this thing, all my readers have stayed with me, even when I was in the hospital and then in rehab for four months last summer. And Mik Muller has been supremely generous in allowing me to continue to post the Weekly Band E-Mail on hampmusic.com
I first saw a local group, called the Bitter End, play live at the Church in the Cove in the Montserrat section of Beverly back in 1967, and from then on I was hooked. I would go see local groups play all over the North Shore, especially at St. Adelaide's Church in Peabody, the Upbeat Teen Club in Beverly, and Someplace in Gloucester. I also used to follow certain bands around, including Teddy and the Pandas, Twelve-76, Blueberry Earth, and Royal Aircoach.
I had a radio show every Saturday afternoon on WMLO, 1570 AM in Beverly, during which time I would play as much local music as I could get my hands on at Hayes Music on Cabot Street.
I answered the phones for the Listener Line at both WBCN and WCOZ between 1970 and 1980. During the week I would go into the city and go to see local bands at the Rat, Cantones, and Bunratty's. I would buy used CDs at the record store which was next to Oona's Used Clothing by the huge Chinese restaurant that was on Mass. Ave on the left as you were going from Central Square to Harvard Square.
When I first moved in with Meg in Somerville in 1981, I used to listen to Rich Anzalone's radio show every night on 101.7FM in Lynn. About six months after I started listening, what was then WLYN-FM was bought by Stephen Mindich and turned into WFNX, and the local music that Rich used to play every night was basically gone.
But thankfully Maxanne Sartori, who did afternoons at WBCN, let Oedipus, who was not program director yet, have about 15 minutes of her show to play the music he had heard from local bands the night before. So there was always somewhere you could hear all the great local music of the time, and of course back then there were many many record stores where you could buy all of it.
And I remember a guy named Hugh Munox had a local music show called Metronome on WERS, 88.9FM, every Sunday night, and he would have a band play live every week, much like Jeff Breeze does on Pipeline! on WMBR nowadays. Not sure when Metronome was on, but I remember listening to it when I was living with Meg in Somerville.
When Meg and I moved to the 413 area code in 1987, the first thing I did was go down to WMUA and get a weekly radio show (Jim Neill was my first program director). I did all kinds of music shows at WMUA, including the Grateful Dead hour! But sometime in the mid 1990s Mal Thursday began doing a local music show every week, and his enthusiasm for the music sparked a desire in me to do a similar show on WMUA some years later.
My health forced my retirement from WMUA. But it also gave me the freedom to be able to re-invent the Weekly Band E-Mail back in mid-August of 2007. And now, some three years later, I am afraid to say that once again my health is forcing me to give up the Weekly Band E-Mail, effective immediately.
So there you go, there you have it. I appreciate all the feedback you have given me over the years. Even the most offhand of suggestions have resulted in the adoption of changes in the Weekly Band E-Mail. I will continue to support Massachusets bands and musicians by buying the CDs when available, or downloading digital copies of the CDs on iTunes if I am unable to. Thank you for the memories.
P.S. If you want to hear a killer track from the days of the Rat back in 1979, check out this little known song from The Girls that is 5:39 of utter chaos which is what rock and roll is really all about!