Junior Smoots And The Disturbers

Junior Smoots And The DisturbersIt’s funny … I was searching my negative files for photos of my band, The Human Element. I’m working on a huge post about T.H.E. But while I was searching for group promo photos that my friend and artist Dorian LaPadura took, I stumbled upon black & white promo photos I took of the Junior Smoots band at the old Wall Township, NJ house. They even include new trombone player Tommy Meares.

To my amazement, I also found the few photos I took of the Smootsters, well at least Gary, Judy, Kenny (see Kenny I DID take photos of the drummer!) and the engineer/producer, who’s name escapes me right now, at the NYC recording studio where they recorded these three songs. I also don’t remember the studio name either. I’m sure someone out there will remeber those details. And I’m almost positive there might be more studio photos … but then again that could be my mind playing tricks again.

Update 07/19/2008 5:59 PM: Vito Roast eMailed me and said …

“… the engineer was Julian McBrowne and was at The Daily Planet NYC. I think Julian was either in Kid Creole and the Coconuts or engineer-not sure.”

Yes … Julian McBrowne did work with Kid Creole and the Coconuts. He did some 12″ remixes, and was engineer on different projects. As a matter of fact I also have photos of Kid Creo from back in the 80’s. Damn … who DON’T I have picture of! ; )

So here are more photos of Jr Smoots and company. Hope you enjoy them.

Update 11/13/2008 10:48 PM: Found more studio pictures!!!

It’s funny. Tommy Meares’ sister Jennie contacted me today via a comment below. Between the time I added a new reply comment (also below) and now I added more studio photos to this post. I never know if this is blogging sacrilege to alter a post … but you know what I say. Fuck it! >;)

It was wild. In my heart of hearts I knew there were more than the handful I originally posted. I was digging through my closet, and found some old print & negative packages. There were old Mink Deville prints from the Fast Lane, and prints of John Eddie & The Front Street Runners … also at the Fast Lane … and low and behold … here was a pack of black and white prints of the Smoots band and the missing negatives. I was thrilled to death!

The extra images include trombone player Tommy Meares, images of Vito Roast, and images of Gary’s long time friend Ricky Figeroa. So it’s a much better representation of that day in the The Daily Planet NYC.

One more time … with feeling! Photos of Jr Smoots and the Disturbers …

Joe Streno
artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing in asbury park nj with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

3 thoughts on “More Junior Smoots Photos

  1. Hey Joe:

    I think we may know each other. I found your site looking for Smoots info on google.

    Back in the early 80’s i :

    was reggae DJ at Hitsville/Fastlane
    had a punk/reggae show on the Monmouth COllege Radio station
    hung around a bit with the JR Smoots & Co
    worked at the Inkwell
    and published a few issues of a fanzine called No ROckets
    lived on Deal Lake Drive in a greenhouse atop a senior citizen apartment building

    Also we had a mutual friend in DOrian. I lost touch with lots of people. Wanted to find out what happened to Gary C. I have browsed a lot of your site, but not sure if I missed the details.

    I shot a video of a SMoots set that is pretty good. Hoping the magnetism on the VHS has held up. I’ll have to check it out and maybe throw some songs up on YouTUbe.

    thanks for all the cool stuff you put up.

    How to chat with you sometime and reconnect with good people and good times.

    take care,

    Kevin

  2. Yo Joe, my old skankin buddy! (did I say old?:)

    Greetings from the Jersey shore ~ I don’t know if you’ll remember me, as I was the junior sister of the trombone player, Tommy Meares ~ & damn near jailbait at the time… It was my first exposure to reggae and worldbeat music and I TOTALLY dug learning a new way to dance from you, Terry, Pam, Karen, etc. This early exposure shaped my musical & dancing experiences from then on, for which I am most grateful… (including performing w/an Afro-Cuban carnival band) As it turns out, I’m a shooter too, for the last dozen years and have a new appreciation for your wonderful work…

    Many thanks for the audio & visual flashbacks! I can’t tell you what I had for lunch yesterday, but I still know the words to Smoots’ songs. Go figure ;)
    Hoping all is well w/you on the left coast ~
    peacelove, Jennie

    1. Hi Jennie …

      It’s funny how that works. There are those things that are burned into our minds forever … sort of like a an extraordinary photograph. Crystalline, sharp, evocative. Then there are those hand held memories taken on Panatomic X film at 1/16 of a second …. wide open. I can still make out shape and form, but everything is ethereal at best. It’s a ghost memory casting shadows on the shutter curtain of my un-synced mind.

      Okay … I’ll own it. I’m getting old. There I said it. ;) So the memories may fall into one of several categories:
      1. Accurate
       2. A little hazy.
       3. Embellished.
       4. Retellings that border on fiction. (But good fiction.)

      I was on of those people that thought I’d always remember … e v e r y t h i n g! Not true. And things are fading fast. =:o I’m racing towards my 52nd birthday come January … yikes! I certainly do remember livin’ with Gary and the band, and the countless shows I was at, skankin’ the night away, with many dance partners, and group dance partners. Not to mention the illicits done in the parking lot and elsewhere at the Harbor Inn. It was a ton-o-fun. It’s 26 years later. My problem now is placing the names with the blurry faces. It’s just part of life.

      I’m happy to hear that the Smoots band and I had an influential effect on you. If Gary were still around I think he’d feel as honored as I do. Thank you.

      Went to your MySpace page … nice photos! God the photos of HoJo’s and other Asbury landmarks bring back memories. I’m sure by now so much of that is gone or on its way out. Part of me wants to move back to the Jersey shore … I’m always just one rainy Seattle day away from pickin’ up stakes. Oh well …

      Thanks so much for making contact. Good luck with your art and creative life! Be well. :)

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