Kickin’ It Old School
Sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend the magnitude of time. Put simply—time’s a fatherfucker! And he’s sure having his way with me! Boom! I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I started back to college—the second time aound—Spring session of 1978 at the CW Post campus of Long Island University, at the tender age ot twenty-one. Twenty one??!! WTF!!!??? How can that be?
I’m hearing the voice of Vin Scelsa, warm, low, and bassy, pumping musical goodness into my brain. Making me think twice, and maybe even three or four times about where my life was leading. The refrains of Born to Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town are also seeping in—stirring things up. Re-ver-ber-ating. There’s a heady mix of punk and rock music that is becoming the soundtrack for a new life. One that might take me far enough away from the rural confines of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Things are changing. Music’s changing. I’m changing.
Working in Daddy’s garage was becoming a drag, as was living with my parents. Working, drinking and drugging in this rural seaside town was getting to be too much. Then one day comes the news. My friend Gary is gone. He got drunk, was locked out of his house, and he fell asleep in his car with the motor running. Problem was—he never woke up. Inspiration and impitus can come form anywhere. Like tracks on a tape being mixed down, a little more of one can change the feel of the whole song and take it in a new direction. This was one of those tracks—one of those songs.
We gotta get out while we’re young …
So with inspiration from Bruce, Vin and Gary high up in the mix, I thought it was time to stop playing my old worn out record and find something fresh to spin—litterally. It seemed CW Post was going to be the seamless segue I needed, on the first note, of the first beat, of the first song, of this new album.
I had applied and got accepted to New York University (NYU), Temple University (Philladelphia), and CW Post out on Long Island. For whatever reason, I chose CW Post. Part of it was not being ready to live in a city—any city. Post was close enough to drive to the city yet far enouh away. And they had a great communications department. It worked for me at that point in time.
Had I not gone to Post I would have never met some amazing people who were also along for the ride. I’ve mentioned them before in other posts, and maybe not. But the members of the band were Geoff Hoover, Candy Braught, Ellyn Sollas, Kim Dillon, Charlie Maraia, Tom Quinlaven, Gina Longo, Amy Roberts, Jim Cutler, Ken VanTassell, Rich Spanbock, and countless others.
It’s funny. I had been meaning to publish these photos you see on this page for a long time. But sometimes the Universe gives you a swift kick in the ass, as he did a few days ago. Got a friend request, a phone message, a text message, and an eMail from my old friend Charlie Maraia. The cautious and ill man that I am, (take that last one as you wish) I needed to contemplate if I was ready to reconnect. A few traded eMails and yeah … it’s time. So while I’m waiting on a long phone conversation … figured I’d post these oldies but goodies that Charlie took at his then bosses photography studio in NYC. Can’t tell you the date exactly, but by the looks of things 1980-ish. Then again I can’t tell you when or where I met Charlie at Post in my four years there. Looking back at my old school records, I did see a photography class I took at Post. Could have been there … maybe not. No matter. We did. The rest is ancient history.
We even spent a month during the summer of 1982 hitching through England and France together just after graduating Post. Some of those photos are in another of my posts—London Calling. This may also give some inspirtaion to scan my other Europe photos. There were so many! Um … fourty rolls of “Kodachrome goodness”! So yeah—I have some work ahead of me.
In the mean time … check out Charlie’s photos. The hand colored photos Charlie took, and gave me a black & white contact sheet. I later made a collage of the photos and framed it. The single images are from a scan of the collage—which I still have intact. The color photos in the gallery below … if memory serves, Charlie gave me all the original slides, or copies … can’t remeber. And the fedora hat I’m wearing in the B&W photos as well as the last few color photos, belonged to my grandfather David Vito Streno. That man was stylin’! I loved to wear that hat! Have to say … some of my alltime fave photos of myself! Was like having my own personal & professional photo booth … but WAY better! Thanks Charlie!
So this is me … markers & hat in hand … Kickin’ It Old School.