Jenni and I met at an art opening at Russell Sage College late in 1978. We had an hours-long, wine-soaked conversation about music and art, and by February, 1979 were fronting our very own band, The Dialtones. Raw, raucous, drunk and snotty, for one magical summer we were the reigning punksters of the Albany music scene.
We opened for The Ramones at JB Scotts and for David Johansen at The Chance. We almost got pummeled after a gig at Thompsons Lake Hotel. There were a lot of other gigs, most of which I don’t remember.
The band imploded later that same year, and I never saw her again. She moved to New York and then later to a quiet life out on Long Island, focusing on writing. She died on April 2, 2011 after a long illness.
I remember her as incredibly bright, with a boundless love of rock and roll and an inimitable fashion sense.
She was a much better punk than I was; I viewed punk mostly as an occasion to dress up and have fun, but there was definitely an undercurrent of anger in her very funny, very sardonic sense of humor, and on stage she was an arresting figure, a snarling six-foot tall blonde amazon who tended to scare people.
Here’s Jenni singing two songs from one of the very last dates the Dialtones played at Hulla-Baloo in Rensselaer.