Eric Bloom, Richie Castellano and Buck Dharma (photo by Stanley Johnson)
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Stanley Johnson, Ed Conway, Tim Reidy, Richard Brody
The Blot & Blue Tour, back together again for one night only!
Blotto and Blue Oyster Cult originally teamed up for a tour that took place back in February and March of 1983. They reunited for one of the largest Alive at Five concerts in Albany’s Corning Preserve in August of 1996.
Earlier this month, the two bands shared the stage again, this time at Jennings Landing, wrapping up the 2015 Alive at Five concert season in front of the largest crowd of the summer.
From “Godzilla” to “Goodbye, Mr. Bond,” from “Don’t Fear the Reaper” to “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard,” the evening jam packed with rockin’ riffs, some hearty laughs and too much fun.
Blotto – those merry pranksters of ’80s pop culture – slipped into the Low Beat in Albany last week, whipping through a run-through of such vintage gems as “My Baby’s the Star of a Driver’s Ed Movie,” “Goodbye, Mr. Bond” and even “Metal Head” in preparation for their big Alive at Five concert with Blue Oyster Cult the following evening.
Yes, today marks the 33 & 1/3 anniversary of Blotto’s debut recording, the 33 & 1/3RPM EP, “Hello, My Name Is Blotto! What’s Yours?” The four-song slab o’ vinyl was released on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1980, featuring such now-golden oldies as “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard” and “We Are the Nowtones.”
Here’s a link to an interview in Metroland that Brian Stevens attempted to conduct with the original Blotto family – Cheese, Bowtie, Broadway, Lee Harvey, Sarge and Blanche – at the time of the release: (Part 1); (Part 2 – which also contains a review of the record by Peter Iselin).
(left) The Last Conspirators, (right) Charlie Smith (photo by Stanley Johnson)
Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Stanley Johnson and Gene Sennes
“I have actually been invited,” I thought to myself, echoing the astonishment of Nick Carraway when he arrives at Gatsby’s West Egg mansion party in Fitzgerald’s novel. My magnanimous friend, Alison, had given me an advance ticket to the J.B. Scott’s Reunion Party. Pulling into the already crowded parking lot shortly after 7pm, I couldn’t help but realize that I would be likely one of the few revelers too young to have ever attended a show at the legendary venue that had closed 30 years ago, having drawn everybody from Count Basie and John Lee Hooker to the Cramps and Iggy Pop.
I had missed the Penny Knight Band, and the Last Conspirators were already playing full throttle as I entered the ballroom of Michael’s Banquet House, where a large crowd of people danced like it was 1979. The late Joe Strummer would have been proud; I imagined the punk rock warlord raising a Guinness to the band as they tore into originals like “Who Wants a Revolution Anyway” and “History,” the latter beginning with Tim Livingston’s declaration of “Drink to all our futures! Long live J.B. Scott’s!” and then closing out with his microphone stand getting bent in half.
Blotto takes the stage to kick off the 2011 LarkFest with a performance at the corner of Lark Street and Washington Avenue at 10:20am – yeah, that’s right, 10:20am – on Saturday. Go here for a full schedule of LarkFest performances. Admission is, of course, free.
Troy knows how to party, and Troy’s River Street Festival proved it on Saturday. With vendors of all types lining the road from one end of River Street to the other, it was almost impossible to not find something to like. That goes for the entertainment as well, with three stages – from children’s fare to local music to the main stage at Monument Square – serving up a wonderful trip for nostalgia. Except for a couple of excursions through the throngs of people in search of sustenance, we spent almost the entire day at the main stage. With one great act after another, the only thing that could possible have added to it was a special guest appearance by some fantastic weather. And we got that, too.
First up was the Graham Tichy Experience Project (or Project Experience, depending on who was announcing). This trio is made up of some of Nippertown’s best known musicians. The son of Commander Cody guitarslinger and RPI professor John Tichy, Graham has made quite a name for himself as a fantastic rockabilly guitarist. Backed up solidly by bassist Steven Clyde (aka Clyde Blotto), whose resume is way too long to mention here, and Pete Vumbaco on drums. Unfortunately, there were not very many people there to hear the brunch set, but those who were there were treated to some hot licks. Joining them on stage for a few songs was Ian Carlton, from the Knyghts of Fuzz.
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