Five Firsts: Tom Lindsay of Lost Radio Rounders
NAME: Tom Lindsay
BAND AFFILIATION: Lost Radio Rounders
INSTRUMENT: Vocals; six string, twelve string, and “Nashville” acoustic guitar; McNally Strumstick
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first album I ever bought was “Cosmo’s Factory” (1970) by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Creedence had great originals, and their inspired choice of covers introduced me to other genres of American music.
John Forgerty set the template for how a four-piece rock band should be produced. Add a little piano or organ, some sax or harmonica, some hand percussion, and don’t go crazy with overdubs! Michael Eck and I followed that template when we produced The Plague’s “Suckin’ In The Wind.” That cassette album failed to sell as many copies as “Cosmo’s Factory,” but at least we didn’t sign our lives away to Saul Zaentz.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The first concert I ever saw was probably an early-to-mid-’70s John Denver show at SPAC. I would see him again there years later with James Burton on guitar. Burton is my version of a guitar hero; clean, twangy and melodic. I loved his work with Ricky Nelson and some guy named Elvis.
The first “road-trip” concert I saw was Be Bop Deluxe opening for Blue Oyster Cult at the Springfield Civic Center in March of 1978 (Electric guitars? Check! Lasers? Check! Explosions? Check!). Also in Jon Hausman’s Plymouth Duster that night were future E Plemnista front man Jim Gallagher, future Lumpen Prole guitarist Paul Lindsay and my high school girlfriend Ellie Brickwedel, who to her great credit, avoided joining an Albany punk band.
We also attended a show at Page Hall (SUNY Albany) where our tickets said “The Good Rats & Special Guests.” The special guests were the Talking Heads.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … The first musical instrument I ever played was my father’s piano. While in grade school my parents sent me to piano lessons, but I never got the hang of sight reading and quit.
The first musical instrument I ever owned was a used Guild electric bass I purchased at the famous House of Guitars in Irondequoit, NY. I was 19 and attending the Rochester Institute of Technology when a few of my college friends kicked the bass player out of their band, and told me I was the new one. I had never played a stringed instrument in my life.
On a later trip to the House of Guitars I would have a nice conversation with Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick. He told me that Rick (Nielsen, not Nelson) had been in earlier and purchased a truckload of electric guitars.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … The first song I ever performed in public was probably a cover of Blondie’s “Sunday Girl.” I was a non-singing bassist in my college band. During my high school years, I had done nothing musically, except sing along to the stereo.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … That first college band was called Post Punk. The name was not my idea. It sounded too much like a breakfast cereal. We played new wave covers.
Tom Lindsay leads Lost Radio Rounders and special guests Sarah Pedinotti (of Railbird) and George Ward into Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs for a special concert titled “American Favorite Ballads: Songs from Folkways.” The concert takes place at 8pm on Saturday, and tix are $15 in advance; $17 at the door.