Five Firsts: Jeff Burger of Sumac
NAME: Jeff Burger
BAND AFFILIATION: Sumac
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Foghat’s “Live.” I first heard “Fool for the City” on 97 Rock in Buffalo, NY (my hometown). 97 Rock was a station labeled “album rock,” which meant they played more than just hits; they would actually play the lost cuts and b sides. Recently, my brother called me from Buffalo and said, “Guess where I am?” I could hear “Slow Ride” blaring in the background, so I said, “Foghat in concert.” And he said, “Yes, you drove me crazy with that album.”
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Supertramp. They were a great live act. They performed “Breakfast in America” in its entirety and hits from previous albums.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … A Casio keyboard that I bought in a thrift store for five bucks. That keyboard appears on The Homeboy Sacred self-titled album by the Buffalo rap band, and also on legendary punk band the Painkillers’ self-titled album. It finally died when some mohawked girl in Buffalo poured a pitcher of beer on it and me during a Painkillers show.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “What Ever Happened to Us,” a song I wrote when I was in my country band Jackinany.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The Painkillers – the best, most honest punk rock band in the world. They are still together in Buffalo.
Photograph by Chelsea Kereszi