There where many mainstays at Max’s Kansas City back in the early mid to late 70’s. When I was either working as a production hand or just hanging out at Max’s, One of my favorite’s was  “Mink DeVille”. Just a cool sharp rock n roll band with an ethnic punky flair that combined Spanish, Cajun and zydeco influences that was all new to me. Willy Deville, the leader of the band brought in this style that was unique as it was sharp and cutting edge for that time period. The band drew from many sources including Latin music, French creole ballads, New Orleans funk and Cajun accordion music. Just down right fun music to listen and dance too! Willy was born William Borsey in Stamford, Conn. and at a young age of 17 starting hanging out in Greenwich Village and down on the lower east side where he learned to play guitar and started performing. He was in several bands before he formed the Mink Deville band. I couldn’t even tell you and don’t even know the names of those bands Willy played in and what influenced him in those early stages. Willy was a sharp dresser and played the part to the “T”. From his dark slim tight fitting suits, thin tie and his pointed black dress shoe’s – he screamed Rock and Roll in a punkish sort of way.

The group recorded their first album “Cabretta” in 1977. Two of its tracks,  “Spanish Stroll”,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5LveBIjg3o – and O and Moon Martin’s, “Cadillac Walk” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mz3G5xaECs became minor hits but gave the band a springboard into a fairly modest model of fame in the New York music scene.

For the most part that was my experience with Willy & Mink Deville, although I thoroughly enjoyed the band and their front man “Willy Deville”.

Sadly, Willy DeVille died on August 9th of 2009, of pancreatic cancer. His adventurous forays into rhythm and blues, Cajun music and salsa made him one of the most original figures of the New York punk scene of the 1970s, He was 58 when he died.

Note: I found all these pictures from the internet – as I have none of my own from that time period, as who the hell carried a camera around with them back in the late 70’s and 80’s and of course cell phones did not exist! So thanks to all who took these pictures and full credit is deserved.

It’s the end of the summer of 2020. Besides the frigging Pandemic, I would say it was a very uneventful summer except for the release of my single ”Whatcha Wanna” in which did pretty good on a Spotify and many other of the digital streaming and download sites. I do have to tell you though I do miss the old vinyl and the cover art and stories that went along with the old fashion vinyl record releases. I know that vinyl is making a small comeback to music aficionado’s and purists but it’s not the same. Used to be able to go to Tower Records and wait for the album to come out and grab the first one of the shelf. To hold that album cover, rip off the cellophane and hold that piece of vinyl in you hand -(by the edges) no fingerprints please and place it on my Techniques turntable and crank it up with those 15″ woofers and high end tweeters on a crown amp was magic! Now it’s mostly if not entirely digital. I really think the younger generation is missing out on that experience.

Well the good new’s is that I will definitely have a new album coming out this year and sadly to say no it won’t be on vinyl. The music (12 songs in total) is completely done and I am working on the art work and the stories behind the songs for it’s release – will be released either by late November or early December. I also have 2 video’s already completed in which i’m shooting for another single off of the album to be released before the actual full album is released. A remixed and mastered version of “Whatcha Wanna” will be one of the songs included on the album. I will be posting more about the album, all leading up to the single release and then the album release. So stay with me and help an indie artist get the music out there!

What a wild time in my life working and playing at the Mudd Club! My partner Bill and I through our sound system company Centour Sound became the production managers of the club after John Kessler was done doing his stint as the production manager. Just before John left we had the extreme pleasure of John, Bill and I working together to work with Frank Zappa who played the Mudd Club! We brought in extra equipment and a bigger mixing console to accommodate his band. Terry Bozzio was on the drums at that time. That was a thrill to work with a master in such a small venue. There is a sketchy bootleg, sounds to me like someone had a cassette tape recorder and taped it in the midst of the crowd. The recording is on you tube, I included the link – I remember that Frank had his own sound person do a recording right from the board, so that must be available somewhere in some Zappa archive.

We worked with a lot of different bands & artists from Samba to Punk, experimental to down right BAD–fashion shows and you name it everything in between. DJ’s Anita Sarko (who has passed away in 2015) and DJ David Azarch made the club hum, jump and jive into the wee hours of the morning. In which we usually ended up going to an after hours club and came out squinting as the sun was fully out and blaring while we were going home and watching the rest of the world just going to work.  I will add more Mudd Club memories in my blog as time goes by – Keith Herring, Johnny Thunders, Question Mark and the Mysterians, Sam and Dave, John Belushi, wow and so many – so stay tuned in! –

 

 

Finding some of my old band mates, as I have lost contact with them over the years, has been a new pursuit of mine in the past few years. With the use of social media, I have been able to track down a few of them. I have re-connected with Gary Sabshon the last drummer from the Lampshades-in which I was able to go over to his house and jam it up a bit. Although compared to him, (he’s been playing all the time) I was a bit on the rusty side, but fun never the less.

Gary Sabshon
Gary Sabshon Far Right Then! Also Gary Citro (middle) and Ken Kern (between the 2 Gary’s)

 

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Gary Sabshon Now!

I have recently this year have been able to re-connect with a band mate from the Vinyl Flesh Band, Joe “Z” World (Joe Menghini). He currently lives in Florida, he is a very accomplished artist and still plays and writes music at a prolific clip.                                  Go to Pinterest.com link to see some of his art work:                            https://in.pinterest.com/guitarizt/  “Z” and I have been trading music clips and stay tuned for an upcoming CD I’m working on that will have a collaboration of music from “Z” and myself. Don’t currently have a photo of “Z” now–but here is a picture of him then!

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Joe “Z world”

I have also been able to get in contact with Gary Citro (Keyboards), Pete Fagiola (Drums & Percussion) 2 of the original members of The Lampshades and Chris Connolly one of the drummers from Vinyl Flesh. Gary is a music school teacher, I think Pete owns a restaurant and still play’s and composes, Chris is an avid bike rider!

Here are some current pictures of Gary, Pete and Chris Connolly:

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Gary Citro

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Pete Fagiola

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Chris Connolly

Have not been able to re-connect with Ken Kern whom I really miss, as he is a hell of a guitar player and just a sweetheart!

Also another band mate, that sorry to say has passed away Any Blinx.

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Andy Blinx

 

What a wild time in my life working and playing at the Mudd Club! My partner Bill and I through our sound system company Centour Sound became the production managers of the club after John Kessler was done doing his stint as the production manager. Just before John left we had the extreme pleasure of John, Bill and I working together to work with Frank Zappa who played the Mudd Club! We brought in extra equipment and a bigger mixing console to accommodate his band. Terry Bozzio was on the drums at that time. That was a thrill to work with a master in such a small venue. There is a sketchy bootleg, sounds to me like someone had a cassette tape recorder and taped it in the midst of the crowd. The recording is on you tube, I included the link – I remember that Frank had his own sound person do a recording right from the board, so that must be available somewhere in some Zappa archive.

We worked with a lot of different bands & artists from Samba to Punk, experimental to down right BAD–fashion shows and you name it everything in between. DJ’s Anita Sarko (who has passed away in 2015) and DJ David Azarch made the club hum, jump and jive into the wee hours of the morning. In which we usually ended up going to an after hours club and came out squinting as the sun was fully out and blaring while we were going home and watching the rest of the world just going to work.  I will add more Mudd Club memories in my blog as time goes by – Keith Herring, Johnny Thunders, Question Mark and the Mysterians, Sam and Dave, John Belushi, wow and so many – so stay tuned in! –

 

 

Did I mention I mixed the Tuff Darts at Max’s? That was a cool rock-a-billy type band.for-the-love

There was so many really good bands and artist’s that had marginal success at best like the Robert Gordan & the Tuff Darts. Some of them had an album or 2 out, some of them got F’d up on drugs and other crutches and died at an early age and a lot of them never amounted to anything but a flash in time and some just faded into the upholstery never to be heard or seen again.

The John Collins band I was particular close to as I was a close friend with the Guitar player Mr. Gary Blankenburg or Blank as we called him. There was some other bands that in my opinion really sucked but for some reason was part of the underground punk music scene like the Ramones and the Dead Boys, in which one night when I mixed those idiots (the Dead Boys) part of the act was Stiv Bators the lead singer raped his girlfriend on stage. That was the shock appeal that that genre was looking for, now you have some looking back and immortalizing them as pioneers of the punk generation. To each there own!

 

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Stiv Bators and the Dead Boys at Max’s Kansas City

There were some artist’s that was always pleasant and fun to be around and deal with, like David Johansen from the New York Dolls, later to have a decent solo career. Also another favorite was Mink DeVille, just cool sharp rock n roll with some ethnic flair.

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David Johansen – New York Dolls

Another gentlemen or let me rephrase that another gender bender was Wayne County who became Jayne County and the Back and Street Boys – Fun and interesting, always going out of his/her way to say hello! That was all part of the fabric that was Max’s Kansas City in the 70’s.

Wayne County concert poster from the late 70's
Wayne County aka Jayne County and the Back Street Boys

Note: I found all these pictures from the internet – as I have none of my own from that time period, as who the hell carried a camera around with them back in the late 70’s and 80’s and of course cell phones did not exist! So thanks to all who took these pictures and full credit is deserved.

 

 

 

 

 

As for the release of the 45, that was the toughest job to do as I was the only one really trying to get exposure in every avenue I could find. I think that this is every independent artist’s and band’s lament. How in the world are you suppose to get any body to pick this up and play it and promote it, without having some major record deal behind it. Since I was working at the Mudd Club their was a DJ their that had some in’s with a distribution company that sends out new released singles to DJ’s around the country and world. It was sort of like this club thing for DJ’s that they sign up for to get free music and it was up to their desecration if it got play in the club or station they were working at.  If you go to the link you can see the 45 is still being sold in 3 different countries, USA, Norway and the UK as it was distributed from that DJ club. I have to assume there is some old DJ’s out there that still have a copy and have decided to sell it.

https://www.discogs.com/Lampshades-Not-Sold-Separately/release/2889226

We did get some play in clubs and I vaguely remember it got on the radio once. We played all the songs live in a lot of clubs that year, playing and promoting the 45. Although we did our best, it really never took off and got the play we were dreaming and hoping for. Oh well, that is the life of a musician never quit and never say die – – strive on and keep the music alive!

To my Fans – I have a Bunch of The Lampshades 45’s, if you are looking for one – I can arrange to send you one –

BUT!                                                                                                                                               Here’s the Deal                                                                                                                             Email and Follow my Blog and website, Like Aldo Buzzi of Facebook, Follow on Twitter and Re-tweet, follow on Instagram and forward to your all your friends                                                                                                                                                                     And I will send you a Lampshade 45 for FREE! 

                            As always while my supply last’s, first come first serve!  

                                  Obviously you will need to send me your address  

Now that we had the recording where do we go to press and get artwork for the cover? On Long Island at the time in 1981 there was a small record pressing company called PRI. They would do small run vinyl at about $1500 – small run to them was about 500 45’s. In which was pretty inexpensive considering the pressing and the cover sleeve print full 4 color press. Also when I went in to talk to them about the pressing, I figured let me ask them if all 4 songs could be pressed on a 45. Never thought that they would say yes as I never heard of a 45 with 4 songs, but as said they said “YES” so 4 songs on a 45 was going to happen. We hired a friend of a friend, a student artist Brain Patrick Murray to design the front cover for $50 and I took the picture for the back cover of a lampshade store in Franklin Square. Andy Blinx put the “Not Sold Separately” sign into the back cover picture and the lettering and credits. There you have it, the artwork was done for the sleeve cover.                                      Let the presses ROLL!

Go to the Music Drop-down

Click on Lampshades to Listen to the music from the 45! 

lampshade cover                                                               lampshade back cover