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

It took us about 4 sessions between 2 weeks to complete the recording’s. Lot’s of fun, it really was an experience that I will never forget, if I can remember anything at all (lots of drugs and alcohol). There was also some instruments in the studio that was at our disposal, Piano, Vibes and some percussion items. We recorded the masters on 2″ tape reels  – Do these exist anymore?

All said and done, “The Lampshades” recorded at Radio City Music Hall, that in itself was a moment in time that few get to do. As so many celebrities, famous artists, and the Rockettes (in which I really never understood the fascination) except they are all hot chic’s and their leg kicks are amazing, went through those doors of that famous iconic theatre.

model sexy kicking
This NOT a Rockette!!

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Don Hunnerburg at the Radio City Studio Mixing Console 

Searching the world wide web for bands called the lampshades was eye opening! How many bands over time were called the Lampshades and will the true first band called The Lampshades please stand up! I found Lu Lu and the Lampshades out of England formed in or about 2009 – The Lampshades out of Altoona, PA started in or about 2003 – The Lampshades lounge comedy act sprang up, looks like around 2010 –  The Lampshades in Halifax, CA came into it’s own about 1998 – The Fabulous Lampshades out of Scotland look like 2011 – Lampshade out of Denmark Circa 2000 to 2009 – Aimee Mann and the Lampshades in 1988 – I have to assume there are more as I stopped searching after about 20 Google pages.

I will have to say that all The Lampshades out there have something in common – a quirky name that stands for outlandish deviant and creative behavior. I would say we are all in good company!

Our Band The Lampshades was out of the NEW YORK New wave Alternative Rock scene and started in 1978

Chime in all you Lampshades where-ever you are!

Looks like there is 8 in total named the Lampshades!