Friday, June 11, 2010

Colonel's Garter

Art Stock's Colonel's Garter was a popular club in the Narrow's Shopping Center in Edwardsville, Pa.

Working for manager Dave Carey was like working for a friend - he was a natural who hired naturals.  His bartenders (Dave, Lenny, Carmen, Andy - there are more) always had our favorite refreshments ready and waiting when break time came.

Even though the club's motif was "olde tyme" barbershop quartet, the crowds came to rock!  We always ended up going home drained.

The Garter provided a stage for a lot of bands and launched some successful careers.

We remain grateful to all of you who came and rocked with us.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

No Freedom @ Genetti's (W-B)

Genetti's was popular in Wilkes-Barre for holding proms and formals.  Making records and hearing them on the radio was a thrill but our income came from being a dance band.  It helped to learn the theme song and "Freedom" played Genetti's frequently.

High school proms were a lot of fun.  Maybe because the cost of attending was a little steep for a high school student and damn if they weren't determined to have a good time.  Besides, the girls were dressed to the 9's (with a generous helping of 10's) and guys like dancing with good looking girls.   

The same held true for the college formals - with one addition: booze.  Getting caught at a prom would get you in a heap of trouble.  At a college formal the "trouble" was a hell of a lot more fun - good clean fun (insert wink here).  We could often tell who had the flask with them and who had the "hootch" in the car.

Jay Leer called 99% of the song order and he could 'play the crowd' with the best of them.    We usually booked 4 - 40 minute sets.  By the end of the second set you knew you "had 'em" when no was at their table and the dance floor was packed.  The third set you turned it up a notch. The fourth set was no holds barred.  That's where we usually raised the volume AND management's eyebrows.

It was a particularly rockin' 4th set when during the song "someone" invited everybody to dance on the tables - and they did!  Picture Gus walking purposefully up to Jay during the song and demanding he get the couples off the tables.  Jay most likely read his lips because the band wasn't about to slow down or turn down.

Once the song was over ( Lars gave us the sign and we added 2 verses) Leer made an admittedly half-hearted "management request" about the dangers of dancing on tables.  

Gus didn't think he put enough feeling into it and banned "Freedom" from any further appearances.  

It wasn't long before we went back to being "The Leer Brothers Band", back to Gennetti's and back to shakin' those crystal chandeliers.  We were sure not to invite anyone to dance on the tables but if they did our encouragement was subtle.

Every once in a while Gus would look at us kinda funny but never said anything.

Maybe you were there with us.  Thanks - especially for not getting hurt dancing on your table.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tunkhannock High School

We never knew what the students had in store for us until we got there.  They were the experts of theme dances.

Probably the most memorable for the band was a Halloween Dance.  The cafeteria was decorated in the usual way and it looked "OK" as we set up.  About 15 minutes into the dance they fogged up the dance floor with tons of dry ice.  All of a sudden the transformation was complete!

Imagine looking down from stage into a 2-3 foot sea of fog and seeing Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs line dancing, Hershey kisses dancing with the Fruit of the Loom apples, grapes and bananas. Everyone was in costume and it was the best!

We became fast friends with Dave the janitor.  He said we were the band that setup and tore down the fastest - even with all the stuff we hauled.  Getting home to the Mrs. before midnight made a great weekend for Dave and he thanked us often.

Clarks Summit Methodist Church

Terry McNulty "ran" the Summit dances forever. A staple at The Mighty 590: WARM Radio he was the best, and most honest "promoter" we ever had the good fortune to work for.  

It didn't take us long to know if Terry said there were 722 kids that came through "the gate" -  there were 722 kids.  Period.

We played Clarks Summit from the start.  It was a place we looked forward to.  The kids either watched or danced.    It also sounded good considering all the flat hard surfaces.

Can't imagine all the people we saw there.  You do begin to recognize "regulars" and they always let you know when they liked something.  Gotta wonder how many picked up guitars, drums, bass or keyboards based upon talking to us.

Then there was the stop at McDonalds on the way home - the one near the Turnpike entrance.  We usually followed the van.  Lars drove while Leer split "the gate".  Sitting around the table eating and joking Leer would slip us our pay under the table.  Nowadays if anyone saw something like that we might get busted as terrorists or drug dealers - either he was that good or we were recognized and no one cared.

If you were there - thanks for a great run!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jerry Kishbaugh - Citizen's Voice

Jerry Kishbaugh's talent never got the recognition he deserved from CV management.  Of course management never seems to agree with the creative subscriber base either.

One thing that stands out besides being a gentleman:  Jerry always had time to take or return your call - which exaggerates Jay Leer's guilt for not having called him about the retirement concert.

(Click on the article to enlarge enough to read)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Al Choman - Citizen's Voice

Al Choman was another music writer critic from NEPA.
The complete opposite of the manic Joe Middleton, Al had the gift of immediately putting you at ease.  His ability to share insight often had you saying things you may not ordinarily admit to and his discretion was unquestionable.

Al's concert reviews are worth digging out.  Too bad the CV management had no loyalty or they might be more easily accessible.

(Click on the article to enlarge enough to read)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Joe Middleton - "Observer" Column

Joe Middleton LOVED rock and roll media and went to legendary lengths for a story. 
The Leer Brothers have almost NO pictures or clippings so this was a real treat.
Hope you feel the same.

(Click on the article to enlarge enough to read)