"i'm not quite sure what happened last night, but i'm wearing a price chopper wrist band."
a few months ago i got a text message from the old tp: i'm planning something for our birthday (1/12). after some detailed phone conversations i was given the low-down. the only problem was that i couldn't tell anyone. so you can imagine how excited i was when the information finally went public- it was a fervor equally if not more explosive than bastille day. the ominous seapods were playing a reunion show and people were PSYCHED!
a little story about the old tp... on 4/4/97 the seapods opened up for moe. at irving plaza- well, it was an awesome show no doubt, but i think the most magical moments might have happened after the music stopped. the giddiness traveled from backstage all the way to downstairs and out the back door during load out. in tp's one hand was a bottle of whiskey. whiskey-tom had had enough to drink, but he wouldn't let go of the bottle (had he stolen this from rob? i can't recall, it all happened so fast.). in his other hand was a plastic container of humus that had somehow or another gotten a crack in the top. for some reason i ended up as the person who wrestled the bottle out of teep's grasp and presented it to rob derhak [1) rob can always use some more whiskey, and 2) now he would love me forever, right?]. i'm not sure if it was because of this treasonous behavior that tp became even more belligerent, but it seemed as if the layers of the entire night's events had made him more philosophical in a split-second. because an angry tp started waving his arms around in disgust and as he did this, with every exaggerated movement, humus went flying everywhere, splattering new york city- on the sidewalk, the walls of the building, the box truck, the gear, the vans. and then in an instant the stormy ocean became calm- and tom told me, "guppy... if this humus were a cookie... and that cookie were life... you'd have only eaten 1/3 of that cookie." wow, it's all so clear now. glad i got the whiskey out of his hands, eh? he was then herded into the van and driven off into the sunrise. well, not quite- shortly thereafter at a stoplight in union sq., tom jumped out of the van's front passenger seat, started screaming "FUCK YOU!!!! FUCK YOU!!!!" at the surprised couple in the adjacent car and i believe it was ted who jumped out of the back of the van, grabbed teep by his shirt, and THREW him into the backseat.
so long ago, professor tom spoke his wisdom, and yet it seems like only yesterday. how fast the years, the humus, the cookie pass/get devoured. and yet our friendship remains. i want to thank tp once again for organizing this concert- it was the best fucking birthday party ever, and i'm so glad we were able to celebrate together, all the bands that played, and all the mutants who crawled out of the woodwork for it. i especially want to thank teddy marotta- because i would have "coped" without him, but i'm really glad and deeply appreciative that he picked up some drumsticks and went to town on some old tunes. he said he couldn't stay away. well, ted- to that i have to say: fuck yeah, motherfucker.
about 10 of us arrived in troy at the same time (bach was already there, but: kat, jack, sara, gullo, hern, lisa, dana), so we congregated in the hotel and by the time we got to brown's brewing company, there was a 1 1/2 hour wait for a table. so we said hello to some folks who were eating there (bourbon, mojo mark, gabe, g3, drew price!) and went next door to the mexican/irish fusion place called "jose malone's" and by the luck of the irish i had a couple of frozen margaritas to start the party off right! dinner was pretty good- empanadas and enough food to create a reasonable base for the drinking ahead of me (i would definitely eat/drink there again- see: pre-show frozen margaritas). it was here we ran into lo (again), eggar, dana (again) and --- HOLY SHIT, TED!!!!! omg, what an amazing surprise- originally he had decided not to perform. i asked him if he was there to play and he said he couldn't stay away- well, that just about made me the happiest girl in the world. oh, and lowell showed up! woooo!!!! when we finished we found ourselves standing on line at rev hall in the cold. the excitement (and alcohol) warmed us up. immediately i ran into caroline from vermont which is nuts cuz i haven't seen her in forever. after i passed through the line i remembered i had to buy a ticket for lento who was driving from ithaca- so i had to go outside and wait online a 2nd time, which initially i was pissed about but the moment i stepped outside i saw deb, maria, and BIG MAMA SEAPOD!!!! SWEET! left tommy's name at the door, walked in and jake waddy is standing in front of me with some plattsburgh peeps! and reg & kathi, jonnycat... and MAX!!!!!!!! holy shit--- it's finally happening! it wasn't just any old concert, this was a reunion show- and people had traveled from all over the country to be there- random people no one has seen since the seapods had disbanded. everywhere you looked you saw someone you knew and everyone was smiling. i was a little sad cuz i missed the pre-show gathering tp had cuz we were eating dinner- but he served humus and cookies (you think i was ever gonna let him forget that?).
the lineup: raisinhead, attack theater, lo faber band, ominous seapods. we came in while raisinhead was playing and the place was already packed. i'll be honest with you, i didn't really get to pay a lot of attention to raisinhead, but i could tell you they sounded awesome as usual. i saw some more plattsburgh people, kim, happy lopez, pat, live music beth (!), some more people, i don't remember who else. oh yeah, lento showed up! i went to the bar and got vodka. when in doubt... attack theater played and were awesome, people were digging it and they didn't even have the balance beam or slide set up, which would have taken up way too much room, btw. again, i don't remember many details from this time frame other than people i was running into. oh holy fuck, and YEAH--- SIDESHOW BOB KELLY!!!!! he stopped by the restaurant earlier, but wow was it awesome to see him! it's been at least 10 years? i have memories of him with long hair dancing on stage and spanking his own ass while max and dana ran around in masks at club toast in burlington- oh so long ago- and now-- he looks like a fine upstanding citizen! except that he was wearing his old ominous seapods 'tour manager' jacket, so scratch that upstanding citizen line. but sideshow bob!!!! awesome!
the lo faber band hit the stage (w/ kirk juhas on keyboards- another awesome addition- and made me think, "damn, i miss freebeerandchicken") so i moved up front and ran right into steve bond and nick sullivan--- another wtf? and lo and friends rocked a ton of god street wine songs including hellfire, nightingale, goodnight gretchen, get on the train, epiphany, some others i don't remember (didn't keep a setlist and can't seem to find one online- maybe borderline too?) and a neil young cover- "after the gold rush". what's important is the crowd went WILD for it- the band was on fire, everyone was enjoying themselves, dancing and singing along! it was insanity! and it was brilliant! and i could have used another set!!! lo needs to finish his PhD and get back to playing music. enough of this princeton hoo-ha.
so we enjoyed our 10 minute setbreak and actually, i needed to pee, so i missed greg bell's introduction of the seapods and the start of jump 4 joy, but it was a great soundtrack for the bathroom. big mama was talking to some girls in the bathroom line and as she ran out the door she says, "tell them who i am, lynnguppy." so i smiled and said, "that's big mama seapod." it was cute. aww. anyways, i made my way out of the bathroom and eventually back to the stage- the floor was PACKED- but our running crew had secured space up front, awesome... and well, we rocked the fuck out for 3 hours. mike wren and some others were videotaping the show for teep and possibly a future dvd- there were 4 cameras, i volunteered to shoot for a little while but my services came with the "i'm drunk, i wanna dance, and don't want lose my space up front" disclaimer. i think i did ok... HAHAHA. ooh. bourbon was yelling at me for doing work on my birthday... i was happy when wren took the camera back.
everyone was rocking, but i have to tell you, for the first 10 minutes of the show--- all i could do was watch max. i haven't seen max play in forever. i missed the gathering of the vibes teaser reunion in 2005 because i couldn't get out of work. i missed max so much that i almost forgot why i missed max so much. his sound is so original, his leads are melodic, and his style of guitar playing harmonizes and mimics his singing voice in a sweet unusual way. it's smooth and flows freely creating the perfect compliment to dana's wah-wah rhythmic playing. the marriage of sounds it creates solely belong to the seapods of yesteryear. when max left the band, their music changed, and while todd was a creative force and incredible player (and he kept the seapods going) as well, it was a different style than max's- so i had really gotten used to hearing that sound as the "seapods". sure, i listen to old shows all the time, but for some reason it didn't hit me til i saw it in front of my face. being at a show with max was refreshing, surprising, familiar. marty and bob were up front with me groovin' out for a while and marty said, "THIS is the show we've all been waiting for." and it was. i felt 18 again.
the band had 2 drum kits set up and a percussion set, ted stayed on his set all night except for when sam came on for "that's how they got along" (never been one of my favorite songs, but this time i didn't mind it so much)- the guests rotated around the other kits. chad ploss, sam brewton, and vinnie amico were guest drummers, chad and todd left the stage for a while so it was just the oldskool seapods rockin' out for a bit, then he came back on, dave eggar joined the fun for a while on cello, lo came on for the tp medley...
meanwhile, tp, the man of the night, played ALL frickin night, and was going strong through the seapods set with a giant smile on his face. the dark horse layed down the scifi grooves. tigerbeat was totally awesome. :) and dana effin' monteith--- monty roberts himself- was absolutely nuts! i'm so used to dana doing truckstop music--- and it was so awesome to see him jumping around as his rockstar self singing donnie osmond!!! fucking awesome!!!
i'm trying to think of highlights, but they pretty much all were highlights. hearing max sing on j4j made me emotional, i thought i might cry out of joy... somedays (i remember when that was called "new max"), monopole really hit me, k.i.m. one of my favorites. dana was fucking awesome on guide to roadside ecology and da bomb. ADIRONDACK BLUE!!!! holy crap that sounded so good in my ears!!! bong hits with eggar, old gp--- i think bob got super excited when he heard that, and anything's possible!!!!! teep on FIRE! "LET TOM SING!!!" i screamed!!!! blackberry brandy!!!! it felt so good!!!! branch's house with lo, jet smooth ride and donnie osmond- dana laying that shit down! and they closed the show with blister in the sun, which i thought was kind of a meh move-- i would have rather seen mr. blood- but i can dig it. i won't hold it against them. especially if they do this again next year (or 5 years... just sometime.).
the crowd was singing along and dancing to all the songs--- for realz. there were just smiles and happiness ALL around. it was a good old mutated love fest!!! after the show people stuck around and were just talking, smiling, laughing. fuck, it was sooo awesome! we ended up trekking back to the hotel and there was a jam session in our room- bach, bourbon, and mojo mark played a combo of guitars, banjo, and mandolin. hopefully the neighbors didn't mind so much. i ate a newfangled oreo trying to be a whoopie-pie (wasn't bad). and we crashed a little after 5am.
7 of us (it's an impressive number and we got a table almost immediately) had brunch sunday at the cafe madison. i had intentions of getting the spiced oatmeal raspberry pancakes, but once again the specials page got the best of me, and i had the cinnamon bread french toast stuffed with cranberry orange cream stuff. IT WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. the g3's got basic b'fasts i think, but gabe got his with irish soda bread- that ain't so basic! i can't remember what anyone else got except for lento who got the special that we've officially renamed d-mighty's newborn son after, "curry benedict babitz". it's got a nice ring to it, don't you think?
do i even need to say it? ominous seapods reunion / lo faber band / attack theater / raisinhead, 1/12/08, revolution hall--- tp's (and my) bday bash: 10 fucking HUZZAHS! i'm pretty sure this was the best birthday EVER!!!!! thank you so much tom--- stellar job. you're my hero. i also want to thank all my friends and fellow mutants who traveled the distance to party the fuck out and make the night so special, it was uplifting to say the least. what a great time!
and here's the photo album slideshow and gallery link where you can download hi-res versions.
Max Verna (guitar/voclals)
Dana Monteith (guitar/vocals)
Tom Pirozzi (bass/vocals)
Brian Mangini (keyboards)
Ted Marotta (drums)
Todd Pasternack (guitar/vocals)
Chad Ploss (drums)
ONE LONG ASS SET:
Jump For Joy
Leaving the Monopole* >
The Guide to Roadside Ecology* >
Michael Murphy 3*
That's How They Got Along**
Keep In Mind***
Waiting 4 Da Bomb 2 Drop**** >
The Pull From Adirondack Blue****
Money To Burn^
The Old G.P.
Bong Hits and Porn^^
Anything Is Possible >
Anything Is Possible
Jet Smooth Ride
Hey Donnie Osmond >
Blister In the Sun
*without Todd or Chad
**with Sam Brewton, without Ted,Todd or Chad
***Max and Ted only at beginning, before full band joins in
****with Vinnie Amico (from moe.) on drums, without Chad
^^with Vinnie Amico on congas and Dave Eggar (cello)
^^^Tom on guitar and lead vocals, Dana on bass
^^^^with Lo Faber on guitar, Dana on acoustic
with Dave Majecka on congas
the show doesn't seem to be up on archive.org yet, but there were definitely people taping- i'll keep looking and post it when it goes up.