Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blue Comet Bar and Grill - Glenside, PA

Images from the Blue Comet Bar and Grill in Glenside, PA. Thanks to Dennis H. (seen in 3rd photo) for the pics!

I'm Seventeen

"I'm Seventeen" cassette single by Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, purchased in 1990. Featuring excerpts of Let Me Love You Too, What Once Was and Guitar Trouble.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Buzz Zeemer - News of Delaware County

Buzz Zeemer article from News of Delaware County on January 10, 2007. 

'90s rock reunion
By Joe McAllister, correspondent

Everybody loves a reunion; especially a rock 'n' roll reunion. 
Local 90's rock icons Flight of Mavis, Tommy Conwell and Emily Valentine will reincarnate at the Grape Street Pub this Friday as Buzz Zeemer and Napalm Sunday. The show is a snippet of local rock history that started with the A's, The Hooters and Beru Revue in the 80s along with Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers then progressed to Flight of Mavis and Buzz Zeemer in the 1995.

Emily Valentine, aka Napalm Sunday, are the quintessential opening band. This straight-ahead rock band, influenced by punk yet sounding like classic Stones, had the privilege of opening for a little known garage band from Seattle known as Nirvana at JC Dobbs pre their "Nevermind" debut.

"The last time we played was probably in 1996," says Napalm guitarist Steve Mercado, 40, of Drexel Hill. "We've rehearsed a couple of times [for the reunion show] and we've come together surprisingly well." A crucial part of the South Street/Old City music scene of the 90s, these groups played such venerable Philly hot spots as The Ambler and Chestnut Cabarets, JC Dobbs, the TLA and the Khyber.

"At the time there were so many different clubs and cabarets in Philadelphia that drew national acts as well as known local acts," says photographer Eric Hartline, of Havertown, who covered the music scene for the local press from the mid-1980s to 1996. "I was a huge Tommy Conwell fan. The first time I saw Tommy together with Frank Brown in Buzz Zeemer was at the Khyber in 1994. The place was packed."

Frank Brown, of Havertown, was the lead singer and chief lyricist for Flight of Mavis, which then morphed into Buzz Zeemer. Philly rocker Tommy Conwell joins Brown on guitar. Drummer Ken Buono and bassist Dave McElroy round out the band. The boys will reunite to play such Buzz classics as the jazzy, cerebral "Crush," the upbeat "Shelly Don't Mind" and their own song of the season, "Psychedelic Santa."

"I've had nothing but near brushes with fame," says Brown, 41, who has opened for Sinead O'Connor, Neil Young and Brit-rockers Squeeze. "Everything's a long shot. This time around I'm just out to have fun." As is often the case in the pursuit of rock stardom, life gets in the way. Guys get married, get real day jobs and get responsible. Unfortunately, this usually spells the end of the band.

"Things happen, you reach a ceiling then they fall apart," says Brown. "Then reality comes around and you do stuff - like raise a family and get a job."
Both bands have strong Delaware County connections. A majority of the members of Napalm are alumnae of Cardinal O'Hara High School.
"[Singer] Gerry McGoldrick and myself met through mutual friends at a Replacements concert in 1986. We got together and played the next day," says Mercanti.

During their heyday, Flight of Mavis literally took off, touring the East and Mid-West. Napalm Sunday stayed a local band, keeping their fan base and their music close to home.

On Friday, the two groups will get together to recreate the magic of the past. "We're hoping to see a lot of old friends and fans and some of our family members will get to see us for the first time," Mercanti says.

For one night, it will be the '90s all over again at the Grape Street Pub. The old adage holds true here - Rock 'n' roll will never die. There are too many memories and musicians still around to help keep it alive.

If you go: The Buzz Zeemer|Napalm Sunday Reunion is this Friday at Grape Street, 4100 Main Street, Philadelphia. Admission is $10 and you must be 21 to enter. For more information call 215-484-7084.

(6-17-10: This link no longer active.)

Friday, February 9, 2007

I'm Home - Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers

DJ Caterina has posted a screen shot tribute on YouTube to Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers. The tribute features "I'm Home," a TCYR classic!