The Original Garage Band

danny-w-variations-comboWhat a blast from MY past! Last night I got an email from one of my old friends – Bob, the guitarist in this (ancient) photo!

He was in a nostalgic mood and decided to “Google my name” to see what came up. Lo and behold, he found my website and sent me an email. I’ll bet that it has been over 40 years since we last spoke. This is a photo of our combo, “The Variations,” playing an 8th grade dance for my elementary school back in 1964. That is me on the (amplified)¬†Accordion! Jimmy on Sax and Rick on Drums. Seersucker sports coats and blue pants complete the costume! Unbelievable!

Our group broke up during my Junior year in High School and that was the last that I ever heard from any of the guys until Bob sent me his email last night. I went searching through my archives to find a photo – here it is – VINTAGE!

We used to rehearse in the basement at my parent’s house. We usually played one or two gigs each weekend – everything from a Bowling Banquet to a Wedding Reception. My dad would transport us to th job in his Plumer’s truck.

I later “upgraded” to a Farfisa (portable) organ with a Leslie Speaker. Still – we never had a Bass Player. Either we were “too cheap” to split the pot 5 ways or I was that good at adding the necessary bass lines – I doubt that!

We played “cover versions” of the hits of The Beach Boys, the groups from The English Invasion – Dave Clark 5, etc. The showstopper in those days was “Wipeout!” So 60’s. So much fun! Such great memories!

Bob writes to tell me that he is still playing – down at the Jersey Shore and at over 1,000 weddings. Way to go!

Hey maybe we should reunite and enter into another “Battle of the Bands” contest. I remember that we got 2nd prize in one of them back in Philadelphia, PA- at the (long defunct) Lit Brothers Department Store. I remember that our prizes were a box of chocolates – 1 box for each. I remember giving my chocolates to my mother. It was “Mother’s Day” that weekend – How convenient!

Do any of you have similar memories? Anyone still playing in a group? “Wanna Play?”

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