Archive for March, 2008

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Vintage Fanzines Now Online

March 28, 2008

Regular visitors of this blog have read about the 1971/1972 fanzine Informative On Comics in previous blog entries, such as Fanzine Flashback. Both issues have been scanned and put on the internet at their own blog located at Informative On Comics.

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Also, Maggie Thompson, who along with her late husband Don Thompson, published fanzines in the 1960’s named Harbinger, Comic Art and Newfangles. Maggie has graciously scanned and posted those issues on the internet as well and can be found at Fandom Library.  

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For a fun and historical look at a slice of comic book fandom decades ago check them out! Let’s hope this is a trend.

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Wanted: Time Machine Pt. II

March 22, 2008

Here is another trip in the Wanted: Time Machine to the late 1930’s and 1940’s. Below is a collection of vintage comic book photos and newsstand photos found over the past several years on the world wide web, among other places. Our first installment is located here: https://doclehman.wordpress.com/category/wanted-time-machine/ More to come!

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Iowa 1941

Iowa 1941

 

1939

1939

 

 

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DAMAGE: Ohio 70’s Bands

March 12, 2008

The band Damage, based primarily in Orrville, OH, was a great hard rock band that I spent time with, mainly as a roadie and some PR. They had a great following and all of the members knew how to rock, believe me!
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If memory serves in 1978 the band rose out of the ashes of a band called Soily that Rick Thistlethwaite was in with Bill Forrer and Mike Sommers. After some slight adjustments they settled on a line-up consisting of guitarists Jerry Kirven (Fat Taxi) and Mark Good, drummer Tom ‘Bones’ Morrison, bassist Michael Johnson and singer Rick Thistlethwaite. Rick Gidley joined the band as the light and sound technician.
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The band played primarily hard rock in the J. Geils Band-ZZ Top-Thin Lizzy vein and within a year had a large following. In addition to covers the band played several originals and soon was playing throughout the Wayne-Holmes-Ashland-Stark-Summit county areas in clubs and bars including the Hitchin’ Post, Columbo’s/Grouchos, Fort Fizzle and many others. Some of the theatres/clubs they played included the Castle Theatre in Millersburg, OH (where they set subsequent attendance records) and the Theatrical in Wooster and some Canton venues. They also played venues like the Sportsman Club and various outdoor events including support for Savoy Brown/Kim Simmonds at Wayne County Speedway.
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A great, tight sound, stage presence and one hell of a following, when the music stopped the D-A-M-A-G-E was done!
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Unfortunately on January 24, 2008 Michael Johnson, Damage’s bass player who Kim Simmonds remarked could go to the “big time”, passed away at age 48.
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Below are photos of Damage in action from December 31, 1978 at the Castle Theatre. Photos were taken by Gary Fulmer.

Rick Thistlethwaite, Bones Morrison, Jerry Kirven 

The great one: Michael Johnson

 

 

Rick Thistlethwaite

 

 

Rick Gidley, theatre mgmt., Michael Johnson, Doc Lehman

 

 

 Doc & Bones

Doc can be contacted at: DocLehman@sssnet.com  

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Led Zep’s ’77 Tour

March 9, 2008

 

 

This past Christmas my younger brother was given the complete Led Zeppelin remastered box set edition of their catalogue from his stepson (and he listened to the CDs on his way to and from Daytona when he went down for Speedweeks last month) and after hearing him talk about the mighty Zeppelin we recounted the much anticipated 1977 Led Zep tour.
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When word was announced they would tour everyone in northeast Ohio and beyond were fired up immediately. Scheduled for the Coliseum in Richfield, OH for two nights, the promoters threw a monkey wrench into the ticket buying process. They decreed that to have a chance to purchase tickets it had to be done by mail order using money orders and the orders had to be postmarked on a selected date in order to have a chance to buy tickets. I think they limited each order to only four (4) tickets per order.
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So the night before tickets were to be accepted Flash and I had purchased several money orders and used our names and addresses as well as various brothers and sisters and drove up to Richfield the night before so we could drop our orders off at the Richfield post office right at midnight. We weren’t the only ones to think of that as there appeared to be a caravan snaking through the small town of Richfield to the post office.
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A couple weeks later we were thrilled when we each received tickets for both nights! We sold the remaining tickets and each kept two for both nights. The first night was April 27, 1977 and we took dates. The second night, April 28, 1977, we went solo with a couple of buddies to raise hell and have fun. We did. Amazing shows! We were extremely happy we were able to see them on two consecutive nights let alone one and I’m glad we did because that was the last chance we had to see Led Zeppelin as it turned out.
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We had procured tickets for the August 9, 1977 show at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh but that was eventually cancelled when Robert Plant’s son passed away at the end of July. When they announced the next tour in 1980 I dutifully ordered tickets but before they could be processed word came out that drummer John Bonham had died. That was the end of Led Zeppelin as we knew them.
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But the Richfield Coliseum shows were outstanding. ‘An Evening With Led Zeppelin’ is seared into my memory banks and I’m glad I had the chance to catch them on that tour. I bought the T-Shirts (one white, one black, both now long gone) as did my brother. He still has his. A number of years ago some company reissued those ’77 t-shirts and while at an area mall once I noticed a young man wearing one who wasn’t even born when that tour happened. As I passed him in a record store I mentioned ‘Nice shirt! I bought mine at a Led Zep concert in ‘77’. He stopped in his tracks and proceeded to grill me for 15 minutes on the band and the Richfield appearances.
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As you may know Led Zep reformed for several concerts in England recently with Jason Bonham on drums. They may or may not do a USA tour (a local radio station reported last week that Robert Plant was against it) so we’ll see. But if they do, this old man just may make the effort to check them out again.
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If I can get tickets!

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Mistreater: Ohio 70’s Bands

March 9, 2008

Mistreater was a band that was formed towards the latter part of the 70’s with primarily Wayne County band members. The original line-up included Larry Nottingham – guitar; Ronnie Wilmoth – guitar; Kurt Luedy – singer; Donnie Frase – drummer and Tom Piarowski – bass. You could consider them a hard rock band but I’d have to say they leaned more towards the heavy metal side. It wasn’t long before they started playing gigs all around north central Ohio including gigs in Wooster, Creston, Burbank, Medina, Orrville, Millersburg and elsewhere. They soon became one of the top ‘local’ bands in terms of talent and popularity.
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“A co-worker from Frito-Lay, Paul Leatherman, told me of two friends of his (both guitarists) who were looking for a bass player,” related bass player Tom Piarowski recently on the formation of Mistreater. Piarowski was in the band Red Dog prior to Mistreater. “He took me and my equipment to meet up with these two in one of their mobile homes. I got there and these guys sat on the couch and one would play a crunchy metal rhythm pattern while the other did this mind blowing lead, then they would switch…. then they progressed to dual leads. Meanwhile my jaw fell to the floor. I had never seen anything like these guys – at least in a mobile home in Wayne County!”
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”Larry Nottingham and Ronnie Wilmoth were their names and I joined them and singer Kurt Luedy and drummer Donnie Frase to form Mistreater. We did mostly originals with a few covers like some early UFO and we even did Stranglehold by Nugent. Larry did the entire song’s leads note for note. We practiced and performed at a place called Strip’s Party Barn in Burbank. It was the upstairs of a garage/barn that some friends turned into a club. We did monthly keg parties there and finally ‘progressed’ to playing the Hitching Post in Creston.”
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“We ended up gaining the reputation as the loudest and heaviest band to ever play there and even broke the highest attendance records set there by a local band named WR Gas every time we played there. We played local parties and stuff like that. My last gig with Mistreater was a big outdoor event at Strip’s place outside.”
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“We were headliners with a really great band from Cleveland warming us up. Typical interpersonal differences, to be polite, caused Ronnie Wilmoth and me to break from the band and go on to something new after that outdoor gig. Larry continued Mistreater with a new bassist as a foursome and put out a couple recordings that as I have read are early metal jems that are collectable now.”
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After Piarowski and Wilmoth left to form Toprow with Steve Hanna (guitarist) and Jerry Shell (drummer), Steve Walker joined Mistreater as the new bass player and in the early 80’s the band released the HELL’S FIRE album in 1981. A half dozen years later they released their second and final album, SWAMI before disbanding altogether.

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Smoke ‘N Ash: Ohio 70’s Bands

March 9, 2008

 

Smoke ‘N Ash photo by Cid-Mor

Smoke ‘N Ash was a band that was formed circa 1974 with Scott Miller of Orrville; Dave Bennett of Canal Fulton and Jeff Nichols of Massillon. They lasted until the latter part of 1977. I don’t have any notes left from back in the day and a cloudy memory hampers me but I do remember them being a tight hard rock band that played covers and some originals. I can say without hesitation that they played one of the best versions of Train Kept ‘a Rollin’ that I have ever heard. It burned!

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Among the many venues Smoke ‘N Ash played over the years was the Thrillseeker in Rittman, Massillon Legion, the 9th Street Union Hall in Massillon, the Moose and Columbo’s in Orrville and various other clubs and outdoor events throughout Wayne, Stark, Holmes and Medina counties.

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Confession: I Read 16 Magazine (44 Years Ago)

March 1, 2008

I have a confession to make. I once read 16 Magazine. Now before you call my manhood into question let me elaborate. Back in ’64 when the Beatles hit my older sister Cheryl and cousin Sue were your typical early 60’s teenyboppers and they had Beatlemania like you wouldn’t believe! Cousin Sue had all the LPs and 45’s and got all, and I mean all of the magazines like 16, Tiger Beat and the rest. You couldn’t go into a drug store or grocery store without seeing them in the magazine racks. 

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I can remember when the British Invasion was in full force Sue and her family moved to Ghent, OH. When visiting them and, loving the Beatles and all things rock ‘n roll, I would go through her stack of teen magazines and read them (I was all of eight or nine years old). More often than not when we would visit Sue would invariably give Cheryl back issues of the ones she missed. (If there was a poster of the Beatles, Tommy James or Sonny & Cher, for example, Cheryl would have them on her bedroom walls or school locker.)

 

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 Fast forward a couple years and it soon became apparent (due to peer pressure…and taste) that 16 Magazine (and the rest of that ilk) were for girls only and no way would a guy buy or read them! So by 1968 they were off limits. Once the 70’s hit I remember my kid sister, five years my junior, buying those magazines plastered with David Cassidy, the Defranco family, Donny Osmond and whoever else was the flavor of the month. I vividly remember giving her hell and constantly teasing her for reading such ‘baby crap’ magazines when she could be reading my Creem, Rolling Stone, Circus, Crawdaddy or any of the other ‘true’, ‘adult’ magazines.  

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Of course, (*harrumph*) when I read 16 Magazine for a couple years it featured the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who and all the rest of the ‘mature’ rock bands, no bubble gum in sight (have I justified myself yet?). But in all honesty, it would be a kick to be able to leaf through and read a couple of them from 1964-1966 today, just for the sake of nostalgia and to remember the innocence of a different time and era. 

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Do they still publish the thing?

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For my recollections (and obession) on 70’s rock ‘n roll magazines visit this entry: Biology & Rock ‘N Roll ‘Literature’

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