1.4.5., named for the basic I-IV-V chord progression that is the foundation of rock ‘n’ roll, became known for their hearty-party gusto, as the band spent many a happy hour rampaging through ferocious sets of rockin’ pop played loud, proud and (frequently) plowed, sorta like The Replacements before anyone heard The Replacements. But 1.4.5. wasn’t just a great party band (as if that wouldn’t be enough to canonize ‘em right then ‘n’ there); they were a terrific rock ‘n’ roll group—uncluttered, unpretentious and solid as the motherlovin’ Rock of Gibraltar, armed with cool tunes and the God-given ability to compel anyone with a pulse to move the ol’ feet, clap the ol’ hands and raise the ol’ voice in willful, joyful abandon. Call it urban rockabilly, like Eddie Cochran without the twang, or maybe The New York Dolls without the blush, or even Chuck Berry without the violation of the Mann Act (though perhaps not for lack of trying). A 1.4.5. show was a guaranteed good time, for all the right reasons.
The original lineup of 1.4.5. released only one record, a magnificent four-song EP called Pink Invasion. Another EP, Sex Machine, was recorded but never released. 1.4.5. later relocated to Boston, went through personnel changes and eventually morphed into The Richards, with Paul the only remaining original member. I only saw the original 1.4.5. a mere handful of times, including two gigs with Screen Test (both of which culminated with Paul joining his former ‘Cubes buds on-stage for a roof-killing rendition of “Got No Mind,” his signature tune with The Flashcubes), and an incomparable show at a tiny closet of a bar called Squires East, where my consumption of vile Genesee Cream Ale (urgh!) may have rivaled the band’s own legend. I moved out of Syracuse, and never saw 1.4.5. again.
I missed so much. Like the time 1.4.5. changed its name, for one night only, to Decent Pizza, and reportedly played a show of all the covers they’d ever wanted to play, just to get ‘em all out of their system. 1.4.5. also indirectly inspired the pop music career of Maura Boudreau, now one-half of The Kennedys; music-theory student Maura saw a 1.4.5. poster, dug the musical joke of the band’s name, and became involved in the Syracuse new wave scene as bassist for a punk band called The Antics. It was a magic time to be a young rock ‘n’ roll fan, a time just before the state raised the legal drinking age, the last days of such vibrant Central New York nightspots as The Jab, The Firebarn, The Insomniac, The Merry-Go-Round, Poor House North, etc. And 1.4.5.--even more than Screen Test, perhaps even more than The Flashcubes before them--was at the center of that scene, helping to make it all happen. What a band. What a great, great rock ‘n’ roll band.
I have never, ever forgotten how much I loved 1.4.5., and even today just thinking of those few 1.4.5. shows I witnessed will still bring a smile to my face and a tap to my toe. For all this time, I’ve only had four songs on one lone EP to help me remember. Now, at long last, we all have a bit more. I’ll drink to that.