About Me

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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Lost Horizon

The Lost Horizon is the only notable rock 'n' roll club still standing from the heyday of Syracuse live music.  When Lost Horizon owner Greg Italiano passed away in 2010, we paid tribute on This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio.  A few years later, Dana and I finally had the opportunity to take the stage at The Lost Horizon ourselves, as the hosts for the first Bright Lights! show in July of 2014.

1.4.5 on stage at The Lost Horizon, 1981

Syracuse never really had its own CBGB's.  In my most active club show days circa '78-'79, my favorite spots were The Firebarn and The Jabberwocky (aka The Jab), with honorable mention of The Slide-Inn, three places where I saw some amazing rock 'n' roll shows by local, national and international acts. There were also some great shows at Uncle Sam's, The Brookside, Stage East, even a suburban hick dive like Grape n' Grog.  The Lost Horizon, a disco on Erie Boulevard, was not on my radar.

But things started to change in 1980, when the Lost began booking live shows.  The Lost Horizon had started out as a live venue in 1970, then called The Yellow Balloon.  The New York Dolls played there!  Not that I'd heard of the Dolls at the time, but it sure looks good on the club's resume, right?  It became The Lost Horizon, which I avoided as I would have avoided any disco, but which resumed live bookings with, among other things, a weekly showcase called BRIGHT LIGHTS, MONDAY NIGHTS, hosted by my top two local bands, Screen Test and 1.4.5.  As this golden era of Syracuse live rock 'n' roll faded, as the legal drinking age was raised and The Jab, The Firebarn, The Slide and every other great club went quietly into the abyss, the Lost remained loud and proud: a filthy, noisy hole that booked rock 'n' roll shows, ALL OF THE TIME.  The Lost hosted shows by Sonic Youth, Mojo Nixon, Kid Rock, Guns 'N Roses, The Damned, Red Hot Chili Peppers, NRBQ, The Lords Of The New Church, Jason & the Scorchers, The Bongos, Flipper, Masters Of Reality, Psychic TV and a million others.  It wasn't CBGB's; it was the Lost, and that's all we ever needed it to be.

Lost Horizon owner Greg Italiano passed away last week.  As a tribute to the impact Italiano had on the live music scene here, we played tracks by a few of the many acts either Dana or I saw live at the Lost:  THE FLASHCUBES, NICK LOWE, THE DEAD KENNEDYS, THE GEORGIA SATELLITES, THE dB's, THE SMITHEREENS, 1.4.5., THE DEAD MILKMEN, IAN HUNTER, THE MEAT PUPPETS, THE RAMONES, THE STRAY CATS, TOMMY CONWELL & THE YOUNG RUMBLERS, THE MINUTEMEN, THE NATIVES, KILLING JOKE, CHARLIE ROBBINS (representing both The Tearjerkers and The Swordsmen, both with future Spongebob Squarepants voice Tom Kenny), THE BRANDOS, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, BLACK FLAG, THE POSIES, WALL OF VOODOO, IGGY POP, HUSKER DU, THE MOST, THE REPLACEMENTS and SCREEN TEST.  My club-going days have mostly passed, and I haven't set foot inside The Lost Horizon in over a decade.  I'm told it hasn't changed.  I hope it never does.  Thanks, Greg.

Our featured act this week was Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, because we seem to get a good reaction whenever we play ol' Herb. (Heh--last week The Sex Pistols, this week Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.  I love this show!)  We also previewed a track from Strange Change Machine, the new album from Everyone's Phenomenal Pop Combo, The Grip Weeds, and hit song # 50 in our Hundred Hollies Initiative.  And we mixed it all up with more music, and our memories of live music at The Lost Horizon.

TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS go to Syracuse Community Radio, 826 Euclid Avenue, Syracuse, NY  13210.  Please let us know if you need to be deleted from our weekly greetings.  And this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org.

TIRnRR # 533:  5/23/10

THE RAMONES:  "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (Rhino, End Of The Century)
THE FLASHCUBES:  "I Wanna Touch You In The Dark [live at The Lost Horizon]" (unreleased)
NICK LOWE:  "Cruel To Be Kind" (Yep Roc, Quiet Please...)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "Bo-Bo" (Shout Factory, Sounds Like)
DONOVAN:  "Sunshine Superman" (Epic, Greatest Hits)
THE YELLOW BALLOON:  "Yellow Balloon" (Sundazed, The Yellow Balloon)
KELLEY RYAN:  "About A Girl" (Manatee, Twist)
THE GRIP WEEDS:  "Truth Is (Hard To Take)" (Rainbow Quartz, Strange Change Machine)
THE DEAD KENNEDYS:  "Holiday In Cambodia" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
THE GEORGIA SATELLITES:  "Battleship Chains" (Elektra, Let It Rock)
LOVE PSYCHEDELICO:  "Standing Bird" (Hacktone, Ths Is Love Psychedelico)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "The Mexican Shuffle" (Shout Factory, South Of The Border)
MADELINE BELL:  "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (Universal, VA:  Music To Shag By)
THE dB's:  "Love Is For Lovers" (Rhino, Like This)
R.E.M.:  "Radio Free Europe" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Cigarette" (Enigma, Especially For You)
SUGAR:  "Gee Angel: (Rykodisc, File Under Easy Listening)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "Casino Royale" (Shout Factory, Sounds Like)
THE PIXIES:  "Here Comes Your Man" (4AD, Pixies)
1.4.5.:  "She Couldn't Say No" (Archive, Pink Invasion)
THE DEAD MILKMEN:  "Punk Rock Girl" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "So What's New" (Shout Factory, What Now My Love)
THE FLASHING ASTONISHERS:  "Period Exclamatory" (JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 1)
IAN HUNTER:  "All The Way From Memphis [live]" (Chrysalis, Shades Of Ian Hunter)
THE MEAT PUPPETS:  "Lake Of Fire" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "Mexican Road Race" (Shout Factory, S.R.O.)
THE RAMONES:  "Rockaway Beach" (Rhino, Rocket To Russia)
THE STRAY CATS:  "Rock This Town" (Capitol, Greatest Hits)
ALEX CHILTON:  "Free Again [original mix]" (Big Beat, VA:  Thank You Friends)
TOMMY CONWELL & THE YOUNG RUMBLERS:  "Walkin' On The Water" (Columbia, Rumble)
WILD BORES:  "In Front Of Me" (www.wildbores.com, We Think Alike)
THE HOLLIES:  "Baby That's All" (EMI, 30th Anniversary Collection)
THE MINUTEMEN:  "Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
THE NATIVES:  "Tell Me A Story" (Delso 45)
THE LYRES:  "Help You, Ann" (Matador, On Fyre)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "Green Peppers" (Shout Factory, Whipped Cream And Other Delights)
KILLING JOKE:  "Wardance" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
CHARLIE ROBBINS:  "Heart Said Go" (Blue Wave, VA:  History Of Syracuse Music Volume 14)
THE GREAT SOCIETY:  "Someone To Love" (Sundazed, Born To Be Burned)
THE BRANDOS:  "Gettysburg" (Relativity, Honor Among Thieves)
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES:  "Institutionalized" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro)" (Shout Factory, The Lonely Bull)
BLACK FLAG:  "Rise Above" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
THE POSIES:  "Suddenly Mary" (DGC, Dear 23)
WALL OF VOODOO:  "Back In Flesh" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
IGGY POP:  "I'm Bored" (Virgin, A Million In Prizes)
HUSKER DU:  "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
THE MOST:  "Girls Don't Pay" (unreleased)
THE ROLLING STONES:  "Get Off Of My Cloud" (Rolling Stones, Forty Licks)
THE REPLACEMENTS:  "Kiss Me On The Bus" (Sire, Tim)
THE MODERN LOVERS:  "Road Runner # 2" (Line, The Original Modern Lovers)
SCREEN TEST:  "It's You Tonight [live at The Lost Horizon]" (unreleased)
BIG STAR:  "September Gurls" (Ardent, # 1 Record/Radio City)
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS:  "More And More Amor" (Shout Factory, !!Going Places!!)