Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Hometown Musicians. We've all got them, those artists that you heard on local radio or saw in the clubs before they hit it big. Growing up on Long Island, we had plenty of talent that did hit it big.

The first that I can remember is the Good Rats. Mainly because my sister and her husband, by virtue of managing My Father's Place, knew Pepi Marchello and the gang. I remember being in a pizza parlor and bugging Mom for quarters for the jukebox (as I always did.) I was so excited when I saw "Tasty" on that juke!

The next one that hit it big was Billy Joel. I was pretty young when I heard the first song on radio, "Captain Jack". I think it was on WLIR in '73 or '74. Thus began the local radio's love affair with the Piano Man.

If you want to see him in concert in the NYC metro area, prepare to have fast fingers, stand in a long line or pay a scalper way more than face value on the ticket, because the man is well loved and puts on an incredible show. So I've been told, I've never been lucky enough to see him. I've been thinking that I might have better luck getting tickets down here in Florida.

In the 80's, along came MTV and another crop of hometown musicians who hit it big. Pat Benetar, Twisted Sister, Blue Oyster Cult, Taylor Dayne, honorary LI band Zebra and Debbie (Deborah) Gibson. They had the added benefit of getting video airplay with those local disc jockeys breaking them to national attention.

Sometimes, you're lucky and you see one of those artists work their butt off to make it and years later, you're still buying those discs as they come out.

It's interesting to move to a new area and discover what the local music scene is all about. When I moved to Maryland, everyone raved about Kix, but that was about it. It was a change from LI, mainly because Long Island boasts 7 million people and Western Maryland? Less than ten percent of that.

Still the local music scene had plenty to offer with less clubs to hear live music. I've mentioned seeing Tim Eyermann, but there was a local guy that was great to see (as long as I didn't hear him play Billy Joel!), Ted Raschka. I wonder if he's still doing gigs?

If you've got some local music, enjoy it. You never know when the local talent will hit it big!


Mike Golch said…
I think evey one has a few hometown musicians that are great. We have michael Stanly who did have some sucess in the ;arge picture.

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