Note: This page is my own goofy history of performing music. If you don't know me, or any of the other characters mentioned below, you may not be amused or able to stay awake!!...Mac)


Here are some legendary bands from the mid & late seventies!   This was when I really got started as a young gigging musician...who cared about record deals back then? Bring on the groupies!

Individual band pages:










Charge: Kiss meets Kool & The Gang (1975-76):

The name brings to mind glorious military memories (for Doc at least)  .... But this "Charge" was a great culmination of styles, not only in music, but in costuming.  Where else would you find one band on stage with the following:
 Platform clogs , Kiss makeup (& authentic fire-breathing)  "Shaft"-style  pimp coats & hats , glitter "rock star" shirts & authentic "hot 'n pants"? All at a country bar no less? Only at a Charge show...the most outrageous show of it's time!   The stories about this band alone could fill a large book or septic tank.
(Special thanks go to "Crop-Top" for haulin' our stuff around in his "fwd" pick-up & to the late "Dude" for amazing "wooden keyboard controlled" lighting!)
 The band included:
 (l-to-r) Eddie "Da-Da-Da-Da" Dietz , Bob "Boob Dalty" Rychick , Chuck "Doc Rothchile" Rosequist , me ,  Ed "Loin" Bernik.


Part of this band later mutated into...

... J.B. Red: Aerosmith in Leisure Suits  (1976-77)
...what can you say about a late 70's band that fused rock, funk, disco & lounge music into a totally unheard of & totally unacceptable style? This band's name still gets "bandied about" in conversations about the best regional bands of all time in the N.Y / Pa. / Ohio area.
This band featured  such noteworthy musicians as Bill "Organ Leroy" Power , Dave "Nice Hat" Baird , Ed "Loin" Bernik , Brian P. Bower , Eddie "Da-Da-Da-Da" Dietz, Ronnie Sutton, Tracy Soggs  & Crackers (that's me, folks) , plus several other "rotating members" .

" Magically fast "fuzz-tone" solos, massive 12-stroke drum rolls, tastefully simple bass lines, and tight atonal harmonies"
-review from "Groovy Scene" magazine
"Victuals": All Music Loving Sailers  Beware
This was the band that influenced a generation...at least in some extreme rural pockets of the U.S. ...managed by the always irritable but incredibly competent "Illustrious".
On the left is artist's J.C. Frenchy's rendering of the original album cover of Victual's  most popular album release. Although there were never any "sailing chanties" on any Victory at Sea releases, the "undercurrent" of undersea life is evident in the lyrics of several classic Victuals songs like "Daze" & "Brownies March".
The original five members of this band had planned a  "reunion" on the anniversary of the release of "Sailors Beware", but due to the untimely death of singer Boob Dalty , and the "legal ramifications" involved with including bassist Fred Teisco , theses plans were dropped by the other three members:(Doc Rothchile, Johann P., Queenie).
(Also, let's not forget the other short-term members & road crew ; those  "musical
"pinch - hitters" ,  the "virtual tugboats" that helped pilot "good ship Victory at Sea" through treacherous musical waters  : H.P. Waters ,  "Mugician's Mugician" & of course the best roadie ever: "Triangle Head".)

Victuals: L to R : Queenie, Johann, Doc, Fred

(Thanks to Doc for dredging up this live shot of Victuals performing probably at Sherman Central School/Public Hall some time in the first part of 1970s...alas, Boob was not present for this shot).

from left: Brian Bower, me,  Wayne "Fat Dink"Anderson & Dave Baird in front; band name pronounced "Bock"
  BAC: Outrageous Bar Room Antics Fused With Christian Values (1977-78):- or "The Bower-Anderson Company" was a Tampa, Florida based rock band in the late seventies. This was my first venture in concept bands. BAC was a musical group that fused Christian values & teachings with outrageous bar room band antics ( I was largely responsible for the latter). We were quite a hit in the Tampa Bay area for a short while.
Dave Baird (JB Red) & I had signed on for this adventure at the same time  & when BAC disbanded , Dave went on to several years of road work with Atlanta-based "Shorty Watkins Band" (Polydor Records).  On the other hand, I returned north & joined a classic Erie, Pa rock band called...

Vertical Union included :
 (from left) Larry"C.L Strut" Zurn,  Rick "Bo Bo" Andrews,  Eric "Parrot Throat" Alexander,  John "Port" Portonova,   and of course, "yours truely".
..."Vertical Union
Living a Rock Star Lifestyle on $3 a Night

....and moved west about 100 miles to became "the loudest rock band in Cleveland" & " possibly the most poorly paid road band in the midwest".

We looked like a million dollars, people thought we were rock stars but at the end of the night , we usually had to borrow breakfast money from soundman Jeff Hair.   (Jeff went on to become one of the most sought - after concert sound guys in rock during the 1980's).  Vertical Union traveled in "the truke" which was our broken down , practically totaled equipment truck / open air calliope...or in my just- as- broken- down Pinto...and often slept in the basement of our singer's house between gigs, but hey, we almost had great management courtesy of Otto Neuber & Solar Management!.

From L: me , Jeff Hair , Bill Power
click photo to enlarge
The Punkinheads...
Punk, Paper Sack Heads, Trombone & Tom Jones

...what the heck was this all about?..This was a "sideband" to Vertical Union" & featured V.U. soundman Jeff Hair on drums , Bill "Organ Leroy" Power on keys ,  yours-truely on guitar & trombone & regular guest star "Tinky Poo" Alexander on vocals. This was the earliest example of  a "Dread Zeppelin"- style  comedy / Elvis / Tom Jones / absurdity act that I know of !
Bootleg copies of our Sunday night fiascos at "The Rathskeller" may still be circulating the country . But why?  As Eddy DaDaDaDa & Crop-Top would say: "You boys is mighty fine".
Before leaving the seventies,  got to mention a couple other great bands. I was a founding member a band that mutated into a well known in Chicago punk band called "The Young Swingers". Note the "bass drum head" to the left (hand drawn by Doc).
"Aris" or "The Aris Bros" was another seventies rock combo that featured many celebrities such as Jack "B" Belczak, Eddy Da Da Da Da Dietz, Jerry Bartone, Howlin' Phil Dogg, Fred Evanoff, Dave Sipple, Rick Urban, Bob Gredler & possibly some others I've forgotten...sorry! Anyone with pics of this band or of the famous "Aris van", please pass 'em on! Finally, a short stint on drums with popular polka kings  "Bob 'Dick' Uleck and the Versatiles" rounded out a great decade.


This is when real serious stabs at "making it' in the music industry were many & extravagant!   Having spent the entire decade in Los Angeles & South Florida, my "ex-partner-in-crime and life"  Diankeri "Daq" Bernet &  I got involved in everything "music" that was available.
Working with heavyweight record producers like Ken Scott,  producing a "Cyndi Lauper-esque"  video in 1984, "stomach-churning" out a self-produced & marketed Top-100 dance single in 1989, & involvement with hundreds of other internationally-known but domestically-ignored projects kept us busy & totally obscure !  

Original band with Ed Cassidy of "Spirit" in  L.A. /  1981
Erieites, that's Rick Andrews on R.
(click photo to enlarge)
"Reason" & "Phobia"    ...these were bands started in the early 80's in Tampa & L.A. with all the best of intentions of being original rock showcasing bands...& ended up in varying degrees of  hilarity. Bands with Ed Cassidy ('80), Morris Albert (Feelings) ('81) , Randy May ('80-'81) who's now owner of May Miking System , & studio work with various producers & arrangers.
I  worked for a quite a while in some jazz/supper clubs in L.A. with a cat named Mark Cianfrani who was a great singer & guitarist....but his greatest feat  was being able to fall completely asleep on a gig while still playing the right changes to "Girl from Impanema" !
MusicBiz version # 1 onstage

Stabbing Blindly at Success:
MusicBiz had a Billboard Magazine "Hot Add" song in 1984  on several radio stations nationwide with
"No Sign of Life"

Second version of MusicBiz l-r:
Me, John Port, Mike Shanaberger, Bill Russell, Daq

"Music Business"a presumptuous assumption

 (1983-84 was formed in S. Florida in 1983 right after the demise of our techno-yogurt-duo "Light & Lively": (what an idea! Combining lounge music with yogurt!)

The "Music Biz" band was a great sounding current cover & original band that included a number of interesting characters:
Mike "Booyah" Conway  was the first drummer in my band to have Simmons electronic drums...remember the "octagon" pads from early MTV? He was a loud, party guy from Tampa & a great drummer. Mike adjusted his Simmons snare drum module all night w/ a little screwdriver & yelled out things like "booyah" and "keep the heretoes of'n my drums". What was that about?
Steve Thompson from Detroit played guitar & keys and sang great...he would just love it when women noticed him. He'd always spin his finger around & tell us to "take it around again, they love me" during his ballads!  He also had a "theoretical hand truck" to move equipment...it only existed in his mind...months before it had fallen off of the drummers's truck!
Various edition(s) of this band featured Frank Bradley of Ft Myers, Fl., Mike Shanaberger of Naples, Fl. & Bill Russell of Cleveland, Oh. as well as old hand and Erieites "Port" & Larry Z. Mike once got mad at Port while they were riding in Mike's van , so he ripped off his rearview mirror & threw it at him...right on through the back window of the van! What fun to be in a rock n roll band!
The Talk  onstage circa 1989

Port , Larry & me on the road in Tennessee just  prior to the "retirement
 flu" outbreak 
"The Talk" (1985-91) This was a long running band starting in the mid -eighties. This band (in varying versions) did some touring,  played in S. Florida  & recorded a variety of good commercial rock, techno-pop and a bit of pure crap, as well.
Stabbing Blindly at Success:
The Talk had heavy rotation airplay on multiple radio stations with
"One Word Love" & a national Top 100  dance hit with "Boys Scout" in 1989...a very stupid dance track indeed!

The band featured at different times: Daq Bernet , Larry Zurn , John Portonova, Frank "No Rick Astley" Bradley , Steve LaValley , Steve Hambrick , Mark Siracusa , Mike Shanaberger.






 Frank, John & Larry recording during the much-ballyhooed "Surfboard of Love" era.  (1985?) Frank would not sing anything by Rick Astley.

This campy "Lauper-esque" video was shot & edited on film by Bob Ingria at Quadradial Cinema in Miami. (the actual music was produced by me at good ol' Important Audio Studio in S. Florida) Although it was aired regularly on various local video shows around the country, "Grow Up" never actually played on MTV. Of course, no music videos at all are played on MTV now ...so we were ahead of the curve(?)

At Criteria Recording in  Miami w/ Ron & Howard Albert producing / 1983
f/left: Port , Me , Daq
Pushing the Transport Canister (VW Van) To Miami:
Ron & Howard Albert
produced MusicBiz in 1983. This was a pretty uncomfortable situation; they hired a room full of session cats...wouldn't let our drummer play at all, had us re-writing songs 1 hour before the session because the songs  "were dogs"...many other experiences in "big time recording" were more pleasant. Such as Quadradial in Miami , Lyon & Overland studios in in L.A. all with name producers including the likes of Ken Scott, Herb Jimmerson & Cory Wade.
This all was inspiration to cause me to learn engineering myself. By 1985, we were running a successful "pro" 16 track recording studio & putting out local & regionally charting records all of the time!  So there!
The nineties...a new decade...another new place to pursue the dream...Atlanta, Georgia...building a new client base for studio & gigs...still trying to make it in the "big time"...and...

Larry & me getting pumped for
a TerraPhane show

The TerraPhane band during the brief "Angela Bowie" phase. (lower left) As you can see, I was also well into my first and most grandiose "Elvis" phase by then.



Metal Band: What's That Grinding Sound?
('93-'95) "Metallica meets Heart" ...the last great musical endeavor of the 15-year DKB Era! As a chronic metal band, we played the showcase original clubs of Atlanta, then in desperation  for acceptance, even added the irrepressible Angela Bowie (that's David Bowie's ex) to our shows. The 1994 cd was actually very original & creative for this kind of music, and followed another good album called "Youth & Other Lies" ...but...through all this , I'm under personal management trying to be a "smooth jazz guy"!  Go figure!


This stuff has gotten some renewed interest & now (7-2011) re-released on cd baby, itunes, amazon:


A live performance video from The Cotton Club / Atlanta 1994 >>>>

In KaroMusik Studio in Germany working on "Saxon" project for Virgin Records (July, 1994)
"Dissed" in Deutschland
My personal manager hooked this deal up for me...remix producer on Saxon's "Dogs of War" album ('94). I ended up replacing & adding guitar parts, adding keys, and mixing three cuts while in Germany...what no one bothered to tell me was that the studio engineer on the project was also Saxon's former producer...who would probably have liked his gig back!. Needless to say,  I was "dissed" on that festive expedition to Deutschland. (dissed?...whassup?) I did get line credit as one of the engineers on the Dogs of War album. Speaking of getting 'dissed'...check dis out:


Chillin' With The Posse

Amidst the blur of hip-hop recording sessions logged in the early 1990s in Atlanta, I somehow tracked and mixed another version of "Whoomp-There It Is" ...called "Whoot-There It Is" ('93). This was just before the multi -platinum Tag Team version! The group I recorded in Atlanta was called "95 South" and, by god, they had already released a single locally when "Whoomp" was reportedly stolen from them! A couple other cuts I was involved with were later released as  "Tootsie Roll" and "C'mon and Ride It (The Train)"...  So now you see where I got some of my hip-hop cred & somewhat loud opinions.

Dinah Moe Humm & Pixie The Rat
The last half of the nineties included a  9 month production studio / solo act stint in Naples, Fl., followed by work with several exciting bands back in Atlanta including corporate bands
Atlanta Blaze, ('96-'02), Alan Knieter Orchestra ('98-'02); r&b trio Seville ('98-'02) ; bar band B.B Dogg & the Hurlers ('95-'00) (all former minor league pitchers...yeah, right). Combine all of this with many biyearly trips to Put-In-Bay, Ohio with Florida show band Morningstar ('96-'00) and you've got a sure-fire recipe for success!
This somewhat murky period also encompassed ownership of the notorious "Pleasant Hill Studio" in the semi-police state of Gwinnett County, Ga. where daily adventures occurred that could have come straight from "Seinfeld". Moving the recording studio into the former regional offices of Q-Lube was okay...but having to also live in the former regional offices of Q-Lube (because of being tapped financially) was not!
 Go 'head...ask me about when Johnny Cash passed out on the mixing board,  "Dynah Moe Humm" worked it's sexual magic in the studio waiting room, the nightly studio romps chasing pet rodent "Pixie". How about when the "alleged Mexicans with New York accents" broke into the studio & promptly changed the answering machine message...setting off a cornucopia of late night law enforcement adventure!



What an incredible ride it's been. You couldn't pay me to change one word of this "historical document"...wait a minute...make me an offer... 

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