Cloaca Melodia

My life in concerts, by Mike Sauter.


Scruffy the Cat

The Haunt, Ithaca, NY

My college radio colleague Mike Stuto and I were trying to start a live, on-location concert series at our station, WICB. For several shows, we lugged an Otari 2-track reel-to-reel recorder down to The Haunt in downtown Ithaca and recorded the band's performance with a pair of microphones. The project didn't really last very long, however; the only bands I recall recording were Canada's The Grapes of Wrath, the Texas band Wild Seeds, and this one. As pretty much fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants college radio types, we didn't contact anyone from the band or their label in advance to clear making these recordings. We would just show up early at the venue and ask the band and their tour manager if it was OK. I remember having to wait a while for the band to complete their soundcheck before I could ask them if it was OK to, essentially, bootleg their show for the local college radio station. It was a hot Ithaca summer afternoon, and I was sitting on the curb across W. Green Street in front of the AM/PM convenience store. The guys from Scruffy came out of The Haunt and crossed the street towards me. A couple of them continued on to the store and a couple of them stopped to talk to me. I think that it was Charlie Chesterman and guitarist Stephen Fredette (one of them was wearing a leather jacket and a military-style hat that could only be meant, in rock 'n' roll terms, to recall Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin), and after a few questions they gave me the go-ahead to record. I'm pretty sure I still have the original reel tape, somewhere...

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