Thursday, November 8, 2018

FOUND! Crazy Jack, Lost Track

Crazy Jack, Wormtown's answer to Iggy Stooge, had a career that started out like a skyrocket, and exploded just as big. His real name was Mike Rizutti, and  I met him through a friend named Ray Gagne (whom I sadly just found out passed in July) and the group of kids who use to hang around the Thompson Pond area, out in the boondocks of Spencer. He was just like the rest of us, living our version of "That 70's Show", drinking, smoking and listening to Rock n Roll. His idols were Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, and he always wanted to be the lead singer in his own band. Along came punk rock and everyone could do it, so he did.He formed Crazy Jack and Heart Attaxs along with Preston Wayne of Hooker, and Cathy Peters, now Cah, and David Iacovelli who played bass and drums in The Blue Moon Band. He went on to make a name for himself with wild shows that often ended in total chaos. The Heart Attaxs disbanded due these incidents and he quickly recruited some young talent in brothers Steve and Paul Aquino, and went on as the Auotmatics. This is about the time I lost touch with him. Let's just say he had ego problems and leave it there. There were more stories of  wild gigs, in Boston were he "Smashed Glass" outside Cantone's one night,  more arrests, jail time, and that's were the career ended. The last time I saw him was a chance meeting in 1991, married with children, cleaned up and sober, not missing his former notoriety. This song I have no information about, except that it features Bob Peters and David Iacovelli from the Blue Moon Band. It was found on and old cassette tape I've had for 40 years with other Crazy Jack songs recorded at rehearsals.  At one point he took these tapes from me and wouldn't return them . I had to trick him into getting them back by having a mutual friend ask to borrow them. Otherwise I don't think they would have survived to this day. The song is raw, over modulated and like nothing else he did. You'll either love it or hate it, but listen to it a couple times and it'll be stuck in your head for days.

Listen HERE! CrazyJack, Dynamite Disco

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sweet Pie, Naked and Famous

There was a time in Worcester, we were starved for any entertainment that wasn't "normal".  We'd seek out strange and interesting acts when they hit town. If ever. Well, one night, at a non nondescript bar on Park Ave, I got wind of performer who billed himself as "the world's only nudist boogie-woogie pianist". Paul Winer, aka Sweet Pie was an old hippie looking dude who did just that. For the next two hours this guy regaled us with tunes and jokes that had us glued to our seats. On a cold winter night he tore up the keyboard stomping and singing about his life and times of being a naked artist in a clothed world. I came upon this old booklet he handed out at the show and thought I'd share it.                       

And, believe it or not, the guy is still around today as an owner of a bookstore in Arizona, Readers Oasis Books, and performing live!

Also had a documentary produced about his career. 
Paul Winer NYC Hoochie Coochie Man from Pierce Cravens on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Wormtown 35th Annivesary

It's been a while, what with summer and all, but here we are at the end of my posts of The Wormtown Anniversary Shows! This one was held on May 11th, 2013 at Ralph's Diner. This show had its own little drama with The Numbskulls canceling day of show and Bottlefight graciously stepping in last minute to fill their spot. It was again sponsored by Narragansett Beer, the OFFICIAL beer of Wormtown! (except no substitutes). The crowd was hot, and the bands even hotter. As you may know, there have been no plans for a 40th anniversary celebration, as of now, so enjoy this last time we all got together under the Worm Flag !

 The Performers
The Commandos

The Time Beings

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Celebration Continues! Wormtown 30th!!

Ten years ago we took over Ralph's Diner for a big two night party celebrating 30 years of Wormtown . People came from far and wide to support the scene, and catch up with old friends.  Here are all the bands, unedited, as it happened.

The Odds
The Performers
Black Rose Garden
Prefab Messiahs w/ Bob Trimble
The Commandos
The Numbskulls
Classic Ruins
The Pathetics

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Love It, Hate It, Eat It

The 40th Anniversary date has come and gone, but we're still celebrating. Worcester Mag finally weighed in after all the hype, coming out for it?, I guess? Hard to tell. Hank Stoltz had a poll on his "Talk of the Commonwealth" page, where the haters won by 14%.
Over the years, the detractors helped popularize the moniker just as much as the proponents did. Former Mayor Jordan Levy still doesn't get it, but we never thought he would. The Worcester Telelgram and Gazette thought it was over back in 1982 after the Centrum opened and that building was going to revitalize Downtown. How'd that work out for you?
Now with Worcester on it's latest rebirth, people want to move away from it screaming "WOO!" all the way. It may not be as prevalent as it was in years past, but shows no signs of going away. Thanks to all who fly the flag of  Wormtown!  And for those who don't, long may you squirm!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wormtown 40th in the News....

As you may have seen, our anniversary made the local media rounds this week. Even though there is no official celebration party planned as of now, the folks who inform wanted to know what the hoopla was all about. Well, most of them anyway, still crickets over at Worcester Mag, as it was when we celebrated the 35th, they showed no interest. For those who do care, here's the links in case you missed them.

Worcester Telegram and Gazette

Talk of the Commonweath with Hank Stolz, WUTY, Unity Radio, 102.9fm

...and here's the link to the WURN "Wormtown 40th" show I did recently with all the local classics I could fit in 3 hours.

WURN on Podomatic

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Wormtown Day, May 2, 2003

As we continue to celebrate the Anniversary the City of Worcester never asked for, we remember a  period of time when we had a friend in City Hall back in 2003 in then Mayor Tim Murray. He was dubbed "the  Boy  Mayor" by the media and being the young, forward thinking person he was he embraced Wormtown as a positive for the city, something that had never been done before at 455 Main St. Former Mayor Jordan Levy was known to have a distaste for the moniker, which only pleased the fans more. But Tim was different. He stopped down to WDOA for an interview without hesitation even though we were not perhaps them most legitimate radio outlet at the time. And when it came around to the 25th Anniversary of our scene, he had an Official City Proclamation drawn up to recognize our efforts. He stopped by Ralph's Diner later that night to read it to the crowd and join in the celebration. He mingled with the crowd a awhile and had a great time with everyone. After his term as Mayor was over, Tim went on to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Deval Patrick, and now is the current President and CEO of The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. Things went back to the way they used to be with City Hall. I was once introduced to the current Mayor, Joseph M. Petty at a function held by Hank Stoltz, he seemed unimpressed. Wormtown, I'm sure, is not part of their current plan to revitalize Worcester.

photos by Mike Malone