Sunday, January 29, 2012

Axminster



1985
L to R: Mike Lamm - drums, Benny Fiorentino - lead guitar, Steve Sera - lead vocals / guitar, Danny Callan - bass,
Mike Mosca -guitar

Formed in the winter of 1983, Axminster’s original line-up included vocalist/guitarist Steve Sera, drummer Mike Lamm, bassist Jeff Callan and guitarist Mike Mosca. The band had a WBCN # 1 regional hit with the song Teenage Livin’ and played the WBCN rumble in 1984.

Following up with a 45 rpm and another WBCN #1 song titled Rock n’ Roll Infection, the band added lead guitarist Benny Fiorentino. Bassist Danny Callan took over for brother Jeff in 1985.

Axminster played the Boston club circuit as a headliner as well as opening for bands like Metallica, Alvin Lee, Twisted Sister, Molly Hatchet, Foghat, Extreme and Lita Ford. The band filmed two videos that aired on V-66 but called it quits in the summer of 1986 after showcasing for several major record companies.

In 2003, Axminster, using the name Kick the Dog, recorded and released an 8-song CD titled Territory. Songs off the CD got some airplay and both regional and international magazines and web-sites raved about the “new” band.

In 2009 Axminster, released the CD titled About Face with all new original material. The band still plays shows occasionally and is still making music.



Audio





CREW Member: Bob Demoss

Started learning drums and a little guitar when I was about 11 years old. Had my 1st band in the early 60's called 'The Trolls" from Ashland. Guitarist and I would switch and I played guitar on 'For Your Love' by the 'Yardbirds'. Later moved to Natick and met Louie Santoro.

Decided to quit drums (shin splints) and took my first roadie/lightman gig with "Sacrifice", where I also played congas on Santana covers.

It's after high school where the story begins, starring Louie Santoro, seemingly guiding me, at nearly every turn ... as I worked with:

Sledge-Hamma - Lights/Sound
Stewart Little - Sound
Pretty Poison -  Stage roadie/Sound.

At this point a friend wanted me to design a club PA and became Dark Star Sound. I worked with a few bands-Ice, Griffin and Justice as well as battle of bands at the Back Room. Then I got married and there went my musical involvement, for a while. Had to make some money to pay the old bills that had accumulated. Worked at KiddeFenwal in Ashland for 20 years and retired due to numerous shoulder injuries (Damn Ramunos B3 & B.Howe's Ampeg!)

Got together with R. Ramuno and worked sound for band he was in but found, after their 1st gig, that my shoulders couldn't take it. I had been seeking old band tapes and started polishing them. I still keep my hand in that part but retired from the roadie work. Too bad, as I invested around $10K in a new mixing board, mics.stands, EQ, other toys and a Bose stereo L2 phase 2 with 8 bass bottoms. Makes a nice home stereo system .

I had been exposed to many styles of music.Country from living in Tenn., Big Band from Abbott & Costello  movies and classical from school. Hate rap and most operas and don't really care for current bubble gum music. Rock & Roll is the best.

... Nuf Sed ...

CREW Member: Steve Signor




1977 - 1980 Kashmir Lights/Spot/equipment truck (Big Blue) driver
1981 - 1986 Real world computer operator/programmer
1986 - A few Blotto gigs
1986 - EZO string tech (bass and guitar)
1987 - Foghat T-Shirts
1988 - Great White bass tech
1988 - Winger guitar tech (Reb Beach)
1989 - Outlaws string tech (guitars/guitars/guitars/guitars/guitars/bass)

CREW Member: Joe Astrella (1953-1993)

Joe on a rainy afternoon after setting up guitar world on tour with Tina Turner and scowling at the chord he plays in his headphones.

In the early 1970's, Joe Astrella played guitar with his childhood friends in an early incarnation of the band from Shrewsbury, Mass called Dark Horse but he said he felt uncomfortable on stage and became their lighting and sound technician instead. After a couple years of club gigs and school dances he was asked to run lights for the band FATE and soon realized it was not only fun but he could actually make a living as a roadie. Joe was extremely organized and this made him one of the best techs in the area. In the late 70's he did a tour with Willie 'Loco' Alexander and the Boom Boom Band who were backing up Elvis Costello on several dates and was hired at Polico Lighting in Warwick RI who was providing production equipment for the J. Geils Band and Boston. Boston was headlining an arena tour with Sammy Hagar as the opening act and Joe went out as a lighting tech for Polico.

Tom Scholz appreciated Joe's technical ability and knowledge of guitars enough to ask him to test out a new product he had created called the Rockman. He also had him build his foot pedal boards for touring and do some woodworking at his home recording studio.

Back from the road, Joe learned from his old friends David Heglmeier and Brian Sklarz who had worked with him for FATE that a new band, The Cars, were about to break and needed a guitar tech. Joe was perfect for the job and toured with them throughout the 80's. When not on tour with The Cars he worked at their studio on Newbury Street in Boston called Synchro Sound. In the mid 80's, after 5 tours with The Cars, they were not touring as much and even though Joe remained employed by The Cars Limited, he began touring with Tina Turner as the guitar tech. Tina's resurgence had her doing long, massive world tours that lasted as much as a year and a half. He had built his own customized guitar-workstation and multi-guitar stands as road cases for touring. He also designed and patented a guitar fork-hanger that mounts into a road case. With his knack for building things he decided to open a woodworking shop in Worcester Mass. so he could build his own projects and take on commercial work when he wasn’t on the road. He also did short stints as guitar tech for shows with Dan Fogelberg, Hall & Oates and Stevie Wonder.

Joe was on his 7th world tour with Tina Turner in 1993 when he fell ill and succumbed to an aggressive cancer a few months later. He was an inspiration to many people for his ability to design and build what he imagined and in the way he would strive for perfection. He developed methods to accomplish tasks that would amaze people when he described exactly why he did things in a logical, form-follows-function kind of way. It always made sense.

Today, Joe’s son Alex has taken guitar lessons from Joe D'Angelo and Joe Astrella Jr. is playing drums in his own band.

The big old tour bus rolls on!