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AIR RAID

 

Bar Band Extraordinaire

1980-1982

SAD NEWS INDEED:

SEDDON, MARTIN W.

2006-05-01

Martin W. Seddon of Mt. Vernon died on April 29, 2006. He was born in Bridge End, Wales on July 16, 1956 to the late James and Mary Seddon. Beloved brother of Paul, Vincent and Barbara. Martin graduated from Parsons School of Design and was a freelance Graphic Artist. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. YANNANTUONO BURR DAVIS SHARPE FUNERAL HOME 584 Gramatan Ave. Mt. Vernon (914)699-4010 www.yannantuonofuneral home.com

Godspeed, good friend.  You are missed greatly.  So until we meet again and we hoist a Wild Turkey, keep an eye on us and put in a good word to God on our behalf.

 

ATTENTION PAST AIR RAID MEMBERS --

CLICK THIS LINK!

HEAR the Simon and Garfunkel Parody "The Streets of Violence"  AIR RAID circa 1980

 

The Continuing Saga of AIR RAID

 Once upon a time there was an Airline right here in New Rochelle. Its terminal was an old bowling alley or a shoebox, I can’t recall which. It was a very small company, but what they lacked in equipment, they made up in enthusiasm.  (They didn’t have a plane, you see.) Anyway, they worked very hard, and managed to have one flight a day. This flight originated at the terminal and usually wound up at a bar on North Avenue. It never was overdue for happy hour. 

 This little Airline had one problem. I won’t mention it, but it’s the problem some people have under their sink and around the garbage pail. It got so bad that they had to buy a case of RAID. Being on a ‘Low Budget” so to speak, they used the empty case in the freight department as a shipping carton. The customer spotted the word “RAID” on the side of the carton and immediately thought that the name of the Airline was AIR RAID, sort of like AIR FRANCE except the French drink wine and AIR RAID runs on Bud.  Soon after, they got drunk and crashed. The F.A.A. made a big stink about this (even though the only thing close to being fatal were the hangovers) and closed the Airline.

 AIR RAID decided that the next best thing for attracting girls other than the Airline was being in a Rock and Roll band. (Which doesn’t preclude a few clandestine flights to North Avenue!) Now if we could only get Marty to stop dressing like a Skycap!

 AIR RAID is:

 Martin Seddon (Wes Terminal, Capt. Marty) Keyboard, and Lead Vocals. British born Martin is the founder and guiding spirit of AIR RAID. After learning to rock “in a thousand basements”,’ Martin worked the Manhattan club circuit (Max’s, The 80’s, etc.) with the Pop-Reggae band “Beast”.

 Harry Pellegrin (Mal Function) Lead Guitar and Lead Vocals.  Although Harry holds two degrees in Classical Music including & Bachelor of Music from The Mannes College of Music, but decided against a career in “Museum Music” and joined “The Void”, signed by the now defunct Infinity record Label.

 Mike Moretti (The Italian Scallion) Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals After debuting on Manhattan Cable TV in 1976, Mike spent his time playing in bar bands in the city. Mikey was a member of “The Void”, writing much of that band’s material.

 Kenny Genovese (Tim Tam) Drums Kenny came to New York from Chicago three years ago in order to be closer to the New Wave scene. Rumor has it that his plane got lost in the fog and was forced to land at the old AIR RAID terminal.  Kenny’s strong beat is  the backbone of AIR RAlD -- from an AIR RAID flyer circa 1981

AIR RAID was formed by Martin Seddon in the early Fall of 1980. Martin, aka Captain Marty, was born in England and moved to the USA (well, if you call Mt. Vernon, NY the USA.) when he was fourteen years of age. Naw, Mount Vernon is a nice little city that was home to the Left Bank, a great new wave/rock club in the late seventies and early eighties. Anyway, Marty is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, and being a graphic artist and fronting a rock and roll band are the only two things that have ever meant anything to him. Harry met Marty through the bulletin board at PragmaTech Sound. After graduating College, Harry had gotten a part-time job at Contact Marketing, a telephone sales company in New Rochelle. Knowing that long-time friend Paul Silvestro was working at a sound company, PragmaTech, on Memorial Parkway, a few blocks away, meant Harry would often leave work and go hang with Paul.

In October of 1980, Harry crafted a business card to resemble his Explorer guitar-- hoping to stand out from the crowd and land himself a seat in an established band. Of course Marty the graphic artist noticed the odd little card and felt a kinship with the odd little man who must have produced it. At that time Marty was playing keyboard for a punk/reggae band BEAST but had tired of the New Wave pretension he felt they had slipped into. Armed with Harry's pointy business card, he set about to form a band of his own, one that would hearken back to the rock and roll ideal Marty had conceived for himself as a boy in England. Already having a guitar player, Marty ran to Sam Ash in White plains and bought an Ibanez Destroyer bass -- Explorer-shaped, naturally. After auditioning Harry he said "You're good, you're in the band. Here's your bass!" Well, this didn't phase Harry -- you'd have to know Marty. Plus, Harry had started out as a bass player, so he wasn't really out of his depth. Original line-up included Captain Marty on keyboards and vocals, Harry G. Pellegrin on bass, and Kenny G. (not the horn guy) of Chicago on drums. There was a guy Mike on guitar who quit the band to take a gig in a cruise ship band. A girl named Jessica with very large, uhm, let's just say she was blessed, well, she sang. She had great lungs!


They rehearsed at PragmaTech Sound in New Rochelle for a few months, and played a small number of local gigs--mostly the Happy Hour/Thursday night college crush on North Avenue. Before the drinking age was raised, three blocks on North Avenue were door-to-door bars and jammed with college girls and the high school crowd of both genders that they would draw. Ah, beer and young women! I digress. Most evenings aside from the weekend nights would find the boys honing their craft--or bothering the neighbors, depending on your point of view-- in the studio.

PragmaTech Sound was a great little rehearsal studio and sound reinforcement company on Memorial Parkway in New Rochelle owned by Jim Salta, the self-proclaimed 'Meanest Man in Rock n.' Roll'.. The picture at right shows Harry in the rehearsal room AIR RAID rented at PragmaTech in early 1981. The business occupied a former basement bowling alley in the block of buildings that included the old New Rochelle Army Navy store, El Bonito's Mexican Restaurant and McKiernan's Bar -- all great businesses that are sorely missed. The block was mowed flat in a blatant act of Urban Renewal. Urban Renewal is a euphemism for pulling the poor and blue collar families from a piece of real estate that the city wants upscale people to inhabit -- it bolsters the tax base at the expense of the poor who now have to find somewhere else to live. Jim Salta, proprietor, and PragmaTech moved to the North Bronx in 1982. But in the New Rochelle location PragmaTech had a great little 'insider' secret. The soda machine had a blank handle that would, if pulled, present the customer with a Black Label beer--for twenty-five cents. Starving artists appreciated the cheap buzz! At left, we see a Black Label-soaked Harry leaning against his favorite piece of equipment at PragmaTech. One AIR RAID original tune mentioned in the novel LOW END is "Mommy" written by Harry Pellegrin and was first recorded in 1978 while he was playing in the band Archer. Click Here for a sample of this tune. This is Harry's demo to the band, he plays all the instruments except drums. The radio button marked 'MP3 Download' (at left) will download another Pellegrin original in its entirety. Harry's ex wife once said "You're the only @#^% in the world who would write a love song called 'It's So Hard'." Click the button of the same name to download this song.

AIR RAID performed around lower Westchester with Marty at the helm, playing even at Zipperz --a disco--which later became a gay after-hours club through a change of ownership. AIR RAID never learned YMCA, so we never played there after that change!

Mikey Moretti from 'da Bronx' was added on guitar. Mikey and Harry had played behind an Elvis impersonator, VJ Adino (aka Vinnie Adinolfi) for a few years, so you might say that Elvis bought them both new cars! The duo made a great little dual lead guitar section, so Harry switched from bass to guitar—his beloved Telecaster, Marty filling in the bass parts on his Vox Continental, with the intention of finding a new bass player. AIR RAID never found the right person for the job while Marty was still in the unit.

When Captain Marty went on to play with Medusa, Harry and Kenny recruited Mike’s brother Sammy to front the band. Sammy was a powerful singer and a babe magnet to boot! Sammy Moretti had sung as one of the Shalimars, the backup singers behind our Elvis impersonator. His clean, clear tenor held the Shalimars together.

AIR RAID went through a succession of bass players including a really nice guy named Pat (later nicknamed e-flat Pat after he started a tune in the wrong key) but it took four months before we found our final line-up.

Here's a promo piece done in 1982 by Frank Harlan of the Creative Talent Association (or Creative Travel Agency if you worked in a band for them.) Left to Right: Sammy Moretti, Kenny Genovese, Miriam Moskowitz, Mike Moretti, Harry Pellegrin.

With Sammy in the band, AIR RAID found their bass player, a girl from Queens named Miriam. With this line-up, AIR RAID recorded various original tunes and played all over the Bronx, Westchester and as far south as Virginia Beach. Harry left the band in the early Spring of 1982, his wife at that time believed he was too old—at the age of twenty-five—to be messing around in a rock band! AIR RAID broke up finally in the late Summer of 1982. Mike went on to play in another bar band, Kenny moved to the Pocono's and no, sports fans, there’ll probably never be a reunion tour. If anyone reading this remembers AIR RAID playing at the Viking in City Island during the early eighties, please contact the webmaster here at webmaster@pellegrinlowend.com.

These two shots are of AIR RAID relaxing(!) after playing in the lower room at the Viking, day after Thanksgiving 1981. Left to right: Sammy, Kenny G, Harry, Miriam.


















The photo to right, same night, same spot, A bit of Harry, Mike, Kenny, Miriam, Sammy


Publicity Photo, 1982, the photo taken in a photographer's studio in Queens, New York, The band was rather uncomfortable as well as mixing metaphors--AIR RAID had always been a leather-jacket-and-tee-shirt squad. Management had forced us into a spandex and/or skinny tie mold. That was the kind of stuff that had chased Marty from BEAST. He would never have been happy in an MTV-video AIR RAID!

We had kicked the snots out of the dressing room -- and I use the term loosely--at the Viking. We painted our name on the wall, threw mic stands through the sheetrock. Plus, we were the guys who threw up on stage and shouted profanities all night long. The place was a dive and we brought in lots of money, five hundred people on a typical Thursday night, more on the weekends, so they humored us. Say Goodnight, Harry and Mike... Too much alcohol!








One last shot--Harry with his second (and highly prized) Strat--a 1969 Telecaster neck on a 1964 Strat body, three DiMarzio SDS-1-s powered it! This was the guitar Harry used for the last twelve months of his AIR RAID tenure and was sold to fund a set of Cragar S/S mags for his Camaro. How Bronx! He soon grew a mullet!


Before AIR RAID, Marty Seddon was the keyboard player in Marley's Ghost, a progressive band from the Bronx. Famed alumni of Marley's Ghost include gifted guitarist Ed Schaum and bassist John Podesta, a talented musician, good friend and member of Telepathe, a band Harry played with in 1975. Funny how small and inbred the music business is!.

From left to right:

Ed Schaum, Martin (dig that red satin jacket!) Seddon, and John Podesta.

Ed Schaum has a very extensive website with much good information for guitar players and fans of YES. He also has a gallery of Marley's Ghost images that are cool to look through. VISIT THESE SITES....... www.gallery.schaum.us for Marley's Ghost and www.schaum.us for information on Ed's great solo albums, ensemble projects and vast library of YES tablature for guitarists and bassists.



From Harry: As related in the novel LOW END, there was a reunion of the original lineup of AIR RAID in late 1986. Click Here for an mp3 'look' at a portion of this recording session at Sleepy Hollow Sound in Dobbs Ferry. Man, was I drunk! We went pretty much live-to-tape, with the exception that I played rhythm guitar first, then had a few more shots of Jack before staggering off to cut the guitar solo. VISIT WWW.PUREVOLUME.COM for two complete downloadable mp3 AIR RAID songs, Mommy and It's So Hard. Click Here




Untermyer Park, the scene of crucial action in LOW END, also a real location in Yonkers.

Click Here to see the scene of the fictional crime!

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AVAILABLE NOW !

The Classic Guitar Method: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all is exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.

 

With the aid of a good teacher, the student will rapidly progress through The Classic Guitar Method attaining technical proficiency and musical eloquence.

This method stems from the need to incorporate a number of schools into a single cohesive curriculum. Years of honing a logical approach to the guitar and the creation of music culminate in this volume. As a self-proclaimed Disciple of Valdés-Blain , much of that famed teacher's focus can be found in Mr. Pellegrin's method.

ISBN: 978-1-4116-9442-2

Published by PAB Entertainment Group, P.O. Box 2369 Scotia, New York 12302

Please go to www.lulu.com to order.

Copies of Harry Pellegrin's New Novel LOW END

Are Now Available Through This Site!!!

Or through

www.pdbookstore.com

Ask for

LOW END at your favorite local book retailer!

Please visit these other fine sites:

http://www.roryon.com/ and http://www.rorygallagher.com/

for more information on Rory Gallagher

Visit http://www.projectguitar.com/ if you are into cool axes!

http://www.roryon.com/harrystrat208.html to see a Rory Gallagher tribute guitar built by the author.

LOW END is Published by Bedside Books, an imprint of American Book Publishing.

ISBN 1-58982-074-6

LOW END Copyright 2003  Harry G. Pellegrin

In God We Trust

For scholarly transcriptions and free sheet music, click the following link:


The Guitar School - Iceland















  LOW END  By Harry George Pellegrin.  The first in the Gary Morrissey series of mysteries.  Dealing with modern subject matter in the classic style of the 1940's Mystery Noire masters--think Raymond Chandler in New York in the 1980's...  LOW END is the story of a drug addict who is murdered after he believes he has found evidence of a major government conspiracy.  Is it only drug-induced paranoia?  Might be, except his paranoia could be considered justified: he was murdered, after all.  Friend Gary Morrissey takes it upon himself to find out just what happened and lands himself in the crosshairs.
See more info...
Classic Guitar Method  Composed, written, transcribed, edited and arranged by Harry G. Pellegrin: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.
See more info...
DEEP END: The Wreck of the Eddie Fitz  By Harry George Pellegrin. A mystery novel. Involving a semi-professional musician and a Kreyol death cult, DEEP END takes the reader from the bottom of Long Island Sound to the steamy streets and Blues clubs of New Orleans. Alternative spirituality does battle with the common working man.  Published by PAB Entertainment Group in association with LULU.com.
See more info...












 

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Deep End is the exciting sequel to the first Gary Morrissey novel Low End. Spanning the gap between Haiti, New York and New Orleans, Deep End is an exciting tale of smuggling, rock n' roll, love and murder.












 
 


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