Bronx purveyors of
R&B and Rock N' Roll
the Greatest Five Part Harmonies Ever!
In early February of 2004 I was pleasantly
surprised and delighted to get the following
email from a man who grew up in the same Bronx
neighborhood as I. He also was the lead guitarist
and one of the vocalists in a Bronx-based band of
the mid 1960's, The Discords, a band that had a
profound affect on my desire to play guitar --and
to play rock and roll. Other bands have used the
name since then, but these guys were the ones us
Bronx kids idolized.
I found your
website quite by accident. 53 years of age now
and living in Atlanta, GA these past 16 years I
was just thinking of people, places and things
from my past.
Like you, I
grew up in Der Bronx. So one day I was just
surfing and I put the name of my oldest childhood
friends into a Google search and got a few hits
to your website for Larry Silvestro & his
younger brother Paul Silvestro. Larry and I
probably began our friendship way the hell back
in 1957 or so, one year after you were born. We
met as first or second graders at P.S. 87 grammar
school. (Im sure you know the place.)
Since you grew
up a few doors from the Silvestro household you
probably know that by 1964/65 we had a killer
local band called The Discords. I lost touch with
most everyone from those wonderful days. The 60's
and their aftermath took their toll on many of
us. But I did keep up somewhat with the twins,
Nat & Fred Andreassi (drummer and rhythm
guitar player for The Discords.)
around April of 2000 Fred asked me how I felt
about having a reunion! I said sure, but could we
get all the original members together??? It turns
out Larry was living in Minneapolis, I was down
here in Atlanta but Nat & Fred were still
living and playing in Westchester County. The
only one missing was our lead singer and keyboard
player, Rocky. Well we did find Rocky who was
still living in the Bronx and is a cousin of Joe
Coz. But Rocky could not find the time to do the
rehearsing for the reunion. Solution: We got a
hold of Bob Brescia (the lead singer for the
second Discords, circa 1968 to 1970 or so) and
Ritchie Fiorucci our second keyboard player along
with some very good assistance from Jimmy
Keneally an old friend of Larry's. Jimmy, Bob and
Larry flew in and we did some rehearsing here in
my studio. We followed that with some interesting
CD's that I made here which fleshed out all the
5-part harmony that was integral to our old
sound. After that we all got to Westchester in
the middle of August 2000 and spent about a 4 or
5 days in a rehearsal studio to polish up the
act. As with all musicians, it was not a totally
smooth ride but we hung in there and on August
26th, 2000 we played to old and new friends at a
club in Harrison, New York. It was great.
Well, the story has to be told! The
Discords.-- Oh, those first glimpses of a Gretsch
Chet Atkins Model! Hagstrom guitars played
through old Vox and Fender amps! Couple all that
with five part harmonies that just melt in your
ears. This is the story of our heroes when us Ely
urchins were little kids!
Then and now: In 1965, Art
Clemente was a young guitar player living on Ely
Avenue in the Bronx. Still a guitar player, not
old by a long stretch, here's Art at the 2000
Discord's Reunion. He and my first guitar
teacher, Larry Silvestro, united in the Discords,
the band with arguably the finest five part
harmonies the Bronx has ever heard.
Discords consisted of Nat &
Fred Andreassi (drums and
rhythm guitar) Larry
Silvestro (bass), Art
Clemente (lead guitar) and
(keyboards)--add vocals to everyone's duties, they all sang!
Here's a great shot of Larry and Art on the steps of Art's
parent's house in the Bronx circa summer of 1964. I first heard
The Discords in 1966 when they were in their early rehearsal
stages in the Silvestro family basement.
I was a childhood chum of Paul Silvestro, Larry's
younger brother and we two street urchins would
sit outside the basement windows and listen. I
was totally hooked by the sight and sound of real
can still remember vividly the wall of sound that
poured from those small rectangular basement
windows on hot summer weekend afternoons in the
to right we see Fred. Art, Nat, Rocky and Larry.
They look so young now, but these were the older
guys in the neighborhood--gods us mere mortal
kids respected and emulated.
the basement was only a jumping-off point for the
boys. These guys were good and were booked into
the usual venues of the day--mostly Catholic
School dances, but also Country Clubs and
colleges in Westchester. Their musical stylings
transcended the generational barriers, their
Beach Boys covers and collection of
tight-harmonied oldies appealed to a wide
The boys are
captured here in a playful moment --crossed
guitars in the back line. This picture, taken
March 10, 1966 at Iona College in New Rochelle.
Catherine's was the venue in this picture taken
around the same time. Notice the Go-Go dancer in
the frame. The Discords had their own dance
troupe. Of course, no recount of the Discords
Saga would be complete without mention of these
Fernanda, Sandra and Lynda (from left to right,
naturally) Remember those days when singing
groups--as we called them--and the dancers all
wore matching outfits? Photo dated March 10th,
1966. Someone had gotten a camera for his or her
play at the Beach Club in New Rochelle. (These
pictures remind me so much of the band in 'Horror
On Party Beach'-- a great flick by the way,
good old fashioned band playing very early
Reunion: August 2000
and Fred belt out a tune, just like the old days.
Fred sports a Parker guitar instead of the ol'
Another shot of Larry and Fred.
Nat looking regal from the throne with his little
Jenny Silvestro, mother of my
favorite bass player, seen here with her
first-born, Larry. What a great lady! She would
always mother all of us--all the while
maintaining her sense of humor. We could strain
anyone, but Jenny kept her cool...
The Discord ladies were
represented at the reunion by Fernanda (seen here
between Nat and Fred--obviously)...
...and Carmela seen here with Fred.
Here are the ladies back in the Discord days
hamming it up with the boys' instruments.
The Discords--the Bronx Original--circa 1967.
For more information on some of the GREAT BANDS
from the Bronx during the 1960's and 1970's,
please visit this website:
Bronx Musicians Classic Rock and
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
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what happened and lands himself in the crosshairs.
See more info...
Classic Guitar Method
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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2003 Harry G. Pellegrin
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