The Website of Harry George Pellegrin Novelist, Musician, Recording Artist

RORYON.com | OFFICIAL RORY SITE | My little Rory Tribute |
Fender's Website | The Fender Stratocaster | End confusion about Fender Construction Technique |
A Fine Retailer of Vintage and New Classical Guitars | Ditto |
Buy Low End at Amazon
Buy Low End at Barnes & Noble |
Buy My CD's |
subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link
subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link
Google
Contact Us / Buy a CD / Buy a Book /

 

 

 

After Thirty Years... Good Lawdy, Where did the time go???

Bronx Bar Band Telepathe Reunites under the guise of AIR RAID

...film at eleven...

 

Above: Scott Francisco rules from the throne--and supplies a mighty beat--as John and Harry perform Rory Gallagher's "The Continental Op" at an open-air festival in Upstate New York July 16, 2005

In 1975, there was a band in the North Bronx. Yeah, there were quite a few bands in that part of the world in those days , come to think of it, but this one was a curious blend of former Mount and former Cardinal Spellman students. The lion shall lay down with the lamb... Music can solve the world's problems.

Telepathe was made up of: Louis Filomio (possibly spelled Filomeo) on guitar, Bob Donovan on organ, a guy we all called Little Stevie on drums, John Podesta on bass. Harry Pellegrin was later added on second guitar. The band played cover tunes -- Bad Company, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Focus and other staples of 1970's album rock FM radio. They lasted together about nine months which was a lifetime in terms of high school aged bands in those days. Due to a number of factors -- some very heavy factors -- the band broke up. It is not known whatever became of most of the members of Telepathe. What is known is that Harry Pellegrin went on to play in an Elvis impersonator band (which seemed like a lame idea in 1975, but turned out to be sheer brilliance in August of '77!) John Podesta joined Marley's Ghost, a band which included such notables as Ed Schaum on guitar and Martin Seddon (of LOW END fame) on keyboard and occasional lead vocals.

Marley's Ghost hung together until 1978, Seddon moved on to BEAST, a new wave reggae outfit. John dropped from the rock radar at that time. He pursued a career which led him to bigger and better things. Marty quit BEAST in mid 1980 and formed AIR RAID, a band that Harry auditioned for on bass!

Time passed. Personal computers became household appliances and the internet grew. All of a sudden, people started Googling their own names, the names of friends, the names of old bands...

When John Podesta tried Googling his old bandmates, he ran across Marty Seddon on the page www.pellegrinlowend.com. Of course, he recognized Harry right away -- even after just about thirty years. So the Telepathe Saga was about to get a new lease on life. John emailed Harry and the stories of three decades of life began to hum along the wire -- part of which was a proposal to resurrect Marley's Ghost, and if possible AIR RAID.

 

Left: Harry Pellegrin and John Podesta in February 1975.

Below and left: John and Harry July 16, 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suffice to say that time and distance (and death and taxes) conspired against either band's reuniting at a small--but wonderful-- festival in beautiful Upstate New York, but the two veteran rockers knew that they could put together a set of material drawn from both Telepathe's set list as well as their two current favorites. Telepathe would be playing -- well, at least two members. Scott Francisco, ace drummer and guitarist from ONTHEAM was drafted to pound them pagan skins in a band called ... AIR RAID!!! Why that name??? You see, if Marty had been drafted to play, we would have had a third of AIR RAID on stage and as we had planned that, the name kinda stuck.

After way-too-little rehearsal, the fellows trusted to both their collective experience as well as the benefits of those long practice sessions from thirty years ago. Scott Francisco and Harry have played together for quite a while. A mainstay of Capitol Area indie alternative rock, Scott is well grounded in classic rock n' roll and fit in well with the Telepathe set list. (He and Harry have been playing together for eight years in their current band. To put things in persepective, Scott was born about ten years after Telepathe's last gig !) With Scott aboard, it wasn't an impossible task to sound okay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An old and goofy shot -- Harry on stage at Mount St. Michael in the Bronx with Telepathe in the Spring of 1975. Dig those platform boots!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new and goofy shot --Harry on stage with Telepathe, uh, AIR RAID in 2005. Dig that crazy shirt.

And another comparo...

John Podesta plays at the Drop Anchor Inn, a City Island bar, with Marley's Ghost circa 1976. Love that old Telecaster bass. His bass amp was right by the Men's Room door. Gotta love those small venues...

John in 2005. Nice Carvin 5 - string! Not so many gray hairs...

 

The boys played a selection of songs including: Rebel, Rebel (David Bowie), Can't Get Enough of Your Love (Bad Company), Back in the USSR (The Beatles), American Band (Grand Funk Railroad), A Million Miles Away (Rory Gallagher) and The Continental Op (Rory Gallagher).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short video clip -- shot with a little digital vid rig. It's 2.09M and in a Windows Media Player file. Don't know if you Mac folk can work with it.

Just like in the old days, there were two young girls waiting at the side of the stage for each of the veteran rockers. The appreciating female fans probably weren't quite so young back in '75!

Left to Right: Amanda Pellegrin, Rachel Podesta, Veronica Pellegrin, Nicole Podesta. Nicest girls we've ever met at a gig!

 

 

Who knows what the future will bring? Only time will tell...

 

 

Some of the other acts...

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE JACK SOLE BAND

In 1983, the folk duo of Dave Dow and Steve Lanza joined their high school's jazz band rhythm section of Paul Alberti and Andrew Dreyer to create a one-off talent show project that included cameos from the top high school musicians not playing hair band music or prom pop.  The Souls of Innocence featured a diverse play list that included Jethro Tull, Tom Petty, Spyro Gyra, The Band, Genesis, and John Lennon.  The Souls continued into the summer of 1984, then college ended it all.  The summer of 1985 saw the original four start over as The Jack Sole Band with frequent jams, a couple of studio dates, but no gigs.  Twenty years later, The Jack Sole Band is back.  Dave, Steve, Paul, and Andrew live more than 150 miles from one another and get-togethers are challenged by jobs, families, and the usual priorities.  The Jacks have managed to bring it together and give you selections from The Beatles, The Who, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, U2, The Band, Bob Seger, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, and even Elvis.  

 

JOHN ALBERTI

John wrote: I guess it all really started at age 9 playing air guitar with a 2' x 4' or tennis racket in the family basement.  Somehow the only "music" came from my mouth (guitar, bass, drums and even the sounds of a crowd) and my brother Paul called it, "The Band Called John."  The band broke up and I officially picked up the guitar at age 11.  

For the next 10 years, I played lead/rhythm guitar in many short-term cover bands.  I wrote a few songs, but often relied on the singer for vocal melody.  I soon grew tired of the band scene and wanted to be a singer/songwriter.  So in early 1995 I traded in my electric guitar for a steel-string acoustic and started writing songs in between singing classic rock & blues covers.  Over the years, gigs have included club dates in Brooklyn and Manhattan, PolishFest, and Klausstock

Look me up at www.johnalberti.com .  

Harry wrote: John's set included a diverse selection of traditional blues tunes performed in a manner that underscored a commitment to the composer's intent, lending an air of authenticity that belied the fresh interpretive spin John brought to the music. His originals? I particularly loved 'Gin Bottle Blues ' -- John has a real talent for capturing the tradition of the blues while propelling the genre into the new Millenium. This is a man who you should plan to catch if you see it announced that he's playing nearby. Heck, travel to see him!

 

An impromtu performance of Hey Jude to get the crowd singing along in between bands. I think this guy's name is Bill. He is a showman to say the least. Man, he had the folks having a good time!

 

 

Many thanks to Klaus and Loretta!!! Without them....

 

 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 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.

 

 

 

What's New? The Two New Albums!

 

 

 

 

Hey, the new albums are out! That's right, finally a follow-up to the reissue of my old album from the late 1980's and its sequel as well.

Reflecting Pools is a departure for me as it is totally keyboard. Well, the guitar did show up on one track... Reflecting Pools is an ethereal journey into the realm of relaxation. In That Zone is a more classically structured exploration of mood and personality.

Available through www.BATHTUBMUSIC.com...

...And containing nine tracks that are relaxing, inspirational -- sounds like a snooze. Not really, this is great stuff to listen to on a rainy afternoon, while with your significant other (nudge, nudge, know what I mean?) Please visit the Reflecting Pools page on this site or www.bathtubmusic.com.

 

LIVE ON STAGE!

Harry George Pellegrin will be performing asolo classical guitar recital at the Troy Music Hall on February 13, 2007. Click above link for complete scheduling for the Music Hall.

 

 

Harry George Pellegrin is an author of mystery novels, a musician and recording artist. Primarily a guitarist, Harry's latest recordings are keyboard-driven and most easily classified as New Age, though we don't like to consider the music in a 'genre box.' Harry G. Pellegrin's first published novel, LOW END, is a murder mystery set in South Yonkers and New York City in the late 1980's. The characters, all derived from friends and acquaintances, try to investigate the death of one of their own -- not so much to solve a crime, but to keep from sharing a similar fate. LOW END has been met with great critical acclaim. The sequel, DEEP END, is being shopped by a well-known literary agent at the time of this writing.

This page is designed for a number of reasons. We'll be honest, a primary goal is to expose a larger audience to Harry's music and writing. Another goal of the webmaster is to create a repository for the knowledge that years of experience in the performing arts industry has given Harry. Creating a chronicle of life in the Bronx in the 1960's and 1970's is another goal we hope to accomplish.

Get the recipe Harry Pellegrin prepared on the 'Schenectady Today' Program August 2, 2006!

And please visit Ann Parillo's Schenectady Today Program Website!

 

 

The Store A neat collection of guitar-related items.

FREE GUITAR TECHNIQUE SESSIONS AND STRENGTH/DEXTERITY EXERCISES!!!

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 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.

Why do we need another CLASSICAL GUITAR METHOD?

During the course of teaching guitar over the past twenty six years, I have often noted that no single method book contains all the information I wish my students to have readily available to them on a continuous basis. It has not been uncommon for me to assign as many as three methods to a new student—all good, by the way, but not one of them being all inclusive. This is not an unusual circumstance, and one I should have anticipated in my teaching experience as I distinctly remember Albert Valdés-Blain (10 April 1921—30 January 2002) assigning me a mind-numbing ten books at my first lesson, seven of them methods or collections of studies.

I consider myself a disciple of Valdés-Blain. I met him in 1974, though, of course, I had heard of him by reputation. An excellent musician and teacher, Lawrence Silvestro—who had brought me along to that point at which I was ready to undertake a study of the classical guitar at the college level—had admonished me when he'd heard with whom I would be studying. With much the same advice as Mary had given the servants at the marriage feast at Cana , Mr. Silvestro told me "Whatever he tells you to do, just do it!" So I did.

When I decided that the time was right for me to create a new method—one that would include all the necessary technical and musical disciplines to lead the serious student from neophyte hobbyist to burgeoning recitalist—I resisted the urge to call the Method something like ‘Maestro Valdés-Blain's School of Guitar' as this would imply that my method would accurately reflect his system of instruction and musical nurturing. While I do follow his precepts fairly consistently and faithfully, my method reflects his impartation to me and me alone. I did not intimately observe his method with other students but what I did witness leads me to presume that he tailored his approach to each individual, within logical constraints, no doubt. No less importantly, I had also modified my teaching methods to my own personality and style of instruction over the years. In short, this method echoes the classical approach of a well-known and much-loved pedagogue and student of Segovia , but is filtered through and expanded by a respectful devotee.

Is my method all-inclusive? In light of what I wrote previously, possibly not. It should be very close though! No method will be absolutely all-encompassing for every student. A good instructor will direct the student to studies and pieces that focus in on the student's particular weak areas. Aside from this, there is the legal ramification that any composition penned in the Twentieth Century is, of course, protected by copyright and while I can not include any such item here for this reason, I do direct the student to exemplary editions of milestone modern music. All the performance pieces and many of the studies are public domain. In the case of studies by Fernando Sor, Ferdinando Carulli, Mauro Giuliani, Napoleon Coste and the other classic masters, I have included my editions of some of their works. I then direct the student to complete editions from which these gems are drawn. The student can then choose to acquire these for further study. [Photo to left: Albert Valdés-Blain circa 1965.]

What my method does is expose the student to the technical disciplines required to effectively perform on the instrument and give enough basic recital repertoire that when the method is completed, the guitarist will be able to perform a recital of approximately forty-five minutes in length. I have included many tips and explanations that should shed light on the correct process of attempting to solve problems. Teach a student a solution and he has one problem solved. Teach a student to be a problem-solver and he or she is on the road to mastering the instrument.

Included in this book are sections on the correct interpretation of lute tablature in its varieties. Why? The lute enjoys one of the largest repertoires of any instrument ancient or modern. Much of this lute music remains untranscribed for the guitar, its modern descendant. The guitarist will want to mine this wealth of material for fresh program pieces.

Many students have asked me to recount the development of the guitar as the instrument we know today. So few people know exactly what a classical guitar even is: “Children's guitars have nylon strings while real guitars have steel strings.” Little do those who make this ridiculously false statement realize that some of the priciest, most desired instruments on the planet are nylon-strung classical guitars, so this book includes a section on history as well as instrument care.

Music is hard work. Mastering an instrument is an endeavor that requires more years than a lifetime can possibly ever contain. With that said, many will then ask ‘why bother?' It's a fair question and if you ask it, maybe playing an instrument is more a hobby for you and less a vocation. For those who begin their journey by considering it a vocation, it becomes an obsession; a passionate one that can never be fully satisfied. If you are fervent about playing the classical guitar—and playing it well—then this book, my method, may be the one book you need to make it all happen. Practice is crucial, critical listening is, well, critical. An awareness of musicality is more than vital—music is what it is all about and unless the performer can impart an emotion to humanity-at-large, then why bother?

Indeed, it can be stated that music is the most spiritual of all the arts. It is more fleeting than sand painting as once the sound has been produced, it is over and gone except for the image it leaves on the human heart. Recordings are wonderful, but they can never hope to capture the intrinsic veracity of a genuine, intimate live performance. The guitar is arguably the most intimate of all instruments; you must hug it to make music with it! Its relatively small voice requires the listener to draw close to the performer. This double dose of intimacy makes the guitar an incredibly personal and articulate voice for an artist. [Photo to left: Harry Pellegrin Nov. 1980.]

I wish you great success with music. Music will feed your soul in a way that nothing else can. I wish you equal success with the guitar. Attaining mastery of an instrument is a long road—a road with many rewards and more than its fair share of frustration. A good tutorial method will help you avoid some frustrations and work through others. There are poor paths and rough roads to be found. This method of mine, should you decide to let it, will put you on the right road, but this road doesn't end when you close the book. Should you decide to turn the page, I welcome you to the road you will travel for the rest of your life!

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.

 

 

Covering a variety of topics and regularly updated, this feature is designed to help musicians of all levels achieve a higher level of professionalism.

 

 

Harry George Pellegrin's first keyboard album Reflecting Pools can be auditioned here. Visit this page link to hear samples...

The second album, In That Zone, has a page where one can hear samples as well. Follow this link...

Spa Anthology -- need relaxation music for your Day Spa or Facial and Massage Facility? Click here for hassle-free music.

If you are looking for some unique gifts, please consider either a copy of LOW END or one of Harry's fine CD's of inspirational and relaxing music.

LOW END is available through www.amazon.com and Reflecting Pools and In That Zone can be purchased through www.bathtubmusic.com. Thanks!

http://pellegrinlowend.com/bv03959.gifklassiskgitar.net : On this site You will find many free scores for beginner/student/amateur. The images and artwork on this site are quite beautiful and very worth checking out!

 

 

 

Helen is the kind of girl you dream about. She's smart and confident, funny and affectionate, and is killer good-looking. Gary has fallen for her hard. Even so, he is distracted by life's minor happenstances. It's those little things like, oh, crooked cops, shady club owners, illegal smuggling, and a few dead bodies.

Still, Gary can't keep his eyes off Helen.

Harry Pellegrin's mystery novel DEEP END is packed with eerily real and sinister characters, music, interesting locales, bizarre spiritualizm and a plethora of corpses. Couple this with an exceeedingly clever plot and we have this year's best beach-read.

And there's Helen!

Read all about her in DEEP END: The Wreck of the Eddie Fitz

 

 

Buy Low End through PAB Entertainment Group on AMAZON.com. (Go to the USED AND NEW section) Not only will you get the book, but you'll also receive a FREE COPY of Reflecting Pools, Harry's first keyboard album. You will enjoy!

 

 

 

 

FREE GUITAR TECHNIQUE SESSIONS AND STRENGTH/DEXTERITY EXERCISES!!!

Do you know how to chain your effects pedals? Do you sound like a 'Wall of Oatmeal' sometimes? ALL the time? Check this out!

Can't read standard musical notation? If you can read the gas prices to the left, sure you can! Please see these articles for the help you need:

Exercise/Technique Session Number Forty: July 14, 2005 Standard Notation -- so simple even musicians can read it!

Exercise/Technique Session Number Forty Four: August 11, 2005 Back to Basics PART ONE -- teaching the new student to read above the fifth fret.

Exercise/Technique Session Forty Five: August 18, 2005 Back to Basics PART TWO -- teaching the new student to read above the fifth fret.

Exercise/Technique Session Forty Six: August 25, 2005 Back to Basics PART THREE -- teaching the new student to read above the fifth fret.

Exercise/Technique Session Forty Seven: September 1, 2005 Back to Basics PART FOUR -- teaching the new student to read above the fifth fret.

Exercise/Technique Session Forty Eight: September 8, 2005 Back to Basics PART FIVE -- teaching the new student to read above the fifth fret.

Exercise/Technique Session Forty Nine: September 15, 2005 Back to Basics PART SIX (The last in this series, but not on this topic! Teaches the new student to read above the fifth fret.  Next week a new topic.  YEAH!

Misquamicut Beach Rhode Island -- a quiet little hideaway by the Sea!

BIG FOOT SPOTTED IN RHODE ISLAND!!!

See photographic evidence.

Pellegrin writes the tale of Gary Bruno's 900cc Thruxton Triumph--READ IT HERE! www.motosavvy.com

Photo and banner courtesy of www.motosavvy.com copyright 2005

 

THE SECOND ALBUM.... Harry Pellegrin's Reflecting Pools is an ethereal journey into the realm of relaxation. In That Zone is a more classically structured exploration of mood and personality. From the baroque flavor of A Little Song for Amanda to the Bartok-tinged Dream of the Night Dance , a wide range of styles and instrumentation transport the listener...

 

What you'll find on this page -- links to Harry Pellegrin's pages on classical and electric guitar technique, rock bands of the past, AIR RAID included. Rory Gallagher, master of the blues, one of Ireland's favorite sons. Harry has a small tribute here as he was a great fan of crime novels and his brother Donal graced the book LOW END with a wonderful foreword. There is a tribute to Harry Pellegrin's mentor Albert Valdes-Blain and his teacher and mentor Andres Segovia. What does that make Harry? Second generation Segovia?

"You'll see pages on Fender's wonderful and innovative guitars. But you'll also find information on my novels and music. Look, I hate to be self-promoting, but I think you'll find my stuff to be worthy of your attention. Please check it all out." -- Harry Pellegrin

No Excuses required for Leftover Turkey Recipe!

 

AND BY POPULAR DEMAND -- HARRY'S FAMOUS CHILI RECIPE and JUST ADDED -- the cornbread to go with it!

NEW! The History of the Classic Guitar from Lute to the 21st Century (New article on Vicente Arias has been added)

AND

Some Arcane Tips for the Guitarist who wants to Play the Lute

 

Harry Pellegrin's Much-Visited Guitar Page Feature!

 

Covering a variety of topics and regularly updated, this feature is designed to help musicians of all levels achieve a higher level of professionalism.




It's all here!

Stupid Deal Of The Day  

  Gretsch Guitars: Tennessee Rose

  Gibson Faded SG Special Electric Guitar: $579.99

Harry Pellegrin's choice for a gigging classical guitar: The Kenny Hill Munich -- an affordable recital-quality instrument. Hey, it's a very nice guitar for any amount of money! More...

The Beautiful Bronx

The Bronx was the place to live in the thirties, forties and most of the fifties. It suffered from its own success. Hey, Harry Pellegrin grew up there. Everyone wanted to live in the urban paradise and the strain on the infrastructure proved too great. Changing social values may have contributed to the downfall of the Bronx as I knew it during the sixties and seventies. People who had lived all their lives in the Bronx decided that the place was too crowded or too 'working class' and moved to Westchester or across the river to Nyack, Nanuet, New City and points north. Many people blame the decline of the Bronx in the eighties to one ethnic group or another. I don't believe this is an accurate assessment. It was the vacuum of people that drew in an economically poorer stratum of society. Landlords panicked and formerly well-rooted families pulled up their stakes and fled. The City's financial crises of the seventies left little solvency to either maintain or expand development or even merely patch up the roads. More...

Rory Gallagher, Legendary Blues Guitarist

In those days, progressive rock was popular. Guitarists had large stacks of amps, tons of outboard gear and numerous instruments on stage. Who could afford all this hardware to make music? Why was it necessary? This frustrated Harry to the point that he had decided to stop playing guitar and concentrate on the bass. Then he heard Rory. There on stage was one man with a battered Stratocaster and one small combo amp. With this limited arsenal, Rory Gallagher made more honest, meticulously crafted music than anyone Harry had seen before. Not only did Harry decide to stick with the guitar, he found the genre known as the Blues and began a love affair with the Stratocaster that continues to this day.

Rory Gallagher toured almost continuously until shortly before his death on June 14, 1995. In Europe, the anniversary of his passing is commemorated with tribute festivals and other events. Rory has never found the recognition he deserved in the United States. His popularity in Europe was huge—and it continues to grow! Loyal American fans are continuously spreading the good word as well, we will see Rory get the fame he so justly deserved! More...

Fender Guitars, the Telecaster and the Stratocaster -- How they're built , How they play!

Untermyer Park , Yonkers New York

Located in North-west Yonkers, is a beautiful site, full of interesting architecture and expansive flower beds.

It was once the site of a private estate owned by the Untermyer family. The original mansion has become part of St. John's Riverside Hospital. The grounds of the mansion are now included in the park. The park affords a spectacular view of the Jersey Palisades.

Popular local legend has it that various sites on the property were used in occult rituals. Regardless, the locale is quite spooky on a moonlit night. The park closes at dusk, so you'll have to take my word for that! As teenagers, we'd often drive up from the Bronx to hang out, play hide and seek and do other things that teenagers do when relieved of parental observation. More...

 

Woodlawn Cemetery , Bronx New York NOW WITH MORE PICTURES!!! (7/7/05)

About fifty yards from the Pellegrin grave , lies the earthly remains of one of American music's brightest lights-- WC Handy , the father of the blues. His stone is basically a grave marker, carved with a musical staff, a trumpet and a simple name and dates. As I took a photo of this great man's grave, something shiny caught my eye in the grass. If you look at the photo, you will see a horn mouthpiece. This was the shiny thing I saw. I do not know whether it was a remembrance from a fellow musician, or a token placed by a grieving loved-one. More...

 

Big Hill Shelter , Harriman State Park

 

Famed Performer and Instructor of the Classical Guitar -- Albert Valdés-Blain

I met Albert Blain in 1974. I had heard of him by reputation, of course. The guitar teacher who had brought me along to that point at which I was ready to undertake a study of the classical guitar at the college level, well, he had admonished me when he'd heard with whom I would be studying. With much the same advise as Mary had given the servants at the marriage feast at Cana, he'd told me "Whatever he tells you to do, just do it!"

Born in Havana Cuba in 1921, Albert Blain was still a New Yorker--he'd lived in the City since 1923, the year his parents brought him and brother Roland to the United States. His father had chosen the guitar for Albert and Roland. The two would become a duo performance act, recording extensively in the 1940's and 1950's.

Albert Blain studied with Andrés Segovia, the performer and educator who is truly the father of the Classical Guitar revival of the 20th century. After retiring from the world's concert stage, Blain opened a guitar studio on 13th Street in Manhattan. More...

plus

a tribute to Andrés Segovia

Andrés Segovia (1893-1987) is the father of the twentieth century's classical guitar renaissance. Indeed, his efforts can to still be felt in the seventeen years (as of this writing) since his death. Without his untiring work to promote the instrument through his ambassadorship of the guitar, it would still be considered a folk instrument.

Segovia's career got its start when his uncle introduced the four year old Andres to the guitar through folk songs sung to a strummed ‘air guitar.' The boy showed a deep interest and was transported forthwith to the local luthier. Young Segovia's family attempted to dissuade him from throwing his life away on a humble instrument. They told him ‘it wasn't respectable.' This hardened his resolve to both master the instrument on his part as well as to legitimize it to the music world and the world at large.  He dreamed of a day when the guitar would share the concert and recital stage on an equal footing with the piano and the violin. This vision drove him on. His plan was threefold—to present the guitar to the concert-going public as a serious virtuoso's instrument, to establish a pedagogical system for the instruction of the instrument on the university level and to build a repertoire for the classical guitar through his own careful and stylish transcriptions of Bach, Scarlatti and others as well as to persuade prominent modern composers to craft new music for the instrument. This was his lifelong path. He followed it through to the end; no one can argue that he didn't succeed far above and beyond. More...

 

AIR RAID Bar Band of the 1980's

Bronx Bar Band Telepathe Reunites under the guise of AIR RAID

Harry Pellegrin and John Podesta try to reassemble AIR RAID, one of Harry's old bands...

Way back in 1975, there was a band in the North Bronx. Yeah, there were quite a few bands in that part of the world, come to think of it, but this one was a curious blend of former Mount and former Cardinal Spellman students. (With a smattering of Fordham University folk.) The lion shall lay down with the lamb... Music can solve the world's problems.

Read more about their thirtieth reunion -- More...

 

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. More...

The Discords , Five Part Bronx Harmonies of the 1960's

Some of Harry Pellegrin's past articles including:

The Hitler Youth in Ohio

Speedy Atkins

Daytona Bike Week 1993


MOUNT SAINT MICHAEL ACADEMY in the Bronx

In 1968 I had begun attending Mount Saint Michael Academy, also known by its students as “The Concentration Camp on the Hill.” This was an all-boy's junior and senior high school well known for its sports programs. The Mount was also considered academically superior to the many of parochial schools and definitely on a higher level of excellence than the public high schools in the area. My parents had always been lenient with me when it came to self-expression. If I wanted to wear green bell bottoms and grow my hair long -- even if they didn't approve of the style – they would allow me to go that route and even defend my right to be strange! By 1967 my hair was a good bit longer than was socially acceptable and definitely way past the Mount's nothing-on-the-collar code. I soon realized I really couldn't fight this; I could be going to public school after all. My father went to bat for me every time the Dean of Discipline would send a letter home in an attempt to have me dress more conservatively. The Mount had a tie and sport jacket policy. They didn't indicate either sizing or color -- facts I was well known to exploit. Needless to say, I had most of my fellow students -- the jocks -- wanting to beat me up because I was different. To give a glimpse into what six years at the Mount did for me, let me tell you about my response to my ‘recent graduate' survey. When asked ‘What is the most important thing Mount St. Michael's taught you?” I responded “Never trust a man who wears a dress.” More...

Your humble scribe, his books, his music

 

 

Just the Facts...

The Mystery Series written in the hard-boiled cool style of the 1940's masters

Upstate author pens rock 'n' roll mystery
LEE GOODEN , For The Saratogian 08/13/2004
.............................................
Low End

By Harry G. Pellegrin

Published by Bedside Books

332 pages $22 Trade paperback

'Low End' is a mystery that Harry Pellegrin's protagonist Gary Morrissey solves between 1988 and 1989. It is similar to other mystery crime noir characters written in the first person, like Robert B. Parker's Spencer, Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Lawrence Block's Mathew Scudder.

Pellegrin sets the story in the late '80s New York City rock 'n'roll scene with believability. His knowledge of blues and rock is undisputed. He mentions the late great guitarist Rory Gallagher, who was not only one of the world's greatest guitarists, but also a fan of detective and crime fiction.

The novel begins with a cleverly paced prologue describing the murder of Morrissey's friend and former bass player and band mate Devon. As a present day Morrissey reminisces about Devon, Pellegrin sends the reader back to 1988.

In 1988 Morrissey is a rock 'n' roll blues guitarist and a recent divorcee who lives in a hot sticky apartment in the South [Yonkers]. His day job consists of repairing copy machines.

He drives a [Fiat 124S Spider] and seems relatively happy going day to day from beer to beer, paycheck to paycheck and gig to gig until a friend and band mate named Captain Marty, from their defunct band Air Raid, informs Morrissey that their mutual friend and bassist Devon has died and was possibly murdered.

Captain Marty asks Morrissey to investigate because he thinks Morrissey would be good at getting the answers.

Morrissey follows clues and discovers that everything is not what it seems. He is led to a gripping cat-and-mouse ending with a remorseless killer.

'Low End' is crafted like a song. It is a crime novel narrated in the first person with the typical wise cracks and testosterone-fueled bravado, and a mystery that one can sink their teeth into. But it is also a spiritual journey.

There are many writers who try too hard to emulate the masters, like Hammett, Chandler, MacDonald, Spillane and McBain. So cumbersome are their efforts, that they lose their own voices. But Pellegrin's protagonist has a voice of the street and a hardened cynical edge, softened with a good heart.

But readers will trust Morrissey only so far, because we know that with enough rope he will hang himself. Morrissey is like a mouth sore that we just can't help but touch. We know it's going to hurt but we don't care. Pellegrin, like God, sits in the back seat while his creation takes over.

I look forward to the further adventures of Morrissey and anything else Harry G. Pellegrin writes. He has written for periodicals like Soundboard: The Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, The Horse: Backstreet Choppers. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural upstate New York.

©The Saratogian 2004

 

CD OFFERS!!!

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS


READ THE PRESS RELEASE!



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


The Guitar School - Iceland

The Musician's Mystery Series --

Can one burned-out guitar player save his 'loser' friends, let alone himself?

Read all about it!

Click Here!














 

What's New? The New Album!

Hey, the new album is out! That's right, finally a follow-up to the reissue of my old album from the late 1980's.

Reflecting Pools is a departure for me as it is totally keyboard. Well, the guitar did show up on one track...

Click the image to the left to learn more, hear a few tracks --even get ordering info if you want it!

 

"...Reflecting Pools is a notable first album [for Mr. Pellegrin]. A dramatic sense of tonality and mood are propelled by exemplary musicianship and exciting compositional exploits."

Available through www.BATHTUBMUSIC.com...

...And containing nine tracks that are relaxing, inspirational -- sounds like a snooze. Not really, this is great stuff to listen to on a rainy afternoon, while with your significant other (nudge, nudge, know what I mean?) Please visit the Reflecting Pools page on this site or www.bathtubmusic.comIn That Zone, is now out! Please visit www.bathtubmusic.com for details and to order.

 

LOW END What's new with the book that came out over a year ago? After being on back-order at Amazon.com for what seemed like a century, it is my understanding that copies are once again shipping. Barnes and Noble's website is on-again-off-again, but PAB (on Amazon as an authorized vendor) has LOW END in stock and it comes with a CD!

DEEP END, the exciting sequel, is being shopped by my literary agent even as we speak.

The Guitar Sessions: Weekly tech tips and exercises to help the guitarist improve. This feature has really taken off. Each week a new page is posted with either an exercise to get the left and right hands moving more efficiently and effectively or an interesting piece from the standard repertoire , demonstrating a necessary technical ability. Judging by the hits these pages receive, you guitar players love this feature!

The page is updated every Thursday. Visit the 2004 Archive as well!

 

My Mission, My Policy

In my opinion, the murder mystery genre reached its zenith in the 1930's and 1940's. The novels penned in those decades were taut, no-nonsense stories of people in life and death crises, people who did not flinch when confronted with overwhelming odds or overwhelming emotion. Some of these tales could be hard-edged and hard-boiled, but the heroes invariably had a soft side as well.

I believe that over the years, in an attempt to mimic real life, the writers of murder mysteries--and most other literature, for that matter--have lowered the standards of excellence set by such authors as the gritty Raymond Chandler and the sophisticated Dorothy Sayers. Many authors misinterpret smut for romance and brutality for strength.

My novels aspire to the standards set by the 1940's mystery writers. My tales are as real and grimy as the mean streets that spawned them. Even so, and though they deal with modern issues, you will not find gratuitous sex in my characters' relationships. Sex may be alluded to, but it is never allowed out from behind closed doors. You will find that my books are entertaining to a broad audience--I have had positive comments from teens to grandmothers. One reader was surprised when I told him that there were no obscenities in the book he'd just finished. He hadn't missed them! A good story doesn't need such unnecessary 'embellishment.'

I have conducted book signings at churches, country clubs, libraries and even a street corner (don't ask!) and I've never been called to task for, or ashamed of, my work. Pick up a copy of my latest novel and see if it isn't a good read!

Harry Pellegrin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About My Site:

This site is a way for me to commemorate and celebrate a life and lifestyle that is now extinct. Why extinct? Is it that Thomas Wolfe " You-can't-go-home-again " thing? Is it because life is so much different now that what we experienced in the Bronx in the 60's and 70's is no longer relevant? Yes. No. Yes and no? Definitely maybe ! Why do I always start these little essays with questions?

At first, the main thrust of this site was to promote my book. It is a worthy goal; the book tells a good tale and everyone who has read it finds it entertaining and thought-provoking. With that sole goal, I went live with this site back in August of 2003. What happened next is what makes this site truly valuable.

There are people I grew up with, attended school and with whom I played in bands -- neighbors, friends, good family -- who I hadn't seen since I moved from the Bronx in 1986. Divorce had forced me into exile, time and distance conspired to seemingly turn this into a life sentence. Thank the muses for the internet! This site wasn't live for more than two months before I was reunited with Paul Silvestro , a childhood friend whom I hadn't seen in seventeen years. His brother Larry , the guy who had turned me on to playing guitar and taught me the things about music that matter the most, now with him I had no contact since 1983. Twenty years! Too long. I felt as if a part of my soul had been restored -- a part that had been missing for ages and had long ago been written off. But more was to come.

Anthony Pernice, Art Clement , Mike Moretti -- all reunited to me.

The 1960's weren't good to a number of us -- many of us had our personal demons to exorcise, be it substance abuse or the insidious hedonism of the times. but through it all, we were instilled with a vibe, cast in an artistic mold--call it what you will--but unless these same environmental stimuli are exactly reproduced, there will never be another crop of people quite the same.

This page delves into what we experienced and how we incorporated these experiences into art, music, literature and life . I've paid tribute to my neighborhood, the Wakefield section of the Bronx. The Discords -- Larry Silvestro and Artie Clemente's first band in the early mid-sixties-- they're here with their matching outfits, Fender, Hagstrom and Gretsch guitars plus those impeccably precise five part harmonies.

And speaking of the Bronx, I can't talk about Wakefield without mentioning Mount Saint Michael Academy on Murdock Avenue. The Mount was my Junior and High School and although I was not a happy camper while there, I made a few really good friends and consider the education received to be a fine one.

Of course, there is an homage to Leo Fender and his magnificent designs, the Telecaster © and the Stratocaster ©. I officially declare C.L. Fender an honorary Bronxite. These instruments have literally changed my life and the way we all hear music. Check out this page on my site.

Rory Gallagher, whom I saw play in 1973 and who has influenced me ever since--he has a page here as well. He has gone on now, but the impact he made is still rippling outwards, changing how we interpret the blues.

Untermyer Park in Yonkers and Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx are included on this site. We were kids interested in a good ghost story and both these places were terrific for providing a few innocent and fun goosebumps.

...and of course, my book!

Please enjoy this site. Nose around. Anyone can find something here to read and get a chuckle.

Thanks!

   
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

 

 

 

 

About Us | Site Map | Contact Us | ©2005-2008 Pound Sterling Graphics