Thursday, January 21, 2016


I mean like, who would have thought it? An autobiography by (and about in case you're that dense) the guitarist from Blue Ash, Sharon Pee-YAY's only major label claim to fame and bonafeed seventies rock 'n roll legends! True they might not have made an indent in your neck of the woods, but man-oh-man were Blue Ash hotcha enough to not only garner a whole slew of gigs in the tri-county area but (now get this!) get a FULL PAGE ARTICLE in the local paper when they got signed to Mercury Records back '72 way! I remember that article clearly because I was over at my cousins' house that day and a buncha aunts were on the back porch reading the paper and one of 'em, who just happened to know Frank's mother, was just absolutely disgusted looking at the pix of him with his long hair and mustache wonderin' why his mother just didn't lay down the law and make him go the clean cut route like alla us suburban slob kids just hadda do!

Well Frank no longer has the mustache and his hair's more 1965 folk rock these days, but that doesn't mean he doesn't deliver on a hotcha saga in CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. It's a wowzer of a read, a story that affects me because I just happened to be living in the midst of it and for the most part didn't even know that whole scene had EXISTED, me being so cloistered from the real world due to parental constraints and all. I mean sheesh, I never would have believed in my wildest dreams that Secich and his various bands used to perform at not only my own high school but my grade school, and not only there but a whole slew of places across the area that I probably never would have been allowed to attend due to depression-era wages and all. And believe-you-me, I feel like I missed out on even more fun than I think I missed out on growing up due to the lack of money, social grace and (worst of all) transportation to take me to and from these various shows that certainly would have done me a whole lot better'n being dragged to see THE SOUND OF MUSIC or something equally tedious that's for sure!

Of course the rock 'n roll angle (filtered through Secich's own funtime postwar upbringing) really does appeal to my own sense of ranch house credo. Memories are sure dredged up in this 'un not only regarding various local legends (like the Popbottle Jonesies who I almost ran over a couple times) but of some of the groups who were playin' around by the time my rock consciousness began connecting syntax-wise in the gray room. True a lotta the acts who were prancin' across the stages at the time like Menagerie didn't quite mean anything special to me, but some like Salem Ohio's Sound Barrier (of PEBBLES "My Baby's Gone" fame) not to mention the pre-Left End Pied Pipers were rather copasetic with my entire reason for taking up precious garage band rock airspace. And of course there's plenty of room here given to Marty Magner's infamous Mother Goose, an band that not only was Secich a member of at one time but was eventually fronted by none other than Stiv Bators, a fellow who does get a whole lotta mention in this book given that he and Secich were closer'n two peas in a pod, but in a nice 'n normal way.

Yeah, the future Dead Boy does make quite an appearance in this read, and after glomming this particular tome for the times I find him to have been even crazier than previous reports would have deemed. (If you don't believe me just read the story about the time Bators and Secich met Dick Van Dyke!) Of course all of the run ins that Frank has had with celebrities, musical or not, are definitely guffaw-inducing if not awe-inspiring what with tales of Tiny Tim's demands for tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwiches and a limo before performing at a Youngstown night club 'n all! Not to mention the time Blue Ash opened for the Stooges at the gig that just happened to turn up as the METALLIC KO album a few years later!!! Lemme tell ya, this book is one non-stop trek through the life 'n times of a real-life rocker with more'n the usual surprise sagas and gee-I-didn't-know-that! asides that certainly make reads like this worth picking up.

But hey, this is Frank's story and of course he's the main reason to get hold of it even if you might be from it all. The guy never did give up (even today he's leading the Deadbeat Poets, an act not only featuring former Peter Laughner crony and Backdoor Man Terry Hartman but ex-Infidel John Koury, a guy who will actually walk up to me and start talking even if I hadn't seen him for umpteen years!), and while others have drifted by the wayside and more or less blended into the scenery Secich has done his durndest to keep true to any sorta rock 'n roll relevancy that may remain even in these Dark Ages we now live in. In many ways it is amazing that the guy could still be up and running considering that the impact of the life he's led would have knocked out any lesser being, but he's still here and like, I sorta feel all warm 'n toasty inside just knowin' it.

And, once all's said and done, it's sure resensifying to know that Joni Mitchell really is, as Secich points out, a self-indulgent/important whiny sensitive singer-songwriter who certainly fits the mold we've had the neurosis-laden lass pegged into lo these many years! Maybe I won't pick up some of those mid-seventies albums of hers now even though Nick Kent thinks we should all do just that! Thanks for helping me save a whole load of bread Frank!

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