It’s only Rock-N -Roll & we miss it!

Written by on March 14, 2019

We all have a place where we cut our teeth in  this local music scene, but only one was special in this case. There was the QE2 or Bogies, but when there was bigger acts coming through town, those venues were just too small. I will speak from a personal experience on this one and just drop a few names on what I witnessed 1988-2006 . Winger, Sepultura, The Black Crowes, Clutch, Blind Melon, Korn, Ramones, Pantera, Live, Gwar, Danzig, Bullet Boys, Deftones, Overkill, Lynch Mob, Jewel, Rasputina, Circle Jerks, Type O Negative, and 100”s more.  Some times 4-5 shows a week.  It was also the place to play, to many local acts who called it there second home. To some it was a big shack in the middle of nowhere. But to us and a generation before, it was the best live music venue in upstate New York.  Although it was sold in 2006, it truly wasn’t gone until it burned to the ground in 2009! Thousands of people we’re devastated by the fact that Saratoga Winners was gone forever.  All we had were memories and stories that were backed up by pictures, old show flyers, video and audio recordings, but still  all  was gone.
  “I decided to give it a go after a successful breast cancer benefit  for friend and former bartender Cindy Bode in May of 2008. The original place was too small and realized that we need a larger venue.” Says event organizer Holly Stah and adds, “Saratoga Winner’s former manager Milissa Picard was my original 2nd in command & is still with us 100%.  Our staff for SWR events consists of previous bartenders, manager, security, staff & patrons from Saratoga Winners.” There is a lot going on April 6 and we caught up with some of the musicians performing and reuniting, some for the fist time in over twenty years. First is Vegas Nacy  who these days sings with, Embrace the Curse and The Clay People, now reuniting with Bone Box. They were  part of my generation, and a huge part of my early radio career. I made some great friends. we were young, had too much fun and got extremely wasted together!
RRX:   Let’s start with the big show April  6 /Winners Reunion at Chrome  How? who? What? Thoughts? . did you ever think you’d reunite as bonebox?
BONEBOX:April 6th, the 3rd and final reunion show for a club I hold very near and dear to my heart, Saratoga Winners. I was a bartender here, a bouncer, my bands played many many shows here, it was our rehearsal spot, and so much more. When Holly called and asked if it was possible (Plaid has to cancel) I said “geez I haven’t talked to Brian in like 20 years, but let’s see what happens!) sure enough all 4 of us were very excited to make this happen! After all these year I would still get posts and texts asking for a Bone Box reunion, and now it’s finally happening, which I absolutely thought would never happen.
RRX: Rehearsals, How does it feel jamming together after all these years
BONEBOX: So Brian lives in Fla and is a solo musician, Jim lives in LA and has a band called Blood Staind Stars, Matt owns 2 businesses here in NY, I’m in The Clay People and Embrace the Curse so we are all extremely busy and live all over  the map, so with that being said, we are doing a lot of homework on our own and will have a very small window to rehearse before the show but I truly feel with Bone Box that it’s going to feel like flying a plane (or is it riding a bike?) hahaha.
RRX: Everyone is excited for this show, what is the vibe of the band playing this monumental event?
UNTAYMED: We are very excited and honored to be a part of this event. Our first shows as a band,and as individuals, started there. Saratoga Winners had the perfect vibe to go to a show and perform as well. It will be awesome to be sharing the stage with the staple bands of that era who regularly performed at Winners. Brings back great memories. 
RRX: Thoughts on other bands playing?? killer lineup this year?
UNTAYMED: All classic Winners bands. When you hear the names you can recall certain memories. I (Chris), remember Kevin Brandow of Divine Right, one night, pretending to be a football punter. He may have been kicking a balloon? Then he said, “If this doesn’t work out, I may become a punter”! Great band,great songs. Bone Box were definitely killer in the early to mid 90’s. I can remember the night when Vegas introduced his then new tattoo to the audience. I believed it was musical notes with an inscription, Making Music. Enertia were, and and still are, a machine. Was always impressed with how they played such intricate pieces, but made it look easy. We worked with Enertia bass player, Joe Paciolla for many years as the bass player for UntaymedMaxx Thrust was without a doubt,one of the best from the era. Thomas Skiff was very much an influence on me early on. Great band, great songs. Was very excited to see them in 2013, and psyched tonight, yet again to see them! Decades since the last performance for a few bands here, but everyone seems to be still musically active, we’re all very fortunate to be able relive the music that was created during this very creative and talented time period on this special night. Thank you to everyone involved in this as well as Chrome for being such a supportive venue.
RRX: Plans After The Big Show 2019? Can we get an exclusive announcement? Fill us in either way?
UNTAYMED: Big plans after the show? Hopefully hanging with family and friends. Also that everyone stays happy and healthy and that we’ll be able to continue making music. We will also be performing here at Chrome with, a favorite band of ours, Vicious Rumors on May 25th. Continued work on CD is very high priority. At the same time we look to still perform a handful of shows each year.

RRX: What are your earliest memories of Saratoga winners?

ENERTIA: As a music fan, my first time going there was to see WRATHCHILD (AMERICA) in May of 1987 – They became my favorite band after that evening with their endless energy, catchy songs and a vibe that made you pay total attention to them!
I lived 50 miles away from the club and back in the very early 90s, there were so many great national acts passing through, I’d make the drive several times a week.
My first time playing there was in my first real band in 1990 on a Wednesday evening, opening for our friends SEVERE. We sold 80 tickets for that night and it was at a time when it was truly exciting to be playing there. The show went well
and since we sold so many tickets, we were asked back right away.
RRX: Does Enertia have anything special planned for the Show?
ENERTIA: This is the perfect show for us to play what will be our final gig ever, as our debut show was at WInners in June of 1996 and it will be nice to end by playing the reunion. Our setlist will include songs from all 5 of our releases, a couple deep tracks
as well as some of our more popular songs. We’ll be selling brand new full color shirts featuring artwork from both of our Divebomb Recrds release, ” VIctim Of Thought” and Piece Of The Factory”, as well as a
logo shirt, CDs and baseball caps as well.
RRX: What Does the Future hold for The Band? links to online websites fb etc?
ENERTIA: We’ve all been playing together in Enertia and more recently with our friend RJ Pipino in Within The Fire for just about 25 years, and while this will be the last time playing as Enertia, I’m sure we will all continue to collaborate in future projects together and all have other projects/bands we play in as well. We’ll always have an internet presence, as we had a web site in 1996! We’re on FB at:
RRX: What were your earliest memories of Saratoga Winners.
DIVINE RIGHT: I remember walking in Saratoga Winners and watching all of the awesome bands (and girls) in area! Our area had a lot of musical talent. Amazing guitar players, drummers, singers, you name it! I was addicted and really wanted to play there.  It was by far the best venue around.  I asked Salam if I could have my band play there. He said yes, That make my day!
RRX: Is there anything special planned for the show?
DIVINE RIGHT: I plan on giving a special shout-out (possibly a short video clip) to two wonderful people that are no longer with us. Dave Hall was a great friend of mine that I met at Saratoga Winners and remained close friends with him until he passed a few years ago.  Also, a former high school friend and our Divine Right bass player Mark Goyette. He was a very special guy and I know a lot of people love and miss him.
RRX: What does the future hold for the band?
DIVINE RIGHT: As far as Divine Right future plans. I have re-recorded two of our songs. They are available with videos on my YouTube channel. I’m not sore we’re going to hit the road for a tour anytime soon,  but that sure would be fun. The 80s brought some great music to us that most/all cover bands still play.

MAXX THRUST: Our fondest memory from back in the day, probably opening up for national acts like Wrathchild America and Crimson Glory besides just the great company of people that would come to see us. The future is unwritten we always find it to be a great treat if we can get together and jam so who knows about that.
April 6 is also in Support of: Noah’s Kingdom Humane Society: Raffles & 50/50   Local, non-profit, volunteer based cat rescue group (location: PetSmart in Crossgates Commons)
We will update this post in days/weeks to come!

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