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Rowayton Music
Three Bands
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Chapter 1 - Blue Light
Chapter 2 - Dave's Room
Chapter 3 - Airfix
Chapter 4 - Blue Monday
Chapter 5 - The Boston Years
Chapter 6 - The December Projects
Chapter 7 - Pinkney Park
Chapter 8 - Grass Roots
Chapter 9 - The Albums
October Palace
Leftovers and Other Exotic Foods
New Shoes
Chapter 10

Blue Monday

"Mind bender, my Fender, I love her, defend her"

Blue Monday


Blue Monday at Pinkney

In the summer of 1973 Harry Hussey was 14. He met Mike Webster in through friends in Bell Island/Pine Point. Mike asked if Harry wanted to start a band. Through Mike, Harry met Bill Galey and Mark Lebow who lived in North Stamford. Mark recalls:

Webster knew Galey somehow, maybe from a school they both attended. I didn't know Bill beforehand.

Harry later wrote:

Harry Hussey met up with Mark Lebow and Bill Galey from Stamford to play loud rock n' roll in his parents' basement. The band was called Blue Monday and the repertoire was Dead and Allman Brothers. Harry played guitar and bass, Mark played drums, and Bill played piano and guitar, really well.

The initial band was called Orpheus, but this was soon changed to Blue Monday. Mark Lebow wrote a brief description of one of their first gigs which he referred to as “an exaggerated essay on a true story.” Mark recalled an early gig:

I remember a gig we played at the Dolphin Cove club house in Stamford. Summer of ´74? But if that's true, then Webster would have been gone already and I don't think that's so. There was a strong thunder storm and power was lost temporarily. I wrote about this in my creative writing class my senior year in high school. I may still have the hand-written essay somewhere.

Sure enough, Mark found the essay and allowed me to transcribe it here:

It was the night of August 31. Mike, Bill, Harry and myself had all our equipment set up on the brightly illuminated stage. We had jammed all week in preparation for this blissful night. The amps, guitars, mikes, drums and snake-like cords, set in upon us a vague claustrophobic feeling. The curtain, a wall between the group and reality, muffles the impatient hummings of the audience. The curtain opened promptly at seven, and because of a sudden freak electrical storm the power failed before we played a note. Although it was unfortunate for the audience to have to wait, it gave a chance to go backstage and regain our senses. During this power failure, I got up enough courage to go out on stage and do a drum solo to keep the audience from getting too restless. When I wasn’t playing a solo, Bill, Harry, Mike, and myself sat off stage and amused ourselves by playing our guitars. At eight o’clock on the nose, the power returned we played like we never have before. The electrifying sounds of the guitars and the rhythmic beating of my drums mixed so well, that after our first song the audience raised the roof with applause and cheers. We played until eleven, and it took close to an hour to calm the audience down so they could leave safely. After the last person was out, and our equipment was loaded into the car, we sat down at the edge of the stage and looked out at the empty chairs where just an hour ago 150 wild fans shook the walls with their signs of appreciation for us. From outside we looked back at the building where Blue Monday left their first impression on the world.

Mike didn’t quite fit with the other band members. (Harry characterized him as “weird” with an “earnest” intensity. He was also too “metal/biker” for the other members’ “Allman Brothers” tastes.) They had Mike out of the band within months. Later Bob Requa of Norwalk was tried out as a lead for one gig, but didn’t work out.

In the fall, Bill went away to school, so Blue Monday went into hibernation. Dave Procter was back from University of Rhode Island in the spring of 1975 having quit after his freshman year, but I was back in Boston, so it made sense when Airfix and Blue Monday remnants were reformed as Broken Wind in the autumn of 1975. The line-up was:

  • Harry Hussey electric guitar, vocals
  • Dave Procter electric guitar, vocals
  • Mark Lebow drums
  • Mike Burns saxophone
  • Ed Flinn conga
  • Alan Freedman bass

Songs in this electric band included versions of the Gary Bonner/Alan Gordon song, Happy Together and Zappa songs. In the spring of 1976, the band played billed as the Zirconium Rhythm Section at a “battle of the bands” at Brian McMahon High School in Norwalk, CT. The recorded set included:

This performance became legendary when the plug was pulled during this last song and the entire band lost power. It’s always been considered as an act of sabotage by rival bands because Zirconium Rhythm Section was that good. Mark wrote:

I do remember the Battle of the Bands at Brien McMahon. A woman came up to me after and asked if I'd give her young son drum lessons. I politely declined as I had no business teaching anyone drums.

With the change of the seasons, Bill Galey came back from college to join Harry Hussey and Mark Lebow for the summer of 1976 as Blue Monday. Dave Procter stayed with the band as the bass player and they played semi-regular gigs including at Rapson’s Café in Stamford and the Bosun’s Pipe, a bar in East Norwalk. 82 Seaview Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06855-1809 Although half the band was from Stamford, they were becoming a Rowayton band practicing in Harry’s basement on Highland Avenue and hanging in Dave’s basement room.

Over the 1976-77 Christmas-New Year holidays, Blue Monday decided to do their own recording project like the previous year’s Alan Freedman Project. They recorded a reel to reel tape on the first floor of the Rowayton Community Center. The tape includes:

In the fall of 1976 through the summer of 1977 Blue Monday played at a number of local bars and private parties throughout Fairfield County, Connecticut. A recording exists of part of one of these gigs, at Rapson's in Stamford, Connecticut. Rapson's was actually a fairly notable place to play considering some fairly prominent jazz players were booked there regularly. The recording consisted of the following:

A recording also exists of Harry Hussey and Alan Freedman playing two songs acoustically. This recording is believed to be contemporaneous with the Community Center session. These include:

  • Wooden Ships David Crosby/Stephen Stills/Paul Kantner..........

Blue Monday would form and dissolve based on availability of the band members, but its last consistent period of performing was the summer of 1977. That fall, Bill was back in school. Harry, Dave and Mark played informally (for example with Alan Freedman and Dave Hopkins up at Camp Mauwehu on Candlewood Lake, CT.)

Noyes & the Boyes had been playing at a Westport, CT venue, the Grass Roots. The three original members of Blue Monday played a set of seven songs on Tuesday, January 2, 1979. Bill Galey played bass, Harry Hussey played acoustic guitar and sang, and Mark Lebow played acoustic guitar, sang and played the vibraphone on Flowers on the Rain.

This may have been the last public appearance of the original Blue Monday lineup. Harry and Bill went back to college and Bill permanently relocated to Illinois in mid-1979. Scott Wyland had begun to play with them occasionally in 1978. In July, 1979, Blue Monday was in the lineup for the annual Pinkney Park concert. Scott played rhythm guitar and sang with Harry Hussey on lead, Dave Procter on bass and Mark Lebow on drums. This was the last live appearance for the band.

Harry moved back to Rowayton for a year, from February, 1986 to February, 1987 to learn woodworking. During that time, he played with Dave, Scott and Mark, doing songs like:

  • Playing in the Band Robert Hunter/Bob Weir
  • Quinn the Eskimo Bob Dylan
  • Touch of Grey Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia
  • Money for Nothing Mark Knopfler/Sting

In the end, the group never played out and never played again after 1986.

Take Two They’re Small existed briefly in June-July of 1978 and included Harry Hussey, Tom May and Josh Kramer all on guitar and vocals. (Josh swears the name came from an expression that Dave, Ed and I used to use, not the Laverne and Shirley episode where Lenny and Squiggy fix the girls up with computer dates, who turn out to be midgets.) Harry writes that the group thought of themselves as the core of the Rowayton talent pool :

In the summer of '77, Harry, Tom and Josh formed a trio called Take Two They're Small. They played a bit in New York City and recorded a tape. It was their version of a super-group...

Harry and Josh deserve credit for getting Tom to finally sing. None of us had ever heard Tom’s sweet tenor and we were all amazed that we had had this beautiful resource all along. The three spent a weekend recording in Queens, NY (at Josh’s house) and played open mics at two Greenwich Village venues, the Back Fence, and Kenny’s Castaways. They even busked in Central Park. Their recorded repertoire included:

Audrey Noyes began to meet some of the Rowayton musicians in the summer of 1978. She had long been a solo player/singer. Her primary instrument was the 12 string guitar. She met Harry who invited her to play with Take Two. Some photos and tapes survive from this collaboration, with Audrey playing on Water Song and Prisoner. Interestingly, Audrey never seemed to have played with Tom May in the Take Two line-up, just Josh and Harry. Take Two dissolved when the Bridges project began.

  • Water Song Jorma Kaukonen
  • Prisoner Rex Fowler/Neal Shulman
  • Landslide Stevie Nicks/Lindsay Buckingham
  • Urge for Going Joni Mitchell