When you hear someone say “Mid Life Crisis,” what do
you think off?
My thoughts drift to the dilemma we all face as years
pass by…and much faster as we get older…the wrinkling of face, body and ego.
In this case, the connotation is totally different.
Mid Life Crisis…can you think of a better title to be
used by a group of fledgling musicians who feel reborn after many years of
drifting. This is not to suggest these musicians drifted around without
direction. They had direction but it was opposite. What brought these musicians
back together? A little bit of fate and a reunion.
The pleasant mixture of sounds is the creative genius of
Dan Cavaluzzo on guitar, Neal Platt on keyboard, Artie Schwartz on bass guitar,
Tom Motika on lead guitar and Tony Saccone on drums. Each of these superb
musicians back the harmonic voice of lead singer Anton Mure who reminds me a
little of the kid from the Bronx, Dion.
Their roots go back to the early 60’s when, while
still in Junior High School, Anton and Dan played in a band known as The Other
Culture. They experimented with cutting edge, harmony based stuff (Vanilla
Fudge, Cream, Vagrants). This venue
of sound was not acceptable yet, but would eventually find its way into the
annals of music. Behind them in years and equally talented were Neal and Artie
who looked to their peers for guidance. They didn’t join forces but drifted
along separately for many years honing their musical skills privately.
It was the early 90’s when Anton and Danny had a
revelation. They toyed with the idea of having a reunion…of their old band and
their alma mater, Hicksville High School. This was in 1991 and the thought
materialized into a get together at the Hicksville VFW hall with approximately
90 people in attendance. The next year, 1992, Anton and Dan are introduced to
Neal and Artie (they were in later years in high school). The effort saw a
second reunion in excess of 200 people.
The thought was to continue the reunion tradition
because it was a nice thing for HHS alumni…and it was a chance for the band to
be together. The original group of Anton, Danny, Neal and Artie is growing. Now
included is Jim Powers on strong lead guitar, Matty Errico on drums and a
welcome addition of Ken Grossman on keyboards (note to Carolyn Wood Imbrie…this
guy can actually read music…haha). It would be two years, however, before they
perform in front of a reunion crowd.
There is a logistics problem…finding a hall large
enough to house the growing numbers of reunion goers. There is nothing in the
vicinity of Hicksville that can handle larger crowds. The band is astonished
when 450 people show up at the VFW Hall in Deer Park that night in 1994. What
next??? The word is out and people are flocking from all over the island and the
metro New York area.
During the lull period from 1992 to 1994, the band
rehearsed quite a few times establishing a sound that was unique. Following the
’94 reunion, the boys “disbanded” for several years. There were numerous
requests for another reunion but business and family commitments negated the
reunion idea, at least for the moment.
In 2000, with the new millennium at hand, the guys
talked about a big reunion with a thousand people attending. They did some
homework and discovered the only way to succeed with such a large-scale reunion
was to commit to a site that could handle large crowds. Looking around at
perspective clubs was a chore because not every site is capable of catering to
all aspects of a reunion. There are a lot of loose ends to consider and the end
result was to have a mega reunion at the Huntington Town House. They would
handle all aspects for a reasonable fee. That done, they could now concentrate
on their music.
Rich and wife Peg O’Neill
Delia promoted the reunion and did an awesome job coordinating the logistics
angles. Ticket sales were incredible with each day seeing hundreds of requests
come their way. To make a long story short, the end result was almost 1700
raving, Hicksville lunatics packing themselves into the town house. There was an
unfortunate outcome despite the success. Holly Horton, who was undaunted in
contacting people and establishing a website that had pictures, vignettes and
advice, passed away several days before the reunion took place. You could sense
the excitement she was experiencing when talking with her. The anticipation of
seeing friends was partially responsible for the enthusiasm she displayed. We
all missed her and thank her in prayer each day for the role she played in
getting us all together.
Getting back to Anton Mure and his ass kicking Mid Life
That night at the town house was the catalyst the boys
needed to continue their act. They now play around long island several times a
month. As for the name…it was the suggestion of a co worker of Bob Leo who was
with the band previously.
Anton is in the physical fitness business since 1975. He
has his own business in Jericho and is married with a four year old daughter
(…you read it right…4 years old…). His favorite color is pink and his pet
peeve is bald men with pony tails.
How do you feel about “just” bald guys, Anton???