Back in the burning mists of asphalt time when Old Town’s Hamilton Street was dimpled with eight nightclubs all serving healthy doses of live music on any given evening, Andy Kostrezwa was a constant presence on the local Club scene, spreading good cheer and always locked & loaded to take command of any dance floor that happened to have a solid band shaking the walls – especially if they carried with names like The Flies, The Burdons, My Dog Bob, and The Mick Furlo Band - distinct brands of musicianship and originality were guaranteed to fill the evening air.
Perhaps this was a ‘Golden Age’ of local Rock ‘n Roll because so many creative young faces were converging to make things happen; and perhaps this point in time is romanticized because it resonates from a place that with the vagaries and tribulations of age and the inevitable toll of evolution, does not really exist anymore.
But on a fine snowy, slushy Sunday in early April, my good friend Andy Kostrezwa (‘Skinny’ to his friends) celebrated his 50th Birthday Party in grand slamming style with a celebration at The Hamilton Street Pub that was most assuredly a Definitive Reunion, not only of musicians and friends, but of people that I have not seen tearing up a dance floor together in several turns of the Zodiac.
And the biggest surprise of all was the convergence of talent that took to the stage.
With a bedrock band consisting of Rustbucket mates John Krogman, Scott Causley, Jim Davenport and John VanBenschoten joined by keyboard kingpin Mike Brush raging through a set that included such immortal rockers as Marie, Marie, along with a smattering of timeless originals, the highpoint of the evening featured a 45-minute set with Mick Furlo and Verve Pipe drummer Donny Brown joining Krogman, Davenport, Causley and Brush.
As they launched into a medley of Beatles classics including A Hard Day’s Night, Tell Me Why, and I Saw Her Standing There, Krogman, Davenport, Furlo and Brown nailed the challenge of those 4-part harmonies note-for-note – creating a compelling segue that made time stand still and proved all the more remarkable because it was entirely impromptu and completely unrehearsed.
Leave it to ‘Skinny’ to be the catalyst for such an evening of magic and memories.
Euripides once wrote that if we could be twice young and twice old we could correct all our mistakes. But what this celebration proved, more than anything else, is that when given the proper nourishment and setting, magic will happen.
And unlike when we were younger and could remember anything whether it happened or not, the magic flowing from this night was decidedly real.
Thanks for a memorable evening, my friend – here’s to cutting the rug and carving fresh trails!