HODGDON, Maine — It’s the esoteric language of music and a greater than five-decade shared historical past that retains an Aroostook County band screaming for the exhausting notes, sliding massive daddy blues riffs and drumming a killer Wipe-Out at personal events and native occasions.
For the 4 authentic members of the Seventies band, Rock Renaissance, music erases the pains and wrinkles of growing older. Certain, three- and four-hour gigs are greater than tiring. There’s the set-up, the tear down and the exertion of performing for a number of hours, however a painful hip or aching toes be damned, they like it.
“It takes me to a spot that I wish to be. I don’t know what that place is however when I’m performing I’m within the second and that’s the place I wish to be,” mentioned vocalist and bass participant Tim Humphrey who’s 77. “I’ll keep there so long as I can get up.”
The youngest member of Rock Renaissance, lead vocalist and guitar participant Bob Body, 73, chimed in, laughing.
“Once I went to the physician this yr they requested if I used to be depressed,” he mentioned . “I mentioned, ‘No, man, we simply acquired the band again collectively.’”
And like the enduring rockers of the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies — the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springstein, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan — Rock Renaissance, after a 40-year break, is again bringing their music to followers.
Spending an hour or so with this group of previous associates — Humphrey, 77, vocals, bass guitar; Emack, 78, lead guitar; Body, 73, lead vocals and guitar; and Dave McGillicuddy, 80, drums — is paying homage to a 1978 Martin Scorcese interview with Robbie Robertson and The Band for the movie, The Final Waltz.
They’re offbeat and humorous, and because the story of their journey unfolds, tune lyrics pop up into the center of sentences and facet tales about some man they performed with, bawdy bar brawls or reminiscences of teenagers packing parking tons exterior venues emerge.
Rock Renaissance began enjoying music when teenagers might legally drink in most states, virtually all people smoked cigarettes and authorized penalties for marijuana had been steep. It was a time when youngsters had been listening to Motown, Elvis, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Nice Balls of Fireplace on transistor radios underneath the covers at evening.
Emack, who additionally performed for 2 years with the Cobras, one among Maine’s hottest bands on the time, mentioned his mom despatched him to a guitar trainer who tried to get him to study scales. However he didn’t wish to play scales, he advised his mom after his lesson.
“Ma, I actually wish to play, “Don’t be Merciless” by Elvis,” he mentioned. “That was the beginning of my guitar enjoying.”
In line with Humphrey, he was doing a little deejay work and enjoying solo on the Hidden Spring Vineyard when a pair individuals who had been followers of the band within the Seventies advised they get again collectively.
“I’m 80 years previous. I left the band in 1976. Then 5 years in the past I acquired a telephone name from Tim,” McGillicuddy mentioned laughing. “He requested,’would you want to begin this group up once more?’”
Emack jumped into the dialog.
“I mentioned, ‘I don’t know, David goes to mattress at 5 p.m.,’” Emack mentioned. “All of us talked it over and mentioned, ‘yeah.’”
And increase, it occurred, Humphrey mentioned.
Emack stopped enjoying with the band for a time after its rebirth. However as they mentioned, Body gave him “a kick within the butt,” and he got here again into the group.
“Bob’s been actually good about dragging you out of the nursing dwelling,” Humphrey mentioned.
The primary time Emack got here again to the band, the crowds had been thrilled.
“When followers noticed Scottie right here for the primary time a number of months in the past whereas we had been enjoying out on the vineyard, I imply it was simply crowds of individuals venturing over to him everytime we stopped enjoying,” Humphrey mentioned. “He’s a lot part of the group, we will’t do it with out him.”
The band has an everyday month-to-month gig on the Hodgdon vineyard and their schedule is booked with different personal events and occasions as nicely.
Emack and Humphrey met at Houlton’s Ricker Faculty in 1969. Emack, who was instructing freshman English at Houlton Excessive College, had the repute of being one of the best guitar participant within the County, Humphrey mentioned.
With the assistance of native musician matchmaker, Rod Palmer, Humphrey, Emack and McGillicuddy began as a trio, enjoying on the previous Ivey’s Motel, they mentioned.
After a couple of yr or so, they added Patten vocalist Kathy Pond to the band. When Pond left, Body joined the band in 1973, singing lead vocals.
The Eagles’ Resort California album had simply come out, Body mentioned.
“I wrote out all of the lyrics and I screamed in my mother and father’ cellar room till I might lastly hit a lot of the notes,” he mentioned. “It was an extended exhausting course of. I stored doing it whereas driving and I began hitting a number of the notes from Led Zeppelin, Doobie Brothers.”
The band’s reputation grew and along with Ivey’s they performed on the Silver Fox, a rowdy place virtually on the border, they mentioned.
It was packed each evening they performed, the band members mentioned.
However as life moved alongside, so did they with careers, households, youngsters, loves and losses, and though they had been not enjoying collectively, they stored training.
Body moved on to enjoying venues for a number of years in Florida, and Emack, Humphrey and McGillicuddy taught within the Houlton faculty district.
As they aged, Humphrey misplaced his listening to from enjoying for thus a few years in entrance of big audio system. Emack had a failed hip surgical procedure that makes strolling tough and he at present lives on the Madigan Estates Nursing Facility in Houlton. And McGillicuddy mentioned that turning 80 was psychologically powerful.
“I assumed, ‘oh man you’re on the draw back.’ However the truth that we had been enjoying, it’s such as you’re not likely growing older,” he mentioned. “Issues are going nicely and we’re getting all kinds of compliments. It’s an actual incentive for me.”
Subsequent week Rock Renaissance is enjoying for a non-public get together within the space, they mentioned.
“I hope we preserve enjoying collectively for a very long time,” Humphrey mentioned.