Episode 035 - Syd Sustain: The Voltz / Trammell Sessions by Mark

While a handful of college bands go on to fame and fortune, most of them fade away over time. It’s difficult to keep things rolling when people move away for their own careers and families.  This was the fate of Syd Sustain.

In 1989, Ray and John got together and put out an album of “synthesized rock” called the “Voltz/Trammell Sessions”.  Some of the songs were updated versions of classic Syd, while others were brand new compositions.  I’m including “Motorin”, “If You Want Me”, “Take a Look at Yourself”, and “Interstellar Love Song”.

To the best of my knowledge, this was the final work for Syd Sustain. What I know for a fact is that this is the final episode of Decawatt Playhouse.  I’ve run out of material, so unless I unearth something new, that wraps it up.

Please take a moment to check out the other SFPPN podcasts—thanks for listening.

Episode 034 - Syd Sustain: Syd Died Today Live! by Mark

Any college band worth its salt had to be able to perform in front of a live audience, and Syd Sustain was no exception.

Here’s a selection from the “Syd Died Today" concert at the college arts center, with a very receptive and active audience.  The songs include “Scam Wham Bam”, “Too Much at Once”, and “What It’s Like for You”.  Ray and John have quite the patter between songs. Apologies for the audio quality, but that comes with the territory of a live show.

One more episode to go, and a familiar concept in college bands—solo (in this case duo) efforts.

Episode 033 - Syd Sustain: The T.R. Ashe Collection by Mark

Moving on with Syd Sustain, and a more esoteric album.

GCC had it’s own poet laureate in the mid-80’s named T. R. Ashe. Rarely seen in public, Ashe published a series of compositions and became a type of muse for Syd Sustain.

Many of Ashe’s writings had a “you had to be there” quality to them, especially his epic “Sligo”. The second movement of “Sligo” has a real 80’s video game vibe as well. I had the good fortune to create a Sligo music video, although it did NOT feature Syd members due to a time crunch before a concert.

Clear your mind and receive the acquired taste of T.R. Ashe.

Episode 032 - Syd Sustain: Paranoid About the Fuzzies on My Sweater / Syd Drove West by Mark

Moving on with Syd Sustain, and two more of their albums: “Paranoid About the Fuzzies on My Sweater”, and “Syd Drove West”.

“Paranoid…" includes more catchy tunes in the electronica vein such as "Ground to Ground” (possibly influenced by Ray’s time with the National Guard) , “Cruisin’”, and "Syd Takes a Dive” (both referring to road trips).

"Syd Drove West” is much more experimental, and is an indicator of Ray and John’s move to do multi-track work in a studio setting.  Songs include "Radio Sine” and the aforementioned "Paranoid About the Fuzzies on My Sweater” (there is also a version on the same named album, but I prefer this one).

More to come, as Syd gets a little silly.

Episode 019 - Classic Radio Theatre - Captain Paul by Mark

WSAJ’s “Theatre of the Air” continues. Come aboard for “Captain Paul”, a nautical yarn that gives you an idea of how the show became known as “Gothic Horror Theater”.
Andy Schrum, Lisa Harris, Jan Leuchtenberger, Craig Munch, and Bill Koch are cast in this spooky story.
Again, these are 30-year old cassette recordings, mostly from a microphone parked in front of a speaker. I’ve done what I can to clean them up.


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Episode 018 - Classic Radio Theatre - The Bob and Ray Show by Mark

WSAJ’s “Theatre of the Air” continues. This time, we segue to comedy with “The Bob and Ray Show”. Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding had a long radio and TV career doing odd skits and wordplay, mostly satirizing media tropes. I’m a huge fan of their work. Elliott started a comedy dynasty, with son Chris (David Letterman) and granddaughter Abby (SNL).
WSAJ stalwarts Bill Koch and Keith Parrish stepped into the roles of Bob and Ray, with Deanna Czarnecky, Dave
Miller, Mark Harrison, P. D. Gregg, Mike Pfeiffer, Andy Schrum, and yours truly rounding out the cast.
The audio isn’t great—I bumped it up as far as I could. Just the result of taping off a radio speaker, I guess.


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Episode 017 - Classic Radio Theatre - Bathysphere by Mark

We continue through the run of WSAJ’s “Theatre of the Air”. Larry Bowald is behind the mike this time, along with my old co-host Kenn Fetterman.  This episode is more in “The Twilight Zone” than the last one.  It also has a “message coming in, sir” vibe.
If you’re not a fan of enclosed spaces and social monologues, you may want to move on.


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Episode 016 - Classic Radio Theatre - Tom Sawyer by Mark

You’ve already heard from Larry Bowald in this series. While he did various shows for WSAJ (some of which I’m skipping as they mostly involve copyrighted music), he may have been best known as the creator of “Classic Radio Theatre”. He produced a series of radio plays, which we will be covering over the next several episodes. He tended to veer into tales of mystery over time, to the point it was referred to as “Classic Gothic Horror Theatre” by the listeners.
Mark Twain's classic “Tom Sawyer” is our first entry. Notable among the cast is Bill Koch, half of the comedy team of Parrish and Koch.


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