EXODUS - Memories Of A Small Town Band
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EXODUS - Formed 1975
Not to be mistaken for others of the same name that may have come afterwards.


Memories of a Small Town Band.

The Beginning | Gigs | The Van | Partying | The Breakup

Me and My RIC (Rickenbacker 4001) - Center Stage! 1981


I spent most of the nights of 1976 to 1978 in my room practicing both the guitar and the bass. My inspiration was from classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Yes, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. My many albums were my tools for learning (I often referred to them as my "teachers"). I also spent a lot of time listening to WPLR a rock station out of New Haven.

In the fall of 1978, I walked with my bass guitar in hand into a basement in Stratford, CT. It's there I met both Bob and Don who formed Exodus around 1975. We clicked instantly and started jammin' on the Rolling Stones "Miss You", and Skynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps". Soon after, more and more songs came together and we had what was to become our list !

We now realized we needed a second guitarist. Don said he had a friend at Milford High School that played guitar. His name was John Gallagher. He fit right in with his steady rhythm and his charm as well. He along with Bob and myself held down a rockin' rhythm while Don screamed out lead riffs and vocals! We are now an official band. COOL!



We practiced at least twice a week and partied the rest. We became close friends. Before long we were being invited to play parties, dances, and bars. The payment for a lot of party gigs was free beverages and intoxicated listeners. It worked out for both the band and partygoers. A bar called the "Double R Bar"(rock and roll) even made us their house band. We played there almost every weekend. Our music became tighter and tighter.

Once when we had a gig at a high school dance, John was nowhere to be found! It was time to go on. We stalled as long as we could, but teenagers can't stand still very long. Finally we had to go on as a three-piece band. We pulled it off for a whole set. Where was Johnny? He got locked in room with a girl and couldn't get out (so he said). That was typical Johnny, a real ladies man. They loved him!

In time we asked Jim, a friend of mine, to play a second set of drums. He played a solid John Bohnam type beat. Having two drummers enabled Bob to come center stage and utilize his vocal ability. I must say, we looked and sounded very impressive!

By 1982 we played a variety of gigs. One of my favorite gigs was a charity dance for the handicapped at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. I favor this one for a number of reasons:

I'll never forget how much the kids at the Fairfield University gig enjoyed the rock & roll. As we were playing, the volume was slowly going up (it's a chain reaction by the musicians turning up the volume on the instruments) and the caregivers for the handicapped kids kept motioning us to turn it down. We all know that's hard to do when it sounds so good!

We played a number of bars and I've listed the ones I remember:

Jammin' at the SILVER SANDS in Milford, CT


Traveling from gig to gig was a lot of fun thanks to my blue 1969 Dodge Van. We would load up all the equipment, roadies (a couple of friends which would vary often), the band members, and anything else we needed. The only music in the van was an 8-track player with a couple of home speakers placed in the back. The motor burned a good amount of oil, and occasionally the passenger door would open on turns (look out!). Also, the defrost did not work which would require the passenger to use a lighter to clear the window so I could see. I loved that van!

Bob and I used to buy kegs and haul them in my van down to Short Beach (a local gathering for teenagers). We would charge $2.00 a head to drink from the keg until it went dry. We always made a profit and got a free buzz as well. My van was our little keg party on wheels!


The 70's sub-culture was common place for drugs and alcohol. We were just high school kids in a very good rock band. You might ask, did we indulge in the use of drugs and alcohol? HELL YA!!! When we played we used the format of three sets and two breaks. During those two breaks it was common place for us to get together to pass around a joint and swig a couple beers before we went back on. Someone in or with the band always had some weed (it was cheap then - $40 an OZ). The music always seemed to get better as the night went on!

Playing in a band sometimes got us free drinks from the bar and friends. When we played places other than drinking establishments we had to get creative. One example was a dance (I think it was Milford High) we played and of course there was no alcohol allowed. What we did was bring in our guitars and remove them from their cases and walk back to my van with the empty guitar cases. Then we would fill the cases with beer and walk back to the school looking as though we were bringing in more guitars. During our usual breaks we drank!

At the Double R Bar we used to sneak in our own booze. At one point we drank a peppermint schnapps called Steel. It had a much higher proof than other schnapps. We would smuggle a bottle in the back door and help ourselves to a cheap drunk while spending very little at the bar. We called our little get togethers - Steel Unions. Eventually they caught on to us and we stopped.

As for other drugs besides pot, we did experiment with many types but I'm not going to get into all of that except to say that drugs side tracked my music career for 15 years. I have been clean and sober since 1994 and writing some fine music as you read this!




This page is dedicated to the late great John Gallagher and the fond memories of playing in a small town garage rock band that lived fast, played fast, made fans fast, and lost a friend too fast.


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Thanks for visiting, Rich