Sued51's Blog











{April 2, 2012}   A Fan’s History of 80’s Boston Bands: A is for The Atlantics

Tom Hauk and Bruce WilkinsonBy the time I saw The Atlantics for the first time, they were the biggest local band around Boston. (here’s a little history written by one of the band members; you can listen to some samples here). They already had a major record label contract and an album that was poorly produced, but I didn’t know that at the time. I simply reacted to what I saw and heard: their harmonies were great; their songs were catchy sing-alongs; and their live shows were full of energy. They were one of the first bands my friend Jane and I went to see regularly (we always had a “staple” band that we saw on the weekends; during the week we checked out future “staples”). I liked them so much I gave them the ultimate compliment (for me); I created a drawing/cartoon of their promo picture; they autographed it for me.

During the time of my Atlantics fandom I went on a blind date. Although the first date wasn’t great, I said “yes” to a second one in an effort to be mature and give things a chance. The second date was a concert: Foreigner at the Cape Cod Coliseum — the opening band, The Atlantics — a deciding factor. On the telephone before the show I bragged to my date about how great The Atlantics were. Boy, was I setting them (and myself) up for failure; the date was a disaster. I was meeting him there and I got stuck in traffic, almost missing The Atlantics altogether. As I entered the arena at the opposite end from the stage, I saw them looking tiny and lost. By the time I made it to my seat, they were finished (in more ways than one). My date was not only angry that I was late, but I made him sit through a band that “sucked”; how could I possibly like them??! Things did not progress for us, or for The Atlantics, who hung it up not long after that. It was time to find a new favorite.

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[…] who went to clubs in the 70′s and 80′s knows of or has seen The Neighborhoods. Like the Atlantics, they did get signed to a major record label, yet it never led to commercial […]

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fred pineau says:

Hey There – Fred from The Atlantics here. Man, you really scored with that Foreigner show! We had done extensive touring as an opener for everyone from Roxy Music to Cheap Trick to Squeeze, among others, but that show was the show from Hell! That venue was nothing but a metal box that had very little in the way of air conditioning, It was a sweat box, it was open on the floor – no seats, they let the people in 2 hours before we took the stage, and they let them drink beer for those 2 hours. It all added up to all 8,000 people wanting nothing but to see the headliner and get the Hell out of there. We were booed on the introduction, before we had ever played a note, and things went downhill from there. During the show we were pelted with all sorts of stuff, quarters being a favorite as they travelled a long distance and hurt when they hit. We stood our ground, however, and eventually wore them out. Our bass player, B Wilkinson, took a glass nip bottle to the forehead that required stiches after the show. It was, thankfully, not how we were received at any other show, so it just became an interesting story to trot out, much as I’m doing here. Neil Jacobson from Don Law’s office later told us a story of Joan Jett opening for Loverboy there. They greeted her much the same way, and during her show she was knocked unconcious by a full bottle of wine that someone threw at her, hitting her on the forehead. They carried her off stage to cheers, but backstage, after they brought her around, she went back. She told the audience that they could go fuck themselves, because she was going to finish her set. The crowd loved that, and she was well received for the rest of her set. Ah, rock & roll! Anyway, I’m glad that you liked the band – Nice drawing, by the way – And if you still live in the area I hope that you got to see the reunion of sorts that we did in 2010 at The House Of Blues in Boston.

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sued51 says:

Hey Fred,
Thanks for your comment and your visit. I am honored. 🙂
It’s great to hear your memory of the show — how horrifying! I never went to the Coliseum again. After being stuck in traffic in the heat, then going into that oppressive box, missing most of your set and coming in only to hear the boos, and my “date” saying you guys sucked…I couldn’t wait for the night to be over!! Gotta look back on it as funny though…as you are. I didn’t catch the reunion show. It would have been nice to hear the music live again, although it wouldn’t have been the same without Bobby and B.
I have my own little Joan Jett story. I worked for Don Law as an usher supervisor for 15 years after my club hopping days, primarily for the Orpheum and for some other venues (though he wouldn’t know me from Adam as they say). I was working a Joan Jett show at the Opera House. Joan came up to the front door and the person at the door asked her for a ticket. She just said quietly, “I’m Joan.” The ticket taker didn’t get it and asked her again; again she just answered, “I’m Joan.” This happened a couple more times before she finally yelled, “I’m Joan Jett!” Those of us watching off to the side were laughing our heads off.

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fred pineau says:

Yeah, Joan is really down to earth. I met her at ‘BCN once, and she was really nice. Man, if you worked as an usher for 15 years I’m sure that you could write a book of your own! No, these really are our seats!!The reunion show was a lot of fun, but it was Tom, me, and a band that we put together to do the material, so it was not the same by any means. Bobby retired from show biz about 25 years back, and of course B and Paul have passed away. When Paul was alive we did reunite once, though no one saw it. When the new cd’s began coming out in 2006, the four of us got together at The Jam Spot in Somerville and played for an afternoon. It was bizarre as we hadn’t played together for over 20 years, but it all locked together as though we had just taken two weeks off. It would have been great if we had done live shows to promote the cd’s, but Paul was going on the road with Joe Perry, and he passed soon after getting back. Tom and I are still at it – Tom does solo stuff and I’m currently working on a new band. I was in a band called 5-Point for years, and if you’re interested you can find that band on facebook to listen to some of the material. Great talking to you – I’m glad that I came across you blog!

Take care,

Fred

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sued51 says:

Thanks for straightening me out…I knew B had passed away; I thought Bobby had too…but it was Paul. I’ll definitely check out your band on Facebook.
Yes, I’ve got some great stories — “I have to be reseated…the person in front of me has big hair!” (not kidding…I heard that one). I always thought it would have been a great sit-com but I had no idea how to write a screenplay…now I’m getting to the age that I’m losing the memories 😦
I think I’ve got some photos of you that I took back in the Atlantic days…I’ll scan them and send them to you when I get a chance.
I’m glad you came to visit too!

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fred pineau says:

Don’t worry, the memory thing happens to us all. I have a pretty much dead on memory of a lot of the stuff from The Atlantics salad days, but then something will come up that I cannot remember at all – I refer to it as “Halfhimers”. My favorite concert going story was one of the times that I saw Hall & Oates back in the day. Daryll Hall did a lot of recording at The Hit Factory in NYC, which was where we recorded back then, so we got to know him somewhat, and Tom dated his girlfriend Sarah’s sister Jenna for a bit. Anyway, I was in the second row, and I of course got the only guy that decided to stand on his folding chair right in front of me. Only guy – Everyone else on the floor was seated. So I tapped his arm and asked him to sit down, and he told me to go fuck myself. I went to the ushers, but they had no interest in dealing with it. So – And this is not something that I have done before or since – I grabbed the back of his chair and sent him flying. He did not appreciate my inference that he was being unreasonable and started to approach me to let me know just that, but security had seen the whole thing and grabbed him. They let him stay providing he shut up and sit down, which, to my surprise, he did. I expected a problem at the end of the concert, but nothing came of it. I’m sure stuff such as that was just another day at work for you, but it sure did spark up my evening out!

If you have any photos and could pass them along that would be great! It’s always fun to revisit that time.

Thanks,

Fred

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sued51 says:

Wow…5-point is hard-rockin’! Good for you! Thanks for telling me about it.
Speaking of Daryl Hall…have you ever visited Live from Daryl’s House? There’s some great music there…

http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/?gclid=CKeaiKbPqLECFYNx4AodegcAvg

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[…] with many of the other bands I have written about like The Atlantics and Neighborhoods, they had a major label contract but it didn’t lead to success. The album […]

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