Friday, December 18, 2015

Circumstantial Evidence

Review of Circumstantial Evidence

Finished Frank Secich's memoir last night. This book provided a fun romp through history of power pop rock in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, starts in the 1960's and continues until this year. I had interviewed Frank about his successful band, Blue Ash, beginnings and the definition of Youngstown, Ohio distinctive sound, for our local paper, The Way It Was, so I anticipated hearing more stories of the glory days of bands with talent and guts and a great big belief in themselves.
Reading this book was like sitting down and hearing Frank tell story after story. I am reminded of how different the sixties were from today. The dress codes, the hair, the rebellion for fun's sake and the belief “if I have a guitar life is good.” In our home area of Sharon, Pennsylvania, the goal of staying out of the steel mills drove many dreams. I am just a few years younger, so much of that period, I remember from observing my older siblings, but being a kid, I didn't have those battles. Hearing the local flavor brought memories for me. In fact, many were the same from when I waited for my brother to tell me when he came home from cruising, like the Green Man and the Haunted House.
As any good story teller, Frank tugged at my heart at times, too. His chapter on meeting his wife of over forty years would bring out the romantic in anyone. And the love he has for his son, evidenced by laying up his guitar and the road to raise his pride and joy, keeps with family values and the importance of a strong father. Jake grew into a responsible young man. This may not be the usual rock and roll story.
Frank met many celebrities through his years of performing. I didn't feel though he was name dropping. He encountered and enjoyed the company, just the same as anyone he would have met. Frank loves great times and enjoys jokes. His one band mate, Stiv Bator, did a lot of kooky things. My favorite involved Dick Van Dyke, who recently he celebrated his ninieth birthday. Stiv met him and told him how as watching his TV show as a kid gave him a father figure he lacked in his personal life, so much he was led to his career. Dick asked him what that was. Stiv replied, “A lead singer in a punk band.”
Dick walked away.
My overall impression of Frank's book shows me he had a fun time remembering these times. I detected no bitterness even in recalling the unfairness of major recording companies. He noticed talent that never made it big and felt sad but not for himself. The short chapters created an easy quick read. His life of performing is not over as Dead Beat Poets is his newest band with his own songs, as he always wrote his own songs, unusual when he started Blue Ash. Lyrics of songs are also included in the book. I anticipate

Frank has a lot more in him and his life. This may only be book one. I only hope it is not a back injury to give him time to write more.

Book signing and concert December 12  at Get Hip Records, Pittsburgh, PA

You can buy it at
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