It’s been nearly a year since the Lest We Forget concert last spring at Turner Hall featuring a full-to-the-brim bill of local veterans. The show was a manifestation of a Facebook page that began as a memorial for members of the local music scene that had left us too soon.
Fans packed the venue to see the Rock-A-Dials, Liv Mueller, Sacred Order, 3 On Fire, Tense Experts and others, though there was little debate that the biggest draw was the reunion of Die Kreuzen.
Ron Faiola’s recording of the evening has been edited and spruced up for a new CD, "Lest We Forget – Our Night to Remember," due out next week. The disc has 22 songs from 12 bands and runs about 75 minutes.
If you were there, it’s a perfect keepsake. If you didn’t make it, the CD may serve as some consolation.
I asked Faiola, who works in video and is himself a veteran of the Milwaukee music scene (he also organized the concert and runs MilwaukeeRockPosters.com), about the CD and what hope there is for a video record of the night.
OnMilwaukee.com: Was it hard to pick the tracks, or did the best ones jump out at you immediately?
Ron Faiola: The process of picking the songs began with having one or more members of the bands come to my house to hear the recording. Some made notes of songs they liked, some bands just left it up to me to decide. Once I got into the studio, it became easier to pick the songs based on quality of the recording and performance. I had originally planned on two CDs so there were more songs from the bands, then I narrowed it down to one CD which has, in my opinion the best of the sets.
OMC: Are there any bands that aren't represented?
RF: Two bands didn't make the CD: The Blackholes and Von Trash. Von Trash – Rob McCuen on drums/vocals and myself on guitar – played The Stooges' "No Fun" that night with the Dominoes and I didn't put it on the CD mostly because of the licensing. The Blackholes didn't make it because of Mark's (Mark Shurilla) passing, I guess. I did talk to Dan Mullen later, but he didn't express interest in putting a Blackholes song on there. That said, for the 3XCleavers set, Tom (Tiedjens) didn't play any of Terry Tanger's songs out of respect for Terry.
OMC: Did you face any technical issues putting it together?
RF: It should be noted the recording was just a stereo board feed. We were supposed to have a multi-track ProTools rig but at the last minute it wasn't available. We were really lucky to end up with a good board recording. A lot of work went into mastering the audio for the CD.
OMC: Are you doing a DVD release of the show at all?
RF: No plans for a DVD. I really should have had a crew there documenting the whole thing – multi-camera shoot, backstage and so on – but it was another thing to arrange and pay for. I have Die Kreuzen's full set that I shot from Keith's (bassist Keith Brammer) side of the stage, plus two cameras at (the sound board) – one SD and one HD.
But there are so many good videos on YouTube shot by audience members. I'll probably add a few clips of what I have to YouTube. 3 On Fire is having me edit a video for their song "How Many, How Long," using footage from audience members and myself. It's looking pretty good.
OMC: Did you have a personal favorite performance that night?
RF: My favorite performance was "Chaquita" with Caleb Lentzner on saxophone. It's so sultry and was an Oil Tasters live show standard and a Dave Clark 5 cover. But that was from listening to the audio. I really missed many of the performances because of all the running around I was doing at the show. Obviously, seeing the huge crowd reaction to Die Kreuzen and how excited they were, especially Dan Kubinski, was really great. I was happy it all came together so well.
OMC: Where can folks get the CD?
RF: The CD will primarily be available online and some retail outlets around town. Mike L Podolak and I are working on a CD release party – possibly with two or three bands from the show playing. I'll probably show some video clips between bands.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.