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Wormtown Music to Celebrate 35th Anniversary at Ralph’s Rock Diner

Monday, April 22, 2013

 

The Ethan Allen Furniture building on Main Street, Worcester, now demolished, that was spray painted "Wormtown Rocks" by fans of the scene. The new courthouse stands on this spot now. Photo courtesy of Mike Malone.

The 35th Anniversary of the Worcester music scene, the scene founded in 1978 that so affectionately became known as Wormtown, will be celebrated on May 11. Five bands, whose members are all key players in this important piece of our local history, will convene at Ralph’s Diner on Grove Street for a night of rock n reminiscing. The celebration begins at 8 pm. Tickets cost $10.

The History of Wormtown

"The term came about from "The Wormtown Punk Punk Press", a fanzine I produced from 1978-85 showcasing local punk and new wave bands," explains LB Worm, a legend on the Worcester music scene and organizer of the event.

"Wormtown was the rallying point for bands in town during the early days of the punk rock explosion. It became a moniker for Worcester through the bands to show they were not playing the same old music people were listening to at the time. It caught on with the masses through print, radio, and clubs. This is a Celebration of the 35th anniversary of that scene, members of bands playing the show represent a cross section of performers who have played in Worcester over the past 35 years."
 

The Bands

The legendary local bands performing include The Commandos, The Performers, Musclecah, The Time Beings, and the Numbskulls.

The Commandos got their start as teenagers in the late 70’s, and will be kicking things off for this event. Formed by Brian Hopper and Jeff Crane in the suburbs of Worcester, they ran their own underage club in a basement for themselves and their friends who were too young to enter the city’s night spots.

The Performers, another early contributor to local music lore, will bring brothers Doug and Sibley Geer back to the stage. Heavy radio airplay on WCUW 91.3 made them stars early on and they continue to be a part of what is happening regionally.

Musclecah continues the tradition of honest, hard driving music the music scene was known for back when all the rules changed. On bass and vocals, Wormtown legend Catherine ‘Cathy Cah’ Lillyman was a founding member of The Blue Moon Band. Along with her husband Chris ‘Cah’ Lillyman, Cathy also rocks out with bands The McGunks and Meat Depressed.

The Time Beings, known as the Kings of Garage Rock, lend their talents to the party. Formed in Western Mass. by Jay Matorano in the 1980’s, the addition of Preston Wayne and his signature guitar sounds, this is one of the many bands he’s been involved with in Worcester since his early teenage years, including the 80’s best known Worcester outfit, The Odds.

The Numbskulls, one of the area’s top award winning punk bands, round out the bill. Alex and Lysie Nagorski and their band mates, including singer/songwriter James Keyes, have won just about every award offered during their tenure on the streets. They show no signs of slowing down, having played at this year’s First Night Worcester and several area shows this season at Ralph’s and Beatnik’s.

The Legendary Ralph's Rock Diner

LB explains the reason Ralph's was chosen as the ideal venue.

"Ralph's was the first club in Worcester to book punk bands back when no one else would touch it. Over the years they continued to support music of a different beat and became the home base for Wormtown bands eager to break out of the basements and garages and perform on stage. Ralph Moberly, then owner of club, was a risk taker when others played it safe. He made us feel welcome."

The event is proudly sponsored by Narragansett Beer, the official beer of Wormtown, who will joining the festivities with prizes and swag,.

Contact, [email protected] for more info.

 

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