Sunday, August 12, 2012
THE GO (Yonkers, NY)
Instant Reaction EP
Titlewave (TW-1001), 1980
A1. Don't Take Her Away
A2. She Gives A Color To Me
B1. Instant Reaction
B2. Tomorrow Night
Tom Conte, Kenny Dutch, George Peters and Joe Brya grew up in Yonkers, NY and began playing in bands together while in their teens. Tom had started on piano while still in elementary school and graduated to guitar by the time he was 13. Kenny, who was a couple years older, picked up a guitar at the same time as Tom. George didn’t begin playing bass until he was 16, while Joe, who had been pounding the drums from an early age ended up in the school band.
In the early through mid-seventies, the four boys would get together in Kenny’s garage and work on covers of the day. They were influenced by a wide variety of rock music from the 50s onward, but it was the Beatles and the British Invasion bands that were their initial driving force. By the time punk was exploding in New York a few years later, the band had progressed with Tom and Kenny writing the majority of the band’s original material. Calling themselves The Go, the group started playing gigs in Yonkers and the surrounding cities.
One fateful Monday night in 1979, the Go passed an audition at CBGB which led to several return performances at the seminal punk club. The band started playing other venues around New York City as well, including the famous Max’s Kansas City. The group also ventured down to Jersey for shows as they began building a following.
By this time, groups like the Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads had all signed record deals and were becoming household names across the country. The Go hoped to travel the same route but had no management or representation to take them to the next level. Nevertheless, they were able to book themselves plenty of shows and even made two appearances on the Uncle Floyd Show that appeared on UHF.
In 1980 they met Rob Freeman through a mutual friend. Rob had recorded the debut albums for the Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and many others. He listened to a demo tape the band made and heard their potential. Soon after that they all went into Penny Lane Studios in New York City and Rob produced four songs for the band in a few quick sessions. They scraped enough money together to finance the project and released the songs as a 7” EP in an edition of 1,000 copies. A small portion of the pressing was mistakenly made on green vinyl.
The record initially garnered the band some attention with radio stations and local DJs giving “Instant Reaction” some spins. But as the early 80s progressed, a record contract never came their way and the music industry headed in a different direction. The MTV generation was kicking off, bands were adding synthesizers to their music and success became more about style over substance.
Joe decided to leave the group in 1982, so Tom Carlucci took his spot on the drummer’s throne and then George ended up splitting shortly after that. The two Toms and Ken are still playing the NYC circuit today as the Tender Mercies. George still records songs and Joe can now be found playing in a few “classic rock” bar bands in Westchester.
The Go's song "Don't Take Her Away" was featured on the second volume of the Powerpearls series. In 2005, Japanese label Wizzard-In-Vinyl released a 24-track retrospective CD called Instant Reaction which was soon followed by a condensed vinyl version on the Rave-Up label out of Italy. The newfound popularity of the Go earned them a spot on 2007’s Radio Heartbeat Power Pop Festival and subsequent gigs on the Manhattan wing of David Bash’s International Pop Overthrow concert series.