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Music

Musically I go back to the single digits in terms of age, but it wasn't until I was 16 that I realized that percussion was what I loved best. I currently own two drum kits and many "little" instruments: finger cymbals, bells, and so forth. I bought my first guitar when I was about 17 and taught myself to play. I also started writing songs, and penned over a hundred in various styles, from 1920s music hall stuff to acid-rock. Most of these have mercifully vanished, but some were recorded and performed by other artists and bands. Some I recorded myself, double- or triple-tracking myself (often even more tracks were involved; I think my record was 9) playing all or most of the instruments and doing all the vocal parts. Below, links to some of my bands and samples of the work we did at the time -- if available.

More or less in chronological order, the major bands I've been associated with are as follows:

There are some other bands, as well, but either I was in them for a very brief time, or I can't scare up any info on them, or I cannot locate any of the personnel. It's very common among musicians, of course, to be a number of outfits, some better than others. And so it goes.




The Hillbrand Rarity
Rarity 1969 The Rarity was my first "working band," in the sense that we occasionally played gigs and occasionally got paid. The name was twisted out of an Ian Fleming short story featuring James Bond: The Hilldebrand Rarity. Personnel varied over the two or three years we were together. I was not the band's first drummer, but I joined guitarist/singer/songwriter John Hare and bassist Tom Walsh in 1968. We later added Brad Labrot on lead guitar, and Tom was replaced by Bill Hurley. The Rarity was also the first band to perform songs I wrote.

Photo: The Rarity in 1969. L to R, Brad Labrot, guitar/vocals; John Hare, guitar/vocals; Al Sirois, drums/vocals; Bill Hurley, bass. Photo by Kenn Kostuk. The MP3s below are from this gig!
Music copyright © 2011 John L. Hare.


MP3 music files (will open a new browser window):
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Frog Hollow Day Camp
There are no photos extant of Frog Hollow Day Camp (the name comes from a ratty old tee-shirt Frank Zappa was wearing when someone snapped his photo), but the band was a 4-piece outfit consisting of Bob "Howe" Miller, guitar and vocals; Rick Casey, bass; Jerry Wilson, organ; and me on drums and vocals. Jerry dropped out shortly after I joined and we continued for a year or two as a trio. The music tended troward Black Sabbath and Ten Years After.

MP3 music files (will open a new browser window):
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Sunfish
In 1973 I moved to New Haven CT from Bridgeport CT, where I'd been working as an advertising rep for the Bridgeport Post newspaper. That same year I sold my first short story and began working at Bookworld on Chapel Street -- now, sadly, defunct. I also began playing with Sunfish, a band comprised of Yale students. We all got along pretty well despite me being a "townie." Sunfish gigged fairly often around Yale. No photos of the band survive, alas, and no recordings; though I seem to recall that we made one or two.
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Bruno and the Flippers
This was a Southern rock band comprised of a bunch of talented Yalies who weren't averse to having a townie or two adding heft to the rhythm section. We gigged around Yale and up and down the college circuit for a year or two. Most of the guys graduated, and that was the end of the band. It was a good outfit and we played well. Alas, no photos or recording survive.
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Montezuma's Revenge
Another Yale band, comprised of musicians I'd met around campus. This was more of a hard-rock organization. No pictures or recordings survive.
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Hiatus & Solo Work
During my tenure as drummer for the Hillbrand Rarity I began to play guitar and write songs. The Rarity performed one -- Mississippi Woman -- and we often opened with it. A few local bands and singers performed my tunes, which was a source of pride to me. I also did a fair bit of recording on my own. Below is an example of how recording can go horribly wrong.
The tune is titled The Decision, and it was part of a 14-song oratorio I wrote when I was about 22. Version One is the straight song itself, sung by a local singer named Rose Student. Version Two, however, is a failed take that went completely off the rails. There's no vocal track on this one. It starts well enough but something happened. I may have missed a best; one of the guitarists may have flubbeb a chord. In any event, the three of us completely lost it. I thought it was so funny that I kept the tape.
As to the hiatus... This was not a band, but a genuine hiatus. After Montezuma's Revenge I was not happy with the derection my music was taking. I decided to concentrate on writing and art for a few years. I even sold my drums. Eventually, though, I returned to playing.

MP3 music files (will open a new browser window):
Music copyright © 2011 A L. Sirois.
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The Global Nomads - v. 1.0
Global Nomads 1990 The Global Nomads began as more or less of a pick-up group. Some of my colleagues at Prodigy Services Company wanted to get together to jam, but didn't know any drummers. Because I had a background in percussion they suggested I might want to get back into it. I'd done a little jamming during the intervening years, but did not have my own kit. But now, it seemed, the time was right... so I bought a second-hand five-piece Premier kit, cleaned and repaired it, and started playing. And discovered that I loved playing as much as I ever had. The Nomads changed personnel a few times, adding Don Heatley on keyboards and vocals and George Curbello on percussion and flute. We gradually became more and more professional, and secured some decent gigs. We were together for about three years, and were quite a good organization.

MP3 music files (will open a new browser window):
Photo: Global Nomads circa 1990. L to R, Kathy Sharar, vocals; Sean McDermott, bass; Connie Sharar, vocals; Al Sirois, drums/vocals; John Prusinski, guitar/vocals.

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The Global Nomads - v. 2.0
This second incarnation of the Nomads was a purely instrumental jazz outfit, a trio consisting of Roy Swanson on guitar and keyboards, Sean McDermott (of the original Nomads) on bass, and myself on drums and percussion. Another fine grouping of musicians. We performed some interesting tunes, including originals by all three of us.

MP3 music files (will open a new browser window):
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Bedbug Eddie

Bedbug Eddie circa 1999 For the five years I was in Bedbug Eddie we played a lot of good rock 'n roll and played a lot of... interesting gigs. Central NJ musicians quail at the thought of the Nottingham Tavern in Trenton, and for good reason... it's a dive. But we played the place several times while we were coming up and always managed to have a good time. Later on we played clubs and private parties. I left the band around 2000. It continued, with some additional personnel changes, for another couple of years before disbanding. I'm still quite happy with the music we made, and am friends with the ex-members.

MP3 music files (will open a new browser window):

Photo: Bedbug Eddie, 1999. L to R, Jim Crawford, guitar/vocals; George Marinich, guitar/vocals; Chris Hogan, bass/vocals; Bill Riordan, lead vocals/guitar/percussion; Al Sirois, drums/vocals

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Kindred Spirit
Kindred Spirit 2009 Kindred Spirit was my latest band. It's a rock cover band with very strong instrumental and vocal capabilities. The band's website is here: http://www.kindredspiritrocks.com. Stop by for photos, videos, and MP3 clips. In late 2009 I resigned from Kindred Spirit due to health reasons, but the band is still going strong. The tunes below were recorded in 2006 with our former keyboardist/singer, Laura Wittman.

MP3 music files (will open a new browser window):
Photo: Kindred Spirit, October 2009. L to R, Brian Leahy, keyboards/vocals; Gary Bernabe, bass/vocals; Al Sirois, drums/vocals; Mike Slom, lead vocals/percussion; Eddie O'Connor, guitar/vocals.
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