A few years ago when I interviewed Albert, he mentioned a short hiatus in the Stalk Forrest timeline in which he, Eric and Buck moved out of the band house in the summer of 1970 and actually joined another group for a short period.

I made a note of this interesting fact, with a view to further investigation, but somehow, what with one thing and another, forgot all about it. Then, recently, when I saw a post on Facebook from Terry Bourcy, an actual member of this other group, I realised I needed to try and get to the bottom of things...

This episode has never been documented before - it's all still a little confusing, timescale-wise, but I'll lay out what I have on this page, and hopefully over time, and with a little outside assistance, it may become a little clearer.

If you have anything to add to this page, please let me ...

The Facebook post that kicked the whole thing off was by Terry Bourcy, a prominent Watertown-based musician, and featured an old ad for a gig on 23 Aug 1970 at the Watertown Music Fair.

Terry was a veteran of a number of bands such as The Playboys and The Triumphs and he said that he had also been in a band listed on that advert that also included "three members of Blue Oyster Cult".

I followed this up with him and he told me that the band was called "The New Life":

Terry Bourcy

New Life members included Albert Bouchard, Buck Dharma, Eric Bloom, myself and two others. We only played a few gigs. BOC was waiting for their first record to be released.

Spike Bush was the singer. Ed Bazinet played bass in New Life. As a side note, Albert Bouchard, Joe Bouchard, Ed Bazinet and I are from the same area in Northern New York State.

Eric played guitar and sang. I played rhythm guitar. Spike was just our "frontman" at the time. It was really one too many people, but we made it work.

Here's what I remember. I was in a cover group that had a summer gig at Gene's Inn near Watertown. That group broke up.

But Ed Bazinet, Spike Bush and I still had the gig without a complete band. Ed had played with Albert before and we went to New York City to jam with Albert and the others.

They had no work, so Albert, Don and Eric came to Watertown and we were able finish our summer gig at Gene's Inn. I don't remember if we played anywhere else.

Regarding the Watertown Music Fair - after talking to members of some of the groups, it seems the Music Fair never happened. That's, perhaps, why I don't remember being there.

I think they were calling themselves BOC at the time we got together. But because it was just a mesh of two groups (I think our original band was called Stone Fox at the time of the breakup) and not really BOC we simply used a new name to play under.

By the way - I think Albert came up with the name "New Life", but he may remember more.

As a side note... Albert, Don, Eric and I were all living in a small apt. over a laundry. It was a fun, but weird.

I asked Terry for a clarification: "if I searched for any dates of gigs by "The New Life", could I assume that any gig performed under that name was by the lineup that contained Eric, Buck and Albert?"

He said that was correct.

So that's the basic story: "Stone Fox" break up with gigs still booked to play and pending, Terry Bourcy recruits three members of SFG to help honour that commitment and they do so under the name "The New Life".

Obviously, Terry wasn't quite right about one thing - at that time BOC weren't using the "Blue Oyster Cult" name - they were still called "SFG" - and they were waiting for their first LP to come out but it wasn't the BOC one - it was the unreleased SFG one - but I was puzzled about two aspects of the chronology of this - when did it start and how long did it last for?

If it happened around the time of that advert, then we're talking sometime in August 1970. But how does this fit in with the known events in the SFG timeline?

Here's roughly what I thought was the Stalk Forrest Group 1970 timeline so far as notable events go:

Feb 1970: (Approx) SFG head off to California to record their LP [Elektra, CA]
Early Mar 1970: (Approx) SFG return to a frozen Great Neck bandhouse
Mar-Apr 1970: (Approx) LP being mixed in Elektra, CA
Mar-Apr 1970: (Approx) "I'm on the Lamb" NY Session with Dennis Murphy
01 May 1970: SFG gig on Stony Brook athletic field with Jefferson Airplane
03 Jul 1970: SFG gig in Stony Brook gym with MC5/Ten Years After
11 Jul 1970: Billboard prints news of SFG LP release for Aug/Sept
20 Jul 1970: "What is Quicksand" Promo Single Released
Jul-Aug 1970?: (Guess) Don Gallucci turns up at band house
Jul-Aug 1970?: Albert called back to bandhouse from Clayton to attend
Jul-Aug 1970?: (Approx) Andy Winters is fired
14 Aug 1970: Cancelled Eagle Rock Festival Gig with Led Zeppelin
07 Sep 1970: Joe drives down to Great Neck to join

Unfortunately, "approx" features a lot in that list - only the gig dates are solid, so I'm hoping some of the other events can be arranged - at least - in the correct order around those actual known dates.

Next, I'll examine what Albert has said in the past about this time, and see what I can get from that.

First of all, I remembered Albert touched on this episode briefly in the Goldmine article:

By early March, the band was back on Long Island, which was experiencing a winter akin to the dreadful Winter of '96 in the New York area. The L.A. "fun" was over and now they were sitting round in the band-house, freezing with no work, waiting to hear what Elektra was going to do with their new recordings.

Albert: "We made the record, we came back to New York, they mixed it. They mixed it out in LA (Elektra Sound West Studios, same place it was recorded). We heard the mixes, we loved the mixes. We came back, and then nothing.

First, we didn't hear anything [more about it]. We were waiting around, and waiting around. Here we thought we'd made it. We'd gotten signed by a major label. Well actually it was a minor label at the time, but they had hits!

Albert: "Meanwhile, they turned off the heat in the house, and it's still winter. And the pipes froze. So we take the money for the food and we pay the plumber. So I call upstate to one of my musician friends [for work]... Just local stuff, but it was a little bit of money, and I could stay at my parents house and get my laundry done.

Albert: "So we're upstate [Thousand Islands area], and my parents tell me there was a call from Sandy Pearlman. I call Sandy and he's like 'I've been looking all over for you guys! Elektra is freakin' out. They've sent a producer down here to produce a single for you - Don [Gallucci] from Don and the Goodtimes."

"Anyway, Don Gallucci was there waiting for us [so] we went back," Albert said. "So he comes out to the band house in Great Neck. There's still no heat, but now our pockets are full, so we can get the heat the next day. "

OK - so SFG come back from California around early March and it's freezing in Long Island. They have no gigs, so no money coming in. Albert goes back to Clayton to play some gigs with "one of my musician friends" - presumably this was Ed Bazinet and Terry Bourcy (incidentally, I notice that Albert here doesn't mention that he went with Buck and Eric also) - plays a few gigs and then gets the call to return to Long island to meet up with Don Gallucci, which he does...

But how long did this Clayton trip last?

Now here's the thing - when they get back to Great Neck, it's still cold - Goldmine says this:

In all likelihood, when he [Don Gallucci] walked into the freezing cold house and saw everybody walking round in overcoats and heavy sweaters, he took it as a bad omen.

So they can't have been gone upstate for long - it's still freezing there, so it's not like early Summer yet, not unless it was the worst Summer ever... I think we have to be talking April 1970 or so for the Don Gallucci episode - which is strange...

Here's why it's so odd:

The generally accepted story has always been that during the Gallucci visit, Andy Winters left the rehearsal early, as he had his new bakery job to go to.

The band say they were so concerned that this didn't make them look like they were a serious, "professional" outfit to the onlooking Don Gallucci, that they consequently "fired" Andy the next day.

The next thing in the previously accepted story - they call Joe Bouchard to come down and help them out on bass as they've landed a gig in Boston on a bill with Led Zeppelin - which was subsequently cancelled. Joe can't come right away, but does so as soon as he can.

Helpfully, I can start pinning a few dates on this last bit - the Zeppelin gig was scheduled for 14 August 1970, but was cancelled on the 12th August. Joe says he got the call "in the middle of the night in August of '70" but he couldn't get down to Long Island until Labor Day, which was 7th September in 1970.

Therefore, all logic would suggest the Gallucci episode and subsequent firing of Andy Winters had to have happened around the start to mid August 1970.

And yet how can that be right? Everyone was "walking round in overcoats and heavy sweaters" in the Great Neck house during Gallucci's visit - hardly suitable for August.

Could it be that we have to offset the Gallucci visit/Andy Winters dismissal and shift it back a few months - to April 1970, maybe?

Two problems with that - first of all, if Andy was fired in April, and Joe joined in September, what did they do for a bass player in the intervening five months?

Second - SFG played two notable and prestigious Stony Brook gigs in that interim:

  1. 01 May 1970: Outdoors with Jefferson Airplane
  2. 03 Jul 1970: SFG || MC5 || Ten Years After

So if Andy played those, he can't have been fired the day after an April Don Gallucci visit...

So, as you can see, the Goldmine mention has helped only in leaving me pretty confused. Sadly, that's nothing new...

Next, I'll look at what Albert told me in that interview a few years back, and see if that throws any light on the subject.

Albert had been telling me about the lack of anything positive going on once they'd returned from California. It was a depressing period, and Albert said he was thinking of leaving at the time that he went home to Clayton:

Albert Bouchard

I was just getting sick of not having a phone and not having any food and not having any gigs...

I was thinking that I wanted to play music and I didn't want to just sit around... and Sandy Pearlman had done this record and then - because the people at Elektra weren't jumping up and down, Sandy - to me - seemed to be losing interest [and] we thought probably the LP was going to be shelved just like the other...

Also - Howie Klein had graduated from Stony Brook so he was no longer getting us the weekly Stony Brook gigs - there was just nothing going on...

I asked Albert how long was he back in Clayton before he got the call? Weeks?

Albert Bouchard

Yeah, we were gone for a couple of weeks... and here's what happened is - I wanted to go back upstate...

Eddie Bazinet - you know, the guy from the Regal Tones and the Clansmen, was playing with a band called Life and two of the guys had left the band, the drummer and the guitar player, so there was just Eddie, the other guitar player Terry Bourcy and the lead singer, Spike...

And so he said "do you wanna come up and play with us? And do you know a guitar player", and I said, "yeah, Don Roeser can play..." and I said "how about Don and myself and Eric Bloom" cos Eric had played up there with the Lost & Found, and was sort of a celebrity and he said "well, we've already got a singer, we've got Spike"...

So we said "well, Eric will play guitar when Spike sings and Eric will sing some leads too, and Spike can like dance or something..." and so they said "OK"...

So we went up there and we practiced with them, and I think we played like three or four gigs and they changed their name to New Life, so we were in the New Life for two weeks... [Chuckles]

I asked for some further clarification on the time period involved:

Albert Bouchard

No, what happened was that - I didn't live at home, I was staying at the band house - they had a band house that was over a laundromat, owned by my Uncle Nooney and we rented the place from my Uncle Nooney - y'know, very reasonable, but my mother sent me a message and I went over to say "Hi" and she said "Oh this guy from New York called, this Sandy guy, your manager I guess"...

So I called Sandy up and he said "Where are you man? Elektra sent this guy, Don Gallucci to produce a single - you're gonna record a single with them" and we said "Don and the Goodtimes is gonna work with us?" And he said "yes - get the hell down here".

So we drove back the next day and Don [Gallucci] had already been in town for a few days and he was basically brought out by Elektra to help work with us and, when we weren't there, he went to see this other group that was in New York at the time - Iggy and the Stooges and so what happened was he worked with us for one day and he said "OK"...

And there's the famous story where Andy says "I gotta go to the bakery - I can't be late, it's only my second day on the job, I'll get fired..." he left and Don kind of looked around and said "what the Hell? Y'know - I've been waiting for two weeks for you guys and..."

Here's what I found out later... he then went into the studio with the Stooges and they recorded Fun House instead of Soft White Underbelly...

So there you go... I think he made the right move... [Laughs]

I asked: "So when was all this?"

Albert Bouchard

I think the whole New Life episode was actually in the Summer, and the Don Gallucci and all of that was in the Summer - I don't recall it being cold...

Yikes! What happened to all the "overcoats and heavy sweaters"?? Remember - in Goldmine, Albert has previously said: "So he comes out to the band house in Great Neck. There's still no heat, but now our pockets are full, so we can get the heat the next day."

If I was confused before, now I'm doubly so. I thought there was some sort of mathematical law whereby both sets of confusion should cancel each other out, but regretfully not in this case.

Then Albert added a third helping of mystery, just for good measure. I was asking him about the mood of the band at that time: no gigs, a (seeming) waning of interest from Elektra, and now they'd lost their bass player...

Albert Bouchard

No no no - we got Joe in the band before Andy was fired.... we'd actually started looking around for bass-players earlier so that we weren't left in the lurch - you see, the thing with Les leaving was we were in the lurch - we were in the middle of something and he was gone... we had gigs and everything...

What happened with Joe was we had a supposed gig opening for Led Zeppelin and this guy - oh what was his name - the promoter, it began with "P" - well, so that was the enticement...

I tried to get Eddie Bazinet first, and Eddie said "no I have a gig", and I said "well who are you playing with?" and he said "Well I'm actually not playing, I'm a roadie for the Foxey Ladies, an all-girl band"... [Laughs]

Now that is weird - Albert had just been playing a series of gigs in Watertown with Eddie in "The New Life" right before he returned to see Don Gallucci. The timing here just doesn't work.

Something is amiss with the space-time continuum...

Another thing - Albert says when Don visited them and they weren't there, he went to NYC to see Iggy.

And then, after the meeting with SFG, he went and produced "Funhouse" - but again, the dates don't work for this, if the Gallucci affair was a Summer thing.

Here are those relevant Iggy dates:

  1. 24 Feb 1970: Ungano's, NYC was the Iggy gig that Gallucci attended
  2. 11-25 May 1970: Don produced Funhouse in Elektra Sound Recorders in LA

In February 1970, SFG were themselves at Elektra Sound Recorders in LA so Don Gallucci won't have been calling round to see them in Great Neck at that particular juncture...

The more I examine this whole episode, the more conflicting is the information that emerges.

I have the distinct feeling that my examination of the known "New Life" gig lists is not going to help matters, but what the hell, here goes...

So, my expectation going into this was that I was looking to try and find evidence of three or four gigs played by a band called "New Life" over a period of 2-3 weeks, possibly around August 1970, and I centred my search mainly on "Gene's Inn", in Green Park, just outside Watertown.

As a result of what Albert said, I looked first for any evidence of a band called "Life" playing at the Inn, but found nothing. If they played, it doesn't look like the venue advertised the fact in the local press.

However, what I did find was very odd... I'm trying to avoid using the word "confusing" again, but I'll admit, it's difficult...

I found a number of "New Life" gigs, starting on 10 April 1970 and running through to 17 September 1970!! That's over a five month period!!

Can Albert, Buck and Eric really have played all these gigs? Albert is on record saying it was only over a period of a couple of weeks or so...

BTW: Sometimes if you have an advert for say a Thursday performance, you can't tell if it's part of a week residency or not, so what I've done for 1970 is to catalogue as many of the gigs at Gene's Inn that I can find, so that I'll be better able to judge if any given gig is a one-off or not - that's in the next section...

DANCE TONIGHT!
WATERTOWN YOUTH CENTER
Corner Mill St. & West Main
NOW! For The First Time in Watertown, The Group
That Has Been Turning On Teens In The Central N.Y. Area
Action Associates Presents
Direct From The Flamingo Lounge In Hazelton, Pennsylvania
"THE NEW LIFE"

Watertown Daily Times [Fri 10 Apr 1970]

What was this "Direct From The Flamingo Lounge In Hazelton, Pennsylvania" malarkey all about...?

Maybe it was some weird attempt to make them sound exotic - if so, it might possibly have been more impressive to say they were direct from the Cairo Hilton or the Timbuktu Cafe a Go Go or someplace like that...

Actually, check out the last line of the review of the 23 Aug 1970 Watertown Music Fair gig lower down the page for another thought on this Pennsylvania business...

Quick Gig Facts
  • Keg Blast

Gene's Inn
Glen Park, NY
Opening For The Season Tonight
With The
"New Life"
And a Keg Blast
8:30 P.M. to 1 A.M.

Watertown Daily Times [Tue 21 Apr 1970]

One thing - it's hard to tell from the above advert, but it's quite possible The New Life did the full Tuesday-Sunday run here - all the other bands at this time that started on a Tuesday seem to have had 6 nights.

Quick Gig Facts
  • Dance

DANCE
Watertown Teen Center
FRI.& SAT.
Action Associates Presents
NEW LIFE
(Back by Popular Demand)
(Under New Management)

Watertown Daily Times [Thu 30 Apr 1970]

DANCE
To-Nite & Sat.
TO THE FANTASTIC SOUNDS OF
THE NEW LIFE
Watertown Teen Center
(Under New Management)

Watertown Daily Times [Fri 01 May 1970]

The ad that appeared on 30 April 1970 initially confused me when it mentioned "Back by Popular Demand" - I had found no gigs listed at that venue prior to these two May dates, so how could these be a return engagement?

However, I knew they had played at the "Watertown Youth Center" on 10 April - that name seemed pretty close to "Watertown Teen Center", so could the two be the same venue, only under a new name?

When I checked, I found that both their addresses appeared to be identical, and this fact, coupled with the mention in the ads that they were "Under New Management", has led me to the conclusion that this is indeed the same venue, hence the "Back by Popular Demand" quote...

Quick Gig Facts
  • Dance

DANCE
To-Nite & Sat.
TO THE FANTASTIC SOUNDS OF
THE NEW LIFE
Watertown Teen Center
(Under New Management)

Watertown Daily Times [Fri 01 May 1970]

Quick Gig Facts
  • Dance

DANCE TONIGHT
WATERTOWN TEEN CENTER
With the fantastic sounds of
"The New Life"
8 'TIL 12
DON'T MISS THIS EXCITING GROUP
Also Dance Saturday Nite

Watertown Daily Times [Fri 22 May 1970]

Gene's Inn
TONIGHT
The New Life

FRI - SAT - SUN
South Shore Road Band

Watertown Daily Times [Thu 04 Jun 1970]

Quick Gig Facts
  • Show 1 of a 6 night run

GENE'S INN
Starting Tonight
6 Nights
"THE NEW LIFE"

Watertown Daily Times [Tue 09 Jun 1970]

Quick Gig Facts
  • Show 2 of a 6 night run
Quick Gig Facts
  • Show 3 of a 6 night run
Quick Gig Facts
  • Show 4 of a 6 night run
Quick Gig Facts
  • Show 5 of a 6 night run
Quick Gig Facts
  • Show 6 of a 6 night run
Quick Gig Facts
  • The Watertown Music Fair

The Watertown Music Fair
Sunday August 23 - 1 P.M.
Watertown Fairgrounds
Admission $1.00
Featuring
South Shore Road Band
Wool
Moses
The Young People
The New Life
Morocco
Judas Priest
The Great Northern Trash & Refuse Co.
The Greater Watertown Jayces

Watertown Daily Times [Sat 22 Aug 1970]

Judas Priest, eh?

Despite the fact that Terry Bourcy in the introduction saying he didn't think this event happened because he had no recollection of it, it seems it actually did take place.

I'd have thought that it would have been an outdoor event, but the following review says it took place inside a Jefferson Community College-administered auditorium, though it doesn't name it, and reports that there was a spot of damage:

Music Fair Damages Under Study
In the aftermath of the Greater Watertown Jaycees' eight-hour rock festival, Jefferson Community College officials today were attempting to determine the amount of damage done to the rug and seats in the auditorium. One reliable source said the carpet would have to be replaced.

This morning a Times reporter counted numerous burn marks in the rug and noted many seats had been marked with pieces, of tape. Dr. James E. McVean, college president, said the seats would have to be cleaned.

The Jaycees are covered by insurance for the damage. Dr. McVean said burn holes were the only damage caused during the festival. "No Smoking" signs are posted in the auditorium.

Dr. McVean also said the crowd of 1,400 violated the fire ordinance for the 600 seat auditorium.

A spokesman for the Jaycees said there was some confusion about the location of the balcony from which a youth jumped or fell. Nelson Eddy, president of the Jaycees, said Tuesday there is no balcony at the college and there was no report of any damages.

A Times reporter, who was at the festival all day, saw the boy either falling or jumping from a balcony outside the college lounge, facing the parking lot.

The youth hit the ground, narrowly missing a stone wall, rolled a few yards, got to his feet and went to the parking lot with friends.

Mr. Eddy also disputed The Times report of a curtain falling. The Times reporter saw the curtain fall.

George Kidney, of the Jaycees, said about $1,400 was collected at the festival. Dr. McVean said the Jaycees would be charged for use of the auditorium, but stressed the amount would not be public information.

Mr. Kidney said this morning a band called "Life" was, not from Pennsylvania, but was a newly-formed local group.

Watertown Daily Times [Wed 26 Aug 1970]

Note that last line: "Mr. Kidney said this morning a band called "Life" was, not from Pennsylvania, but was a newly-formed local group."

I wonder why that clarification had to be made? If you recall the very first gig listed on this page from back in April, the band were advertising themselves as being "Direct From The Flamingo Lounge In Hazelton, Pennsylvania"...

Could there have been some stipulation that the bands playing this Music Fair had to be "local" and someone complained that New Life/Life were promoting themselves as being from PA?

Note also that they are listed in the adverts as "The New Life" but referred to in the article as "Life". Was that just an error or does it hark back to what Albert said before the gig lists - that the band used to be called "Life"...?

Quick Gig Facts
  • Dance

Dance Tonight 9 'Til 12
Watertown Teen Center
Action Associates Presents
The Fantastic
"NEW LIFE"
If you've missed them at the Watertown Music Fair
Dont Miss This Great Group Tonight

Watertown Daily Times [Thu 27 Aug 1970]

Quick Gig Facts
  • Keg Blast

Gene's Inn
Tonight
Keg Blast
'The New Life'

Watertown Daily Times [Thu 17 Sep 1970]

I notice the "Keg Blast" gets the highest billing...

Anyway, this is the last advert I could find for "New Life". It's worth reiterating that the date - so far as any Albert, Buck and Eric involvement is concerned - presents the same problem as the early April/May gigs - it lies outside the expected date range for their participation.

We know Joe had joined up at the Great Neck band house on 7 September 1970, so what were three of his new bandmates doing playing in a covers band in upstate New York when he arrived? - doesn't exactly spell out commitment to the SFG cause...

It's a tough one...

Here are all the advertised 1970 gigs I could find for Gene's Inn - if you know of any others to help fill in the gaps, please let me know and I'll add them to the list:


Fri 23 Jan 1970: George Walters and The Paradise Ramblers
Sat 24 Jan 1970: Fred Angel || George Walters

Fri 30 Jan 1970: George Walters and The Paradise Ramblers
Sat 31 Jan 1970: Fred Angel || George Walters
Sun 01 Feb 1970: 16 Bands (March of Dimes?) and Jamboree

Fri 06 Feb 1970: Fred Angel || George Walters
Sat 07 Feb 1970: Fred Angel || George Walters

Thu 26 Mar 1970: Lee Moore || Fred Angel || George Walters
Fri 27 Mar 1970: Lee Moore || Fred Angel || George Walters
Sat 28 Mar 1970: Lee Moore || Fred Angel || George Walters

Tue 21 Apr 1970: The New Life 

Tue 28 Apr 1970: Brian's Idols (Keg Blast)

Tue 05 May 1970: Peace, Love and War || Bonnie & Stella Go-Go Girls

Fri 15 May 1970: Bernie And The Poverty 6 (from Cortland)

Tue 19 May 1970: The Morocco's
Wed 20 May 1970: The Morocco's
Thu 21 May 1970: The Morocco's
Fri 22 May 1970: The Morocco's
Sat 23 May 1970: The Morocco's
Sun 24 May 1970: The Morocco's

Thu 04 Jun 1970: The New Life 
Fri 05 Jun 1970: South Shore Road Band
Sat 06 Jun 1970: South Shore Road Band
Sun 07 Jun 1970: South Shore Road Band

Tue 09 Jun 1970: The New Life 
Wed 10 Jun 1970: The New Life 
Thu 11 Jun 1970: The New Life 
Fri 12 Jun 1970: The New Life 
Sat 13 Jun 1970: The New Life 
Sun 14 Jun 1970: The New Life 

Thu 17 Sep 1970: The New Life  (Keg Blast)

Thu 24 Sep 1970: South Shore Road Band
Fri 25 Sep 1970: South Shore Road Band
Sat 26 Sep 1970: South Shore Road Band


By the way - the reason I've bothered to make this list is to help me better able to make a judgement about any particular gig that I see advertised.

Here's an example - I found an advert for a "New Life" gig on Thursday 04 June 1970. But was this a standalone gig or was it part of a residency?

Gene's Inn often seemed to be book bands for a 6-night (Tuesday to Sunday) run, so that's a relevant question to consider.

However, because I found out that "South Shore Road Band" were playing on the next (Friday) night, that helped clear that one up...

In the list above, check out the "Tuesday 21 Apr 1970" gig I have listed - I have a strong suspicion that this could well be the opening night of a 6-night run, but I have no actual evidence to prove this at the moment.

Terry mentioned he'd previously been in The Playboys and The Triumphs before joining Stone Fox, the precursor to "New Life". Here's a link to a pic of Terry whilst he was in The Triumphs (dated 21 Feb 1966) on the great "Nostalgic Watertown NY" FB page:

  • The Triumphs (Terry Bourcy, Benny Siragusa, James Lawlor and Randy Roberts)

I decided to try and find out a bit more about "Stone Fox", as they were the precursor that resulted in "New Life". All I currently know about their personnel line-up is what Terry told me - they consisted of Spike Bush on vocals, Terry Bourcy on rhythm guitar, Ed Bazinet on bass, and probably two unknown others - a drummer and a lead guitarist. If anybody can fill in any of the blanks, please let me know.

I had assumed they were a local Watertown band, and I did find a couple of ads for them locally, but most of the info seemed to come from 1971 and were from the Cortland area - so they seemed to be a Cortland based-band.

I began to wonder was this a different "Stone Fox", and that there might have been two in operation - one from Cortland and one from Watertown? This idea wasn't helped by the fact that many ads seemed to be for "The Stone Fox" as opposed to just "Stone Fox".

Terry Bourcy

Regarding Stone Fox: We played around the Cortland area and always bought our gear from the store there. I don't remember another Stone Fox from Cortland however.

We were based out of the Watertown/Clayton NY area and played mostly in clubs in NY State and Northern Pennsylvania...

By the way - Ed Bazinet from the Regal Tones was a friend of mine and we played in a lot of cover bands together.

He was a very good bass player and still is. He was not only in Stone Fox but we used his van with the band name on the side.

Haven't talked to Ed in a long time. He was from Clayton and lived just up the road from the Bouchards.

So it looks like there was just the one band then. Anyway, here's a list of all the gigs I found - [SF] indicates that the band was billed as "Stone Fox" and [TSF] as "The Stone Fox":

  1. Sun 18 May 1969: Wescott Beach, NY (Jefferson College Spring Weekend) [TSF]
  2. Sat 24 May 1969: Pirate's Roost, Alex Bay NY (Pitcher Blast) [SF]
  3. Mon 23 Jun 1969: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  4. Tue 24 Jun 1969: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  5. Wed 25 Jun 1969: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  6. Mon 30 Jun 1969: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  7. Tue 01 Jul 1969: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  8. Wed 02 Jul 1969: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  9. Thu 03 Jul 1969: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  10. Sat 05 Jul 1969: O'Brien's, Clayton NY [TSF]
  11. Fri 26 Sep 1969: River's End Room, River Valley Inn, Mannsville NY (Dance) [TSF]
  12. Sat 28 Feb 1970: The Grill, Hotel Woodruff, Watertown NY (Heart Victory Ball) [TSF]

    -- Gap --

  13. Fri 13 Nov 1970: The Barberosa, Cortland NY [TSF]
  14. Fri 04 Dec 1970: The Barberosa, Cortland NY [TSF]
  15. Fri 08 Jan 1971: Barberosa Restaurant, Cortland NY [TSF]
  16. Fri 22 Jan 1971: The Barberosa, Cortland NY [TSF]
  17. Fri 12 Mar 1971: The Office, Cortland NY [SF]
  18. Sat 13 Mar 1971: The Office, Cortland NY [SF]
  19. Thu 18 Mar 1971: The Office, Cortland NY [SF]
  20. Fri 26 Mar 1971: Gymnasium, Homer Junior High School, Homer NY [SF]
  21. Sat 03 Apr 1971: The Office, Cortland NY [SF]
  22. Sat 24 Apr 1971: The Bank, Cortland NY [SF]
  23. Fri 21 May 1971: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  24. Sat 22 May 1971: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  25. Sun 13 Jun 1971: The Bank, Cortland NY [SF]
  26. Sat 03 Jul 1971: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  27. Sat 21 Aug 1971: Calico Pond, Town of Solon, NY (Wedding Party) [SF]
  28. Fri 03 Sep 1971: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  29. Sat 04 Sep 1971: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  30. Fri 17 Sep 1971: Homer Junior High School, Homer NY [SF]
  31. Sat 18 Sep 1971: Gaslight, Watertown NY [SF]
  32. Fri 12 Nov 1971: McGraw Central School, McGraw NY (Annual Dance) [SF]
  33. Sun 19 Dec 1971: The Country Grill, Groton NY [SF]
  34. Thu 23 Dec 1971: First United Methodist Church, Auburn NY (Teen Dance) [SF]

So, if thanks to what Terry says we can assume that all these dates are by the same band, there's a definitely chronology detailed above.

They started off as The Stone Fox, then there's a gap from March to November 1970, and then they appear to resume playing gigs again (largely around Cortland).

This March-November gap is important as it allows the New Life gigs to fit right into the schedule - I'd been half-expecting to see a Stone Fox gig that conflicted with a New Life gig simply because that's how it always seems to go when I think I start to have a handle on something, but no - it seems to fit together nicely.

The only surprise is that Stone Fox seem to kick back into action following the demise of New Life and resume playing around Cortland, with the occasional foray to The Gaslight, in Watertown - [some of the ads for those Gaslight gigs say Stone Fox (from Cortland) so we know it's the same band]...

What I don't know is who was in this rejuvenated Stone Fox once the three members of SFG went back to Great Neck - was it Terry and Ed Bazinet still?

I didn't carry on my research into 1972 as it didn't seem relevant to an examination of New Life, which, after all, is the main reason for the existence of this page.

It's hard to have much in the way of actual conclusions at the moment because so much of all this is up in the air.

Terry Bourcy says that "Stone Fox" became "New Life" when Eric, Buck and Albert joined, but Albert says that there was a band called "Life" already in existence, and only became New Life when they came on board.

Both Terry Bourcy and Albert say the "New Life" gigs only took place over the course of a couple of weeks or so during the Summer of 1970, yet when I investigated, I found that the timespan of "New Life" actually ran from April to November 1970.

If it was only a couple of weeks, which weeks are we talking about? - and who played the other dates I've unearthed? Also - if it was only a couple of weeks - would they have gone to all the trouble of renting out a "band house" above the laundrette for such a short period of time?

To be honest, the whole chronology is hopelessly confused, tied up as it was with the infamous visit of Don Galluci, which apparently took place either in the dark depths of Winter or else in the midst of Summer...

On one hand, I've got some nice hard dating evidence for a good number of the gigs "New Life" played, but on the other, I have a nasty feeling that not all of these gigs can have been played by a line-up which included Eric, Buck and Albert...

If anyone can help shed any more light on this period of SFG history, please let me know...