Formed in early 1981, the founding members were Mike O'Hara, Steve Karnes,
and Jerry Anne. They played one gig for a private party held by Blue Cross & Blue Shield
of Rochester. Steve used Mike's old drum set and Jerry used Mike's Fender Jazz Bass and
amplifier. A few months later, Bill Friday was added and within weeks they played a private
party in Swain, NY. Bill used a borrowed Rickenbacker and one of Mike's amps.
They continued to play at private parties for friends and relatives for about 6-8
months. Then in 1982, Steve arranged for their "club debut" at a bar on State St. Rochester, NY
across from the Kodak Tower. By this time Steve had purchased a set of Ludwig drums and
Bill had bought the borrowed Rickenbacker. Bill started using a very old amp that he had with a
homemade speaker cabinet.The name of the bar was "Some Place Close". They were a huge
success and even some of Mike's fellow "on-patrol" police officers were stopping in for a
Weekly practice sessions and more private parties polished their stage presence
and increased their repertoire of songs. They got booked at a larger club, Coffey's Pub in
Charlotte, and anxiously anticipated playing there. They first had another Labor Day Party
to play down in Swain, NY. That party was even more successful than the previous year's.
Unfortunately, Bill wrecked his car and broke his back on the way home . . . causing them to
cancel the Coffey's Pub gig.
Within a month, Bill returned to weekly practice, though in a back brace. During his
absence, Mike, Steve, and Jerry had each written songs of their own. Bill had also tried to
write one while he was laid up. Mike's song, "You Didn't Win" was by far the best although
closely followed by Steve's "Same Old Road" and Gerry's "Heart of Ice". By this time Gerry
had purchased a Gibson Bass and a Crate Amplifier with a Peavey speaker cabinet. Bill had
purchased a used 1960's Fender Super Reverb amp. Mike replaced the old Gibson PA with a
new Yamaha system.
They soon re-booked the Coffey's Pub job. That, too, turned out to be highly
successful and led to numerous return engagements. The group finally started to really take off
and even developed a sizeable fan base. More and more gigs started lining up including:
Teaser's Lounge - Greece, NY (numerous engagements)
The Casablanca - Henrietta, NY
The Island Cottage Hotel - Greece, NY
The California Brew House - Rochester, NY
As well as more weddings and private parties.
The guys grew tight musically and became very close friends. There never seemed to
be any ego problems and the four exchanged musical ideas freely. Though they were all fans
of the "British Invasion" sounds which had been their mainstay, they were eager to try some
more challenging oldies such as the "Motown Sounds". About this time, Mike switched from
his classic Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean to a new Fender Squire Strat guitar. In order to have
that type of music sound really good, they all agreed that a keyboard and/or a horn section would
help. Jim Schulz, Steve's brother-in-law and former member of the "Angry Young Men", soon
joined the group. His keyboard, trumpet, and harmonica skills were a true asset. To fill out the
sound even more, Mike's fellow officer, Sam Palermo, was hired on as sax player.
Things took off. There were even more weddings, private parties, and new clubs.
Daemon College - Buffalo, NY
Shannon's Pub - Scottsville, NY
Mastrella's Steak House - Irondequoit, NY
Kidney Foundation Benefits
19th Ward Street Festival
Seneca Park Zoo Fest
Mapledale Party House - Rochester, NY
Diplomat Party House - Gates, NY
The Harrow East Ballroom - Rochester, NY
It was mid 1985 and the band, with the exception of Bill, wanted to start taking on weeknight gigs.
Not wanting to hold the guys back, Bill decided to retire from the group. Near the end of 1985 Mike
Latoski was brought in to replace Bill. His guitar skills were far above those of his predecessor. Bill
continued to follow the group from time to time but lost track of the many "sit-in" musicians who
replaced Sam Palermo after he left. Jerry eventually left and was replaced by a guy named Brad.
Steve left shortly after Jerry.
The band, in various forms, stayed together and continued to be busy until Mike O'Hara
finally decided to call it quits. It was about the year 1998 - over 17 years of "Nostalgia", a band
that will be sorely missed by the Rochester area club scene.
For more on "Nostalgia" - Click here.