The Stompers’ Time Machine

28 Jul

The Hangover first saw The Stompers back in 1979 when they played a concert at “the small prestigious liberal arts college” (not exactly my own terminology) I attended.  We hadn’t heard of them, but the fliers distributed around the dining hall claimed the Boston band was known for passionate, high-energy live shows.  It was a $5 gamble we were willing to take.  Well, The Stompers blew the roof off the gym and we were instant converts.  The Hangover followed the band through the years, and the shows always lived up to the standard set that first night.   When a friend suggested we see their reunion concert this summer at the Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, it was easy to imagine a good time.  That the Stompers would blow any pangs of nostaglia to smithereens wasn’t even considered.   

Being professional musicians, it would have been easy for Sal Baglio, Dave Friedman, Steve Gilligan, and Lenny Shea to get on stage, have some fun, and go through the motions.  Instead, the Stompers revved up, dug down, and played one of the best sets in the long history of The Hangover’s concert experience.    With a horn section and back-up singers behind them, the Stompers ruled from the first notes of “This is Rock and Roll” through the closing “Rock and Roll.”   As young men, we had considered Sal Baglio a rock god; it was good to see our original assessment was on the money.

The Hangover and associates were hooting, hollering, singing, and raising our bottles in tribute throughout the night.  We screamed “Sal” just as we had at countless shows back in the ’80’s.  It should have been pathetic:  2000 middle-agers acting as they had 25 years earlier, when they were young and foolish and drunk–and didn’t care if they acted like a bunch of idiots.  But The Stompers July 26th set was a time machine.  The Hangover wasn’t concerned about the kids back home with the babysitter or the hangover (the real thing) staring me down the barrel of Sunday morning.  The Stompers transported myself and countless others back to a time when we didn’t worry and the music really mattered.  It was as close to The Fountain of Youth as we will ever get. 

Few bands can do what the Stompers did on Saturday night.  Three days later, I’m still feeling good about it.  The Hangover is grateful.


9 Responses to “The Stompers’ Time Machine”

  1. pete August 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    I agree, I’ve seen the Stompers since teh 70’s at Grovers in Beverly, Jonathans in Salem and of course The Channel in Boston. Got home at 1am. That sure does not happen very often 🙂

  2. Eric August 5, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    I am so terribly sorry I had to miss this monumentous event!!! A pure moment where time stopped and music and raw passion lit the night up!!!

    Sal – next year okay?

    But I’ll be seeing you with TH and the Rattlesnakes at the Grog in Newburyport on 8/31…. I know, a shameless pitch!!!

    All the best –

    Eric W.

  3. jake August 6, 2008 at 7:30 pm #

    It was as close to The Fountain of Youth as we will ever get. You hit that right on the money. Great description of the evening as you must have been standing, or should I say jamming right beside me………..I myself waited close to 26 years to transport my Rock and Roll Heart back in time,
    I enjoyed every second of this reunion and now weeks later find myself humming and singing the ol Stopers tunes again and again. Hope SAL is listening, brother this is what it all about. Lets Rock till we drop :O

  4. jake August 6, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    Attention on the Missed typo’s above
    Stompers is what I meant
    and Hope SAL is listening, because brother that
    is what is all about ! Yeah Yeah Yeah uhoooooooooo
    ooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh baby

  5. bubba lou August 19, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    The Stompers are pure rock n roll have seen them countless of times over last 25-30 years and they have never disappointed always a good time,have never seen one of their shows where i did not leave drained,could only imagine how Sal and the guys felt-keep rockin all night long

  6. dan August 22, 2008 at 7:57 am #

    fuck’in bunch of losers…there’s gotta be a bunch of jersey type southside johnny fans you could start a chat room with.

  7. MIKE KELLEY August 22, 2008 at 8:46 am #


  8. Franco August 27, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    Hey Dan, There’s no Jersey types or Jersey wannabee’s like you left anymore. They died of STD. If southside johnny has fans like you then you know a beatin’ when you see one. Philly Loser! Jersey Loser


  1. Best Rock and Roll Christmas Songs « The Hangover - December 2, 2008

    […] Baglio and the band plead for the one present that will make life complete.  And they do it in the all-out style that the band was known for.  They just don’t want the guitar, they need […]

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