A Spoonful of nostalgia
Several alumni responded to the Spring 2009 Salmagundi page "Slices" photo contest (it was John Sebastian and Joe Butler from the Lovin’ Spoonful in concert at the 'Gate in 1968), sharing their fun reminiscences.
Here’s the letter that started it all, from the Scene, Summer 2009:
Spoonful of Memories
I was at the Lovin’ Spoonful concert (Slices, Scene, Spring 2009) along with my good friend Wick O’Brien ’73. His father, Kenneth, was on the Colgate staff, so we both were faculty brats. As I remember it, Wick’s date was Mary Barnett, daughter of Colgate President Vincent Barnett. My date was Nancy Migonis, whose family still lives in Hamilton. It was our first rock concert. My parents made me dress up, which probably meant good school clothes. I do not remember if this was spring or fall of 1968; we would have been either juniors or seniors in High School.
Enjoyable issue of the Scene. I especially liked the picture of Vet Ville (Page 13). When my parents moved to Hamilton in the summer of 1952, they lived there along with many other young faculty members and their new families.
Kevin Sio ’73
So many alumni responded to the spring 2009 Slices photo contest, we’ve posted them below. Check them out, and submit your own campus concert memory at www.colgatealumni.org/messageboards or send to email@example.com.
John Sebastian and the Lovin' Spoonful, of course. John Sebastian appeared at Colgate a few years later with his own band. I was on the Social Committee staff that booked him that year and got to spend time with him "backstage", i.e. under the bleachers at the basketball court, talking about his career and how much he was enjoying the opening act, Taj Mahal, who we had to almost pull off the stage so to allow JS enough time to do his show before we were locked out of the facility. Those were the days!
W. Allan Cagnoli ’75
I was intrigued by the photo of the Lovin’ Spoonful. I was fortunate enough to be a 12-year-old “townie” at the time and had parents who trusted me enough to attend (having an older brother helps) – I believe this was “my first.”
The college concert circuit back then was incredible as a launching ground for all the new bands, and Colgate got a bunch of good ones. My only regret was missing The Doors/Stone Poneys concert the year before (guess it was too much for a fifth grader).
Thanks for the trip back in time!
Kevin Kwiatkowski ’78
One of my room mates at Phi Gam, Paul Fleishauer, was on the entertainment committee of the student body in some capacity for which I can't remember the actual title. In any event I remember meeting John Sebastian and later Frank Zappa while Paul was fulfilling his duties for alma mater. Some of the Mothers of Invention came back to Phi Gam after they played (don't remember the date) in as much as this was a social weekend with the fraternities providing the usual refreshments. Those were the days.
One of my nephews who wears a Frank Zappa t shirt was with impressed with all of this. Myself, I listen to classical music these days.
Bob Mortenson ’70
A much better question would be: Name the high school classmates of Seb (guy on the left) who attended Colgate?
The others (besides me) were Jim Rand, Dave Scoville, Chuck Bernhart and Ben Sibley. We graduated from Blair Academy in 1962. Sorry to bother you with such minor trivia, but it just jumped off the page at me when I saw the picture.
Steve Kreglow ’66
Lovin' Spoonful lead singer/guitarist John Sebastian (l.) and singer/drummer Joe Butler (r.) rock out... Sebastian began the concert by arriving wearing a Colgate marching band hat and playing the glockenspiel.
Howard Fineman ’70
I delivered pizza for NY Pizzeria in my red ’69 VW Beetle from 1978 until 1981. I am proud to say that at graduation, I held the record for the most number of pizzas delivered by one person in one night, 82. I’m sure the record has been broken many times since.
Best from San Francisco (great town but inferior pizza!)
Bill Montgomery ’81 (married to Cindy Hart Montgomery ’83)
I’m class of ’80 (real name Adam Cornelius), so that was way before my time, but the clue (Daydream) gave me the group, and I just guessed Sebastian because he was the lead singer and Butler because he was the drummer. Sebastian left the group in ’68, so that must have been one of their last appearances together!
We had some awesome concerts at 'Gate when I was there, too; the ones that come to mind are Billy Joel, George Benson, Grateful Dead, Bob Marley (a Halloween concert!), Pure Prairie League, Dave Mason, Ramsey Lewis, and Pat Metheny (I was also lucky enough to catch Fleetwood Mac there as a high school senior because I was visiting Colgate that weekend). Also, Bob Hope filmed part of a TV special on campus. All of which is very cool, especially for such a small school in such a remote location.
Colgate rocks. (My son Adam just graduated with the class of '09.)
Skip Cornelius ’80
In the picture are John Sebastian and Joe Butler of the Lovin Spoonful and yes, I was at the concert. When they sang the song “Summer in the city” they used a Kazoo to mimic a car horn. After the song, he tossed it into the audience and it landed right in my lap! I gave it to my Caz girlfriend at the time, who was my date.
Bob Raiber ’68