Five Firsts: Mark Rose of Ten Year Vamp

MarkRoseNAME: Mark Rose

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I should think up something cool to say, but honestly, it was the Village People’s “YMCA” album. And yes, I still have it. The first 45s I bought were Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” and Robert Palmer’s “Bad Case Of Lovin’ You.” I still have them, too.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … It was Phil Collins at SPAC. My mom was a teacher at Scotia Glenville at the time and got tickets for a student of hers who didn’t have tickets but was a big fan. My brother and I went along. I remember being awestruck listening the entire audience sing “Take Me Home.”

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Piano. I took lessons between 3rd and 8th grade. I hated it, but my mom forced me, and said I would regret quitting. She let me quit when I hit 9th grade, and yup, she was right. Oh man, was she right.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Summer of 1989… home from college and the previous 2 semesters, my best friends and I all learned guitar/bass/drums. So every night that summer we spent in my parent’s basement trying to play while my father watched TV one floor above us with the volume maxed out. One brave evening, we went to Tiger’s Pub in Clifton Park (now Northern Lights) for an open mic night. We got there and thought we’d be great. Unfortunately for us, we had never been to a Tiger’s open mic, and had never seen Matt Smith play. When he and his house band started, we nearly fainted. I did all I could to keep the other guys from running out the door (literally… they got up from their chairs and started heading for the door). We had never seen a band that good. They blew the roof off the place in the first minute of their set. We did end up staying, and Matt was extremely nice to us as we played John Mellencamp’s “Lonely Ole Night” and Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” We got through those, but then our drummer started the Clash’s “Train In Vain” (which we agreed not to play) and that was an embarrassing disaster. Matt was very nice to us kids. If he wasn’t so nice, we might have quit right there. Thanks, Matt.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … It was the band mentioned above, eventually known around the area as Pure Dirt. We hit all the regular stops back in the early and mid 90s: Bogie’s, Pauly’s, the Bijou. Karen “KC” Campbell was singing with us back when we first started playing… before she went on to form Nobody’s Girls. If anyone knows how to reach KC, let me know!

Guitarist Mark Rose and his bandmates in Ten Year Vamp will play their sixth annual Thanksgiving Eve Homecoming Show at the Bayou Cafe in Albany on Wednesday (November 25). The gig also marks Ten Year Vamp’s 500th show.

1 Comment
  1. Michael Eck says

    I remember the Pure Dirt days and it’s good to see Mark keep on keeping on. A true believer, I’d say.

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