FIVE FIRSTS: Chuck Vosganian of the Rochmon Record Club
NAME: Chuck Vosganian
BAND AFFILIATION: Rochmon Record Club
INSTRUMENT: Rockologist, Drums & Percussion
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Cream’s Goodbye
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The Guess Who on July 20, 1969. They played in the auditorium at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island. My dad worked there and bought four tickets – two for me and my best friend, Jim Cook, and two for my Dad and my sister Jenny for my 13th birthday on July 12th. The Guess Who sang “These Eyes” which was a big hit on the radio at the time. BNL was research facility staffed by scientists and engineers. July 20 was also the night of the first moon landing, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking a giant leap for mankind. The auditorium was nearly empty, the scientists were all home watching scientific history being made. Not us! I met the band and got my copy of their great record, Wheatfield Soul, autographed. I’ll never forget it!
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … The one that got away, a 1956 (the year I was born) Gretsch White Pearl snare drum. I wish I still had that drum. I still have my first drum set, a four-piece, late 1950’s Rogers Grey Ripple. I got the set for Christma,s 1969 (a big year for me musically), so I’ve owned it for 49 years.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … I took drum lessons from the age of eight, and I’m pretty sure the first song I played in public was “Little Drummer Boy” for a school Christmas performance.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … ZED – Jimmy Federico on guitar and vocals; Mike Serres on bass and vocals; and me on drums. I still have the hand-painted bass drum head. We named the band ZED because in England, when they say the alphabet, it begins with Alpha and ends with Zed. The Brits say “zed” not “z.” I thought it was cool, and the other guys didn’t care. And once I painted the drum head it sort of stuck. We played lots of Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and a few Allman Brothers tunes.
Since 2014, Chuck Vosganian has been hosting Rochmon Record Club sessions monthly, first at Universal Preservation Hall and now at Caffe Lena, offering an in-depth multi-media examination of a single classic rock album. At 7pm tonight (Tuesday, April 17) at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, Vosganian exxplores and examines Jimi Hendrix’s 1969 compilation, “Smash Hits.” Admission is $5. And forgoing the single-album concept for his Schenectady debut, the Rochmon Record Club focuses on the career of Tom Petty at Proctors’ GE Theatre at 7:30pm on Wednesday, April 25. Tickets are $10.