Thursday, March 19, 2009

Marc Waldman, 1968-2009

In late 2004, The Villas auditioned 10 bass players. 

Marc Waldman (despite playing great and having, by far, the most fabulous rock star hair of all the auditionees) came in second and didn't get the job. This had never happened to Marc before. He had always "smoked the audition and gotten the job," which he reminded me in a series of increasingly funny, charming, and endearing phone calls ("Hey Villa,Waldman") over the ensuing months.

When the new bass player we had selected didn't work out, ring-a-ding hipster Marc Waldman and his fabulous haircut by Kathy Parker became The Villas bass player. 

Our first gig with Marc was a private employee Holiday Party at Rodale, Inc. (gulp, don't wanna screw up there) on 12/17/04 and Marc did indeed smoke that gig and all subsequent Villas shows. 

With Marc's longtime Aquabees bandmate Kevin Groller joining The Villas on drums, we (Angie, me, Marc, Kevin, and Bill Wehbe on keyboards) proceeded to have thee most F-U-N the Villas band had ever had since forming in 1999. And our revolving personnel door stopped revolving. In one smooth operator move, Marc Waldman had brought both fun and stability to a band that had experienced both only fleetingly before him. Those who know Marc will no doubt appreciate and maybe marvel at this delicious irony.

From the swingin’ croons of Frank Sinatra to the rippin’ surf riffs of Dick Dale, and from cocktail jazz and John Philip Sousa to The Beatles, Marc Waldman could, and did, play anything, and everything, exceptionally well.

That's Marc playing bass on The Villas new 2-song single (you can hear these songs by clicking on the kick drum at this blog's right sidebar) and on our upcoming 3rd full-length CD.

I will always have an especially warm place in my heart for Marc for his cajoling (and nagging) and encouraging (and insisting) that I perform via cameo appearance on lead vocals with Marc's longtime great surf/cover band, The Aquabees, which includes Kevin Groller on drums, Larry D'Amelio on Farfisa organ, and Dano Dave D'Amelio on guitar. I'll never forget the two 2005 shows The Villas and The Aquabees did together at The Fun House in Bethlehem and the two Aquabees gigs at The Hotel Bethlehem during Musikfest that Marc booked and promoted and played bass in both bands and never got his hair mussed. I haven't had that much fun since.

Our local and regional music communities have lost a truly great one with the passing of Marc Waldman.

We will always miss our Villas bandmate, Marc. 

Marc Waldman's Bio at The Villas Website 

[This post was composed by Bill Villa] 

Photo Credit: Annie Giancarlo, Mayfair, 2007.