Yes, Christian Grey. Sexy, provocative, mysterious and at the time, very young. A portend of things to come. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. A young man developing his many shades of grey. But, the real Christian Grey from oh, so long ago was a band of young men. Four of them. Each with a future yet to be tendered.
In 1972, Todd Hobin joined forces with three other like minded souls. Young men waiting to make their mark on the world. At the time, all they wanted to do was make music. They were Gary Hodges, Dave Maswick and Chuck Levine. And along with Todd, they wrote songs, practiced and played gigs throughout North Country New York and beyond. Chuck and Todd did most of the writing... A strange mix of blues and humor. Ask Chuck about it today, and he'll tell you it was, “the birth pains of a comedy writer.” More on that... later.
The band was well received for the most part, but all good things must come to an end. Here's a newspaper clipping from their last performance together. It points out that Todd was leaving to join a Rock n Roll revival show. Gary started his student teaching assignment. Dave Maswick was looking for a job. And Chuck... well, he quit school and headed for Los Angeles to find another band. Todd always felt bad about that. Getting your degree is important. He worried that Chuck would have a rough go of it without his degree.
Well, Gary Hodges did get his teaching degree. He enjoyed an amazing career as an educator and conductor. In fact, he has raised his baton in Carnegie Hall. Todd was there to see it. He continues to nurture his students, some of whom are rocking the classical world. Read about Gary below. It's very impressive stuff. He still plays percussion (and bass) on Long Island.
Dave Maswick not only got a job, he excelled in the world of education AND technology. He's a big wig in a major college in America. Read more about him below, too. Dave recently wrote one of the most beautiful songs EVER. He's got one of those voices. Todd tells the story of walking in downtown Albany and hearing the distant tones of that familiar, magical voice of Dave's. He dragged his wife for blocks in search of the sound, swearing that there could only be ONE voice like Dave Maswick's in the world. Sure enough, playing live at a festival with his band, there stood the mighty David M. thrilling the crowd. Here is a link to: The Last Man Standing
Take the time to listen to this remarkable song.
Oh, yes... and Chuck Levine. He still packs a punch as a guitarist. And there probably isn't a better writer anywhere in the world. Comedy? He writes the book. You see... Chuck changed his name when he hit Hollywood. If you watch Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly and a host of other television hits... or if you followed the crash and burn of Charlie Sheen... you know Chuck Lorre.
The members of Christian Grey might just get together and play, just for the fun of it. On September 29th at the Turning Stone Casino Showroom, join Todd Hobin as he welcomes some friends to join him on stage. Gary Hodges will be featured, maybe even Dave Maswick too. Chuck? Well, he sends his regards. The Fall season of television waits for no one. There will be a Stratocastor guitar sitting in its stand in his honor. The dude can still play with the best of them.
Gary Hodges received a B.S. in Music Education at SUNY at Potsdam, where he studied percussion with Jim Petercsak, and received a M.M. and completed the coursework toward the Doctorate in Music Education at Syracuse University, where he studied with Ernest Muzquiz of the Syracuse Symphony. As a percussion teacher, Mr. Hodges’ former private students include Joseph Pereira who played for 10 years in the New York Philharmonic and is now Prinicipal Timpanist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Matthew Strauss of the Houston Symphony and Robert Slack, principal percussionist of the Pacific Symphony. Mr. Hodges is a Yamaha Performing Artist, a Sabian Cymbal artist/clinician, and a Grover Pro Percussion endorsee. Mr. Hodges has conducted percussion performance clinics at the SCMEA Day of Percussion, The Juilliard School of Music, and the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.
As a conductor, Mr. Hodges was Director of Orchestras for 15 years at Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, a music, art, dance, and theater summer program on Long island. It is through the Usdan Center that Mr. Hodges has had the opportunity to conduct numerous ballet performances as well as guest soloists including, at Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera soprano Harolyn Blackwell. Mr. Hodges also spent 30 years as the Director of the Ward Melville High School Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, two Jazz Ensembles, and Pep Band in Setauket, Long Island.
* Writer/producer/musician/singer/Crane graduate Dave Maswick is listed in "Who's Who in Rock Music" for his work as a member of the '80s MTV favorites Blotto.
The video for the hit single "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard" was in rotation on MTV on the first day that MTV was on the air. In the video Dave (and the rest of the band) appear in bathing suits. In a later review, without saying anything about the music, NY Times music critic Jon Pareles noted that the "thoroughly unathletic Blotto band hits the water....". OUCH!!! Maybe Crane should consider offering a "How to be a musician and not look like an idiot" course.
Dave has also been recognized for his work as a long-time member of the legendary Stony Creek Band most recently appearing with the group on NBC's Today show. In addition, Dave has written and produced songs for many artists and has had his songs covered internationally as well as having had them placed in several motion pictures.
Dave is currently in the studio tracking 10 new songs for a solo album. Among the new tunes is the ballad "The Last Man Standing" which, even in its demo state, has received a great deal of attention for its message of continued friendship after death.