Background songs playing are a blend of about 20 songs recorded at El Pinto's this past May 6th
8-TRACK had a long life, playing venues all over New Mexico until the unexpected death of our keyboard player, Gary Howe in 2011. Some of our gigs included: Opening for “The Turtles” at the Rio Rancho 4th of July celebration in the late 1990’s, playing at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta several years in the 1990’s, playing before several UNM Lobo football games, and playing for the Roswell High School 20 year reunion. Last year we were one of the featured bands at the Santa Rosa Harley Davidson Rally. We have played for many other private parties throughout Albuquerque. We have also played local venues such as Bakers Street Bar & Grill, Pete’s Cantina, Our Place, The Barley Room, Misty’s Hideaway, Molly’s, The Uptown Bar & Grill, and others.
Off The Record Info
After the death of Gary, our band reorganized and became “Off the Record” with Jerry Robbins (lead vocals, rhythm guitar and ukulele), Richard Wilson (bass guitar and vocals), Jim Magnarella (drums, percussions and vocals), and Mike Pirko (lead guitar and vocals). Our focus continues to be Classic Rock with some “soul” thrown in. Vocals are a big part of our band, with all members contributing in lead and background vocals.
Most recently we were the opening band for the Jewish Community Center’s major fund raiser, which featured an outdoor concert with “Earth, Wind & Fire”.
Because of our total experience we can play almost any type of musical venue. Also, for small parties we can play with as few as two band members. We are a professional band, and take pride in our music. For booking information, please check our website or call Jerry Robbins at 505-681-5060.
I began my music career in the early 60’s with a $5 ukulele I got for Christmas. When “The Beatles” made their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1963, I purchased my first guitar and became a serious Beatle fan. One of my favorite things to do in a show is play “stump the Beatle”……….I know a LOT of Beatle music.
I never joined a band until the mid 1990’s and with the help of Richard Wilson (bass), Gary Howe (keyboards), Jerry Rancier (lead guitar) and Bob Atchison (drums) the band “8-TRACK” was born. Early in the life of the band, Jim Magnarella became our drummer, and our vocals were improved dramatically
Jim started playing professionally in the late 70's. Now residing in New Mexico, Jim plays locally and is the owner and a teacher at "Magnarella's Dum Shop" in Albuquerque. A 15 year veteran of the Band, Jim strives to do justice to the incredible drum parts that were recorded in the 60's and 70's. This is a Band of close friends that love playing music with integrity and heart!.
I began my music career in the late 60’s trying to be the next Eric Clapton. However, I found out it was going to be a lot harder than I expected it would be! I tried long and hard for a couple of years and even joined my high school jazz band in my freshman year. Sadly, I really didn’t seem to be getting any better. So, when the next school year came around, the jazz band needed a bass player, as the previous one had graduated. I decided to give it a go and see what happened. As it turns out, I was way better at bass than guitar. In fact, by my senior year, my band director nominated me for the New Mexico All State Jazz Band…even though I couldn’t read one note of music!
Fast forward to today…still playing bass, and still can’t read a note, but absolutely love playing all styles of music. I have truly been blessed with a good musical ear. If I can hear it, I can pretty much play it! I have been in numerous bands over the years, and have no desire to stop anytime soon!
Mike Pirko's Bio
Well as many off you know my father was the tuba player with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and The National Symphony Orchestra.
He got me started in music when I was in the 7th grade by buying me a trombone so I played it in all the school bands including the High Point Marching Band where I met Jimmy Robinson and Kurt Gibbons (Bass drum player and Sax) It my dad that got me into liking music and cool cars. One day I picked up an acoustic guitar and started teaching myself by playing along with Beatles 45 records. It was 1964 and I was 14 years old. My dad picked me up an "Andre" electric guitar with an Epiphone Amp with 10 inch speaker 1 volume and tone control switch and now I was having fun
One year later in 1965 My dad had a friend in the orchestra (John Melick-1st Tromboneist) who owned a music store in Baltimore so at one of his concerts he surprised me during intermission with a brand new White 65 Fender Stratocaster....
WOW what a guitar after playing the cheap-o "Andre"guitar. So I worked at University Car Wash in Adelphi and saved up for a Fender 2-12 piggyback Bandmaster. Now I was set I met a guy at my bus stop on Riggs Road in Adelphi by the Old Mill named Bob Farris who also played guitar so we practiced together everyday after school. We started a band in jr high school called "The Pendletons" for the talent show and played some surf music...Beach Boys, Ventures. It was Bob and I, Robert Curtis-drums, Ronnie Walker-sax and vocals. I went away in the summers to see my mom in St Louis because my parents were divorced. So that fall when we started back to High Point High School, we formed "The Outcast Set". Chris Hayes-drums, Pat Purcell-rhythm guitar, Ted Venemen-bass, Bill Shores-singer and I. We just played around at teen clubs - The RamRod's Rod and Custom show at the DC Armory, a gig with the Hangman thru WPGC, a TV spot on ch 28 Wing Ding where we met Neil Diamond and thats about it. We did our high School musical "Bye Bye Birdie" with the band playing the Batman theme at the Batcave Just after I graduated I started a band with Tommy Lepsen called "The Electric Twinkie" again only playing a few Frat parties at U of Md then one day in the summer of 1968 I believe, Jimmy Robinson came to me and asked me if I wanted to audition with the Nowhere Men so I did...I think it was just the singers, Tommy, and Jimmy... no drums, it was a quiet audition on somebodys back porch and it went well and I got the gig. Finally, I was with a band that sounded great and was working 3 nights every weekend. When I first started with the NMW they had 2 drummers.....Billy was in the military so I never got to know him... Charlie and Donnie were the best singers I had ever worked with and between the two of them they could sing any style of music. We started rehersing in Tacoma Pk at Walter Salb's music store in the back room. The 1st songs I remember learning with them was Sly and The Family Stone's "Stand" and Santana's Evil Ways and/or Oye Como Va. Fun stuff. Jimmy Robinson made this wild light show that had flashing strobes and revolving lights that would reverse with his motorized control box. Barry Rick was booking us now out of Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center. Gary and Nani were driving an old Ford Econoline Van with the engine in the center of the front seats until one day while playing at a fashion show in Washington, Barry hooked us up with a new Green Ford Econoline Van with our band name on the side of it on a Huge guitar. The experiance was fantastic being with a 10 piece band and playing all the CYO's High School dances, U of MD parties and Barry sending us from Va to Pa playing collages and Various Wash DC night clubs. Tommy was driving an old 51 Chevy upolstered by the famed "Wilber and Rufus" custom shop. I had my custom painted 1969 Mach 1 and I think I raced about everyone that would pull up next to me that revved up their motor. I beat em all except for the Hemi's
After about 1 year with the Nowhere Men, the guys left the horns behind and started "The Second Coming" which concentrated on Charlie, Donnie and Robo's vocals. Pineapple was the organist, Tommy Wright stayed on as our drummer and myself on guitar. We played some of the same clubs the NWM played including the famed "Fran O'Brian's Anthony House" We were playing there when the horse came in and stampeded half the joint and knocked all our equipment down off the stage. PA system was destroyed and the mic stands were broken in half. I remember I was playing with a broken collarbone from a water skiing accident I had earlier that day and was sitting on a barstool which was the only way I could strum my guitar when the crowd started rushing the stage in a panic because some idiot wanted a promo picture taken with his horse inside the club without Fran O'Brians permission... what a mess and many lawsuits to follow. We then got booked in Ocean City at "The Hurricane Lounge" for the entire summer in 1970 I believe. Just before the end of that summer I was replaced by a guitarist/singer songwriter named Dave... (Ask Robo what really happened) because our personal mgr at the time (Michael Unger) wanted the group to go into the studio for some recording. Thanks to Barry Rick he was aware of the situation and already had me lined up to join "The New Breed" which was also playing up the coast on the Jersey Shore in Sommers Point all summer at "The Attic". The were also one of Barry's top bands and played alot of songs by "Chicago" and "Blood Sweat and Tears". After that summer, I auditioned with a band in Georgetown called "Three Easy Pieces".
When the guitar player saw me walk in with my guitar he quit them right there so John Clark the keyboard player said "Get up on stage... you got the gig". A week later the drummer, Kenny, quit so we got Stuart Ross...then a week later John Clark quit and went to rehab for drug abuse so we found Jimmy Nalley so we were now a whole new group in a matter of 2 weeks. I worked with them from 1971 thru 1976. While we were in Williamsburg, Va I had met Bruce Hornsby and am still regretting to this day turning down an offer to play with him just a few years short of him winning Grammy's for all kinds of songs. Bruce and I are still in touch with each other.
3 Easy Pieces had many drummers including David Platshon from "The New Breed", Danny Conway from "The Flavor and The Reasons Why". I then started a group for "Vic Dana" whose hits were "More" and "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" After 3 months on the road with no sign of returning to Washington, I left them and started playing with the "BULLET" band back in Washington DC - Danny Goers, Mike Joy and Roger Fallen until 1977 when my 1 year marriage ended. I moved to Ft Lauderdale and hooked up with a band called "Primo" Our drummer worked with "KC and the Sunshine Band". Our 1st job was in San Jose, Costa Rica for a Xmas/New Years bash for a wealthy Dept Store Owner. In 1980 I joined a Las Vegas Style Show Band with Dancers called "Body and Soul".
After a few Playboy Clubs and traveling throughout the Eastern US we flew to Europe and played in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Luxembourg for about 4 months. Having Xmas week of back in the States we then started New Years Eve in St Thomas at the "Frenchmans Reef" Resort Hotel for 9 months...then to Ceasers Palace in Atlantic City in 1982, then back traveling the US... I hopped of that bandwagon and moved back to Florida in 1984 when I lost my father in Sept 1985. I stayed there until 1988 and after getting a computer electronics degree in 1990, I rented my home out and moved to Poughkeepsie, New York where I started my semi-conductor career with IBM. I hooked up with some guys at an "Open Mic" night and started a jammin blues band called "The Well Dressed Blues Band" working 3 nights a week while still working days with IBM. That lasted a year before our singer moved away and The Drummer and I got picked up by a swinging wedding band with horns and started "Michael Alan and the Sure Thing" http://www.unsigned.com/studiomike here is a link to lots of jamming tunes I recorded for the short time I was with them (2-months) before moving out to New Mexico where I live and work today with Intel Corp. I now have a 16 track ADAT recording studio at my home fully equiped with Roland Electric V-drums.. Alesis keyboards, monitors and the last time I counted I had about 15 guitars. I do sit in from time to time but with my 12 hour day schedule at Intel Corp
This past April I joined the reforming "8 Track" band and we are changing our name to "Off The Record". Stay Tuned More To Come