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Tribute to area musician Michael Duffy at New Leaf

September 16 @ 2:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friends of the late musician, singer and songwriter Michael Duffy will gather at Bryn Mawr’s New Leaf Club for a relaxed afternoon tribute filled with music, images, and memories of a fondly remembered talent. The public, especially all who knew Mike or enjoyed his music, are invited to attend. There will be live music led by Mike’s longtime friend John Polier, performing songs from throughout Mike’s career. Guests will include several of Mike’s friends and former bandmates. Anyone wishing to participate in the latter is invited to get in touch with John at mpolier@comcast.net. Between sets, there will be ample time for conversation, and rare recordings of Michael’s music (from demo tapes and live cassettes) will be played. Throughout the event, a slide show will be projected, showing photos, club flyers, newspaper clippings and other images documenting Mike Duffy’s life and musical career. Anyone wishing to contribute images for the slide show should contact Jay Schwartz at jschwart@voicenet.com. The event will run from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Admission is $10.00, and all profits will go towards a fund for Michael’s young son Paul Duffy.

The Man Everybody Thought They Knew:
A tribute to area musician Michael Duffy
at Main Line’s New Leaf

Friends of the late musician, singer and songwriter Michael Duffy will gather at Bryn Mawr’s New Leaf Club for a relaxed afternoon tribute filled with music, images, and memories of a fondly remembered talent. The public, especially all who knew Mike or enjoyed his music, are invited to attend.

Michael Duffy (1956-2016), a native of Delaware County, began performing his original songs in the late 1970s in Philadelphia nightclubs like the Hot Club, Artemis, and Stars. Some of the bands he led were the Tickets, Lemmy Caution and Science Fiction (the latter also included lead guitarist Jay Medley, who sadly also died in the last year). Michael then lived in New York City for most of the 1980s, where he formed a new lineup of Lemmy Caution and continued to win praise for his songwriting and unique sound. He never did release any recorded music, despite making countless demo tapes. This special tribute event will hopefully start to rescue Mike’s music from obscurity, and provide an opportunity for his many friends and family members to meet again and share memories.

There will be live music led by Mike’s longtime friend John Polier, performing songs from throughout Mike’s career. Guests will include several of Mike’s friends and former bandmates. Anyone wishing to participate in the latter is invited to get in touch with John at mpolier@comcast.net

Between sets there will be ample time for conversation, and rare recordings of Michael’s music (from demo tapes and live cassettes) will be played.

Throughout the event, a slide show will be projected, showing photos, club flyers, newspaper clippings and other images documenting Mike Duffy’s life and musical career. Anyone wishing to contribute images for the slide show should contact Jay Schwartz at jschwart@voicenet.com.

The event will run from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Admission is $10.00, and all profits will go towards a fund for Michael’s young son Paul Duffy.

The New Leaf Club is a nonprofit community center and live music venue in Bryn Mawr, featuring a large, comfortable performance space and a cafe with food and refreshments.

Mike Duffy’s music reflected his lifelong love of rock ‘n’ roll and the heroes he grew up listening to. He especially loved the Beatles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, the Kinks, Neil Young and Lou Reed, but he was also up to date with the new wave/punk rock era that his own songs emerged in. Hardly a “punk,” Mike was interested in new sounds from the likes of Television and Wire, but his real heroes remained John Lennon and Ray Davies. He fused all of these influences into songs that fit the new times — always tuneful, topped off with a unique adenoidal vocal style, and thoughtful, clever lyrics that revealed a wicked sense of humor.

Duffy paid dues in early bands the Tickets (named after a William Burroughs story) and Lemmy Caution (after a character in a Jean Luc Godard film) during a time in Philadelphia nightlife history that was not welcoming to local rock bands. By 1979, however, the Hot Club played host to a new crop of local rockers, as well as notable touring bands from across the globe. Mike’s new band Science Fiction (Jay Medley, lead guitar; Rich Clark, bass, and longtime Mike Duffy collaborator Warren Bollinger on drums) were front and center at the new scene, winning prized opening slots for the likes of John Cale, Richard Lloyd, Nico, Richard Hell and the Voidoids and Ultravox. He also started to play out of town, in New York clubs Hurrah and The 80s.

Science Fiction was starting to get noticed when restlessness and a new marriage prompted a sudden full-time move to New York, minus his band. There he made new friends and new connections, soon forming a stripped down band with an old name: Lemmy Caution, now with Rick Wagner (later in the dB’s) on bass and Yuergen Renner (later in the Cucumbers) on drums. He played places like the Pyramid Club and Maxwell’s in Hoboken and began getting noticed by important magazines like New York Rocker. Popular cult radio station WFMU gave airplay to his new demo of “Michael Stewart,” a savaging protest song about the real-life victim of a fatal police beating. Michael courted Patti Smith/John Cale manager Jane Friedman in hopes of representation, but it didn’t happen, and the connections never connected. He continued to record demo tapes and go through band members. At one point he named a new band “Future Casualties,” but by the end of the 1980s, he returned home to Havertown. He scrambled for day jobs (Mike worked for years as a printer), and now made music on the side, reconnecting with some old musician friends, but he found it harder than ever to break out. Eventually he stopped trying, leaving countless great songs unheard, Hopefully, they will be rediscovered.

Details

Date:
September 16
Time:
2:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Categories:
,

Venue

New Leaf Club
1225 Montrose Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 United States
Phone:
610-525-1711
Website:
nlclive.wpengine.com

Organizer

New Leaf Club
Phone:
610.525.1711
Email:
nlclive.wpengine.com
Website:
newleafclub.org

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