Volume 1 - The Story
In 1976, a 16-year-old Tom Geraci introduced himself to western New York with his first band, Crossroads. He played various parties and nightclubs spanning from Louie Tournambie's backyard birthday party to the Sundown Saloon in Chaffee, New York and beyond. In 1980, the band took a bit of a turn, incorporating original songs into their playlist and changing a few members.
Crossroads became The Beez. As they recorded and released vinyl singles, The Beez made a mark on the western New York music scene, growing a fan base among music lovers and musicians alike. With the help of Gene Jacobs, Jerry Ralston and Fred Casserta, The Beez opened for national acts such as Ambrosia, Judas Priest, Greg Kihn, Johnny Cougar, The Grassroots, Rick Derringer, Bad Finger and more. Gene invited Terry Cashman, the president of NYC based Lifesong Records to experience one of The Beez memorable performances at Uncle Sams nightclub in Cheektowaga, NY. At that time, Lifesong Records boasted Henry Gross, Jim Croce, and Crack the Sky on their label. After speaking with Tom, Cashman said he liked the band and wanted to hear more original music.
Tom continued to write and record songs with The Beez and within one year once again met with Terry Cashman, this time at Cashman's office on Madison Avenue in NYC. Cashman graciously gave the band a good amount of time at that meeting, listening to their new recorded tracks as well as a live acoustic performance from Tom who shared some songs he was currently working on. At the end of the meeting, Cashman looked at Tom and said "I hope you didn't come here today thinking you would be signed," and instead he offered constructive criticism, slicing and dicing each individual band member which ultimately caused dissention among the group. Most likely a common story among many young bands across America, looking for that "big break."
Tom kept The Beez touring and playing but with different members coming and going. Tom tried convincing the band to move to California on several occasions but the band offered a move to Florida instead with the explanation that it would be easier to get home if anything went wrong. In 1982, Tom met his soulmate Evelyn, married in 1983 and together they began making plans to move from western New York to California. In 1986, a 26 year old Tom finally made his move to Los Angeles in pursuit of a professional music career. Tom Geraci's departure from New York is where this Volume 1 collection of music ends. With beautiful weather and new opportunities, California seemingly opened its welcoming arms to the eager young couple but with its high cost of living, the message to them seemed to be "thanks for visiting, now go home."
The story continues with Volume 2.