Whitehall Stage at night

300 people camped in the mud for 3 days
Paul Shields
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• 18 participants • 5 songs •
Instrumentation: Mike Guido, The Pepperoni Trio (later to becom Tony Rome & his Cheese Calzones), 4 guitars, 2 harmonicas, 2 basses, 3 percussionists, 3 crew members

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Paper Bag
#1 highlights

Highlights: The People's Picnic was held on land belonging to the Lashnitz Family from Huntington during late 1970's. At the final Picnic, in 1979 I decided to have all the musicians play in my band. The result was a hillside full of people with bags on their heads. I also remember that there was lotsa mud. Ralph rode his unicycle. By the end of our 45 minute set, there were people all over the stage. We ended with a tribal dance, fueled by a clarinet solo centered on the harmonic minor scale (b3, b6, #7 for those of you scoring at home)
Paper Bag

The Players

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 Our Founder
Mike Guido
Tony Rome
Steve Romerio
The Cheese Calzones
Kim Strongin
Rosie Whitney

Ed Carucci
Brad Davidson
Brian Mulhern
Steve Ramirez
Paul Shields
Tony Bertone
Gary Quenqua
Wayne Brusseau

Scott Kistenberger
Bill Grillo
Conga Boy
Phrögk Perlman
Joe Da Corta
Ralph De Cursio

Paper Bag
The Songs



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click title to download song - files are large and take time to download
Bag Vocalist
1 Paper Bag #1 Drum Intro Scott K & Bill Grillo  
2 Paper Bag Theme Song  Phil Gagliano Band Mike Guido
3 Some Uptempo Thing & more Paper Bag Paper Bag Band Steve Romerio
4 Paper Bag Blues - Bag 1 Paper Bag Band Steve Romerio

5 Typical Bag Insanity

Paper Bag Band Mike Guido

6 Living for the Weekend

James Montgomry Band Mike Guido
7 Dance Sister Dance/Ralph Chugs Paper Bag Band Girl in red dress
8 Paper Bag Southern Rock Jam - Bag 1 Paper Bag Band  
9 Drum Section Introductions - Bag 1 Scott K, Bill Grillo & Conga Boy Mike Guido
10 Uh Oh, Bass Solo - Bag 1 Gary Q (left) Wayne Brusseau (right)  
11 Guitar Solo - Bag 1 Paper Bag Band  
12 Harp Solo - Bag 1 Paul Shields  
13 The Pepperoni Trio Paper Bag Band  
14 The Big Cue - First Attempt Paper Bag Band Mike Guido
15 The Guido Tribal Dance Paper Bag Band the audience
16 The Big Cue - Second Attempt Paper Bag Band Mike Guido


Paper Bag

Cool Stuff


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Paper Bag



In 1973 I was in a band called The Phil Gagliano Band. We went to see the movie Pink Flamingos at the Uniondale Mini-Cimema and the drummer, Don Civitella, was inspired to write a song called Paper Bag. In later years as I moved from band to band, people would call for the song at gigs, even though we didn't play it. Finally, late one night in Chelsea's in Huntington we did it and it became sort of a cult thing. In the mid-seventies there was an annual festival, known as The People's Picnic, hosted by the Lashnitz family in a town called Whitehall in upstate New York. It was a 3 day deal with bands, beer and a barrel of fun. I had the honor of being the house sound engineer for the final two years, 1978 and 1979. In`78 I was in a band called Cutaway and we played at the Picnic. In `79, however I wasn't in an active band but I still wanted to play. From the dark recesses of my mind I conjured up the notion that on the last day of the festival, I would get the musicians from all the bands on stage at once and that would be "my band". Between songs, instead of stopping we would play the Paper Bag theme. Get it? We performed with 17 players to several hundred people wearing bags on their heads. We had so much fun that we did it again 3 weeks later at The Silver Dollar in Bay Shore.

The Origin of the Name "Tony Rome and the Cheese Calzones

During the week of the People's Picnic a knobby end of a pepperoni stick was nailed to the wall of the sound truck and remained there for three long hot days. It began to sweat. This gave rise to the nom de stupidity "The Pepperoni Trio" The leader of this trio was Steve Romario, whom I played with in the band cutaway. Scott Berry, famed drummer from Otter Creek and, at the time, owner of the Silver Dollar Saloon mutated the name to become the "Tony Rome and the Cheese Calzones." Go figure.

Here is a scan of my ticket to the People' Picnic. As indicated on my ticket, I was part of the stage crew.

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