I am from PORTLAND, MAINE, not your rock and roll mecca. Luckily I had cousins in New York and MA so i was able to get my record tips. They helped me to develop my tastes as the top 40 station in Portland was way behind the country for the music I craved.
At 13, the first 45 I bought was I WONDER WHY.
In high school I DJ’d dances and Bar Mitzvah’s which was great. I could play what I wanted. I created BARRY’S HITS SHEET which i mimeographed and gave to RECORDLAND, a small record store in downtown Portland. They gave me 3 records a week of my choice. It worked out great. I also worked with some local bands by turning them on to new songs to cover. It was fun.
I came to Boston and was in musical heaven. I helped road manage THE BARBARIANS of ARE YOU A BOY OR ARE YOU A GIRL fame. We played gigs with BARRY AND THE REMAINS, THE ULTIMATE SPINACH, THE BEACON STREET UNION and did THE T.A.M.I show. All incredible stuff for a kid from Maine.
Later, after school, I bought an existing music rag called NEW ENGLAND TEEN SCENE. We covered THE BOSSTOWN SOUND which was our version of FLOWER POWER in San Francisco. Good bands, but the idea did not happen nationally.
Then I started a music/political magazine that had national distribution and old copies are currently sold on Ebay. That magazine morphed into POP TOP – THE RECORD BUYER’S GUIDE which covered all music and also was distributed nationaly through record stores. At the time, I also managed a local country/rock band, CHUCK MCDERMOTT and WHEATSTRAW. We had success on the East Coast and played the Lone Star Cafe in NYC every 6 weeks. We came very close to signing with a major but couldn’t do it. So I started Back Door records, released 3 albums and was distributed through Rounder Records.
After the beginning downward spiral of the record business in 1979 I went into retailing, opening 3 video stores in 1980. I sold them in 1988 and have been in DVD distribution since.
My passion for music has only grown but am still very much rooted in the 50’s and 60’s loving all genres like Doo Wop, Rockabilly, Country, R&B and the like. It’s the sound of my youth and makes me most comfortable.
To listen to my show Listen Up! with Barry G –