PCS 1979

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Teenage garage bands in Portville have been a rare entity over the years.  But during the late 70s, one group of rockers took it to the next level in town.
In 1977, five young dudes formed Zeus, a collective vision of Mark Bowen, Todd Reynolds, Pres Van Curen, and the DeAngelo brothers, Roger and Don.  Originally dubbed The Obi Dirt Band, practices were held in a variety of settings and focused on cover tunes of BTO, Kiss, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and other classic rockers.
Their first break came at the 1977 Homecoming Dance, when they took the stage for an impromptu rendition of "Takin' Care of Business" during Freeway's intermission.  Young girls swooned and fainted, as lead singer Donald shook his hips and pointed to the crowd.  With Bowen on rhythm guitar, Todd on lead, Roger on bass, and Preston manning percussion, Zeus soon became local heroes.
Dozens of roadies and fans jumped on the bandwagon, and the boys began playing gigs at various parties in the area...Rocks parties, blowouts at the Scout Camp, and others.  After several months, Greg Nothem replaced Donald, and they changed their name to Starlift.  Somewhere along the line, they added Jim Wilson's guitar and voice
The garage practices continued well but sporadically, and the group took first place at the 1978 Gong Show in the school auditorium, playing straight-ahead rock.  The crowd shouted for an encore, and the band obliged with a Kiss tune.
Also in 1978, Starlift headlined a dance in the gym, a concert that would prove to be the zenith of their career together.  Soon, the band broke up, and members drifted into adulthood.
At the beginning of the new millennium, Bowen formed a new band called 305, fusing tunes from the past 4 decades and performing at numerous local bars and music joints.

The Jordan Family Singers


Brooklyn Street brothers Jerry, Jeff (pictured above), and John Jordan started playing together at a young age.  By the time Jeff graduated in 1979, they had formed a classic garage band that occasionally crossed paths with Starlift.
After the band officially broke up, Jerry launched a solo career that eventually landed him in gigs throughout the Portville region.  He continues to perform in local venues.




Pan-Con was a local filming crew and comedy troupe that accidently stumbled into the music scene.  Created by Jerry Pancio and Boomer Connell in 1978, Pan-Con's first 8mm film was one of the first music videos ever produced and entitled The Beatles Film, a lip-synced version of "Get Back".
Their second project was a silent film called Project Tigger and had no musical accompaniment, but the group decided to tap into Pancio's guitar talents for their next hit motion picture.
"Yes, I'm a Possum" featured a number of original tunes, including the title cut, "I'm Here in Vietnam", and "It Was So Cold".
The crew's final 8mm film, 1979's Nova Scotia, produced one of Pan-Con's most beloved songs, "Macbeth", which accompanied the movie's intro, A Date to the Prom.
Several instrumental pieces also featured the talents of other Pan-Con members and friends from the music world.
During the 80s, Pan-Con moved into the videotape universe, and continued to expand their musical horizons.  Unfortunately, the crew slowly dissipated and almost disappeared into retirement.
In the year 2000, as 70's nostalgia penetrated the nation, Connell rescued the mothballed tapes and sounds of the poor old filming crew and produced a music CD of Pan-Con's Greatest Hits.  The digitally mastered project was critically acclaimed but a financial disaster, and only 10 units were sold worldwide.
Undaunted, Boomer and Jerry returned to the studio in 2001 and digitized Pan-Con's infamous concert in California, putting out Pan-Con at the Hollywood Bowl.  Another technological success, the CD was given out free of cost, almost bankrupting the company.
Resisting the urge to rest on their laurels, Pan-Con has launched into the World Wide Web with a renewed vision.  They hope to take advantage of the new downloading services, spread their artistic creations in a marketable way, finally become stars beyond Portville, and take over society.

The Phones


Jerry Pancio (of Pan-Con fame) was voted "Most Creative" among the PCS Class of 79ers for a good reason.  As a young resident of the Haskell Parkway, Jerry was bred in a haven for budding musicians, which also included singer-songwriter Max Kayes, trumpet man Herb "Alpert" Todd, and others.  But his biggest influences were his older brothers, who fed him a king's portion of Beatles, Stones, and Hendrix.
It was Pancio's brilliance that propelled Pan-Con into movie and music fame during high school.  It was his guitar and access to Olean's G+G Music Store that enabled the film crew to expand their horizons.
After graduating from PCS, Pancio continued to hone his musical craft, helping to found another local band, The Phones.  Taking cues from the growing punk scene, the group produced their first and only album in the early 80s.
The Phones were one of the few bands to shed the classic rock dinosaur that ruled the region, opting for a new wave sound that was fast and fresh.
Jerry moved to St. Louis in the late 80s in order to be closer to the jazz and blues atmosphere along the Mississippi.  There, he joined a string of musicians and bands, performing gigs throughout the Midwest.
In 2001, Pancio reunited with Boomer Connell to record and produce Pan-Con at the Hollywood Bowl.  The duo hope to collaborate on future projects for the rest of their lives.





Another band arose from the 1970's Pan-Con music scene and consisted of Mike Milne, Boomer Connell, Moke Jaekle, and Dave Rutterman.  Around 1983, Boomer and Moke finally mastered three chords on the guitar and without any planning, they started showing off their talents at various drinking parties throughout the United States.
During the 80s, the unnamed foursome never officially practiced or rehearsed, but by showing up at the same parties on a regular basis, each of the boys eventually became quite familiar with the various drinking tunes that one of the others had introduced.
By 1993, a 10-song repetoire had evolved between them, and they decided to officially call themselves The St. Louis Quartet, while visiting St. Louis together.
"I hitchhiked all the way from Kentucky to St. Louis that weekend," noted Milne at a recent party in Portville.  "We partied continuously, and we struck up the band numerous times.  I didn't want to go away from the trip without establishing some sort of formality and purpose to our musical leanings.  I think Rutterman came up with the name.  Since then, we've been hauling the guitars to special events, waiting to see what happens," he added.
Rutterman has been quoted as saying, "Since so many people were coming up to us and asking us to play some tunes, we saw the need to organize a little more.  We still don't practice, and Mike and I just pretend to play instruments - picking up fruit and other objects that are lying around.  Our main role is to sing back-up to Boomer and Moke."

Banjo Griff


Class of 79 graduate, Tim Griffin, started picking up the banjo and whiskey jug at a young age, up on Lillibridge.
During high school, he became quite proficient in using both to entertain small crowds of kin folk and neighbors, eventually adopting the Banjo Griff moniker.
After graduation, Griff mosied out of the valley, tackling gigs throughout the town.  Encouraged by family and friends to take a stab at the Nashville scene, he made several trips to Tennessee, where he spread the news about Portville.
Unimpressed with the bright lights of the big city and New Country sounds, Griff headed back home to stay.

The Boomer Connell Project


In one final (and futile) attempt to prove to his Jr. High band teacher and bandmates that he is not a complete failure as a musician, Boomer Connell called in a couple of favors from Jerry Pancio and Chuck Berry to form The Boomer Connell Project.
Back in 1974, Connell did not do well as a percussion student in the PCS Jr. High Band. 
"He wasn't very good," said fellow Jr. High drummer Kathy Banton. "We always put him on bass drum for the school concerts. He couldn't handle snare. You should have seen him try to do a 17 stroke roll. It was quite sad."
Today the newly formed group features Connell on drums, Chuck Berry on guitar & vocals and Jerry Pancio on fuzz bass.
"I'm not happy with being forced to play fuzz bass," said a pissed-off Jerry Pancio. "I'm a guitar player, man. Boomer not only told me that I had to play bass, but it had to be fuzz bass! I haven't heard a fuzz bass since The Beatles' Rubber Soul album! This is f----ing bull----!" Pancio then threw and broke a full bottle of Jack Daniels against the wall and was quickly escorted out of the interview by his handlers.
"What the hell am I supposed to do?..." responded Connell, "...tell Chuck Berry that he is going to have play bass? I don't think so. And as far as the fuzz bass edict, I happen to be a big fuzz bass fan. It's that simple. If and when Jerry forms The Jerry Pancio Project, then he can play whatever he wants. I would hope it would be the fuzz bass though, but that will be up to him. Yeah, you gotta love that fuzz bass."
When asked what kind of music the group plays? Connell said, "Oh, we play a lot Chuck Berry music... only with some fuzz bass worked in there."

Back to Music Room

1978 Football Videos

Class of PCS 1979
The largest in Portville history:

149 Classmates
136 Graduates
64   BOCES
49   Jocks
45   Partiers
39   Brains
31   Artists
31   Heads
30   Hunters

29   Musicians
25   Motorheads
25   Villagers
18   Actors
15   Jesus Freaks
13   Politicians
12   Farmers

100 MMike Connell10.6166TOP 10 ALL-TIME
200 MMike Connell21.566
400 MBrian Miller50.893 1600 MetersTimeYear
800 MMatt Burlingame2:00.58061Kirk Greene4:31.7098
1600 MKirk Greene4:31.7982Brad Shaw4:31.8093
3200 MAndrew Elliott9:59.9033Andrew Elliott4:37.0003
Long JumpGene Bingman21' 11.5664Mike Cannon4:39.0089
Triple JumpJimmy Reynolds43' 11.75795Eric Blask4:40.3098
High JumpBrian Decker6' 9926John Gordnier4:43.8000
Pole VaultJeff Dean13' 3927Randy Bretzin4:45.0079
Shot PutJon Jones56' 10108Rob Pockalny4:45.5080
DiscusJon Jones149' 9109Chris Gundlah4:46.0084
110 HHBrian Miller14.769310Brian Broughton4:47.0075
400 IHBrian Blask55.880111Gunnar Van Curen4:47.6911
SteepleBrad Shaw10:2593
PentathlonBrian Miller3,34692 3200 MetersTimeYear
400 RelayL Hellwig-C Hellwig44.66091Andrew Elliott09:59.9003
 A LaBorde-K Richards  2Gunnar Van Curen10:01.0013
800 RelayR Sprague-B Reynolds1:34.35663Brad Shaw10:02.0093
 B Zech-M Connell  4Mike Cannon10:11.0089
1600 RelayB Miller-M Babb3:31925Rob Pockalny10:15.0080
 J Dean-B Decker  6Mark Brown10:19.0077
3200 RelayE Blask-D Armijo8:15.3987Dave Campbell10:20.0076
 B Blask-K Greene  8Tyler Shaw10:35.0004
9Eric Blask10:40.0098
 100 MetersTimeYear10Will Caya10:41.4411
1Mike Connell10.6166
2Jack Ensell10.9452 110 High HurdlesTimeYear
 Dale Childs10.94631Brian Miller14.7693
 Adam Hellwig10.94022Kris Lickfeld15.197
5Gene Bingman11.04663Mike Washburn15.387
 John Sprague11.04794Mike Sargent15.4197
 Tom Sprague11.04805Addy Scutt15.4495
8Lance Jobe11.16786Mike Sherwin15.679
9Tim Emley11.20837John Milne15.784
 Alex Woodhead11.20048John Sprague15.879
11Joe Peace11.23119Brian Blask15.901
10Corey Wesley16.201
 200 MetersTimeYear
1Mike Connell21.5066 400 Intermediate HurdlesTimeYear
2Adam Hellwig22.69021Brian Blask55.8801
3Jerry Scutt22.70692Kris Lickfeld57.1097
4Dale Childs22.80633Addy Scutt57.5794
5Joe Peace22.85114Brian Miller58.8093
6Bill Zech22.90655Mike Sargent59.5097
 Gene Bingman22.90666JD Van Sickle59.7095
8Brian Blask23.20017Dan Bailey59.9087
9Brian Decker23.50928Jeff Dean60.1092
10Tim Emley23.60839Barry Shaw60.3090
 Chris Hardgrove23.600310Corey Wesley60.9001
11Don DeAngelo61.0081
 400 MetersTimeYear12Keith Mott62.1002
1Brian Miller50.89313Zach Blask62.7011
2Zack Shaw51.909
3Jazz Peterson52.032 PentathlonPointsYear
4Fred Knight52.1941Brian Miller3,34692
 Adam Hellwig52.1022Brian Decker3,16892
 Scott Forrest52.1043Steve Clark2,92688
7Bob Bretzin52.2814Kris Lickfeld2,81397
8Nathan Warters52.6975Addy Scutt2,65693
9Troy Feffers52.8906Chris Gagliardo2,48999
10Jason Long53.2967Dan Bailey2,44888
 Chris Hardgrove53.2038Mike Sargent2,30995
 800 MetersTimeYear SteeplechaseTimeYear
1Matt Burlingame2:00.58061Brad Shaw10:2593
2Kirk Greene2:01.22982Andrew Elliott10:2703
3Ray Auman2:01.70753Mike Brady10:4592
4Zack Shaw2:01.84094Brad Thomas10:4797
5Mike McGreevey2:02.01935Tyler Shaw10:5703
6Andrew Blask2:02.02036Zach Blask10:57.211
7John Gordnier2:02.33017Eric Blask11:14.998
8Brad Shaw2:02.40948Shannon Knight11:2694
9Keith McDivitt2:02.80759Casey Caya11:2910
10Fred Knight2:03.009510Dave Baracat11:4093
11Gunnar Van Curen2:03.9411
 Long JumpDistanceYear 400 Meter RelayTimeYear
1Gene Bingman21' 11.5661A LaBorde-C Hellwig44.6609
2Xavier Harris21' 609 K Richards-L Hellwig  
3Jimmy Reynolds21' 2792J Mooney-C Hardgrove45.3203
4John Sprague20' 1179 A Woodhead-A Hellwig  
5Brian Miller20' 7923I McGavisk-J Dean45.7092
6Jerry Reynolds20' 684 B Decker-B Miller  
7Troy Jeffers20' 2904A Hellwig-C Hardgrove45.7002
8Scott Forrest20' 104 D Martinez-B Bell  
9Brian Decker20' 0925J Milne-J Pecone45.8083
10Brian Nitsche20' 004 T Emley-T Scalfaro  
6J Sprague-J Reynolds45.8279
 Triple JumpDistanceYear G Swetland-J Wright  
1Jimmy Reynolds43' 11.75"797J Sprague-J Reynolds45.9479
2Brian Nitsche43' 11.25"04 T Sprague-J Wright  
3Jerry Reynolds43' 9848J Mooney-C Hardgrove46.0003
4Lance Chaffee43' 669 R Williams-A Hellwig  
5Roger DeAngelo42' 9809J Mooney-S Forrest46.1004
6Mike Sargent42' 496 B Nitsche-A Woodhead  
7Randy Welch41' 66710DeBarbieri-Williams46.3998
8Jerry Scutt40' 069 DeBarbieri-Cornell  
9Mike Sherwin39' 378
10Chris Payne39' 302 800 RelayTimeYear
1R Sprague-B Zech1:34.3566
 High JumpHeightYear B Reynolds-M Connell  
1Brian Decker6' 9922J Sprague-J Reynolds1:34.579
2Mike Sherwin6' 5.579 T Sprague-J Wright  
3Jerry Scutt6' 4693D Nease-S Everetts1:34.776
4Jeremy Hammond6' 394 R King-T Yanetsko  
5Steve Clark6' 2884McLarney-Monroe1:35.4461
 Brian Miller6' 293 Bonsper-Childs  
7Randy Welch6' 0695J DeBarbieri-M Sargent1:35.997
8Lee Chaffee5' 10.2566 Warters-Lickfeld  
9Chris Gagliardo5' 10996Long-DeBarbieri1:37.696
 Brian Blask5' 1000 Williams-Lickfeld  
10Lance Reynolds5' 9807DeBarbieri-Williams1:37.898
 Pole VaultHeightYear8T Sprague-J Wright1:38.180
1Jeff Dean13' 392 Hazard-Burrows  
2Gary Swetland13' 2799Decker-Dean1:38.491
3Jason DeYoe13' 195 Borer-Miller  
 Jeremy Hammond13' 19410Miller-Keim1:38.593
5Franny Williams12' 685 Seawright-Moses  
 Dan Martinez12' 602
7Chris Gagliardo12' 399 1600 RelayTimeYear
8Tim Ortung12' 0781Miller-Babb3:3192
 Joe DeBarbieri12' 097 Dean-Decker  
 Chris Williams12' 0982Blask-Hardgrove3:31.601
 Andy Laborde12' 009 Gordnier-Ricci  
 Shot PutDistanceYear Sargent-Warters  
1Jon Jones56' 10104Keim-Scutt3:3594
2Jack Holcomb51' 1186 Hammond-Knight  
3Dave Nease47' 10765Lickfeld-Long3:35.796
4Jordan Spehar46' 711 Sargent-Warters  
5Jake Haught46' 1.5026Hellwig-Hardgrove3:36.302
6Alan Dean45' 1169 Ricci-Frost  
7Matt Swetland45' 7907Forrest-Hardgrove3:36.603
8Lee Chaffee44' 1066 A Blask-Hellwig  
9Russ Downey44' 396
10Tony Hammond43' 798 3200 RelayTimeYear
 DiscusDistanceYear1E Blask-Armijo8:15.398
     B Blask-Greene  
1Jon Jones149' 9102Shaw-McGreevey8:2193
2Jake Haught141' 302 Zimmerman-Greene  
3Tony Hammond141' 2993Van Curen-Pierce8:22.5111
4Russ Downey138' 1096 Smith-Blask  
5Lee Chaffee136' 1664Warters-Greene8:2397
6Greg Ralston135' 975 Armijo-Thomas  
7Jordan Spehar135' 5105Shaw-Sponsler8:2594
8Terry Keim134' 693 Knight-Greene  
9Joe Mascorella134' 0696Auman-C Pytcher8:2677
10Andy Keim129' 1195 R Bretzin-Brown  
 Sean Carr129' 11037Van Curen-Smith8:31.4511

The chewing of gum is undesirable and discouraged in school.