WXXI AM News

Across the Universe

Paolo Brillo

At age 76, Eric Andersen considers himself to be in "The Danger Zone."

"Half the people I knew are not around anymore," he says. "Townes is gone, Lou Reed is gone, Rick Danko is gone, Janis is gone. Joni, almost.

"You can't argue with gravity and health."

Provided

It was a little more than seven years ago that a handful of diesel fume-belching bulldozers, excavators and front-end loaders began gnawing away at a nondescript parking lot in downtown Rochester. Broken brick and chunks of asphalt were hauled away in dump trucks. Like a team of archaeologists revealing the signs of a forgotten civilization, work crews scraped away layers of debris to uncover the foundation of the old RKO Palace Theater.

Carla Coots

It was 2005, and Joe Dady had been rushed to the hospital. It was a ruptured aorta of the heart, the situation was dire, the heart of this big-hearted guy was close to bursting. "He claims he had an out-of-body experience, he claims that he started to go to the light, go to the other side," recalls his brother, John Dady. "And he said it was like a Fellini movie…"

As Joe told it:

"Like someone had wrapped a rope around my ankles and was pulling me back down from the chute and I said, 'Let me go, let me go, let me go!'"

Yep Roc Records

There are times when Greg Townson seems to be spread so thin, you can read these words right through him. He’s a co-founder of The Hi-Risers, the glorious garage-rock trio, a steady part of the Rochester scene since 1989. Playing guitar on tours with soul singer John Ellison and pop singer Eleni Mandell. Or he’s jetting back and forth between here and London as a hired guitar, or to produce a record for a band like the Swiss rockabilly outfit Hillbilly Moon Explosion. The song, “My Love For Evermore,” Townson says, “is a standard in Europe, people have it tattooed on them.