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The Stompers

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Led by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Sal Baglio, this Boston-based band jolted the locals when they burst upon the scene in the late '70s with their no-frills approach to the new wave scene. With cohorts Dave Friedman (organ/piano/vocals), Stephen Gilligan (bass/vocals), and Mark Cuccinello (drums) by his side, Baglio took the energy of the burgeoning punk scene and applied it to his version of classic rock & roll songwriting, creating a style that seemed both familiar and new. Like Bruce Springsteen's kid brother, Baglio wore his knowledge and love for rock's history on his sleeve and infused it with wide-eyed excitement and a sweaty innocence. Though they were a bar band at their core, the Stompers repertoire could've embraced stadiums, if not countries, filled with people hungry for something that would both challenge and relax them. After a handful of independent singles in the late '70s and early '80s, the Stompers signed to Neil Bogart's Boardwalk Records and released their self-titled debut in 1983 to a nation that was more than ready for them. When the label went bankrupt that year, it seemed that the Stompers' luck was not with them. The following year, Polygram (Boardwalk's parent company) showed that they had faith in the band by re-releasing the album under the title One Heart for Sale and replacing the debut album's "Your Sweet Love" and "I Can't Sleep at Night" with two new tracks, "Who Knows How to Make Love Stay" and "One Heart for Sale." When local excitement didn't build into national sales, the Stompers were dropped.

Though they soldiered on for quite a few more years, most of the band drifted away and Baglio remained the only original Stomper for most of the next decade. Baglio and the Stompers released an independent CD, Unfinished Business, in 1990, but continued to remain Boston's own little secret. Throughout the '90s, some of the original Stompers came back to the fold and continued to bring in a strong turnout to the gigs that they occasionally played. In 2000, 21 Stompers' classics including original singles, demos, live tracks, and unreleased recordings were compiled on The Stompers Record Album CD, released by the Vinyl Frontier Record Company. Even 20 years on, Baglio still keeps the spirit of rock & roll alive. ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee, Rovi