Carolyne Mas @ The Fast Lane – 1980
I’m amazed at the things we sometimes tuck away in the shoebox that is our memory. Here is a shining example of a band I loved and listened to during a period in my life that somehow got tucked away in that shoebox at the back of the closet.
Back in the late seventies, early eighties I loved a singer songwriter and true rock & roller—Carolyne Mas. More than likely, Vince Scelsa, or Dave Herman of WNEW played her back to back with a Bruce or Southside Johnny tune—back in the day. The combination of guitars, bass, keys, vocals, drums and sax had this fine tuned machine firing on all cylinders and driving a sound so big & so powerful it exuded joy and true rock and roll passion. And on a warm summer night—July of 1980—that fine tuned machine—with Carolyne Mas: lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Rick Desarno: lead guitar, Ivan Elias: bass, Crispin Cioe: sax, Charles Giordano: keys, and Vince Barranco on drums— revved its monster engine from the stage of the Fast Lane in Asbury Park, NJ until we were all drained and transported to a place of exuberant revelry . What a sound! What a show! What a night!
I’d be telling a tail out of school if I were to say I remembered that night vividly. Honest truth? Don’t remember much at all. Like so many of the shows I saw in my youth, if I hadn’t taken photographs that night, I’d be scratching my head … did I … or didn’t I see this fantastic performer in her prime. Three rolls of 36 exposures says …. HELL YEAH … I was there! And they also say we ALL had fun!
If I could draw no other inference from these photos—if I never heard her music—I’d know she was a powerful and joyful performer who loved what she did! Her interaction with the crowd, her band, the camaraderie, the theatrics … and I’ll say it again … the soul-filled joy and infectious exuberance jumps out at you in every frame.
But I did know her music, and loved it. Even during a time when I was listening to punk wind down and new wave creep in, Carolyne’s music and chops stood on their own. This little spitfire, sang her heart out and played rhythm guitar with guts, gusto and confidence like few men could, and with every song—she meant business! Singing, running, leaping, falling to her knees and belting out each song like it was her last—she drew us all into her world and shared her passions, her soul, her joy and herself. Thank you so much for every word—for every note.
Below are the photos I took that night—enjoy!
Carolyne saw the photos when I posted the link to her Facebook page … and this is what she had to say:
I really don’t think a better archive of photos exists. There are so many typical ones of me singing on mic…but these photos are action photos…and some of the only documentation that exists that really gives people an idea of the way my live performances were back then, as there wasn’t all the video available like there is today….which is a crying shame.