If you were around 25 years ago New Year’s Eve at Western Ranch Tavern, then you saw the start of UTG.
Saturday we saw the final show of a quarter century of an in your face rock n’ roll band!
I love to tell these stories typically from in front of the stage from a fans point of view, but this story is told best by the band members and from fellow musicians that attended this final show, after talking to several musicians, the common theme was a tight nit family of musicians that have all played on the same stage at one time or another. This night we saw three different versions of UTG. The three common member through the years were Lee Anderson, Rick Caparco, and Mark Reagan. For the first 20 years Jerry Tarolli was Under The Gun’s guitarist. Jimmy Falco took over and stayed 5 years and was followed by Dave King. Jon Celi joined the group around 2014 or 2015 and stayed with Under The Gun to present.
It was amazing the see these seven members get together for “One Final Song”, even more impressive was the size of the audience and other members of the CNY musician family coming out to say farewell to a great band and especially to Lee and Jon, who are moving from our beautiful state to places south. It’s amazing that the common thread to this is how much UTG is a part of so many bands. Bill Ali tells me that Scars N Stripes started about 8 years ago opening for UTG at Mac Bad Art Bar in Mattydale, Joe Altair (Just Joe) started his Solo career opening shows for UTG and I’m sure there are a hundred more stories like these. UTG was a leader in satisfying our need to hear great music from bands we may never see play live. UTG and other cover bands bring us music that we all love and remember, from AC/DC to Zeppelin. UTG brought their in your face style of music, with love, to big and small venues never disappointing their fans. We may be losing this treasure and saying goodbye to Lee and Jon, but we aren’t forgetting them. However, we are not without many great bands that can pick up where they left off. 3 Inch Fury, Hard Promises, Scars N Stripes, One Hard Krank, The Barn Dogs, Todd Hobin Band, Chris Eves and The New Normal, BSG, The Light Keepers, Bad Mamma Blues, Jess Novak and many more. There are so many up and coming musicians in Central New York that offer cover tunes and originals, if you’re not getting out to see them, you’re missing out. Music lovers need to get out and support our music community and keep our local music scene alive.
Rick ” Lee was reluctant to join but once he did Under The Gun became a force of nature”
JT, on Lee joining the band “The magic was born at that point”
Dave “You hear history talking to the fans, how they saw Under The Gun 20 years ago at a wedding or when they met their wife and now their adult children are here watching Under The Gun”
Darrell White “I want to thank the members of Under The Gun. There is now way 3 Inch Fury would be were we are today without Under The Gun helping us along the way”
Bill Ali “Lee was a mentor to me.”