The scene, Mangoes restaurant in Allentown; the time, Friday evening, October 29. The occasion was a Beaufest, honoring the late Beau Jones, the bassist for Wax who died this past September. It also gave the Penn-spawned band, whose meteoric rise and fall were profiled by Geoff Ginsberg C’91 in the Sept|Oct Gazette, an opportunity to play together again for the first time in 39 years.
The event was organized by Rick Levy C’71, Jones’s old friend and Wax’s nimble lead guitarist. Apart from Jones—whose bass-lines were handled by Eric Bazilian C’75, the renowned songwriter and musician who had played in Wax’s final incarnation—the cast was the same as it was four decades ago. Rob Hyman C’72, the time-defying keyboard player and songwriter extraordinaire. Rick Chertoff C’72, now a highly successful music producer, on drums. They were fronted by David Kagan (nee Cohen) C’70, whose hair may be less luxuriant these days but whose voice is still rich and vigorous.
The band kicked off with the rollicking “Elmira Lane,” danced through the art-house intricacies of “Things She Likes To Do,” sailed through the steel-guitar-drenched “Nearer to God,” and finished off with a ripped, pulsing version of “It Don’t Matter At All.” If they looked a bit more … mature than they did back when Wax was hot, it’s probably fair to say that they sounded better than ever.
Watching appreciatively in the audience was Arnie Holland C’71 L’74, the band’s No. 1 fan, now an entertainment lawyer who runs Lightyear Entertainment. Which is where, if you’re interested, you can buy Wax’s CD, Melted. (Or listen to some tracks.)
Incidentally, the most famous band to emerge from Wax is the Hooters (led by Hyman and Bazilian and produced by Chertoff), who are appearing at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving. Hyman, Chertoff, and Bazilian also collaborated on a phenomenal album called Largo, but that’s another story.