Reesa and The Rooters in Baltimore

by Reesa Marchetti

Suburban Wives ClubReesa and the Rooters button

From a More than Occasional but Less than Regular Marble Bar Performer
(See the '80s Philly indie music scene at Relive the '80s.)

[Click on the song titles below to hear live tapes and recordings.]

I still have a Rooters calendar listing eight Marble Bar appearances in 1980, several of them two-night, weekend bookings. (After a while, LesLee, as did most club owners, switched to booking bands for one-nighters only.) LesLee worked hard to match the Rooters with local acts that would improve our draw. Her choices usually succeeded: At most shows, we were greeted by fervent crowds storming the dance floor as soon as we played the first notes of our “wild, dirty, and fun” music. [November 1980 review of the Rooters' live at the Marble]

Ultraman in Surf Villas b/w TMI, 7" vinyl by Reesa and the RootersLarry’s lyrics, starting with “The Misogynist,” often centered on a fictional man who’s rude to the women who love him. In October 1980, a new version of the mythological jerk appeared on the Rooters’ first and only record release, “Ultraman in Surf Villa,” backed by the punk-rock anthem “TMI.” I was always a natural on stage, but it was my natural knack for promoting that helped push the single into a college radio hit.

Before we recorded "Ultraman," Bob Jay left the band. We never replaced him; instead we gigged as a four-piece unit.

Ross Haupt (Adolf Kowalski)At every show, I would see at least one guy in the crowd who resembled the punk-cartoon Ultraman drawn on the record sleeve by our friend, Debbie. In Baltimore, a young man who identified himself as Adolf Kowalski fit the bill. He attended all our Marble shows, and at one, his group, Thee Katatonix, also performed. Noted in my journal: in March 1981, Adolf took three singles to distribute to Record & Tape Collector in Dundalk, Md., his home town.

Marble Bar card with Cherie of the RootersI met Edith Massey at the Marble on Oct. 25, 1980, and wrote in my record-sales journal that I sold “Edith the Egg Lady” a copy of our single wholesale ($1.25) for her store in Baltimore. Chick of Chick’s Legendary Records also bought some that night. At another show, he acquired a few of the more popular, red-vinyl versions.

My 1981 calendar is lost, but from the journal and from mailing list postcards, I see the Rooters played the Marble four times that year. Our May 23 show also featured TruFax & The Insaniacs from D.C.

Realizing that most people either couldn’t hear or didn’t care about our lyrics, Larry wrote “The Wolf (in Pop Song Clothing).” This became a crowd favorite at the Marble, as I encouraged the audience to howl along.