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.]

Reesa with audience membersI often said to the audience that they were the real Rooters — and Marble Bar audiences were the best. [Vix Bidet Party, recorded at Soundspace in Jersey] Their enthusiasm, acceptance, and wild dancing from the first moment we played there made me want to stay.

That feeling, combined with another news story, inspired me to write “Runaway Housewives.” The lyrics had Cherie asking, “Will they be in Baltimore?”

In response to my recent search for Marble Bar memorabilia, Tom Roller, one of our most faithful fans, sent me some old Rooter and SWC mailing list cards that we gave to audiences in the '80s.

With my silly attitude, I had left one month's card mostly blank and offered awards to people who drew on them. Jim Weaver of Mechanicsburg, Pa., won a red vinyl record autographed by all four Rooters, and we used his prize-winning punk pig cartoon on the next month's card.

Second prize, an Ultraman T-shirt, went to Adolf Kowalski. (I swear, it wasn't a fix — I hardly knew him at the time.)

Reesa and Cherie at the Marble Bar"Boy, did I drink a lot back then," Tom reminisced in a recent letter describing his experiences at the Marble. "You wrote something on my arm with magic marker and we danced to a couple of songs by TruFax & the Insaniacs. (Read "Jumpin at the Marble Bar,"  Tom's 1980 poem)

"The inspiration for the 'lazy, lilting skirt' came from another woman I danced with who wore a long, white skirt, white socks, and sneakers," he continued. "My memory of the place was that it was grubby, dingy, run-down, and perfect for punk-new wave — especially to hear the Rooters."

Tom recalled that at another Marble show, "Reesa lightly kneed a drunk to the edge of the stage and tipped him off." I probably never missed a beat, either.

I've spoken with Cherie and Larry, and e-mailed LesLee to piece together the memories. Please click here if you can add any more information to this story.

Now I‘m an editor and Web designer, and when I play music, it’s just for fun with my friends. Or a very occasional gig. My stash bag holds Depends instead of pot.

But the Marble Bar remains one of my fondest memories of those new wave days.

Jumpin at the Marble Bar

by Tom Roller
For Marilyn, Don and of course Reesa

In a time when,
In a world where
The only logical choice
     Is suicide

I find it harder
And harder
     To cling to illogic.

What is it about a long
     Lilting skirt
Lifts me with such dizzy
     Facility
To something like sanity?

I want to die
     On the dance floor,
Jumping so far and high
     From my mind

My heart forgets its pumping.