Monday, March 5, 2012

More Alex Visci Memories

Bob Lynch caricature of the Alex Visci Quartet from the 1970's
On Saturday while browsing the greeting cards at Drug Mart in Lorain, I bumped into a gentleman who, like me, had taken trumpet lessons from local musical legend Alex Visci. It reminded me that the two-year anniversary of his passing (at age 99) was only a little over a week ago on February 23rd.

It's still strange knowing that he's gone.

I did a small favor for Mr. Visci once. On one occasion during the early 1980's when I had stopped by to see him downtown, he mentioned that he wanted to put his name on his windows so people would know where his studio on Broadway was. I was working for a exhibit display firm at the time, and I offered to do it using some old vinyl letters I had found at work.

The lettering is still up there above 438 Broadway (below). A litttle beat-up, but still there.

Anyway, while scrolling through vintage rolls of microfilm at the library, I'm constantly reminded of Mr. Visci's long performing career. It is fairly easy to find newspaper ads announcing his quartet's upcoming appearance at various local nightclubs in the 1950's and 1960's. (Though not as easy as finding ads for Joe Zahorec playing at the Lincoln Ballroom.)

Here's one from June 5, 1964, where Mr. Visci's quartet takes backseat to a belly dancer. Although this ad doesn't include one, remember when some nightclub ads in the Journal featured small photos of exotic dancers? I remember as a kid thinking how racy it was – making Lorain seem like some sort of Potterville in It's a Wonderful Life.

And here's something that might be of interest to Mr. Visci's former students: an ad from July 19, 1946 announcing his new course in trumpet playing.

I wonder if the 'new and modern course' included chasing his students around waving a hammer and flipping lighted matches at them? Now that's the Visci Method I remember!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness he performed at the Colony bar, I have been racking my brain trying to remember the (I think} original name, all I could remember was the "Office"