Wednesday, February 27, 2008

AGNES MOOREHEAD PLATTER, s-t (cassette, 1990)

Although this band usually went by the acronym A-M-P, I always refused to refer to them that way. Why go to the trouble of coming up with a name with an obscure pop culture reference only to bury it in the initial letters of each word?


Richard Caesar Leonardi - vocals
Michael Dombroski - percussion
Dave Roberts - guitar
Scott Dvorak - guitar
Eric Humpert - bass

I saw these guys play at Canal Street Tavern a few times. I believe at least one of those times was in a band playoff round, and I'm sure I voted for them (somebody remind me to do an entry on band playoffs and what an utterly surreal experience that could be sometimes). For some reason, I think of AGNES MOOREHEAD PLATTER as a UD band, but I don't know for sure.

Actress Agnes Moorehead appeared in over a hundred films over the course of her career, most notably as Charles Foster Kane's mother in Citizen Kane. But you are most likely to remember her as Endora, the mortal-hating mother of witch Samantha Stevens on the '60s sitcom Bewitched.

But for this town, there's a little more to it than that (isn't there always with Dayton?). She was (still is) buried here in Memorial Park (after succumbing to uterine cancer in 1974 -- which itself is the subject of some controversy, many of her friends and Moorehead herself blaming the cancer on possible radiation exposure at a former nuclear testing site where she spent a few weeks on the set of The Conqueror 18 years earlier -- quoth Agnes on her deathbed, "I wish I'd never done that damn movie!"). But for the life of me (uhhh...) I can't figure out why she's here. She was born and raised in Massachusetts but lived and worked in Wisconsin, California, and any number of other places. Although she attended Muskingum College in New Concord and held property in Rix Mills (which had been in her family for five generations before being willed to Bob Jones University at her death), I haven't found any reason why she would be buried here in this town instead of those places. Not that her corpse shouldn't rest wherever it bloody well likes, mind you -- it's just odd to me. Ah well, another Dayton mystery to which, perhaps, the comments will provide the answer?

The music on the cassette is pretty solid alternative rock, comparable to similar stuff of the time: a little dancey, a little prog, a little rawkin' -- generally like a less self-absorbed and a little more loud version of THE CURE. Nothing earth-shattering (very little on this blog is), but good stuff, worth hearing again (or for the first time).

Track List:

1. Rudyard Kipling
2. Premium Paid
3. Agnes Moorehead Platter
4. Old Again
5. 1846

Download It! (28 MB) (link re-upped on 2-2-2013)

Produced by Phil Mehaffy at Cyberteknics in Dayton. Phil owned Cyberteknics and has done a lot of recording with Dayton bands over the years.

That's all I can say about AGNES MOOREHEAD PLATTER. Once again, feel free to fill in the blanks in the comments section.

take care


ps. As usual, I got the stuff on Agnes Moorehead from her Wikipedia entry. Great source for pop culture entertainment information -- shit for most else.

pps. At the beginning of this post, I said that AGNES MOOREHEAD PLATTER went by the "acronym" A-M-P. Thinking about it now, I realize that was slightly misleading. An acronym is a pronounced word formed from the initial letters of a phrase, but AGNES MOOREHEAD PLATTER wasn't called "amp." To be accurate, I should've said "abbreviation" (which is merely a shortened form of a word or phrase, but one that is not actually pronounced) since they were referred to as "A-M-P."


Anonymous said...

This is Dave Roberts from Agnes Moorehead Platter...

I'll dig around for some photos or archive stuff I might have on Dayton in the late-80s/early-90s

jones() said...

Excellent -- looking forward to it.

take care


Anonymous said...

This is Rich Leonardi. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. As Dave will recall, we tried and failed to put a reunion together a couple of years ago to mark the fifteenth (*sigh*) anniversary of the band's founding. Our drummer has most of the master tapes with him in "cold storage" somewhere in Michigan. One of these days we'll digitize them to posterity's sake. Thanks again.

wil robinson said...

You guys rock. Patsy Decline rocks. Where can I get my hands on a time machine?? Maybe I'll load some patsy decline up my website: or youtube for fun. Take care.....

Tami said...

I believe the reason Agnes Moorehead is buried here is perhaps her parents and other relatives are here. Her father John Henderson Morehead was born Apr 1870 in Union (township), Muskingum, Ohio and her sister Margaret was born in Hamilton Ohio in 1906. Thanks, Tami

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should bury the band in the graveyard on wyoming street next to orville and wilbur wright. Nothing like a game of flashlight tag while tripping on a hit of acid. Or how about a nude photo shoot with trippin' chicks in the moonlight while hugging a couple of grave stones? Oh how I wish I was 20 again.......

jonmac33 said...

I was only looking for Agnes Moorehead information and I stumbled on this site. I love the music! A shame they did not continue. Is there more for sale somewhere?

TeresaSkyblue said...

Hello Jones,

Just discovered your blogs and am really enjoying your talents. Below you'll find a link to an interesting website that can shed a little more light on the life and death of Agnes Moorehead.

You are rapidly becoming my raconteur of choice. I imagine you are incredibly sexy. We should meet in person.

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