Mark Sisto at the Fleetwood Diner

I received a call early Saturday morning from Mark Sisto lead singer, great mate of Deniz Tek's who was coming into town for various reasons. Deniz asked if I'd like to interview Mark. I did want to interview him and at least meet him. Mark came to the Blind Pig show and I missed meeting him there by inches. He was chatting with Gary Quackenbush of SRC and I was right next to Gary with pal Trudie.

Kimmer and Trudie at the Blind Pig

Though barely knowing anything about Mark, his life or musical background, there was something about that name Sisto that was so attractive. Hearing he at the A2 show and I missed meeting him! I began doing my home work watching Mark with The Visitors and trying to catch up with 20 years of Mark's life on video. Never thought I'd meet him so soon after the show. I thought Mark was from down under not Birmingham, MI.

Thinking I had plenty of time to clean house and get cleaned up I was stunned when my phones went off at 9am on Saturday! YIKES now what??? Well what the hell grabbed a quick shower and flew out to the Ann Arbor train station.

Funny! Mark and I left the train station and bee lined for the Starbucks as I was jonesing for caffeine in a huge way. Poor Mark didn't sleep the night before on the train and was hungry too. Mark wanted to go to the Fleetwood diner, a place I had managed to avoid my entire life of living around here. I offered to take him somewhere better but he had fond memories of the way the Fleet used to be. Sadly Mark gave the experience 1 star for smoke, yucky coffee and didn't like his french toast either. (I just drank coffee, I knew better)

Mark is doing his best Deniz Tek's "The Look"

We decided to make a trek to Coachville the trailer park where James Newell Osterberg Jr. used to live. This small trailer park is still there on Carpenter Rd and right next to my friend Doug Davis's Miles of Golf aka Pat's Par 3.

Here we are at Coachville the home where Iggy grew up and had to live down. Can't believe it is still there. After here we made our way to Ypsilanti's Depot Town and had a beer at Aubrees where we ran into Al King.

Ended up back at my house in Lodi and had a blast listening to Mark sing along with the soundtracks of some movies I own. We had a great time digging into astrology charts and talking about solving the world's problems.

Monday back to work and school. Dropped Lesley and Mark of at the transit center and beat the feet off to the day job. Loved meeting Mark and hope to see him again some day. I felt like I had known him all my life, what a charming man.





Following Radio Birdman's split in 1978, Deniz Tek would form another band called The Visitors. This band was different musically from Radio Birdman, coming off with more of a New Wave influence. Deniz Tek was on guitar, Ron Keeley on drums, Pip Hoyle on keyboards, Steve Harris on bass, and Mark Sisto on vocals. In addition the New Wave vibe that was present on their material, The Visitors music also loomed with an ominous Doors influence.

The band was made up of three former Radio Birdman members (Hoyle, Tek, and Keeley), Sisto was a long time friend of Tek's. The line up also was sonically different than The Birdmen, there was only one guitar (as opposed to Radio Birdman who had two guitar players), there was also a darker element to the bands music. Prior to the band forming, Tek and Hoyle were working as interns at a hospital, during their spare time they jammed on songs through piano and guitar and the songs for The Visitors were written.


Chick-a-boom said...

The way Sisto sings "Miss you too much" is so fuckin amazing, so full of bittersweet emotion that makes it really difficult for me to choose between the Visitor's version and the Angie Pepper´s one

Fast Film said...

What a great introduction to someone of whom I wasn't as aware of as a music fan should be. Pretty cool for so...subjective a piece!

Dave said...

Very nice post! Thanks for linking me and using part of my info on The Visitors. I linked this post on The Visitors post on my blog too.

Cheryl Sinclair said...

"Good blog I agree. I remember the Fleetwood fondly. I lived on Ashley St. for awhile and would head there after the Del Rio, or Mr. Flood's Party closed. BTW I went to the Fleetwood when it was Dagwood's Dner with my older cousin in the early 60's or late 50's."

Retro Kimmer said...

Thank you all! 'Chickaboom! got it right for sure!

Everyone go visit Dave's blog it is really a well done music blog with all your favorites there. I am hoping I can get him to add Machinegun to his list!

Dave said...

I have added machinegun to my link list!

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