Pastiche was the brainchild of one Curtis Naihersey, A.K.A. Mr. Curt, guitarist and songwriter who put the first version of his band together sometime around 1976. Beloved in the local rock scene, Pastiche existed in a variety of lineups, but coalesced into its most memorable one when singer Ken Scales, with his striking visual presence of shaved head and quirky onstage mannerisms, first appeared on the B-side of a Mr. Curt single called “I’m Going Blind.” That ode to puberty became a local hit and Pastiche grew into its tight five-piece performing unit. Within a year, that version played WBCN’s 2nd Annual Rock and Roll Rumble in the summer of 1980 and advanced all the way to the finals. In the final night’s competition, Pastiche bested the hard rock trio named France in a battle widely reported in local headlines as a ‘New Wave vs. Heavy Metal’ showdown. Now crowned as victors of the Boston scene, the band’s profile rose considerably and Pastiche began performing up and down the East Coast. The reggae-flavored single, “Lock it Up” (made with money and studio time won in the Rumble), appeared in 1981 and became one of the defining local hits of the period. Some other songs made it onto Boston rock compilations with one track, “Psycho Blonde,” returning the group to straight-ahead rock and also drawing solid area airplay. All seemed on target for Pastiche to find greater success and a larger audience, but in 1982 the group debuted a new seven-piece lineup which quickly fragmented. By April 1982, this highly-creative and promising young band had played its last show. Scales and bassist Brad Hallen (who’d eventually join Roomful of Blues years and years later) formed Adventure Set with some other musicians and Pastiche was history, but a good history nonetheless!
(by Carter Alan)
Published on December 28, 2012