|OU2 History Part 1|
Rick McNamara moved to Cummington Farms, Cummington, MA in the Berkshires in December 1977. He continued to write original music for guitar and piano.
Suzanne Colton was enrolled in the Hartford Art School, Film Department and spent most of her free time travelling up North to visit Rick on weekends.
Rick encouraged Suzanne to move up to Cummington Farms by building her a loft, adding furniture such as bureaus and a picnic table to the rustic cabin known as: Star Base 2.
Suzanne started to see things more Rick's way after rushing to visit him and receiving a speeding ticket from the North Hampton State Police and being detained long enough to chill her freshly baked Quiche Lorraine made especially for Rick.
Suzanne moved into Star Base 2 in October of 1978.
Suzanne continued to bake Quiche Lorraine for Rick.
Rick liked that.
Rick McNamara and Suzanne Colton spent the fall of 1978 and winter of1979 together in the Berkshires at Star Base 2 in Cummington, MA. They spent many a snowy and "snowed in" evening playing elongated versions of "Honky Tonk Women " and Kinks melodies using what ever they could find on which to play with. Gut, the bartender for Cummington Farms and Dave Zink, a nearby neighbor and guitarist would often join in on these extensive jams. Wierd electonic sounds would emanate long into the night.
Rick and Suzanne McNamara were married on June 15th, 1979
They spent their Honeymoon in Boston, MA from June 15th- June 18th, 1979
On June 19th, 1979 they traveled to Norwich, CT and bought a small PA system and Peavey mixing board.
In July of 1979, the McNamaras moved into Real Art Ways, 197 Asylum Street, Hartford, CT as resident artists and opened RAW Egg Studio an 8-track recording studio.
OU2 was a coined phrase used affectionately by Michael Clare, an area record shop owner towards Rick and Suzanne McNamara. He had come upon their music; sonically bounding forth from RAW Egg Studio, an integral part of Real Art Ways, New England's Consortium for New and Experimental Art in Hartford, CT. It was Nov. 1979.
The McNamaras were preparing a soundtrack for their ˝ hour Super 8mm film epic entitled: "Dawn of the 80's which was scheduled to debut at RAW on Nov 30th at a Regional Filmmakers Night. Michael asked whose music had he been hearing and how could he get a copy of it to play on his Alien Rock Show on WRTC 89.3 FM, Trinity College radio.
Two people, weird electronics, synthesizers, reel to reel tape decks, an 8-track studio and unusual percussional devices were to become OU2 almost overnight. OU2 enjoyed the session company of good friends, Holding Pattern with: Tony Spada on guitar for "Punkin A Daze" and "You Take My Heart Away" and Bill Laramie: on bass and Bob Hutchinson: on drums for "You Take My Heart Away." Brian Johnson, resident percussionist at RAW was to collaborate on the track "Raw Cut / Blood Money."
OU2 issued its first album cassette entitled OU2 in 1980 as a response to the overwhelming response to the air play it received on WRTC and quickly sold out over two hundred cassettes in the Hartford, CT area in the span of two weeks. The cassette album featured a hand colored and numbered xerographed sleeve with a limited numbered edition of the album. OU2 was encouraged to release more music.
1981 was to issue forth OU2's second album cassette: Owe Your Tu-Tu OU2's II. RAW's original space wasn't long for the world due to plans by the city of Hartford. The McNamaras scrambled to make ends meet by hiring out their services and sound system to the local punk scene. It was at The Lit Club in Hartford, CT that they came across The Quivers, a name that they would remember. In no time at all, the original RAW space was demolished and Rick and Suzanne were holed up in a basement studio in Windsor, CT. The second album was received quite well by the Alien Rockers on WRTC and OU2 was encouraged o seek out a band (well at the very least, a drummer.) They seemed to have a pretty powerful sound on their own ("Percussion would be a nice added addition,") they were told.
Rick and Suzanne McNamara were avid supporters of the New Music scene in Connecticut. They formed THREX productions and promoted New Wave Bands on Wednesdays at the Emotions Café in Newington, CT. It was there that they would come to meet again Bernie Quiver, the drummer of The Quivers and his friend Marc Tramonte, a bass player that were soon to join the OU2 band. Others such as Jeff Mann from the now debunked RAW scene and Gerry Wentz, professor of film and video at the Hartford Art School both expressed a desire to join OU2's lunacy. When all was said and done, OU2's full rehearsals were comprised of eight members held in a tiny one-room brick cottage in Poquonock, CT. The very same cottage that The Wild Weeds rehearsed in back in 1968. But that is another story.
OU2's first live performance was a Pajama Party for Valentine's Day at the University of Hartford Art School. Weren't the pajama clad art students surprised and confused when OU2's music ominously surged and wafted from behind a colored light washed 20'x 30' tobacco net screen. Where was the band?
To be continued.......
|Written by Suzanne McNamara|