Stairway to Heaven / Sousa's Salsa

Reverberi Stairway to Heaven (United Artists, 1977)
The Gold Orchestra Sousa's Salsa (Gold, 197?)

You know, records really don't cost too much to make. Sure, people spend money on recording and promotion, but if you send a tape to a record pressing plant and ask them to return it in the form of 1000 shiny black discs you will be about $700 poorer. That is today. Twenty years ago, when oil was cheaper and millions of vinyl records were being pressed every day, you could get a record done for about five cents a record. Because pressing a record was so cheap, many a record that probably shouldn't have been made were birthed just because someone somewhere thought that it might make them a hell of a lot of money. Here are two examples of such a record.

I found Reverberi's version of the Led Zeppelin chestnut Stairway to Heaven when I was in high school. I was lucky enough to go to a school that had a radio station. It wasn't much. A few storage rooms off of a classroom, filled with third-hand equipment that the radio/communications/drama teacher begged from his radio dejay buddies. The station actually had real call letters (KRAT) and a frequency (which faded half way into the parking lot). The radio in the teacher's lounge was always tuned to KRAT, a way for the staff to make sure we weren't cursing on the air. You could also hear the station at lunch time and during morning and afternoon break, when it was broadcast over speakers outside the station and in the quad.

Our record library was crap, toss offs donated by pro radio stations. That never bugged me as I was a teenage record freak with a knack for shoplifting vinyl. I'd bring in my Black Flag, Eno, Kaos, and Devo records and torment the student body. After a lunch show, I was guaranteed to be called "Devo Punk Rock Faggot" for a couple weeks. I was also guaranteed to get a lecture by the radio teacher on my choice of music ("That's not rock & roll"), my on-air manner ("You sound like a college radio dejay" - which I took as a compliment), and my future ("You are a smart young man, but you'll be going nowhere fast unless you forget this punk rock style"). The man doing the lecturing had bleached his hair blond in response to Rod Stewart's Blonds Have More Fun album and drove a Corvette. After I graduated high school I was thrilled to see him on a TV at 2 am on a UHF station hawking waterbeds in a commercial.

What does this have to do with Reverberi? I found the record in my high school radio station's library and adopted it as my theme song. The ire I received for playing rock blocks of Flipper was dwarfed by my spinning Reverberi's Stairway to Heaven every single day during my senior year of high school. If you count, "Play that one more time, Soriano, and you are dead" as a death threat, I got tons of them. The threats came to nothing. Back then people thought punk rockers were mental cases and much of the student body believed me and my punk friends were capable of killing them all in their sleep. We did nothing to discourage that thinking.

So who is this Reverberi guy? He is an Italian composer, who, in the late Seventies, started doing pop tunes. He also did soundtracks.

The Gold Orchestra's Sousa's Salsa (That Tuba Thing) didn't come from KRAT. I found this a couple months ago rummaging through a box at my favorite record hut. It was too stupid to pass up. What could be stupid about a disco song anchored by a tuba playing Sousa melodies? You really have to ask? Wanna know what is stupider? The B side is the same song but over 6 minutes long. Thank me for sparing you the long version.

Thanks for sparing us on the 6+ minute salute to Sousa. Keep up the great posts.
i loved this stairway to heaven cut! thankyou!!!
the sousa salsa! yowza! it's great!
That "Sousa's Salsa" went on to my wants list so fast the pen burned a hole in the vellum. Now it smells like bacon in here.
As great as the stairway to heaven is, it's the story behind it that has given me the best laugh of the day. I only wish my high school had had a radio station and that I had had the opportunity to make mischief. That stuff makes life worth living. I did work as a camp counselor for a summer, and used a live Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders record to help the campers wake up in the morning.
wow, how have i lived without the Reverberi? thanks to you the rest of my life will be full and complete, and so will the lives of those lucky few that i call friends!

do you think he ever took on 'no quarter'? or "Gut Feeling" for that matter?

thanks so, soooo, sooooooo veryy very much!
i used to ABHOR zepplin. now i almost appreciate their existence. thanks, i guess...???

ps- your a WIMP for NOT posting the entire 6+ minutes of Sousas' Salsa!!
Great story! Thanks for that...
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