After the demise of the Twiliters, Bill Kennedy and John Champagne hooked up to
try and form another band. John who was possibly the best guitarist in the area had
played with many local bands including the Monterays who were the first area band
to issue a single.
We looked at a few drummers and met up with David Curtain, an Eastman trained
percussionist who fit with us perfectly. At the time Cream was big so going out as a
trio wasn't as weird as it would have been a year earlier. But it was tough as a trio
and limited our song list considerably. Billy Pajonas who had been with me with the
Twiliters was ask to join and thankfully said yes. PJ was as good a guitarist as he
was a keyboard player and we could change the sound of the band by simply
switching instruments. Billy also had a B3 and a 900 Leslie that he pumped through
a Sunn amp. Big organ sound.
The band jelled quickly and sounded so good that we all made the decision to do
nothing but play on the road. I quite my job at a local radio station, sold my nice 68
Mustang Fastback, gave up my apartment by the lake. John quit giving guitar
lessons and Billy quit is job at a sewage treatment plant. Not sure what David quit.
We bought a stretch Dodge Van and that began more than four years of deafness
and destruction as well as the best time of our lives. From the wilds of Quebec to
Cape Cod we stormed the beaches. Sorry if we hurt anyones feelings. If we
did-we're sorry- we were just having fun...
Billy "PJ" Pajonas
Bill "Uncle Bill" Kennedy
John "The Mouse" Champagne
Left and below: The original AC Apple with Dave Curtain. With the exception of
Drummers, the band stayed intact until 1972.
After David departed, Geoff Jones who had played with a local band called the
Stowaways joined us. He became a great drummer and was with us the longest.
Jimmy Stark was the last drummer. No photos exist of him...
The band had several road managers. "Ric"who had been a roadie for the band
Rhinoceros. The Beemer from Plattsburgh whose good nature was infectious. And the
two pictured here.
Left, Jeff Gordon believed we should have our own lighting system after nearly
playing in the dark at some venues. So Will Whittle one of the owners of the Saxony
Hotel and a member of the band The "Triads" constructed a two box system with a
keyboard made of military grade switches to control each of the five lights. Dimmers
were also added. It became a building block and part of every song. When we
rehearsed, the light man rehearsed with us. A simple addition made a huge difference
in the stage appeal of the band. Especially when the crowd was.......
Jeff to this day provides lighting for bands and concerts in New England.
Ray Bushey pictured below is at the controls of the system. Ray left to serve proudly
in Viet Nam. Today he is a bass player with a band and lives in Northern Vermont.
The band worked for many of the better booking
agents over the life of the band.
Donald K. Donald in Montreal.
Charisma Artist Corp and Tom Bach from Utica, NY
and Wain Music and Ed Malhoit from New
Hampshire whose claim to fame is that he
discovered Steven Tyler and the beginnings of what
was to become Areosmith.
The last band I was involved with lasted less
than two months and ended my life on the
Wasn't a great experience but it was an eye
opener for sure.....
In August of 2011 some old friends from long ago organized a reunion of fans, musicians and patrons of the Saxony
Hotel in Rouses Point, NY. In it's heyday it was the premier place to play for all bands in the Northeast. Situated on
the Canadian border it drew packed crowds each night. Everyone who ever played or partyied there has a few war
stories about the Sax. What was unusual was it was owned by a band. The Triads, a trio made up of Will Whittle, Mark
Chapman and Ric Spinelo owned and managed the venue for many years.
The Saxony reunion sparked another reunion. AC Apple or at least 90% of it played togeather for the first time in 39 years. Above
left Uncle Bill on bass, Billy "PJ" Pajonas on keyboards and John "Mouse" Champagne on guitar backed by Marc Chapman on
drums of the Triads.
Above center, the band is joined by old friend Dennis "Boots" Booth on vocals and harp.
Below, Uncle Bill, Mouse and PJ with
former road mangers Ray Bushy and
A.C. Apple played it's last gig at Lucifer's in
Providence, RI in early 1972. Everyone went their
separate ways; Battered, hearing impaired,
bewildered and unsteady. But realizing that we had
just had the time of our lives.
Uncle Bill retired after a very brief stint was a band
from MA. Billy and Mouse continued to play in other
bands. Jimmy Stark our last drummer just
disappeared. Ray was in the service and Jeff
Gordon went off somewhere. Geoff Jones lives in
Rochester, NY and David Curtin passed away far to
young in 2011 in MA.
The time I spent with all these people was the best
time in the world. The things we did, the people we
met, the war stories we created could never be
done again...by anyone. I miss them all...
Comments and suggestions are
Welcome; send to Bill Kennedy;