Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1978)
- Vince Brescia -- vocals, guitar
- Tony Millions (aka Tony LoGuercio) -- vocals, keyboards
- Iain Morrison -- vocals, bass
- Steve Prisco -- vocals, guitar
- Mitch Tower -- drums
- The Bluebeats (Steve Prisco)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: That was Then, This Is Now!
Country/State: Long Island, New York
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 2493
So how could you not love a band who were inspired by a Gilligan's Island episode (yes, they took their name from a band that appeared on a 1965 episode of the show - thanks to YouTube you can check out their inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rfU1sC5vK8
The Mosquitos were formed by singer/guitarist Vince Brescia. Still in high school, Brescia quickly recruited keyboardist Tony LoGuercio (Tony Millions), bass player Iain Morrison, lead guitarist Steve Prisco, and drummer Mitch Tower. The other members were slightly older and had played in local Long Island bands like The Fabians, and Qusip. Rehearsals quickly saw them graduating to local Long Island clubs, including a 1983 spot opening for The Ramones at Southampon College.
The band made their recording debut with 1985's "That was Then, This Is Now". Released by the small New York Vahalla label the album was produced by Toby Lynn. Showcasing the band's infatuation with '60s pop, Brescia was responsible for writing, or co-writing all five tunes. Yeah, their Merseybeat infatuation ('I Know a Secret') wasn't the most original thing you've ever encountered, but If tracks like 'Put Your Foot Down' and 'Do You Want To Hurt Me' failed to capture their live energy, I can't imagine what kind of a beast these guys must have been in concert. All five of the tracks were worth hearing.
Then, This Is Now!" track listing:
1.) Put Your Foot Down (Vance Brescia - Ed Davis) - 2:17 rating: **** stars
You had to wonder how a wonderful slice of power pop like 'Put Your Foot Down' could disappear without attracting any attention from the public, or radio stations. This tune simply wiped the floor with most mid-'80s top-40 hits. Geez, it even had a killer Tony Millions Farfisa solo. Fantastic tune, Shame it wasn't longer.
2.) I Know a Secret (Vance Brescia) - 2:33 rating: **** stars
Nice Meseybeat vibe to this one ...
3.) If I'm Lucky (Vance Brescia - Ed Davis) - 3:28 rating: *** stars
The EP's lone ballad, 'If I'm Lucky' was pretty enough, but lacked the appeal of their more uptempo catalog.
The EP's most conventional rocker and one of the highlights. How is it this one wasn't a major hit?
2.) That was Then, This Is Now (Vance Brescia) - 4:06 rating: **** stars
If you know this tune, it's probably a result of the Monkees having recorded is for their mid-'80s comeback. I won't try to argue the original was better than the remake, but I will tell you it was very good - more energetic than the remake. Interestingly, Clive Davis' Arista Records toyed with signing the band, but ultimately passed. Liking the title track, Davis decided it should be the "comeback" single for the recently reunited Monkees.
The group were apparently unhappy with the EP, feeling it failed to capture their in-concert energy and edge. They called it quits shortly thereafter.
For anyone interested, Brescia continued in music, eventually signing on as guitarist/musician director for Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone. He also has a web presence at: http://www.vancebrescia.com/index.shtml
By the way, The Mosquitos reunited for a couple of shows in 2016.
Neither the video or sound quality are great, but YouTube has a mesmerizing clip of the band playing a December 1984 performance at Columbia High School: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJr73dIuA1s
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