Locals Only!!! – The Motifs – If I Gave You Love

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The Motifs

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Listen – The Motifs – If I Gave You Love – MP3

Greetings.

I hope everyone is having an excellent summer weekend.

Today’s post is the first in a series (of no set interval) of local (i.e. confined to NJ) music, mostly of the 60’s garage variety.

I decided to start off with one of my faves by a local (very, I grew up one town over) band, Freehold, NJs Motifs.

The Motifs were one of the bigger local bands (one of the few to actually record and release a 45), playing local teen clubs, dances etc. Their ranks included bassist Vinnie Roslin (an original member of the Sierras, later to morph into the Castiles, a group that featured one Bruce Springsteen), singer Walter Cichon (and his brother, I think) and Murray Bauer.

Managed by local musician/entrepreneur Norman Seldin, the released their sole 45 for his Selsom* records in let 1965/early 1966. Seldin would also record with his own band, The Soul Set.

‘If I gave You Love’ is textbook garage defiance with wailing (slightly off kilter) harp, an inspired/shambolic guitar solo and heavily reverbed vocals. The flip ‘Molly’ is more of a novelty effort, but is not without its own rough, Central Jersey charm (I’ll feature it in a future post).

This was comped back in the 80’s on ‘Open Up Your Door Vol2′.

So, I hope you dig it, and watch for more in the coming weeks.

Peace
Larry

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*Selsom released 45s by local soul groups the Valtairs (later the Street People) and the Uniques, who later recorded a couple of 45s for MGM as the Broadways. One of their members, Billy Brown went on to record with the Moments.

PS If anyone has a line on a copy of the Storytellers 45 on Trystero (or at least a recording of its b-side), drop me a line. The same goes for the Hallmarks 45 on Smash.

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31 Comments

  1. this is completely wonderful. thank you for sharing this larry!

    xxx

  2. Very cool, especially love that break.

  3. [...] back to Iron Leg, and the second installment of Locals Only. As I said in the first installment (Motifs), this would be dedicated to NJ (and when possible Monmouth/Ocean County) acts. Today’s selection [...]

  4. [...] Why the Detroit Cobras have yet to cover this, I do not know. But Iron Legs, he seems to have an idea. [...]

  5. Here is the latest news that no one has yet! Coming out on Norman Seldin’s Ivory International Label will be all of the original vinyls from the 60’s, 70’s and some new recordings from The Motifs, The Soul Set, Norman Seldin & The Joyful Noyze album with Clarence Clemons, Rock N Roll Plus Album by Stormin’ Norman & Frinds encluding Garry Tallent, Max Weinberg, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Roy Bittan, Billy Ryan, and Stormin’ Norman on lead vocals and piano with Southside Johnny singing harmony on one track. Also on the double collector CD will be Nicky Addeo, The Valtairs with Harry Ray, The Uniques with Leon Trent, The Jaywalkers, and the greatest acapellas by Barbaroso & The Historians and maybe a few more surprises. Check out http://www.normanseldin.com for more information or call (732) 741-8733. Make sure you get the new book Local Heroes..The Asbury Park Music Scene with some great articles and photos of many you know plus Stormin’ Norman himself. Call Trinkets in Red Bank (732) 741-6990 if you want to purchase one. Hope you liked the first announced news!

  6. Get both of the Motifs recordings, plus Steel Breeze, Jaywalkers, Joyful Noyze, Nicky Addeo, The Night Owls, Soul Set, 5 E Streeters with Stormin’ Norman, the Uniques, and much more are available at http://www.backstreets.com, http://www.cdbaby.com, Emusic.com, Itunes.com, http://www.IndieRhythm.com for copies or downloads. Asbury Park Then & Now by Stormin’ Norman & Friends is all over Europe and Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, UK, and many other countries is ranked at #80 out of 950 releases in 2008. This didn’t even get over there until 2 1/2 months ago so look for bigger things to come in 2009. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet or downloaded the double cd, check it out…the mastering and re-mastering took over 250 hours to do and is a gem. We hope you love it!

  7. Hey Larry! Thanks so much for putting this up. I am the second son of Walter Cichon. You are correct, Walter’s brother Raymond was the guitarist for The Motifs and continued the band years after my father was drafted and lost in Vietnam. I really enjoyed listening to “If I Gave You Love”.

    I’ll have to check out Norman’s site for that album he mentions.

    • David,
      My name is MurrayBauer. Your father and I were best friends. I also played guitar with the Motifs. If you look at the picture above the picture of our record, I’m the one on the left.
      I would be great to hear from you.

      • Hey, Murray! I was just talking about you to a friend in Cali. She asked where you are now, so naturally I Googled.
        My name used to be Walter Pewnew, but my legal name has always been Waldemar Maszewski, as I found out in later years. Turn’s out that Alex Pewnew Sr. was my stepfather and I was a kind of “Cinderfella”, life with him sucked in almost every way imaginable.
        Great to have found you here! Would like to hear from you. I’m on FB as Waldemar ‘Masz’ Maszewski.
        I still have my copy of the Motifs’ 45 after all these years, if you can believe that! Still love it!

      • My name used to be Walter Pewnew, turn’s out it was actually Waldemar Maszewski, as I found out in later years. I go by ‘Masz’, for short.
        I just want to say that it was great to find this site! I knew some of the same folks. Still have and enjoy the Motifs’ 45. Went to school with them, etc. Hope to hear from somebody!

      • Murray! John here; 40+ years later. Just came upon stuff about who we were… can ya believe— Motifs, Bruce, IB club, Walter.

        Shoot me an email if you get this: imagefinder@comcast.net

        Still drummin’,
        Johnny L.

    • Sorry about the loss of your father in that senseless war! I lost track of almost everyone back home after entering the army in ’66.

  8. Did Frank Calandrino play with the Motiffs?

  9. I was a big motiefs fan who was there drummer and where is he now. I was also in a band in the sixitys we played the IB club in howell Springsteen was there all the time he and the motiefs lead guitar player were friends . The motiefs were a great group everyone wanted to be as good as they were they had the sound we were all after.

    • i did play with the motifs,for awhile,at the ships wheel,hoffman house,mells lounge,buckwalds,the cave,playpen,stanley prinston,big ray,little vinnie,neil c,and myself,had a great time back then,when i was in eighth grade,we had a canteen dance heard the motifs for the first time,it was great ,wanted to play like the original drummer,johnny lewandowski,he was awesome,i tried life hell to copy hiss playing big influence,thanks,frank calandrino

      • Hey, Frank. Johnny Lewandoski here. Wow– I just found this blog thread and am taken back to the 60s and the old gang, big time!

        Anybody connected to the Motifs or Bruce’s early years, shoot me an email. Would love to get in touch.

        Still drummin’. Gotta love it. :-)

        John Lewandoski
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      • Hey, David Cichon –

        Johnny Lewandoski here, original drummer w/ the Motifs.

        What’s your connection to Carol Lee (Large), Walter’s wife? I can remember a child being born to Walter and Carol Lee before he was drafted. How you fit in the picture would be good to know, as I can’t remember Walter with more than one child.

        “Those were the days, my friend; we thought they’d never end…”

        ~ Johnny Lewandoski

  10. Hi, I live in farmingdale and was tring to get the town to place a mem to your father and could find no info plese e-mail me.

    Darren

  11. I played keyboards with the Motifs for a period of time during the late 60’s about the time Walter and Murray were drafted to fight in Nam. Raymond Cichon was a good friend of mine and was dating my cousin Judy at the time. Ray was an outstanding lead guitarist and used to tell me that he actually played keyboards for the Kingsmen, a group the recorded Louie Louie, prior to joining the Motifs.. Bruce filled in as rhythm guitar player for us when we played at Fort Dix, MacGuire AFB and a a firehouse in Jackson. Not many people realize that Bruce played with the Motifs also (makes for good Springsteen trivia)!

  12. Send your prayers for Vinnie Roslin who has suffered heart complications and was the original bass player I produced, managed and booked with The Motifs. You can get “Molly” and “If I Gave You Love” off of the re-mastered double CD Asbury Park Then And Now by Stormin’ Norman & Friends on the Ivory International label. Whole copies at http://www.cdbaby.com, http://www.backstreets.com, plus digital downloads at http://www.emusic.com, http://www.itunes.com. There are also six classic recordings of my longtime friend Clarence “Big Man” Clemons on this collection with some of his finest playing. We lost Clarence just yesterday and hope you’ll send your prayers for both Clarence as he enters heavens doors, and for Vinnie Roslin to just get better.
    Thanks,
    Stormin’ Norman Seldin

  13. [...] ^ The Motifs [...]

  14. I just heard that Vinny Roslin is doing very badly health wise. I wish my old friend the best. I’ll always remember and dearly love the memories.
    Murray Bauer of the Motifs

    • If anyone can tell me how I can get in touch with Vinnie or his family, I would appreciate it. Murray Bauer.

      • Found out that Vinnie Roslin passed away yesterday February 11 at about 1:30 am. My condolences to all of his friends and family. It is such a great loss. A kind and gentle man who loved his rock and roll music. I for one will miss him dearly and remember our youth, The Motifs, the good times and what a great person he was.
        Murray Bauer

      • Hi Murray- do not know if you will read this. Just found about this website and it is quite s stroll down memory lane. This Is Anna Cichon- Ray’s little sister. I had heard about Vinny and was very sad. Thank god I got to see him about 2 years ago. Hope you are well.

  15. Please attend the special Fund Raiser Tribute for one of our friends and local heroes Little Vini Roslin which will be held at the Headliner on Rt. #35 in Neptune, NJ on Sunday March 11th, 2011 starting at 4pm and going until 8pm. Donation is only $15 and there will be some outstanding silent auction and raffle opportunities. Also there will be tremendous entertainers taking the stage in honor of the late Vini Roslin. Stormin’ Norman Seldin will be one of them and many more! See you there….

  16. [...] From Locals Only Blog [...]

  17. Johnny L. My favorite drummer. I have been looking for you for quite a while. We were the originals. Only the 2 of us now with Walter, Ray and Vinnie gone. The Motifs were a big part of both my life and memories. Simply unforgettable

  18. Just read some of the comments. Hi Anna , Walter M , Bob C. I intend on getting in touch unless you get me first.

  19. Murray, This is great stuff!!! It’s been a long time… Last time I saw you was – I think – in a business law class as a “5th year senior” in 66-67. I can’t exactly recall how I knew your dad, but I remember doing some work for him, and riding in his car with you, and maybe Johnny L with a pile of gig stuff, heading to Freehold. Your dad was talking seriously about what direction you guys should be going in…. I was drummer with the band Hard Times out of Red Bank in ’67 – we practiced right next to where mr seldin had his office… in ’68 just before my draft notice arrived I picked up the guitar and did a couple solos at the coffee house in RB, and at a hangout in Freehold, and started going to the Village on Saturday nights to listen to the folkies. Walt and Ray were neighbors & it was Ray who taught me how to put three chords together, then 3 more, and left me to my own devices… Aside from a couple of pickup blues bands, and having a partner in a recent open mic hosting, I’ve been playing acoustic solo gigs ever since. I’ve always thought that you guys were as good as anybody, and had the dice rolled a bit differently, the Motifs might be as well known as any band that came out of that golden age that we were so lucky to be part of. Don’t let this go away- it can only get better!


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