Full Album of
February 9, 2019
story of Mariner
begins in Dearborn Heights, Michigan with guitarist Bob
Okonowski and drummer Gordie Roedding who were in a band
called Tangents with neighborhood friend Dave Griffith. In
1968 bassist/vocalist Pat Mezza was brought into the group,
which then became known as Fourth Chapter. In 1970,
differences between Griffith and the rest of band led to him
being replaced by Annapolis High classmate Jimmy Henterly. A
Catholic grade school friend and bandmate (The Paramounts)
of Pat Mezza named Mike Smyt would be added in 1972. Smyt
had been coming home on summer breaks and jamming with the
band, but didn't officially join until '72.
In 1976-77 Livonia, Michigan resident Charlie Block replaced
Smyt, who left to pursue a more stable career. Fourth
Chapter was easily booked into all types of clubs because of
their musical diversity. They won local battle of the bands
and radio shows in Detroit and sold-out shows throughout the
Midwest and Canada. In 1979 the bands manager, Dave Paget,
did a survey of band names in Canada and the winner by a
large margin was
The band left behind the Fourth Chapter moniker and entered
a new era as
1980 would find the act beating out 700 groups from around
the U.S. in a battle of the bands, their prize for victory
was a two month gig in Osaka, Japan. The band became a
sextet again with Smyt rejoining the group just prior to
their jaunt overseas.
would be the christening act to play the new 1,000 seat
dance club Shiko Chain (loose translation the Bottom Line).
The band would enjoy two half-hour sets a night, free hotel
accommodations, $5,000 a week and superstar treatment.
The band also used their time in Japan to fine tune original
material. Shortly upon returning to the States they would
enter Multi-Trac Recording Studios in Livonia to record
their first album.
had various major labels interested but nothing panned out
so 1981's 'Sweet Horizon' would be released on the
independent Tidal Wave Records. The record featured an
excellent cover of the Chilliwack song "Fly At Night".
toured continuously, opening shows for the likes of
Steppenwolf and The Joe Perry Project. Sweet Horizon's
original pressing of 1,000 copies sold out immediately and
the album received substantial radio airplay regionally but
it still failed to break the band nationally.
In 1983 Mariner
released a self-titled four song EP, again on Tidal Wave
Records, which would see the band's music headed in a more
melodic rock direction. Tracks like "Make Me Baby", "Don't
Get Fooled Again" and "Lady's Touch" were excellent rockers
which would once more find major labels interested, but
again nothing transpired. What has to make one scratch one's
head is the other cut on the EP, "Let Your Love Show Thru",
was a sure fired hit that would have gone over well with the
MTV crowd from that time period. "Don't Get Fooled Again"
was written by Canadian Tim Thorney, who would go on to work
with Alanis Morrsette among many others. Shortly after the
records release Mike Smyt would leave the band permanently.
The band continued on, exploring different musical
directions along the way. When Roedding left the band in
1985 he was replaced by Randy Skiver and the band became
more of a glam outfit. A few years later Skiver was replaced
by Bruce Kreiter and
became the straight ahead hard rock band that so many
remember. Steve Firneno took over for Kreiter in 1990 and
stayed with the band until they're final show sometime in
the early 90's.
would resurface in 1995 with song placements in two HBO
movies 'Stranger By Night' and 'Animal Instincts III'.
In 2001 Pat Mezza,
and the other members signed a deal with an L.A. Company
that places songs in television and movie soundtracks. The
group then chose to remaster the large catalog of tunes that
had amassed over the years. This would serve two purposes,
the need to fulfill the placement company's request for some
of the tracks without vocals and the bands desire to
preserve their music, as recording tape degenerates over
has had songs placed in shows like 'Cold Case', 'Reunion'
Because of renewed interest in the group Henterly and Mezza
decided to release the remastered 'Sweet Horizon' record on
CD, with bonus tracks. Also in 2003 they decided to release
two more albums worth of
restored material. 'Make Me Baby' was made up of tracks from
the EP period, some of which had been re-recorded in 1988.
The third disc the band released in 2003, 'American
Maniacs', was from recordings they had done in 1999. The
lineup that played in these sessions would be
Pat Mezza, Bob Okonowski, Bruce Kreiter and Dave Bradley.
"Mystery Man" was written by Dick Wagner, who played guitar
in Alice Cooper in the mid 70's. The track had formerly been
released by the Michigan based Frost, which was Wagner's
original band. Wagner also played the middle guitar solo on
version. Dave Bradley, a friend of the band, lent his guitar
skills to the recordings. Bob Okonowski had been previously
diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's
disease) but still had the use of his hands at the time of
these sessions. Sadly, Bob lost his battle with ALS and
passed away on May 23, 2003 (R.I.P.).
In 2005 the band had their song "Don't Get Fooled Again"
included on the 'Melodic Rock Is Back Vol. 7' compilation
from the German internet radio show Munich's Hardest Hits.
On August 6, 2005 Henterly, Mezza, Roedding, Smyt and Block
hit the stage as
for a reunion show at the Allen Park Street Fair in Allen
Park, Michigan. 5,000 fans got to jump in a time machine
with the band and go back to a time when Rock N' Roll
was...well....Rock N' Roll. The show was a huge success and
hopefully not the final Chapter in the story of
Present day finds Mike Smyt working in the auto industry,
Charlie Block and Dave Bradley are graphic artists, Gordie
Roedding works at Northwest Airlines and does freelance
artwork, Pat Mezza and
are currently in the telecommunications industry and are
writing songs for a number of artists including Michigan
native Tanya, who has the ear of a number of big players
including Universal Music.
CD's can be found at CD Baby.
Mariner @ CD Baby.
Album: jimmy from
You're Gonna Like it
Goin to the Party
I Love your Dirty Look
Quarter to Four
If Love could bring you back to me
Another Hit to the Heart
Rock me , Till your ready to Roll
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