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The Student Teachers

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This was one of the last things we did as a band...a photo session for a poster.
Very cyclical.
Taken by our official band photographer Steve Lombardi, this session documented the addition of our newest member, Haydn Brasseur, on drums. We had sadly let Laura go after she repeatedly did not show up for rehearsals. She was spending so much time with the Blondies that we barely ever saw her anymore. The final straw was when we were doing a gig with Donna Destri, Jimmy's sister, and Laura actually missed the soundcheck. Donna's drummer, Haydn, sat in for us to get sounds and we were blown away by how well she played our songs without ever having heard them. Laura's simple beats had always been a part of our sound, but hearing what someone with some more experience could do was an ear-opener. Laura made it to that gig at the last minute, but a few nights later we asked Haydn if she would join the band and then decided to let Laura go. It was very difficult and no one wanted to be the one to tell her so we all walked down to her and Jimmy's place and had the talk. She was extremely apologetic and kept promising to make things better and show up when she was supposed to, but we had made the decision and weren't going to back down. I finally had to drop the axe, telling her that she didn't have another chance with us...and it breaks my heart to this day to think about it. It destroyed our friendship and the band only lasted a few more months without her. The magic was lost and we were becoming a business instead of a group of friends having fun.

With Jimmy out of the picture we started being courted by the guys in Squeeze, in particular Glenn Tillbrook. He wanted to produce us, but he thought we had not found the right fit with our new drummer. He told us that they had auditioned over 1000 drummers before they found Gilson Lavis and that we should do the same. Somehow the whole idea of auditioning other drummers was just too painful, so we continued with this line-up, playing sold-out headlining gigs, recording a self-produced (with the help of our faithful roadie and band conscience, Antone) EP and trying to figure out our next step. We never did. In a conversation between Phillip and I, he convinced me that the wind was not longer blowing in our sails and we agreed to make Halloween 1980 our last gig. He told the band and they thought I had just decided to end it. The truth is that I thought that Phillip and I were going to start something new...but that didn't pan out and there wasn't a Student Teachers to go back to. We had reached the end of our run.

We released our EP posthumously, and had one more gig to pay back our faithful and wonderful manager Jody Robello for the money she had laid out of pocket managing us. I found it very sad to play again, because I was already missing the joy of performing live, but there really wasn't enough love between us at that point to try to bring it back to life. The band thought I had abandoned them, I thought Phillip had abandoned me, and in the mimdst of poor communication and changing lives, we had all grown a little distant. I went back to school and got engaged to marry a girl named Eloise, and tried to put the whole thrill of the Student Teachers behind me...but it was such a big part of my life that it wouldn't rest.

Recently I found that people had been posting about the band on the Richard Hell site and suddenly the winds of karma blew some of us back together again...through email and through the helpful intervention of a young Student Teachers' fan in the UK named Oliver who had never even seen us live. Now I'm putting this site together and gathering materials for a release to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our last gig. It feels good to finally let myself enjoy what we did...I hope you will too.