Sunday, February 12, 2017


Origin: Syracuse, New York (USA)

805 Frank Briggs - Ed Vivenzio - Dave Porter - Greg Liss
Frank Briggs - Ed Vivenzio - Dave Porter - Greg Liss

805 [Stand in line - 1982] aor melodic rock music blogspot full albums bands lyricsStand in line - 1982 (with lyrics)


- When 1980s Syracuse progressive-rock band 805 plays a set Friday night to help celebrate its induction into the Syracuse Area Music Awards hall of fame, guitarist and lead singer Dave Porter will be worrying about the fans.

“A lot of people are very happy about this,” Porter says. “I keep telling them: This isn’t our show. It’s the Sammys. We’ll try our best to put on an 805 show. Hey, it’s a half-hour.”

That means folks will be coming from Texas and Connecticut, as well as cities from along the Thruway circuit — Buffalo, Rochester and Albany — to hear about a half-dozen 805 songs.

“I’m worried about the fact that there was a lot that went into an 805 show, more than music and musicianship,” Porter says.

Big lights. Big visuals. “Smoke, fog, films, pyrotechnics, costumes and, yes, a 10-foot python named Dudley,” Porter reports.

That means big expectations for the band that Porter founded in 1977.

The lineup onstage will include the foursome that comprised 805 from 1980 to 1985, the period in which the Syracuse band found national fame.

“When we had our little peak, it was years before the Sammys even existed,” Porter says.

The band started playing covers of Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, Thomas Dolby, King Crimson and Weather Report and developed original songs that followed the progressive genre.

Then 805 was seen at a show in Little Falls by an engineer from New York City’s Electric Ladyland studios. A management deal with a Long Island company netted a record deal with major label RCA. In 1982, Porter, bassist Greg Liss, keyboard player Ed Vivenzio and drummer Frank Briggs recorded “Stand in Line” at Legends Studios in Washington state, owned by Randy Bachman, of Bachman Turner Overdrive.

The week of Aug. 14 that year, the album hit No. 36 on Billboard’s rock album chart, and its single, “Young Boys” hit No. 37 on the top tracks chart. A video, “Young Boys,” showed up on MTV.

“This summer will be the 30th anniversary of whatever that album achieved. Which wasn’t much,” Porter says.

Two more albums followed: “Question of Tomorrow,” which included a regional radio hit, “Christie,” in 1985, and “The Edge of the World,” in 1988, each with less national success.

Other prominent members included Ron Cunningham on guitar and vocals and Jim Lucas on drums before the 1980 version, and Marc Viscosi, Bill MacDermott and Brad Wiley on guitar, Gary Davenport and Tony Colabelli on bass, Carl Goodhines on keyboards, and Frank’s brother, Gary Briggs, on drums at various points thereafter.

The band broke up in 1992, but in 1994, the musicians got back together when asked to play the second edition of the Sammys, at the Landmark Theatre.

That was it until they released an anthology album and launched a 15-date reunion tour that started and ended at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort Showroom in 2003.

“It sounded pretty good,” says Frank Briggs of the last date of that tour, when he joined his ex-mates.

“I think what we had going for us is a natural chemistry that didn’t really happen in any of the other versions,” says Briggs, who is flying in from his home in Los Angeles and will also preside over a drum clinic from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at the Red House Arts Center as part of the two-day Music Industry Conference that includes the Sammys.

“The band had a great relationship with its fans,” says Briggs, “and this was before social networking.”

Briggs, who plays on the national touring band for classic pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck, says that primary sound man Tim Rinkerman used to allow fans that arrived early to plug their recorders into the sound board.

“Lots of people are converting them to MP3s and collecting them,” says Briggs, adding that Rinkerman will come to Syracuse to work the board during the 805 set in the the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center Ballroom.

Vivenzio and Liss both still live and play music in Central New York. Vivenzio plays with Dave Hanlon’s Cookbook and has put out a solo album, “Airspace,” while Liss plays with Mark Cole’s rock outfit The Thin Line.

“I enjoy the company of every one of those guys,” says Liss, who played the electric, fretboard-and-strings Chapman Stick as well as bass for 805. “I will enjoy the fact that people are actually listening to the band because it’s likely the last time we’ll ever play for them.”

Vivenzio says he’s honored.

“I was a little surprised,” he said of the Sammys hall of fame induction. “It’s been a long, long time.”

Porter, who still lives in Syracuse, says he’ll never have any regrets about how his life turned out post-805. He and his wife, Kathy, have raised two children, a son studying business in college and a daughter who’s a senior in high school. Together, Dave and Kathy run their own company, Exhibit A Media. Kathy concentrates on print, and Dave on video and sound. He still plays solo and duo gigs around the region.

“I’ve had a pretty great life the way things turned out,” he says. -


- 805 is a progressive rock band from Upstate NY.  Started in 1977 by Dave Porter, 805 was signed to RCA Records in 1980.  In 1982, Stand In Line produced by Dennis MacKay was released on RCA Records.  It went Number 33 on national radio airplay charts.  In 1985, 805 self released Question of Tomorrow. In 1989, 805 self released Edge of The World.  In 2005, 805 self released End Of Light Best of 1979-1989 CD.  In 2008, 805 issued remastered releases of Stand In Line, Question of Tomorrow, Edge of The World, End Of Light, plus the release of Live Sounds From A Dark Past consisting of a live concert performance recorded on 11-26-2003.   In 2009, 805 issued Young Boys Live consisting of a live radio mobile broadcast recorded on 09-01-1982 during the peak of their national tour to promote the release of Stand In Line.  Band members over time have included Dave Porter on vocals and guitar, Greg "Creamo" Liss on bass, Ed Vivenzio on keyboards, Ron Cunningham on guitar and vocals, and brothers Frank Briggs and Gary Briggs on drums.

Dave Porter after returning to Syracuse in 1975 had a band, Harpy, that started doing "weird things on stage," he admits. The music was simpler than his next band's would be, but the theatrical aspects of the show carried over. Pyrotechnics, 10-foot pythons and blowing things up became part of the routine. But for a variety of reasons, Harpy broke up and Porter went on the lookout "for people who were really wizards on their instruments." After extensive auditions he found bassist Greg Liss (also called Creamo), keys player Ed Vivenzio and drummer Frank Briggs as well as guitarist, vocalist Ron Cunningham (who was with the band until 1980), and formed 805 in 1977.

Shortly after Cunningham's departure, RCA signed the band while it was playing what Porter recalls as a "dive of a place" in Little Falls.  The band enjoyed quick success with RCA and had the chance to record at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. But within a few years, the excitement faded and in 1983 they were on their own. The band continued playing with the original lineup until 1986 and other lineups until 1989. Since then there have been several reunions, but the original lineup with Porter, Liss, Vivenzio and Briggs only played a few tunes at a 2003 appearance at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino. Putting the pieces back together has been a daunting task.

"We've got like four hours to try to relearn these kind of complicated songs," Porter says. "They're in weird time signatures. If you're playing a song that's in 7/8, in those beats, it's hard to make them sound smooth to begin with unless they're played right. We'll see how good we are after all these years."

Although the band won't be able to spit fire or blow things up this weekend, the stories haven't lost their luster. Porter recalls a show where they did their usual routine at the end—a set themed to old age and death that called for a concussion bomb to go off while Porter magically changed from an old man (he'd rip off a mask and old, worn clothes) to a beautiful young man in shining white clothes. In this instance, they set off the bomb and blew off half of the club's ceiling. Porter still recalls looking out and seeing a dazed, blinded crowd covered in debris.

"They just sat there," he says in disbelief. "They didn't even move." At the end of the night Porter slunk to the bar owner's office, fearing 805 would be banned from the club, forced to pay for the damage and denied their night's pay.

"He {the bar owner} goes, 'You blew half the ceiling down.' I go, 'I know, I'm sorry,'" Porter re-enacts. “He goes, 'That was f--king amazing! Do you know how many people are gonna be here the next time you play?' I was so surprised."

It's with fond memories of ceilings falling, bombs going off and Creamo sending fireballs rolling above the crowd (Porter claims they only had to douse Creamo once) that 805 returns, finally getting recognition for the contributions to music, theatrics and Syracuse.

Although other members couldn't make the interview, Porter is quick to remember those who will join him on the Sammys stage for the performance on Friday night. "It's 805 that's going into the Hall of Fame," he says thoughtfully.
"The other three musicians that surrounded me... I guess that was my big talent. The ability to surround myself with really incredible musicians. I pale in comparison to any of the three of them." -


- 805 was founded in the NY area in 1977 by vocalist and guitar player Dave Porter.  While playing covers in the clubs circuit, the band wrote and recorded original songs tirelessly, and eventually was signed by RCA. At the beginning of ’82, at the mansion and studio of Randy Bachman (Bachman Turner Overdrive) in Washington, 805 recorded their debut “Stand In Line”.

“Stand In Line” includes really good songs in a lite-prog AOR style, with a brilliant and crisp production. “Young Boys” and “Fools Parade” are commercial tunes with a typical eighties ambience, the title track reminds you Genesis Phil Collins-era, while “Making It All Seem True” is a beautifully spiced AOR track (love the keys on this one). “Defense” has radio potential with very cool synths in the vein of AOR progsters Saga, and “Going Nowhere At All” has magical arrangements sounding pretty British to my ears.

Never released on CD, “Stand In Line” is one of the best commercial proggy AOR albums of the beginning of the ’80s. -


- Formed in Upstate New York in 1977, 805 started life as a progressive rock band playing Genesis and Yes covers in clubs across the US and Canada. Now personally, I never thought progressive rock translated very well in a club atmosphere and I imagine in the late 70's there was probably more than one punter who shouted out 'Free Bird!' during an extended keyboard solo. Yet despite the usual obstacles and with the musical tide moving away from progressive rock, 805 persevered, perfecting their craft, landing a record contract with RCA and recording their first album under the tutelage of Dennis Mackay (Brand X, Judas Priest, Shooting Star) at Randy Bachman's Legend Studios in the Pacific Northwest.

'Stand in Line' is a high quality album from start to finish and almost immediately noticeable is the slight fusion feel ala Group 87 and Ambrosia throughout the ten tracks, although this is definitely a pop album. Think Saga, Lodgic and Genesis' early 80's work. In fact the Genesis influence is quite strong on the title track featuring some very Tony Bank's influenced keyboard work. 'Young Boys', 'Fools Parade' and Side two's 'Gimme Everything' are the strongest and perhaps more accessible songs here, but I find the progressive material far more interesting, especially the final track 'Going Nowhere at All' which brings to mind Mike Rutherford's brilliant and eccentric 'Smallcreeps Day'. The perfect ending to a perfect album, 'Stand in Line' is definitely one to seek out for those who like their AOR spiced up with a prog rock twist.

It's too bad RCA didn't put more effort behind the band, although never to be held back 805 went on to release an independent tape and CD, both of which I have not heard, or knew existed (both are out of print). It will be interesting to get a copy of these and see how far the band 'progressed'! -


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