Freedom You're A Woman
01. Rock N' Roll Man
02. Lose Control
03. Gulf Of Mexico
04. Comin' For You
05. Juicy Mama
07. We Were Lovers
08. Freedom You're A Woman
Bass – Adam Calaci
Drums, Percussion – Joe Tomek
Guitar, Vocals – Frank Annunziata
Guitar, Vocals - Mike Falcone
Based in Brooklyn, Mushroom featured the talents of singer/guitarists Frank Annunziata and Mike Falcone, bassist Michael Calaci, and drummer Joe Tomek. The band apparently managed to attract a local audience playing throughout the New York City club circuit and in 1978 they released a self-financed album. Co-produced by the band and Nick Schiralli (who co-wrote most of the material), "Freedom You're a Woman" was an odd offering. Largely penned by producer Schrialli and Annunziata, the collection actually sounded like it was recorded by two different bands. At one end of the spectrum, tracks like the lead off 'Rock n' Roll Man', 'Comin' for You', and the Falcone-penned 'Gulf of Mexico' offered up gritty bar band rockers (the latter with some nice Allman Brothers-styled twin lead guitar). Competent, though nothing you hadn't heard before - they probably sounded a whole lot better after a couple of beers. At the other end of the spectrum, 'Lose Control', the ballad 'Sometimes' , and 'We Were Lovers' offered up radio-ready AOR numbers that would have sounded right at home along with the likes of Southern California acts like Jay Ferguson, Journey, or Pablo Cruise. Better than most small label projects, but most folks can probably live without it ...
The group's career seems to have come to an end in one of the odder stories I've come across. The group was running a sound check for an evening performance at the Mercer Arts Center located in Broadway Central Hotel when they were told to stop since the resulting vibrations were generating massive cracks throughout the structure. The band evacuated the building, only to see it collapse, killing several people and destroying all of their equipment and their panel truck.
Does it sound familiar? That means you say the TV series Vinyl!
Rock Group Rolls Out of Hotel Just In Time
By: Alan Caminiti
Musical vibrations from a Park Slope rock group called Mushroom may have contributed to the collapse of the 119 year old Broadway Central Hotel last Friday night, according to group members.
Mushroom, composed of Nick Schiralli, manager, 196 22nd St.; Joe Tomeck, 193 22nd St.; Tom Charboneau, 231 14th St.; Max D'Auria, 229 14th St. and three others, was preparing for its evening performace at the Mercer Arts Center, located in the hotel complex, when the collapse occurred.
"We were running a sound check of our system when we were told that it would be best if we stopped, since the vibrations were causing cracks to widen in the ceiling and walls of a nearby room," said Schiralli. "We stopped and cleared off the stage and were waiting around for a key to lock up when the whole place started to cave in.
"We went back in and tried to save our equipment, but debris was falling in huge chunks by that time, so we gave up and all seven of us tried to get out the same door at once," he said.
Group members said they had been alarmed earlier by creaking noises in their dressing room, but were told that building officials were aware of the noises. They were also instructed not to enter the next room because it was "being repaired." When they looked inside they said they saw the ceiling cracking and one of the main building arches showing.
Their dressing room was part of the 75 foot section of the building that crashed to the street in rubble, killing at least two persons and injuring 19 others, including three policemen and firemen.
"When the building first started to go," said Frank Annunziata, another band member and former Bay Ridge resident, "it just sounded like a subway was going by. Each time one passed we would feel the vibrations, so no one could really tell the difference. But then all of a sudden a water main burst and some guy came in screaming that the building was falling...
According to Schiralli, the broken water main would have made escape impossible for anyone remaining in the group's dressing room.
"It's a good thing we did the sound check when we did," said Annunziata. "If we hadn't, the vibrations from the evening performance would have definitely caused the building to fall, only then there would have been hundreds of people in attendance."
The group was to have performed in the "Blue Room" of the Center. The stage there was destroyed and the room was extensively damaged during the collapse.
"When we finally got outside after the initial cave-in, we saw that our panel truck was in danger since it was parked on Broadway in front of the Hotel," said Annunziata. "We started to run towards it when another portion of the hotel collapsed, hurling giant slabs of brick and cement on it."
Pictures of the group's demolished truck appeared in New York newspapers following the disaster.
In addition to the truck, Mushroom felt the impact of the cave-in by losing approximately $10,000 in uninsured equipment. "This puts us out of business," said Schiralli. "We have to cancel bookings."
But Mushroom members say they are simply glad to be alive and can't really complain about the outcome of the whole incident.