FRIDAYS UPDATE- Oldies, goodies: SGGL's hallowed sounds at Fridays


SGGL, Rusty Speidel, Tom Goodrich, Michael Lille, and Michael Goggin

SGGL formed in 1983, when its members were in the throes of a fiery musical youth. As the years crept by, though, the responsibilities of life started picking them off one by one like teenagers in a slasher flick.

"We're sort of waking back up," says Rusty Speidel– he's the S, for folks keeping score at home. "What happens when you get full time jobs is sometimes you just put it on the back burner."    

The L (Michael Lille) now works for Elixir guitar strings, and one of the G's (Tom Goodrich) is now a full-time minister. For some performances, SGGL– much like CSN-and-sometimes-Y. their more famous and similarly acronymed cousin– have had to drop a letter. For the final Fridays After Five show this week, however, they'll be adding members, including pianist Chris Holden and legendary local drummer Robert JospĂ©, who has been playing with the group for about a year.

And although SGGL has played big annual shows at the Paramount Theater ever since it reopened, Speidel says he's excited about the opportunity to unleash a side of the band that doesn't get rear its head at the Paramount.  

"This was an attempt to get us back into town in a more informal venue where more people can come out and see us," he says. "We have a rowdier side that we haven't been able to let out in a while."

Local songwriter Jamie Dyer recently decided to pull the plug on the Hogwaller Ramblers' long-standing Sunday night engagement because the music scene has changed, and Speidel sees a lot of truth in his assessment.  

"He's right," says Speidel. "The whole point of the music business in this town is 'Get a lot of gigs, get some good press, and get discovered by ATO Records.'

"Charlottesville is a funny town; it's fickle," he continues. "If you're not playing regularly, you're nowhere. With our guys spread around, it's hard to find time to play regularly around town."

Speidel doesn't see SGGL turning into a hot new label franchise any time soon– they've been around for decades without attracting that sort of attention, after all– but he says they'll continue to be fixtures of the local scene no matter what challenges, geographic or otherwise, might arise.

"We'll continue to play," he says, "no matter what happens to us."

SGGL rock Fridays after Five September 7 at the Pavilion on the east end of the Downtown Mall... guess the time.


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