Celebrity Surprise at Bodles
Michael McGlone / Graham Vest at Bodles Opera House
Saturday, October 10, 1998
Story by Kevin Robinson --
Pictures by Ellie Apuzzo
night October 10th  was an unusual night at Bodles Opera House
in Chester. Jon Stein (Host, booking coordinator, and ad interim
entertainer.) introduced two singer/songwriters to an enthusiastic rainy
night crowd. The first was a history teacher, and the second was a movie
The history teacher from Ellenville was Graham Vest, a moonlighting
troubadour who has been seen woodshedding his act at the Pine Bush Coffee
House. Graham's deep raspy voice is distinctive, a cross between Kris
Khristofferson and John Cougar Mellencamp. He was at times too quiet; but
mostly, Vest's vocals were clear and comfortable. His guitar playing is
inventive, if not always polished. That's a good thing. A would-be
performer who never stretches, never reaches down for a little more, will
never be anything but mediocre. Graham Vest's heart is in his music. (I
suspect it's in his teaching too.) And he's not afraid to show you what
he's got. But what he's really got is a way with words. Graham is a
good songwriter. The heart and soul his of his musical talent was evident
in a beautiful song called "Moroccan Dreams." Then there were lines in his
songs about love and love lost that jumped right out and grabbed you.
"When the walls close in and it's time to go" was one that I suspect
resonated with everyone in the house.
But there is also a quirky uniqueness in Vest's original music, and my
suspicion is that his interest in history fuels some of his creativity.
One of my favorite examples of this was a refrain that went something like
"I ain't got no million dollars
I ain't got no blood red rose
All I got's this battered compass
And this sea dog's nose"
Keep an eye and an ear out for this newcomer.
The headliner for the evening was actor, Michael McGlone. And you
should know that I was fully prepared to hate him. Not because of his
acting. I loved him in "The Brothers McMullen." (He also starred in
"She's the One," and can currently be seen with Stephen Baldwin in "One
Tough Cop.") No, I have this whole attitude thing about celebrities who
use their name recognition quotient to crowbar their way into other arts,
arts in which they would never otherwise have made it to first base. There
are half a dozen actors currently playing around the country with high
dollar bands to make them look like they know what they're doing.
Joel Lisi, Michael McGlone
Talented, even amazing, young musicians are struggling to get bookings,
but Bruce Willis buys a harmonica and he can name his own price. (If he
can't get it, he can just build another Planet Hollywood and book himself!)
I doubt Bodles has the kind of money it takes to book a "star" that way,
so I fully expected to see this young actor show up with a band and an
entourage that cost him more than Jon Stein puts out for a year's worth of
headliners. (It's like some rich folks who aren't good enough to land a
book publisher and a legitimate advance, so they go to a "vanity press,"
and pay a small fortune to have their own book published.) Well, as you
might have guessed by now, I was dead wrong about McGlone.
Michael is just a really nice kid. And his "high dollar" back-up band
was his best friend from high school, a warm, genuine, and extremely
talented young guitar player named Joel Lisi. Worse yet, McGlone can
actually sing. Wonderfully. And his songwriting skills are, well, too
damn good for a 26-year-old. Am I a little jealous? Well. Okay. Yes!
There. Are you happy now?
McGlone opened his set with a beautiful ballad called "Juliet," and then
won the hearts of his audience quickly with a string of songs dedicated to
members of his family: "Long Way To Go" for his father. "Become That Man"
for his brother, Patrick. "Shayna Play My Guitar" for his baby sister.
(Complete with touching "back-up vocals" from an infant in the audience!)
This unpretentious young actor has a big heart; and, without embarrassment,
he pours every ounce of it into his songs. His voice, as one might expect
of a trained actor, is clear and resonant, and his musical arrangements
range from simple and genuinely fun to complex and richly emotive. Michael
McGlone is for real.
McGlone, Lisi, Jon Stein & daughter, Emily
You'll be seeing more of Michael. . .on the big screen, and in intimate
acoustic clubs like Bodles. And you'll see that the boy's paying his dues
in both places. To learn more about this talented young man, or to order
his CD, check out his website at:
is a freelance writer/photographer, and
the author of three "Stick Foster" hardback mystery novels.
A former syndicated columnist for
the Detroit Free Press, his byline has appeared over 100 times in
national and regional periodicals. Kevin is a partner at
No Bull Productions,
and his PR credits include promotion and
booking work for several of Kansas City's top blues bands. Kevin can
be reached at nobull@NoBullProductions.com.
Ellie Apuzzo owns and operates
Ellie's Consider It Done.
"on-site oversight for absentee owners" here in the Florida
Keys; and so far, this lifelong New Yorker just can't seem to
get into "Keys time!" Ellie can be reached at
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