Sideshow plans reunion gig with past, present

Sideshow has had more members than some local bands have fans.

Lead singer / saxophone player Bill Scudier estimates that 37 people have played in the classic rock act since it started in 1975, and he expects at least a dozen of them to take part in a reunion show Sunday at Nic’s Lounge in Niles.

Scudier and Robert “Rollo” Miller have been the two constants during most of those 43 years. Miller had just gotten off the road playing guitar with Mom’s Apple Pie, when he saw Scudier and Nick Leonetti in their band Insanity at The Parlor.

“We started talking that night and got a band together,” Miller said.

Miller recruited bass player Gary Mills and Sideshow was born. Mills is one of the former members who will take part in Sunday’s reunion, and they were joined by Richard Pierce, one of the band’s first drummers, for a rehearsal on Monday, where the musicians worked their way through covers like Bruce Springsteen’s “Prove It All Night” and originals like “Buster’s Pad.”

Scudier said Buster was the big red Doberman who lived at the body shop where the band used to rehearse.

“I thought Buster was my friend but one day I came in and said, ‘Hi, Buster,’ but I didn’t bring him his cheeseburger and he took a piece of my a–,” Scudier said.

It’s been at least a year since Sideshow’s last gig, but in the 1970s and early ’80s the band worked six, seven nights a week.

“That was back in the good old days when there were a lot of places to play,” Miller said.

Over the years they opened for such acts as The Outlaws, Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Michael Stanley Band and Leslie West of Mountain. Scudier and Miller have differing memories about some of those opening slots. Miller says they opened for The Runaways in Youngstown; Scudier swears they didn’t.

“Yeah, we did,” Miller said. “We didn’t know who they were then. Nobody did. They were just an all-girl band.”

Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” always was a crowd favorite when Sideshow performed. Miller has fond memories of recording “Blarneytown,” a rewrite of Glenn Frey’s “Partytown” that Sideshow recorded when it regularly played at the old Blarney Stone on the west side of Warren.

The idea for the reunion came from comments the band members received on social media.

“A lot of people have been asking about it,” Miller said. “Bill was doing some individual things and posting them on Facebook, and people were saying it would me nice to have the band back together.”

The music will start at 2 p.m. Sunday, but how late they play will depend upon who all shows up.

“We’ll play till the cows come home,” Scudier said.