How I first met Roger and Todd

by Jeff Bruno

Here's a hearty story of how a spring day, poor city street planning and hookey all brought four young boys together with their dream.

It was spring 1980. Adventures in Utopia had been released and SURPRISE! It actually garnered local airplay. So much so, that the Utopia Caravan had managed to make a booking at the local Catholic Youth Center. A facility leased to our public school district as a gymnasium. On this very fateful day, which brought Utopia to our town, Tom, Bob, Griff and I knew we would not be able to concentrate on school work, so the decision was made (on the way to school in the car pool) that we weren't having it. We would camp out on the steps of the CYC in hopes to: A) get really good standing room for the general admission, B) hear a soundcheck, C) possibly sight a band member.

There we were, sitting on the concrete steps of the CYC, in Scranton, waiting for something/anything. When a suspicious yellow Chevy Impala pulls up next to curb in front. The people inside the car are asking for directions. We suddenly realize IT'S TODD AND ROGER! The person telling them how to get to their hotel is treating them as if they are natives (go past where the gas station used to be, and turn right at where they are thinking of building that new bank...). Quick thinking, ever scheming I, go down to the car and ask, "Would you like us to bring you there?" Todd, who was driving said, "Yeah, thanks." We got in Bob's car and led the parade!

One unfortunate incident was when we were attempting to get through a grid locked intersection, Todd bumped into the car in front of him when he passed by us to get through the light (multiple lanes). When the guy got out to inspect the damage, we made sure we said loudly "Gee, did you see that guy back right into Todd?" "We're witnesses." "Get back in your car." ALWAYS DEFEND YOUR HERO! There was no damage, but as Todd would say later, "Did you see that guy, all afraid I scratched his Dad's car!"

As we pulled up in front of the (then) Sheraton, we asked if they had some time to kill, Todd said "Yeah, while we check in." We got to talk and take pictures. I asked Todd about the video, would it be used in such a low class venue, he replied "Of course." I also complimented Roger on the release of Air Pocket, and encouraged him to do more. We took a few pictures and it was time for them to get to their rooms.

This occurred 22 years ago, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. One does not forget when one meets their childhood hero.

Pictures are available for the non-believers.