Background: How did it all begin? Bob Davis (keyboard), Bobby Malaby (drums), Alan Langrall (guitar/vocals) and John Mercogliano (bass) started a group called Just Us in 1977. Can you believe Bobby was only 16 years old at the time. Uh-oh, sorry Bobby. The music they covered was the country/folk rock of the time, heavy on the California sounds from Poco, the Eagles, Jackson Brown and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Hank Koenig joined the band in 1981 and Davis proudly tells me that Hank is the only member of the band who has never missed a gig - that’s 26 years of perfect attendance. Incredible! In 1983, a familiar bass player on the Ocean City scene, Jeff Davis, joined the group. It was at that time of restructuring that the group searched for a new name and settled on Tranzfusion. As many of you know, Jeff now plays with Full Circle and Retrolux; and formerly with the Lauren Glick band (and many others, I’m sure). Three years down the road, Bobby’s older brother Tom Malaby, who had been playing bass in the very popular band Drawbridge, replaced Jeff on the bass. Tom is a very interesting man. As Davis relates, “from an early age all Tom was interested in was music and outer space.” Having succeeded in music with both Drawbridge and Tranzfusion, “Tom decided to go back to school at the age of 45 and he now works at NASA as a rocket engineer.” Really far out! In 1987 Tranzfusion recorded a tape of six original songs titled Free Radical, written by Langrall and Davis. The band enjoyed a major period of growth during these years thanks to the influence of the man who mixed these songs, the man with the ‘golden ear,’ Dave Leister, or ‘Big Mo,’ as he was called. Leister taught the band a lot about the science of sound before he left to tour with a sound company for such artists as Stevie Wonder. Shortly after, a new twist left the band reeling. The man they considered the center of their band, Alan Langrall, left the business. “We had only done backup vocals,” says Davis. “This was a real turning point. Did we look for a new front man or become a foursome? Could we cover the songs ourselves? I never thought of myself as having a good enough voice but it caused us to stretch our talents.” Each member found their voices and their own niche for covering different artists. As we hear now, Bobby sings the Stones songs and does a good Warrren Zevon, Hank sings Tom Petty, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and others, and Bob sings the Doors, the Who, Jethro Tull, U2, etc. Tom’s specialty is Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.” In 1992, four years later, Tranzfusion compiled a list of 11 original songs written individually by each member, on a tape called Private Beach, this time engineered and mixed by Tom Malaby. Tranzfusion traveled to Baltimore and southern Maryland and made road trips to play at Sloppy Joe’s and Holiday Isle in the Keys. The band opened for such big name acts as Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive and Dr. John. They were having a ball and growing musically. The set lists were different then, though. They were playing popular Top 10 tunes, having made it through the Disco era and now into the Grunge era of the early ‘90s. At one time they played tunes by such bands as Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Live; but they discovered that a lot of the new songs of that time had a shelf life. They didn’t have the staying power of the still popular classic music. So, another big change. By 1997-98 they had ‘cleaned house’ and concentrated on pure classic rock whose tunes still stand the test of time - and we, the fans, love it!
Interests: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, U2