Nosy Parker

Nosy Parker began as a duo in Whitestone, New York, circa 1975. Tom Viola, late of the popular, local San Francisco-style psychedelic band Justice, met vocalist and fellow guitarist Joe Celano and the two soon thereafter formed an acoustic pairing heavily influenced not only by the Byrds and such esoteric British acts as the Strawbs, Ralph McTell, and Genesis, but also by the worlds of literature and art. They took their name, in fact, from a scene in a W.C. Fields film. Soon enough, Celano and Viola's original material had evolved to the point that they required a rhythm section, and, following a performance at Penn State University, college classmates Bill Viola and Tony Abbate were added to the Nosy Parker lineup on drums and bass guitar, respectively. The quartet's sound, a mélange of folk and progressive rock with quasi-psychedelic innuendoes, was quite at odds with the prevailing disco and metal excesses of the New York scene during the era. Nevertheless, the band managed to record an eponymous album in a living room studio in Flushing in 1975 over the course of two days, and subsequently self-release it in a vinyl pressing of 500 copies. A quarter-century later, Nosy Parker was showing up on the "want" lists of collectors across the world and selling, in rare cases, for upwards of $300, also earning a favorable mention in England's MOJO magazine. The record saw a bootleg release on CD in Italy around 1998. Due to obvious demand, Gear Fab authentically reissued the album on compact disc toward the end of 2002.
Stanton Swihart, Rovi

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