In Memory

  • Phillip Peslis
  • Dr. Bruce Holbrook
  • Mike Aluise
  • Jay Darby
  • Julie Cremeans

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Bullet I have a lot of memories of Phil and Darb and Murph and others - at the early band gigs or just hanging out as friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon . . .making a trip to the big city of Columbus, OH to hear Frank Zappa (Darb fell fast asleep on my shoulder during the concert and I didn\'t have the heart to move for fear of waking him  until it was time to go home!).  Have you never moved during a FRANK ZAPPA CONCERT??? 

I used to cut Phil's hair.  This was a privilege as he was, as I recall, very particular and seemed to be attached (figuratively and in every other way) to his hair. He appeared to be very anxious about having anyone touch his tresses, especially with a sharp instrument!  The first time I cut Phil\'s hair, I layered it.  He liked that.  He cleaned up real nice as I recall (and what a sweetheart he was, too, even though he was obviously nervous). Phil was a good friend.  I cut his hair several times over that summer and fall and it was a positive experience for me (he\'d have to tell you if it was for him).  What I remember most is that was a time of change for all of us. So very sad to lose such a good friend so young.  We were all young back then but the spirit of Pegasus and all those who were there and were a part of it will forever be remembered. Although some gentle souls may no longer be with us in the physical sense, we are still blessed for having had the opportunity to have known each other, if only too briefly.  Our lives have been touched and we are all better for it. In our hearts and in our memories, having known such a great and talented bunch of young men in a time of relative innocence and discovery - I will always be thankful.
~ Tanya Waite, Lewis Center, OH, June 19, 2010

Bullet I remember my dad, Jay Darby, talking to me as a kid telling me that he worked for a band and it was awesome music and that he had a lot of fun doing it. I remember him pulling out photo albums and showing me pictures of him and Uncle Murph having a good time.  And after looking at this page and the good stuff that everyone said about my dad brought tears to my eyes.  I thank you all for loving and enjoying my dad as much as I have.  I just wish I coulda been his friend as he was growing up cause he woulda been a kick ass dude to party with!
~ Josh Darby, East Liverpool, OH, June 19, 2010

Bullet Tribute to Julie Cremeans.........My two favorite memories of Julie are both music-related. The first was at a Bad Company / Foreigner outdoor concert in Cincinnati about ten years ago and I noticed both Julie and Sharlee caught up in the great singing of Paul Rodgers - it was what rock-n-roll is all about in a nutshell and the second was last fall when Sharlee and I went out to dinner with Julie and Joe in Cincinnati at Buca Di Beppos and after some outstanding Italian food we went back to Julie and Joe's house. Joe and I broke out a couple guitars and started playing some Beatle songs, and suddenly noticed I was hearing some outstanding four-part harmony, and realized it was Julie and Sharlee singing along with us. It sounded great - I'm sorry I didn't ask Joe to turn on a recorder, but it was a magic moment that I will never forget and wished the night could have gone on forever. The last time we saw her was a few months ago when we met her between Dayton and Cincinnati so I could give her an amp that I was loaning to Joe . She was with her mom and was feeling good and had the top down on the convertible on a beautiful sunny day and that is the how we will remember her. She was a great friend and we miss her already, but her bravery and spirit will never be forgotten. We love you Julie, and thanks for everything............
~ Alan and Sharlee Burge, Clayton, OH, February 19, 2010

Bullet Darb was a great friend and helper to the band. It's hard to say Darb without saying Murph and Darb as they were the original partners-in-crime and the two of them provided some of the best laughs I ever had. I remember a camping trip to the TNT Area in Pt. Pleasant that was planned on a nice warm April day but took place that night on the coldest night in April I can remember. It was Darb, Murph, Darb's brother and me and we laughed the whole night. At the same time, we were scared silly by the TNT area atmosphere as we excpected Mothman to attack us at any moment. Darb was always fun to be around and really helped the band in many ways. We always looked forward to seeing him at Pegafest, but now...It's a scary thought that he, Mike Aluise, Bruce Holbrook, and Phil Peslis are hanging out together - hopefully using their powers for good and not evil. We miss you Darb - thanks for the memories.
~ Alan Burge, Clayton, OH, October 29, 2009

Bullet I will never forget the first time I met Bruce Holbrook.  It was at an All-County Band practice in the band room at Charleston High.  Practice had already begun when there was a loud racket as someone came bursting through the the door jive-talking a mile a minute.  I thought, "Who is this fool?"  Darn, if he didn't end up sitting next to me.  That was the beginning of years of non-stop entertainment, as he turned up in the Marshall Music Dept. a year after me, where he eventually became the Bucketman counterpart to my Owlman.  He was always excited about something.  I could write a book, and maybe I will someday, but I will try to hit only some high points now.  Like the night in homecoming week when a group of us were out in the middle of the night hanging a sign in the Marshall Beech in front of Old Main which read "Phuck the Phalcons" and he scared the shit out of the campus cop who caught me on watch while he was up in the tree.  Then there was the time he was in Wards Chili late at night and got into a fight with a guy and got a mop out of the bathroom and broke it over the guy's head.  Then he ran out and jumped into his Camaro to make a get-away, having the presence of mind to take off his traditional white t-shirt to hang over his license plate before peeling out.  Eventually he became a martial arts nut and he often got on my nerves as we were walking down the street or something and he would do a kick in my face stopping an inch from my nose and then inform me that he got me and there was nothing I could have done to stop him.  Which leads to the Sunday afternoon a group of us were playing penny-ante poker in my room in the center of the upstairs of the Cheap Motel.  Bruce kept sticking his foot in my face and I had a headache and was in no mood for it so when I went to the bathroom I got a broom and told him to back off.  He wrestled the broom away and whacked me over my already-aching head, hard, and I snapped.  I ran back into the little hallway between Nolan's room and the bathroom where I saw the solution to my problem.  Nolan had painted his room-black-recently and the brush was sitting there in a tin can with paint thinner.  I picked it up and ran back into my room where Bruce spotted me, and his eyes popped out as he realized my intention.  He jumped up and begged me not to do it and pointed out he was wearing a new white dress shirt, but I was beyond reason at this point.  He turned and ran for the steps with me right behind flipping black paint on him as he tore down the steps and burst out the front door.  The topper was that exactly at that second Murph's mother came to the door looking for him and Bruce ran her over.  God, that was funny, and pretty typical.  I hate to stop because I have remembered some other things, but I will.  I won't say, "Rest in Peace,"  as it would just be too unnatural.  He's probably raising hell in Heaven right now.
~ Soul Cho-Choo Charlie Wills (Owlman), Istanbul, Turkey, October 29, 2009

Bullet I have some good memories of Darb, but others were closer to him than I.  He was only with the band a short time after I joined.  He was one of only three roadies I've ever had help me out (Phil, Murph, & Darb).  I will remember him as an enthusiastic kid who loved rock and roll and who was always ready to have a good time.  I was struck by the part in his obituary that he loved to fish.  That hobby takes a lot of patience and sitting within the silence of one's self.  It's kind of the opposite of the Rock and Roll life - something I think happens to a lot of us.  Darb probably became more reflective in his older years.  I don't know for sure because we lost touch, but I have never forgotten him.
~ Rodger Waite, Lewis Center, OH, October 29, 2009

Bullet Bruce Holbrook was a misfit - he was a body-builder in a pool of artists; he wore gym clothes everywhere long before it was fashionable to do so; he was a soul music aficionado hanging out with a bunch of hard-rock guys. Bruce was truly a white brother of James Brown - and he gave us more laughs than we could possibly recall. Rest in peace.
~ Mike Torlone, Brentwood, TN, July 4, 2008

Bullet I'm moved to write a word or two after reading your memories and comments of Mike Aluise. Mike, Steve Farley, Butch ?, and I played together in a band called Dallas Starr during my years ('70-'74) at Marshall University. It was one of the best experiences of my life, mostly because of the atitude of Mike Aluise. Mike approached every gig like it was the Beatles at Shea Stadium. The guy was relentless in his "attitude and desire to put on a good show." Mike may not have been Robert Plant, but you didn't tell him that (5) minutes before a gig at the TKE House. Mike was always ready to sing any song, any where, at any time. In between gigs and Marshall sporting events, we may have attended a class or two - but it seemed our real mission at Marshall was to have a good time. Now, where can you find a buddy like that today. I really miss him ...
~ Charles "Pedro" Jarrett, Ironton, OH, June 7, 2008

Bullet My best memories of Phil were from when I was student teaching at St. Joe and he was one of my students. He was on a mission to embarrass me in front of the students and especially the nuns, and was successful more times than not. He went on a memorable trip to Kings Island with me, Mike Torlone, and Mike Scott, and went against his parents’ wishes. He called them from Kings Island and told them he was at Murph's and would be home in a little while and got away with it. He was a very talented artist and painted the drumhead when we formed the post-Pegasus band Boa and it looked like a pro job. Phil was as nice a person as I ever met and I miss him to this day. He would have loved coming to Pegafest and would have made it more fun than it already is. A class act and wonderful friend.
~ Alan Burge, Clayton, OH, May 21, 2008

Bullet I just wanted to say that I remember Phil for being so sweet to me when I use to tag along with the band. I'm sure he knew I had a MAJOR crush on him, but he never let on.  He was always cool about sneaking me a beverage or two when we were at the clubs. I'll never forget one we went to in OHIO that I think had 100 steps up to the bar and of course, I HAD to help carry the equipment.  Phil thought that was cool of me, soooo, if it killed me, I was gonna get the equipment up those stairs. ROCK ON IN HEAVEN PHIL!!
~ Debbie Lacy (Fred's Sister), Chesapeake, VA, May 11, 2008

Bullet No one has yet posted any memories of Phil, perhaps because many of us old guys are in computer avoidance mode, but I have many memories of him and especially of the senselessness of his death.
Phil and Murph (Tom Murphy) were the roadies while I was in the band, and they always worked to help us as much as they could.  Most of all, they loved the rock and roll atmosphere and often their bar tab was more than their pay for the gig.
When Mike T. left, Phil practiced his piano and thought he might have a shot at the keyboard job, but I don’t think he owned any equipment.  He and I took an art class together at Marshall before I had joined the band, and he told me he always thought I was pretty crazy.  That’s because Phil was a talented artist and I was an art appreciator.
After he got to know me though music, we became good friends.  We never exchanged a harsh word, and in those days, we were always pretty mellow wherever we went.  Phil realized that he could not live the rock n roll life forever, and so decided to take a job at a sandwich shop under the Glass Onion – he’d still be close to the scene.
On New Year’s Eve, Phil missed working with us for the first time to work a “regular” job and begin a new life of dependable employment.  A crazy person came into the sandwich shop that night and picked a fight with Phil, who was working behind the counter.  The wacko came back later with a gun and shot him.  One of Phil’s other friends who was working there also took a bullet, but was able to fight the guy off.  The criminal was later arrested and convicted. 
We all gathered at the Pegasus house in silence to remember him, and I think his family was surprised to see the throng of friends who showed up at Phil’s funeral – at St. Joe’s Church.
I later ended up teaching at St. Joe High, and had Phil’s brother in some of my classes.  It was eerie, yet comforting to see Phil in his brother’s eyes.  I am sure I am not the only one who remembers Phil as a true friend.  “If there’s a rock and roll heaven…” 
~ Rodger Waite, Lewis Center, OH, December 9, 2007

Bullet Both Fred and I went to Junior High and High School with Bruce, so we were friends long before he became part of the band's inner circle. He was about the most unique individual I ever knew. One thing he had in common with Mike Aluise was that every single time I was in their company I enjoyed myself. Some of the hardest laughs I ever had were caused by Bruce - like the time he left the bucket of KFC on the roof of Mike Torlone's green Pontiac ( the Love Boat ) when we were in Welch and threatened us with instant death if we didn't stop the car. (The chicken was salvaged !) Another great laugh was when we played at Fairland High School and in the middle of a song I noticed the kids staring at the stage and laughing. I looked behind me and there was this green, undulating mass going across the stage behind the band. It was Bruce inside of Torlone's Leslie Tone Cabinet covers slowly humping his way from Stage Right to Stage Left. I literally had to sit down in the middle of the song to keep from falling over from laughing. It was indeed a sight I will never forget. It does pain me to think how much Bruce would have enjoyed Pegafest and maybe putting the old horn section back together for a few songs. GREASE IN PEACE, JOE DIRT.
~ Alan Burge (the Stallion), Clayton, OH, November 20, 2007

Bullet Mike was a wonderful musician and a great addition to the band when Roger Patton left us. He was recommended by Mike Torlone and fit us like a glove, both musically and with his sense of humor. He had one of the great all-time laughs and we heard it constantly - he was such fun to have around. After leaving the band (replaced by none other than Mike Torlone) he ran the sound mixer for us at many gigs and helped out with arrangements and vocal parts, but his personality was the real thing that made him such a great part of us. One of the best things about Pegafest was getting to re-unite on stage with Mike again and feel the magic that was still there. As I said with Bruce, I was never in his company that I didn't have a good time and I miss him a lot - every time I hear ‘Cinnamon Girl’ or ‘Down By The River’ I think about him and miss him all the more. Thanks for the memories Mike, and you will always be a part of our band.
~ Alan Burge ( the Stallion ), Clayton, OH, November 20, 2007

Last Updated:
July 19, 2010

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