Subterranean Carsick Blues

(2011 W. North Ave. – corner of North/Damen/Milwaukee)
FRI 04/29/2011
DOORS @ 8:30 PM | SHOW @ 9:00 PM | 21 & OVER
Tickets: $8

Michael Lux & The Bad Sons
Soft Speaker (on stage time 9:45pm)
For those of you interested in the history of the band, here is another vintage newspaper clipping, which details one of Nicholas Rocchio’s endeavors following the demise of the original Soft Speaker:
September 17, 1950 – Richmond Times Dispatch

Anyone interested in motor cars could probably name all the makes being produced today without much trouble. And it wouldn’t be hard to name a few of the early models which have gone to automobile heaven where gas is free and there’s never a red light. But trying to call the roll of every automobile company ever started in this country would be a horse–oops–a car of another color. Don’t try it–there have been at least 1,507 of them.

There is, however, one man in Richmond who might be able to do it. He is Nicholas Rocchio.

Rocchio has one of the largest collections of early automobile advertisements in the country, close to 2,000 of them. They begin with A, B, C and go straight through the alphabet to the Zimmerman. Culled from such now-defunct periodicals as McClure’s, Munsey’s, Country Life in America, Century, Review of Reviews and others, these advertisements bring the chatter and noise of early automotive history to life.

Some of them were beauts. For instance, in 1903 one firm announced emphatically, “Any car will run downhill. Most any will run fairly on the level–but–the Elmore runs equally well uphill!” In 1905 another company appealed to horse lovers by labeling its product as “A Goer and a Stayer.” In 1907 the women were appealed to by one firm’s announcement that their car “Doesn’t need nerve or education. We’ll teach you how.” But in 1908 the Lindsley topped them all with the proud boast, “No swearing if you use this car.”

Rocchio’s hobby started by chance when he went prowling one day through the attic of his wife’s home in Afton, “the family dumping ground,” and ran across over 300 old magazines. Many of the ads he found in those magazines he sold to the firms that had made them–if they hadn’t gone out of business. This turned out to be so profitable that Mr. Rocchio tracked down hundreds of other old magazines and began collecting their advertisements.

Leave a Comment