Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vertical Union Rocked Erie circa 1975

Vertical Union, left to right: Rick Andrews, Rick Urban, Larry Zurn and John Portonova.
Photo courtesy of John Portonova.
Bear with me while I gather information about Vertical Union...would you care to share your memories? For instance, what songs did the band perform? Where did you see them play in PA, OH, NY and WV? What do you remember most about their live show? C'mon, you can do it!

So far we have Rick Andrews, guitar; Rick Urban, keyboards; Larry Zurn, bass guitar and John Portonova, drums. (John McLane appeared in a later line-up of Vertical Union.)

Vertical Union played songs by Grand Funk Railroad, Cream, Styx and Iron Butterfly.

The band played at Anthony's, 12 East 5th Street in Erie, PA May 11-14, 1977.

Tom Weber recommends this awesome website by John McLane which chronicles the history of Vertical Union:



    I vaguely remember them. I think they moved to Cleveland. John Portonova (drummer) is still in Erie.

  2. Rick Urban, second from left, was the keyboard player. Later he had Peninsula Floral and Gifts in Erie. Last time I heard he had moved to Vegas.

  3. I think 2nd. from the right is bass player Larry Zurn an early 70's Iroquois grad. Big influence on me playing bass!

  4. i think they played at tech high school in 1972 - blew our ears to ringing - really loud ,we loved it but " miracle brush " our principal did not know they would be so loud .

    1. I also saw them at Tech HS in 1972

  5. Rick Urban was a drummer and keyboard player in a group called Controlled Curiosity in 1968. Other members were Fort LeBoeuf HS mates Ron Blasco (bass) and Rich Moore (guitar). They often played at Glenwood YMCA. Rick had '61 Ford Falcon SW to haul his gear. I used to help setup and run the lights. Popular songs were House of the Rising Sun and GLORIA.

  6. I have a ticket from a 1978 WMDI rock n roll festival they were part of at Moon Meadows Campgrounds