All music students in college, it was inevitable that Steve Punturiere, Jim Lee and Bob Balch would end up playing together for years to come; as they shared a common love for the same bands that they grew up with: The Beatles, Beach Boys and Stones, just to name a few.
Steve’s brother Vince was leaving the band to focus on pharmistry, so they needed a bass player. Emotion Ride played in bars located near East Detroit and Roseville, such as Gabe’s Nightery and The Stonewood Lounge. Not the biggest venues, or even clubs with well-known names, however jamming in those small clubs honed our skills as musicians and vocalists.
The biggest event we played in that time was The Bicentennial Bash, held at Shady-Side Park in Mount Clemens, Michigan. This concert was held on July 4th, 1976, and celebrated the country’s bicentennial. To us, it meant setting up and moving equipment for eight hours, yet only playing one song as a crucial piece of equipment we rented failed, causing us to cancel the rest of the show. Our first real lesson of what it truly means to be a musician.
The other valuable aspect of joining Emotion Ride was that they had been in the studio, recording a “single” in those days. So it was very worthwhile to learn from Jim and Steve about what it took to try and get your musical hopes and dreams captured on 2″ tape.
The best part was discovering a life-long gift of song writing. With Steve, as a kindred musical soul, I learned that I had a musical voice I never knew existed.
This band was the start of many good things to come. Good things that let us experience a nearly forty year Emotion Ride of our own.