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Interview with Robbie Cucchiaro, Interview 1, January 26, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:17 - Growing up in New York

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Partial Transcript: Well, where'd you grow up...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro talks about growing up in New York and going to public schools for the first time. He shares stories about picturesque areas in Staten Island. Cucchiaro talks about the musical endeavors of his family members.

Keywords: Charlie Elementary School; Queens, New York; Staten Island

00:07:41 - Memories growing up

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Partial Transcript: You know, there's a lot of cops that cross over...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro continues to talk about his family's involvement with music. He talks about his mother's work in the New York police department as a police administrative assistant. Cucchiaro continues to tell stories and shared memories about his mother.

Keywords: Halloween; feminism; painting; police work

00:13:47 - Earliest musical experiences

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Partial Transcript: What was school like...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro describes some of his earliest memories of music and his love of singing as a child. He recalls playing instruments in elementary school for fun and an influential teacher he had.

Keywords: Cats (musical); elementary school; piano; school; singing

00:21:59 - Drum and Bugle Corps / Practicing for DCI championships

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Partial Transcript: But then in the drum and bugle...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro shares stories of his time in the Circleville Drum and Bugle Corps with his brother. He describes the merging of drum corps from around upstate New York in preparation for the DCI (Drum Corps International) Championship. He explains the process of learning music theory and playing in a band before he had to move to his father's home. Cucchiaro shares his father's push for him to stop pursuing music and focus on gaining employment.

Keywords: Circleville Drum and Bugle Corps; tenor drum; trumpet

00:28:09 - Introduction to music

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Partial Transcript: He wanted me to -- first there was nursing...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro talks about his work as a court reporter. He then discusses his lack of knowledge of the musical scene growing up, with the exception of his obsession with the artist Cyndi Lauper. Cucchiaro explains that around high school he was eventually introduced to bands such as the Mamas and Papas and R.E.M. and artists such as Tracy Chapman and John Lennon.

Keywords: Cyndi Lauper; John Lennon; Live in Central Park; Mamas and Papas; R.E.M.; Tracy Chapman; court reporting

00:34:57 - Introduction to music (cont.)

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Partial Transcript: So then it really wasn't until I met Julian...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro describes how his friend Julian Koster introduced him to the alternative rock names at the time such as Davie Bowie and R.E.M. Cucchiaro shares Koster's background and his parents' involvement in music. He explains Julian's eventual move to Tampa after his parents' divorce.

Keywords: David Bowie; Here Come the Warm Jets; Hunky Dory Album; Julian Koster; Tampa, Florida; They Might Be Giants

00:41:10 - Koster moves to Athens / Forming The Music Tapes

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Partial Transcript: I think, right after he graduated high school...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro recalls how Julian Koster moved to Athens after graduating high school. He explains the impact Koster had on his pursuit of music and the arts. Cucchario and the interviewer discuss playing the trombone and bugle and the difficulties they encounter after not playing for a while. Cucchario talks about forming a band with Koster called The Music Tapes after Koster left the band Chocolate USA.

Keywords: Beatles; Chocolate USA; Julian Koster; R.E.M.; The Music Tapes; bugle; trombone

00:48:09 - Creating Albums for The Music Tapes

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Partial Transcript: We were able to, through Sub hop...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchiaro explains how he and Julian Koster worked to create the first record for The Music Tapes called 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomads. Cucchiaro describes the process of creating the recording for their albums.

Keywords: 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomads; Chocolate USA; Mary's Voice; Neutral Milk Hotel; The Music Tapes

00:54:40 - First Music Tapes Album

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Partial Transcript: On the 1st imaginary Symphony for Nomads...

Segment Synopsis: Cuchiarro talks about the inspiration for The Music Tape's first album being George Reeves, the actor who portrayed superman, and his challenges with being typecast as Superman. Cuchiarro talks about how his upbringing inspired additional songs on their first album.

Keywords: 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomads; George Reeves; Superman; discipline; parenting

01:01:16 - The Orbiting Human Circus

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Partial Transcript: And nowadays, it's like we are getting more into...

Segment Synopsis: Cucchario describes the current feel of The Music Tapes as more of a theatrical performance. He explains the premise behind one of their more recent projects, The Orbiting Human Circus.

Keywords: The Music Tapes; The Orbiting Human Circus; touring