Witness Update Blog

  • 8/23/22 Billy is still writing!  Check out his 
    Youtube Channel
    for some great memories as well
     as NEW songs !! 
  • 3/10/18 Some sad news; Long time crew member and dedicated Witness "brother" Nick Zappacosta passed away 12/31/17.  
    Both his family and his "Witness" family got together on March 10th to celebrate his life! 

Among those attending were members of the band and crew, pictured below:

Billy Spence, Michael LaBuono, Tim Rooney, JD, John Higgins, and Joe Anello. 

Nicks_f.jpg (216625 bytes)

  • 2/9/18 Ken's (Snake) 65th Birthday party. 
    Mike Disston  dropped by for a visit! 

mike-and-ken.jpg (222197 bytes)

  • 2/3/18 Surprise birthday party for Billy's 60th!  Yes, that is Flip Britton hiding in the back!! 
birthday_2-3-18.jpg (51012 bytes)
  • 6/4/17 We have collected some pictures taken after the memorial service for Ted and added a picture page. Click picture for more.

  • 6/3/17 It's not too often that a funeral turns out to be such a positive experience, but this morning's was. It was for Ted Scandlin, who was the long time manager of Witness. The positive part was that almost all of the original members of the band were there and looking in good health! Billy, Tim, Steelman, Mike D., Michael, Mitch, John (Higs), Joe, Kathy, Snake, and so many of the others that were part of my loved, extended family. Many I hadn't seen in 30 years, and yet it all seemed like yesterday! (Click on picture for High-Resolution picture) 

Back row (L-R):
 Joan Scandlin, Billy Spence, 
Mitch Schecter, Michael LaBuono,
 John Dziel, Michael Disston, 
Ken Graupner.

Front row: 
Tim Rooney, John Higgins, 
Jim (Steelman) Disston, Joe Anello


Merrill Theodore “Ted” Scandlin, 80, of North Wales, Pennsylvania; formerly of Horsham, Pennsylvania passed away on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at Abington-Lansdale Hospital in Lansdale, PA.

He was the loving husband of Joan Elizabeth (McAleer) Scandlin for 62 years. Ted was born in Hatboro, Pennsylvania to the late James Clarence Scandlin and the late Helen E. (Rohrman) Schwab-Scandlin.

  • 7/20/15 Recognize this place? Yep, that is the building that used to be The London Ale House! (Pic snapped by a longtime fan and fellow musician, Starr) 
  • 1/5/13 Some new rumors are floating around about a 2013 reunion gig that may feature early members of the band. I cannot confirm or deny them, however, the rumors are floating around between Band Members! 
  • 7/8/12  Good news and bad news- The Silo is still around, which is good news as many of the clubs we played are now parking lots. The bad news is they are falling on hard times. The local DA has been trying to get them closed as a "Nuisance Bar." (Pictures of Witness at The Silo)  Here is the full story in the Reading Eagle 

    Lot of fun times there !
  • 4/8/12 Finally have a few pictures from the January gig listed below. The band went under the name "Brian Filone & Friends" but we all remember them as "Trespass." Below are a few pictures, a full set can be found on the Band's Facebook or Official Web Site under the "Chaplins" page.

Below, Michael Labuono on Keyboards

tres01.jpg (35737 bytes)

At Right Marc Britton on Guitar (Flip hiding in the back)

tres02.jpg (53614 bytes)

Below, Brian Filone on flute

tres03.jpg (30342 bytes)

At Right, Brian Filone again, but in something only Genesis fans would understand ;)

tres04.jpg (29403 bytes)
  • 3/28/12 As a 'Tip of the hat'  to a song many people heard at our gigs, but the band never played, I have added a little tribute to Warm Sporran. Think you never heard it? Well, if you remember the old Tull show from the years 79 to 82, then you did! A small piece of it has been added to a couple of select pages.
  • 12/3/11 
    Other Lives:
Michael Labuono, along with the Britton brothers (Mark and Flip) have joined forces with the very talented Brian Filone and Brian Powers to form a Genesis Tribute Band  
(The name is a secret for now)
The band will have it's Debut Performance at 
Chaplin's Music Cafe on January 14th 2012 at 8:00 pm! The focus is on the early Genesis music from 1970 to 1975.
  • 8/23/11 Check out the new Billy Spence website for a look at what he has been up to! Billyspencemusic.com has current pictures, music information, and a lot of other cool stuff !

3/20/11 Long overdue !!!  
"From one of the premier songwriter/performers in the Philadelphia area for the past few decades, comes an incredible new cd. Once again Billy has re-invented himself with songs that you'll want to hear again and again.....and again. Check it out!"

Congrats !!!  (Click on the picture for the album page) 

  • 9/25/10 Due to a whopping 300% increase in domain charges, we will be consolidating the two Witness sites (Witness-Rocks.com and WitnessReloaded.com). Since most of our traffic comes in via Witness-Rocks, that is the domain we will keep.  All of the content from both sites will be retained, only the WitnessReloaded.com link is being discontinued.  

  • 2/15/10 Recently, there was yet another rumor going around that Billy Spence had died. I shot him an email and just got the following back from him-

billy_s.jpg (203523 bytes) "Wow! Who buried Paul? Maybe we should keep the rumor going just to stir up the website! Sorry it took so long to get to you but I was in Jamaica for the past week with the Higgins'."

(He wasn't kidding when he said he looked better 
than the rest of us!)

"I'm still here traveling quite a bit, but would love for you to give my best to all the members of Witness, past and present. Also let the fans know I'm ok. For now you can post this picture of me ready to take a break from a session I did in November in L.A. (notice the shorts). Sorry I wasn't holding up a copy of that day's paper to confirm "proof of life". Give my best to the fans as always."  - Billy

  • 1/23/10 We have now crossed the three year mark since I put this site together. I thought it might be interesting to look at where we are at. On Youtube, Witness videos have now been viewed over 240,000 times!  Total page-views at Witness and Witness-reloaded have topped 2 million. (That means the average visitor sticks around for awhile after they find the site!) The band has preformed three shows. (Another one is being planned.) Almost every member connected with the organization has checked in at one time or another. One unexpected and pleasant outcome has been that many of the other bands that frequented the Wildwood Strip have put their own websites together!  Some of those are still playing as well!  Sites include Magnum, DEK, and Pegasus just to name a few. Many more are on Myspace and check out "South Jersey Rock Bands From The Past" on Facebook!  Although most Witness members now have kids and grandkids, and our lives are all more hectic, we are still working hard to get together for the occasional rehearsal and show! Thanks also go out to the thousands of Emails we have received from our old fans!  Witness.. at 33 !

  • 9/20/09 Wow! an Update!!!  We are in the very early stages of seeing if we can put together a 
    Witness Reloaded Holiday show! 
    This may all change around a bit, but the early concept may be an afternoon/evening 
    show (5 to 9pm) on
    Sunday, December 6 The show would also feature (possibly) Hot Ticket and Magic Elf !!  The gig proceeds would benefit "Toys for Tots" just in time for the season of gifts! Stay tuned for more info! 

  • 5/4/09 Forwarded by John Higgins: To All our family and friends,
    Tonight Bob received the call from Georgetown University. He will receive his transplant this coming morning. I write to all of you hoping that while you do your morning routines, you will pray for God to give him the power to get through this, and bless my parents Joe and Jane Bello who are with him in DC at this very moment, that they will have the strength to cope with this very hard ordeal. For those that know Bob, you know that he is a fighter. Right before he got in the car to leave he turned and said "let's do this thing", and smiled. He is a brave man. Thank you all for your time. 
    I'll keep all of you posted, or you can call me if you like (856) 401-8229 

    Love Janemarie

  • 4/10/09 Wow! An update to the Historic Witness site.. Maria sent in some pictures from the Kent Motel (part of our Florida tour of the 80s)! Talk about a blast from the past! Photo Page 

  • 4/6/09 Witness: Other Lives: Updated Information on Bob Bello Fundraiser:  (More info and Printable Poster) 
    As many of you might know, my brother Bob Bello needs an intestinal transplant.
    It is a very serious surgery that requires a lot of support form those around him. Especially him being the only one in our area to ever receive such an organ transplant. He has to go to Gerogetown University hospital for the operation, and then live in the DC area for months to follow. All of this will cost a great deal.
    I know times are hard, but I'm asking you with all my heart and soul to call or send this e-mail to all family and friends who maybe interested in coming to our event. It is time to spread the word about The Bob Bello Transplant Fund" benefit. Tickets will be going on sale this week. 
    The Date is Sunday May 31, 2009, time 3pm to 7pm at the Williamstown VFW on the black horse pike. There will be lots of food and entertainment by Masquerade and Bandstand and many other friends of Bob. Tickets are $25.00 per person.   You can call me at 856 401-8229 or 215 668-6040 for tickets.  There will be raffles and 50/50 drawings.  All procedes go to The Bob Bello Transplant fund
    Thank you everyone for all your support.
    Love Janemarie Alshay

  • 4/4/09 After several years of hiding, Magic Elf is starting to "meddle" around and is borrowing L Roy back from us for a May to June recording session. Unfortunately, this meant we had to scrap plans to play the old "Dick Lee's" (Now known as the Pennant) which we were going to do in May. In other sad news, there has been a passing in the LaBuono family, and our prayers are with Michael and his family. Also, John Higgins has informed me that the fundraiser for Bobby on May 3rd is now in doubt. Donations are still being accepted for the transplant fund at the address below. 

  • 3/8/09 Witness: Other Lives: John Higgins asked me to pass this along to everyone as it involves a friend of his:
    "We are planning a Beef and Beer fundraiser for Bobby on May 3rd at the Bellmawr Fire house in Bellmawr , NJ. A few bands are scheduled to play. Starts at 8 pm. We are still working out the details. We have started a fund to raise money for the transplant of Bobs intestines. Checks can be made out to " The Bob Bello transplant fund " and sent to " 49 Stratton Lane , Sewell , NJ 08080."

    SOUTH GLENS FALLS - Jacqueline (Wacky Jackie) Renner, 60, of South Glens Falls, passed away following a long battle with cancer on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009. She loved her rock and roll,  her Philadelphia Eagles and Witness, a Philly-based phenomenal band she had the pleasure to host in her London Ale House niteclub located in Wildwood NJ circa 1984.  She is survived by many friends, including Lynn Etu and Mary Beth Sears, Lori Schmiedel & George Ross."So-long awhile Jack.  I wish we didnt skip a beat in the 25 years we've been friends." Lori, Mary Beth and Lynn would like to thank Dr. Castro, Dr. Gillani, Donna Boss, Rachel Meehan and all of her nurses on Tower two who provided excellent care. At Jackie's request there will be no calling hours. There will be a gathering at O'Malley's in South Glens Falls on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, from 2 to 6 p.m. in her memory.  Contributions may be made in Jackie's memory to the C.R. Wood Cancer Center c/o Glens Falls Hospital, 102 Park St., Glens Falls, NY 12801. Arrangements are under the direction of Radloff Funeral Home Inc., 136 Warren St., Glens Falls.

    lori.jpg (22960 bytes)
    3/1/09 Witness: Other Lives: Cellar Ratz! (L Roy's Band)  This was a great gig for a great cause! (Varity Club)  The Mangar people (who sponsored it) turned the stage into a 30 foot wide Pirate Ship! The entire building was done up with great props, including a fantastic mural that covered the back wall as well. Sandi and I completed the look with lighting and effects. Click on the picture to see some better views up on our Flickr site!

    Arrr! It Be A Great Gig!

  • 2/13/09 Witness: Other Lives: L Roy will be playing this benefit for the Variety Club with his band The Cellar Ratz on February 28 at the VE club.  Sandi and I will be there as well because we will be doing lighting and effects. 

    This should be a fun gig! A costume party, kind of! Click on the picture at right for more info, a better view of the poster, and a Treasure Map! 

    well... no... actually just a map of how to get there.

    The club, the VE German Club is located on Davisville road between Street and County Line roads in Warminister PA.

  • 1/21/09 Tech Update: Have we been calling you the wrong name? The site usually welcomes previous visitors back, but our server company installed a new firewall that made it lose its mind!  All is well now... I hope! 

  • 12/25/08 Long overdue Witness Update: First off, thanks go to Alan Fox who took some great pictures at Tom & Jerry's. The best have been added to our Gallery, with many more added to our Flickr Photo Site as well !  
    In reviewing video shot at Tom & Jerry's, we discovered an age old problem: The audio was trashed ;(  
    Camcorders and live bands don't get along too well.  In 2007, we used a "board feed" audio and those tapes turned out well. It is quite a commitment in time to set that up, but we hope to do that at the next gig.  
    Now, why so long since the last update? Well, I have been ill this fall, but most of that is now behind me. After the gig, we all decided to take the winter off as we are... umm... not as young as we used to be and driving in the snow doesn't sound like fun!  We expect to resume operations in spring, and should be announcing what's up for 2009 at that time. In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  • 10/6/08 Picture have started to come in from the gig! Most of the pictures will be at our Flickr Photo Site but I also put a gallery of them here on the main site. Enjoy! (And, Thanks!)

  • 10/4/08 Back from the Dead!  After 16 years, Witness, in the form of Witness Reloaded, is back! October 3rd was a blast! It was great to see so many of our old fans show up, and it was a fun gig to do! Must say, we are all a little tired today, after all, 2am is way past our bedtime! (Most of us got home around 4 or 5 in the morning.) Pictures, comments, and video should be following in the next week or two! For now, I'm going back to bed! 

  • 10/1/08 I don't think they checked their own map !!! If you are on the Blue Route, get off at the McDade Blvd exit (east) and as soon as you get off the ramps and on the street, start looking to your left! It's only a couple of blocks !  REAL easy to find !!!

  • 9/28/08 With only a few days to go, it's time for a map! Click on the map at right to open Tom & Jerry's directions site! 

    Today is our last rehearsal before the gig, and we have added one of my favorite Tull songs to the set, as well as a couple of real surprises! 

    Plans also include a drop by at the club today to get some pre-show tech work done. This should be a classic Witness Reloaded event!  

    See you all on Friday !

  • 9/22/08 Witness: Other Lives: On 9/19 I returned to do a lighting job in Wildwood. What a blast! The town sure has changed. The job was for Mitch's band, The Rip Chords. There are some more pics on our "Flickr Reloaded" photo site. 

    Less then 2 weeks to the next Witness Reloaded Gig !

  • 9/7/08 Just got back from rehearsal. It is always a shocking reminder to remember how good they are! While rehearsing Tull, L Roy hit a note and then with a questioned look on his face asked "What song did that come from?" (He couldn't remember.) He hit it again and the rest of the band joined in playing a song that none of them had played in 20 some years! About five measures in, someone yelled out "Hey, that's (song will remain a secret for now)" and the band played it all the way through with barely a mistake! Needless to say, this "accidental" song has now been added back into the Tull show!  We also got a call from "Charlie" who got to hear the band rehearse "5:15" from his home in Florida. Everyone is psyched up for the October 3rd show!  

  • 8/23/08 Witness: Other Lives: (From Mitch)
    Hey Everyone...  I am honored to announce that a track from my latest Solo CD ("Cool") is being included in an upcoming Tribute CD to Beach Boy Dennis Wilson.  The CD is being released by "Endless Summer Quarterly Magazine", 
    the official Beach Boys Fan Publication.  My track is called "Surfers Lament",an Instrumental.
    I'm so proud to be a part of this celebrated CD, which features many members of The Beach Boys extended family.
    I've included a copy of the Magazine cover in this email for you all to see.
    Here's the press release below. Talk soon....

    www.theripchords.net   www.myspace.com/mitchschectersolo
    SUMMER 2008 - Endless Summer Quarterly Special Edition, Dennis Wilson tribute CD: The Summer edition is the true companion piece for Dennis Wilson's PACIFIC OCEAN BLUE: LEGACY EDITION — featuring interviews with Jim Guercio, John Hanlon, Gregg Jakobson, Dean O. Torrence, Billy Hinsche, Bobby Figueroa and Carli Munoz in their entirety (that were used in the liner notes for the release). Additional interviews and testimonials from Trisha Campo, Wayne Tweed, Ricci Martin, Daryl Dragon, Fred Vail, Stephen J. Kalinich and David Marks are included. Along with this instant collectible, ESQ is releasing an accompanying complimentary Dennis Wilson tribute CD. The new collection features Brian Wilson, Carl B. Wilson, Carnie Wilson, Dean Torrence, Matthew Jardine, Mitch Schecter, Chris Farmer, Philip Bardowell and Peter Lacey, David Marks with Al Jardine and many others. Go to www.esquarterly.com for more details.

  • 8/22/08 Historic Witness fans will enjoy the pictures Nancy E just sent in. They are from a special night at the Silo in 1986. It was one last time when Michael D came up and played with the band! We also get to see Joe Anello play guitar and Tommy Higgins (brother of John) on drums! They were just added to our Flickr Site.  In other news, as we head into September, rehersals are starting up for our gig at Tom & Jerry's! 

  • 7/18/08 Witness: Other Lives: Added some pictures to the Flickr site of the "Love Jones" band (Michael LaBuono plays with them, pictured far right.) These were from the "Best of Delaware" gig at the Dover Downs Casino on 7/17/08. Sandi and I did lighting (Apologies in advance for the pictures as she snapped them WHILE running follow spot during the show!) Cool gig! Lots of food and about 3,500 in attendance. (The door prize was a brand new Mercedes!) My special thanks to Mike as he helped roadie the show and was pretty darn good at that too!
  • 7/14/08 Witness: Other Lives: Added a picture of the "Rummo & Koko" show (Mark Britton/John Knobler Duo, with guest Flip Britton) to our Flickr photo site. 

  • 7/12/08 Witness: Other Lives: Hey....some news from Mitch's Production Company...Home Room Productions! He just completed the recording of a theme for a movie called "The Gold & The Beautiful". The music tracks were recorded by Mitch and his wife, Amy, and then that was sent off to Hollywood where they had 2 singers record vocal tracks on top of it. We don't know when the film is coming out, but we are really excited about it. The song they recorded was written by the legendary Carol Connors, who co-wrote the "Theme From "Rocky".

  • 7/9/08 Witness: Other Lives: Next week (July 17), I get to dust off the lighting equipment and do a gig with Michael LaBuono's other band "Love Jones." They will be playing at Dover Downs along with the band "Jelly Roll." Remember, to see all the other bands prior members play with along with any "Reloaded" gigs, visit our Band Schedule. 

  • 6/30/08 A special "thank you" goes out to Patrick Maley at Pearl Drums in Nashville from Mitch Schecter. Pearl Drums is the exclusive supplier for Mitch on the
     "Witness Reloaded  2008" tour! (Also known affectionately by our members and fans as the MLCT or "Mid Life Crisis Tour" !) 
    6/27/08 Witness Reloaded will be playing at Tom & Jerry's on October 3. (click image for club's website.)
    As always, you can check out all the bands and gigs that members are playing by clicking "Band Schedule" at the left of your screen! As you can see, they are a busy bunch of guys! 

  • 6/22/08 We have merged blogs with the Historic Witness Site (Because I don't like to type things twice!) so all the future updates will be on this page!

  • 6/20/08 We welcome back Apollo Artists Attractions and Eli as our Exclusive agency!

  • 6/19/08 WitnessReloaded.com now has it's own domain! 

  • 6/18/08 With the help of  Patrick Maley Of "SIRIS", a new logo has been developed! (Mitch & JD helped a bit too)

  • 6/17/08 Many members of Witness Reloaded play in other bands. Here is a new feature that lists the schedule!

  • 6/16/08 Mitch has put together a companion website at MySpace. Check it out at www.myspace.com/witnessreloaded

  • 6/15/08 The Witness Reloaded Website has officially been launched ! Although this is a new site, it comes from a long heritage. The original Witness was formed in 1977.  In 2007, members of the original band got back together for a totally unrehearsed reunion party and had so much fun, they decided to see what would happen if they rehearsed and added the full original production. That resulted in the very successful MLCT gig on April 20, 2008. In the two months that have followed, the band decided they just could not stay apart! And so... Witness Reloaded was born!

(For Prior Updates, (before 6/20/08) visit the historic Witness Blog on the Here . )