- PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ARTIST
- PHOTO PROVIDED BY ARTIST
- The Quitters (left to right): Dave Snyder, Rob Filardo, Dan Snyder, and Keith Parkins.
You could call The Quitters a pop band, in the sense that its music was popular. But it was definitely more than a fistful of catchy tunes. The quartet played melody-rich, aggressive rock ‘n’ roll, decidedly more Elvis Costello than Elvis Presley.
And The Quitters led the way for many Rochester bands that would come after — Televisionaries, The Demos, and any band that sweetened the beat with simple, hard-hitting harmonies to achieve the Garage Pop Records sound.
“The Quitters are king,” says Trevor Lake of Televisionaries. “And they should be a household name. Great songwriting, harmonies, and attitude. I got their box set and flipped my wig.”
“We took it right to the edge, ”says Filardo, whose dad was early sixties teen idol Bobby Francis (responsible for the 1964 tune “Summer's Comin’”). “There was no choreography or cliched posturing, We just plugged in and rode the lightning.”
Perhaps a case-in-point, Dave Snyder would routinely pull a kind of absent-minded professor bit by searching in his pockets for the setlist, a hint at the randomness of the band’s live material. And if you were lucky enough to see them in their salad days, well brother, you saw a show.
The Quitters’ discography consists of three singles on Trashcan Records and three full-length collections on Garage Pop Records, with such tongue-in-cheek titles as “The Quitters are the Greatest Band in the World,” “The Quitters Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “The Quitters Are King.” The band also released a video “retrospective” called “Burn You All With Me Mind,” via Garage Pop Records in 1999.
The Quitters shared the stage with national touring acts like The White Stripes, The Greenhornes, The Oblivians, and local artists like The Veins, The Priests, and The Grinders. The quartet was also one of the bands behind Garage Pop Records’ series of tribute shows, which included memorable throwdowns for Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, and X, for which The Quitters performed as “Q”.
Filardo, who went on to play organ with the Gothic-leaning band The Priests, says all members of The Quitters still live in the Rochester area, and that a reunion isn’t out of the question. In fact one such show was scheduled for the summer. But along came the pandemic …
“And, well, you know the rest.” Filardo says.
Frank De Blase is CITY's music writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.