Mark Hecker (lead guitar) Mark Ernst (rhythmn guitar)
Mike Collins (bass guitar) Snooky Mercoglan (drums)

These photos were taken at The Intruders first "gig" in September 1964 at the Scotia Town Hall. By way of a "talent assessment" Mike Collins had been elected bass player (2 strings less than a guitar and you could'nt really hear what he was playing). Mike's parents were pretty strict and wouldn't give him the money for a used Fender Precision bass we had located in the classifieds, so our pal Ricky secretly cashed in a savings bond and lent Mike $150.00 to buy the bass. We got 4 matching irredecent silver/blue jackets with black velvet collars, and we made our first public appearance. We also got in a whole lot of trouble with Mike and Ricky's parents over that loan, and I was identified as an instigator. I considered it more along the lines of "leadership" qualities.


As I remember it:

The Intruders were an instant success. Mike played only a portion of the night, because (1) he had just gotten the bass and only knew a couple of songs (2) He didn't own an amp yet, so he had to share mine. For some unknown reason, back in the dark ages of electric guitars and the Montgomery Ward catalog, a spring reverb unit was "sugested" or "required" to be used with electric bass to avoid blowing out the speaker in the amplifier. I was the only one with a reverb unit (built in to my Guild 1x12" guitar amp) so Mike and I shared the amp when he played. Mark Hecker didn't have reverb in his amp, so when the setlist got to "Pipeline" we all plugged into my amp for the reverb effect... let's see that's 2 guitars and bass... 30 watts and a spring tank... awsome by today's standards. Mike's parents finally broke down and got him an amp too.


Snooky was more advanced than the rest of us. Just a really good drummer for the time. Actually there are 2 drummers in this picture. That's the back of Warren Droms head in the front row watching the band. He replaced Snooky as our drummer when the Mercoglans moved to Pennsylvania.

Carl Buell was 1 year older than the 4 of us, and a Senior at Burnt Hills High School. I had been friends with both Kent Brust (The Nieutones) and Carl for many years, and knew he was a very talented singer. He joined The Intruders shortly after our first gig, and we began to play quite regularly. Snooky moved away, Warren took over the drumming position, and we went into the WRGB studios in Schenectady and recorded 2 original songs: "What Kind Of Girl Are You?" and "Hey - Hey."



The Intruders in the spring of 1965
Mike Collins, Carl Buell, Mark Ernst,
Snooky Mercoglan (drummer in shades), Mark Hecker