Wax Articles - Philly News - Published August 27th, 1970

Versatility’s a virtue and a curse for ‘Wax’

By Rhea Philip

Wax is still molten, flowing hot and free. You could pour the Philadelphia group into a jam rock, a country rock, or a classical-blues rock mold, and Wax would fit each one. That’s the chief virtue and its chief problem – versatility. The group’s so eclectic, it still lacks a sound of its own.

Wax is a newly formed progressive rock group that’s just beginning to make itself known in the Philadelphia area. Although it’s been together with the present membership only since May, it’s already getting offers from major record companies and may begin recording their first album late this fall.

How did they pull a group together so fast? Hard work is one reason. Talent’s another.

Of course, other Philadelphia-area groups have recorded first LP’s in the past year–America Dream, Edison Electric, Sweet Stavin’ Chain. But none of these locally well-established groups has made it yet, either artistically or financially. Wax might be able to do it.

Knowing whether a rock group has even a slim chance for real success is purely intuitive. They could play like gods and still bomb. But when you suddenly feel a huge “whomp” to your gut as a group plays, you can pretty safely decide, “Yeah, they can do it. They just might make it.” And Wax is the one Philadelphia group that makes my chest go “whomp,” even occasionally.

The group started last year with several Penn students and friends, then featuring a flautist and girl vocalist. After this band dissolved, guitarist Rick Levy and bassist Beau Jones decided to keep Wax going. At the same time drummer Rick Chertoff and keyboard player Robbie Hyman, refugees from a defunct group called Buckwheat, were looking for a gig.

They auditioned for Wax around the same time as lead singer David Cohen, who completed the new Wax lineup. After being together for two weeks, Wax played its first public gig, a University of Pennsylvania multi-media show. A date at the Electric Factory on the bottom of the Manfred Mann bill quickly followed.

This summer, Wax has been playing concerts principally, appearing with such groups as The Byrds, Everly Brothers and Chicago.

“Yeah,” Robbie laughed. “It beats playing the bars in Atlantic City.”

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