Pondo Sinatra, formed in 1993, was a punk band based out of Saint Paul Minnesota that I joined when I was eighteen(ish). The band had just formed with Mark Abbott-Cabezal on drums, Peter “Tigger” Lunny on lead guitar, and Matt Sawicki on vocals. The three of them attended Macalester college together and were practicing in Mark’s uncle’s machine shop. I had become quick friends with Matt Sawicki and he invited me into the band as the rhythm guitar player. They also needed a bass player and having just played in the band Pi with Jarrin Jambik, I asked if he’d like to come along.
The band’s name came from the main character of the 1985 film Party Animal and had nothing to do with the band’s sound, message, or image. We had watched the film together one night, we found the name funny, and that was that. Both Matt and I secretly felt the name was stupid considering the political and social themes he was writing about but by the time we got around to reconsidering it, it was too late. We were already playing at parties and the few people who liked us were too used to calling us that.
After what was probably the first year Tigger left the band and we briefly had another lead guitar. I honestly can’t remember that guy’s name. He didn’t last long and the band settled into the lineup that it would have for the next few years: Lead Vocals – Matt Sawicki, Drums – Mark Abbott, Guitar – Terry Pounds, Bass – Jarrin Jambik.
Throughout the band’s existence we were loud, sloppy, and angry. We didn’t care what people thought or if they took us seriously. We just wanted to be heard. That band lead to the greatest friendships of my life. It also taught me that art doesn’t have to be polished to be awesome; a sensibility that has stayed with me forever.
I have many pictures, flyers and that sort of thing I need to dig up and share here but for now, this will have to do. The recordings below are from two sources, the one attempt we made at a studio album and an appearance we made (very early on) on Macaster college’s radio station.
All songs were written/performed by Pondo Sinatra. Well, except for Fortunate Son, that’s Creedence.
The Studio Album featuring Matt, Jarrin, Mark, and myself:
WMCN Broadcast featuring Matt, Tigger, Jarrin, Mark, and myself: