Keeping Pace


We were contacted not long ago by a guy named Phil Kawa who played with Roger Pace at the Intermission Lounge in Boston’s infamous “Combat Zone” back in the day. They started a discussion group among musicians and dancers who used to work the Combat Zone clubs … posts go back to 2004. The discussion worked its way to Roger and they got to talking … heard he had died … started getting curious and found their way to the BaltimoreJam website.

I talked to Walt Bailey and Trudy Morgal to help them sort fact from fiction. Apparently someone in their group had some skip-trace experience and eventually they found Roger’s Social Security records. The following is posted at their discussion group:

Roger’s family name was Paesch and according to the social security record he was born Nov. 24, 1944 and died May 29, 2001.

Roger died of sudden cardiac arrest while in the hospital overnight for a biopsy to check a spot on his lung. It was unrelated and totally uexpected, and in Trudy’s words, “Just one of those things … and very sad.” The Boston folks have started a blog in Roger’s honor. It’s just getting started but I thought some this blog’s readers might be interested. It’s at and you’ll also find that link in the blogroll down in the sidebar here. Like I said, they’re just getting started, but they have a great photo of Roger Pace and the Pacemakers that is worth the click … here’s a teaser.



19 Responses to “Keeping Pace”

  1. warren cassell Says:

    In response to your 8/13/09 posting, the club you’re referring to was Duffy’s Tavern, Nantasket Beach, Hull Mass. 1965. I know because I was the lead guitar player. I even have a pic that was taken there. It’s Roger,
    Jim” Lefty” Gregory and me. The drummer, Mickey Gauvin, was’nt in
    it. DARN !! I’ll be looking for a reply post from you.

    Warren Cassell

    • broadway al Says:

      Hello again Warren, I just put your name in Google along with musician and Baltimore and got the page about Baltimore Jam. This confirms what I’ve been trying to tell most of the Boston fans about Roger. I first remember walking into Duffy’s and seeing for the first time and seeing you guys. I’ve though about trying to do a screenplay and to be honest it would take a Martin Scorcese to really do what I envision. The band that formed after you and the drummer split played for weeks at the Intermission and they too broke up. The last guitar player (Jimmy Keady) asked me if I wanted to go with him and Roger back to Baltimore. I’d really love to tell you about the following years and the stories that
      came to and end when Roger left Boston

      • warren cassell Says:

        Al, if you could give me someway to reach you I could fill you in on a lot of info.

        • al comi Says:

          Hello Warren, I don’t know what made me go back to this sight but here I am. Sorry about the brain freeze. It would be great to hear from you.

          • al comi Says:

            al, you can find me on facebook in case you don’t get my email address.

            • al comi Says:

              Warren, I thought you could get my email from these comments but if you go to the Roger Pace’s blog I think it will be there. I don’t do Facebook because of security issues (that became apparent when Microsloth bought into the company).

  2. billy Says:

    does any one remember frank rizzo?he used to play guitar at the plainsman and walters lounge among other boston places with skippy the drummer .

  3. Shelley Sealover Says:

    Summer 1994 marked the beginning of my life with Roger. I was in love, in awe, inspired and amazed by him…. his talent, his music, his voice, his stories…. and Blessed to have shared the most wonderful time of this fleeting thing called Life with him. I always knew there would come a time when Roger would be remembered… and his music and stories shared by all who loved him… and passed along to those who were not fortunate enough to witness his amazing talent, his beautiful gift. I cried and cried in my bed, surrounded by his pictures, the only memories I hold onto, listening to the muddled cassette recordings of earlier days….. I cried until my heart could take no more…. I cried until there were no more tears left inside…. then I cried some more. Roger, the sound of your glorious horn remains in my heart, loving you dearly til the end of time. <33

  4. JimLasVegas Says:


    Do you know what Roger Pace was doing in the 1970’s and later?
    Also, any idea of how many Roger Pace records were released?

    Any info is appreciated.


  5. jimlasvegas Says:

    An additional Roger Pace tune.

  6. Marty Thompson Says:

    In 1960 I was singing with the Crystals at the old Surf Club on Pulaski Hwy. Roger would be brought in by his father because he was underaged at the time to set in with us and play alto sax. He was only 16 as I recall and I was 18. He was one hell of a player. His dad would take him around to many of the area’s night clubs to get him experience playing in front of audiences. The last time I saw him was at the Green Dolphin one night. I was singing there and I spotted him at the bar. I went over and asked if he remembered me and he said sure. He asked me if I still could sing like Johnny Mathis. I talked with him for a minute and that was the last time I saw him. It had to be around 1972. What a player he was.

  7. jimlasvegas Says:


    A couple of years later I’d gotten to know James Brown while he was here headlining at the Flamingo. One evening the conversation turned to ‘Wannabes’
    such as Wayne Cochran, etc. I mentioned to JB I’d seen this young white guy in the Boston area a couple of years earlier. Not doing a JB impersonation, simply a super high energy thing that clearly reminded a viewer/listener of JB, yet not doing JB covers.

    When he asked the name, replied Roger Pace. Much to my surprise, JB said
    “Yeah, I know who he is” Unfortunately, before we could finish the conversation, JB was called away and, sadly, we didn’t resume the conversation.

    Recently when the topic of “style-setters” i.e. Esquarita/Little Richard was raised, I mentioned the Roger Pace/James Brown similiarity. However, without something to illustrate the comparison, I seemed to recall Ed Leonard having mentioned Roger Pace had released a record (date unknown) so I went looking…..and here’s what I found!

    Roger Pace fans…enjoy.


  8. jimlasvegas Says:

    Ran across the Roger Pace website today. Here’s a snapshot of my experience
    with Roger Pace.

    In 1965, while living in Las Vegas, I flew to Boston to visit an old friend and guitarist Ed Leonard. During the visit Ed told me of this wild man act appearing
    in the area. Roger Pace and the band were playing a small club near the beach. (don’t recall which one). Ed was one the money! Roger Pace was an incredible high-energy showman. It surprised me that no major management group had signed this guy!
    More to follow..

  9. Dougie Messenger Says:

    Please have Trudy contact me. When I was with Roger Pace (67 &’68) she used to come into the Intermission Lounge in Boston to sit in and shoot the breeze with us. If she has trouble remembering me by name, mention that she called me “Funky” and that I was the guitar player. I’d love to have a chat with her.
    I have a commercial studio here in LA. I did a few years with Van Morrison and also backed Al Green, Etta James, Jackie de Shannon and others on the road, and played a lot of sessions for Liberty Records, Warner Brothers, MGM Records and Motown, all after I moved to the coast from Boston (’69).

  10. Tink Rose Says:

    Yes, me tinks he meant to post this message at I have not seen my
    name mentioned in association with the picture of Rog and Judy anywhere.
    I only supplied the picture and did NOT appear in it.

  11. Doug Messenger Says:

    That’s not Tink in the picture. It’s Judi Kaye. I was Roger’s guitar player in ’67 and ’68, met Judy in ’68. When I moved to California in ’69, she came out and fronted a band that had Jay Pelson, of the Canadian band, the Bar Keys, and Davey Farrell, who was on bass and had been a part of Roger’s ’68 band (probably Roger’s second-best ever band), after the best one, which consisted of Bobby and Dickie Scimone, plus Denny Ward (Haddad) on drums.

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