NEW SONG: Gustine – The Remodels

June 23, 2016

Here’s a brand new song – with free download – from The Remodels.

“Gustine” is the slightly revised tale of a St. Louis rock legend; the ending is changed for a better Hollywood ending.

The tune is written by John “Professor” Ellis and Toby Weiss. Professor plays all the guitars, Toby sings.

Rounding out the track is Steve Scariano on bass and Spencer Marquart on drums.

All production, recording and engineering is by Matt Meyer.

2015-06-14 14.25.06

After John Ellis and I (this is Toby) wrote the song in December 2013 (I think it was), we finally got around to recording it as a simple voice and guitar track. That’s us above, early in 2015.


With the decision to go “full band” we brought in Steve Scariano (top middle) and Spencer Marquart (top right) to round out the sound. Professor Ellis (top left) piled on the guitars. And then everyone left to go to Christmas parties. This was December 2015.


Matt Meyer (above) recorded everything either at Fire Brand studios or his own studio in DeSoto, MO. He’s a kick ass man, all around.

So are Professor, Scariano and Spencer. Thank you to everyone who came along on this journey.


VIDEO: Bomb Pop Boy

August 3, 2015

Oh, the joy of having a video diary of the Bomb Pop Boy journey!

Thank you to Bill Streeter of Hydraulic Pictures for all the filming and production work on the final product. And to Ann Hirschfeld for illustrating the memories of that hot night on a summer long ago…


The Remodels – Bomb Pop Boy

July 26, 2014

john ellis toby weiss the remodels

The Remodels debut an original song, written by John Ellis & Toby Weiss (above). Recorded partially in Dallas, TX and St. Louis, MO. Produced, mixed and mastered by Jack Petracek. And it’s yours to listen to and download for free.


Live Debut of New Single “Bomb Pop Boy”

July 26, 2014

6.14.2013, St. Louis MO – The Remodels debut “Bomb Pop Boy” for Kittypalooza at Off Broadway. Video by Don Hollenbeck.

It’s a departure for The Remodels in that it’s an original song written by John Ellis and Toby Weiss. Studio recording is available to listen and download on Soundcloud.


The Remodels – “Year of the Cat”

June 20, 2013

June 14, 2013 at Off Broadway in St. Louis, MO for Kittypalooza.
We ended our set at the charity benefit with a 6/8 reworking of Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat.” Another of those cool Steve Staicoff ideas taken to the nth degree with an extended Allman Brothers Band jam at the end.

Thank you to Cat Pick for inviting us to help raise funds for Tenth Life Organization.


The Remodels – “Girl Don’t Come”

June 20, 2013

June 14, 2013 at Off Broadway in St. Louis, MO. The 2nd song of our Kittypalooza set. “The minutes fly by…”


The Remodels – “Walk Like a Panther”

June 20, 2013

June 14, 2013 at the club Off Broadway in St. Louis, MO. We opened our Kittypalooza set with a cover of Jarvis Cocker’s “Walk Like a Panther.” Special dedication to Toby’s cat, Panther (hey, it’s Kittypalooza, so yeah!).

Brian Smith – drums
John Ellis – spacey guitar
Steve Scariano – Stevie Nicks-like tambourine
Steve Staicoff – guitar
Toby Weiss – singing



Putting the Band Back Together for Kittypalooza

May 29, 2013


Tenth Life asked us to play, we gladly said yes. Here’s the Facebook invite.


While guitarist John Ellis percolates in Texas, we’re laying the rock foundation for his arrival a couple of days before the show. Steve Staicoff, above, Steve Scariano, below, subbing on tambourine when not playing bass.


And Brian Smith (below) has transformed our cover of “The Year of the Cat” into something other-worldly Allman. To be part of the benefit show, each band must do at least one cat-themed song. We’re doing two.


Along with a quick spin through Girl Don’t Come, we’ll also debut a brand new original song. It’s about 60% recorded. Playing it live as a full band will help us put the final touches on it. We hope to release it while it’s hot and sticky this summer of 2013.


All proceeds from the show on June 14th go to Tenth Life. Buy tickets here.



The Remodels @ Alex Chilton Tribute, September 24, 2010

August 20, 2010


Because we were invited to be a part of this Alex Chilton tribute night, we will be making our live debut as a 5-piece on Friday, September 24th at Off Broadway.

Details about the show from KDHX.

The official Facebook RSVP.

Of special interest is that our bassist Steve Scariano will be playing in THREE bands this night: us, Jans Project and with Edward Burch. But he will NOT be playing a single Big Star song. So you need to come out to find out how this is even possible!

$10 to get in and all the money goes to KDHX 88.1 FM, the best radio station on the planet.


Brian Smith: all the drumming

August 16, 2010


I’ve been playing drums since I was 9 years old. I took my first lessons at Baton Music in the U City Loop with a rental snare and a Beatle haircut. A year so later I received my first drum kit, a cheap, used Apollo with blue sparkles, the kind of thing teenagers probably got for Christmas in the 60’s.

I eventually studied with Tom Stubbs of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and learned marimba and xylophone and tympani.  I actually considered being a professional musician until I had to decide where to go to college and I just knew I was better at visual art then I was at music.  I did not have that obsessive drive to practice ALL of the time. Though, my parents were always supportive; they bought me the kit I still use to this day: a set of Pearl drums with fiberglass shells and a chrome finish.

Brian onstage with Octave (or Periodic Drip!). That's future Love Expert tom Fulton on guitar.

Brian onstage with Octave (or Periodic Drip!). That's future Love Expert Tom Fulton on guitar.

I started my own rock band in junior year.  We never did come up with a decent name.  Mostly we were Octave, but briefly we were Periodic Drip (don’t ask). I’m still tight with the bass player Larry, and the guitar player was Tom Fulton, who later became an original member of the Love Experts.  We did all covers by obvious bands Beatles, Stones, Who, Pink Floyd, The Cars, and even pulled off a good version of “Yours is No Disgrace” by Yes.

I am a Who freak and even though I don’t try to play like Keith Moon he still is my favorite. All the great bands have had great drummers.  They made the bands great.  Period.  Starting with Ringo. Other drummers I admire are Al Jackson Jr., Simon Kirke, Steve Gadd and Bernard Purdie.

Brian at Abbey Road in 1983.

Brian at Abbey Road in 1983.

After college I kind of retired from playing because I was establishing my career as an artist and eventually a college professor.  No drumming until 1999 when I started jamming with a bunch of Webster Groves folks who got together most Fridays, drank martinis and beer and did mostly blues and 70’s covers.  In 2001 I joined City Heat a band formed by a guitar playing lawyer who was trying to change careers. We rehearsed every Tuesday in a huge house in the CWE for about a year.

When my wife Debbie and I finally bought a house in 2005 I was able to play again because I finally had my own basement! And I decided I was actually gonna get good at drumming and started taking lessons once a week with Steve Lord at The Drum Headquarters.  We have never had a bad lesson and I have become a better teacher by becoming a student again. Improving my skills and gaining the confidence and admiration of other musicians has been tremendously gratifying and has led me to being in the Remodels.  I really have John Ellis to thank because we have worked together so much for the past 18 months and it has led to this project.


Brian playing with Lisa Warner and John Ellis

Surprised he left this out, but we won’t! Brian is also an accomplished painter. See his work here.