Stonewall - Stonewall

Stonewall – Stonewall


Stonewall recorded in nine days allegedly in New York City, this often excruciatingly heavy album has a touch of everything for fans of that era of hard rock, with a truckload of huge lumbering riffs, organ work and the harmonica.

Written by: Dangerzone

ARTIST: Stonewall
ALBUM: Stonewall
LABEL: Tiger Lily Records
SERIAL: 14013
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Robert ‘Bobby’ Ronda – vocals, guitar * Lewis Whittaker – bass * John T. Milani – drums * Francis Crabb – keyboards, guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Right On * 02 Solitude * 03 Bloody Mary * 04 Outer Spaced * 05 Try And See It Through * 06 Atlantis * 07 Suite a) I’d Rather Be Blind b) Roll Over Rover


This is a hard album to pin down. A crushing set of 70’s hard rock, the album reportedly was recorded in early 1974 according to the album sleeve, but this sounds more like the product of 1971 or 72 for my ears. I might be wrong, but as to the scarcity of information on Stonewall we might never know, but according to some out there these guys were Italian!

Recorded in nine days allegedly in New York City, this often excruciatingly heavy album has a touch of everything for fans of that era of hard rock, with a truckload of huge lumbering riffs, organ work and the harmonica of course. The cover artwork is interesting, some poor guy buried beneath a stack of Marshall amps!

The Songs

Lots of blues incorporated into Stonewall’s sound, take the track ‘Try and See It Through’, with the dominant use of harmonica and Hammond organ, which is a tasty little Purple based romp, with far more an acid based guitar tone, very fuzzy. Moving nicely is ‘Atlantis’, fast on occasion, with a simple yet effective rhythm section. The breakdown near the end is pure Zeppelin, reminiscent of ‘Houses Of The Holy’ era.

The Zeppelin influence can be heard even more keenly on ‘Suite A I’d Rather Be Blind – Suite B Roll Over Roller’, where the drummer beats his kit down in true Bonham fashion and the riffs are knocked out in vintage Jimmy Page swagger. Elsewhere it’s hard rock at its most basic, check out the monstrous riffing during ‘Bloody Mary’, and the lengthy jam.

Stonewall aren’t above slower progressive moments, ‘Solitude’ reminding me of early Wishbone Ash, circa ‘Warrior’. When the track moves into overload halfway in, prepare to be hit by what can only be described as metal. Going for broke is ‘Outer Space’, where the band gets to take in every early 70’s heavy blues ridden jam known to man. Convincing and another lost gem.

In Summary

So who can embellish anything about Stonewall? Some of our readers are bound to have heard this and hopefully can shed light on their origins and nationality. As expected this has a cult following and was released on CD by Akarma Records as ‘Stoner’, an Italian label who specialise in releasing obscurities such as this. I noticed some ludicrous prices for this on CD throughout the web and as fine as this is, it’s not worth sixty dollars. But a good listen for those into that particular 70’s heavy blues sound.

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1 thought on “Stonewall – Stonewall

  1. gdazegod Antipodes December 2022
    Yes, I doubt this was recorded in 1976. My guess is that it was recorded in 1968 or 1969, as the band broke up in 1969. Tiger Lily acquired this album ‘under the table’ no questions asked sort of thing. Very under handed by TL. Here’s the blurb from Discogs profile of the band. Source unknown.

    Stonewall was a Long Island, NY band formed in the late 1960s. The line up includes:

    Bruce Rapp (lead vocals/harmonica)
    Bob Dimonte (bass)
    Ray Dieneman (guitar)
    Anthony Assalti (drums)

    Tower Sound Studios VP James Goldstein was also a part-time member of the band, occasionally playing keyboards on their sessions. He was a performer of his own, using the stage name of “Jay James”. Under that alias he recorded the album Good Times & Bad Times that was released on the Tiger Lily Records label (same as Stonewall).

    Stonewall’s drummer Tony (Anthony) Assalti was the drummer on this rather weak country album by Goldstein. However, Assalti was never aware of the Stonewall album being released, and apparently became upset after learning about the Tiger Lily release in recent years. He still occasionally plays drums and is involved with the biker scene. He’s not interested in the Stonewall recordings these days.

    On the other hand, the guitar player Ray Dieneman was a good friend of Goldstein. Dieneman was not aware of the Stonewall album until he saw a copy in Goldstein´s house in New York during a visit. Ray never owned a copy of the album, but was more amused than angry about the Tiger Lily release. It appears that Dieneman is the only band member to know about the Stonewall record being released at all.

    According to Dieneman, Stonewall broke up at the end of 1969, which would place the recordings heard on the album (which wasn’t released until the mid-1970s) sometime in the late 1960s. The other two Stonewall band members — vocalist Bruce Rapp and bass player Robert Dimonte — have not yet been tracked down.

    Goldstein who produced, engineered, and played keyboards on the Stonewall album passed away in 2009. The album was recorded at Tower Sound Studios (see also Tower Sound), a studio co-owned by Goldstein, Henry Hoffman & Rick Feinstein. Stonewall is the sole recorded output of the band; Dieneman & Assalti are unaware of any unreleased recordings.

    PS the Stonewall band member names on the Akarma bootleg reissues are completely made up.

    Smokey December 2022
    Had this album for about 20 years, just your typical late 60s or early 70s hard rock that sounds like the soundtrack to a z grade biker film starring William Smith.

    dangerzone USA.December 2022
    Can’t say I’ve listened to this album since this review to be honest. I don’t see that changing during the remainder of my lifetime.

    smokey December 2022
    I gave it a listen after reading this review, probably only the second time in 20 years. What a borefest, man. Bands like this deserve obscurity, it’s embarrassing how crude they are compared to the rock giants of the late 60s like The Who, Cream, Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. I’d only listen to this again if I decided to make a film based upon the 60s biker films and needed a song to go with a montage scene of some outlaws tripping on acid in the Mojave desert.

    Candyman Australia December 2022
    Gave it a crack. Had never heard of them before. Probably because I’m not tripping on acid, its not really my cup of tea and I couldn’t make it through to the end. Did I miss anything?

    gdazegod Antipodes December 2022
    @Candyman said:
    Did I miss anything?

    No John you didn’t lol. Strangely though, I have two Stonewall albums in my collection, I will need to go and have a look at those and see what the differences are.

    smokey December 2022
    Thought I’d give this another listen as I had a headache yesterday and thought I might’ve been too harsh in my appraisal. Well, yeah, it’s still crude in comparison to the big boys of the era, but that crudeness, like Blue Cheer, works in its favour in terms of reflecting the grungy vibe of the 60s biker/hippie/Vietnam vet who hit the road in search of freedom/escape from ‘the man’. In that respect I can appreciate the album as an accurate reflection of where the US was at during the late 60s for a certain bunch of folk.

    dangerzone USA December 2022
    I gave in and listened to this again to see if my review was misplaced. I’d probably not be as favorable now, but it did make me laugh envisioning the above descriptions while listening to it. It’s easy to imagine some displaced, disillusioned Vietnam burnouts trying to readjust to society with this as the soundtrack. Much like the classic ‘Jud’ film from 1971.

    smokey December 2022
    I’ve actually become addicted to the album now. I’ve probably listened to it about 15 times since writing my second comment. The reason is just like you say above, I can’t get the images of 60s bikers or damaged Vietnam vets out of my head as I listen. Another funny thing is the colour I see those images in. It’s exactly like the low budget films of the era, all washed out, dull. The album is actually pretty impressive in the heavy stakes, some real savage explosions of power at times. I think you can bracket this album alongside the debuts of Highway Robbery and Terry R.Brooks. Hard and heavy psych rock that sounds like it was made by a bunch of acid fried vets who were sickened by their participation in an unjust war.

    gdazegod Antipodes
    I found out that my two Stonewall Fileshares were one and the same album but separate releases:

    Akarma CD bootleg
    Tiger Lily vinyl.
    GDM Community Manager / Managing Editor

    david NZ February 3
    While writing a Too Smooth article a few years back, Tiger Lily released a Too Smooth demo, after a bit of digging around I came across this.

    The discovery of Stonewall, the great lost artefact of hard rock

    david NZ, February 3
    An original copy of Stonewall was sold on EBay back in 2014 for $14,100.The guy that sold it found it in a box with other vinyl outside a shop in NYC.

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