And the nominees are…

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First Posted: 9/15/2014

While people who work at WalMart tend to have stories of people trying to buy a pack of cigs with their Access Card, musicians often have a story about audience members who get a little too into the show and even runins with the occasional crazy groupie.

Weekender recently caught up with some of the nominees for guitarist, bassist and drummer of the year for the inaugural Steamtown Music Awards (set for Friday, October 10 at the V Spot in Scranton) to talk about crazy audience encounters while performing.

For a complete list of nominees and how to purchase tickets for the event visit

Keep picking up Weekender every Wednesday to read about more nominees.

Guitarist of the year

Charles Rusello: “None that I’d want to reveal.”

Mark Yanish: “To be dead honest I never really had a crazy fan story in all the years I’ve been playing other than your standard drunk person. The more they like the performance the more drunk they get.”

CJ Williams” “I’m the George Harrison of any band I’m in so I don’t have too many crazy stories.”

Dustin Drevitch

George Wesley

Bassist of the year

Aaron Bruch

Grant Williams: “An incredibly intoxicated man got naked. He walk to the front of the stage, faced the audience, and dropped his pants. He then just stood there in fully exposed pride for over 10 seconds.”

John Husosky

Matt Mang

Tony Sulla: “In the middle of one of our songs this guy came out of nowhere and started to basically force a full beer down my throat. I drank the beer unwillingly and was really confused. After our set the same guy offered us a gigantic plate of grilled sausage piled higher than my face and kept trying to fight us as we ate it. That guy was the man.”

Drummer of the year

Andrew Merkle: “At TLA in Philadelphia, a female fan begged me to give her my shirt. When I offered a stick instead, she took it but insisted I sign her arm so she can…get it tattooed the following day. Fans can be intense!”

Jerry Bruno: “Honestly, the drummer is a hard member of the band to get too. It also doesn’t help that my long arms and wild playing style would make getting to me resemble an American Gladiators gauntlet. So all of my exciting fan stories start after we get done playing.”

Amanda Touch: “I was really creeped out when my band opened for Anvil a couple of months ago. Some random girl – yes a girl – from the audience jumped on the stage right before we went on to talk to me. She kept saying ‘Don’t be scared’ in a soft voice while staring at me and kept getting closer while she was talking, like she was going to kiss me. That, and some girl had me sign her boob last week.”

Nick Ogonosky

AJ Jump