York Sunday News
August 6, 1989

by Steve Glatfelter

“The Death of a Dictionary.” What kind of album title is that?

“Dictionaries have definitions in them, and if you kill one of them, I guess you kill defining. You can’t really define what we’re doing,” said Ed Kowalczyk – alias Zedd, lead winger for the York-based rock ‘n’ roll group Public Affection.

One thing Public Affection is doing is becoming more visible. The four York High graduates are excited about an upcoming story mentioning them in Seventeen magazine and the release of their first album, “The Death of a Dictionary.”

“It’s rock ‘n’ roll to the core,” Kowalczyk said of the album. “But there’s a little bit of jazz, blues and funk, too,” chimed in lead guitarist Chad Taylor, “It’s realizing your soul and putting that into songs.”

Public Affection formed five years ago as an ambitious group of teenagers who wanted to play music for their peers. More recently, the band members pooled their money and sold bonds to relatives, friends and other investors to finance “The Death of a Dictionary.”

The recorded on weekends at Red Rock Recording Studio, Saylorsburg, finishing in three months. The album was ready the day they graduated from York High. “Instead of partying after graduation, we drove to the Poconos for our tapes,” Taylor said.

Public Affection benefited from exposure...and from good fortune as well. Taylor met New York City producer Benjy King on a plane trip to Switzerland. King later became producer of Public Affection and convinced an acquaintance, Seventeen magazine writer Dawn Chipman, to listen to the band's tape. After hearing the tape, Chipman agreed to mention the band in November's issue.

In anything, its music is spontaneous. Kowalczyk, who chose the stage name Zedd because "it's easier to remember," said the band "only rehearses when there's new songs to learn."

"If it's perfectly rehearsed," Taylor said, "it's like classical, orchestrated music. It's fun to make mistakes."

"We've gone four or five months without rehearsal and played a gig, and it's been great. They say 'Practice makes perfect,' but rock 'n' roll's not perfect," Gracey said.

Don't think the band isn't committed to success. The four band members have decided against college and for Public Affection. Once hesitant, their parents are now supportive, the band members say.

For Kowalczyk, college "has been totally displaced from my mind. I want to do what I want to do. I don't want to feel it's been planned out for me."

The group is already hard at work on more original material. "We're already maybe six or seven songs into what would be the next album," Taylor said, "And they're all much better. It keeps expanding so much."

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