Led by 51-year-old singer Jack Rugan, the local rock act Saul Glennon (the group is named after a Batman comic) has spent the better part of its existence trying to be Cleveland's answer to Guided by Voices. Over the course of a career that goes back 20 years, Rugan, like GBV’s Bob Pollard, has written 1500 to 2000 songs, only a fraction of which have actually made it onto the band's discs. The group, which also includes guitarist Jerry Rugan, guitarist Adam Zieleniewski, bassist Joe Rivera, guitarist-keyboardist Mark Meluch, percussionist Andy Ullman and drummer Chris Kocka, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a show at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Happy Dog.
The music of the Byrds, the Who and the Creation are Saul Glennon's obvious antecedents. “Everyone but maybe one person who has been in the band over the years will be participating,” Rugan says of the show. “We’ll play 20 songs from all eight of the albums that we did. We have a percussion section with congas and bongos and we have two drummers. It will be either a glorious mess or just a mess.” The band hasn’t put out an album since 2008, though it did release a single two years ago on iTunes to tease a full-length project that Rugan says threatens to become his equivalent of the Beach Boys’ lost album Smile. Rugan, who also plays in the local group Harmony Rebels, says the band is still active and hopes this will get the band back into gear. “We hope this gig will rejuvenate some of the guys,” he says. “It’s been fun again. The goal is to have more guys in the band in the future. I hope to keep everyone motivated — myself included.” Additionally, Rugan's wife Rhonda will also be handling vocal duties on a few songs. The concert’s special opening act Indira and Guppy Jo, featuring Glennon alumni Andrew Ullman.