Peter Laughner was an important, and still overlooked, figure in the birth of American punk and new wave. As a singer, songwriter, and performer in numerous Cleveland bands, he was probably the single biggest catalyst in the birth of Cleveland's alternative rock scene in the mid-'70s. Roughly speaking, Laughner's work melded the street-life aesthetic of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground with folk, roots-rock, art-rock, and even singer-songwriter influences. His legacy is difficult for the masses to appreciate, however, and not just because his premature death meant that very little recorded material emerged during his lifetime. It's all because his talents were too disparate to be easily pigeonholed and, until recently, repackaged for the CD era, despite a wealth of unreleased material.