This piece starts out so normally and then digresses into a trip down musical memory fucking lane. This blog is for me. The only thing missing is pics from those days. The scanner is currently kaput.
You were warned. It’s not too late to turn back ‘ya know.
Fear of losing everything has made me contemplate the past. Most importantly… did I make a difference to anyone?
The only way I know to make a difference is via music.
So I went to buy a pack of ciggies last night and was accosted by a couple. They are here for Street Vibrations and had run out of gas. At the strangely placed residential neighborhood 7-11 on Mt. Rose Street.
I gave the wife/GF a ride to the gas station, she filled up an old anti-freeze container with gasoline and she then went ahead and put a gallon of gas in my truck as well.
How cool is that?
Damn I would have helped them out for free.
Here’s the great thing about having a 1988 vehicle with a cassette player.
Oh sure you scoff now. Stop it.
I get to listen to my old demo tapes. Whoa déjà vu, smiles, mixed feelings and some pride as well. I used to be World Famous in Long Beach, Idyllwild and Traverse City ya know.
I’ve listened to all of my old bands. Did you know I used to be a decent saxophone player? Hell I used to be a kick-ass keyboard player as well.
I’ve got cassettes going back to the late ’70s. Even get to hear Bill Chase in the car.
You must admit that this is pretty funny and weird. Thought that the tapes would rot before I’d ever hear them again. Just need to find a way to record those tapes to CD before they disintegrate.
Okay you can stop reading now. This is just an inventory of missing years and my attempt to reconcile the personal accounts.
Nothing spectacular here. I do still play for my own nefarious reasons and pleasure.
Here’s a list of my old bands and the music that lives on in the 1988 F-150 Eyesore-On-Wheels:
Big Deal (1977-1979)
Cover tunes and dance crap. Played sax, flute, keyboards, vox. First band that had a gig and recorded anything. Most gigs were high school dances, parents without partners get-togethers etc. Oh god we were so fucking young and dumb and full of…
Red Tape (1979-1982)
All originals. Played sax, keyboards, vox. Influenced by Iggy Pop, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Buzzcocks, The Clash, Michelob and weed. Pretty much the same line-up as Big Deal but now we’ve morphed into Punk. Got airplay on KRZQ and a few other local Los Angeles stations. Gigs at The Whiskey, Madame Wongs, Starwood, Cookoo’s Nest and the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach.
Solo (1984-1989) NYC at Lola’s and then Northwoods Inn piano bars in southern California.
Standards and Pop tunes. Played piano, vox. What can I say? Found a handful of tapes that I used to send out or drop off. Everything from rags, torch songs, Billy Joel to Gershwin, Cole Porter and my original tunes. Those were some good years. Lots of tips and free drinks after the last set.
After Hours (1989)
Jazz. Played piano. Oh god this was a doomed effort. Just a duo of myself on piano and a gal who’s name I don’t even fucking remember as the vocalist. She had morbid stage fright. Can remember a Showcase we did in Los Angeles and she FROZE on stage. Needless to say we weren’t picked up by any clubs that night. We did get an offer to spend a year in Kyoto though based on the tapes and not the showcase.
Hard to say if it was because of the music or the novelty (to the Japanese) of a white girl and a black girl doing American music. Almost went for that gig. Was married by then and the hubby was not amused. Neither was our manager when we turned it down. She was a goddamned whack-job. Oh god. The management company was called Music Web and the office was on Hollywood Blvd. Used to hate driving all the way up there from Long Beach.
The owner was a devious, conniving bitch. On a good day. Actually did half a dozen gigs where the vocalist didn’t lose her shit.
Zero Hour (1989-1991)
Cover tunes, some originals. Played keyboards, vox. Fucking fun fun fun. Unfortunately there were seven of us in the band so we made no money whatsoever. Had a blast though. Two hot talented girls doing lead vocals, lead guitar, drummer, bassist, rhythm guitar and moi on keyboards and back-up vox. Shows at Toe’s Tavern in Redondo Beach and Pasadena. Gigs at the Rockit in Hawthorne, shows at various outdoor events as well.
Did I mention that we all had a damned blast?
Back to the standards, rock, jazz, torch songs and various turns with local rock bands as the keyboard player. Kept playing until marrying PsychoFuck. Would have kept on playing except that apparently musician hours are not ladylike. Not only that but I may attract the attention of… another man. Yeah right.
Burnt Norton (1995)
Played with these guys for 6 months. Just long enough to become comfortable get a slot at the Idyllwild Jazz Festival (met Richie Cole that year) and then have aforementioned PsychoFuck screw everything up by doing the ‘Neanderthal Stay Away From My Woman Dance’.
Hell I’m used to being the only girl in a band. This goes without saying especially when I was playing sax. To have a friggin cretin sabotage me though… this was horrific.
I can only hope that he is now happily married to that idiot woman with four kids all under the age of 15.