Friday, April 9, 2010

Then there was this time.....

I sat down to think one day not too long ago. Have I led a storied life? It didn't take much thought because I already know I have. I have tons of stories I could tell. Most will involve music, and my rendition of it, but so much crazy stuff has happened to me aside from music. I wouldn't know where to start. I guess I'll just throw'em out there as they come to me.

So I led you here thinking you were gonna get a story. I will have to sit here for a while looking at empty space while I wait for one to come to mind. You see, when you have so many stories you can tell like I can, you want to take the time to think about which tale is best suited for the situation. In this case, there is no situation. I'm just sitting here typing while I try to think of a story I can tell you, and the words you read here are merely a diversion to keep you occupied while I ponder my options on the story telling front. I'm rather devoid of any ideas at this point, but you must really want a story, because you're still reading. You must be sitting there thinking "What's he gonna tell us for a story, and why is he telling us he's gonna give us a story when all he is doing is stalling?"

Aw c'mon. If I could think of a story, I'd tell you already. OK? All right then. And with that, I just thought of one, and here it is:

I once played in a band called Stone Rose. We were all decent musicians, each with an insatiable appetite for beer. We had a gig in Maynard, Mass., playing a bowling league dinner party or something like that. We met at our drummer, Bob Hiltz's house in Stoneham, where we rehearsed, to load up the van and make the one hour or so drive west to Maynard. We arrived about 4 in the afternoon expecting to play about 7:30, we wanted time to set up and get the sound system tweaked, etc (yeah, a sound check). When we arrived, we were told that dinner was first and we didn't play until 10:00 PM. WHAT????? ARE YOU KIDDING???? WHAT are we gonna do for six freaking hours? We couldn't go home and wait, no. Not with all our gear set up inside the country club where the function was being held. What to do, what to do? Then, the guitar player (that's me!) spoke up:

"Okay, everyone! Pony up some cash! Bobby, get in the van! WE'RE GOING TO THE PACKY!!"

And off they went. I didn't go myself, since I thought of it, and besides, I had the weed. I sat in my car and spun up a couple of bombers, those perfect joints that go well with a liquid hop-based refreshment. A short while later, Bobby pulls into the parking lot, and they have seven cases of Miller High Life. So we piled into the now mostly empty van, and began to imbibe. It's now 5PM and we started drinking to kill time.

Flash forward to 730PM. The seven cases of Miller are gone. Someone went on another run, because we still had 2.5 hours before we played. We got seven more cases, and now the girlfriends offered their wisdom. "We hope you guys don't get too shitfaced to play."

We were already shitfaced. But we assured them we would be in top notch form, not to worry! We're veterans at this!

Now it's finally 10, and we take the stage and start playing. We were darn good that night, but a few moments stick out.

I remember getting extremely hungry while we were playing "Purple Haze". So while I was playing the solo, I meandered my way in a very rock and roll fashion to the kitchen just to the left of me, and without missing a beat, I bent over the counter and picked up a large dinner roll with my teeth. I then exited the kitchen and continued my cool rock and roll swagger, only the roll was sticking out of my mouth. Looking back, I'm glad I didn't have to sing on that one. I did all this and the song sounded great all the while. For some reason, in our inebriated state we were playing one of the better shows we ever did.

Now we're playing "How Many More Times" by Zeppelin. The song is going flawlessly, we sounded inspired. I had my back to Rob Heselton, our vocalist extraordinaire, as he was singing:

"I got you in the sights of my........

"G-u-u-u-u-u--u-u-u-u-u-u-.........". All of a sudden I hear what can only be described as a record skipping. He dropped about an octave like the needle on the record got put back a few seconds, and he continues: "....U_U_U_U_UNNNN!" I turned around and Rob was sitting on the floor, legs spread like a hockey goalie, as he continued the note. The skip I heard when I had my back to him was him falling on his ass! The other guys were laughing their asses off, and I started laughing too. Still, we never missed a beat and other than Rob's "skip", the song was perfect!

After the gig, Rob and I are out on the porch where the caterers were working. I spied a huge plate of sliced roast beef, which I began to devour ravenously. Rob sees what I am doing and joins in. We stood there stuffing huge gobs of sliced beef into our mouths, when a waitress walked up to where we were with a tray of dinner plates. She puts the tray down on a stand she produced from nowhere, and then started to scrape all the plates on the tray ........right onto the pile of roast beef we had been gorging ourselves on.

I wish I could have filmed the next scene. We each looked at her scraping other peoples not-eaten-scraps onto our meal, and she tells us the meat we had been eating came from the same source. Then at the same time, we looked at each other and in unison we both go "EWWWWWWWWW!!!" We then ran to the rail of the porch and let loose. At the time, it was a very disturbing sequence of events, but within a half hour we were laughing about it anyway.

Now I'm on the way home. Route 2 east or was it 2A? Apparently, I didn't know, as about 90 minutes after I left Maynard, I found myself near MIT and the Longfellow Bridge. It was probably 4AM by now. I noticed as I drove over the bridge, construction crews who were nowhere to be seen ahd set out those red traffic cones down the middle of the road. Wouldn't those look cool if we had them to put around the band when we played? Hell yeah they would! So I slow down and grab one with my left hand as I drive by. I then thrust that over the top of the next in line. I got up to about 6 and they got too heavy for my non dominant arm to carry, so I reeled in my catch and tossed them into the back seat. I then started on a new set of 5. Got'em! I started on the last set of five and I could only get 4, the fifth was set back. It's 4AM, no traffic, so I stop the car and get out and run a few feet and grab it. As I tossed it into the back seat, I hear a voice from a ways off yelling in my direction "HEY! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!!!"

I got back in my car and left rubber. I got to the end of the bridge and the light was green, took my left onto Storrow Drive, drove past the "If you lived here you'd be home now" signs, traffic was very light, and the light was green there too! Now I was on 93, and the recent surge of adrenalin from my almost getting caught stealing red traffic cones had sobered me some. Lucky for me, we had put the last remaining, not-drank case in my front seat. I enjoyed a rather luke warm Miller as I drove to Bob's house to deposit what very little gear I had in my trunk.

Now because I got lost on the way back, they had arrived and everything was unloaded when I did arrive. They weren't too happy, until I broke out the last case of beer, and then all was forgotten.

I think of stuff like this and wonder what kind of lucky charm I had working back then. I was driving drunk and stealing government property. But I was a young, reckless, cocky dumb ass, then. It was also the 70s, and Mothers weren't Madd yet. I was lucky. Don't do this at home kids, it's a much harsher world than then now.

And that's my story for today. Not much of a story. I should have kept stalling you. But I hope you enjoyed it anyway.


  1. God Almighty! Not much of a story?!? I love stuff like this! Keep it coming!

  2. It is fun to hear the stories of the different bands and band members from the good old days. I saw you comment on Suldog.