Statue of Liberty
Gordon Jones/Stork Club/Colorado
Trombone Cleaner ?
Although I must say I hated the idea of going to Alaska to finish out
my time in the U.S. Army, I did however, enjoy some of
the largest state's unique attributes.
The most memorable were
the Aurora Borealis, migrating salmon, moose wandering the streets,a myriad
of wildlife, the Lion's Mane Mushroom(delicious), midnight baseball,
scenic mountain vistas and music gigs aplenty at the many missile
sites and DEW line bases that surrounded Fairbanks.
The only downside was isolation from the family, and of course, the
The cold in Alaska manifests itself in many ways.
We had to wear parkas with hoods surrounded with wolverine fur
and a circle of wire imbedded in the hood. This wire allowed you
to mold the opening you would breath and see through to fit the
temperature. When it was -50 and colder we would squeeze it down
to about a two inch diameter hole. That helped warm the extremely
cold air before it got into your lungs.
There was a service station on the highway that went to the airport
that featured a display of how the various weights of oil were affected
by the cold. Cans of oil from 5 to 90 weight were there with a metal
rod in them for testing the viscosity. At -20, the thirty weight was
The cars had to be fitted with either "head bolt heating elements" or
"circulating heaters" that connected to the radiator.
Vapor barrier devices were glued to the windows to prevent ice
build-up on the INSIDE of the car. Trickle chargers were a must to keep the batteries
functioning. I even saw men lighting fires under oil pans in
a desperate effort to get their engines to turn over.
At -20 and colder, your car's tires would freeze square on the bottom
and give you quite a bumpy ride, until the friction of moving warmed
At -50 and colder, a cup a water thrown into the air would instantly
evaporate and not a drop would hit the ground.
The coldest day I survived was -82!
One incredibly funny sight was an "Infantry Ski Parade".
The troops would don their battle whites and waltz before the
reviewing stand while our band played a medley of "Over The Waves"
and "The Blue Danube". If that didn't strike fear in the hearts of the
enemy, I don't know what would.
The brass horns were subject to freezing, so we were provided
with a warm-up tent containing a "Yukon Stove".
When slides and valves were stuck, the bandsmen smartly marched
back to the heated tent to free them up. We didn't even think about
faking a frozen horn, cause we heard the punishment for that
particular infraction was truly Draconian.
The band was without a cymbal player for quite a while, so an
emergency call went out. A soldier was taken out of an Advanced
Infantry Unit who said he played cymbals in his high school band.
It was during marching practice that he committed a really funny
mistake. We had been practicing a marching maneuver called the
"Freeze". The band leader would shout e.g., column left, freeze.
We would do a half-turn and freeze, awaiting his next command
which was "Hit it". Then we would continue on marching.
The first time this was pulled on the new cymbal player, fresh from
the infantry, he did was he was trained to do upon hearing the
command "Hit it". He fell on the ground and covered his head with
the cymbals! We loved it!
One summer the band started rehearsing Christmas songs.
We all thought it was weird, but of course, did not question the
Band Director's motives. He even recorded the rehearsals, which
was really unusual.
The reason for all this was revealed when our supply sergeant
returned from leave with a record of Christmas songs entitled,
"Christmas In North Pole". It was us, the Army Band, plus singers
from the University of Alaska.
Of course, all of this was highly illegal. But, instead of blowing the
whistle on the Director, the senior NCO's decided to blackmail him.
We literally did nothing for about eight months. We woke up late, had minimal
rehearsals, drank booze in the barracks and didn't clean a thing.
The "Life of Riley" for a GI.
This nirvana came to a abrupt end when the new Deputy Post
Commander pulled a surprise inspection.
He was so infuriated by the condition of the band and our quarters
he came down on us severely.
The clean-up never ended. We had inspections at 2:00 a.m. and
forced marches. All stops were pulled to make us as uncomfortable
Finally, one of the bandsmen wrote his congressman about what was
going on and why. There was an in-depth investigation.
The rehearsal hall was converted into an interrogation room and each one of us was questioned about our complicity,
if any, in the crime.
As a result: The Band Director was cashiered out of the service. The Mayor
of North Pole, Alaska was impeached. One officer was found guilty
of running a prostitution ring. Several professors from the University
were fired and some of our NCO's faced court-martial proceedings.
An Artillery Captain was put in charge of the band. It was miserable.
Luckily, at that point I was a 'short-timer' and shortly thereafter rotated back to the
lower forty for discharge.
What it all boils down too is this. I learned at an early age that the
music business can be full of surprises, both weird and wonderful.
On a happy note, while in Alaska, my second child, Tim, was born.
My third child, Danny, was conceived. And, daughter Erin
learned at an early age how to be a survivor.
Statue of Liberty
I was a very little boy when WW-II ended, but I still remember several things about the war.
My dad, Leo O'Neil Sr. was an Air Raid Warden. His job during a "black out" was to roam the neighborhood to see
if anyone had lights showing from their windows.
I recall that he took the job very seriously.
Of course, our family always had our blankets hanging over the windows. You can still see the nails on which they were hung today.
And, sad to say, I, as a young boy, had, as my toys, tools of war. I can remember playing with toy tanks, planes, battleships and guns.
One night we all went outside during a black out and we saw a squadron of airplanes flying low among the clouds.
Mother was very concerned and that apprehension was felt by me. Consequently, I have had recurring nightmares about that night.
In the dream I see large numbers of planes flying though clouds and I always am standing on the corner of 4th and Constance. I wake up with a feeling of dread. I have not had that dream for a longtime, but I expect that it could come back.
When the war finally ended all the family was celebrating.
I remember mother saying that now, they can relight the torch on the Statue of Liberty.
I immediately ran to one of the windows that faced Constance St. and pulled up the shade.
I saw a light in the distance and yelled out, "I can see the torch".
Mother came over and looked out and said, "I can see it too ... everything is alright."
Wasn't that sweet and understanding of her?
In this dream, I was a reporter covering the opening of an ancient
There were scientists, other reporters and public officials
assembled to witness the event. We were gathered in a circle around the mummy case in the bottom of a pyramid.
As the chief scientist opened the lid,
a unique monkey-like creature jumped out and bit him.
In the confusion, the creature escaped. One of the scientist then
reached into the casket and removed a golden chalice bearing
hieroglyphics. Another scientist read it and declared that it gave directions
for mixing an antidote for the bite. This potion was necessary to save
the bitten scientist's life.
At this point, a thief grabbed the cup and also escaped into the crowd.
Now, conflicting factions started to form, each with their own agenda.
There were those who wanted to kill the monkey. Those who wanted it alive
for study. And, those who wanted to recover the chalice to save
the scientist's life.
Somehow, I thought, I could make all of these things happen.
Then found myself standing in a huge Mosque. From down a long hall,
a robed woman beckoned to me.
"You have questions for 'The Mandala'", she said. I nodded.
She then lead me past two soldiers armed with lances that were
posted on opposite sides of a massive doorway.
The holy-lady pulled a velvet rope that hung from the ceiling.
The door opened into a cathedral, whose main feature, located at the
far end, was "The Mandala".
It was circular and divided into concentric panels which were tinted all the
colors of a rainbow. The darkest colors were in the outermost band and they
lightened as they approached the center, which was pure white.
"Ask your questions", she prompted.
When I asked for the location of the monkey, she said to look into
the blue panel. As I peered into it, it became a video-like screen.
I could see an area of woods, which I recognized. And sure enough, there running
through the brush was the monkey.
Next, I asked for the location of the thieves who made off with the
She directed me to look into the aquamarine panel. This time I
saw the crooks seated at a table, drinking and playing cards. The
cup was visible on the table and through the window, I could read
the name of their hotel.
I thanked her profusely and turned to leave.
"Wait", she said.
"I know you have another question for the Mandala."
I thought for a moment and asked, "I would like to know about the
origin of life." She pointed to the center of the circle. And I looked into
the bright white light, confident that I would find the truth.
It was then that I awoke, squinting from a sunbeam that had breached a tiny
hole in the window shade and was shining in my eyes.
Gordon Jones/Stork Club/Colorado
I met Gordon when I was about 16 years old.
We never had a piano
player in our first band, "The Downbeats", and Gordon was a welcome
addition. Looking back on that time, I can't figure out how we made music at all. No piano or guitar, and a washtub for a bass. Weird. What really gets me is that we had lots of jobs!
Gordon was in the band that Steve Borello put together to go to
New York and play at the world famous "Stork Club".
There was a musicians' strike in New York city and two bands from the south were fool enough to go up there and cross the line.
Us, from New Orleans and a Latin group from Houston went blindly into the breach.
We never really understood the danger we were in. It didn't even bother us when we heard that the secretary of owner Sherman Billingsly
was beaten up shortly after we got there. Still, we naively
walked to and from work every night. Amazingly, nothing bad happened to us.
I liked New York and never felt threatened going anywhere.
And, I went everywhere: Harlem, Coney Island, Brooklyn, "Birdland",
the jazz club, Central Park and to all the typical tourist attractions. It was just great.
Now, back to Gordon.
It's when you room with someone that you see all the strangeness
in their personalities. Gordon was a guy who was easy to tease.
He was vulnerable and slow. So, we picked on him and exploited
his weaknesses. Remember, we were just 18 year olds and didn't
Gordon made a lot of chewing noise when he ate. So, Tom Casey
(trumpet) came up with the idea to also, make a lot of noise, and on
his signal, stop abruptly. This left Gordon's chewing and snorting
really obvious. For a long time Gordon would just look around when
it suddenly got real quiet and wonder what happened. We, of course, would crack up.
When at last, he finally got the joke, he screamed, "You're driving me
nuts", and left the table. This trick was repeated at least once a week,
much to Gordon's annoyance.
One day, Pete Hearty(sax and clarinet) and I were walking around and
we noticed a full-length poster of a woman that looked exactly like the
ghost Gordon told us had killed one of his aunts.
The story of how she was killed was told to him many times during his childhood by his
mother and uncles. He believed it as absolute truth.
They told him that when his aunt was a teen, the family heard her
screaming, and followed the sound to a closet. They were unable to
get the door open for a long time, and when they finally did, it was too
late. The aunt was slumped dead on the floor, while a mysterious form
floated up through the ceiling.
This apparition was described as a woman wearing a long cape and carrying a sword.
The woman on the poster, trying to resemble a bullfighter, was dressed exactly like that.
We bought the poster and started planning an elaborate trick.
We decided to wait until Gordon had a date with the hat-check girl from the club.
He'd always come home drunk as a skunk and pass out quickly.
We waited for the right night.
Then, we went to work.
The poster was cut out and the trimmed picture
was taped to the wall of his closet. We positioned two candles and
baffled their glow just enough to make the poster barely visible
Paul Staehle(drums), loosened the knob on the door to
where it would pull off if someone tried to open it. We also
unscrewed the light bulbs.
The guys hid behind the couch while I awakened Gordon.
I shook him and got him to open his eyes by telling him I felt a strange
"presence" in the room.
Gordon had a ritual he would go through whenever he entered
a new house or room. He would try to make contact.
He'd say, "Are there any spirits in this room? If you're a good spirit
knock once, and if you're a bad spirit knock twice." I saw him do it
He sat up in the bed and got about halfway through it before
he caught sight of the ghost out of the corner of his eye.
He believed it was the real thing, cause he let out an incredible scream and made for the door. When the knob pulled off in his hand, he screamed again and tried the light switch. When that didn't work, he
ran screaming to the window and was trying to jump out(we were on the seventh floor). Tom Casey ran from behind the couch and grabbed him to keep
him from jumping. Gordon must have thought the ghost had him and
fainted dead away to the floor.
We all stood around him, thinking we
had killed him. After we realized he was still breathing, we got some water to throw on him and finally got him awake and calmed
We all apologized many times for pulling such a cruel stunt. Then we went to our own beds to get some sleep.
I was awakened about an hour later when Gordon poured a bucket
of very hot water on my head. We got in a shoving fight that, mirabile
dictu, ended in a pillow fight. Two pillows were broken and the whole roomed was covered in feathers.
Gordon overpowered me(he was 6' 3") and pushed me out of the room dressed only in wet drawers and feathers.
I begged and pleaded him to let me back in the room.
After about 15 minutes he relented and we made up.
Now we had to sneak out of the hotel and move.
There was no way we could clean up all those feathers, and
besides, we were afraid of what the manager of the place
might do to us.
After some fancy hide and seek, we finally got checked into the VanCourtland Hotel on 51st street at about 4 am. What a night!
on the way to work, Gordon, Tom and I stopped at the Chinese
Laundry to drop off our clothes. When Gordon plopped his on the
counter, about 10 feathers wafted into the air. Tom went immediately
into one of his laughing fits. The Chinaman felt he had to respond to
this and said to Gordon and I, "Your flen is one happy ferrow".
Then, as usual, we cracked up!
Gordon in "Colorado":
I feel I have to formally apologize to Gordon and the world for this next
I guess being young and insensitive had something to do with it.
Or, I could say, "The devil made me do it."
Let's start out by saying that Gordon had an enormous appetite. His standard fare consisted of: two steaks with salad and veggies, two stacks of pancakes, several glasses of milk and sometimes a chocolate malted
and a piece of pie.
This was always consumed enthusiastically and
accompanied by a variety of loud chewing and swallowing sounds.
He was really something!
On the day we left New York for New Orleans, Gordon was feeling
pretty down. He had gone to Coney Island two days before and had
a bad sunburn. He went to a doctor and got some pain-killers for the
ride home. Apparently, his appetite was unaffected,
cause when we all went to eat before taking off, Gordon really
stuffed it up. He figured he wouldn't be able to eat for a while and ordered
his usual mega-meal.
He then settled into the back seat of the car, took
three pills and in five minutes was out like a light.
After driving for about an hour and a half, we came upon a unique town in Pennsylvania. It was called "Colorado".
I don't know how big the actual town was, but what was visible on the
feeder of the turnpike was about two hundred feet of storefronts
masquerading as an old western mining town.
Although it was obviously a concocted tourist attraction,
I must say it looked very authentic, outfitted with cactus, windmills, oil wells, an old
mine entrance and other typically western artifices.
They even had several cows grazing in the adjoining field.
A huge sign read, "WELCOME TO
As we came to a stop in this pastoral setting, a bell went off in my head.
"Gordon, wake up", I yelled
while shaking him violently. "You've been sleeping for two days! We're
already in Colorado."
I thought the trick would end there, but Gordon
really bought it. He looked around groggily and said, "Wow! Sleeping
for two days, Colorado, I got to get something to eat!"
He headed directly for the restaurant and again, ordered the whole menu!
He made it all the way to the pie before he started turning green.
Then he ran to the men's room to purge.
We stayed with him to make sure he was OK and overheard
him telling the whole story about "sleeping for two days, all the way to Colorado", to a man who
was also in the restroom.
The man said, "You been had son, you're in Pennsylvania, about an
hour from New York."
Well, Gordon was too weak to fight, but he
cursed us out all the way to Georgia. And, being such a forgiving lad(he
had to be), we still got along fine after that.
In this first dream, I was attending a music festival.
headline attraction was the late, great Latin band-leader,
Xavier Cugat. As usual, he was holding his
dog, a Mexican Hairless, as he conducted the band.
After the set, I approached him and asked the name of his dog.
In a thick Spanish accent he replied, "Hees name ees ROGAINE"!
This dream had me shopping in a store like Macy's or Foley's.
In the men's toiletries department, I asked the clerk what a
"Grey FILTER" for my beard would cost.
He said, "Oh, about $5.00 a month.
Larry Bob Lehmann played steel guitar at Gilley's during
it's heyday of the 80's.
He earned the sobriquet "Bourbon
Cowboy" because of his excessive and lustful use of
alcohol. It was this drinking that probably led to his
early death at age 41, although, the actual cause
was never disclosed.
I think it somehow fitting that a
mystery surrounds his passing.
L.B. was a great, natural musician and an intelligent
man who read the newspaper daily. His favorite writer
was Mike Royko. He loved Archie Bunker. And, he often
quoted the great line from the movie Amadeus,"Too Many
Since I'm impressed with a person's humor, it is fitting
that I quote my two favorite L.B. lines.
1. During a rehearsal, our sound man approached Larry Bob
and tried to convince him that he should put his amp out
it front of him, facing backwards, to cut down on the club volume.
The ensuing argument ended with the sound man
throwing up his hands and leaving in a fit of frustration.
Someone else in the band said, "Wow! What's wrong with
that guy"? L.B. was quick to reply, "He must be having
delusions of adequacy!"
2. At another rehearsal, L.B. was miffed cause our singer, Marian
Dulin, was doing yet another slow song.
Marion tried to hold her ground by explaining that besides it being
a good song, it was recorded by the late, great, Patsy Cline.
L.B. said, "Humph! Patsy Cline. You know how she died don't cha?"
Marian answered, "Sure, she died in a plane crash."
L.B. jumped right on it. "Yeah, right, cause she sang the pilot to
Two weeks before he left for the big jam in the sky, Larry Bob
made a recording of one of his favorite steel instrumentals, "Long
Black Limousine". Kelly Schoppa made sure it was played at
the service. Lordy, there was not a dry eye there.
I really miss that crazy s.o.b. and can't help regretting how the good
always seem to die young. I actually kissed him goodbye!
Play it Larry Bob. God love ya.
Larry Bob Lehmann, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - 1986.
Trombone Cleaner ?
My first sexual affair took place while I was in High School.
discussing the in and outs of this situation with some of my older
musical pals, the subject of birth control came up. I was advised
that the safest and the most pleasurable method was for the girl to
My paramour said this was fine by her, the only
problem being, since she lived with her parents, she had no place
to stash the device.
My solution was brilliant.
I would keep it in
my trombone case!
Since we usually scheduled our joustings after
my weekend gigs, she quickly agreed.
This worked out perfectly until a classmate of mine called the house
one night to borrow a schoolbook. The last place my dad searched
was in my trombone case!
I knew something was wrong the minute I walked in the door, by my
dad's coloring. He furiously ordered me out to the shed, where my
horn-case sat ominously on his workbench. Fortunately, my dad took
a couple of minutes to collect his thoughts and explain why he had
the occasion to invade my sacrosanct property. This gave me the
time to construct an excuse.
"Why dad," I said, "It's not unusual at all. We trombonist use them to
clean our horns".
Luckily, he did not ask me to elaborate on the actual technique.
He did tell me to "get rid of that thing, cause it could give
people the wrong idea".
I was fighting sleep in my high school English class one Monday morning after having a gig the night before.
The teacher was droning away at the great Willy S's, "Macbeth".
He was at the part where the witches were stirring the cauldron when
he decided to check to see just how "out of it" I was.
"Mr. O'Neil", he bellowed, "would you please repeat the last line
that I just read."
Although I was half asleep, I did remember "something" that sounded
"Well, Mr. Suhor", I said, "I don't remember the whole line. But, I
think it started with, 'Bubble, bubble, toilet trouble'."
The whole class, including the teacher, laughed for ten minutes.
I hadn't seen my friend Charlie Miller for over 20 years. We were good buddies in high school, but since we always lived it different cities, all we could do was write and talk occasionally on the phone.
I always liked and respected him for his musicianship and his weird sense of humor.
Then, one day he called to tell me he would be in Houston, playing with Mac Rebennack(Dr. John)
in the Woodlands.
Needless to say, I was anxious to see him.
We arranged to meet at his hotel.
I got there at the agreed time and saw Freddie Staehle (Mac's drummer), standing in the lobby.
After saying hello to Freddie, I asked him where was Charlie.
He said he was on his way down.
I saw him get out of the elevator on the opposite side of the hotel and
I thought he saw me.
But, instead of walking over to me, he took off, in his same, familiar crouched step, to his left.
Wow, I thought, he didn't see me.
I made eye contact with him again, but instead of coming toward me, this
time he veered right.
He went through this move two or three more times before I went to get him.
When I finally got to him, he had a strange look on in face and acted a little frightened.
"What's the matter Charlie", I asked. "Didn't you recognize me? Why
didn't you come over?"
He got me again... "It was your aura", he explained. "It was so strong,
I had to spiral in to it!"
This, by far, was the strangest gig of my entire life.
It was around 1970 and I was playing with "Dr. John, the Night Tripper".
We were in Johnson City, Vermont at Goddard College. This was a very peaceful
and woodsy setting for several weird groups of conventioneers.
There was a pack of political dissidents, a gay rights organization, the society of
FM disk jockeys and a roving band of hippies that had pitched a campsite in a meadow on the edge of the campus.
Also a summer-school class of "Nude Swimming" was being held in the pond.
I was also told during dinner in the cafeteria to be careful cause one of the punch-bowls was occasionally spiked
There was an air of excitement about the place, fueled primarily by the constant parade of nude people walking about, presumably going
to or from swimming.
We were scheduled to perform second that night, after a rock band from New York. So, early in the evening I walked out to the hippie campsite to see what was going on. Well, there must have been 30 various vehicles made into a circle and
in the middle was a enthusiastic party. Lots of drugs and music, a roaring fire and
many percussionists banging on everything from congas to triangles.
I enjoyed the hospitality and played several tunes on a good set on bongos.
Right at sunset we were treated to a display of fireflies like I had never witnessed before. It was like someone turned on a switch, and there they were.
A band of flickering light about three feet above the ground and about four feet
high. Oh Wow, what a magical sight.
Later, the guys in the band assembled and pepped up by the wild events, paraded over to the auditorium playing
"Iko Iko Inay".
Let me describe this auditorium. It was built to take advantage of a hill. The top of the hill was furthest from the stage and the stage was raised about six feet from the front row seats. So, this left quite a drop off at the back of the stage. The importance of this fact will reveal itself shortly.
The rock band was about to get started and we were hanging out backstage. These were the first punky looking guys I had ever seen and they all sported
"shag" haircuts and sneers on their faces. I guess they were going for belligerent
and accomplished it.
Their first song was roundly and loudly booed and the whole audience was screaming for them to turn down the volume. This only pissed off the band and
so they played even louder.
Then the wildest thing happened. A bunch of tough-looking biker-type guys rushed the stage and proceeded to unplug the amps.
The band protested and the melee escalated to the
point where the whole rock band, amps and all, were tossed off the back-stage loading dock into the muddy area behind the auditorium. I couldn't believe it.
It had been raining steadily for a week and it was a quagmire back there.
I didn't see if any of those fellows were seriously hurt caused we were being told,
as they were falling, to get our asses out there a play some music!
We started setting up right away and as soon as I got my keyboard bass hooked up a guy walked up and pressed a few keys. Since nobody was playing those things back then, I went into my usual explanation about the instrument, thinking he was either a member of the press or a musician.
He was neither.
What he was, was crazy. I couldn't get him to leave my bass alone and finally had to get one of the stage hands to remove him.
We were naturally nervous about the show, especially after what had happened to the last band. But, after a couple of songs which were well received I felt better.
That is until the "bass fetish" guy showed up again.
He came up to me in the middle of a song and, once again began playing the bass. This time I lost my temper and shoved him to the ground. The audience
immediately booed at the violence, and I thought I was headed for the mud pit.
Instead, I found out they were booing him for interfering, and two stagehands
picked him up a tossed him off the back of the stage into the mud.
I thought that would settle it.
But, about ten minutes later, he came crawling out on the stage, covered with mud and made straight for the bass, again!
This time the stage hands hauled him back stage, gagged him, tied him up and hung him from the rafters. He was wiggling and fighting, but he couldn't get down.
And, there he stayed until we finished our set.
I packed up quickly and got the hell out of there, so I don't know how he fared after that.
Dead tired and craving sleep
I went to the dormitory room assigned to me, only to find two guys having sex in my bed. When I told them this was supposed to be my room, one of the guys said it was his room and had given it up since he had planned to go home for the weekend. He went on to say, "Well, I changed my plans when I met this sweet thing", throwing an air kiss to his lover.
I asked him what was I supposed to do without a place to sleep.
He said, "You're one of the "Night Trippers" aren't you? Just trip around all night and come back in the morning when we get up."
I left in a huff and went looking for Mac (Dr. John) to complain about accommodations.
He wasn't in his room, but there was a naked girl asleep in his bed.
I slipped into the sack with her(she never did wake up), and when I awoke she was gone.
We left that afternoon for New York , ending the strangest two days I ever spent in my life.
I first went to New York City when I was seventeen years old.
I crossed the bridge from New Jersey and went searching for the subway that would take me to Times Square and to the music I loved.
I needed to get directions to the right subway car and the person I approached for help was a Beatnick looking guy with a goatee and sun glasses.
When I asked him how to get to Times Square he replied with a phrase that still gives me goose bumps.
The first words a New Yorker ever spoke to me were,
"Man, take the "A" train".
When in New York playing at "The Stork Club", I lived on 51st street between Broadway and 6th ave. This was very close to the club that was a mecca for
jazz lovers, "Birdland". I got to see scores of great players, as we went there almost every night after work.
I liked to go outside the club when the band took a break and eavesdrop on the musicians' conversations. I'd get as close as I
could without being obvious.
Two events really impressed me.
The first was when the midget who was the M.C. at Birdland tried
to get Dizzy Gillespie's band back into the club from their extended break.
He walked up to Dizzy and said, "Goddamn it Dizzy, you guys are fifteen minutes late for the next set."
Dizzy countered with, "Aw, shut up you 'lil "half a motherfucker";
we'll come back when were good and ready." Way to go, Diz.
The next one was a conversation I overheard between a bass player,
(who shall remain nameless ... he might have been married) and a hooker.
He was leaning against a lamp post having a smoke when he spotted the foxy-looking girl. "Hey baby", he said, "You want to go
"Maybe", she replied, you got a car?"
"Yeah, I got one, but it's painted yellow".
She laughed and said, "Cool, baby". Then she walked over and gave him a hug.
This got my eighteen year old self wondering what difference it could possibly make to a hooker if a john's car was painted yellow.
It all came together when the bass player hailed them a cab and took off into the night! Too hip for words.
This page and all it's contents are Copyright © 1996 by Leo O'Neil, Crosby, Texas -- U.S.A.