Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Dust for Life

Dust for Life was a post-grunge band from Memphis, Tennessee formed in 1999.

Formation and initial success

After the dissolution of the Memphis grunge band Bacchanal, Jason Hughes recruited three members from the local Memphis rock band Spaceman to form DFL.[1] Chris Gavin of the band Burning Blue was added and became the second main songwriter of the group.[2]

In late 1999, DFL self-released a nine-track eponymous album.[3] Then in April 2000, DFL recorded four songs (“Step into the Light”, “Dirt into Dust”, “Dragonfly”, and “Where the Freaks Go”) at Ardent Studios. This demo was overnighted to Jeff Hanson, manager of the band Creed, and they were subsequently signed to Wind-Up Records.

In October 2000, DFL released a second eponymous album containing all new songs with the exception of two re-recorded songs from their 1999 album. The album reached No. 26 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Two singles from the album also charted. In 2001, drummer Rick Shelton left DFL to join Course of Nature.[4]

Touring and money troubles

For much of 2001, DFL toured with Creed, 3 Doors DownThe CultTantricDisturbedOrgyCold and Saliva.

In May 2001, DFL discovered its publishing money had been spent frivolously by their management and subsequently released the company. In July, they parted ways with Wind-Up Records due to contractual elements not being honored.[5] At the end of the year, Jason Hughes also released an album with the band Third Harmonic Distortion.[6] In early 2002, DFL embarked upon a headlining national tour with Tantric.[5] The song “Poison” was used in the movie Dragonball Z Cooler’s Revenge.

Separate ways and reformation

After taking a break, the band’s two primary songwriters (Hughes and Gavin) began work on the band’s next release in July 2003.[7] Later that year, DFL self-released an eight-song EP titled Degrees of Black.

Eventually DFL went on an indefinite hiatus. Chris Gavin formed the band Memphis Sound. Vocalist Jason Hughes formed the band Dark Things with Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett in late 2006 with the intention of releasing an album on Warner Bros. Records.[8] Yet the project never came to fruition. Instead, Hughes and Gavin announced on their MySpace blog in 2007 that DFL was to begin recording new material.[9] In April 2008, the band released The Consequence Of Vanishing.[10] Scott Bartlett was featured on the album.[11] Hughes announced a line of clothing based on the title of the song “Dark Things Betray”.[12] The song “Release The Flood” was used by TNA Wrestling as the theme song for Slammiversary (2008).[13]

Another indefinite hiatus

In 2009, Jason Hughes released an album with the band Driving Eternity.[14] The band later changed its name to Driving Into Eternity and released a 5-song EP in 2010.[15]

Chris Gavin currently plays in the bands Kings Trio, White Noise Theory, and the cover band Hi-Fi Allstars.[16][17] In 2009, White Noise Theory released his first full-length album, Self Titled. The album consists of some tracks from the Degrees Of Black album. In April 2011, White Noise Theory released Dust, a collection of re-recorded DFL songs. In 2011, he released his third album Soul Of The Machine. All albums were released digitally.

DFL is presumably on another indefinite hiatus as their current projects list them as former members of DFL and dustforlifemusic.com is inactive.

 

So sad… I loved this band.

 

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Tales of Rock – Fountains Of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger Dies At 52 After Contracting COVID-19

“Oh god, no…”

Adam Schlesinger, one of the most prolific and decorated songwriters of his generation, died Wednesday from complications caused by COVID-19. He was 52.

His death was confirmed to NPR by his lawyer, Josh Grier.

With former songwriting partner Chris Collingwood, Schlesinger enjoyed his greatest commercial success as a musician with Fountains of Wayne, which released five studio albums between 1996 and 2011. In 2003, “Stacy’s Mom” was a hit for the band; that song later helped Fountains of Wayne land a pair of Grammy nominations. But Schlesinger also kept busy outside Fountains of Wayne, even during its commercial peak: He played in Ivy (whose six albums came out more or less concurrently with Fountains’ output), Tinted Windows (a short-lived power-pop project with Taylor Hanson of Hanson, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick and James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins) and the synth-pop group Fever High. He also produced albums for many other artists.

Schlesinger’s career extended well beyond his work in bands. He had a hand in many of the songs that populated the critically beloved TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and he won three Emmys — one for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and two, both with David Javerbaum, for co-writing songs performed in Tony Awards telecasts. With Javerbaum, Schlesinger was nominated for two Tonys (both for 2008’s Cry-Baby) and won a Grammy for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!.

A versatile songwriter with a gift for straddling genres and musical eras, Schlesinger wrote frequently for film, with credits ranging from three songs in the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics to the Oscar-nominated title track to Tom Hanks’ 1996 film That Thing You Do!.

Tributes began appearing on Twitter as news of Schlesinger’s death circulated. Javerbaum described Schlesinger as “a brilliant songwriter, musician, collaborator and friend,” adding, “You enriched millions of lives with your boundless creativity, none more than mine.”

David Javerbaum

@davidjaverbaum

Adam, you were a brilliant songwriter, musician, collaborator and friend.

Gorgeous melodies spun out of you like silk through a loom.

You enriched millions of lives with your boundless creativity, none more than mine.

Thank you Adam.

I love you.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/arts/music/adam-schlesinger-dead-coronavirus.html 

Adam Schlesinger performing in 2010 in Manhattan.

Adam Schlesinger, Songwriter for Rock, Film and the Stage, Dies at 52

He made suburban characters shine in Fountains of Wayne songs and brought pop-rock perfection to the Tom Hanks film “That Thing You Do!”

nytimes.com

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Tales of Rock: ‘DESTROYED BY DRUGS’: Elton John says Michael Jackson was a ‘walking drug addict’

Elton John believes drug addiction made Michael Jackson’s later years hell.

In his new memoir Me: Elton John, the I’m Still Standing singer opens up about his relationship with the late King of Pop, who he had known “since he was 13 (or) 14 years old”, admitting he became concerned for him in adulthood due to his bizarre behaviour.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight at a special orchestral screening of the musical biopic Rocketman with the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday, Elton claimed the star became a “walking drug addict” in his later years before his death, aged just 50, from an overdose of sedatives in 2009.

“What happened to him was such a tragedy, with the drugs and I don’t think he had a particularly happy life leading up to his big success,” the Tiny Dancer star, 72, said. “I think success is hard to deal with and I think Michael found it hard and became isolated.

“It was awkward to be around him. It was tragic to be around him,” he continues. “This was someone who was one of the most talented people to come on Earth, and it was so sad to see him destroyed by the drugs … He was a walking drug addict and was on everything possible.”

Elton, who has his own well-documented history with drug addiction, added it’s “upsetting when you see someone that you care about (suffering) and you can’t do anything about it.”

The rocker’s memoir, Me, is out now.

 

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Tales of Rock – The 6 Most (Certifiably) Insane Tales of Rock Star Behavior

We expect our rock stars to be a little crazy. Sex, drugs and trashed hotel rooms are all part of the rocking package.

But even in the crazy-ass world these artists live in, sometimes there’s an incident that makes everybody stop and say, “Dude.”

For instance…

Prince Assaults Sinead O’Connor … For Cursing

 

In the early 90s, Sinead O’Connor scored a massive hit with her cover of the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares To You.” Sorry, that should probably read “Nothing Compares 2 U.” We are talking about Prince after all. At any rate, according to O’Connor, His Purpleness was less than thrilled with her decision to cover the song since he was already planning to give it to a female protege of his, perhaps in exchange for a series of unthinkable sex acts.

When he met with Sinead to discuss the situation, things got a bit out of hand. And by “out of hand” we mean “they got in a goddamned fistfight.”

It started with Prince berating the shorn-locked singer for, of all things, cursing in interviews. She replied with a diplomatic and sympathetic “go fuck yourself.” At that point, O’Connor claims Prince became physically threatening, or at least to the extent Prince can physically threaten anyone.

At that point the two went at it, in what was probably the most effeminate fistfight of all time. Prince used his fists, O’Connor used loogies. “All I could do was spit. I spat on him quite a bit,” she said. Classy! Not that beating women is any classier, but seriously, how would you feel if you were robbed of the chance to pass one of your most enduring tunes onto one of your talented proteges? Imagine the possibilities!

Oh, shit!

Ozzy Osbourne Impresses Record Execs… By Biting the Head Off a Dove

 

That Ozzy Osbourne once bit the head off a bat is old news. To the credit of his sanity, he apparently didn’t know it was a real bat. Plus, he was in Des Moines, Iowa at the time. When you’re spending an evening in a place like Iowa, you find your fun however you can.

A slightly less famous incident happened at CBS Records’ Los Angeles office shortly after Ozzy left Black Sabbath to embark on a solo career. Sensing that CBS was not overly interested in her husband or his music, Sharon Osbourne decided it would be a good idea for Ozzy to show up at a meeting with CBS executives with a couple of live doves in pockets. The idea was that he would release them into the air when he walked in. And who wouldn’t be impressed by having a couple of albino birds hurled into the air at their place of employment?

But Ozzy, ever the showman, decided that instead of releasing the doves, he would take one out of his pocket and delightfully bite its head off as CBS employees looked on in horror. According to an eyewitness, the reaction was an understandably stunned silence followed by Ozzy being hastily removed from the room, presumably while little spurts of blood shot from the bird’s ragged neck stump.

This is the kind of story that, over the years, becomes so shrouded in legend that people start to question whether it is even true, us included. But, admittedly, this picture of Ozzy Osbourne biting off the head of a dove while shocked record execs look on is pretty damning evidence.

Carlos Santana Gives All Glory to… Metatron?

 

It’s not unusual these days for an artist to score a huge album and, in later interviews, give all the credit for their success to God. Ok, it’s not unusual for rappers and R&B singers at least. But in a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone, Carlos Santana awesomely took things a step further.

Those skeptics among us would be tempted to credit the success of the album largely to the fact that it consisted mostly of Carlos playing guitar on songs that, otherwise, didn’t resemble Santana songs in the least. But when asked about the inspiration for his comeback album Supernatural (of course) Carlos credited a mystical spirit named Metatron.

In Carlos’ own words:

“I know it sounds New Age… but in my meditation, this entity – which is called Metatron – he said, ‘we want to hook you back to the radio airwave frequency. We want you to reach junior high schools, high schools and universities. Once you reach them – because we are going to connect you with the best artists of the day, then we want you to present them a new menu. Let them know that they are themselves, multidimensional spirits with enormous possibilities and opportunities. We want you to present them with a new form of existence that transcends religion, politics or the modus operandi of education today'”

Alrighty then!

He also went on to say, “Metatron is the architect of physical life. Because of him, we can French-kiss, we can hug, we can get a hot dog, wiggle our toe.” Well, we do certainly dig hot dogs. And we like a god who may possibly be a Transformer. Then again … Metatron claimed the album would feature “the best artists of the day.” This would be an album that featured both Rob Thomas and Everlast.

We’d have to say we’re non-believers, Santana.

Serge Gainsbourg Sings About Incest… With His Daughter

 

Legendary (to French people) pop singer Serge Gainsbourg was never any stranger to odd behavio(u)r. But the line between strange and crazy is a fine one. Take, for example, the time he appeared with Whitney Houston on what amounted to the European version of The View and said, and we quote, “I want to fuck you.” Strange? Sure. Crazy? No, it was 1985, who didn’t want to nail Whitney Houston in 1985?

No, the Whitney incident was downright boring compared to Gainsbourg’s single “Lemon Incest.” There is nothing inherently strange about singing about incest, we suppose. Aerosmith had a huge hit that was about incest (“Janie’s Got A Gun”). But it’s not like anyone thought any differently about Steven Tyler because of the song.

OK, bad example

But to sing about incest with Joe Perry on lead guitar is one thing. To sing about it with your daughter on co-lead vocals, that’s some whole other shit altogether.

And that’s exactly what Gainsbourg did on “Lemon Incest,” a duet with his quite young daughter Charlotte. It’s at this point that our European readers will scold us for being “dumb Americans” who “misunderstood” the song. And hey, that may be. Or maybe Europeans just have hotter kids than we do. Whatever the case, it’s hard to read these lyrics without getting a bit of the heebie jeebies:

The love that we will never together,

Is the most beautiful, the most violent, the purest, the most intoxicating,

Exquisite outline, delicious child, my flesh and my blood,

Oh my baby my soul,

Incest lemon, lemon incest

But surely, seeing the video for the song will dispel any misunderstandings about the meaning of the song, right? What father doesn’t croon about incest over sleazy electronic music while laying shirtless in bed with his kid? In a perfect world, fucking all of them.

Whitney Houston Gets the Christmas Spirit… By Joining a Cult

 

Speaking of Whitney …

It takes a lot to out-crazy Bobby Brown. But time and again, Whitney rises to the occasion. In a stunt that Bobby couldn’t dream up in a hundred crack-filled years, Houston traveled to Israel in 2003 to spend time with a cult group known as the Black Hebrews. Her reasoning for the trip? To find inspiration for her upcoming Christmas album.

Hanging out with Jews to get inspired for Christmas? Hey, why the hell not? But the group, on the surface just a run-of-the-mill religious group, is purported by some to be more like a cult. Given their unorthodox policies of polygamy (men are allowed seven wives) and, much more ominously, strict vegetarianism, it’s not much of a stretch.

“Crack is vegetarian, right?”

According to some former members, the group believes so heavily in discipline that, not only have children died while being beaten by their parents, but adults are also beaten for failing to abide by the laws of the group’s settlement. Adults who have fallen ill due to the strict diet imposed on them have refused medical attention due to their refusal to visit “heathen doctors” in Europe and American.

Needless to say, Houston was sold. By the time she left, Whitney was referring to Israel as “my land.” And Bobby was probably on the hunt for six more wives. What a bunch of lucky ladies!

Phil Spector Kidnaps The Ramones

 

Legendary producer and songwriter Phil Spector is one of those guys who is batshit insane, but you’d never know it from his calm, reassuring exterior.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.

The above photo is what he looked like when he showed up to his trial for murder charges, looking as sane as possible to impress the jury. Anyway, what is so surprising is how successful he managed to become while spewing the crazy on damn near everyone around him.

Like the time he put a loaded gun to Leonard Cohen’s head. Or that one time when he fired a shot in the studio while he was working with John Lennon. Or all of the other times he allegedly pulled guns on the artists he worked with. But if one incident takes the cake over all of them, it would be the time when Phil allegedly held The Ramones at gunpoint, while working on their End of the Century album.

According to bassist Dee Dee Ramone, while in the studio Phil pulled Joey Ramone away for a private meeting. Dee Dee went off in search of the pair, at which point he says Spector emerged at the top of a staircase, waving a pistol around.

After Dee Dee objected to, you know, having a gun pulled on him and shit, he told Phil he was leaving. That he did this instead of, say, diving behind a piece of furniture while screaming, indicates that the sight of Spector with a gun wasn’t all that uncommon.

At that point, Spector allegedly pointed the gun at Dee Dee’s chest and motioned for the rest of the band to return to the piano room. Then, with the band captive in the locked room, he sat at a piano and made the band listen to him sing “Baby, I Love You.”

Repeatedly.

Until 4:30 in the morning.

But on the bright side, at least nobody got shot in the face!

 

 

Tales of Rock – David Bowie Banged Slash’s Mom

Slash’s mom is hot!

Of all the possible reasons for musician rivalries, David Bowie and Slash might have a unique one. It’s not that Slash ever called Bowie a has-been, or that Bowie accused Slash of ripping off one his lesser-known alter egos (The Sunglass Wizard). All Bowie did was have tons of sex with Slash’s mom when he was a kid.

During the making of The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie — vagabond and satanic sperm incubator — began a passionate affair with his costume designer. The lady in question was Ola Hudson, a world-famous designer responsible for the looks of other rock luminaries like Ringo Starr and John Lennon. She’s also the mother of some guy named Saul Hudson, although we know him better by the punctuation sign he now goes by.

During an interview in 2012, Slash finally admitted that he absolutely despised Bowie for being his mom’s boyfriend. And while their relationship was very mysterious to the press, Slash saw it all. The Duke was all up in their domestic life, including tucking the future hellraiser into bed like he was his eyepatch-wearing stepdad from space. Slash even saw Bowie’s Major Tom when he walked in on them during, um, naked wrestling. The guitarist does admit that he always thought Bowie was cool, just not in the “it’s cool to bang my mom” kinda way. Admittedly, that was probably a package deal if you wanted to be friends with David Bowie.

Although the whirlwind romance only lasted three years, Ola remained close with Bowie, even asking him to sit down with Slash and give him advice on overcoming his drug addiction early in his career. We’re not sure how that conversation started, but it probably ended with some door-slamming and Slash yelling, “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my real dad!”

 

 

Tales of Rock: The Quiet One review – controversial and evasive Bill Wyman documentary

An underdeveloped look at the life of the former Rolling Stone has led to outrage over its portrayal of an alleged sexual predator

It should probably surprise no one that a new documentary about “the quiet” Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman, has kicked up a controversy over what it doesn’t say rather than what it does. Last month, a planned showing of the Oliver Murray-directed film The Quiet One at the Sheffield Doc/Fest drew outrage, and was cancelled, due to what was seen as its insufficient probing of Wyman’s 1989 marriage to Mandy Smith, who was 18 at the time, but whom he began allegedly grooming when she was five years younger than that. (At that time, he was 47). Back then, the story raised some eyebrows in the US, and inspired reams of harrumphing coverage in the British tabloids, but not quite the censorious outrage it might have received today.

In fact, the documentary, which is being shown as part of this year’s Tribeca film festival, does allude to part of the controversy. Fleetingly, Wyman defends his relationship with Smith by saying “it was from the heart. It wasn’t lust, which people were seeing it as.” Notably, he does not talk about how old she was when they first had sex. Of the marriage – which resulted in a separation three years later, and a divorce two years after that – he says, “I was really stupid to ever think it could possibly work. She was too young. I felt she had to go out and see life for a bit.”

In Wyman’s 1991 autobiography, A Stone Alone, he was more forthcoming. “She was a woman at 13,” he wrote. “Everyone accepted her as an adult without question.”

The film is even more circumspect about the most improbable aspect of this story. There’s no mention that, in 1993 – the same year Wyman divorced Smith – his 30-year-old son Stephen married Smith’s mother, who was then 46. (That couple split two years later.)

Such oversights demonstrate the depth of the director’s deference to his subject. But, in return, it would have been nice if he got meatier, or rarer, material from Wyman regarding what the film’s potential audience cares about most – the story of the Stones. Other than one extraordinary scene at the movie’s end, and a few choice bits along the way, The Quiet One skims the surface of the band’s history, alighting mainly on the dramatic highlights – the early riots the band inspired, their contrary image in the press, the 60s drug bust, Altamont. There’s real reason to have expected more fresh material given Wyman’s well-known role as the Stones’ most dedicated, and informed, archivist. He has filmed, saved or collected more about the band than anyone else on Earth. The film positions this fact as a central part of Wyman’s character and even features many scenes of him in his archive where, puzzlingly, he’s shot from behind and in voiceover rather than while speaking directly to the camera.

Perhaps that set-up is meant to underscore the enigmatic nature of his character, something the film provides ample evidence of. Newspaper clippings amplify his reputation as “stone face” based on his affect, which is so deadpan, it could make a corpse look like the life of the party. Wyman also tends to stand stick-stiff on-stage, holding his bass like a soldier with his weapon at rest. In terms of his instrument, there’s a brief allusion to how Wyman wound up inadvertently creating the world’s first fretless bass, an important enough innovation to have merited more discussion.

There is, however, some nice testimony about his unfussy, but highly effective, approach to the bass from informed observers like Eric Clapton and the producer Glyn Johns. He modeled his work on that of Donald “Duck” Dunn of Booker T and the MGs. Clapton calls Wyman’s bass lines “fantastic, unique. It was so precise and so contained. It was just right,” he says.

“Leave space, don’t fill it up,” Wyman says of his approach. “You’re not a fucking lead guitarist. Focus on the drums, so you’ve got a solid foundation that everyone can draw upon.”

The film features some telling quotes from the star about his frightening childhood in the 1940s, when German bombs rained down on his London neighborhood, killing classmates. There’s also important stuff about his relationship with his family. His parents had a “children should be seen and not heard” approach to rearing. Wyman says his father hated his son’s ambition to rise above the family’s poor status, viewing it as a betrayal. Though Wyman says he later forgave his father, scars seem to remain. There’s choice footage, too, of the early days of the band, though, like his childhood years, it’s sometimes padded with stock footage or, when all else fails, animation. As they progressed, Wyman stood apart from the other Stones through his lack of interest in drugs. Instead, he admits, he “probably had an addiction to sex”.

That addiction merits about two sentences in the film. In Stone Alone, the bassist was more effusive on the subject, while also tipping off his talent for chronicling. “I fared much better than the others in the girl department,” he wrote. “In 1965, we sat down one evening in a hotel and worked that out. Since the band had started two years earlier, I’d had 278 girls, Brian (Jones) 130, Mick (Jagger) about thirty, Keith (Richards) six, and Charlie (Watts) none.”

More detail of this sort would have been a useful addition for the film. Many of the subject’s observations are bland. He describes the Stone’s historic concert in Hyde Park, directly after the death of Brian Jones, simply as “extraordinary”.

He’s more colorful about the Stones’ time as tax exiles living in France, where he met James Baldwin, who introduced him to the music of Ray Charles, who became his idol. There’s also rare footage of Wyman creating his hilarious, new wave novelty, solo hit in 1981, Je Suis Un Rock Star, as well as of his heady time backing Howlin’ Wolf, along with Clapton and Charlie Watts.

Of his dramatic decision to leave the Stones, after the 1990 Steel Wheels tour, he says, “I loved what we achieved. But I needed to sort out my personal life – and my future.”

Observers say he has used his time well since then, becoming more appreciative of life and more connected to others. That’s evidenced by a seemingly strong relationship with his third wife, Suzanne Acosta, whom he married in 1993 and with whom he has three children. In the last part of the film, Acosta appears with him in the only scene where he speaks directly to the camera. What follows is as beautifully honest as much of the rest is vague. Wyman tells a story about meeting Ray Charles with such passion, he has to halt several times to keep the tears from flowing. What he finally describes of that meeting offers the first true insight into the hurt, and insecurity, that lies behind the cool front he put up with the Stones and in much of the film. Still, it’s left to his current wife to provide insight into his seminal need for collecting. That desire, she says, reflects a “need to relive his life and find out who he was”.

From the evidence here, it seems that need remains unfulfilled. “It’s bizarre,” Wyman says at the end of the film. “It’s a bizarre life I’ve had.”

  • The Quiet One is showing on Hulu right now.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Party in the Front

Me on the left. (F# Major)

This was early ’80s, in L.A. We were a five piece rock/pop group, and I played guitar. The bar was rather large, with guest/band rooms upstairs and a “special event” room behind the main bar. There’d be comedians, male & female “dancers” and such back there. This particular week the bar had female dancers in that room. We were playing our regular, routine show on a pretty dead Wednesday night. Big difference that night was most if not all the girls from that back room were sitting there watching us. Nothing better to do, I guess. I could always pull talent from that willing pool of women.

Like a lot of bars, this one also held drawings for various door prizes. This night was no different.

We’d played a couple sets, and our singer (Later left the band. Too much into nose candy) announced that anybody holding a ticket should get ready for the drawing. He’s standing there, holding the glass jar with the tickets in one hand, and his mic in the other, when the bass player, Frank nonchalantly walked behind him. Frank suddenly turned, grabbed the singer’s spandex pants and yanked them down to his knees. No undies. The singer, standing there with his junk hanging out, looked down, slowly turned, and kind of shuffled off stage, behind the mains, where he put down the glass jar and his mic, then pulled his pants back up. The girls out front were dying. Indeed, the entire room was laughing so hard even the bartender had tears in his eyes.

The singer came back on stage with his mic, and said “okay, that was different…” He looked at Frank, the bass player and told him “…I’ll kill you later…” and we proceeded to finish the set, and the rest of the night. The singer was a really funny guy (I say “was” because he’s dead now) and an incredibly good sport. Interestingly, he slept with most of those girls as a direct, or indirect, result of that “incident”. (Well done, sir!)

This one’s for you, buddy. 40 years on, and we still talk about, laugh at, and miss you.

 

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