All the time I was there, I couldn’t keep my eyes of this gorgeous white highly enameled Yamaha baby grand piano, which at the time, must have been worth at least forty thousand dollars. I couldn’t resist its beckoning to me to play it. The memory of this instrument struck a chord within me that I couldn’t fathom at that moment.
The action was superb and the sound extraordinarily even. After playing a few numbers, which were favorably received, Joan started talking about how she managed to “buy” the piano and all the rattan furniture on the outside deck for only four thousand dollars. She giggled at our shock of such a low price. She then continued, “My lawyer said that we could have gotten it for even less, but I was not about to negotiate with the man selling, who had just lost his son and was crying.
It was at that moment, that I felt as if an ice-cold knife had gone through me. In a gasp, all I could do was suck in air and point, uttering the name “Jobriath.”
I had vaguely heard some gossip that he had been performing in the restaurant called Covent Gardens as the house pianist, but had not been aware of his death that summer of ‘83. He had died of AIDS. It was now the fall of that same year. I knew he had lived in the Chelsea, but I hadn’t put it all together. As Joan went on with her story, “It was ghastly, really. They found his body four days after his passing as a result of the smell.” I was in complete shock, as I flashed back to our beginnings...
While Jim Gregory and Gregg Diamond were both in Five Dollar Shoes, they used to get their hair cut at a salon of a mutual friend named Steve Knee. Ironically, my father had worked with his singer-father Bernie Knee. While in the salon, Steve had apparently shown Jobriath’s first album to both Jim and Gregg and told them that there was a search on for personnel to perform on NBC’s The Midnight Special, Steve Love, formally from the band Stories, as well as Billy Schwartz, both guitarists who were on the first two Jobriath albums, were already committed to the project.
Jim and Gregg had then successfully presented themselves to the powers that be, and were asked to join the band. Weeks went by, but a keyboard player who could handle the material, was not presenting itself.
Jobriath, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne Campbell, a.k.a. Bruce Boone, a.k.a. Jobriath Salsbury, a.k.a. Cole Berlin, a.k.a. Bryce Campbell, was apparently considered somewhat of a child prodigy at the piano. He was even shown to the Philadelphia Orchestra’s conductor Eugene Ormandy. Much of the material, though rock ‘n’ roll, had strong classical under- pinning and required someone with the necessary technique.
I remember being in Jim’s apartment. With the T.V. show only two weeks away, he finally recommended me for the spot, against Gregg Diamond’s protests. An audition was arranged.
I drove down to Lambertville, New Jersey, thirty miles from Princeton, where the band was housed to rehearse. Lambertville was a quiet, yet screaming gay community across the Delaware River from New Hope, Pennsylvania. Equipped with only my Clavinet D6 and Twin Reverb amplifier, I arrived decked out in my leather, with hair ten inches below my shoulders.
Chuck, a.k.a. Charles McNeal, with his overly-animated minty speech, answered the door. It was quite obvious that he was not your typical all American boy. Marlow B. West, a.k.a. Obie, ran to the door, to see for himself, who had arrived. The world I had just entered was anything but normal—I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
Music was booming at an extreme volume as I was ushered into the house’s very large living room, which was set up as a performing area facing a wall of Mylar mirrors. Expecting some kind of reception from at least Jim, my friend of now almost four years, all I got was posing and the arrogance of indifference. It seems the warmest overtures to me were from Chuck and Obie.
I set up my gear and looked across the stage at Steve Love who gave me a contrite nod hello. It was obvious that I was to just sit in and play the material. Thank God, I have good ears. The tune that was playing was Earthling. Needless to say, I was nervous but managed to pick it up rather quickly, which seemed to impress Steve. Gregg was just doing his superstar pose and Jim seemed afraid to show any favoritism in fear of losing his own position if things went badly.
Hear the song Earthling.
No sooner than I had managed to grasp the entire song, Jobriath burst onto the scene. Like Gloria Swanson, he sashayed over to me and cooed, “You play simply divine,” and then trotted down center stage of us, where he proceeded in peeling off his pants, while posing in front of the mirrors, down to his transparent white tights and dance belt. Bending to show off his best feature to me, he then snapped straight up, grabbed the microphone and started to sing.
Apparently, that was it, I passed the audition. We played for another hour trying out different tunes and then took a break. It was then that Jim came over and congratulated me. Steve seemed pleased and Gregg benignly nodded his approval. Jobriath then flitted out of the place as quickly as he had flitted in. It was apparent that Steve was acting somewhat as the boss in his absence. So, it was arranged for me to get the rest of my equipment and start learning the show. Not knowing what Jobriath would ultimately choose to perform for television, I was left the daunting task of learning and memorizing the entire anthology in ten days, without music.
I returned that evening to New York and began packing any personal effects I might need as well as my Mini-Moog synthesizer and electronic “toys.” I then went to my parent‘s home in Great Neck to retrieve my Hammond B3 and Acoustic 360 amplifier, where I had them stored.
Returning to Lambertville, I immediately set up all my keyboards thusly establishing my permanent stage left position. Rehearsing was to prove a rather interesting catharsis. The material was quite evocative and well thought out. Though the lyrics were about homosexuality, they were rather intelligently constructed, i.e.
(from Scumbag [about a street character])
Hear Jobriath's performance of Scumbag.
... HE USED TO BE A BROADWAY ACTOR
AND ALL THE PRETTY BUTTERFLIES
WOULD FLOCK TO HIS DRESSING ROOM
UNTIL ONE DAY
A MONARCH FLEW THROUGH HIS WINDOW
AND BROKE HIS HEART ...
(from BLOW AWAY, demonstrating his sensitivity while understanding and accepting his sexual choice)
Hear Jobriath's performance of Blow Away.
OH, HOW THE STRINGS RAGE
AND HOW THE HORNS MOAN
THEY PLAY OUT ALL THE TEARS
I’M NOT ALLOWED TO CRY
BUT I HAVE TO CRY
TO STAY ALIVE
TO STAY ALIVE
AND ALL THE PRETTY BOYS
LAY IN THE PASSAGE OF EVERY SONG
THAT ETCHED ITS WAY
FROM OUT MY BLEEDING HEART
BUT I HAVE TO BLEED
TO BE FREE
TO BE FREE
BLOW, BLOW, BLOW AWAY
BLOW, BLOW, BLOW AWAY
BLOW, BLOW, BLOW AWAY
BLOW, BLOW, BLOW AWAY
IT’S VERY GAY
TO BLOW AWAY
(from HEARTBEAT, again, with his extended compassion to others like himself, and its beautiful melody)
YOU’RE A VOICE ON THE STREET
YOU’RE THE FACES THAT I MEET
ALL DAY MY LIFE IS KEEPING TIME WITH YOUR HEARTBEAT
TIME WITH YOUR HEARTBEAT
IT’S NO USE TO RUN AND HIDE
YOU’D BE RUNNIN’, RUNNIN’, RUNNIN’ BY MY SIDE
ALL DAY MY LIFE IS KEEPING TIME WITH YOUR HEARTBEAT
TIME WITH YOUR HEARTBEAT
To hear the song Heartbeat, click on this link.
(from MOVIE QUEEN, with its self-effacing humor)
Hear the song Movie Queen.
I’VE ALWAYS WANTED A MOVIE QUEEN TO CALL MY VERY OWN
AND HERE I AM
SO SORRY I’M WITH YOU TONIGHT
(from SISTER SUE, where he dishes someone he knows)
ANALYSTS CREPT ON SISTER SUE
AND FOUND HER IN THE BACK
AND LAVERN IN CLEVELAND NEVER KNEW
HER SON COULD BE A DRAG
BUT WHEN THE BATHROOM DOOR WAS SHUT
LAVERN WAS JARRING APRICOTS
(from STREET CORNER LOVE, where he not only exclaims the receptiveness of his sexuality, but possibly the vision of his own early end)
Hear Jobriath perform Street Corner Love.
... SAY YOU KNOW
JUST THE FOOD MY BODY NEEDS
TO KEEP IT STRONG AND HEALTHY
NOW I’M FULL OF SEEDS ...
... THINK I’LL MAKE IT BACK TO SELMER AVENUE
I WONT BE PROUD
BUT I WONT GO HUNGRY
I WONT HAVE SHELTER
BUT I WONT GET COLD
I WONT HAVE YOU
BUT I WONT GROW OLD GRACEFULLY...
The tidal uproar against Jobriath, that I would all too soon become aware of, demonstrated the critics’ condescending snickering. They not only refused to recognize the intelligence and craft of the music, lyrics, as well as the obvious self-effacing humor, but were responding as they did because of another agenda.
If you recall how so many self-professed “rock ‘n’ roll purists” dismissed the Beatles’ SERGEANT PEPPER album, which is arguably their masterpiece, one can only imagine the flood of extreme hostility which came from this very same camp, with their, unfulfilled expectations, after all the hype of Jerry Brandt. But frankly, it was mostly homophobic. In my opinion, the nay-sayers were in total denial about Jobriath’s obvious gift.
The house environment was an anthropological find for anyone who would be doing doctoral theses on the panoply of sexual possibilities. The band was straight…well, I don’t know what Gregg Diamond was. Some days he was so effeminate and on others, just a posing rock star. He shared his room with Jim Gregory. Steve Love shared his room with David, whom I would define as a “California Homosexual, equipped with three piece tweed suit and bow tie, short hair and a persistent inclination to eavesdrop on everyone else’s use of the telephone. He simply went by his last name, Hargrove.
Charles McNeal, who liked to be called “Chuck,” was a transvestite with platinum quarter-inch long hair. But it was his manner that would determine what one would call a “screamer.” His nose had been broken in an assault to his person while in full drag a year before. He didn’t have the money to fix the damage. During his lounging around, he would almost invariably be on his stomach, with his knees out to their respective sides, so to stretch his tendons making him an easier entry for anal sex. This ritual often drew witticisms from his fellow dancers, as well as the nickname, “Quimba.”
Marlow B. West, with the most magnificent purple hair, was simply a fag, a little boy in an effeminate grown-up male body, who preferred to be called Obie. He referred to most of the population as “eh-ohs,” an enunciated contraction of “ass holes.” It got to be so funny with him, that even in extreme crowds, all he’d have to utter was, “Eh!,” and I knew where to find him. He actually proved himself to be a rather nice person.
Obie, had his own room, but he also had what he called his own little “Hobbit Hole.” During the more boring times in the house, after the incredibly manic preparations for the Midnight Special and the subsequent come down after our return from Los Angeles, he and I would crawl under the stairs through a little doorway where the trunks would be stored. There, with beer in hand, we subsequently talked for hours on end about our perceptions amongst his collection of little dolls. Pointing to one of the ugliest trolls with jet-black hair, “This is Jerry,” Obie laughed out.
There were the usual hangers-on; the parade of fag-hags of various increments of lesbianism, asexuals, bisexuals, trisexuals, who would, frankly, try anything--he-shes, transsexuals, transvestites, speed queens, drag queens, leather queens (the boys so masculine that they needed a man for a woman), dairy queens, Steve Mac Queens...You get the idea.
Jobriath, born Bruce Wayne Campbell, was simply a queen. He had no illusions about changing his male body, or alluding to look like a woman. He was larger than life with his exaggerated gestures and self-importance. He would ultimately prove himself to be capable of incredible cruelty and bitchiness to others. This said, however, he was extremely talented and a voice that was ahead of its time.
Jerry Brandt, his manager, had already over-hyped him to the point that the press was gunning for him and like sharks just waiting for a feeding frenzy. At a time of extreme closeted sexuality, Jobriath announced himself as the “True Fairy of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” This was to have such negative consequences as to prevent us from performing in certain cities, like Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati, because the demographic of the population was so homophobic, that the band’s well-being would be at risk.
Later that night after I had brought in and set up my equipment, Jobriath sat me down to discuss “finances.” He said simply, “You got a place to sleep, so you’re off the street. Ya got good food and the expenses are covered.”
I just looked at him. I knew, from Jim, that there was great expectation with the band and important things could happen. This could be the “one break in a million” that everyone hoped would happen.
“I have my own apartment in the city,” I responded. “I don’t live on the street. I do need to pay my rent.”
Now it was Jobriath who just stared at me. The project was important for all involved; everyone knew it. “Well,” Jobriath said, “Talk to Jerry,” and then got up and left. I talked with Jim. Jim was my friend and I trusted his acquired street wisdom. He basically agreed with me that to get a salary would be nice at this time, but in ten days we were going to fly out to Los Angeles to do a T.V. show with a number one Nielson rating. Up to that point, Jim and Greg had come close with a record deal and preliminary tour that failed. I was just knocking around with local bands. Although sharing the bill with many different super stars, I still hadn’t “made it.” Steve had some success as the guitarist of Stories with the single hit, “Louis, Louis, Louis,” but he hadn’t had that really big break out. There’s no question we were hungry!
I did talk with Jerry and very diplomatically stated my financial position. He in turn stated his, saying that hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent and more planned. At the moment I would have to be satisfied with my expenses being covered. So, with all the bedrooms filled, I was put up in the attic on a bunk.
The next day officially began the rehearsal period. Jobriath had us assemble and stand at a dance bar to get a movement class. Gregg comes flying out of his bedroom wearing a green leotard and red tights with a kerchief around his head. I did a double take. Then Joyce Trisler is ushered in by Jobriath and presented to us as our choreographer. Unbeknownst to me at the time, she happened to be one of the highly respected choreographers affiliated with the Joffrey Ballet.
While giving us some regimen to stretch, oblivious to what abilities we as individuals had, or hadn’t, like a drill sergeant, she barks out things for us to do. Well into our blatant futility, she continued, without any specific help to those of us who needed it, while making gay witticisms like, “Oh, my dance belt is killing me.”
I had never stretched like this in my life and my body was feeling it. I looked over to Jim who was struggling just to bend over to touch his knees, let alone touch his feet or, yet, the floor. Steve didn’t seem to be having too much progress either. Jobriath and the other boys proved themselves to be more flexible, especially Chuck, who seemed to relish the opportunity to stretch himself wider.
It rather quickly became clear to me that this woman was there to make a buck and really didn’t care about what she was supposed to be teaching. So I backed off and didn’t push myself for the rest of the class.
Not soon enough, the class was finally over and we started to rehearse. Jobriath would call out a song and Steve would quickly show me the chord changes and off we’d go with me trying to keep my wits about myself and retain as much as I could without causing any train wrecks. It was grueling. We broke for lunch and then resumed, then dinner and resumed again into the late evening.
I was learning the music, figuring out on what instrument to assign which melody line, learning lyrics and my specific part when singing background vocals. It was daunting and by the time the rehearsal concluded, I was exhausted. I secured my equipment, made what additional notes I needed for myself, said good night, walked upstairs to the attic and crashed in my bed.
It’s a good thing that I didn’t push myself in movement class because the next day my knees were extremely swollen and I could hardly walk. I felt like a truck had hit me. My entire body hurt like hell and I looked the part, too, needing to hold the banister to walk down three flights of stairs to the lower level.
After breakfast, rehearsal started again, without the preliminary movement workout, thank God.
Slowly the band got tighter and as I got a better grasp of my role in the music, I would then practice on my own, refining sounds of my solo lines and the quickest way to change settings while in the midst of performing so seeming to not lose a hand to play with. The repetition was to allow me to become so adept at sound changes on the Moog synthesizer, respective reverb units, phase shifters, Clavinet and Hammond, that I could not only reach around to my sides and behind me while playing and singing, but eventually change as many as seventeen different settings and find myself waiting for the band, rather than trying to catch up with them.
I started my own regimen of getting up before everyone else, quietly practicing, desperately trying not only to memorize the music, but the respective equipment settings. As the household began to stir, I gradually raised my volume, almost testing the waters, as it were, on those members of the troop who were slowly drifting into the kitchen to feed themselves. My evolution seemed to have a positive effect. And when Jobriath would inevitably arrive, he seemed to show a greater relaxation and satisfaction with the sound of the band.
This routine continued into the late evening for the next three days and the band sound was really beginning to jell. None of us, with the exception of Jobriath, who’d return to New Hope, Pennsylvania at night, had left the house for five days. We were tired but deeply satisfied with our progress and even beginning to show confidence.
Then Obie shouts out, “Hey! Let’s go to The Prelude,” “Yeah,” everyone else piped in. I thought to myself, “Yeah, it’ll be a welcome change to lift a few beers with the local macho red-necks.”
Full of expectation to relax in a totally different environment, I enter this typically rural bar. It was Mardi Gras Night and the dance floor was packed with boys in various décolletage. Like a Mel Brooks comedy, the adjacent room had a lip sync contest for drag queens, who at best, managed to be three seconds behind the recorded words.
I, in my leather, with long hair, and Jim, in his rock ‘n’ roll statement, with orange bug-eye goggles and purple lamé baseball jacket, worked our way through to the bar and asked for a draft. Leaning against the rail, Jim turns to me and says, “I feel like we’ve just landed.”
So many boys were wearing chaps with nothing else but a dance belt or with exaggerated codpieces. It was Mardi Gras!
I eyed Obie, in a purple Afro wig and see-through matching negligee, pinching various naked asses while walking in the opposite directions so not to give himself away, other than to myself for whom he relished making sure I saw. Passing close by to me, he uttered his identifying, “Eh!”
After the initial shock wore off and the scene started getting stale, out of boredom, we just started dancing with each other. The jukebox was jumpin’ non-stop and it was impossible not to move, let alone dance. And that’s what it was about, wasn’t it? The bottom line is, everyone there was there to express himself. It wasn’t a place to judge, just a place to dance, have fun and be as outrageous as possible.
Strangely enough, that seemed to loosen us up quite a bit. The next evening’s rehearsal, the music dramatically sounded so much smoother and refined. Now, with more confidence and expectation of continued evolution, we found ourselves sitting around afterwards just talking and cutting up. There were a lot of big laughs, and then, out of the blue, Jobriath says to me, “Hayden, what are we going to do with your hair?” Stunned, I responded, “What about my hair?” “Well,” he continued. “You have to do something about it. Look at us. We’re the future,” he said with a sweeping gesture. “You’re living in the past.” “The past?!!” It was then I was to experience my first taste of Jobriath’s cruelty.
“There’s a girl next door who cuts hair. I’ll have her come over and cut yours.” I was speechless. There was nothing I could do but quit the band. Jobriath knew he had me. The next day began as usual but at lunchtime, Jobriath ushers in the girl. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t about to blow a major opportunity for myself either. With the troop watching, she sits me down and goes behind me. The axe was about to fall. I knew it and it was killing me. Jobriath just smugly watched with the rest of the group.
“Wait a second,” I blurted out. Get some newspaper. I want to save my hair.” Hargrove returned and held the paper behind my head and she started pulling my hair together in the back into one hand, and then, with the other, in one clip, cut my hair off just below my ears. She then proceeded in going through the motions of giving me a razor cut, before I realized that she had done the whole thing with a pair of linen shears. I was mortified. She obviously didn’t have a clue. Jobriath didn’t say anything and just got up and left the kitchen.
The rest of the band followed and I was left sitting there, with the newspaper on my lap, looking down at my hair, which I had grown for the last six years. Obie was the only one who stayed behind with me. I could see in his eyes that I had just been butchered. I got up and went to the bathroom to see my new “future” look. I just stood there looking at this plain person of no particular identity or statement. I had just been viscerally castrated.
Folding up the newspaper, as if wrapping an old friend, I went up to my room and put it with my gear, and then returned to my workstation and started practicing. It was strange. It was as if everyone had disappeared out of guilt and upon hearing me playing, slowly returned and joined in until we were, once again, a total ensemble. We played into the late evening. I didn’t hang around this time afterwards. I just went to bed.
The next day, Billy Schwartz shows up in the afternoon to play with us. It was jarring psychologically because the troop was already bonding together and his entrance seemed like a fifth wheel. He ultimately slept on another bunk in the attic with me.
I never liked Billy. He was a pathological liar who always showed false humility and perpetual disingenuousness behind his smile. He was, however, one of the guitarists on the recordings and as such, Jerry thought he needed him in the band and subsequently was secretly being paid a salary.
Billy immediately carried an air of self-importance. I didn’t know him, but I did know that he and Steve were there at the beginning of Jobriath’s recording life, and as such, gave him his space. Between his name-dropping of whom he called “friends,” Billy divulged that he was happily married. I would later find out that his wife took a hatchet to his guitars and chopped them up into pieces and divorced him.
Steve seemed to be somewhat relegated to second guitarist. Now, during the rehearsal Billy would stop to “correct” things as they were played on the recording, when Jobriath had had no problem with the music before.
That night, up in the attic, Billy continued with his name-dropping, and then said, “Listen, I don’t have time to do this, but there is this person named, Pat Ast, who needs a pianist to put an act together for her. Here’s her telephone number. I’ll call her and tell her that I can’t help her but will recommend you.” Not knowing who she was, I figured, what the hell–it might prove worthwhile. I thanked Billy, not knowing what to expect.
Two days later, early morning, the entire troop had to go into New York City to see designer Ray Deffin. It was a fitting for the costumes we were going to wear for the show; Miliskin body stockings, with elliptical mirrors down the sides. They were the remaining costumes, designed by Jobriath, which as yet had not been assembled. Because of the “second skin” tightness of the outfits, very specific measurements of each person had to be made by Ray whose studio would then cut and sew them together.
I drove my orange Volkswagen Super Beetle with Hargrove and Chuck as passengers. With the sunroof opened and Hargrove standing on the seat, I allowed him to experience Park Avenue with the radio blasting. It was a first for him and it was fun to share his elation with something to which I had grown so accustomed.
After the fitting, we went over to 7 West 57th Street, Jerry Brandt’s office, sandwiched between the Bergdorf Goodman and the famous curved number “9” building. The office was on the second floor of a plain yet handsome four-story building, which was dwarfed by the forty-some-odd story landmark.
Jobriath’s music was playing through an excellent Bose sound system at a hefty but reasonable volume. There’s no question that it was “Show Time” and this was Brandt’s world. It was actually rather heady. It was there that I realized that I had met Jerry before. I was on the bandstand with The Salvation Navy, doing a sound check before we performed in his Electric Circus, on Saint Mark’s Place. Flashing back, I recognized the hairstyle, though he had only briefly passed by, walking across the dance floor before us.
Now, sitting in a relatively empty room, behind his white marble on chrome legs table, he asked how the rehearsals were going and what equipment we would ultimately need to do the show. It was really a dialogue between Jobriath and himself, with Steve and Billy occasionally adding and the rest of us knowing our places and saying relatively nothing.
Leaving Jerry’s for the street below, there was no question in my mind. Jim was right. This was IMPORTANT! And, though we weren’t getting salaries, at some point down the road we should be able to force a situation to get paid, assuming that all would go well. We were leaving for Los Angeles in a week, and I, like Jim, had never been there before, let alone had someone pay our way. I was going to travel “light” because it would be cheaper to rent my heavy equipment than to ship it out for the two days that we would be staying to tape the show.
With the day shot and feeling rather up with anticipation, we decided to return to Lambertville late that evening and go straight to bed. But first, I needed to stop at my apartment to check on my Manx, Bailey. I had left him enough dried food to last a month, as well as water. My parents also were to check up on his well-being. Arriving with Chuck and Hargrove, Bailey greeted me with his usual warmth and excited meowing. He still had plenty of water and food, though his litter box needed changing. The boys made themselves at home while I attended to Bailey’s needs, and then we were off to New Jersey.
I was getting up relatively early, as compared with everyone else, so I could go into the living room and quietly practice. The curtains were drawn and the dim light suited my mood. Billy walks in while I’m deep in the middle of concentration. Interrupting, he says, “It’s too dark in here,” and violently pulls open the curtains letting in an explosion of light. Needless to say, my eyes as well as the rest of me weren’t adjusted to this assault. “Jesus Christ, Billy. What did ya do that for?” “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were there.” He then starts to close the curtain. Now, with my eyes adjusted to the morning daylight, the room became too dark. “Billy, keep the curtains opened.” “No, I don’t want to interrupt.” “It’s OK, man. It’s OK.” Within not even a minute, he turns around and leaves the room. If he hadn’t planned to do so, I was truly interrupted and lost the “moment.”
Rehearsal didn’t start right after breakfast. JOBRIATH had stayed over in Manhattan and didn’t arrive until after lunch. He had chosen two songs, I’M A MAN and TAKE ME, I’M YOURS, for the show, with ROCK OF AGES as a back up, and that’s what we focused on for the rest of the day. We were relaxed and ready. We would be leaving for L.A. in four days.
That night after dinner we started to jam without Billy. I introduced two different themes of mine and the band was crushing, playing with me. It was heady. Jobriath, obviously, was impressed enough to vocal improvise other the whole affair.
Afterwards, Billy came up to me and said, “Oh, Hayden. I was so embarrassed. What was that you were playing?” I just looked at him. Going up to the attic to go to sleep, Billy kept on and on how bad it sounded. The next morning, in the kitchen, he started again about the music last night ...
Obie was there and I turned to him. “Man, it must have sounded pretty hot,” turning back to Billy, “Because you’re still carrying on about it.” “Yeah,” Obie emphatically laughed. Billy never brought it up again, but he obviously wasn’t pleased. The next evening after rehearsal, Billy took center stage leading a sing-along of Beatles songs into the wee hours of the morning. I was very tired and quietly went to bed before it ended.
We were ready. We were confident, and yet, didn’t have a clue about what was about to unfold. Basically, there was no more need to rehearse and I planned to go home so to somehow fix my hair and get ready for the trip. The hair stylist I found was shocked to see how my hair was cut above the “hair line.” All he could manage was “damage control.”
I went to see my folks in Great Neck before we left the next day. Mom didn’t say anything but I could see it in her eyes. “Oh, Mom,” I sighed. “I look so fucking straight.” “Why don’t you dye your hair?” she snapped back.
Let’s face it. We were a show-biz family and this was a show-biz problem. I thought about it for a while and it seemed like the only logical answer. But, what color? I didn’t want green because Todd Rundgren had green. I’d love to have blue, but I didn’t know where to get the color. Mom then piped in, “How ‘bout orange?” “Orange?” I was intrigued. “Yah,” she continued. I can get the chemicals to dye your hair red and make a mistake.” Assured she continued, “It’ll be orange.”
So, she hopped into her car to get what she needed to do the job and I took a shower and washed my hair. Upon returning, Mom first bleached my hair platinum white. Then she applied the chemicals for red, knowingly and intentionally falling into the common pitfalls when dying hair. Because of the first step “blonding,” my hair turned into the most amazing day-glow translucent orange. I WAS IMPRESSED!
Mom then drove me to Kennedy Airport the next day and dropped me off because I had no one in Manhattan to move my car for alternate side of the street parking. As I walked into the terminal looking for the rest of the troop, I hear Greg Diamond’s voice boom out, “Hey, scarecrow, wanna ball?” And there everyone was in various levels of coiffure. Jobriath did an overly animated double take, and Obie ran up to me in total awe and approval.
Color wise, the band was a rainbow. Jobriath was a frosted blonde with highlights, Obie, of course, was his magnificent purple, I was day-glow orange, Gregg was blue-black, Steve was henna, Chuck was platinum, Hargrove was natural dark brown, Jim was natural dark blonde and Billy was prematurely silver.
Joe Bianchi was assigned the task as road manager and took care of all our affects and ticket coordination.
It was exciting. It was a new experience for me and we were boarding a 747, at six PM, to do Burt Sugarman’s number one late light national television show. Just before we boarded, I spotted a man, whose nickname was Scotty. He worked at Ogilvy and Mathers when I did my Contac commercial with Tom Jurkoski. He was a very warm and friendly Scot and we always took the time to say hello to each other. But this time, seeing me with orange hair and the rest of the troop, he wanted to hide under a chair and get away from me. I even laughed at my own appearance and told him that it was for the taping of the Midnight Special when I saw his continuing discomfort with my presence.
Here was a guy, who was, obviously, so insecure about his own sexuality, that he was afraid to be seen with someone who appeared to be gay. It was like I didn’t even know the guy. And this was with someone who would go out of his way just to say hello to me when ever we randomly saw each other. Talk about homophobic! I said my good-byes, leaving him with his self-consciousness, and joined the rest of the troop as they boarded the plane.
In those days, not only was security relaxed, but also the big planes boasted piano lounges in the tail. After the passengers were all settled and we had dinner, what else was there for us to do but rehearse the show? So I went to the piano and with the troop surrounding me, ran through all of our numbers. All of the passengers came running back to see what was going on. Even the first class stewardesses were gleefully getting us beer and drinks while we performed.
After a half an hour into our show, the copilot came back, I assume, to see why he and the captain couldn’t trim the plane. All the passenger weight was in the tail and we were listing downward easily an additional fifteen degrees off normal plumb and rocking side to side from occasional turbulence and the disproportionate weight. He didn’t break us up. In fact he stayed to listen for a while and seemed to enjoy it all himself. After our show, the crowd broke up and we returned to our seats and landed a couple of hours later.
While Jobriath was put up at the Beverly Wilshire, we were put into an infamous dump called the Tropicana Hotel. It didn’t really matter. It was all so new, and to me, an exciting blur. With the coastal time difference of three hours, Jobriath had us assembled by Joe at 10:00 PM. We were to be limousined in two different cars to some club in Hollywood, but first, the one with me, Gregg and Steve had to stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel and pick up Jobriath.
Arriving at the hotel, we all got out and walked into one of the bungalows. There was Jobriath, Jerry Brandt and this woman. Jerry introduced her as Peggy Nester. Peggy’s name had appeared on the album as “Introducing Peggy Nester.” I could only assume that she was the “money.”
Jerry would disclose, thirty-four years later, that he and Peggy had been lovers. She was the former lover of Bernie Cornfeld, a man who was very rich, and at the time Jerry met her, was sitting in jail. Peggy had given Jerry the money to do the sixty by thirty foot billboard of Jobriath on Broadway, and directed him to go to Switzerland to get fifty thousand dollars more so to pay the musicians of the London Symphony Orchestra, which David Geffen of Elektra had flatly refused to do. Continuing, Jerry laughed at himself being so naive not to realize that he would have to disclose such a large amount of money to customs when reentering the U.S. In line, waiting to be inspected, he calmly put the attaché case down on the floor, sliding it forward with his foot, while distracting the examiner opening up his suitcase for inspection. There’s no question, that Jerry had balls.
But, Jerry was to then later change his story, saying that he had come to see David Geffen, at Elektra, for the needed symphony recording money. When his secretary said that he wasn’t in, Jerry forced his way into David’s office anyway, which, at first, appeared to be empty. Jerry, laughing as he continued his story, said that he started looking through all the closets and found David hiding in one of them. “David flatly refused to give me any more money. And then I said, give me fifty thousand and I’ll sign a release for any future obligations by your company.” With a big shit-eating grin, Jerry laughed out, “David acquiesced and gave me the money.”
Whichever story about raising the specific money for the classical music recording, one thing is very clear. Jerry received more money than what was needed to pay the musicians and studio costs. “So, where did that extra money go?” I asked. Jerry shrugged, “Limousines?”
After our cordialities with Peggy, we quickly left as we arrived, and soon enough joined the rest of the troupe at the club. A large table had been arranged for us to handle ten people in the back of the room. While sitting there, I see this most beautiful girl enter the club. I knew immediately that I would have to get a closer better look and, if lucky, start a conversation and maybe get a telephone number. As I got nearer, to my shock, I realized that it was a very pretty boy. I shrunk in shock and was to slink back to my table. It was then that I slowly started to perceive all the patrons. It was a gay club with what had proved itself to be the west coast version of what I had experienced in Lambertville. I was mortified and in desperate need for heterosexual contact. Returning to our respective hotels, I went to bed still shocked by the fact that I was turned on by a man. Sure, my eyes were tricked into thinking that it was a woman, but still it was a man.
The next day, we were rounded up for breakfast, and then quickly limo’d to the T.V. studio to present our material before the shows director, Stan Harris, for approval. On the way to the studio, as we pass some marquee, Billy starts going off, “Oh, is that my theater piece they’re doing? I can’t believe it. How did that happen? I didn’t know anything about it. I can’t believe it.” We all turned to look for some marquee but didn’t know what to look for. Billy just kept going on and on with this false humility act.
It’s funny to me in retrospect because in our many inevitable conversations that we had because we roomed together, after telling him that I was really a composer first and keyboard player second, he retorted, “Don’t say that. Don’t say you’re a composer. You’re a songwriter. Saying you’re a composer sounds arrogant. Just say you’re a song writer.” I just stared at him in total bewilderment.
And as I relived this moment in flashback, Billy just kept on and on with false humility, “I can’t believe it. Isn’t that something? How ‘bout that? They’re doin’ my theater piece.” “Yeah, right,” I thought. “Ya know how hard it is to coordinate a theater production and you’re an author who’s acting like he didn’t know anything about it, especially with all the name dropping that you’ve been doing about people you know in the theater. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, right.” Then one of the troupe suggested that we see the show. Billy stopped his mantra, “OK, I’ll get tickets for tonight.” “Yeah, right,” I thought. “You didn’t know.” We arrived at the studio and were shown where to set up for our presentation. With our equipment in place, Stan walks in with his assistants and Jerry Brandt. We started with I’MAMAN, which began with my harpsichord solo. It’s a song about a man explaining himself and his sexual proclivity and how well he can love. i.e.:
Hear Jobriath sing I'maman.
SO, I’M A ELEGANT MAN
THAT’S WHAT I AM
AND OPENED TOES
ARE WHAT I AM
YES, I’M A FRAGILE MAN
LIGHT OF STEP
AND SOFT TO TOUCH
A GENTLE MAN
I COULD LOVE YOU
BUT, IF I SHOULD LOVE YOU
THEN I WOULD LOVE YOU
THE WAY A MAN LOVES A WOMAN
AND LIVE MY LIFE
LIKE I’VE BEEN LIVING IT
MY BODY CLAIMS MY MIND
SO, LET ME BE WHAT I AM
AN ELEGANT MAN
Jerry was subtly bopping along approvingly to the music and when it stopped, turned to Stan for mutual approval. Stan seemed not to know what to make of what he had just experienced. We then started our next number.
Hear the Jobriath song Dietrich/Fondyke.
TAKE ME I’M YOURS is an “s & m” song, sado/masochism, where the protagonist, Jobriath, comes out with bare chest, in tight leather pants and jacket with brimmed leather work hat. Like Marlene Dietrich in BLUE ANGEL, his choreography involved a chair, while singing such lyrics as:
I’D DO ANYTHING FOR YOU
OR TO YOU
I’M A FOOL FOR YOU
I WOULD LOVE YOU TO USE ME
I’M CHAINED TO YOUR INSANITY
ANY DAY YOU COULD BUY ME
OR TIE ME UP
A SLAVE TO YOUR PERVERSITY
TO THE CORNERS OF THE GALAXY
And then we piped in:
Once again referring to the comedic absurdity of Mel Brooks, in the scene from the movie THE PRODUCERS, where the camera pans the audiences reaction to the stage production of SPRING TIME FOR HITLER, with their mouths agape, completing the number, Stan had the identical expression on his face. Slightly stammering in disbelief, he slowly mustered up the energy to say, “You can’t do that on television.” Jerry tried to persuade Stan, but Stan was adamant. In fact so much so, that our appearance on the show was in jeopardy. Thinking quickly on his feet, Jobriath immediately had the band play ROCK OF AGES, while Jerry tried his diplomatic best to calm the situation.
Years later, Jerry was to recount, “Stan scratched the taping right there on the spot and I retorted, ‘If Jobriath doesn’t do this show, the gay mafia will kill you.’ I also happened to be lovers with this gal who was one of Stan’s assistants. Stan was sandwiched between my threats and her insistence on the continuing of the taping.“ Finishing this number, which lyrically was rather benign by comparison, but full of good rock ‘n’ roll, Stan seemed to acquiesce and allowed us to appear doing the first and last number.
In the blur of all the activity that followed, we were shepherded into another room. There was a large chocolate cake in the center of a buffet that was set up for some kind of reception. It seemed like it was going to be a birthday surprise or something for Jerry, when all of a sudden, Jobriath picks up the cake and smashes it into Jerry’s face. It all happened so quickly. I was shocked and not completely sure of what I had just seen. Jerry laughed it off and showed no sign of anger to the crowded room of eyes. But as he toweled out the icing from his hair and off his kidskin leather jacket, I knew he had to be livid. It would be many months later when I would finally understand the complexity of emotions that plagued Jobriath and Jerry’s relationship.
We went back to our respective hotels and with nothing else to do, found ourselves going to see Billy’s theater piece. Tickets were arranged for us and everyone in the production knew Billy so it was quite obvious that this was no surprise at all.
The evening was some minor cabaret type musical about some wanna-be who gets a wish and becomes a rock star and well hung. Frankly, in my opinion, there was nothing memorable about the evening. We said our thanks and congratulations at the conclusion and went home immediately to get a good night’s sleep for the big day ahead.
Gregg, however, had chosen a completely different option for the evening, entertaining one of Jerry’s lady “go-fers”; driving all over L.A. while snorting cocaine. Landing up in bed, at the hotel, not too much earlier than we were supposed to gather to have breakfast and then go record the show, I hear a voice boom out across the parking lot. “Hey, scarecrow, wanna ball?”
Not knowing where the voice came from, it was obviously Gregg’s. I heard giggling, at my expense, because I obviously didn’t know where it emanated from. Again I hear, “Hey, scarecrow ... ” And now, I traced its source. Still not exactly sure, it was the giggling that finally clued me in. Entering his room, I found him still in bed with this giggling girl, and a huge traffic sign, still on its pole, with red letters that read, “?SPEEDING?”
They had seen the sign and Gregg decided to stop on the highway, pull off onto the siding, back up and knock the sign down, then get out of the station wagon and put in into the back, return to his seat and then drive off. I couldn’t believe his balls to do such a thing. The L.A. police were notorious for being, should we say, marginally fascist. If they had caught him, he would have spent some time in jail.
Back at the studio, in our miliskin mirrored costume, with big shinny black rounded clogs, a nervous tension filled the air as we got ready to be filmed. On stage, the rest of the troupe seemed to have reverted to their posing indifference again, while I matter-of-factly simply related to the lighting crew and stage hands. There’s lot of waiting in between takes and waiting for your turn after other acts. So I found myself engaged in many different conversations. The crew, recognizing my openness, were very warm and ingratiating and I naturally reciprocated. “Ya wanna cigarette?” “No thanks, I don’t smoke.” Hey, would it be alright if some of the kids could see your shoes?” Sure,” I replied and kicked them off and then handed them to the man.
All during this time, without my prodding whatsoever, one crew man would bring up a light here, and then another there, finally a big “special” was brought out just to light my side of the stage. Then there seemed to be a discussion about the gels for the lights. Well, whatever they finally landed up with, they really made my orange hair ORANGE. People would later stop me, after seeing the show and say in awe, “You were the guy with the orange hair!” My father had an expression that seemed to prove itself over and over again. “You can catch a lot more flies with honey, than you can with vinegar.”
Gordon Lightfoot had just finished taping and now it was our turn. What I didn’t realize, was though performers were booked for the show upon availability, when they were taped didn’t necessarily mean with whom they appeared. We were to find out that Gladys Knight and the Pips were to introduce us. We would also appear with Richie Havens, who I had shared the bill that many years earlier when I was with Man, Curtis Mayfield and Spooky Tooth.
The recording booth knew we were starting with I’MAMAN and that I had the opening solo. “OK, Hayden, whenever you’re ready. The cameras swung in for a tight shot of me leaning over the clavinet, and then the rest of the band entered. After several measures into the band’s entrance we were stopped. “OK, we’ve got our mix, Hayden, once again, please.” I started again, and with the band, performed the song to its end. “That’s good for us. Is it good for you?” Billy said that his strap came off of his guitar during the take and asked if we could do it again. There was a pause and then, “OK, Hayden, one more time, please.” The take went without any problem. “That was a good one. Thank you,” came from the recording booth.
View Jobriath's Midnight Special appearance performing "Imaman"
There was a pause for Jobriath to change into another costume, so I just sat down on my stage left entrance stairs amongst the crew and audience. While the rest of the band remained in their pose of “self-importance,” I continued talking with the crew and answering questions from the audience. It was obvious that the crew appreciated my warmth towards them. I could only assume that they were used to receiving the other rock ‘n’ roll poser indifference.
Jobriath comes out in a fuchsia miliskin body stocking with a Plexiglas globe over his head like a space helmet. This time Billy had the introductory solo and the band explosively entered afterwards. Midway into the song, Jobriath would release the catch at the top of his bubble, which was supposed to undo itself, and the six respective sections were to fall to his shoulders like the petals of a flower. At that point Hargrove, Obie and Chuck would dance onto center stage behind Jobriath. But the catch didn’t let go and Jobriath stopped the band. Not only because of the unexpected stop, but the entrance of three very gay creatures dancing onto the stage, there was a rather long pause and silence. Jobriath immediately declared his technical problem. Still more silence. The unenthusiastic voice said “OK, let’s try it again.” And that’s what we did. But at the same place, the same thing happened and Jobriath stopped the band.
Time is money. And this was taking time. I can only imagine what was going on and being said in the booth. After another pause, "Do you have a way you can handle this?” I could see Jobriath’s frustration. "I’ll just hold it in place with my hand," he quickly responded. "OK, then. Billy, when you’re ready."
View Jobriath's Midnight Special appearance performing "Rock of Ages"
This time, Jobriath simply just held the top with his hand and at the right moment, let go. We managed to finish the song and that was that. “OK, thank you,” came the under whelmed voice. I turned to the crew around me, “Thanks a lot, guys,” and then exited across stage right. Everything after that seemed anti-climactic. I don’t really know how to explain how I felt at that moment. The whole experience was certainly larger than life. I had done my job. The band seemed to play well. But now, we were quickly being rushed away, back to the east coast. There was no revelry, just a,“That was great” reassurance from Jerry, who greeted us in our dressing room as we changed.
Back at our hotel, we packed our gear, quickly got something to eat and then were driven to the airport to catch the six PM flight to New York without Jobriath. I don’t particularly remember the flight back. It was uneventful, save for this Mexican man who offered me peyote buttons. In disbelief, I declined, turning back to look out the window, as we flew over my neighborhood below.
Arriving late at night, the car dropped us off respectively. Back at my apartment, I called my parents to let them know that I arrived safely, refreshed Bailey’s food and water, cleaned his litter box, played with him for a while and then crashed.
Waking late the next day, I called Jim to see how he was getting back down to Lambertville. It was basically agreed that because Jobriath wouldn’t be coming in for the next few days, that we should take advantage of those days and use them for ourselves as we wished, and then I’d drive him, Gregg and Steve down to the house.
With the rest of the morning and the next few days off, I called up Pat Ast and introduced myself. She seemed receptive enough and it was arranged for her to come to my apartment to start working on an act for her. When she arrived, I was kind of in shock, because she was extremely fat and ugly. She was panting heavily from walking up the five flights of stairs to my apartment. I thought, “I should have known that Billy would offer nothing of worth.” She quickly proved that she also couldn’t sing and specialty material would have to be put together for her. In a normal scenario I would have written her off, but because I was leaving to go back to Lambertville within the week, I figured that my leaving and subsequent separation would work things out for itself.
But Pat had something on the ball, and as she talked, I didn’t know whether to believe her or not. She divulged information very carefully and only as she thought necessary. She wanted to put an act together with me, but didn’t have any money to pay me up front. I sarcastically thought, “Great.” After an hour of trying to figure what work could possibly be done with her musically, I realized that it was virtually an impossible task.
We left my apartment and continued our discussion walking on the street. I said to her, “Well, you’re gonna have to get yourself known. You’ll have to do something outrageous, like die you hair some fantastic color.” As we walked, different people would stop her and ask, “You’re Pat Ast, aren’t you?” or simply say, “Hi Pat.” After around five different similar encounters, I felt like an idiot and she just laughed. I didn’t realize it, but she was part of the Warhol group. Yes, she was a freak, but she had admirers like designer Halston who would drape her fat ugliness with yards of his fabric and have her go out on a runway of his fashion shows as the caboose to his beautiful women wearing his latest season’s designs.
It was very fast as her world engulfed me and later that afternoon, I found myself in her apartment still observing her expanding world. She then got a phone call that invited her to fashion designer, Joe Ulla’s, party. Without flinching, she asked me if I wanted to go? “Sure,” I responded. But then I thought, “Oh, shit. I don’t have anything to wear.” I also didn’t have any money to speak of to buy something. I did have, however, that gorgeous antique silk velvet smoking jacket that I bought in Woodstock. “If I can find some matching velvet pants, that will work.” So we had our mission and managed to find some cheap enough velour black pants.
In retrospect, it’s kind of embarrassing because Pat brought me, unflinchingly into the tailor shop of Halston and had the top tailor recut these pants I had bought for twenty dollars into something that would have cost me at least two hundred with better fabric. And, we were to pick them up in a couple of hours.
As we walked out of Halston’s I ran into little miss TR-6 who disgustedly looked at me as if I were a fag with my orange hair and Pat at my side. I warmly said hello and introduced Pat to her, but she seemed to want to get away from us as fast as she could. Pat and I continued walking and talking about the act and then went to get sushi to kill some time. I, now realizing Pat’s potential importance, tried desperately to figure out what would work for her.
Two hours later, we returned to Halston’s to get my pants, and then separated so I could go home to dress and then later meet to go to the party. Arriving at Joe Ulla’s, Pat was wearing, of course, an original Halston green sequin evening dress that had enough material in it to drape three of his runway beauties. I was in black velvet wearing multiple hand painted silk scarves around my neck and wearing six inch heals platform boots. With my day-glow orange hair teased up, I was seven feet tall.
As we walked in through the foyer, Joe was there to greet all his guests. Standing next to him was Andy Warhol, with a tape recorder under his arm. I thought to myself, “Andy. When you go home and listen to this tape, are you going to have another tape recorder running?” And just as quickly, I thought, “Ahh,” waving it off.
We continued up stairs into Joe’s brown stone and arrived in a living room area that had a heavy winged back chair in one corner, as if set up to be center stage. Paulette Gotthard was sitting there and I politely nodded hello, which she reciprocated. We walked over to the opposite side of the room in front of the fireplace, when all of a sudden Salvador Dali blew in with total bravura. He was with some blonde nymph and avoided everyone else but Pat and I. He and Pat kissed and then, as the paparazzi tried to take photographs of him, he continually placed his face next to mine. I couldn’t help wonder if he remembered me from the Saint Regis lobby when I was in the SALVATION NAVY.
Then he turned to his nymph and signaled for her to sit down. “But,” she squeaked out gesturing to the palm plants that were hanging over the chairs. Unmoved, “Sit!” Salvador commanded, and like a loyal trained puppy, she sat and was immediately engulfed. The line of fawning admirers started to cue up. “Maestro, Maestro,...” Salvador seemed unmoved and turned to his nymph, who was now part of the vegetation, and pulled his chair out clear from the over hanging green, and sat down with his left arm extended, holding his cane like a third leg, with his flowing cape draped over him like royalty. The drooling and ass kissing continued person after person, and I just quietly watched enjoying the show. Paulette had been completely usurped of attention on the other side of the room.
Monique Van Voren then kneeled down on a pillow to kiss his hand. He parted her blonde bangs and then took his cane and gave her a shot on the forehead with a loud thud. It made her blink. Suddenly he turns to Pat and says in his effected accent, “Five minootes..., that’s it!” and reaches for her with his cane. I instinctively wouldn’t touch his royal instrument and let it cross in front of me to Pat’s hands. Dali’s nymph tried to rise. “Sit,” he commanded. “But,” she squeaked out. “Sit!” he more firmly repeated and she fell back under the palms. All during this time, Pat fondled his cane like a phalanx while I stood perfectly still and unmoved like his second-in-command. Then just a suddenly, Salvador stood up, retrieved his cane from Pat and blew out of the room with his nymph scurrying after him.
After that, it was anti climactic, other than the astoundingly beautiful women, of “high finance,” walking around. There was one woman, in particular, wearing only a bikini and stiletto high heel shoes, with the most astounding body you could imagine; her nipples hard and protruding, from the air conditioning. I would have made a play for her if I hadn’t been with Pat. She was definitely cruising me. But most likely, she had her own agenda. I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere because of my economic state. The next day Pat called me up and told me to meet her over at East End Avenue. She was being photographed for a magazine in the home of the son of Paste, of Paste Gallery. The building had four separate entrances and his duplex was on the sixth floor. The apartment might as well have been a museum. John Dubaffet sculpture was everywhere. One wall was a Louise Nevillson installation. Priceless art was hung on every wall and a houseboy and a real cute blonde girl who I couldn’t keep my eyes off of.
Pat, with reckless abandon, made herself right at home as if it were her own place. Sprawled out upon a couch, she invited me to lie next to her for the photo session. I was distracted by the blonde who kept looking at me. After that set of photos, Pat and the photographer went into a different room leaving me with the blonde. There was nothing else for me to do but approach her and we started to passionately kiss. I wanted her phone number to call her and see her again, but she didn’t respond.
Pat then came back into the room and we were served some drinks and prepared to leave. Outside Pat told me that the blonde ask her if I was of money. She said she simply responded, “He’s poor as a church mouse,” and killed the curiosity that had been established. The world that Pat brought me into was solely about money and nothing else mattered.
The next day, I returned with Jim and Gregg to Lambertville. At the house, everything was really laid back because there weren’t any specific plans. We were absolutely in the dark about our future. Jobriath had returned, but unknown to us, he had fallen asleep on the plane with his arm in a funny position with the air vent blowing on him. Apparently he had inadvertently cut off its blood circulation and when he woke up, his right arm was paralyzed. The doctors called it some kind of Bell’s palsy, which usually afflicts the facial area.
We started practicing again but the oomph wasn’t there. Between postpartum depression after filming the show and Jobriath’s illness, there really wasn’t a need for us to kill ourselves. However, we still played as a unit to keep our sanity and Jobriath would still try to work things out at the piano left-handed. I was impressed with his left hand, having a good one myself, and made a point of complimenting him on it, which in his depression, he appreciated.
One night after we played through some material I went into the kitchen and made some slushes out of orange juice and finely crushed ice. There was enough for everybody and when Hargrove enthusiastically asked me how I made it and I unflinchingly told him, Jobriath piped in, “Ya see, Hayden, that’s what’s wrong with you. I would have just said, ”I breathed on it,” and with a sweeping gesture, the way one would fog glass, he breathed on his slush.
Some acquaintances of Jobriath would periodically come down and we would show off performing different numbers. But all and all, with not having any immediate touring plans, we were slowly grinding to a halt.
One morning, deep in my practice ritual, Jim franticly trots in with a look of complete panic in his eyes. “I’m out of coffee,” he blurts out and as quickly retreats to the kitchen. For the next twenty minutes, I hear his growing desperation with his rummaging through the pantry with the slamming of various cabinet doors punctuating the rattling of pots, pans, assorted can goods and jars, which rose in intensity as did his frustration. Then just as suddenly, all was quiet. Now composed and aglow, he strolls back into the living room stroking an ancient jar of freeze dried coffee, as if it had fur. There was enough left for one cup, maybe two, if he stretched it. None-the-less, his smile and eyes said it all as he circled back to cook up his fix.
Jim relied on coffee the way plants rely on the sun. He was a serious caffeine addict, consuming as many as twenty cups of coffee a day. For that matter, he was also a serious nicotine junky, smoking three packs of Kool-Milds a day. I remember when I was up at his apartment for the first time and asked him why he referred to his sneakers as “hummers.” “I donno,” he shrugged. I then looked down at his feet and saw that it was impossible for him to stand still. I could only assume that he arrived at the name by osmosis.
Jim had brought down a portable T.V. And now that the mania had died down, there was time to watch. One night THE WIZARD OF OZ was on and the entire troop piled into Jim and Gregg's bedroom. It was an absolute hoot to hear the boys repeating and brushing up on their delivery of bitchy lines aimed at each other. Until that point, I had never realized that Margaret Hamilton, who portrayed the Wicked Witch of the East, was the gay community’s patron saint of linguistics, semantics and elocution.
When we weren’t rehearsing, it was basically catcher-catch-can to entertain yourself. So Obie and I, as I mentioned before, would retreat to his Hobbit hole to drink beer and talk. One day I had walked into the house and saw him in a little girl’s dress, about to give head to this older man I had never seen before. Obie just brusquely slammed his bedroom door closed. Obviously, in such a tight knit group, I would never relate my inner feelings about what I witnessed to the other members in the band. As different as our agendas were, Obie proved, other than Jim, to be a most consistent friend.
But, the constant homosexual environment started to emotionally play games with me. It was impossible not to contemplate what it would be like to be gay and I started to fantasize about that sexual reality. Then the thought of me giving head popped into my vision. There was no question that I could suck cock with the best of them, because it was something that I enjoyed having done to myself and I, obviously, knew what I liked to have done to me. Just as suddenly as those images and thoughts entered my mind, it was just as suddenly over ridden with the shock and horror that I would entertain such a thing. “What would my parents think? What would my friends think? WHAT WOULD I THINK?” exploded through my mind. I immediately made plans to go back to my New York apartment for the weekend and had sex with every woman that allowed me to.
After convincing myself of my straightness, I called Pat, again, up on the phone and arranged to meet her at her downtown apartment. We then went over to Tommy Tune’s loft and hung out for a while. There were giraffe figurines everywhere. He wasn’t home, but his lover was. She performed a song of mine with me at the piano and his face said it all. He was shocked that Pat would assume to sing. Listening to her, myself, I had to agree.
Returning to the house, I found that the fantasies only plagued me more and more often. And so, I started the ritual return to my apartment to pursue women and prove my masculinity to myself. The dichotomy of my worlds was most absurd. One week-end after having my medicinal sex fix, I started to laugh at myself, realizing that no matter how many women I would have sex with, who would really know, other than the ones I slept with. Then came a greater revelation; it didn’t even matter who or what I slept with because only I would know what was truly cooking inside my psyche. Regardless of what people thought, only I would know. Even the person I had sex with wouldn’t necessarily know for sure. This revelation was liberating. There was no need to protest, for to protest seemed to only prove the accuser’s subjectivity. It took courage to relax into such a realization. But, that’s what I did, and it really opened my eyes.
I was to discover that, at best, maybe fifteen percent of the population, whether homo or heterosexual are at rest with their sexual choice; that when they became sexually cognizant, they naturally gravitated to their respective proclivity. The remaining eighty-five percent, which is between the most extreme sexual polarities, were a mirror of themselves, folded together at the apex, the center being asexuality, if you will. Regardless of which sexual camp, an individual would prove the same variations of rest and accepting, of their sexual choice, or the antithesis. For example, many years later, my wife and I would ultimately develop a very dear friendship with a man who never slept with a woman in his life. And yet, his love of women was to prove himself to be a closet heterosexual.
All the creatures who paraded in the most extreme décolletage of dress and behavior and claimed that every one else was phobic, were themselves the most phobic of their own respective choice. And the more outrageous their outer appearance, the more phobic they proved themselves to be; whether the boys who paraded themselves up and down the street like day-glow lawn furniture or the most macho of males, suffered from the same insecurity.
The reason that I never had sex with a man is benignly simple. I don’t like the way men smell. Pheromones are very powerful. As seemingly invisible as these smells are, put a group of women in a room together, and inevitably they will all have their menstrual cycles coincide. All animals are motivated by pheromones, and as intense as my fantasies were, I, thusly, never crossed the line.
It was the middle of February and one month had now gone by since our return from L.A. Jobriath’s arm still hadn’t improved and I was finding that my running to New York City every week-end, to prove my masculinity to myself, was subsiding into just the need to change the scenery. It was also becoming all too clear that something was wrong, for nothing was being said by Jerry as far as to our future.
Bailey started to not be himself. Upon examining him, I discovered that his gums were bleeding and his teeth were loose. He stopped eating completely and seemed to not drink any water as well. I took him to a veterinarian who needed to keep him over night to observe him. I called the next day and his nurse told me to come to the office. Arriving, I saw a woman crying hysterically. The nurse told me to sit and wait for the doctor who was, apparently putting this woman’s animal to sleep. I sat there somberly and waited for him.
About five minutes later, he came out and sat down next to me. “Your animal is the Manx, yes?” I nodded. “What’s his name?”
“Bailey,” I responded.
“Well, I’m sorry to say that Bailey is very ill. He has kidney failure. I had put a catheter into him with saline solution to see how he passed the fluids I introduced, when he peed. The results are that he pees out the same solution that have entered his body; total renal shut down. He went on to say that Bailey was in extreme pain, and though he could put him on drugs that their effect would only be temporary, maybe a month, and then the painful symptoms would return. It’s really not fair to him to suffer this way.”
There was a pause, and I then asked if I could go see him. He said yes and walked me into the room that had the cages along the wall. There was Bailey with the catheter in his neck. We looked into each other’s eyes as we had done from the first day we became roommates. We had learned to communicate on such a deep level that most human beings are never privileged to experience. Bailey shuddered as he looked deep into my eyes and then gave me a long blink. “OK, my friend. OK. You won’t suffer too much longer.” We looked deep into each other for the longest time. “Bye,” I said and then left his presence.
In the waiting room, I joined the doctor who had been talking to the nurse. They looked at me. I couldn’t bear to look them in the eyes. “Do what you have to do,” I said in a whisper and then left the office.
Arriving at home, I burst into tears and cried hysterically for two days. I never felt so alone. Bailey had become a spiritual rock for me. So many times in total silence I had meditated face to face with him over the ten months that I had him. Pat called and I told her about my loss. She was wonderful about it, bringing me two dozen tulips that had a wonderful aroma. In fact, these were the only tulips that I have ever experienced that had a smell, let alone one that was as strong as these yellow ones.
A week later, a letter from the animal hospital arrived. Expecting a bill for several hundred dollars, I opened the envelope and was surprised to see that the bill said, “No charge,” written across it. I was stunned. I could only assume that the nurse told him about Bailey and I talking, and that he must have been that sensitive to be touched by our closeness. God bless him!
I tried to figure something, anything for Pat, which would work theatrically for her, but it was impossible. We were going nowhere fast and she started to protest, “I’d rather go out with a fag than you because when we’re together, all you do is cruse other women.” We inevitably drifted apart.
By now my hair needed a touch-up, but I immediately discovered that it was impossible to match the day-glow color that Mom had created. So, I went to a hairdresser named Dennis to try to return to my original natural self. I was in the chair with chemicals toward this goal for four hours. In fact, according to him, it was amazing that my hair hadn’t fallen out from the repeated attempts. Mom really DID do something wrong to achieve that orange. Finally getting something as close to my naturally highlighted blonde hair, I decided to never repeat this process and just let my hair grow out.
Back in Lambertville, I found myself now practicing more of my own material to pass the time in the house. During one of these moments, Obie came up to me nervously. He had gotten into a “fender bender” and had to appear in court. He asked me if I would go with him. Of course, I said yes.
We found ourselves entering a small municipal building in the center of town. To my astonishment, everybody in the courthouse, I mean everybody, on various levels, was gay. I hadn’t realized to what extent, the demographic of the community. Being a city boy, I’m used to many groups coming together in impressive numbers and then blending in with the greater populace. But Lambertville was obviously the in-land equivalent, of Fire Island’s “Cheery Grove”, the famous gay community.
The judge fined Obie thirty dollars. The band hadn’t been paid and he didn’t have enough money. I loaned him twenty dollars and then drove him back to the house. He was very appreciative of my helping him. During our return, Obie directed me to where the set for our supposed Paris Opera House debut was being built. The place was strangely abandoned, yet opened. We walked in and onto the raked stage that filled the entire ground floor space. There were cutouts in the floor for where trap doors would be put in and subsequent stage pieces elevated from. It was only approximately half finished and hadn’t been painted as of yet. Finally arriving back at the house, we inevitably found ourselves in the Hobbit hole again with a couple of beers discussing what the future of the band was. All we could do was hypothesize and hope.
It was now March, and spring was in the air. But, a pall was over the band. Billy had returned to New York with his equipment, which, only in retrospect, meant that Jerry had stopped paying him. March 8, 1974, The Midnight Special aired with our performance. Jerry had arranged a little party at his office so the entire troop and specifically invited friends could attend. Billy, however, chose not to come.
As I appeared playing the intro to I’MAMAN, Obie let out an approving scream. It was rather surreal, really, looking at myself, while simultaneously running my memory of the total picture when the day we taped the show.
But, our days seemed numbered. Returning to Lambertville, Jobriath seemed to come to rehearse less and less, and in my discussions with Jim, Steve and Gregg, we would have to arrange, at our own expense, to get our personal equipment out of the house. I started to pack up my gear, making sure that I didn’t leave anything behind. All of a sudden, the sky turned very dark from a migration of black birds flying overhead. Millions and millions and millions of birds continually flew for five hours on their northern migration. Hitchcock didn’t even fathom such a sight in his film The Birds. No words can describe the majesty of the sight. It was truly one of nature’s awesome moments.
I found a local who had a van and was willing to take my stuff, for a reasonable price, to my parents in Great Neck, so to be stored in the garage. I don’t know for how much longer the stragglers stayed in the house. But for me, a chapter in my life had come to an end. Now, I was confronted with the reality to scramble to make my rent. My savings were gone, so I looked to teach piano, rehearse singers and or accompany them in performance and find places to perform myself. Two and a half months would go by before the phone would ring saying the rehearsals for the Jobriath tour were about to start.
One of my clients was Lorna Loft, Sid Loft’s and Judy Garland’s daughter. She was terribly high strung and neurotic as hell. We ran through several numbers and I showed her a few pieces that might fit her voice. Then she asked me to go with her by taxi to her next meeting so that we could talk. We didn’t really accomplish much because all she did was yell at the driver. She was absolutely obsessed and intense with persistent verbal attacks on him. It was kind of scary and humbling, to say the least. I never said a word during her diatribe. Arriving at her destination, we said our good-byes and she said that she’d call me, which she never did.
It was performing, again, at Reno Sweeny’s, playing just the house piano and my Mini Moog, that Alberta Wright had seen me and approached me to accompany her protégé Tecumseh Roberts. More accurately, he was her lover and from Africa. She invited me over to her apartment and during dinner proposed that I play piano for Tecumseh. While tooting some pure crystal cocaine, she prepared a fabulous meal for us and later confessed that she wanted to start a restaurant specifically preparing southern cuisine. Booked as the opening act to Liz Torez, for two shows a night for one week at Reno Sweeny’s, Alberta put the word out to fill the room. After our first show, word spread like wild fire and the club was packed for every show.
The room had a wonderful sound system and a decent piano. My beloved Mini Moog created spell binding atmospheres and with me wearing bells around my ankles, I would sometimes heavily tap my heel on the stage floor and the microphone stand would pick up the vibration as a bass drum. I also sang harmony where needed.
Eddie Joans was the bass player for Liz Torez. He had played with Count Basie for nineteen years, before leaving the band. One night his wife came to hear the show. While we were in the “green room” in between sets, waiting to go on, through the corner of my eye I see his wife gesture with her head asking how good I was. Eddie then made a gesture back, as if playing the piano, that I had a great pair of hands. There would come many of these kind of private moments of extreme affirmation from wonderful highly respected musicians in my life. Only they and I would know of their endorsement. Though I desired this recognition of my acumen on a broader scale, this private praise was enough to keep me strong and fortified.
The next night, in between shows, I saw this beautiful blonde girl who was wearing ivory satin pajamas. I approached her and we started talking. I found out that she was a ballet dancer. Needless to say, she had a long exquisite body. We landed going home to my place. That night and into the early morning hours, she made love to me in the most passionately committed sensitive uninhibited manner. It was absolute heaven. When we woke up a few hours later, we made love again. I was already so severely smitten as we lay next to each other. I stared at her, thinking that I might have found “The One.”
Then she told me that she had a boy friend out in Nebraska who wanted to marry her. I was crushed. “What about your career dancing?” I asked, in hope that that may help make up her mind to stay. She didn’t respond and was obviously torn about leaving. Finally getting out of bed, we dressed and she left so to go to ballet class. We were going to see each other at the show that evening.
That night was the longest and most painful. I had fallen in love with this beauty that I had just only met and didn’t know, beyond her sensitivity demonstrated in our love- making. I kept looking towards the entrance of the club in hope of her arrival. I even called her up on the telephone several times to only hear the endless unanswered ringing. But she never came, and I never saw her again. I was her last vestige of freedom in New York. She had obviously used me to decide her fate. And the rest of the week I forlornly kept vigil for her in vain.
Melissa Manchester and Barry Manilow got word of Tecumseh and I, and came down to the club to see for themselves on Sunday for our last show. After the performance, Barry immediately came over and congratulated me. He then gave me his telephone number and told me to call him about touring with him. Not too long after that, Melissa’s husband, who also acting like her manager, came over and gave me his telephone number and told me to call him.
I called up Barry, the next day, and arranged to meet with him at his apartment. I was upbeat, thinking that he might need me in his band at keyboards, just the way Bette Midler needed him. Unfortunately, it all too soon proved to be an attempt to get into my pants and I quickly left.
Returning home, disgusted, I called up Melissa to arrange a meeting. Her husband answered the phone saying that she had left for Los Angeles and that he was, in fact, just out the door himself, on his way to the airport. Before hanging up the phone, he said that Melissa liked my playing very much and was seriously interested in having me play with her. We arranged a meeting three weeks later and I was to call to confirm.
In the meantime, Alberta Wright was proved herself to be rather perfidious. Apparently, she had this producer come down to see the show at Reno Sweeny’s and then meet with him at his apartment later the following week. He had me start playing through the show, which I had completely arranged. Tecumseh was to sing softly, just as a reference. It became clear to me when he pulled out a small cassette tape recorder and then asked me to replay certain sections of an arrangement to show the voicings and various counterpoint, that he wanted to take my arrangements as his own and squeeze the “white boy” out of the picture. There was no way that I was going to let that happen and I stopped playing.
All my arrangements were in my head. If I had been asked to write them down for money and credit, I would have gladly obliged. But it was not to be. I never played with Tecumseh again. Thoroughly pissed off at the racism and the attempted scam, I returned to my apartment. I would discover, years later, that he wound up working in the kitchen of Alberta’s southern style restaurant, JEZEBEL on Ninth Avenue, in Manhattan. Stranger still, I subsequently heard thirty-one years later from Alberta’s son, Michael, that he had returned to Africa. And while on stage, singing in some hotel in Liberia, was shot to death, with a machine gun, by some kid from a roving rebel gang that had burst into the premises.
Later that evening, I received a most welcome phone call from Jim. Jobriath was starting rehearsals for the tour. It had been two and one half months since we played together. It was long overdue. But I also knew that I couldn’t continue with the band unless we were to be paid salaries for our efforts. It had been arranged for the band and Jerry Brandt to meet at his office, the next day, to discuss these things. Little did I know, what was to unfold before me in the months to come.
Yes, we were to get paid a salary, but it would only be one hundred dollars a week. “I was hoping for something more like two hundred and fifty a week,” I protested. “No way. I can’t afford that,” Jerry snapped back. But it’s impossible to make my nut. The band seemed to take comfort in the fact that I had put myself on the chopping block discussing the amount of our salaries other than themselves. Though they basically remained silent, their facial expressions showed that they weren’t too pleased, as well, with the low-ball figure.
There was a rather long pause. “Well, at least split the difference. Make it one hundred and seventy-five,” I pleaded. “No, that’s impossible,” Jerry quickly retorted. Now there was an even longer pause. I just sat there despondently shaking my head. Jerry, obviously, had his heals dug in and was adamant about his tight financial reality. The band showed no positive reaction what so ever. We all just sat there staring at Jerry. After what seemed like another interminable pause, Jerry said, “Alright..., one hundred and twenty-five dollars.” “One hundred and fifty,” I snapped back. “No way. Don’t push your luck.” Jerry was serious. He then continued, “I’m covering all expenses. Down the road when things start to move along, we can discuss getting you more money, but not now.” Rehearsals were going to start the next day at Baggies Studio down in Soho. My keyboards, accessories and the amplifiers would be rented for us. The phone rang and Jerry had to take the call. We started filing out back into the reception area. I looked at Inky with a look that repeated my desire to get her number. It seemed like she wasn’t interested. Then everyone started filing out with me trailing to descend the stairs. Just as I was about to leave, she quickly slipped me a small piece of paper.
I called her that night and we wholeheartedly agreed to secretly start seeing each other. Because so many people ran through the office, we didn’t want anybody to know our business. And, being fair to ourselves, in such an environment, we didn’t want additional pressure on the relationship with anyone and everyone breathing down our necks. On the phone, Inky proved herself to be an absolute charmer. She was so at rest with herself and funny as hell. It was obvious that the attraction was mutual and something of importance was about to begin. We arranged a date at her place the next evening.
The next day, the band started rehearsing at Baggies. The NEW YORK DOLLS were rehearsing in a room next to us. I remembered seeing a back stage video of the DOLLS, while we were in Lambertville, and being repulsed at watching the lead singer, Johanson, sucking face with another band member. It was interesting to see him up close and personal. Both bands seemed to present their mutually unimpressed poses.
As soon as we started playing, everything seemed to fall right into place as if we hadn’t even parted. But, Jobriath wasn’t happy with the rehearsal space. So, it was arranged to continue our rehearsing, the next day, mid-town at S.I.R. (Studio Instrument Rentals). Inky had just gotten her apartment on Twenty-fourth Street between Madison and Park Avenues. It was a pre-war building with wonderful interior “wet wall” plaster design. Though she had what was called a studio, in reality it was like a one bedroom layout. It was beautifully designed. You entered right into a five by eight foot foyer where she had her desk. An archway separated that space from the expansive twenty by forty foot rectangle of a living room that you stepped down into. At the far down corner, on the left, was a small separate roomed kitchen, and to the down right, the apartment stepped up into a ten feet square area that was facing two walls of windows. It was there that she had her bed. On the immediate right as you stepped out of the foyer into the living room, was the entrance to a dressing room. This was a long six feet wide corridor that paralleled the living room finally ending with the bathroom. That dressing space was wide enough to put a bed in, if desired. In fact, when Inky’s younger sister, Amy, came to stay, that’s exactly where she slept. To cap it off, Inky had paid extra for the new wall-to-wall carpeting that was left by the previous tenant. Without any furniture, other than her mattress and several well-placed large throw pillows, we started making love.
Inky had a wonderfully receptive mouth. Her tongue reached as far as mine trying to get inside of each other as deep as possible. She loved the way I would caress, lick, suck, reaching, always reaching as far as I could to make her come in my mouth. She would hold onto both sides of my head guiding me towards her climax. Then it would be her turn to suck on me. She loved to lean on her left side so that her right hand would be free to fondle me as she wished while performing what was obviously a most natural act for her. Coming in her mouth gave her great pleasure. But we loved to simply fuck each other to death. Upon first entering her, because she wore an i.u.d., I would reach to one side and try to slide the device’s string away from where I would ultimately choose as my path on the opposite side. Other wise, I would feel like I was sawing my-self, which was very uncomfortable and if I happened to poke the very end of the rope, it was quite painful.
Meanwhile the rehearsals went on and we got tighter and tighter. Jerry periodically brought certain supposed v.i.p.’s down to hear us. Everything seemed to be going well. John McLaughlin and MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA were rehearsing next door to us. It was very common for bands to check each other out during rehearsals, unless a sign outside the door said otherwise. I quietly went in to listen to this great artist who I so highly respected. It was a wonderful band and the material really stretched the present music-scape.
The following day they had broken for lunch before us and I had wandered into their empty room. I saw John’s music stand and went over and started reading the music when he walked back into the room. I told him how impressed I was with his work and asked him, when he composed, did he first write it down or did he “noodle” on the guitar to first refine his ideas and then write it down. He seethed with quiet rage. I thought his eyes and blood vessels were going to pop out of his head. “Oh,” I said, and then quickly left. So much for his practice of transcendental meditation...
We had now rehearsed for two solid weeks and were ready. Friday would be our first gig and we had two days in between to relax beforehand. Jim Gregory was the only one who knew about Inky and I. He was my best friend and absolutely trusted. Out of the blue, the next morning, he calls me up at Inky’s to tell us to get ready. “We’re going boating,” he laughs out. Getting a phone call, let alone having to rise at 7:00 AM, when you are used to going to bed at 3:00 AM, is, should we say, marginally traumatic. Anyway, Jim went with Kyle, his girl friend of many years, and there we were, on our day off, sailing up the Hudson River on a Day Line cruise. It was actually a hell of a lot of fun. That night, Inky and I returned to our habitual practice of completely devouring each other sexually.
In one of our many intimate moments after sex, Inky told me a story when she was around four or five years old and was in the woods with her uncle. She continued, “I don’t really remember this, but ... ‘Do you want this?’ he asked showing her a quarter or half dollar. “Yes, ‘I said.’ He put it on the tip of his erect penis and I reached out for it. ‘No, no, no. No hands.’” She continued, “I don’t remember the next part too well, but I remember how upset my parents were when they found out.”
We often walked over to Lexington Avenue, later in the evening, to take a bus down to China Town to eat. Coming home, we’d be dropped off on Third Avenue at Twenty-Third Street. There, like clockwork, were the prostitutes selling their wares. The cars would be periodically stopping to “see how much,” and inevitably, a driver would become a john and then be directed to where to park. A parking lot that sat empty in the evenings was right across the street from our building. Because of the traffic lights and the one-way direction of the streets, we would always coincide our entering of our building’s front door just as the cars, with their respective whores and johns, rolled into the parking lot. By the time we got up stairs to the second floor and entered the apartment and looked out the living room window, we would see either the cars shaking, or the heads of prostitutes bobbing up and down doing their service.
One evening, again returning from China Town, it was pouring rain and the “girls,” (I say that in quotations, because some where transvestites and he-shes), where all out there with their umbrellas. It was most unpleasant to be standing for hours on the street. Again as we entered the building, the cars rolled into the parking lot. And, again, as we entered the apartment and then looked out of the living room window, we saw the cars shaking and heads bobbing.
I was inspired to write the following song called SAVIN’ GRACE:
Hear the song now sung by Hayden Wayne. Click here.
HERE I AM
STANDIN' HERE FOREVER
IN MY TWO-TONE FACE
GIVING IS MY PLEASURE
'CAUSE I LOVE THE PAIN
THROUGH THE RAIN
THEY KNOW MY NAME
ASKING ME TO DINNER
BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME
KNOWIN' THAT THEY'LL TAKE ME TO SOME DARKENED PLACE
THROUGH THE RAIN
LISTEN TO THE RAINDROPS AS THEY FALL ABOUT MY FACE
LEAVING ONLY MEM'RIES
AS I TRAVEL PLACE TO PLACE
BITTER SWEET ROMANCES AS MY LOVERS CAME
THROUGH THE RAIN
THEY'RE ALL THE SAME
HERE I AM
STANDIN' HERE FOR EVER
IN MY TWO TONE FACE
GIVING IS MY PLEASURE
'CAUSE I LOVE THE PAIN
THROUGH THE RAIN ...
THROUGH THE RAIN ...
THROUGH THE RAIN ...
With our warm up gig one day away, I found myself in Melissa Manchester’s apartment, sitting at the piano, going through some of her material. I also showed some of mine. She seemed, not only comfortable with me, but also impressed enough to ask me to start working with her immediately for her tour in September. Mellissa had a wonderful reputation for taking care of her musicians. I told her that I absolutely wanted to work with her, and that this was perfect timing because I would be back by September from the Jobriath tour.
Then all the positive energy sucked out of the room and there was a pause. Mellissa then said, “But I want you to start working with me right away.” The problem was, I was leaving on tour the next day with Jobriath. “Listen,” I continued, “I’m very fast on the uptake.” There would still be plenty of time for me to learn your show before your tour. I could even start learning the material while I’m on tour with Jobriath.”
Her husband then said that that sounded reasonable and there should be no problem, Mellissa was upset and wanted me to commit to her immediately. “I can’t abandon the band with one day’s notice, especially before a tour. Her husband repeated to her, “It shouldn’t be a problem.” He then turned to me and said, “Call us as soon as you get back to New York.” “You can count on it,” and we parted amicably. I was really up. Things seemed to be falling into place.
There was another meeting at Jerry’s office, to discuss the tour and what equipment we would need. One necessity was hard shell protective cases for our fragile equipment. The other was heavy-duty wire, of various lengths to interconnect the equipment while on stage. These specific wires had thicker casings so that they would not be receptive to other electronic frequencies and thus prevent unwanted humming.
“I know a guy, named David Pastori, who runs a music store that his father owns, where I can get this done at a most reasonable price,” I said, asserting my importance. “Great, go ahead,” Jerry snapped back. I got up to use another phone to place the order and put myself on the line by telling him that we needed the order “yesterday.”
Jerry laughingly blurts out, across us towards Jobriath, who was in the other room, “You wouldn’t believe who I slept with last night to pay for this.” I couldn’t tell whether it was his sense of humor, or, in fact, a lowering of his guard and revealing the way he operated. About five minutes later, this large man with a beard comes in who Jerry introduces to us as Greg. He, apparently, was the latest source of money that Jerry had managed to wrangle. Returning to my seat amongst the other band members around Jerry’s desk, I told him that I wanted to buy a specific piece of equipment I needed for the recording, that would pump an amplifier speaker’s output through a tube, which was then placed in my mouth to enunciate the words. This new “patron” hostilely retorted, “I’m not paying for that.” I quickly asserted, “God damn it, Jerry. I’m trying to help you make a hit record.” He was to finally acquiesce.
Media Sound was only three avenues away from Jerry’s office on Fifty-Seventh Street. The next night the recording was scheduled, and when I started mouthing the words, “Weightless love, weightless, love,” with bass notes from my mini Moog synthesizer as the sound source, eyes bugged out with instant approval. Stevie Wonder had just introduced this technique to the public, and my use of it still preceded Peter Frampton’s own execution with his guitar, to great effect, in his subsequent live recording hit, I WANT YOU TO SHOW ME THE WAY.
The following day I called David to see how he was doing with the wires. He told me that he had to hire two other workers to come to his shop to do all the precise cutting and soldering. They had worked forty-eight hours straight through to complete the task. I was given a rock-bottom price, which was easily one-third the standard rate. When I told Jerry, he exploded, “I’m not paying eleven hundred dollars for wires.
Jerry totally discredited me with someone I did business. This person gave me good deals whenever I bought equipment from him. Now, because only a fraction of the wires would be bought and he would be forced to piece meal sell what he had made for us in individual units to other customers, my bridge with Pastori Music was burned. Simply put, they were stiffed and so was I. I would never extend myself like that again. In private, I vented my disgust with Inky who sympathetically acknowledged witnessing Jerry’s specific use of that technique with other people on the phone. There was nothing I could do.
The tour was beginning the next day with a warm up performance at Joint In The Woods, in New Jersey. Inky excitedly attended as Jerry’s secretary. Before our performance, John Cox took our first publicity photograph. Jerry seemed pleased enough with our performance and then left the scene with his entourage in a separate limousine. Inky left with the band. When our limousine reached lower Manhattan, it was to slowly meander uptown, depositing respective individuals with Jobriath and then myself, with the furthest uptown apartments, last. Jim was dropped off first at his Greenwich Street apartment. I, however, asked to be dropped off next in another spot so to “take care of some business”, but was really in quick walking distance from Inky’s apartment on 24th between Park and Madison.
Stealthily succeeding in my mission, I let myself in with a second set of keys given to me, quickly took off all of my clothes and readied myself to sexually attack and devour my mutually ready and soon to arrive partner. To my surprise, the whole band and road crew came into the apartment so to use the bathroom to pee. Needless to say, everyone was surprised. Gregg Diamond, even shook my hand at how we had handled the whole affair. But, Jerry Brandt, who had already established himself, on the street, with the reputation as being a reptilian son-of-a-bitch, upon hearing about this episode, fired Inky. She was devastated, but managed to keep a good face about it all. She really loved the gig. I was pissed off by Jerry’s insensitivity and obvious paranoia. In retrospect, Jerry’s handling of this was a clue to how he inevitably was to handle the tour, the band members and Jobriath himself. Inky pointedly did not appear at our two next New York venues.
In subsequent discussions about Jerry years later, I would hear people say; “To call Jerry reptilian was to give reptiles a bad name!” As for myself, I was just beginning to experience the complexities about Mr. Brandt. There’s no question, however, that Jobriath wrote the song SPACE CLOWN, with its hauntingly beautiful melody about Jerry Brandt. Pierrot was a fifty-fifty music publishing company that they had established.
Hear Jobriath's performance of Space Clown.
YOU’RE SO ENTERTAINING AND AMUSING
AND, GOD KNOWS
EVERYBODY LOVES A CLOWN
YOU CAN’T REFUSE HIM
WHERE DO YOU GO
WHEN YOU COME DOWN
A STAR SHOT ACROSS THE SKY AND SMILED
THEN VANISHED IN A TEAR
AH, YOU’RE A SPACE CLOWN
WHEN YOU LAUGH
YOU BRING THE HOUSE DOWN
WHEN YOU SMILE
YOU BRING THE WALLS DOWN
YOU’RE A SPACE CLOWN
‘CAUSE WHEN YOU CRY
WHEN YOU CRY
YOU BRING THE SKY DOWN
Our official tour opener was at the Bottom Line on Mercer Street in the Village, July 24, 1974. The two shows were sold out with the press all there gunning for us. Laurna Loft surprised me and came with her friend Macenzie Phillips, and sat with my parents. We played very well and were asked for an encore. When it came to introducing the band by Jobriath, I got a very loud warm reception surprising him with an agape double take. The next night, we were at the Nassau Coliseum, to perform as part of a benefit concert for Elektra Records on the same bill with RUFUS, who had Shaka Kahn as their lead singer.
Before we went on, however, we had to wait for the Billy Jean King Tennis Tournament to end. The event was running longer than expected. While we waited in the green room, I spotted a screenplay and started to read it. An hour and a half later, we were still waiting to go on. I finished the script and was very impressed by it. Jobriath had been given it to consider himself for the role of the boy who wanted a sex change operation. When I said to him, how wonderful it was and that I thought he should do it, he snapped back, “I’m not gonna wear a dress.” The movie script was DOG DAY AFTERNOON which ultimately starred Al Pacino in, arguably, one of the finest performances of his career.
Finally, word came that the tennis tournament was over and we were ushered out to the stage area. The event had run so over time, however, that they hadn’t cleared the house for the concert when we started to take the stage. It was very sobering for me. First of all, I never had played a venue that large before. Second, as I ascended the steel staircase to my keyboards, it felt lifeless as the vast stage itself. Third, the band was spread out so far apart from each other to fill the stage that it was impossible to relate to each other acoustically. What made matters worse, is that the tech crew hadn’t had the time to set up the play back monitors, so we were left to perform in a vacuum of our own individual perceptions of how we played our own parts of the music.
In this impossible environment, we stared to play and were immediately greeted with boos and cat calls, “Get off the stage, you faggots!!” Then the barrage of garbage started pelting us from all directions. The sound that filled the arena was amazing. Thousands of people were hostile to us, and we finally had to stop playing and run for cover. We could still hear the negative clamor as we returned to our dressing room. The irony of this debacle was that Billy Jean King was in the middle of her seven-year lesbian relationship, which would be publicly disclosed many years later.
Jobriath was beside himself. Sitting in front of one a several huge eight by eight mirrors, he suddenly picked up his Louis Vuiton make-up case and smashed it into the glass shattering it. The new Israeli investor, Greg Arre, that Jerry had looped into the project, happened to be there and started to charge Jobriath to do him physical harm. Like a shot, the entire band and roadmen jumped between the two of them. It was a very tense moment and took several minutes to calm this attacker down enough to persuade him to leave. Joe Biancci then personally took Jobriath to his limousine, with us following not too far behind.
By the time I got to the cars, Jobriath had his big Gloria Swanson sun glasses on with tears streaming down his face. It was a pathetic tragic moment and I deeply felt his painful humiliation. Before I turned to enter my limousine, I stepped up to him and said, “I’m not going any where. Don’t you worry, I’m with you all the way.” While we drove back, the streetlights were strobically pulsing through the windows of the car. With every flash of light, I started scribbling a lyric for a lullaby that I was inspired to write dedicated to him.
STAR MAN DON’T CRY
STAR MAN DON’T CRY
TELL YOUR TEARS BYE, BYE
STAR MAN DON’T CRY
STAR MAN DON’T CRY
NEW BORN CREEPER
STAR MAN DON’T CRY
STAR MAN DON’T CRY
ROLL INSIDE YOU
As I look back on the entire affair, so many years later, in spite of all the lashing out and cruelty I personally received from him, I have healed and can now view this objectively. I see a man who had to go out on a tour already defeated and humiliated by his manager and then rumored former lover, Jerry Brandt. Asking Jerry, years later, if whether he and Jobriath were ever lovers, he quickly responded, “No, I wasn’t that good,” then laughed. Still rumors abound, but one thing is for certain, Jerry Brandt was a dedicated true believer as he first raised financial backing, recorded and presented the world HIS great discovery.
In the beginning, Jerry’s role as impresario wasn’t necessarily an act of malice and forethought, but slowly grew into a not so obvious competition with Jobriath. There’s no question in my mind, that Jerry was the rock ‘n’ roll equivalent of Hollywood’s Mike Todd two decades earlier. Whatever one would ultimately say about Jerry, he was someone, that when he spoke, one should consider what he said, even if later to discard. To this day, Jerry considers Jobriath a genius, and to all those who had received his wrath, not to take it personally because that’s the way he treated everyone.
To hear Jerry tell it, however, HE was Jobriath. The inflated publicity monster, that he created was to enable him to raise money, with hope that record sales in the U.S. would eventually pay back the investors; “...that’s why the mention of the Paris Opera and Covent Gardens.” At first, they just talked about Jobriath’s creative intent, and Jerry had him draw out the sets and costumes and write down the orchestrations of his fantastic theatrical vision. “Ideas just seemed to flow from him, non stop.”
In retrospect, I tend to believe Jerry is telling the truth and demonstrated his ability as a very strong promoter. It is obvious, when talking with him, he was very clear in his purpose and managed to raise a significant amount of money. The process, however, seemed to suit his own ego better, regardless of how insurmountable the residual fallout would be. For example, the rumored sexual liaison, according to long time friend of Jobriath, Steve Knee, repulsed Jobriath by the very idea. There was also the reality that the heterosexual world wasn’t ready for a self-declared fairy and his gay brethren were seriously angered by how Jerry’s over zealous handling of publicity. There was no subtlety and refinement. One might say Jerry’s handling of publicity was like having a plumber do cardiovascular surgery. And then there was Jobriath’s manner in which he presented himself. It seriously embarrassed the gay community which didn’t want him to be their “poster boy,” especially when it depicted a perceived manner about themselves that they loathed. Thus, they wanted to distance themselves as far from any association with him as possible. The constituents of the record business resented what they believed to be true when hearing about the exorbitant amounts of moneys fronted to Jobriath, which were more part of Jerry’s fantasy publicity monster than reality. In short, Jobriath was a dead man walking.
There was also Jobriath’s alcoholism. When Jobriath drank, according to Jerry, it set off a chemical imbalance not only unleashing his abusive personality, but his inability to perform, as well. One can only assume the devolving environment of two estranged partners competing for their own survival while the world watched and they posed unemotionally detached. The promises by Brandt, that the press was to perceive as never kept, was the cross Jobriath ultimately had to bare, embarking to climb an enormous mountain like the Greek’s Sisyphus. And, insurmountable it was.
While in the middle of our tour, Jerry Brandt would abandon us and David Geffen’s Elektra Records would drop us. In spite of this, without salaries, we continued to tour and recorded six new songs, signing our names to huge hotel and air travel bills that were subsequently to find their way back to the record company. Compared to any band first starting out on tour we were ahead of the pack. We were an excellent band constantly refining ourselves and defining our individual roles as players and personalities. And audience response proved again and again how appreciative they were of us.
Jobriath, like Jim Gregory, was more sophisticated because of his need to survive on the street, than I, who had grown up in a nurturing and protected environment at home. He was three years older than I, and at the time, more evolved in his musical composition and lyrics. It was 1974 and “glam rock” was taking center stage, but the nation was not ready for a homosexual who was allowed to declare himself, “The true fairy of rock ‘n’ roll.” The nation was incredibly hypocritical when it came to sexuality and extremely closeted.
Jerry had created an expectation of “The second coming;” “Elvis, The Beatles, Jobriath.” We were to open at the Paris Opera, only to open at the Bottom Line in New York. Detractors would later say that Jobriath ripped off David Bowie. I happen to be a great admirer of Bowie but plainly state that while David was doing his peek-a-boo bisexual androgyny trip, which he would totally deny at his re-invention with the release of “Let’s Dance,” Jobriath was out there as the bona fide article. He never apologized for being gay. In fact, he celebrated it. It was in his lyrics as well as all his sexual explorations. This Bowie never did.
Jobriath also didn’t flaunt himself in a lewd exhibitionist way. He proved himself to be rather shy. While we, so many times, were forced to share the same dressing room, while changing and the inevitable nakedness of ourselves, Jobriath would demurely cover his genitals with his hand. What would have been wonderful, would be the tour that we were about to embark on as our preliminary warm up, ending in New York City and then let the public, at large, know that we were off to Europe to perform in the Paris Opera. I later heard that Bowie had bought the set that we were to use at the opera house. One can only conjecture whether Jerry himself sold the set to David or the company who built it, Design Associates, who also designed the floats for the Macy’s Thanksgiving parades. I personally can’t imagine the company building anything without a down payment and most likely half down payment. I saw it as it was waiting to be finished, which it never was.
Jerry had stopped paying us our salaries. God knows who else he didn’t pay. Did he sell the set to Bowie or not? Marlow B. West, (Obie), would later say to me that he had seen photographs of Bowie’s stage production and short of a few various size boxes that were omitted, there was no question in his mind that that was our stage set. Jerry would also disclosed to me some thirty years later that he and Jobriath had an agreement that whomever died first, the survivor would gain the full hundred percent of the entity “JOBRIATH.”
The set, this agreement, whatever the truth is, we’ll never really know for sure. But, this is the reality in which Jobriath dwelled. In this defeat, in this reality against a humongous publicity Godhead, he started his mortal tour. I now understood why he smashed the cake into Jerry’s face those many months before.
Our next show was at the Performance Center in Boston, Massachusetts. We drove up, with all of us in one limousine at night. That evening the sky was remarkably clear, and a crescent moon had surrounded a star at the center of its curve. We were in awe. Arriving at our hotel, we quickly got settled and went immediately to sleep. I shared my room with Jim, as I ultimately would throughout the tour.
The next morning, after breakfast, we went over to the venue to see what we were getting ourselves into. We would soon enough realize that we, unfortunately again, were to be presented as part of a freak show. While the road crew was still setting up our equipment, we waited around to quickly do a sound check so that we could go back to the hotel and relax before the show. Out of nowhere appears this bearded character wearing only sandals and a leather thong with two one inch in diameter attached amber beads, like testes. We did a double take and wondered who this freak was, who walked off the street, and when he’d be ushered back. But to our shock, his name was Sweet Pie, and he was our opening act.
That evening we arrived as Sweet Pie was finishing his apparent comic piano/vocal solo act. Picking up his clothes that he had disrobed from, he exited with his other props and paraphernalia leaving sweat dripping from the piano stool and a large three feet in diameter surrounding puddle on the floor. Jobriath rightfully and repulsively declared, “I’m not playing in that!” The road crew quickly came in with a mop and towels drying up to the best of their ability, the endless sweat that was everywhere. Even the keyboard of the piano was covered. Now, with the stage as clean and dried as best as one could, we took the stage and performed. Jerry came up to see the show. Normally, I played all the keyboards, except when Jobriath specifically played piano solo accompanying himself. The roadmen would come out and turn the piano keys away from me to him. I wasn’t happy when Jerry said that he didn’t want the piano moved during the performance, and I permanently lost that instrument for the rest of the tour. Begrudgingly, though, I understood the practicality of the decision.
This only proved how we were first discovering how to present ourselves. When you consider that the world was expecting a finished product, with two years of previous hype, and we were virginal as a band, you can only appreciate how good we really were. We were booked to perform the entire week at the Performance Center which meant that the clean up ritual following Sweet Pie was eleven more times.
Jim had made arrangements to see his daughter from a previous marriage, who lived in the Boston area, the coming weekend, during the day. I had no idea that he had been married, let alone, had any children. I knew of the stories he told about Boston’s red light district, called “The Combat Zone.” He had run away from home in Appalachia, when he was twelve years old and found himself in the Zone by the time he was fifteen. A prostitute had fallen in love with him and took him in and mothered him. She had bought him his electric bass and he started to play music with the local bands.
As for myself, I talked with Inky on the phone every day. We missed each other terribly. Not that any women had presented themselves to me, but I was loyal to her and missed the way we passionately made love to each other.
We drove down to our next venue, which was in a small theater called the Bijou, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It had a micro stage that we could hardly fit onto, but it was intriguing to play so close together. We literally had to perform on a stage of, at best, a hundred and twenty square feet. My keyboards, the drum kit and all the amplifiers had to take up one hundred square feet alone. Jobriath, Steve and Jim literally were at the edge of the stage with the microphone stands. It seemed that at any point any one of them easily could have fallen into the seats around us.
The stage was four feet up in the air, so the sitting patrons were eye level with our feet. There was a three-sided mezzanine above the main floor and our eyes were at feet level with those patrons. It was an extremely intimate house and it had a profound effect on how we presented ourselves to the audience and how we related to each other, as well. It was a very important musical experience.
The next day, Jim and I went exploring the city and found ourselves at the August Rodan Museum. As we walked through the magnificent gates, we knew we were onto something. What a breath taking experience! We had four sold out performances at the Bijou and the audiences thoroughly enjoyed us. It was confidence building.
We were on our way again, this time, to Memphis, Tennessee. It was our first plane ride on tour. Inky said that she couldn’t stand being away from me any longer and would come see me for the weekend. It was the longest period I had gone without sex and was looking forward to seriously doing something about it. I was thrilled.
The band members were starting to get “catty.” It most likely was from the increasing exhaustion that besets a tour. Jim had even come up to me and said, “Everybody respects your musician chops, but ya gotta cool your macho.” “Macho?” I repeated in total disbelief. “Me?!” I responded in total exasperation. I don’t know what was going on, but I can only assume that it was venting and I presented myself with the strongest interior core. So, I became, for lack of better words, the whipping boy.
The club we were performing was call, “God Father.” It was a nice intimate venue. The owners had secured the horse’s head and the car that Sonny was brutally murdered in, from the movie production of the same name. The patrons would eat under the staring head along side the parked bullet-riddled car. We performed at the opposite side of the room.
One night after the show, we were shepherded into another after-hours club to have drinks with the members of Three Dog Night. I thought they were very nice unassuming guys. The rest of the band maintained, what I now expected from them, their star posing of indifference.
Inky came down Friday night and saw the show. Jim had met a groupie and arranged to stay at her place leaving Inky and I the luxury of being alone together. Needless to say, we devoured each other all night into the morning. We just couldn’t stop making love to each other. We then took a pause to get breakfast. Everyone, of course, knew Inky and felt comfortable around her. But now she witnessed the continuing hostile indifference and arrogance towards me and was appalled. She even told my parents about it when she returned to New York. It peaked for me when Joe Biancci, took liberties joining the familiar waters, as it were. The whole band had gathered with Jobriath and the road crew for a meeting, when this happened and I exploded. “Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to. You’re only a bloody roadie.” I’m no roadie, I’m the road manager,” Joe defensively replied. “You’re a roadie to me.” I then turned to the rest of the entourage, “And you can all go fuck yourselves as well. I had it with all of you,” and I stormed off rejoining Inky who I had left in my room.
The band didn’t see me for the rest of the afternoon because Inky and I inevitably jumped back into bed making up for lost time. Late that afternoon, Inky and I got dressed and went back down together to get something to eat before the show. The other band members and road crew were there in the restaurant but nothing was ever said. Then it was time to be driven to the club. It all took place like nothing had ever happened. Returning to the hotel after the show, Inky and I more quietly made love in my bed while Jim slept in his. The next morning, I had one of the roadies drive her to the airport. She had found a new job and had to go to work Monday morning.
After kissing her good-bye, I walked back into the hotel lobby and was confronted by Joe, crudely chewing gum, in his usual manner, with his mouth opened. I braced myself expecting to be hit with more bullshit. While punctuating each sentence with his chewing, he pugnaciously said, “Gregg got arrested last night for driving through four red lights and is being held in the local police station waiting to be arraigned.” “He did what?!,” I shockingly responded, flashing back to the stolen speeding sign that was in his Los Angeles hotel room that many months earlier. “The stupid jerk. Looking like he does, he pulls shit like this...in the south?”
Joe seemed to relish being the bearer of the news and sped up his chewing. Continuing with a smile and a chuckle, “He’s scared as hell. I managed to find a lawyer who can bribe the judge; otherwise they’ll throw the book at him. We need two hundred and fifty dollars. What are ya gonna do about it?”
I thought to myself, “They’ll probably shave his head, beat him up and throw him in jail for several days to be sodomized by some degenerate.” I then reached into my wallet and pulled out a hundred dollar bill. Handing it to Joe, I shook my head and disdainfully said, “Tell him to fucking grow up,” and then walked away.
Apparently Steve kicked in one hundred himself. I don’t know where the rest came from, but Gregg was there for our last show. Joe managed to get him released with the stipulation that he was not allowed on the street, that after the show we were to take him immediately back to the hotel, we were to leave the next day and we were persona non grata in Memphis and forbidden to return. Gregg didn’t say much that night when he walked in to perform. But there’s no question that he visibly looked shaken. They would have kicked his ass. On the plane back north to Chicago, I felt someone poke me between the seats. I turned around and it was Gregg passing me fifty dollars with an appreciative nod for helping him. The band never treated me like they had, again.
In Chicago, our opening act was Ed Begley, Jr. He presented himself as a comic, though I think he was the only one who was aware of the joke. This was the first venue that we had light crowds. Maybe because it was Monday and Tuesday, but we seemed to perform to total indifference. Jim had found himself another groupie and was fucking her brains out each night after the show. Longing for Inky as I was, I couldn’t stand being in the same room. Because of the impossible mutual expense of continually talking to each other on the phone, I decided to start a tape-recorded diary to send home instead. With my cassette tape recorder in hand, I took to the streets.
That was the beginning of my devolution into burn out. The dementia that would present itself would only deepen and take some six months after the tour’s conclusion, to reverse itself. I don’t know whether Inky ever kept the subsequent stream of cassettes that I sent to her, but they surely clinically documented my devolution into rock ‘n’ roll numbness. This never-never-land is totally surreal and some bands maintained themselves in this dementia for years and some for decades. It’s not an easy world to exist in and too many individuals died while in it. It’s something not to take lightly.
I walked the streets of Chicago and performed in the evening and then walked the streets again staying up forty-eight continuous hours. We then flew down to Atlanta the next morning so to be able to start our Wednesday through Sunday engagement. I slept on the plane. We were playing at a club called Richard’s. Being in the Deep South was interesting for a Yankee boy, like myself; or should I more aptly say, Southern Yankee, because my Momma was from the Heart of Dixie, Alabama. It was a completely different clientele. As we got out of the hired cars and walked in through the front entrance, the security guard already had an armful of handguns that he took from the patrons. “We better play well,” I thought.
Jobriath had made a point of ranting and raging on the phone to Jerry that he refused to go on while staying in Holiday Inn type hotels. So miraculously, we found ourselves staying in the Regency chain of first class hotels as any super star band, or soloist would. However, even with the Regency stamp of approval, we were staying at the Stouffer Hotel and were obnoxiously served only Stouffer’s prefab frozen food. It was disgusting. So, with what little money I had left, I eat elsewhere.
What was interesting, though, was looking at the sky line and realizing how successful General Sherman was in burning down everything during his march to the sea, which inevitably broke the back of the South in the Civil War. There were no old buildings to tear down, just space to build. This said however, there was a magnificent art decor movie theater called the Fox and was ironically earmarked for demolition to build some super modern structure. David Bowie ultimately got involved and had, apparently, rallied significant political support to convince the city to make the Fox a landmark instead. Good for you, David!
The week was relatively uneventful, other than the fact that the audience liked us and the houses were always full. We were still too distracted by excitement of the unknown to be aware of our encroaching exhaustion. It was a continual party. Not speaking for the demons that I’m sure were perpetually plaguing Jobriath, but so far, other than the Nassau Coliseum debacle and the episode of the troupe’s cattiness, it was a wonderful joyous experience. I even found myself someone’s fresh cut, dew-covered lawn to run through bare foot. I hadn’t done that since I had left Great Neck a year before.
One night, just before entering stage left to get to my keyboards, a pretty shorthaired red head was spooning some powder into her nose. Thinking it was cocaine, I asked, “Can I grub a line?” “Sure,” she ingratiatingly responded and scooped up two large nostrils full. “Thanks a lot,” I said as I trotted to my position. What seemed like thirty seconds later, there I was back in the wings, panting heavily and quickly. The show was finished, everybody seemed to have played well, but I didn’t remember a thing. In retrospect, I must have been given some crystal Methedrine, something I swore I’d never do. So much for asking for free-bees, not knowing specifically what you’re getting. That was the last time I did that.
All during the week, a very attractive waitress at the club was persistently warm to me. She had the most engaging smile and I knew that she was a Pisces, like myself; because of the flexible sterling silver fish she wore around her neck. Everyone else had hit on her to no avail. She was holding out for me and finally managed to seduce me into taking her back to her home where she so beautifully made love to me. It was absolutely wonderful, but I felt guilty as hell. I had never done anything like that before; been in a seemingly healthy relationship, and had sex outside of it. And now, we were about to put some serious distance between the east coast, flying to San Francisco, and us. Women were presenting themselves everywhere, beautiful women. I didn’t know for how long I’d be away. I longed for Inky, and yet, at the same time, realized I might not see her again for months.
As compared to my first California experience some six months earlier, San Francisco opened her hospitality immediately. It was like being in a different world. Everyone was so nice and laid back. The air was squeaky clean and carried the scent of the ocean that lapped at its shore. It also marked, by all intensive purposes, a separation from a previous life. As soon as we entered the Hyatt Regency in Embarcadero Square, we entered a larger than life world. You couldn’t stay at a nicer place. We were in the big time. The accommodations were spectacular and the food, impeccable.
The Boarding House was a large, yet intimate, venue where the patrons sat at tables to view the show, which performed on a proscenium style stage. Our opening act was Melba Rounds. She and her back-up band and I all got along so well that we hung out in her dressing room whenever possible throughout the engagement. The rest of the band had nothing to do with them. It was then that Jobriath started adding additional material when he intimately played and sang solo. The rest of the band would be in the wings. Because of the way the equipment was set up, I, alone, would exit to the stage left wings. After a couple of songs, Jobriath would sing, BE STILL, I LOVE YOU,” while always looking into my eyes, never breaking contact. There’s no question that he sang to me every night:
Hear Jobriath perform Be Still.
I KNOW THE CHILD THAT I AM HAS HURT YOU
AND I WAS APPALLED WHEN I MADE YOU CRY
BUT A LITTLE BOY WANTS TO DRY YOUR TEARS
BE STILL I LOVE YOU
COME ON, NOW,
BE STILL I LOVE YOU
BE STILL I LOVE YOU
BE STILL I LOVE YOU
I STILL LOVE YOU
NOW, BE STILL
Then we would return and perform something ebulliently wonderful called, “Ooo, La, La.”
I’M SO GLAD I GOT YOU BAD
IN EVERY GLANCE YOU THROUGH
I’M SO GLAD I GOT YOU MAD
NOW WHAT ARE YA GONNA DO?
OOO, LA, LA, LA, LA, LA, LA
San Francisco had a very important, large and growing gay community. This world immersed itself in an extra-terrestrial fantasy life that Jobriath had so eloquently weaved within his lyrics as a metaphor of his own sexual choice. Thus, this devoted following, relishing the openness and joyous expression of their gayness, were not only very warm to us, but presented themselves as a continuous stream of various characters. One in particular, was a fag-hag named, Marcia Mitchell, a.k.a., Talulah. She happened to be a friend of Jobriath’s. The evening she came to see us, she and Jobriath were quite overt about showing how much they liked each other. She had a very voluptuous body and wore see through black chiffon. While driving around in our limousine after the show, Talulah told us to stop at a Burger King, to buy a soda. We watched her stand in line, under the florescent light, while the other patrons slowly became aware of her nakedness. It was an amazing comedic moment of double takes and gaping to her poker-faced indifference. Back at the hotel, she and Jobriath retired together. The next morning I saw Jobriath and humorously said, “Oh, there’s hope yet,” implying that they had sex together. “What are ya talking about?,” he snapped back. “She sucked on my tits and kept me up all night,” snapping his fingers to add punctuation to his indifference.
As for myself, a pretty very well built girl started hanging with the band and me in particular. We landed in bed together while Jim was sleeping in his. She wanted to be with me and yet she was either self conscious, or guilty for having sexual desires. It was a constant push-pull, to the point of ruining any intimacy between us. The next morning, after she got dressed, she asked, “Was it good?” Honestly, I told her, “No.” She then left and I never saw her again. Yes, it was bad, because of her indecision. But as I sat there, I started feeling very uncomfortable about my insensitivity in handling the affair. I so wanted to tell her, that it could be better, that she could be a wonderful lover, if only she relaxed, but it would remain something that haunts me to this day. I didn’t mean to hurt her. In my exhaustion, my brain dead alpha-state, I told the truth but should have couched it differently. It’s called sensitivity and I didn’t show any.
The next night, I was with this absolutely adorable groupie, who came back to my room with me. With the veranda sliding doors opened, we started to passionately kiss. She was full of octane and eradicated my memories of the previous evening. I laid her out on the bed and slid down between her legs to discover her pantyless and completely shaved. I immediately started sucking on her and she made it very clear that that was exactly what she was there for. She started to rise towards her climax as Jim, unexpectedly entered the room. I immediately, self-consciously stood up, pulling her dress down, covering what we were doing. There’s no question, if I hadn’t done that, and had invited Jim to join in, that she would have gladly welcomed becoming a sandwich. As it turned out, we left for the hallway balcony where she gave me a blowjob in front of the coca-cola machine.
Every night, the most attractive women presented themselves. It was ironic, because the troop was perceived as being gay, and yet, the women still came. It also presented itself to naturally go into ladies’ bathrooms anywhere so to snort cocaine and make love, though cocaine seemed to be the priority.
The night of our last show before we went south to Los Angeles, we had a farewell party in Jobriath’s room. A joint was being passed around and I took a big hit. What I didn’t realized was, it was angel dust, aka “rocket fuel,” aka elephant tranquilizer, that was sprayed onto parsley. I thought I was going to faint and reached for the wall behind me for support and slid down to the floor, before I fell. I saw Jobriath trot across the room suddenly in slow motion with tracers streaming behind him. He laughed, “Hey, look at Hayden,” as his voice went from tenor to exaggerated slow bass, like a recording slowing down to stop.
I started feeling sick to my stomach and wanted to return to my room, two doors away. Knowing that I shouldn’t stand up, because I probably couldn’t, I started to crawl to the door, reached up to grab the handle and tried to twist it and pull the door open for my escape. Jobriath then shouted out, in this slow bass voice, “Stop Hayden. He’s gonna jump,” and several hands then grabbed my ankles and started pulling me back. I held onto the handle of the door and then, with my finger tips, the edge of the wall, saying, “ I want to go to my room. I want to go to my room!” I started to feel like they were, in fact, pulling me down to fall.
Somehow, I managed to convince them and crawled all the way to my room and knocked on the door. Jim, who had not yet left to join the party, let me in. He helped me up and I suddenly felt sick to my stomach and ran for the toilet, subsequently vomiting up some stomach lining. I was empty but my body wanted to eject whatever was in it. I was obviously poisoned by this horrible drug. Wiping my face, I crawled back to the center of our bedroom, lying on my face. Jim was concerned. “I’m O.K.,” I assured him. “I’m just sick to my stomach,” I continued. “Just let me lay here.”
After a few minutes lying on my face with my ass up in the air, I said, “Hey, get my tape recorder. I might as well document this.” I don’t know what I said for the next two hours, but I ultimately sent that cassette to Inky. Four hours later, we left to drive down to L.A. We split up into two different cars. Jim drove one with me laying in the back seat, still sick to my stomach, and one of the roadmen. The rest of the entourage drove down still smoking this shit. I don’t know how they weren’t killed driving the four hundred miles along “U.S. 1,“ a serpentine winding road along the coast.
It would take another eight hours for my queasiness to completely dissipate. I was weak for the next day and wouldn’t eat anything. Unbeknownst to myself, however, I had a smell association with the experience. And when Obie, who wore eucalyptus perfume, came near me, I violently retched again. This reaction to this particular perfume would affect me this way for several years. In fact, walking down Fifty-Seventh Street, four years later, I spot a gorgeous model rounding the corner from Sixth Avenue. She was caked in make-up, obviously from a photo session. I was attracted to her and appreciated her beauty even more as she approached. Suddenly smelling her eucalyptus perfume, I nearly fainted, sagging against the nearby wall.
We checked into the Hyatt Regency in Los Angeles; notoriously and infamously also known as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven.” All of our beds had rubber sheets. God knows what the management was expecting, or who, in fact, were the previous guests. I just went to bed to sleep off the remaining effects of my horrid experience. Rising the next day, I was clear and voraciously hungry. Waking up around twelve or one o’clock, Jim and I went down for breakfast and decided to go to the club where we’d be performing later that night.
Arriving at Doug Westin’s Troubadour, we told the box office who we were and that we wanted to see the stage that we were about to perform on. They let us in to see the show without any problems. Unbeknownst to us, a brilliant band, that both Jim and I so highly respected, was about to perform. In fact, months earlier, Jim had turned me onto their debut album. It was humbling. What can one say, other than, the sheer genius that we witnessed from the synergy of Chick Corea on piano, Al Demiola on guitar, Stanley Clarke on bass and Lenny White on drums, which made up the band, JOURNEY TO FOREVER, was perfection itself.
Talking with Jim on the way back to our hotel, we agreed that it was a tough act to follow. Expectations were high, but we had just come in from successful weeks in Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis and San Francisco. In fact, we were so successful at the Boarding House that we were immediately booked to return after our week in L.A., before we would fly to Alabama for our concert at Tuscaloosa University.
Opening night, the place was packed and everyone was there; including the press who were gunning for us. But, the band had evolved to the point of breathing as if one member. Even Jerry Brandt had shown himself for the first time since Boston.
That evening Doug (Weston) invited us into his home. The party that ensued had all the paraphernalia including the usual beautiful human “sex toys” and a broken slab of marble with a couple of ounces of cocaine and razor blade that was passed from person to person who then in turn, so nonchalant, while in the midst of conversation, would chop, scrape, line and snort through the supplied rolled hundred dollar bill and then pass it on, without missing a beat, with the fineness of keeping your pinky out in the air, as it were.
In the wee hours of the morning and “feeling no pain,” we left Doug’s home to be driven back to “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven.” Before we got into our limousine, I approached Jerry, who was getting out his leather jacket from the boot of his cocoa 911 Porsche convertible. Shall we say that the car was a “cherry,” absolutely gorgeous. After some discussion about our next day’s itinerary, I reached up to cordially close the bonnet of the car not realizing that it had to be released not like that on a Volkswagon. As Jerry painfully moaned, “Don’t,” I had bent the bonnet. It was something that Jerry would never forgive me for. The next evening, the word was out and it was standing room only. For the rest of the week, we were the hottest ticket in town.
The third night, I spot this Australian gal, meticulously smooth and refined in manner, who was innocuously standing away from all the groupies and hanger-ons in the hallway outside our dressing room. I approached and we said our hellos. After the normal cordialities we found ourselves out in the parking lot kissing. She had such a warm subtle mouth. I was exhilarated. And when I saw this sterling silver heart on a chain around her neck with a lot of other charms, I said, “Ooo, I like that,” and took it off her chain and put it onto mine with the cello peg I had been wearing for already four years. I still have them around my neck today.*** We went back to her hotel and snorted a few “toots” and tried to make love to no great avail. Determined not to embarrass myself, I, at best, managed a half hard performance. The next evening Trisha was nowhere to be found. The band started its first show. During the break so many more exotics presented themselves to us, including a pair of twins that Jim took an immediate interest in. After refreshing ourselves, the band took the stage for its second show.
Jobriath constantly rearranged the order of the material, and as a result, it retained it freshness even with all the repetition. This particular show, we finished OOO, LA LA and went into a vamp where Jobriath ran off the stage so to do a costume change into his leather for TAKE ME I’M YOURS, but he didn’t return. The vamp ground on and out of necessity became a jam that went on for at least another five minutes. Something was wrong, but we didn’t know what. We just kept playing and the audience began to grow restless. We were reaching the point to stopping altogether, when Jobriath, very agitated, finally ran onto the stage. We finished the number and ended the set.
Apparently, Obie had locked the dressing room door and left somewhere, not expecting this change in the order of musical numbers, and thus, the costume change. Jobriath had to break down the door to get in. Imagine how difficult that had to be. We were all soaked with sweat and now Jobriath is trying to put on an intentionally extra tight leather outfit. He was furious and fired Obie on the spot when he finally returned to help with the change. By the time we got up to the dressing room, Obie was gone. We never saw him again. Something had gone down, but we were all too oblivious to immediately realize to what extent. Obie was one of us, one of the troupe. We were to finally understand what happened the next evening when Obie didn’t show up at the club.
But that evening was the usual blur with groupies cueing up to share their bodies with whomever would take them home. I looked over to Jim, who winked at me with the identical twins in each arm. These two girls would ultimately land up doing a spread for Playboy Magazine. In the mean time, I spot Trisha but she was reluctant to speak, let alone come home with me. “It was terrible last night,” she said. “What did you expect?” I retorted. “We were high on cocaine and after you were sucking on me, I became so numbed out that I couldn’t feel a thing.” She didn’t seem moved by my explanation. “Ya see those two girls over there,” I continued. “They want to take me home, but I rather be with you.” She looked at them and then at me, “OK,” she shrugged.
That was the beginning of my romance on the road. I was tired of the groupies, though some proved themselves to be more exotic than others; like the one little cutie I had just met in San Francisco with extensive shaving habits. Trisha had class beyond the other admirers and was a lovely lover. “It would be nice to have an attractive, intelligent and sensitive companion in the midst of rock ‘n’ roll dementia,” I thought.
The next day, in the afternoon, the band was gathered together and limoued over to a recording studio owned by A & M Records. We recorded, THE ACTOR LOVES HIMSELF and LULLABY, before returning to the hotel to shower, eat and then perform that evening. The next day we recorded his triumphant, OH LORD, I’M BORED (GOOD FIGHT) with its agitated ostinato and searing background vocal harmonies. Here, without question, like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, he thumbed his nose at the world, saying in essence, “Is that as good as you can give?” He seemed to relish the uproar that he had caused. Chuckling at the end of the song, he was no victim.
HARMONY IS DEAFENING AND LOVERS DON’T AMUSE
OH LORD, I’M BORED
I COULD CRY
LIFE’S INSANE INDIFFERENCE IMPALING ALL OUR BLUES
OH LORD, I’M BORED
I COULD DIE
I’D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO COME TO BLOWS
I LOVE A GOOD FIGHT
DON’T YOU KNOW THAT I DON’T HAVE TO THINK TONIGHT
JUST TO KEEP OUR LOVE IN SHAPE WE’VE GOT TO FIGHT
JUST TO TASTE YOUR BLEEDING PASSION
WE SHALL ALWAYS TURN THE OTHER CHEEK FOR YOU MY LOVE TO BE A
YOU’D LIKE TO SMASH MY PRETTY FACE
YOU KNOW YOU JUST CAN’T WAIT
OH LORD, NOW, I’M BORED
I’M BORED TO TEARS
SO COME ON IN MY SPOT
AND CRUCIFY ME AND SHOW ME YOU’RE AWAKE
OH LORD, NOW I’M BORE
BORED TO DEATH
I’D LOVE TO OESTERIZE YOU
THEN TO DRINK YOUR JUICE
I LOVE A GOOD FIGHT
JUST TO KNOW THAT I DON’T HAVE TO THINK TONIGHT
JUST TO KEEP OUR LOVE IN SHAPE WE’VE GOT TO FIGHT
JUST TO TASTE YOUR BLEEDING PASSION
WE SHALL TURN THE OTHER CHEEK FOR YOU MY LOVE
TO BE A GOOD FIGHT
I NEED A GOOD FIGHT
JUST TO KNOW THAT I DON’T HAVE TO THINK TONIGHT
JUST TO KEEP OUR LOVE INSANE WE’VE GOT TO FIGHT JUST TO TASTE YOUR BLEEDING PASSION
WE SHALL ALWAYS TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
FOR YOU MY LOVE
TO BE A GOOD FIGHT
NOW YOU LIKE ME
FUCK ME SHOW ME HOW YOU LOVE ME
I had already lost track of time. Chronologically, I was fine, but my depth perception was shot. A weekend seemed like a week. A week seemed like a month. A month...forget about it. It seemed interminable. It would take me some six months to recover from this phenomenon after the tour finally ended.
To save money, Trisha had changed hotels and was sharing a room, with a girl that Jim had met earlier in the week, named Cathy MacDonald; a hard edged Janice Joplin type blues singer. We arranged to have a double date. I was to pick up the girls at the Tropicana, come back to our Hyatt Regency, pick up Jim, and then go to a sushi bar in down town L.A.
vvvv When I arrived at their hotel, to my surprise, police were everywhere to do a drug bust. Apparently Cathy had some past that they were aware of and tried to catch her off guard. Trisha had no idea that Cathy was into heroine and had shared the room to save money. Cathy quickly had flushed the “shit” down the toilet, so there was no evidence. Trisha had a half a gram of cocaine in her purse, which was buried in her suitcase. I just busted in and said I came to pick up my girl friend to have dinner. My attitude was very simple, play naive but determined to get my date out. This seemed to distract the seven police and detectives on the scene who, by that time, still hadn’t found anything.
Trish was cool and very low profile as I grabbed her and put her in my car leaving the door opened. I was talking to the police the entire time I was doing this. When Trisha began to get back out of the car, I sternly snapped, “Get back in the car.” For some reason, the authorities seemed to appreciate this. Now I was trying to get Cathy off the hook. This was more complicated because Cathy apparently had been busted before, but managed only a misdemeanor. The investigators tore through the room but were superficial enough to find nothing. Maybe I distracted them, maybe they got bored, maybe both, but now I was ushering Cathy, who was crying the entire time, to the car.
Driving back to get Jim, Cathy was really shaken by the close call for her. It was then that she told me that she, or rather Trisha had flushed a bag of heroine down the toilet. I freaked and started yelling at the both of them. “What are ya, fucking crazy?!” With my eyes burning with rage because I had potentially incriminated myself by association, I turned to Trisha. Cathy then piped in, “It was mine. Trisha only knew about it when I told her where it was in the bathroom, when the police knocked on the door. Trisha then continued, “I flushed it down the toilet making believe that I had just peed when I came out the bathroom to a room full of police. You then arrived five minutes later.
If Trisha had been involved with heroine, I would have stopped the car and had both girls get out, and I would have driven off leaving them there. Arriving at the hotel, Jim was sitting in the lobby. “What took ya so long?” “Don’t ask,” I blurted back as he got in the back seat with Cathy, who started to cry again while explaining what had happened. Cathy seemed to pull it back together as we arrived at the restaurant. We sat down and ordered a few sakis and then our food.
It turned out that the restaurant had a piano and a microphone for singers; apparently this was more of a place for karaoke, than total live entertainment. Cathy asked me to play some blues and she started wailing with her heavy voice. In a flash the owner ran in and stopped us. Returning to our table our food was quickly served. We seemed to be prodded to eat quickly and leave. The evening basically resolved itself into Jim and I splitting up so to make love with our respective dates.
Going to bed at 5:00 AM in the morning, I tried to wake up at 11:00 AM so not to lose the day. We’d have breakfast and then go about town sightseeing; only to come back to have dinner and then for me to prepare for the show that evening. We made love wherever and whenever the time permitted. And when she got sore, she would put me in her ass. No question, I had fallen in love with her.
I really thought that the band’s base of operation was going to be in California, either San Francisco or, more likely, L.A. So, I started to make plans accordingly which I shared with Trisha. I asked her to come and live with me when we went to perform at the Boarding House in San Francisco again. She accepted. The band had the week off before we were to return. So during that time, I was going to go back to New York, to tie up loose ends and then return.
We had now been together five days, and during the quiet moments, when we weren’t making love, Trish had been writing letters and cards to people, I assumed from around the world. At that time, none of us realized that Jerry Brandt had abandoned the band and Elektra was dropping us from their rostrum. We hadn’t made anything out of not seeing Jerry since our opening at the Troubadour. We were used to being on our own. We were without salaries and, thus, took it in stride, wherever we stayed, to run up frightening tabs for the record company who had released the two Jobriath albums. We were in the midst of recording the third album, and had just assumed that business was going on as normal.
With a false sense of security, I took off for New York. I got rid of my apartment, giving Inky my piano and other important effects to hold on for me while I was away. As far as she knew, I was celibate and sending her cassette tape diaries all along the tour, which had ground to a halt by the time we hit L.A. I had never disclosed my sexual activities to her. I didn’t want to hurt her and felt that by natural attrition and separation the relationship would peacefully dissolve without any serious bloodletting. I liked Inky very much, but I also knew that she wasn’t the “one.”
Six days later, I’m back in L.A. to resume my life with Trisha, only to find out that she allowed herself to be seduced by Gregg Diamond. Who told me? She did out of her perception of decency when realizing that I was serious about her coming with me to San Francisco. That hurt like hell. But what really pissed me off was the betrayal of friendship by Gregg. We hadn’t been paid in Memphis and I still reached into my pocket and gave one hundred dollars to add to the pool to get Greg, for his hubris, out of jail, where they surely would have ripped his Yankee closet bisexual ass. He still owed me the remaining fifty dollars, and this is how he repays me?!! I looked at Jim, my best friend. “Don’t look at me. I make a point of never sleeping with my friend’s ol’ ladies.” I stormed out of my hotel room and confronted Gregg. “Trisha told me.” “Oh, shit,” he shrunk. Pointing my finger in his face, “You can never count on me for anything again. Ya hear me, anything!”
I went back to my room and Trisha was sullenly sitting there. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think you were serious when you went back to New York.” Looking down at the carpet, “It wasn’t that good anyway. It was forced. I’ll leave if you want.” Hurt, betrayed, pissed off ...somehow I understood how such a thing could happen and forgave her. She was shocked by my compassion. We didn’t say much during the ride to the airport or on the airplane. And when we arrived in San Francisco, I insisted on having my own room. The number was #1706. As strange as it sounds, some years later, Mel Brooks was to shoot “High Anxiety” in that very same room.
Trisha showed greater devotion. Though the pain of betrayal was slow to subside, my brooding dark clouds inevitably disappeared and we had an absolutely wonderful time together. I think Trisha was in love with me, too. I say this because recognizing her methodology much after the fact, when I was in New York following the tour, I realized that she forfeited her life style in the U.S. to go back to Australia to tie up her own loose ends. She didn’t have to go back for another six months on her visa.
All during the tour, Jobriath seemed to dutifully comply with his responsibilities in spite of the constant negative and humiliating press that was to continually dog him. Exhaustion was besetting all of us. The stress was particularly evident in him, and yet, he seemed to get a second wind with our next recording session of NEW YORK, NEW YORK and GIRL OF THE NIGHT.
Jobriath was up beat and wanted to continue recording, but there was another session already booked in the studio after him. “Can’t you change it or move it back,” he pleaded while we were all at our instruments. I thought I was going to die. The next session was secretly booked by me, and I had rented a whole bunch of equipment. I thought I was going to be exposed. “No,” the engineer firmly responded. So, we finished the session and left; with me and Trisha, stealthfully returning to do my recording with Danny Seawell, the former drummer from Paul McCartney’s WINGS and Chris Squire, the bassist from SPOOKY TOOTH, who appeared with us on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL six months before.
They had come to one of our shows, liked my playing and then approached me afterwards. All during the tour, I had traveled with different scores of my own music, including my circus, which Denny seemed very impressed with. None-the-less, I wanted to record a theatrically campy hard-ass rock ‘n’ roll song called I LOVE YA, that I had written before the tour.
Hear Hayden Wayne sing the song by clicking here. (Lyrics and lead vocal, Hayden Wayne, George Wadenius and John (Johnny Jupiter) Moses, guitars; Alfred Di Lafae, electric violin; Leroy Clauden, drums; Stu Woods,bass; recorded 3/27/79)
I’M SO IN LOVE WITH YOU
I THINK YA KNOW
OF CORSE YA DO
YOU MADE IT SO
YOU DID IT TO ME
LET’S DANCE AGAIN
I LIKE YOUR SMILE
YOU MOVE SO WELL
WHY DON’T YOU LEAD
FOR A WHILE
I LOVE YA
I LOVE YA
I LOVE YA
LOOK AT THE MOON UP IN THE SKY?
WHEN HE STOPS MOVING
LET’S GO STICK HIM IN THE EYE
OH, IS IT RAINING IN THE AIR?
OH, LET ME COME INSIDE
IT’S WARMER IN THERE
OH YES, I LOVE YA
I LOVE YA
I LOVE YA
I LOVE TA LOVE YA IN BETWEEN
THE PARTED PAGES OF A DREAM YOU GAVE ME,
OH, WHAT’S THAT FRAGRANCE IN YOUR HAIR
IT SMELLS SO GOOD
I THINK I’LL PUSH MY NOSE DOWN IN IT
I LOVE YA
I LOVE YA
I LOVE YA
Another song we recorded was WILL OUR LOVE COME HERE TO STAY?, that I had written for Trisha, questioning the future of our relationship. Finishing the session, Trish and I returned to the hotel for a late dinner before retiring to our room. All seemed promising. But soon enough, it became clear that my California expectations and Jobriath’s emotional resurrection were dashed by Jerry Brandt’s abandoning of the band. We had only one more booking and nothing after that and no one to book us further. Without Jerry, I had no infrastructure of my own to start a separate career. Even with Denny and Chris, I’d have to find financial backing for the long hall, and my finances were running on fumes. I had virtually nothing left. With this new reality, I discussed my future with Trisha. It would be better for her to return to Australia to tie up her lose ends. After what was supposedly to be our last concert in Alabama, I was going to rebuild my life in New York, and, Trisha would come join me. I would find us an apartment, in the mean time, and we would try to live together and see what happened.
With a very deep emotional embrace, we separated at the airport; she bound for the other side of the world and me domestically for the “another world experience” of Alabama. Joining the rest of the band and road crew, I hadn’t seen Jobriath since the session. Reality of the end was very sobering. He, also recognizing the end and destruction that Jerry Brandt had done to him, was stoned out of his mind and rather caustic.
Wired from cocaine and on Pacific Time, leaving the crystal clear sea air of San Francisco, we boarded the plane and took our seats. About one hour into the flight, Jobriath started collecting all the pillows the stewardesses could bring him. We were paralleling a thunderstorm for seven hundred and fifty miles. While the plane was bouncing about like a car on some unpaved dirt back road and the sold out economy class was “white knuckling” it, a pillow fight erupted between us in first class. God only knows what the rest of the passengers thought. Joe Biancci began his hostilities to me again, almost seeming to instigate a fight. It was all falling apart around us and emotions were frayed.
Our arrival in Tuscaloosa was rather depressing. The air smelled like rotten eggs from the paper mills. There was no way in hell that anyone of us dared walk on the streets, as we were a mascara band. The food was terrible. Television and everything else, for that matter, shut off at 9:00 PM eastern time. That meant that we, on Pacific Time, had to entertain ourselves the equivalent of 6:00 PM to 5:00 AM Pacific Standard Time. It was brutal and a true test of self-discipline.
Jobriath was becoming impossible and my tolerance was wearing thin. So, in the elevator, when he really started to attack and then claim that he could get anyone to replace me, I said, “Fine, go ahead. I’ll fly to New York after the gig.” Steve Love, who had shared the ride down with us, told the rest of the band of what had happened and that I had given my notice.
The performance the next evening was out-of-world. To a sold out audience, we numbly performed in an alpha-state of perfection and numbed indifference tearing the place apart. They stood on the handles of their seats and screamed their approval at us, culminating with five encores. They wouldn’t let us go. We finally found our audience and if Jerry hadn’t abandoned us, he could have directed his focus on booking us in the south and thus, allowing us to grow our reputation nationally and subsequently worldwide.
We were out of music. The hall began to fill with smoke and firemen started entering down the aisles. We were still on stage and Jobriath said on the microphone, “This isn’t one of our effects.” I, numbly, looked at Gregg who returned the look with mutual indifference, and then started playing. I figured, “What the hell,” and started playing myself. Soon the rest of the band joined in and we repeated one of our pieces, but with an even greater bravura. The firemen chased everyone out of the hall and we finished the song and walked off. There was a live recording of the concert, if someone could only find it!
Back in the hotel, on the heels of this extraordinary happening, Steve was now trying to book us somewhere, anywhere. He asked me if I would still stay with the band if he found work. I said yes and postponed my leaving until further notice.
That night in the hotel was again from hell. Trapped like a fugitive with nowhere to go. I called Inky and basically told her that I was coming home and that I had had an affair. It hurt her terribly and I wished that I hadn’t been honest with her. I still hadn’t told her about Trisha and our plans. The next day Steve told me that he was unsuccessful getting us the concert gig and I left for the airport with my own remaining money and flew to New York.
Arriving late in the evening, Inky received me with opened arms. She was a real sport about it all. Before we went to bed, I called my parents to let them know that I had safely returned. Inky then started licking me with that amazing tongue of hers until she could ride me into the wee hours of the morning. I don’t know how she managed to get up to go to work those two and one half hours later, let alone, could walk. That had to have been a very mellow day for her.
Waking up around my usual 11:00 AM, I immediately called up Mellissa Manchester to tell her that I was back and ready to start working with her. Some third party answered the phone telling me that she was in California rehearsing with her new band for her album. “So much for her reputation of caring for musicians,” I thought. She didn’t keep her word with me because I wouldn’t leave the Jobriath group in the lurch.
Inky and I continued our love making, it spite of the fact that I was consciously aware of my future plans with Trisha. It was a strain for me to perform, but Inky was a great lover and I was still in my sport-fucking mode. Trisha represented a change in life style. But until her arrival, I was still in the habit of being open to happenstance encounters. So, it’s not surprising that I started having sex with the girl who lived down the hall from us, while Inky was at work. And when other ladies presented themselves for the taking, I simply obliged. It was mutual, very natural and continual.
All this time, since Jobriath’s opening night at the Troubadour, Jerry Brandt was in New York, neck deep getting his eagerly awaited new venture, The Erotic Circus, off the ground. While waiting for Jobriath’s return, later that week, so to retrieve my equipment, I went to see him and get my two thousand dollars back pay. I returned to 7 West 57th and climbed the two flights of stairs, flashing back to when I had first met Inky. Sitting alone in his office, Jerry brusquely refused to pay me, sighting it was payment to fix the damage I caused to his beloved Porsche. I really needed that money. It was a devastating blow and there was nothing I could do about it. Realizing the futility of my position, I replied, “Well, now you owe me,” and walked out.
Descending the stairs, I flashed back again to another time at Jerry’s office and me spotting a Penthouse magazine that touted a pictorial spread called EROTIC CIRCUS. I remembered seeing it in Lambertville so many months before. But Jerry self-consciously and conspicuously snatched it off his desk, tossed it into one of his drawers and then slammed it shut. I remembered how I was amused thinking, “What’s the big secret and does he really think that nobody else knows about that expose?” Hitting the street, I took a big breath and went back to Inky’s to start making phone calls. I had to make money as fast as I could and put the word out.
When the band finally returned five days later, they would be in preparation to play during the opening festivities for the club that evening. I made it a point to be there during the supposed rehearsal earlier in the day. As expected, music was blaring as I entered the cavernous club. To my surprise, there were virtually no decorations. “Erotic, indeed,” I thought. Obviously, it was erotic in name only.
As I approached the stage on the opposite end of the huge hall, the band was playing with a new member on keyboards. This player was, of coarse, oblivious and struggling with the same indoctrination that I had experienced seven months before. But the rest of the members, including Jim, where in their familiar poses; in total denial and didn’t even acknowledge me, let alone, say hello. In this “freeze,” I made sure that I had all of my gear, which was contained within the three hard shell cases. Then standing between both Jim and Steve, I clearly said, “I don’t particularly care for the way you guys are handling this, at all,” and then proceeded in pushing the cases, which were on wheels, down to the proscenium edge. Jumping off the stage, I started to slide the cases as best I could off and then down to the floor below. But the third case was the biggest and must have weighed three hundred pounds. There was no way I could manage this myself, but I started to try. Then out of nowhere, Jim appeared and helped me lower it to the floor. He then got back up on stage, put on his bass and continued playing with the other members who never had stopped. I rolled all three cases out of the hall, hailed a taxi and returned to Inky’s apartment.
It was a very emotional moment for me. I felt completely betrayed. Now, you might rightly think, “So did Inky,” but I don’t compare my two months with her before the tour, and the following month on the road without her, before I started having sex with other women, to have the same import of betraying a trust as with a friendship of over four years. I liked Inky. She was the kind of girl you couldn’t help but like. My memories of her are still positive, even today. But it wasn’t meant to be. Of course it’s easy to say this thinking about it in retrospect. But even in love with Inky as I was, I don’t think the relationship would have lasted for the long haul. It was wonderful for what it was, at the time that it was, and now it was time to move on.
I just spent eight and one half months with a band, which now seemed to add up to zero. With Melissa Manchester out of the picture, I had no immediate prospects. Mix in the postpartum depression that comes after any tour, the terminal exhaustion from touring, and you have me at one my lowest points. I was broke and had to start from scratch. I also needed to find my own apartment. Sandwiched between my emotions and conjectures of how the other parties felt, I found myself writing this lyric which I subsequently set to music: (an excerpt from THE SUN)
LOOK AT ME
LOOK AT ME
LOOK AT ME
A PETAL DROPS
AND NOW I’VE LOST
LOOK AT ME
WAITING FOR THE SUN TO COME
AND BRING ME BACK AGAIN
I NEED THE SUN
WARM ME TO THE MORROW
I NEED THE SUN
BRING ME BACK AGAIN
As I sat at the piano singing this new song into a cassette tape recorder, Inky walked in and started verbally pecking at me. I didn’t react, because I was concentrating on getting the song down on tape. When I finished, I immediately played it back. I was pleased with the song, but then Inky’s diatribe started. Upon hearing herself, she profusely apologized.
As for Jobriath, it had to have been the final humiliation. The club opened to under whelmed snickering reviews, which also alluded to the failure of the band and Jobriath himself. Jerry Brandt didn’t allow the band to perform at the club that night, as they had expected. Apparently, a fight almost broke out back stage as a result of it. Jobriath was to subsequently re-invent himself, yet another time, as Cole Berlin, when he became the house pianist at the restaurant Covent Gardens. He would remain in denial, and not acknowledge any of his Jobriath experience to the day he died.
Jerry Brandt would inevitably be indited along with his former financial backer Greg Arre. It seems that the government finally caught up with Greg and his long trail of bank fraud. Though also indited, Jerry was ultimately found not guilty, in spite of his affiliation with Greg.
I immediately put the word out that I was available for coaching and as an accompanist. I also started doing showcases in the various cabarets just to let people know that I was back in town. Slowly but surely, I was very fortunate to draw people in who I could charge for my services. I seemed to be getting all the gay work in town because of my previous affiliation with Jobriath. These people would either come to me in the apartment or I would go to some other designated place.
All during this time Inky and I carried on like friends, which we truly were, but the aspect of love that was no longer there for me, had to be sensed by her as hurtful. In spite of this, we still went to parties and hung out with various friends of hers to play backgammon, or just hang out and snort cocaine.
One of her friends was a guy named Bobby, who sported the largest handlebar mustache. He happened to be an enthusiast of flying and every weekend, found himself in the air. One Saturday, he called up out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to go flying with him. He was a nice amicable guy and I figured, “Why not.” We got into his BMW 2002 and drove to some small airport and got into his single engine Piper Cub. It was like flying a Volkswagen Beetle in the air. Bobby had to meet someone to discuss business. This person also liked to fly and agreed to meet at some mutually convenient place. The problem was that Bobby couldn’t find the airport and finally had to land at some other landing strip. It turned out to be solely for paratroopers, who were amused that Bobby couldn’t find the proper airport. Getting the correct coordinates, Bobby slinked back to his plane embarrassed by the encounter. Apparently, in aviation circles, he had lost face. Anyway, the runway was made of gravel and as we taxied down to take off, the wheels seemed to dig in. All I could do was look at the approaching trees and wonder when, if ever, we were going to take off. I knew that you couldn’t force the plain up, and had to wait for the wings to pull you up and then be free to maneuver. But we still weren’t managing to get enough speed to rise. Just at the point when I swore that we were going to hit the trees, the plane started to rise and Bobby adeptly pulled her up and over. That being said, we still hit the tops of the trees with the wheels and I nearly peed in my pants. We were then to successfully find the airport and his friend, take off again and safely return home. But I swore that I’d never fly in a small plane again!
The rendezvous with Inky’s friends continued, as did the singers of various abilities who called me to coach them. I never thought of myself as being addicted, or having an addictive personality; addicted to sex, maybe. But one evening, Inky had come in with a cocaine buzz and in a fabulous mood saying, ”You’ll never believe who I ran into?” “Who,” I responded. “Bobby, and he had the best blow.” Interrupting, I pointedly asked, “You didn’t bring me any?”
In retrospect, it was an absurd question. But more troubling, it demonstrated that I was gravitating to a possible dependence. I think that the financial reality of maintaining a continual intake of coke was impossible to maintain. I don’t think I was on the road to addiction, but looking back at how disturbed I was at not “having any for myself,” does give me pause.
Within a month I managed to raise enough money for two months rent and security. I knew that I wanted an elevator building, not a walk up any more. I also knew that I could only afford two hundred and fifty dollars a month rent. Inky and my relationship began to slowly sour. Not only were we starting to see less of each other because of my frantic running around for work, but also the time we were together, she proved herself to be increasingly “catty.” It was becoming quite a strain.
Responding to the real estate section, I drove around with my father for the better part of the afternoon. Dad was getting tired and wanted me to call it quits. I agreed and was just going to look at this last apartment. The problem was that I couldn’t find the address. Then it dawned on me that I was looking for the apartment on the wrong street. It was on eighty-seventh, not eighty-sixth. In total exasperation I turned and saw a sigh in a building that said rental available. I went in and inquired. But they wanted Three hundred and twenty-five a month. That was way out of my league. I asked if they knew of any other place for less and they suggested the Brewster up the street. It turns out that the management of the Hotel Brewster was trying to turn it into a nursing home and failed. So after their long campaign of terrorizing the tenants so to move out, the building was now pretty much empty and in desperate need to fill up with tenants again. I was shown several apartments and then saw # 807. The agent said that it was three hundred a month. I told her that I couldn’t afford it, that I could only manage two hundred and fifty. As we were about to walk out, she then said two seventy-five and I’ll through in an additional month. I had to think about it because every dollar was critical and I really didn’t have the money. I looked back into the six hundred square foot one bedroom corner apartment with windows on both sides. It was so very bright and had a fabulous vibe about it. I knew I was in over my head, but said yes.
I ran down to my father who was patiently waiting and asked him to write a check for me in the amount of five hundred and fifty dollars. I told him I’d pay him back immediately. I signed the lease and that was that. It was mine. I later found out that this Upper West Side apartment was previously one of four “love nests” of Fanny Brice and Arnold Rothstein. “No wonder there was a good vibe in the place. And I’m going to continue it,” I thought.
The next day, while Inky was at work, I moved out my three Anvil cases that housed the equipment I had just toured with. The month that I had been back, they had obtrusively sat in the corner of her apartment, an eye sore taking up too much living space. When she returned and I told her what I had done, even though I had restored her living space, she wasn’t thrilled.
The following day was very bright and beautifully sunny. I brought Inky uptown to see my new digs for herself. Upon opening the door, the light was exploding into the empty space, save for my three large black cases. The six hundred square feet seemed even larger with the windows and the bright sunshine pouring in. Inky was not impressed at all; I think for obvious reasons. She was very moody and wouldn’t take off her winter ski jacket. Obviously, she wanted to leave as soon as possible. “Take a look at the bedroom and see how bright it is,” I said. Reluctantly, she walked into the room that looked north over seven blocks of rooftops below. Once again she was aloof and unimpressed, just short of evoking me from rudeness. And then she asked me, “Do you love me?’ It was coming for quite some time. I knew it was coming and I knew I had to answer. I quietly said, “No,” shaking my head. She screamed and slammed the bedroom door. After a few minutes she came out of the bedroom and went home.
Later that week, I rented a truck to gather my Hammond organ and other equipment from Great Neck and then returned to Inky’s to get my piano and the rest of what little stuff I had left when I was in preparation to live in California. Though we were to see each other a few more times, it was forced, and we mutually drifted away from each other. I really hurt her and I’m not proud of it at all. It would be years later that she would invite me to a party where I would discover a whole room of her previous lovers. It was a send off before she left for Greece to marry. She ultimately had two sons.
Now living in my apartment, I waited for Trisha to arrive. She never did; only her letters, which slowly began to spread themselves out over time and then finally stop coming. It was then that I realized her methodology as demonstrated all along while we were together. How many other men was she gently disengaging from through the post from all over the world? Alas, I realized that she was the most evolved of all the groupies that I had experienced. She was to contact me some eight years later and we had dinner together. But, frankly, I wish I retained my previous memory of her and she hadn’t called. Ten years later, she called again and we saw each other more as curiosities than anything else. The sexual spark had left when she and I had split in San Francisco. I set my equipment and piano up in the living room as if to perform. In the bedroom, I managed to get a mattress, in decent condition, from the management. That was it. I didn’t need any more.
Finding rooms to perform in, I moved my equipment myself into two Checker cabs, arrived at the location and then proceeded in unpacking the taxis, loading the equipment into the club and setting up. If that wasn’t enough to kill me, I then changed and performed, to ultimately have to reverse the procedure and bring all of my equipment home. Save, for the house piano, I would bring my Fender Rhodes electric piano, my Clavinet D6, my Mini Moog, and Acoustic 360 and Fender Twin Reverb amplifiers as well as microphones and stands. It was approximately one half ton of equipment. Ah, the durability of youth! But I didn’t always have to travel with all my equipment. Sometimes, thank God, I only had to show up and play the house piano.
Ruskays was a restaurant, on the Upper West Side, where you played four hours for twenty-five dollars and a free meal. I wasn’t doing anything that night anyway...right, and at least I got fed, too. Seriously, it was a great way to practice in front of an audience, even if they were eating.
Then an important job presented itself. I was called to be Nell Carter’s accompanist at The Grand Finale for a one-week show. I sang and also played synthesizer, which made the presentation sound as if she also had an orchestra behind her. We started rehearsing. A great deal of her material was gospel, which was right up my alley. I remember being invited to a party at Delores Hall’s apartment. I was sitting at the piano, noodling around, when she came trotting in from the kitchen, and in total surprise and awe, said, “Where d’you learn to play colored?” I simply replied, “What other way is there?”
Anyway, Nell presented herself very carefully. She never showed enthusiasm and was generally a flat line of emotions when it came to approving how well I was accompanying her. It was her manager who at least showed enough excitement for me to believe that I was doing OK.
Came the opening night performance, and the house was packed to overflowing. I remembered the room very well. This is where my band, INDIAN, had performed for Capital Record’s A & R man, Noel Sherman. Though the stage was now on the opposite side of the room, it was still a space that I was fond of, in spite of the horrid treatment Noel was to put us through.
Nell had an electrifying high punching voice with a strange nasality to it. She was also a rather good raconteur with good comedic timing. At one point in the show, she starts talking about her gynecologist friend, whose wife was her manager. Then she started talking about her weight. Nell was a chubbet with a large round extended ass. After a rather long funny monologue about her failed attempts at dieting, she started to reach up, with her bottom, to sit on a bar stool center stage, to sing her next number. I hit an effect on the synthesizer that sounded like a bomb that was falling from the sky. The audience howled and couldn’t stop laughing. Nell gave me a dirty look. It absolutely stopped the show. When the reoccurring giggles here and there finally subsided, Nell sang a ballad. With me doing the string parts on my Mini Moog, she tore the house down. It was an incredible ovation.
The next number was a barrelhouse style gospel boogie. I ripped into the piano and played my ass off, singing harmony to Nell’s very strong lead. The problem, however, was that the action on the piano was so badly stiff and hard, I might as well had been playing with the lid down. I was to ultimately separate the fingernails from my fourth and fifth fingers on both hands. You could see the blood under the nails. For the remainder of the week, I had to wrap tape around my fingertips in order to play. It was excruciating to perform this kind of music in this condition, but I psyched myself into, “It hurts so good,” and roared on. When the press came out about the performance, Nell got very glowing reviews, which she rightfully deserved. But, I also got noticed and this pissed Nell off for some reason.
Diddier Deutch, Billboard Magazine, 1974
”Hayden Wayne, whose effective handling of the keyboards, synthesizers and vocals elicited frequent enthusiastic responses from the audience ... proved that he could also become a headliner of the first magnitude.”
As great a talent as Nell was, she was an even greater cunt. I don’t even think the understood meaning of the word, “bitch,” measures up. She was brutal. So, I just stayed away from her until it was show time. I never worked with her again. She was to become a star on Broadway and on television, but never surpassed the magnitude of her horrendous combative attitude, which became legendary.
As a result of that gig, it was easy for me to do subsequent showcases in that room. I still looked gay as hell in my muslins and see through costumes, and all the boys from around town came to see my performance. Between them and my straight friends, the room was quite filled. The manager of the club seemed impressed too. Little did I know that he was strictly trying to get into my pants. I suggested to him, “Do you really want to bring some money in here? ... I know some pretty heavy drinkers. Give me a midnight show. Don’t charge my friends a cover charge at the door. They’ll sit at the bar and drink so much, you’ll make your nut.” He agreed.
But the asshole was to charge these people. What would have been a natural after- hours place being frequented repeatedly, and habitually by the people I knew who liked to drink--he killed it. I knew the psychology of these people. They’d just as soon stay home and drink, than part with that extra bit of cash to pay a cover charge. But, liking me, they would have, at least, drank to their heart’s content without the cover. I was pissed. And I might as well set this straight, now. Anybody, I don’t care what your proclivity or sex, anybody, who blows their gig for reasons of sex, is an asshole! Again, someone else’s self-interest blew an important opportunity for me.
The next gig I had was at Max’s Kansas City, down on Park Avenue and Seventeenth Street. This was one of Jobriath’s previous haunts. I remember he and the band sitting in one of the upstairs booths, with his music continually playing on the jukebox and me studying his facial expression as he posed as the reigning queen. But as I kept studying him, I also sensed an undercurrent and his sense of the impending encroachment of being passé. The scene was boring for him and it was as if he was watching his own endgame. Now, I was there, in solo, remembering the distant memory. I read the titles of his songs that were still in the jukebox, but only played in my mind, for none of the patrons showed any interest.
It was the middle of December and 1974 was rapidly coming to a close. It was also the beginning of the nihilist movement and the audience, not only continually talked, but was extremely rude, demonstrating a total lack of manners. This was the antithesis of the sophistication that I had experienced starting with all the music that my father had so selflessly shared, the Beatles and subsequent fusion movement they inspired, and the culminating glam rock movement with its extreme theatricality.
On stage, I was facing a piano that not only didn’t have the soft and sustain pedals attached to it, it was missing several keys and the center two octaves didn’t respond to playing. I had busted my hump carrying one half ton of equipment up an extremely long staircase to get to the stage. At a certain point, I yelled at the audience, “FUCK ALL OF YOU!!,” and walked off. They thought it was part of the show and didn’t realize how serious I was until I had changed my clothes and returned to pack up.
Sitting in the Checker taxi with another Checker behind it, bringing my equipment home, I decided there and then that I was going behind the scenes. No more performing for me, I had had it.