I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 13



I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 13

The pursuit of cool continued on through the fall of ’80 and winter of ’81, going out to clubs with Priscilla, her roommate the Sunbeam Bread Girl, and the Soho News crowd. During that time I acquired a beloved pair of two-tone loafers. The shoe was basically black but the instep was a gray woven material, almost like an old chair. I got some white shoe polish, and after about ten coats, I got it to just the shade I was happy with. Never mind that it was the frostiest time of year and I wasn’t wearing fully enclosed foot wear. They were cool and that took precedence. Despite my grandparent’s persistent hounding to wear proper footwear, risking the possibility that I would “catch cold,” my priorities were not the same as theirs. I had mentally moved off of the shtetl, and despite pistol whippings, had no concerns of getting caught up in a pogrom…with a bad cough. Still I was looking to play drums for someone.

The Rockats went to England in December of ’80 to work on what was to be their debut album. The New Yorkabillies sustained themselves by venturing out to see bands like Buzz and the Flyers and Levi Dexter & The Ripcords, both of whom were searching for that ever elusive record deal. They both had indie label singles, records which still stand up today. They looked great and sounded great. Both bands had top notch drummers (Rocco DeRubeis (Rock Roll) for the Flyers & Patrick Brown (Pat Brown) for the Ripcords) so I didn’t see a spot for me there. I’d have to sustain myself through the acquisition of records and clothes, and constant club hopping ‘till the wee hours of the morning. A night out was not deemed successful unless you exited from a club in daylight just as other people were making their way to work.

March 3rd, 1981, I got a call at work from the Sunbeam Bread Girl. Seems the Rockats were back in town and the recordings didn’t go as planned. They were looking for drummers through back channels. She told Smutty about me and within minutes he was on the phone asking me to come by and try out for the band. The big question on my mind: What would I wear?

© Curt Weiss 2014

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