I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 14
A few days before Smutty called me, I heard from one of my Soho News pals, the one who previously dated Jerry. She needed to move out of her apartment. She hadn’t paid her rent in two months and wanted to know if I would pay it in exchange for taking over the lease. This was a no brainer. The place was cheaper and better than my present apartment, in the downtown area and had a great pedigree. It’s hard to believe there was a time when you could walk into a landlord’s office and work out a deal like this…all for less than $500 for the landlord and a few hundred for her to sweeten the deal. It was also three blocks from CBGB in the heart of Little Italy.
Still not fully unpacked, I put together an outfit to meet the band. We were going to rehearse so I didn’t think it was necessary to dress like I was going clubbing. A tuxedo jacket and a cummerbund were overkill. I decided to wear tight black jeans, no glasses (of course!) and the two toned loafers. I had a red shirt that was similar in style to the one Elvis wore in Jailhouse Rock while singing “Baby I Don’t Care.” Mine had a deeper neck line though…and I did care. As for the band, I already knew Dibbs as he used to sleep on the sofa at the apartment I was taking over. The rest of them were unknowns.
I went to an address in the West Village, walked down some steps and rang the bell. Before I knew it we were all sitting around and talking about the situation: the label wasn’t happy with the record and the band wasn’t happy with the drummer. Dibbs and the Sunbeam Bread Girl vouched for me and they all seemed friendly enough. It was all down to whether I could play the drums and learn the songs. I had seen the band a dozen times so I didn’t think that would be a problem. Just swing and act like Jerry behind the kit.
Before we left Smutty said, “You’ve got to be cool if you’re wearing those shoes.” Never doubt the extra edge that a solid pair of two-toned loafers will give you.
© Curt Weiss 2014