After getting back from Texas, the whirlwind continued. The band, who already were on shaky ground with their record company after recording a whole album that went into the dumpster, now decide that their manager belongs in the same place. While I didn’t think it was the best move, I was the new guy. When you’re in a band for less than two months, and you don’t have a resume like Joe Walsh’s, you realize you don’t have much of a say in anything. Heck, even Joe Walsh couldn’t tell Frey and Henley what to do. “Hey guys, I don’t really think this “Hotel California” concept is too cool. Maybe I could write some stuff like ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ and…” They probably gave him another beer and told him to sit down, shut up and noodle when told. He was probably happy with the beer. So, I sat back and let it happen. Trouble was, I didn’t really like beer.
We soon met with the record company, who except for Chris Blackwell, never understood the band. They were hoping for the next Steely Dan or Doobie Brothers and we weren’t that. Blackwell was at least a forward thinker. Since the band was known for their live act, Blackwell said he wanted to do a live album, and like he did with Toots and the Maytals, put it out in 48 hours to garner some press excitement. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, “This is a cheap way to fulfill the record contract and now we have no manager to say ‘Hold on there bub’”. But, being the low level Joe Walsh that I was, I shut up and hoped for the best. Still, I got to meet Chris Blackwell, which was pretty damn cool. And after thinking about it, I think I was more of an Ariel Bender. He joined Mott the Hoople after spending a few years in Spooky Tooth as Luther Grosvenor. He replaced Mick Ralphs who went onto Bad Company. And, no, I couldn’t be a member of Bad Company because they were all in bigger bands than me. Well, maybe Boz Burrell. He only played on some low selling King Crimson albums beforehand. Wait a minute: I played on nothing before the Rockats. Jesus, I wasn’t even a Boz Burrell! I was “Sub-Burrell”.
Meanwhile, in spite of being Sub-Burrell, I could still look my Bryan Ferry best. I met a cute girl out at a club who was in a modeling shoot that was in the Soho News. My kind of gal. Our eyes literally met on the dance floor and our heads turned towards each other as we stopped in our tracks and said “Hello” to each other. True, she was walking by holding another fellows hand, but that meant nothing in those days. We realized that we go to all the same spots, so we agree to look out for each other in the days to come. The second night of recording the live album there she is at the bar. She comes over to my place, yaddda yadda, we “hook up”… I begin to think to myself, “Maybe this live album thing wasn’t such a bad idea after all?
The record comes out the same week that the Clash start their historic run at Bonds. They have two bands open for them at every show, including a local act. We’re scheduled at the first show that’s cancelled, but we play another show after the run re-starts. Barry and I meet Clash mouthpiece Kosmo Vinyl afterwards who offers us one of the Sunday matinee shows a couple of weeks out. Why Barry and I didn’t get an agent’s cut is one of the sad realities of the music business. I bet Boz Burrell made more money while in King Crimson.
With no shows in between, the band decides to rehearse the night before the matinee, so we don’t suck in front of all the pre-teens. At a break in the rehearsal, everyone else goes out for a pee and a smoke, except me and Barry. We are left alone with the equipment (doesn’t it always seem like me and Barry end up together in these situations?).
Now before I go any further, remember back in part 1 (https://curtweiss.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/i-am-the-coolest-man-on-earth-pt-1/) where I said “Not only did I bleed, but I was threatened with death”? That part comes now.
Two fellows with stockings pulled over their heads and sawed off shot guns in their hands, burst into the room and in voices devoid of emotion say “Get down on the ground. This is an armed robbery.”
This was no rock ‘n’ roll show.
…to be continued…
© Curt Weiss 2015