|These stories are not chronological.
I've just started writing them down as I remember them.
I figure I'll put them in some kind of order when I'm done
and "The Book" will be written!
If you can think of any stories that you don't see here and want to
add to the mix, drop me an e-mail and let me hear from you!
|The Roar of the Crowd
It was an open mike, “Pig-Out” Monday night at Eskimo Nell’s in Arlington, VA. The “Pig Out” nights were so popular – all you can eat Ribs
and Crab Legs for less than $10, as I recall. Perfect night for an open mike… sort of a captive audience. This night was very crowded, and
noisy. I had my 20 minutes come up, and did my little songs, but it seemed no one was paying attention. Lots of loud laughter and mallets
cracking crab claws, and after my 4th song, I figured, nobody was going to listen tonight. So I started my last song, “Desperado,” singing
with my eyes closed; singing only for myself. I was almost at the end when I suddenly realized that it was really quiet. I looked out and it
seemed every face in the audience was looking at me. When I hit the last note of the last chord, you could hear a pin drop for about a full 4
or 5 seconds. Then the applause started, low at first, then louder and louder and it seemed to last for a really long time. That was one of
the first times I thought I might be right about doing this music stuff!
I’ve wrestled with my weight my entire adult life, and being in the “public eye” kinda-sorta, I’ve heard my share of snide remarks. Sometimes
they’re water off a duck’s back… sometimes they’re a little harder to forget. It was another night at the Round Table in D.C. I was singing,
and I heard two young guys come around the corner from the stairs, get a look at me, and one said to the other, “Oh, look! It’s Roseanne
Barr!” Well, I didn't think it was meant as a compliment, especially since he made sure I had heard it, but I just kept playing and tried to
ignore it. As the night wore on, I couldn’t get it out of my head – it had definitely hurt my feelings a little, but I told myself to forget it and just
By the end of the night, I had forgotten all about it, and I thanked everyone for coming with the “don’t forget your waitress and your bartender”
spiel, then announced last call and last song. I think I was playing “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” As I started the second verse, here come
the two guys, on their way out. They had stayed all night. The first guy thanked me and walked past… the second guy, the one who had
made the remark, started to walk past, then turned, and kissed me on the cheek on the way out. Such a sweet apology!
When I saw the movie with Bette Midler, I fell in love with Amanda McBroom’s song “The Rose” right away. I went back to see the movie 3
times so I could get all the words – it was before the album had even come out. So I had been singing that song for a really long time
before it was a hit on the radio.
I was playing at Gallagher’s Pub on Capitol Hill one night. I was set up in the front of the room, near the front door. A guy came in, walked
back to the bar, stood there for like a minute, then walked right back out again. I thought that was odd, but didn’t really pay that much
attention. I was finishing the last verse, when in he walks again with a really beautiful rose, slipped it in the chord of my mike stand, and
kissed me on the cheek.
How cute was that? But I figured someone in the neighborhood was now missing a flower from their garden!
Nearly Faded as My Jeans
I was playing on M Street in Georgetown at a place called “The Saloon.” It was a long, narrow bar, with a high stage at the back. You could
look out the front window to the street when you were on stage. Someone asked me to play “Me and Bobby McGee.” So I did. I was on the
last screaming verse, and, when you’re on stage looking out at everyone, you tend to notice things… I saw a guy get up from the bar and
walk the entire length of the room to walk up to me, looking right at me the whole time. He looked like he could have been a street person,
fairly grungy, really worn, dirty jeans, and stringy hair. Now I’m figuring one of two things… he’s either got a request, or he’s gonna throw a
chair at me or something, ‘cause he had a really determined look in his eye. When he got up to the stage, he reached in his back pocket,
pulled out a kind of disgusting, definitely dirty, red bandana, and said “Here. You deserve this more than Janis.” Then he promptly turned,
and walked right out of the bar.
I still have that bandana. It’s been washed a few times, but I still have it – ‘cause that was an amazing compliment.
A "Star" for The Washington Stars
I can't remember how I fell into the job, but I sang the National Anthem for one season of Washington's soccer team when they were called
"The Washington Stars." They held their home games at a high school field in Fairfax City, VA, and it was definitely an exciting experience.
The National Anthem is hard enough to sing, but out in the middle of a soccer field with the sound bouncing around, it's really a challenge!
But it was nothing compared to one of the big games that was being held despite the rainstorm that poured all afternoon. It was decided
that I would sing from the press booth. What I didn't realize was that, eventhough there was a local radio station broadcasting the play by
play, there were a bevy of international broadcasters camped in the box. When I started to sing, about 10 or 12 microphones suddenly got
shoved in my face, and I was singing LIVE to several South American countries! Not TOO much pressure!!
The Ladybugs are Coming...
It was a sunny, beautiful October day in Thurmont, Maryland. We arrived at the private party and started to set up the equipment - no different
than any other gig. Lots of families at this outside picnic type shindig. The kids were laughing and playing, and we would hear the
occasional comment from the little ones... "Ooo, look! It's a ladybug!" "I found one, too!" "I found three!" So cute! I remember thinking that
my mom always said that ladybugs were lucky!
After about 15 or 20 minutes, we noticed we were seeing quite a few ladybugs. Mike Mayo, playing drums with us that day, had one or two
on his white shirt. I had one on my knee as I was sitting down to set up my mike. We started hearing the adults mention, "There are sure a
lot of ladybugs around here!" As we started swatting them away, we realized there were more than quite a few of them - we turned and
looked at the wall behind us, and there must have been thousands of them! We started getting ladybugs on the equipment, in our hair, on
the microphones, under the strings of the guitars, inside the guitars, inside the equipment - they were swarming, everywhere! I think I heard
Bobby Flurie ask, "Do ladybugs bite?" When both Lou and Bobby got them in their mouth from the microphones, we tried to figure out a
solution. We ended up moving the equipment further into the field. We still had a lot of ladybugs, but at least the swarms were better. We
got through the day!
But none of us will ever look at a ladybug the same way again!
If you don't know what "spelunkers" are, you're not alone. I had never heard the term either. But I found out that they are adventurous cave
explorers, and there are quite a lot of them in the area! Holly & Lou brought me along to play a concert at the Spelunker's Convention in
Davis, WV. I had no idea what I was getting into!
The party was held in an old airplane hanger. We played for 2,000 drunk spelunkers! Wow! And we know they were drunk, because they
were reacting to us as if we were rock stars! Grabbing us from the crowd, shaking the stage, surrounding us from all sides. I'm not sure
how we got through the night, but it was one I'll never forget.
Prologue: The very next night, I was singing in a small hotel lounge, and my only audience all night was the bartender and the waitress.
Talk about not getting a swelled head!! Put me right back in my place!!!
The Amorous Event
It was during the “good old days” in the early ‘80s at the Round Table Restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue. If you’ve never been to the Round
Table, it’s an Italian restaurant attached to the Outer Circle Theatre. The formal restaurant is upstairs and the bar is downstairs. The bar
was a favorite local hangout for people from the neighborhood, off-duty cops and other musicians. Down the long narrow staircase you turn
left to enter the bar, which runs the length of the room directly in front of you. To the left of the bar is a metal pole and the very small space
where the musicians perform. There are square small tables that run the length of the room, with a large round table at the back. Right in
front is a small round table, big enough for 2 or 3 people. That’s where it happened.
It was the same as any other night. I was playing and singing and the bar was pretty crowded. There were a lot of familiar faces there, so it
was a lot of fun. I noticed the couple at the front table, but only because they were the closest people to me. They were dressed in jeans
and t-shirts like most of the rest of us. As I was singing Dan Fogelberg’s “Part of the Plan” (or it might have been CSN’s “Teach Your
Children”), I couldn’t help notice the woman’s foot strategically placed under the table, on her partner’s chair, less than discreetly in his lap.
Ok. Hard to ignore, but I did my best. Then… without warning, the woman got up and sat on his lap… facing him… one leg on either
side… and, among other things, they began to make out like crazy. Being at the front table between the rest of the bar and me, I was no
longer the featured entertainment in the room. All eyes….
The waitress came over and asked them to refrain. They refused. She went back to the bar, where Cal, the bartender, was preparing their
check. He had her give them their check and ask them to leave. When she did, they refused to stop. Cal, who NEVER came from behind
the bar, came over to their table to tell them that if they didn’t cease and desist, he would have no choice but to call the police. They said
fine. They had every right to do what they liked. He said they were disrupting the bar and to please leave. They refused. Now – remember –
this is happening all while I’m singing my little tunes. You know… professionalism. You don’t stop for anything. Well, a few minutes later
Billy, the other bartender, signaled me to take a break. A police officer came in, tried to reason with them, but they still refused to cooperate.
So, down the stairs came 5 more (count ‘em – total of 6!) of DC’s finest. The police officers had to physically pick these two up and carry
them up the stairs and out of the bar. On the way out, the woman yells, “Don’t forget my purse! It’s got my diaphragm in it!” Ten minutes
later, I had to get up and continue the night. “I’m such a rowdy act,” I said. After everyone laughed, I started again. We all had something to
talk about for weeks.
Prologue: Two weeks later I was playing at Gallagher’s Pub on Connecticut Avenue. A couple came in – I thought they looked vaguely
familiar but couldn’t place them – they were both dressed in business suits. They walked right up to me on stage and proudly said “Hi!
Remember us? We’re the ones that got arrested at the Round Table when you were playing!!” Then they proceeded to take the table
closest to the stage. Long story short, we did not have a police incident that evening, however, I saw a lot of foot-on-chair action the rest of
the night, if you catch my drift.
It happened on a trip to Ocean City, Maryland. It was the summer of my junior year in high school. I was waiting for friends and family that
were shopping in one of the Sundaries stores on the boardwalk, and I was standing outside the door, wearing my beach hat and
sunglasses, minding my own business. A couple of ladies came up to me. "Excuse me. We hate to bother you... are you someone
famous?" I kind of laughed and told them I wasn't. The one lady said, "Well, you look like someone who's famous. Can we have your
autograph?" In disbelief, I said, "You don't want MY autograph, I'm nobody." The other lady said, "Well you look like SOMEbody." So, that's
when I gave my first autograph.
Another Amorous Event
There are several of these kinds of incidents, but this was the only time I really lost my composure. It was at Fatty's in Rockville, (before the
expansion). I was doing a solo gig, and several people I knew were in the audience. A "gentleman" at the bar kept coming up to ask me to
play a love song. Nice request, right? So I'd play a pretty song, and he'd come back up to ask for another love song. I would normally not
think anything about this, but this guy seemed a little drunk--nothing new--but he was invading my space... you know, like in Dirty Dancing:
"This is your space, this is mine -- let's Cha Cha." So because he was right in my face, I was trying to ignore him and not really looking at
him at lot. My friends were giving me rolling eye-looks and we were sort of laughing it off. But after the fourth or fifth time, I was starting to
get a little nervous. Suddenly, I happened to really look at this guy and, unseen to the people in the audience, he was -- how should I say
this -- fondling himself while staring at me.
Needless to say, I lost it. It's the only time I can remember asking for the bartender's help to take care of an "over-zealous" fan.
I guess you always remember the first time you're recognized in public, especially when it's in your every day "real" life and outside of your
professional night life. Mine was in a grocery store. A lady with her two kids came up to me and said "Aren't you Kathy Martin?" She said
she'd seen me at the Round Table the week before and that I was great. I was so flustered! Right there in the dairy aisle!
Brush with Greatness
In one of my previous lives :) , I was married and worried about getting home and getting dinner on the table. (Not like in my later lives, when
no matter who you were, you fended for yourself!) I was very excited because, through the contact of a friend of a friend of an acquaintance, I
had actually gotten an audition set up with someone from Cellar Door Productions, which -- not to date myself, but OK -- in the early 1970's
was THE HAPPENING PLACE in the DC music scene. Well, I was a-flutter! Sort of. Because, I'd been stood up not less than about three
times with this guy and I'd decided to give it one more shot. On this occasion, I'd taken off work early, waited in the office, even the secretary
was sweating bullets for me, because she knew it would not be a favorable outcome. Finally, at the end of the day, after waiting 3 or 4
hours, a very apologetic assistant tells me this person has actually had to go out of town! I was fuming! Plus I was SO worried about
getting screamed at about dinner! So when this assistant very nicely offered to let me go downstairs and have a drink on them, I said no
thanks, I had to get home. He said, are you sure? It's just the band down there practicing. And I said no thanks. I SAID NO THANKS! Ever
had one of those moments you'd wished you could take back? That was my moment. Because after I walked the two blocks to get my car
and drove back around past the front of the Cellar Door, who's name was on the marquis? Who would be playing that night? BILLY
JOEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only my just about most favorite songwriter ever!!! There went my knock on the Cellar Door of opportunity!!
I think I made pork chops that night, btw.... they turned out pretty good as I remember, but I had lost my appetite!
Another Bar Story
There are too many of these stories to tell them all, but this one was pretty good. It was in a bar in Rockville, MD. As I recall, it was the first
night the bar was open. Things were going pretty well, it was a nice crowd, with one guy who came up and asked me rather loudly to play
"Ode to Billy Joe". So I did. I continued. About 15 minutes later, the same gentleman came back and asked me to play "Ode to Billy Joe"
again. A few people who had been there before were still there, but there had been some turnaround, so I said I would play it again in a few
minutes. He pulled out a $10 bill and said play it now. The people at the bar said "play it!" So I did. About 10 minutes later... same thing.
This time a $20. I said I've already played it a couple times, but the folks at the bar said "play it again!" so I did. Long story short... thanks to
those folks at the bar and a pretty drunk cowboy, I think I made about $100 in tips that night from singing "Ode to Billy Joe". I always liked
Almost Famous Too
There probably comes a time in everyone's professional singing life when you have to admit, if only to yourself, that you might not be
destined for super-stardom! Well, I'd come to that conclusion a long time ago, and I had vowed to myself I was in it for the music, not for the
money -- and a good thing too! :) When it gets naively yet touchingly pointed out to you like it did to me this day, the point I'd say really gets
driven home. But I'll love my cousin Jessica forever and a day for this memory....
The family was all together in New Jersey for a wedding. And 10 of us were sitting at one of those 10-top, round, wedding tables... Jessica
-- I think she was 9 years old at the time -- wanted to sit next to me. She had listened to my tapes and knew that I made my living singing in
bars and restaurants and that I wrote my own songs, and she aspired to do the same. She seemed very excited to be sitting with me, and I
thought it was so cute! If she'd ask me anything, I tried to give her the best advise I remember getting as a kid, and I tried to treat her as "a
fellow musician". So later in the evening, when the band began to play, another relative came over and kiddingly asked me, "Hey, Kath,
aren't you going to sing with the band?" And smiling back, I said, "No, I don't think so." Jessica -- beautiful, sweet, naive Jessica, sincerely
and seriously looked into my eyes and said, "But Kathy? Don't they know who you are?"
Those at the table who heard her politely stifled their guffaws. I explained that it wasn't my gig, and routinely, wedding bands always got
people coming up trying to sing. Well, I did eventually sing, and everything went well, but I will NEVER forget that angelic face asking that
amazing question with every ounce of defensiveness for me in her musical soul! Thanks, Jessica!
Another Brush with Greatness - Who Was That Girl?
It was another Friday night at the Round Table. I was a little early coming in to set up for my gig, and coming down the stairs I heard the
unmistakable strains of live guitar chords, and then a voice. My first, angry thought was, "Did I double book the night?" I came around the
corner and saw a girl, with really long, long hair, playing and singing. She was good. I looked over the bar and saw Billy, the bartender see
me come in. He nodded to me and walked over. I sat at the first seat, and with our heads together looking at this girl and listening, as if to
answer my unspoken question, he said, "she's just auditioning." And after a few seconds, he asked, "What do you think?" I said, "I think
she's great!" She had a Joni Mitchell kind of quality to her, soft and lilting, but something of her own, and played a really fine guitar. Billy
said, "Yea, I think so too, but she'll get eaten alive down here... I think I'll send her over to Afterwords." The Afterwords Cafe was a
bookstore/coffee house that was more attune to folk/country music, which seemed to be her forte. So when she was finished, he talked to
her, gave her names and addresses of contacts and sent her on her way. As she was packing up her guitar and I was unpacking mine and
setting up to play for the evening, I said, "You were really wonderful!!" She shyly said, "Thanks."
That was my one and only personal encounter with Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Brush with Greatness - Three's the Charm?
Way back when :), when I was just starting out, I played for a Celebrity Golf Tournament Fundraiser held at the Andrews AFB Golf Course. It
was sponsored by the Lupus Foundation, and I was doing a favor for my friend, Dave Brown's mom. She was such a sweetheart! (And she
made the best Chicken Mole I've ever tasted!!! But I digress....) There were all kinds of local celebrities there, mostly newscasters and
sports figures, but that was very exciting for me and my little guitar. I think I made up some words for "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow
Up To Be Cowboys" and changed it to golfers in a few places, but kept the Cowboys thing, thinking it would be perfect for all the Washington
Redskins attending! Sonny and Billy and a lot of others were there. After I did my little songs, it was time to eat, and everyone was mulling. I
felt kind of like the wallpaper, which is how it should be for things like that. But I will never forget, that of all those important people I had
entertained, the only person who made a point to come over to me and congratulate me on singing in front of all those big shots was Roy
Jefferson. He told me I did a great job and had a pretty voice and shook my hand. I rode that feeling for a while, I can tell you!
Prologue: Years later in Centreville, VA when Roy Jefferson opened a rib place, I went there to have his really great ribs, and waited to talk to
him. He came out from the kitchen, I shook his hand and told him who I was and that I just wanted to repay the favor. He said he
remembered me (I don't know how), but he was very kind. So, I don't know if it's still there, but if you see Roy Jefferson's Rib Place, stop in,
say hello, and enjoy some mighty fine Southern-style spareribs (great potato salad, too!) = )
The Longest Yard!
I thought about calling this "The Wedding Procession from Hell" but that's probably not nice. :) But it was definitely the longest one I've ever
It was at St. Margaret's in Seat Pleasant, MD. I was standing at the pulpit in front of a packed church. When I was given the signal, I started
playing "The Wedding Song", by Paul Stookey, which is what the bride had requested. Now, usually, "The Wedding Song" is PLENTY long
enough for a bridal procession -- most times I'd end up cutting it short. But this day, when everyone stood up and turned to watch the bridal
party come down the aisle, I couldn't see anyone coming. I could see the aisle to about the 3rd pew, and I finished the 1st verse and --
nothing. I started the 2nd verse and was thinking, I wonder where they are? Starting the 3rd and final verse, I still hadn't seen the first
bridesmaid, I'm thinking maybe the bride changed her mind and no one bothered to let us all know. I played an instrumental verse and
started the song all over again. As I started the 2nd verse for the second time, I finally saw the first of five (5) bridesmaids. It was taking so
long because they were taking a baby step - and stopping -- another step -- and stopping -- and so on, in time with the music and waiting for
the first person to get to the front of the aisle before the next person started. As I recall, I think the bride came in about the time I was
finishing the chorus in the middle of the 3rd time through the song!
On the other hand, they looked marvelous! Like a Springtime Garden, complete with big brimmed chiffon-covered hats and flouncy
dresses. But all the butterflies were in my stomach the rest of that afternoon!!
Mamas Little Darlin'
This story got me so much I wrote a song about it. This was at a time when things were hot and heavy in the news about child stars and
child abuse, so that sort of thing was very much on every ones mind. It just so happened at this same time I had the opportunity to audition
at RFK Stadium to sing the National Anthem. Seems they wanted to bring baseball back to DC yet again (this was in 1997 you see, before
the current new team) and they wanted to find some normal, everyday schmoe to sing – guess they thought it would be more patriotic or
something. Anyway, there were 77 of us that made the cut, and let me tell you – hearing 77 versions of “Oh Say Can You See...” will pretty
much change your view on that song forever!
As we were waiting our turn, this amazing little China Doll of a baby girl came walking down the bleachers near me, close enough for me to
tell what shade of lipstick and eye shadow she had on, with Mommy Dearest following close behind, barking out instructions at every
footfall. Now, to be fair, I have no idea if the little munchkin was actually persecuted. But to the several adults around me and me, it seemed
like it. When she got down to the field, all the cameras from the stations came out of the woodwork to film the little phenomenon, with Mom
motioning in the background the entire time. Those of us watching wanted to give Mom the gold star and say “Good Job”, now let the little
girl be. We just shook our heads, and I heard some one say, “Isn’t that just a shame.” Don’t get me wrong. I love to watch the cute little
kids. But lets make sure they’re getting to BE kids while they can be. Being grown up comes soon enough, don’t you think?
Prologue: The music teacher sitting next to me told me I was the only one she'd heard the entire afternoon that had sung the entire song
completely on key! I thought that was pretty good. Of course, I didn't get the job. But then, neither did the little girl. She got a lot of press,
tho'. She WAS pretty adorable... but was she REALLY happy?? :\ Well, we know her Mama WASN'T! But I think the kid might have been
just as happy with a lolly! :)
The Frog Princess
I was finally getting the chance to play a place on K Street, in Georgetown. The big night! Halloween!! I was so excited. But I was sick as a
dog. I don't know if I had a temp, but I definitely had the sore, raw, frog-in-the-throat kind of terrible sound to my voice... I could hardly speak a
word! I wasn't sure what I was going to do. But this little place was a new joint, right on K Street, I'd be playing in the window during the
"parade" -- I couldn't not show. It was a big deal for them. It was also a big deal for me. So I played. I tuned my guitar down 2 count 'em two
whole steps and played everything best I could. Talk about singing in the basement. I swear I was singing bass! No that's not bass as in
Phishing, that's BASS as in how much lower is she going to sing? All I could think was good thing there's no one here who really knows
me... And maybe it's spookier sounding this way! :) Somehow I made it through the whole night!
Got quite a few compliments on my voice that evening... I'm still trying to figure that one out!
The Haunted Gig
Just in time for Halloween, I thought I'd share the story of the time I played at the Talk of the Town in Occaquon, VA and they told me, a bit
belatedly, of their upstairs guest. I used to play the downstairs little bar when they were still called the Occaquon Inn for $20 a night or 1/2
the door, which ever was more. Can't tell you how many times I walked out of there with a $20 bill in my pocket. The bar sat 4 people.
There were a total of 10 tables I think, I might be exaggerating. It was small. Anyway, one night, I asked to use the facilites, which I'd never
done before there. The one downstairs was in disrepair. I was told to use the upstairs room. I walked upstairs. And upstairs. And then
upstairs again. While in the upper level, which was obviously an office/apartment of some sort and not used often, I found what I needed,
did what I needed to do and started to leave. As I was turning out the light, I realized the lights that I had left out were all turned on upstairs
and I thought someone was up there with me. I started calling out "Hello?" Because I didn't want to turn the light out on anyone. "Hello?
Anyone up here?" I promply heard a bump, and then silence. I - being the brave person I am - ran for my life! I went down to the lower level
and said "I think there was someone else upstairs." "Oh, you met her then," said the English-accented waitress, not a bit flustered at all.
"Met who?" I said. "Our ghost," she said. I stared at her like she was crazy and she said "Oh, I know what you're thinking, I thought so too,
but we've all come up against her. She's up there all right. We all believe it!"
I don't know if I believe it or not. I just never went up to the third floor of the Occaquon Inn again! Better safe, I always say!
A Three Hour Tour?
It was in a nautically-themed restaurant/bar in the Skyline Drive area in Virginia, my first time there. I was nervous as I always am in a new
place, but things seemed to be going well. Asking for requests from the crowd was getting some responses that I could handle -- good --
and then I heard someone say, "Play some Led Zepplin!" Well, my pat answer at the time for that was "Uh, let me see..." and then I'd start to
play the first notes of "Stairway to Heaven". But you see, this was just little ol' me... And being highly influenced at the time by Holly and Lou,
I only knew one version of "Stairway..." , so... You got it! I proceeded to very seriously go into "Stairway to Gilligan's Island". Because you
know, if no one is paying attention, it usually takes them a minute to figure out you're not actually playing Led Zepplin. And if they have any
kind of sense of humor at all, they USUALLY get a laugh out of it and think it's funny. AND SOMETIMES they're even a little impressed that
you can actually play the music for Led Zepplin even if you made a joke out of it, and you can, with humor, get out of playing the Led Zepplin
request tactfully. However...
A big, burly, biker-type dude came up to me from the back of the bar and I swear on the Captain's Little Buddy, he basically threatened me
saying, "Don't you EVER ruin that song by singing those stupid words again." I'm not sure... I think I said, "Yes Sir" or something to that
extent. I'm sure I saw my life flashing before my eyes! I was in the little teeny life preserver that was hanging above the bar out in the
Potomac somewhere... 'Cause he was totally serious!
So let that be a lesson to you. And to me! Apparently for some guys, Led Zepplin is fundamental to their very existence! Yikes! :)
I've even got pictures for this one! Working as Riverbend at the time, we were in Lewes, Deleware at Irish Eyes. It was January at the
beach. It was a Friday night, and at around 12:30, it started to snow. Just flurries at first. Nothing unusual for that time of year, right? Well,
by the time we packed up for the night to start to leave -- about 2am -- it was full out snowing. Ross decided to drive back to Frederick right
then and there. But Lou and I thought we would leave in the morning, when the roads might be better. NOT the best decision. It took us
about an hour to make it to Ocean City, and in the morning -- 10 inches of snow! Ross had apparently made it home, but got snowed in.
And we were definitely snowed in! At the beach!! The next day it rained so that all that snow became slush, and then -- it froze! The next day
-- 10 more inches of snow! Needless to say, we weren't going far!!! All roads were closed!!! And we weren't exactly prepared. I think I'd
brought a couple of sweatshirts and my coat. I certainly didn't have snow gear! No boots, no gloves, yadda, yadda... We hit a Rose
Department store and blew a large part of what we'd made on Friday on stuff so we wouldn't freeze to death! We finally tried to make it back
on Tuesday. Frederick had something like 30 inches of snow, and my day job (I was temping at the time) was closed for a week!
I think we'll all remember the Winter of '96!
All We Are Is Dust In The Wind, Dude!
This happened when Lou and I were still playing with Holly. We were, as I recall, recording something for a live tape for Holly & Lou, and
also doing a party for the Knights of Columbus (I might have things mixed up -- it was SOOO long ago now). Anyway, we had rehearsed
together for quite a while to get certain things right and had a lot of tunes just so. We were happy with the way things were sounding. I
guess, if I remember correctly, this guy who was a fiddle player approached Holly asking if he could sit in with us. Now, as far as Holly
knew, this guy could play the fiddle very well, and he didn't see a problem with this, but to be on the safe side, he thought he'd choose
something everyone would know. Dust in the Wind. Something easy. Something classic.
Lou and I will never think of that song the same way again!
Because it quickly became the song that would never end!!!! When the fiddle break happened, it never stopped. It just kept going, and
going, and going.... kind of like the energizer bunny. But just not as cute... I thought Holly's head was gonna explode! I don't know how they
got it to finally finish. But when it did, they both turned to me and said something to the effect of "we're NEVER playing that *&^%$ song
again!". And we never did!
Are You Somebody?
Another of many downtown auditions, this one was also at the Cellar Door. I don't remember what this was for, a shot at some show or
other. Anyway, I went for the heck of it, not expecting anything, but what the hey -- when I noticed a "buzz" at the table where the "people who
you were meant to impress" were sitting. Now, normally, I wouldn't really get excited, but they seemed to be looking at me. A lot! So, I have
to admit. I was a little... well... excited. Afterward, one of the guys approached me, and totally, seriously, said, "Really nice guitar you're
playing there!" "Thanks" I said. "Yeah. We've been looking for one like that for a long time. You wouldn't be interested in lending it to us for
a concert, would you? I mean, you could come back stage and stay with it the whole time while the band's not using it. What do you say?"
What do I say? What do I say? I looked at this guy like he had two heads growing from his neck! I couldn't believe he was asking me this! I
wasn't getting the job! My guitar was!!! So I said, "How much?"
Now, you must understand that I was extremely young, and very naiive, and had no idea what I was really doing. I should have gotten a clue
when he said "you can stay with it the whole time when the band's not using it" that maybe something was amiss! But I didn't get it. Until I
showed up at Maryland University. You see, I simply got out of my car on this sunny afternoon, sunglasses on, and approached the
Auditorium with my guitar case. I was suddenly STORMED by SCORES of screaming teens! "WHO ARE YOU?" "WHO'S GUITAR IS
THAT?" "ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?" "WHO ARE YOU WITH?" "ARE YOU PART OF THE BAND?" "WHO ARE YOU?" "ARE YOU
SOMEBODY?" The guy that had "auditioned" me met me as I, stunned, tried to explain that I wasn't anybody, and he let me know that, "we
won't need your guitar after all. The lead guitar player decided to go out and buy one. But if you want to come backstage, you're welcome
to". Well, I was a little miffed. I mean, after all. I'd driven all the way out there. I was out the $100 bucks they said they would pay me. I
decided to go home.
I guess that was another brush with greatness. Or, actually a lucky break! The band that was playing? The Clash!
$100 wouldn't have replaced my $850 Ovation if they'd smashed it at the end of their show!!! :)