Friday Knights  Page 5

Chapter 3 (Oct. 1973-Feb. 1974)

New Practice Studio #3

 

WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND

June, 1973

 

Well, after just a few short months it seems we had worn out our welcome again and we were given our walking papers by Paul’s parents. I’m not exactly sure what the reason was, but there were hints that the Mary Montalto incident may have been a contributing factor. Either way, reality was setting in and we were, indeed about to be back on the streets again and It was time for the four of us to find our third home in less than a year.

 

Enter (for the third time) Cavan. Yes, the same Cavan that quit his audition with Cory, Rick and I after the third song. (He now says it was a misunderstanding) and then later (although he tried hard) left us gig-less as our manager. I’ve never been much for learning lessons from past mistakes and I've always tried to live by the old adage, never make the same mistake twice, but no one ever said anything about THRICE, so here we went again!

 

So I asked Cavan, (who in all honesty, was still one of our biggest supporters) if we could move our gear into one of the empty bedrooms in his house which he was selling after his father’s passing the month before. How could that go wrong, right? Well, our good friend was still there for us and gladly opened his door, and gave us one of the empty bedrooms to use as our own new rehearsal room. He let us put up the torn up carpet pads and them on the walls to soundproof the room so we wouldn’t repeat our Mary Montalto routine to our new neighbors. As a bonus we put a poster of Buddy Holly snapping his fingers on the wall, that was just begging for a funny caption, so we did the honors but no one can seem to recall what it was. I do however, remember the captain we put on the John Lennon poster from his Imagine album. I had him yelling “BROOCE!” just as Professor Chadsworth Lennington* used to say to his assistant in the comics I was drawing at the time.

(See: PUBLICATIONS: COMICS)

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Nightly parties ensued, and people came from out of the woodwork, people no one had ever seen before. Along with our friends the place was packed nightly, people were lined up out the door and halfway down the block. Cavan’s house was the place to be! Cory and I counted one time. This actually occurred every night for twelve nights! We had so much fun, and every morning such hangovers. After that twelfth night, even Cory had to call it quits, so the rest of us followed suit. Great parties, Cavan, we’ll never forget them!

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Long before I met Cavan, perhaps sometimes during he and Rick’s friendship, one of them must have caught the OCD/ADD thing from one another, because it was hard to determine which one had it worse. Little things Cavan would do or say would slowly drive us all out of our mind. One thing that comes to mind was the time we found ourselves short of just one guitar cable that we needed for a rehearsal/recording project we were about to do. Cavan, being a guitarist certainly had at least one so we asked if we could borrow one. He looked at us like we were asking for the key to his house (actually, he had already given us one of those without any problem!) But this cord, which he rarely, if ever used, suddenly became more valuable than the 1980 silver boom that hadn’t even been thought of yet! I think the four of us had to beg him for nearly an hour before he finally gave in. He left our new practice room and when he returned he dangled the cord in front of us until we all agreed on the exact time we would be finished with it, and exactly where we would leave it since he was leaving the house. Things like that and him walking into the room in the middle of a song asking us to play “Moon” with him would interrupt our progress and creativity. Blood was beginning to boil a bit on our ends.

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Cavan’s House and our new practice studio,

1316 Alvarado Ave, Burlingame

 

Once we finally did get the recording ball rolling it was up to me to play bass and sing into the recorder acapella, another thing I wasn’t very confident in doing. But I put on my brave face while Cory adjusted the recording levels on the recorder. Proud Mary was the song we were getting ready to record first for our first demo reel (which would never be completed) and I began plucking the notes, as best as I could without the rest of the band disguising my ineptness, and the same went for my vocals. As I began, I surprised myself as I was listening through headphones, and I thought to myself, “Hey, I’m beginning to sound like I really know what I’m doing here!” Just as I began to mentally pat myself on the back, Cory interrupted my thoughts by saying into the monitors, “He has absolutely no rhythm!” That little dose of reality shut me up fast, and put me back in a more humble place. I don’t believe I’ve ever sung a note since without those words first entering my head. 

 

*Years later. I would change the name to Professor Quay and played the character as a mad scientist character inspired by Jerry Lewis’s Nutty Professor for a couple years on stage and TV. 



 

The Hall

December, 1973  

 

The Hall was Burlingame's big hot spot and most popular rock venue at that time, and one of the most popular on the peninsula so I was especially excited that I got us an audition there. Only the best bands on the peninsula could play there. I don’t remember much about this gig except for the fact that we were getting high on stage. This caused Cory to begin whistling random notes during Rick’s vocals in our brand new original,Thoughts. This song contained my deepest most Lennon-like lyrics I had ever written and the shrill of Cory’s tooting was destroying the meaning and melody. I was beside myself with lividity! Needless to say, the management was not impressed so it was our very first and very last night at Burlingame’s big rock club. I don’t remember much else except that after we packed up our gear, Cory and Paul took a cigarette break in the parking lot so I took the opportunity to lay into everyone at the top of my lungs including and onlookers who happened to be passing by.

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Stellar Blue Tavern, Belmont

January, 1974

 

All I remember about this gig was that afterwards my friend and amazing surf guitarist, Tim Rhoem, who came to see us play, commented on the fact that Cory was riding his cymbals insead of his snare throughout Peggy Sue. 

 

Stella Blue Tavern 1410 Old County Rd, Belmont

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Someone’s Wedding Reception

February, 1974

 

 I can’t remember much about this, except that it was probably the last one we ever did. I drank lots of champagne and passed out the minute I got home. Oh, and I for some reason still remember someone taking the picture below which was later given to me by someone in the faculty at College of San Mateo where I was working as well as studying both music and telecommunications at that time. 


 

Unknown wedding reception, Pacific Ave, San Mateo

 

1974

Trip to Cory’s Parent’s Cabin

Clear Lake, California

 

This was one of the wildest weekends I ever had. Cory, Paul and I, along with Brian Gowen, Mark Lamont and Dave Sharp took a ride to Cory’s parent’s cabin in Clear Lake. This is a story for another time, if anyone’s interested, let me know and I’ll add it here later. Rick didn’t attend.


 

FRIDAY KNIGHTS AT THE MOVIES

 

1. The Exorcist” Northpoint Theater, San Francisco

Jan-Feb,1974

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I can’t remember whose idea it was but I do remember all the Knights, except Rick as well as eleven more friends went to San Francisco’s biggest theater to  see the Exorcist for the first time. I heard the move was scary, but I never imagined that it would be anything like it was. I was scared to death, but still managed to follow the dare of my buddies. I was prompted to laugh as loud as I possibly could during random scenes throughout the movie.and I did just that.

 

2. “Let it Be” Somewhere in San Francisco

1974

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Everyone must have a muse, and to The Friday Knights iut was The Beatles. We all went and saw their last movie together for the very first time.On top of being incredibly moved by the movie, I can still remember  Paul saying as we left. Hmmm, all four Beatles play the piano. Interesting fact: This movie (filmed just before their break-up) was the first medium to prove that to be so.