(Day 59) Kingtones Memoirs
April 4 1964 (Saturday)
We got up at 2:30 P.M. It was a rather hot afternoon. 87 degrees. Pete and Phil got up at 3:30. Bob and I started to watch TV, when what to our surprise, “Chubby” stopped by. She was all giggles, with lots of hugs for Bob. I asked her if she would like to join us for dinner as Bob, who was standing behind her, was shaking his head no. She said she couldn’t, she just stopped by to say hi. Mike had taken off earlier to Miami to see Lloyd.
I fixed supper of hot dogs and beans. Mike had not come back yet from Miami, so we ate without him. I cleared the table when we were finished, and the boys did the dishes.
When Mike finally got home, we asked him why he was so late. He said, “Let me tell you about my day. When I got to Lloyd’s motel, I stopped by the front desk and asked for him. The desk clerk told me he was by the poolside bar, right through the doors behind me. As I rounded the corner to the pool, Lloyd saw me coming and introduced me as the drummer at Porky’s. The pool deck was packed with spring break kids. Lloyd asked me to run the poolside bar while he went up front for a minute. As I took my position behind the bar, a cute little blond got up from the deck and started to walk to the bar. Our eyes met and froze on each other. She had on a red, white and blue bikini. I never broke eye contact, leaned back to the cooler, pulled out a beer, opened it and placed it in front of her and said, “it’s on the house.” Gail Robinson was her name, and she wanted to meet Mike at Porky’s that night, but didn’t have a way to get there. Mike asked Lloyd if he would do him a favor and bring Gail to Porky’s later that night. He said he would. The boys were a little envious and wished they had gone to Miami with Mike.
At 8:45 we left for Porky’s. We were hoping for another great night. Sorry to say, it wasn’t. During our second set, Mike broke his bass drum head. It took him the entire set to fix it. In the meantime, “The Percussions” drummer sat in with us and played his own drums. Not only were his drums not as good sounding as Mike’s, but he didn’t really know our songs or the beat that went with each of them. Phil tried his best to tell him what the beat should be, but he never quite got it right. It was not a good set.
“The Percussions” finally came on and we took a break. Mike had been looking for Lloyd and Gail to come in all night. Finally he saw Lloyd. He was so excited he could hardly stand it. His excitement, however, quickly disappeared when Lloyd said that Gail didn’t come. Evidently, Gail’s girlfriend did not want her to go to Porky’s, so they left for their hometown in Canada instead. Mike was crushed.
During our third set, Bob’s amp went out. He had to use the other band’s bass amp. It changed our sound completely. During our fourth set there was a big fight in the back of the room. Tables and chairs were knocked all over the place. That just about cleared all the customers out of the bar. We brought up the “African Beatles” and they did a great job, but there was almost no one there to appreciate them.
This was the last night of playing at Porky’s for “The Percussions.” We were very sad to see them go. We had gotten to know them over the past couple of weeks, and thought of them as friends.
When we finished for the night, Pete and Phil went back to their girl’s apartment. Bob, Mike and I stayed for a while at Porky’s and talked to “The Percussions” as they packed up their equipment to leave. Frank gave me his phone number and said that if we ever made the “big time” to please call him. He would love to know someone personally that was famous. (Note from the author: In the summer of 1964, The Kingtones played at the Coral Gables in Saugatuck, Michigan. Pete got hoarse on a Thursday night and had no voice on Friday. I called Frank in Chicago to see if he was available to sing in Pete’s place. He was, so he took a bus to Saugatuck and sang with us on Friday and Saturday night. He did an excellent job. In fact, I think that Frank taking Pete’s place helped Pete get better real quick. By Sunday, Pete’s voice was back, so we said good bye to Frank and never saw him again.)
We were not looking forward to Sunday or Monday night, because we were going to have to play all six hours by ourselves. Porky had another band coming in, the “Fabulous Apollos,” but they didn’t start until Tuesday. Because spring break was over, Porky dropped our nights of playing from seven to six. He also dropped our pay to $500.00 for the six nights.
When we got back to our apartment, I hung my suit outside to air out. I suggested that Mike and Bob do the same, because the uniforms were starting to stink. Since we only had the one suit, we had worn those 33 days straight without getting them cleaned. Bob and Pete were healthy, Mike and Phil were getting colds and I was starting to have nose problems. We all got along good that day