(Day 5) Kingtones Memoirs
February 10, 1964 (Monday)
We got up around 11:00 am. We were excited about meeting Charlie’s boss and the possibility of running our own Teenage Night Club. I cooked breakfast, cleaned up and we all headed over to the Club. I don’t really remember what was said at the meeting, but what I do know is that the ‘Boss Man’ said, “no, he didn’t want us to run his Club.”
Charlie felt very bad for us and probably for himself as well. He could see how disappointed we were. To try and make us feel better, he said that he had a friend in Miami named Captain Joe, who owned his own night club. He called him, on our behalf, to see if he could get us an audition there. Captain Joe said that he would listen to us, and if we were any good, we could start playing for him on Tuesday night, February 11th.
So we left Charlie and Daytona Beach and headed for Miami. On our way, we decided to stop at Cocoa Beach and try our luck at getting a job there. One of the most popular clubs with dance music in Cocoa Beach was the Satellite Bar. We stopped in right as the house band was about ready to practice. We struck up a conversation with them. That’s when we discovered that if you didn’t have a Union contract to play at a club, you probably would not be allowed to play there. It was then about supper time, so we decided to go get a bite to eat. The band members from the Satellite joined us. When we were finished eating, they asked us to come back to the bar with them to hear a few of their tunes…so we did. They were actually a pretty good rock band.
We finally got back on the road to Miami around 8:00 P.M. Since the 3 of our vehicles always followed each other, whoever drove the ‘lead car’ had to constantly check his rear view mirror to make sure the other cars were still there. After traveling for a while, the lead driver noticed that there was only one car behind him instead of two. We had lost Phil. We turned around and went looking for him. We finally found him with his second flat tire. He had no spare.
We had passed a gas station several miles back, so we took Phil’s flat tire to get it fixed there. While they were repairing it, I called Chick on a pay phone. It cost me a fortune, but just hearing her voice made me happy. I really missed her. Then we took the tire back to Phil.
While he put the tire back on his car, Pete, Bob and I decided to walk on the top of a wooden fence that was close by. Pete and Bob took their time and walked from one fence post to the next. I was going to show them that I could do it in half the time. As I started walking at an accelerated pace, I slipped, fell, cracked a fence rail and ‘creamed’ my arm. Even though Pete and Bob acted concerned about my fall, their laughter and snickering made me think that they really didn’t care.
When we finally got back on the road, Bob took the lead. He was tired of how long it was taking us to get to Miami, and wanted to make up for lost time. He took off before we even got in to our vehicles. We finally caught up with him because a cop had pulled him over for speeding. We couldn’t believe that Bob didn’t get a ticket. He told the police officer that he was a Police Cadet from Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a ‘professional courtesy,’ he just gave Bob a warning.
What a long day! Just when we thought we couldn’t stand any more, we reached Hollywood. We had never seen such a beautiful city. The weather and even the smell in the air were spectacular. This, once again, gave us new life and hope.
We finally got to Miami at 3:00 A.M. We were beat! The motels there were outrageous in price. Some wanted $27.00 to $28.00 for one night. I was able to talk one manager down from $24.00 to $18.00. I stressed the fact that we had already missed half of the night and that it was unlikely that anyone else would be checking in at that late hour. I mentioned that he would be losing money if he didn’t accept our offer. We were still getting along okay, but we were starting to get on each others nerves.