(Day 21) Kingtones Memoirs
February 26, 1964 (Wednesday)
We got up about 1:30 P.M. I fixed “breakfast:” bologna sandwiches. We were still out of breakfast food. It was a warm day with a beautiful blue sky. We went to Porky’s to discuss our pay and the hours we would work. We wanted to get the contract signed so that we could take it to the musicians union as soon as possible.
Porky started off our “negotiations” by saying that he never paid union scale. He was going to make the contract out for $650.00, union minimum pay, but he was going to pay us only $475.00 a week. The hours we would be working were 9:30 P.M. to 3:30 A.M. On the contract, however, he was going to put 10:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M. We would be playing six nights a week, Wednesday through Monday, with Tuesday being our day off. During Spring Break, he would be running two bands. We would play a half hour, and then band two would come on stage and play for half an hour. We would continue alternating every half hour, until 3:30 A.M. He wanted us to share equipment, as much as possible, like one drum set on stage. He didn’t want the music to ever stop, because of us having to set up or tear down. During Spring Break, he was also going to run some afternoon jam sessions. He said he would let us know more about that later. He told us he would fill out the contract and that we could pick it up on Friday.
We left the contract with Porky and went back to our apartment. We were not happy about the low pay and the long hours. On the bright side, however, he was paying us more than what Captain Joe was going to pay us. Then too, Porky’s was the second hottest night club (soon to be number one) in Fort Lauderdale. We felt that the exposure, experience and prestige from playing there would certainly help us get more jobs and better pay in the future.
When we got back, Mike, Pete, Bob and I played poker with match sticks. Phil had a headache from trying to negotiate with Porky, and went to sleep on the coach. I fixed supper around 7:30. It actually turned out to be a very good dinner considering how low on food we were. We had American fries, peas, fried bologna, fried onions, bread and Kool-Aid.
After dinner, the four card players continued playing until 12:30 A.M. We then decided to go back to Porky’s to see Billy & Lilly and the Thunderbirds. This was a special lounge act that Porky had brought in from Las Vegas. They were only going to be at Porky’s for just three weeks. They were excellent! But they definitely were not a rock ‘n roll band. If we started at Porky’s on March 2, like we hoped we would, we would be alternating sets with them. We were all still healthy, and got along very well that day.