(Day 39) Kingtones Memoirs
March 15, 1964 (Sunday)
I got up at 11:30 A.M. Once again it was a very hot day. Since it was too late for church, I went back to bed. At 1:00 I woke up again. I got up and made dinner: steak, mashed potatoes, yellow beans, fried onions, Kool-Aid and fruit cocktail for dessert. We ate at 3:00. When we finished eating, the boys immediately left the table to watch TV. Although I finally got the lazy bums to do the dishes, I still had to clear the table. They refused to help with that.
We went to Porky’s to set our equipment back up. It was two hours of torture. We then practiced with The Soulmen. It was almost a nightmare. They were excellent singers, but we didn’t know any of their songs. I was writing musical chords and notes all over the place. We finally learned enough tunes for a forty minute set and called it a day. We had the feeling that this was going to be a disaster.
That night, we took to the stage first. We played our usual half hour and then The Thunderbirds played their half hour. Starting the third set, we called up The Soulmen. They seemed to “come alive” with an audience in front of them. They sounded great, and had some good choreography that went with their singing. They were a big hit! We were not only shocked by how good they were, but surprised at how good we sounded backing them up.
This was Billy and Lillie & the Thunderbird’s last night at Porkys. We had mixed emotions about their leaving. We did think that if only rock music was played at Porky’s, we could exploit the “Kingtones’ Sound” most of the time. We felt that this would result in packing the place with college kids, and keeping them there most of the night. On the other hand, Billy and Lillie were a class act. The Thunderbirds were very professional, great musicians and nice guys. We had learned a lot about showmanship and stage presence from them. We were going to miss them. At the end of the night, we said good bye and thanked them for everything they had taught us.
We finally got up enough courage to tell Porky that we wanted a raise. We felt that since we were doing extra practices and backing up other groups, that we deserved more money. Porky said he would pay us $550.00 for the week, but we had to play an extra night for it. Since we had more time than money, we accepted his offer. We were now going to play seven nights a week.
We left and went to the Royal Castle for something to eat. By the time we got home it was 5:30 am. Needless to say we were very tired. We were all healthy and got along fairly well that day.