(Day 48) Kingtones Memoirs
March 24, 1964 (Tuesday)
We got up at 2:45 P.M. It was another beautiful day outside. Phil and I went to the Musicians’ union in Miami to pay our work dues. Phil dropped me off by the front door and told me he would be waiting for me in the back. After walking through the “gymnasium of unemployed musicians,” I paid The Kingtones’ work dues and quickly slipped out the back door. The parking lot was very full, but I didn’t see Phil. So I waited and waited, but he didn’t come. I couldn’t imagine what happened to him. After an hours wait, I walked around to the front of the building and there he was. I said, “You told me you would be in the back of the building, what happened?” Phil said it was too hot in the back, so he moved to the front.
When we got back to our apartment, I noticed that Bob still hadn’t done his own dishes from Monday. I yelled at him for being so lazy. Since we had to be at Porky’s early to practice with the “African Beatles,” he was not going to have time to do them until Wednesday. We grabbed a quick sandwich and our uniforms and headed to Porky’s.
Practicing with the “African Beatles” was much easier than practicing with the “Soulmen” because we already knew a bunch of the Beatles’ songs. We practiced until about 8:00 P.M. We quit then because the college kids were pouring in and wanted us to start playing. They had come early to make sure they could get in.
We had brought our uniforms, so we didn’t have to go back to the apartment. We went to the band room, changed into our uniforms and stayed there until it was time to go play. We didn’t want the students to see us for fear that they would start chanting, “we want the band,” and Porky would make us go on early.
At 9:30 we had “The Situations” go on first. We figured that because their music was a little tamer than ours, this would help keep the “lid” on the wild students a little longer. We came on stage at 10. The crowd was not as crazy as they had been Monday night, thanks to our new strategy of starting with “The Situations.”
We started with some of our lighter rock tunes. At 10:30 “The Situations” continued playing their “crowd controlling” music. At 11:00 we brought up the “African Beatles.” They were not as good as “The Soulmen,” but they were unique and sounded decent. This was a change of pace.
We knew sooner or later we would have to do “The Bird.” We figured this would probably make the students go nuts, so we saved it until the last set. When we finally did the song, it was great! I bounced and jumped so much, I ripped my pants all apart. The crowd went wild. They screamed, yelled and clapped! When we finished the song, they started yelling, “more!” “More bird,” but we quickly started playing a slow song and that finally squelched the die hard “Bird lovers.” We were not as electrifying that night as we had been on Monday night, but that was by design.
When we finished for the night, we headed to Royal Castle, all of us except Pete. He had a date and was flying solo. We were all healthy and getting along pretty good, except Bob and me. I was still angry at him for not doing his dishes.