(Day 52) Kingtones Memoirs
March 28, 1964 (Saturday)
We got up at 4:30 P.M. Once again it was a mad dash to get dressed and make it to Porky’s on time for the jam session. Pete had taken off to another beach party and wasn’t coming to the afternoon performance. Porky was working us to death. We were starting to get physically run down. This wasn’t exactly the “exciting life” that we had envisioned when we came to Fort Lauderdale. It seemed more like we were in a concentration camp.
We arrived at Porky’s just in time to go on stage. The place was packed once again, but it was about 80% guys. There were very few ladies present. As we started to play, we noticed that the guys were into showing off and not really listening to us. They were having contests and challenges. There was the “chug-a-lug” contest and follow the leader on the dance floor, doing the “worm,” the “duck,” the “snake;” all kinds of crazy stunts. They didn’t seem interested in the few girls that were there. They were into themselves. It really didn’t matter what the band did, as long as we kept the music going. They weren’t in the mood for dancing, they just wanted to act crazy and show off. Because they were doing all sorts of challenges and exploits, they weren’t drinking much beer. At the price of $1.50 for all the beer you could drink, and not drinking much, that made Porky very happy.
We finished the jam session at 7, and went back to our apartment to rest and relax. Pete was there when we arrived. He and Bob went out for hamburgers and I made spaghetti for the rest of us.
At 8:45 we left for Porky’s. When we got there, the line to get in was once again huge. All the crazy guys from the afternoon jam session were still there. As we went on stage, we noticed that some of that afternoon “jam session attitude” of we don’t care about the band, just ourselves, was still present. We started to play our songs, and when we finished each one, we would get a few claps and a few yells, but nothing like we had the first few nights of spring break. We sounded good, but because we didn’t get much audience reaction, it was hard to get enthused and play our best.
When we brought up the “African Beatles” the crowd was very receptive to them. They were basically doing a singing show, where you could just sit and enjoy watching them. Most of the students didn’t dance when they were on, even though they could have. This was the kind of crowd we were facing. They were not in the mood to dance, but just wanted to sit and be entertained. The “African Beatles” didn’t let them down. They put on a good show and sounded terrific.
Although we were glad the “African Beatles” did well, it made us take a look at what was happening to us. We were a dance band. Our job was to play for people to dance. But here we were, playing back up music for several different groups that didn’t have a band. Those groups were not helping us to get people to dance, they were shows in themselves. We were getting a little frustrated with the whole ordeal.
When we finished for the night, Mike, Phil and I went to Royal Castle. Bob and Pete had dates. Did you notice that I didn’t say “Hot Dates?” These two girls seemed very nice and kind and they laughed a lot. I wasn’t sure why Pete and Bob decided to take these two girls out, but perhaps they wanted a change. When we got back to the apartment, we noticed Bob’s car was there. We could see the four of them in our apartment, because the lights were on. I was getting ready to scream at them if those doors were locked. The doors were not locked. The girls had made a giant Easter basket filled with all kinds of goodies for the whole band, and they wanted to give it to all of us personally. I got my camera out, took a picture of it and went to bed. We were all healthy and getting along good.