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March 30, 1964

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(Day 54) Kingtones Memoirs

March 30, 1964 (Monday)


We got up at 2:30 P.M. It was a very nice day outside and the sun was shining. It was an extra good day for us, because we didn’t have to play the jam session. We talked Porky into having “The Percussions” play it. Because Porky was paying us $25.00 for each jam session, even though we hadn’t seen any of the money yet, he was having us play all of them. We convinced him, however, that a little break from playing, so we could rest and relax, would help us do a much better job at night. We told him to pay the “The Percussions” our $25.00.

Phil and Pete took off with the girls that they had dated last night, and went to the beach. Mike, Bob and I decided to go to Miami and visit the Seaquarium. This was a 38 acre tropical paradise where we saw dolphins walk on water and killer whales fly through the air. We also saw some excellent marine animal shows. The three of us got along great and we had a wonderful time.

On our way back to our apartment, we found a McDonald’s. It was the only McDonald’s that we had seen in Florida. There were Burger Kings all over the place, but McDonald’s was just coming in. We stopped and I bought seven hamburgers at 15 cents each, and a large coke. We chowed down. We got back to our apartment at 7. Pete and Phil were already there. We watched TV for a while and then left for Porky’s.

When we got to Porky’s, there was no line out the door, but on the inside it was packed. We felt refreshed and full of energy. We started out with a “bang,” and got things jumping right away. The “Kingtones’ Sound” was there and Mike’s heavy beat was in top form. To show his vocal versatility, Pete sang “My Prayer,” which he hadn’t done since we started at Porky’s. The audience gave him a thunderous applause when he finished. His vocals were fantastic and the crowd responded. The more they clapped and yelled, the more wild we got. The more wild we got, the crazier the audience got. We were magnificent! They screamed! And yelled, clapped and hooted. They danced like “bee stung savages.”

We brought up the “African Beatles,” but after our mad driving, heart pounding sets, they seemed anticlimactic. The kids didn’t get into them and they didn’t go over well.

We decide to do “The Bird” on our fifth set, while I still had some energy left. It was once again… a huge success. The kids screamed and yelled for encores when we finished. They wouldn’t stop! So we decided to bring back “Elvis” one more time. We did “Long Tall Sally.” I came out from behind my organ, curled my lip, got my leg and arm in the starting position, and we began. I shook, wiggled, jumped, bounced, did a flip and finally ripped my pants in two. It wasn’t just a little rip, my whole bare leg was sticking out and you could see glimpses of my underwear. The whole place was almost in pandemonium by the time we finished the song! The screams were deafening! Of course, they wanted more! Fortunately, we had it planned just right, because it was time for “The Percussions” to come on stage, and thank God they did.

When we took our break, one of the bartenders gave me an extra pair of pants that he kept in the back room. He was nice enough to let me borrow them. While we were waiting to go back on stage, an aristocratic couple came over and introduced themselves to us. They said they really enjoyed our music and invited us over to their mansion for dinner on Tuesday. They suggested that we bring our swimming suites so we could go swimming in their heated kidney-shaped swimming pool. All five of us were very excited about this. A free “fancy dinner!” and a private heated swimming pool appealed to all of us. We thanked them for the invitation and said we would come.

Our last set, needless to say, was anticlimactic. We had put everything into the last show. We had nothing left. We sounded OK, but the energy that was needed to make our set great was gone.

At the end of the night, when we were getting ready to go, an airline hostess came up to me and said she loved me. She sounded serious. She said I reminded her of Ringo Starr, of the Beatles, and since she couldn’t have him, she wanted me. She was 21 years old, had blue eyes and blond hair and was very pretty. She wanted me to go to Miami with her that night. She said she would feed me, put me up for the night, and make love to me. She also said she was well to do and had a lot of money. I could have whatever I wanted. She would not let go of my hand. I told her I was flattered and thanked her for the offer. I said I had a girlfriend in Michigan waiting for me, that I was crazy about, and I could not accept her offer. She finally realized that I wasn’t going to go with her and gave up. As she walked away, she told me that I was the greatest and she would come see me again.

When I told Bob and Mike about the airline hostess, Bob said I was nuts for not going with her. He said he would have already been in Miami, if she had asked him. We left and went back to our apartment.

Pete and Phil took the same two girls that they had been with for the last couple of nights…back home again. Pete’s girl was very cute, but Phil’s girl was just a “plain Jane.” I wasn’t sure what Phil saw in her, but he was always a little different from us. Phil would just say, “Girls are a little like houses; some have big porches and some have small porches; it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” So I assumed that his girl must have been a real sweetheart.

We were all healthy except Mike, who was still fighting a cold. We were getting along good.


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