(Day 55) Kingtones Memoirs
March 31, 1964 (Tuesday)
Mike and I got up at 2:30 P.M. It was a very nice day outside: 75 degrees and sunny. We were scheduled to go to a fancy dinner that we had been invited to last night, but Pete and Phil were gone with the two girls that they had been seeing, and we didn’t know how to get a hold of them. Bob, “the blob,” was too tired and refused to get up. We had told the couple last night that all of us would come to dinner, and I didn’t want to totally disappoint them, so Mike and I went.
When we got there, the couple had their finest china out on the table, set for five people. Mike and I felt like fools. We apologized and said that Pete and Phil had stayed with some friends last night and must have forgotten about the dinner. We didn’t know how to contact them. We continued by explaining that Bob had woke up not feeling very good and thought he should not go. We didn’t want them to think we were ungrateful, so we lied to them.
Mike and I had a great dinner. We started with an appetizer of shrimp cocktail. This was followed by a lettuce salad topped with almonds, strawberries, mandarin oranges and miniature tomatoes. The main course was filet mignon, twice baked potatoes and steamed broccoli with melted cheese on top. You could cut the steak with your fork. For dessert we had cheesecake with warm raspberry sauce poured over it. It was a meal “fit for a King tone!”
When we finished eating, they wanted us to go swimming. I told them that we didn’t bring our suits, but that I had to get back anyway. Mike said that if they didn’t mind, he would like to go get his suit and return. They were glad to have him come back.
When we got back to the apartment, Mike grabbed his swimsuit and left. He wasn’t gone very long before he returned. He said that the daughter had a few of her girlfriends over swimming. Mike wanted to impress the girls, so he attempted some kind of a dive off the diving board and hit his head on the bottom of the pool. His neck was very sore and he could hardly turn his head. I put some first aid cream on his neck and massaged it for a half hour.
When Pete and Phil got up, they had totally forgotten about the dinner invitation. They decided to go horseback riding. Someone had given Pete three passes for a free horseback ride. They came back to the apartment before they left, but Pete didn’t offer the extra free pass to Bob. Major was a little upset with Pete because of this, but they came back and said they couldn’t find the riding stable. They then left and went back to their girl’s apartment. They were cooking dinner for them.
We left at 9:15 P.M. to go to Porky’s. “The Percussions” were going to play the first set that night: from 9:30 to 10. We would go on after them. When we got there, we found that Porky’s was only half full. More and more students were leaving Fort Lauderdale to go back to college. We figured in a couple more days, we would be playing to a “ghost bar.”
We were good that night, but it was very hard for us to get energized with only half the students being there. We did “The Bird” early because we had so many requests for it. The audience clapped and cheered when we were done, but once again, having only half as many students, made the claps and cheers much more tame. A little later, the students started chanting “The Bird,” “The Bird.” Since there wasn’t a lot going on in the way of dancing, we decided to do it again. After we finished they clapped, cheered and chanted “Birdman,” “Birdman,” “Birdman.” They had given me another nickname. I was already being called “Ringo” by many of the girls. I guess that was because either I looked a little like Ringo Starr or acted a little like him on stage.
We brought up the “African Beatles” once again. Their harmonies were great and their choreography was very good. The kids really liked them and clapped and cheered for them when they finished.
When we ended for the night, Phil and I went and gave Porky our two week notice to leave. He tried to talk us out of it. He wanted us to call Tom Johnson, who owned the Coral Gables in Saugatuck, to make sure he wanted us that summer. If he didn’t, Porky wanted us to play at his place the whole summer. We didn’t tell Porky, but we were not going to call Tom Johnson. Even if Tom didn’t want us, we did not want to play at Porky’s any more…. we had enough.
It was good that we were getting ready to go back to Michigan. Being together day and night, every day, for almost seven weeks, was starting to hurt our friendships. Pete was really getting cocky and hard to work with. His favorite saying, when he wanted something was, “Don’t be a prick.” He used that saying quite a bit on Bob, because he always wanted to borrow his car. In fact, there were many times that he took Bob’s car without even asking him for it. When Major finally suggested that Pete rent his car for a month, Pete said “kiss my ____.” It would be good for all of us to get away from each other for a few weeks.
Bob, Mike and I went back to our apartment. Pete and Phil went over to see their two girls once again. We were all healthy except Mike. He had a cold and now a very sore neck. We got along good that day, because all five of us weren’t together.