"So you wanna be a drummer son,.... huh?! Okay, but you have to understand, there won't be any social security, and what about your medical?"
· fondest early memories on the road to fame and fortune - age 20, "getting to new york city on a greyhound bus with a suitcase, a set of drums, and $100.00 in my pocket." & "loading 6 drum cases on the E subway train to get to a rehearsal."
A YOUNG DRUMMER'S CAREER UNFOLDS
as crystal would say "boy, when i bump and grind my buns, you beat hell out of them tom toms!"
"thanks crystal, that was good advice!!! "
"i never did get to tell you how nice those 22 year old buns were; sittin there on my bass drum; shimmyin' and a shakin'.
the greyhound bus let joey and his grey marine ludwig pearls (just like ringo's) off in new york city's grand central station, exactly one month later.
"i headed to the peppermint lounge, introduced my self to joey d. and the starlighters, (peppermint twist) and asked joey d. if he knew where i could find a gig. the next day i was at joey d.'s agent sid green's office. joey d. said "he's a nice guy, you'll like him."
"mr green, joey d. sent me, i'm a drummer looking for a gig."
"HEY KID, WHAT'S WITH THE LONG HAIR?"
"i haven't got anything for you right now, here's my card,.. give me a call."
"i'll wait here in case something comes up."
"kid, i can't help you, i got no place to put you. how old are you?... 20? you're still wet behind the ears."
"how much ya weigh kid?"
"112 pounds mr. green."
"you telling me the truth kid, joey d. really sent you?"
"that's the god's honest truth mr. green."..............
about five hours later..............
"look, i like you kid, but you're not ready for the big city yet. i'll even buy you a ticket back to johnstown."
"i can't go back to johnstown, my father will make me get another kind of job, and i'm a great drummer, and i'm gonna be a star, and i'm not leaving your office until you find me a gig!."
"kid, i never even heard you play, how can i get you a gig?"
"here's a record i made mr. green."
"good playing kid! you're real fast. but you really should do something with that hair, it's way too long, and i don't really know where i could book you with all that hair. look kid, i like you, you got heart, and maybe you might be a star, but come back in a few years. I'm gonna do you a favor cause i like you, how about a ticket back to anywhere in pennsylvania?"
(side note re: hair - east coast was into pompadours)
the young drummer was about to split when in walks danny apollinar, who's trio just finished with a USO tour in nam.
"sid, you gotta help me, my drummer and bass player just split, and i got a gig in ft. lauderdale in two days!"
"danny, i gotta drummer right here!, he's great, and he can play anything!"
"can you play "the lady is a tramp" and do you use brushes?"
"i can play anything".
("i figured i could learn along the way")
"great, what's your name,?"
"joey, 200 bucks a week plus room and board."
"yeah, i'll take it...., mr green what's your commission?"
" kid, this one's on me, go be a star!"
the next day the the drums got loaded in a subway to get to the 30 show tune rehearsal, then it was on to a plane and off to florida for "my first tour."
· when the tour ended, figuring dad would be happy to see him, "i proved i was a pro , so i headed home." Also, he figured he'd go show off the tan.
· while home some calls came in to do some gigs; it was back to rock n' roll; dick clark caravan of stars, shangri'la's, billy stewart(summertime), the supremes, donald jenkins and the delighters (elephant walk), the shirelles.
"said he remembered me from a battle of the bands, and would i like to come to pittsburgh?" "sure!" for the next year, Joey cut some singles with the fenways and played seven nights a week, opening shows for the rolling stones, dave clark 5, shangri' la's, lee dorsey (working in a coal mine), lou christie, chad and jeremy, jimmy beaumont and the skyliner's, among others.
"besides, i liked the idea of driving out there in a new mercedes."
JOKIN’ AND TOKIN’, it was Route 66 all the way……..until somewhere in Oklahoma
“where all you saw for miles was tumbleweed, I looked out the back window and saw the drum trailer going bumpity bump back the other way.”
“WELL THERE GOES MY DRUMS”.
While Louie spent 6 hours looking for a welder,
“I was smoking a doobie watching the Oklahoma sunset, thinking, mmm,
SO YOU WANNA TO BE A STAR?”
Louie found a farmer who happened to be a welder that soon got them rolling again. Joey got to drive a car for the first time.
WHILE BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE NEW MERCEDES ALL SECOND THOUGHTS DISAPPEARED.
All in all, four days and a lid out of Pittsburgh they ended up in a parking lot behind sherri’s lounge on sunset boulevard in Hollywood, California contemplating which way to stardom. This was the spring of 1966.
THE L.A. DAZE ARE COMING SOON
TO BE CONTINUED