Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yellow Cab

For a long time I primarily drove cab while performing when time was available. I will add cab stories here as I remember one or more from time to time. It was through driving a taxi that I began my unlikely alliance with the Sugartop faction of Pittsburgh's Bloods gang.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jumped Into The Bloods

When I began my year long stint of hanging with Pittsburgh's "Sugartop" faction of the Bloods, back in the day, Too Low emptied his gun and put it to my head and clicked, spun, clicked, spun, clicked. I got really mad and told him I didn't think it was funny. He opened the magazine(?); and showed me. He didn't empty it... there were 2 bullets in there spaced apart!!!!!! True story. I coulda beat the FUCK outta that kid!! He's in jail now for armed robbery of a firearms store. I told the dudes I didn't want them to beat the fuck outta me to "jump me into the gang" so that was the alternative they came up with.

Yamaha Guitar Amp

I used to tour with, primarily, Albert King( a tour which often included quadruple bills of BB King, Bobby Bland, Albert King, and Phylis Hymen). Before I got my Peavy 212, I played through a Yamaha 212. One day it burned out. We were in someplace or other in a hotel on a highway. I made calls to the Yamaha 1 800 number and gave them the seriel # of my amp. They gave me an address and told me to take it there to be serviced. We got to the road and found the joint. It was a Yamaha motorcycle and snowmobile dealership!

Bartok's VIOLIN CONCERTO #1. Yehudi Menuhin: violin

In this photo: Jerome Schuerger.

Way back in 1963, I pretty much hated classical music. The Schuergers(people I
babysat for) played a lotta classical albums that I pretty much closed my ears to.
One eventful day their friends Bill Cole and John Cage(yes,THE John Cage) came over to their apt to visit
as they often did. "Play Yehudi for me!", Cage, slightly drunk, said on this occasion. Jerry Schuerger sought out
the album and, seeing the cover; a guy with a violin, orchestra behind, I sighed, "Please noooo!" to myself.
The disc was put on the turntable, the needle dropped and SURPRISE! I LOVED what I heard. I
disbelieved my own prejudice! I snatched up the cover and read, "Bartok Violin Concerto no.1/
Yehudi Menuhin: violin/ Antol Durati: conductor"!!!! I sat and listened!
It ended and Mr. Cage went over and began to flip the album to play side 2, "No, no, Jerry, please
play that again! The same side. Tell John to play it again!", I demanded. Well, knowing me , they were both at a
loss for words. They repeated the recording, and I was given much teasing for being a softy and all.
Jerry celebrated this awakening in me by (after calling my mom!) letting me have a small glass of wine.
It was summer. Christmas and New Year came and went and my bday rolled around. Jerry and Judy Schuerger
and Mr. Cage jointly gave me the Bartok I so loved; plus an album of the modernist Schoenberg,
and Stravinsky's RITES OF SPRING, both of which I had also come to appreciate.