A beautiful summer day, a Thursday at that. Last night didn’t work out as planned but it was still an enjoyable night. Bill and I did not have the birthday dinner like we anticipated. He wound up staying in the city since there was a car fire and every bus that was leaving the terminal sat idling for quite a while. He decided to get off the bus and go back to the office.
He had taken off of work today and decided to set things up for his replacement. I came home and had a sandwich before heading up to Maxwells. It was certainly a mellow evening. No rushing through dinner to make the show. I walked up to Maxwells where my brother Frank was already inside.
I bought the tickets at the beginning of June, opting for the ‘Will Call’ service and Frank was able to get in as my plus one. I walked in and saw Pat Irwin from the Raybeats as I stood at the bar and ordered a pint of Guinness. I met up with a former Maxwells habitué, Alirio. We never really talked back in the day but thanks to Facebook a line of communication had opened.
As we stood there talking, this attractive woman comes up to me yelling that I hadn’t changed at all. It was Patti Quinn, another mainstay from back in the day. She had already talked to Alirio and focused all her attention on me which was flattering. She was there with her nephew Liam who just got back from Taipei, as well as her 2 children.
I don’t think she expected to see so many old faces and I don’t think she knew what was going on in the back. We talked for a few minutes before I headed into the back room. I found my brother Frank thanks to Stan Demeski from the Feelies. Stan was there with his lovely wife Janice and Frank was standing next to them, next to the soundboard which is where we always used to stand years ago.
The Schramms were playing and they were enjoyable. After that came the Raybeats, who I really wanted to see the most. The Raybeats were the band that Danny Amis was in a long time ago. Danny had bone cancer, which is in remission thanks to stem cell therapy. Still he has enormous medical bills which is what these benefits around the country as well as Mexico are all about.
After Danny left the Raybeats, he formed a band called Los Straightjackets in which all the band members wear wrestling masks. They’re big in Mexico too. The Raybeats were phenomenal. I love the Raybeats. Last night they had Steve Almaas on bass guitar. Alirio pointed that out and I didn’t hear what Alirio has said at first, but I did notice the Dan Electro bass he was playing. I had seen Steve Almaas several times years ago when he was in Beat Rodeo.
When the Bongos were a 3 piece, and thinking about adding another guitar, it was down to Steve Almaas and Jim Mastro. Jim got the gig and Steve did his own thing. And Jim Mastro was enjoying the show last night as well. So many people from the past & present, including Chaz Charas, whom it is always good to see.
Adele Bertei came on stage and sang Shakin’ All Over with the Raybeats and once again it was over way too soon. Then came the Individuals who put on a good set, all the original members made the show. Then came Yo La Tengo who did a very good set and finished with Jody Harris from the Raybeats on a fantastic feedback drenched finale.
It was all over around midnight I think, and I’m not sure since by the end I wound up having about half dozen pints of the black beer. Oh yes, I am paying for it today, but happily doing so. As tired as I was beforehand, seeing the Raybeats made me believe in the rejuvenating power of rock & roll.
So now I am home after running some errands. Heading into the city to see The Motherfucker with the Hat on Broadway. It stars Bobby Cannavale, Annabella Sciorra and Chris Rock. Bill and I are both quite excited to see it. I am meeting him around 6:15 at John’s Pizza in midtown for dinner before the show.
It’s been a very good and exciting 24 hours.
The Raybeats (with Gail Ann Dorsey) backing Adele Bertei at Joe’s Pub 2010