3 – Blog a15 – Daytona Beach 1975

The pier has all sorts of shops on it, with tourists milling about, afraid to spend their vacation dollars. At the head of the pier a group of teens are hanging out, passing out ‘Jesus Saves’ pamphlets, with a seedy-looking man in his late twenties supervising . I recognize him from my weeks in Miami Beach. He is the pimp who tried to trap me.
“Remember me?” I say as we walk up.
“Remind me,” he answers, looking away to avoid my stare.
“You were pimping girls in South Beach two years ago. Y’all still go by Chuck?”
The kids start walking away, apparently aware of his past.
“Y’all runaways? He pimping you, too?”
They all start running away. A shopkeeper comes out and thanks me.
“He brings those kids here every day. I see him take the girls off somewhere. I suspected it’s prostitution.’
“If he comes back, have the police check his ID. I’ll bet he has a record and isn’t supposed to be around children.”
Teen Jesus to the rescue of homeless youth.

A more legitimate teen group is also working the pier. We talk. When they find out we’re driving to New York for Easter services, they invite us back to their church. It is just a storefront. They know about the other group, but do not think it is their responsibility to tell the police. They have no evidence.
“Are there many runaways here?” I ask the pastor.
“Lots during the winter. They are mostly abused or bullied at home and come here looking for friends. The adults who exploit them are scum.”
“Can they sleep here?”
“The police say if we shelter runaways, it is a crime. All we have is what you see. They have to sleep on the floor.”
“We pay a city tax for our motel. There must be money to save the runaways from prostitution. It doesn’t make for a nice visit for the tourists.”
“The police just want to make them leave Daytona. It’s hopeless.”
“There’s always hope if you have Jesus in your heart.”
“It’s hard.”
We give them all the money we have. Time to wake up the Uncles and go eat.

Luckily, I have a large petty cash fund, mostly in traveler’s cheques. We replenish our wallets and hit the pizza joints; they are everywhere in Daytona. We swear none is better than Sorrento’s. That does not stop us from pigging out.

It is nearly 6 pm. Casper is a Nervous Nelly to resume the search for his mother. The Uncles are in the midst of their cocktail hour and toss me the keys again. I only drive off the road twice. Hippie say he better drive back. A twenty-something man answers the door of the bungalow and lets us in. He took over the house from a couple who moved further from town. I show him the photo.
“Yeah, that could be her if she cleaned up real good.”
“They leave a forwarding address?”
“What’s it to ya?”
“She’s my friend’s mother.”
‘So, what’s it to you?” He was not a hater, more of a skeptic, not worth the effort to change.
“My friend wants me to tell her something.”
“Listen, kid. This is a bad neighborhood. If she left, there may be a reason she don’t want anyone to know where she went.”
“We just want to meet her. Her son was our guitarist. He was shot and killed on New Year’s.”
“Well, she goes by Candy, her old man is Bill. Last I seen ‘em was about two years ago.”
“Thanks. Was she working?”
“She’s got a couple of kids. Little ones.”
I sign Casper, “She’s got 2 kids.”
He gets very excited and creates a whirlwind of rosy wisps of clouds.
“How about her old man?”
“He kinda lives off her welfare check and does odd jobs.”
“Any last names?”
“Didn’t know and didn’t wanna know.”
“Thanks. It’s more than we knew before.”
‘Hope you find her.” He says, a little less cynically.
We knock on other doors, but no one remembers her.
We drive back to the motel to pick up the equipment van (the Chrysler) and the Uncles.
When we describe the Bar & Grill, they lose their enthusiasm.
“We’ll go out in two cars. Once you are set, we’ll take the DeSoto back to the city and find ‘our’ kind of bar.”
“Actually, best we just go in the Chrysler. We‘re going more for a rough trade look and you might get hurt.”
“Fine,” they shriek.

We load up. With Max in the back seat, we fly out the highway to the bar. We park at the back, banging to open the door and unload the equipment. Max is left to guard the car. They have a PA with two mics, so all we need are the drums and amps. Checking the bar, we see it is already busy. I find out how much they charge for drinks. It’s Friday night and the place is crowded. You don’t notice at night how rundown it really is. Scanning the crowd, I place the average age about thirty. No need for show tunes and Sinatra.
“Metal or Country?” I ask everyone. The jukebox is playing country.
“Metal,” everybody agrees.
The bartender comes by with four cold beers and places them by the back door, turns around and winks. We tune up, but our volume is below the crowd’s din. We decide to warm up with “Smoke on the Water,’ which is slow and heavy. We turn it up until they have to hear us.
Robby grabs the beers, and we go back to the car and toke up. A couple of local boys wander over to share the weed. They want our beers, but we tell them the bartender would 86 us if we share.
“You boys ain’t expectin’ to get in there?” the bright one remarks.
All the more incentive for them to stick around and for us to get in there and play.
“Okay, after Smoke, Whole Lotta Lovin, Stairway, and Paranoid. Then we’ll stop and take requests.”
“Yer the band?” their brilliance is amazing. We all go in together, They stand at the side, expecting a bouncer at any moment.
We pick up our instruments. Hippie and I play the first riff and we turn up the amps to ten. People stop talking. Jack steps up, “We all came out to Montreux….”

Girls are bobbing and weaving with drinks in their hands. The guys hold onto them.
“Yeah, Deep Purple,” someone yells. “Sucks,” a nay sayer answers.
We do the two Zeppelin songs and then rip into our usual opener, Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid.’

Hippie and I turn our amps down to 4 and Jack does his first intro.
“We’re from Miami.” Booes. “Gimme a beer. We play metal. What do you wanna hear.”
A poet and he didn’t know it.
Someone yells “Aerosmith.”
Jack turns around and mouths, ‘Walk this Way,’ and yells into the mic,

“one two three four…Backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the cover…Walk this way, talk this way
Walk this way, talk this way
Walk this way, talk this way
Walk this way, talk this way
Ah, just give me a kiss”


He’s strutting across the small stage, hands on his hips and staring menacingly at the crowd.

“Stones,” someone yells when we finished.
We do ‘Sympathy for the Devil,” starting out slow and quiet,

Even the Stones cannot perform that song in 1975. I start to hear a cry for ‘Free Bird,” from the loyal locals.

“ZZ Top,” We do ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’.

Followed by ‘Tush.’

“’CSNY,’  someone dares us. We do ‘Southern Man’, changing the lyrics:

“Southern man, better keep your head
Don’t forget what your good book said
Southern changes don’t come fast
Now your crosses are burning last
Southern man
I saw prisons and I saw shacks
Tall white gives a smackin’
Southern man, when they pay you them back?
I heard screamin’ and bullwhips crackin’
How long? How long?

Southern man, better keep your head
Don’t forget what your good book said
Southern changes don’t come fast
Now your crosses burn at last
Southern man

Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown
I’ve seen your man’s still comin’ round
Swear by God, I’m gonna cut him down
I heard screamin’ and bullwhips crackin’
How long? How long?”

Song Writer: Neil Young
Published by

Apparently our drunk fans aren’t listening as their automatic response to Neil Young is to throw things at us, especially beer. We quickly play ‘Sweet Home, Alabama’

and rejoin the fold. They cheer us but continue to throw beer, as we duck and weave.

Next I jump into Leon Russell’s ‘Honky Tonk Woman,”

Jack switches gears and sings low as I provides the heavy back beat. Hippie is flying around the stage, some Southern gene. I play the piano notes individually on my guitar, just like a honky-tonk piano.

“Gimme gimme gimme the honky-tonk blues.”

We even got a few cheers from the crowd.
I step up to the mic, “Did someone yell ‘Free Bird?”

A cheer goes up. Jack and I get up to the mic for our duet. He puts his arm around my shoulder as I play a 15 second guitar intro. Casper looks disgusted as we cut the long intro short and start singing to each other:

“If I leave here tomorrow” (I sing to Jack)
“Would you still remember me?” (He sings back)
“For I must be traveling on, now,” (I return.)
“’Cause there’s too many places,” (He returns)
“I’ve got to see.” (We both sing)
“But, if I stayed here with you, girl” (Me )
“Things just couldn’t be the same” (Jack)
“’Cause I’m as free as a bird now” (Me)
“And this bird, you can not change.” (He finishes.)
… and together we sang the long chorus:

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can’t change
Lord help me, I can’t change
Lord I can’t change
Won’t you fly high, free bird, yeah?”

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

“Did we pass the audition?” I ask. People clap and stomp the affirmative.
“Can’t a 16-year-old get a beer around here?” I ask, and we all run off the stage. There are four cold ones by the back door.
“I think that went quite well,” Jack remarks about his performance as lead singer.
“Quite,” I quip.
“Why the disgusted look?” I sign Casper.
“You cut Free Bird’s guitar solo,” he complains. He’s a purist.
“Well, next month you can have Allen Collins do it for your appreciation.”
“Don’t ask for what you may not want,” he signs back.

Our fellow backdoor mates come around from the front, showing they have stamps to get back in. They bring along several more buddies.
“Y’all hadda pay ta git in?” I ask the newbies.
“Five bucks.”
“Were we worth it?”
“We’s just huntin’ pussy.”
“How’s that workin’ fer ya?”
Casper is signing for me to cool the Southern jive.
“Speakin’ of that. You boys ever see this chick?” I show them the photo, “Her name’s Candy.”
“Sure, man. She’s always here. Her old man’s the bartender.” Our ‘four-frosties-by-the-door’ man.
“If you see her, can y’all tell her to come talk with us.”
“Out of your league, boys. She’s gotta be thirty at least.”
“We just wanna talk to her.”
Casper is already gone, looking for her. Good hunting, brother.
“Y’all gots guts to play ‘Southern Man.’ No one does that and lives.”
“You hear how we changed the lyrics?”
“Maybe, but Neil Young will remember.”
So much for editing.
Robby pulls out the obligatory joint We get ready to play our own song set. I just feel excited, not nervous. Fuck ‘em if they hate us. We’re from Miami.
The whole crew piles in with us and a bouncer comes by to check their stamps, but they have it covered.

I jump up to the mic.
“We’re False Gods. Hope you liked that first set of Southern Comfort rock. Lots of Skynyrd fans here tonight. Go out and support their new album coming out next month. We’re supporting them by opening their hydroplane stadium concert in Miami. Come and see who does the better Free Bird.”
A few scattered boos come from the back.
“Okay. We can’t play their hit without paying them, so see how you like our songs.” and I turn around and mouthed ‘South Florida.’

“Go deep to the South
When you can go no more
Find our city where to score
Come to our cool house

We bewilder with our drug
Whether it be love
Or just need  a hug
We’re free to meet the need

Miami’s here to serve
Keeps you safe and sound
Southern man beats you down
That’s what you deserve

Miami drug
Life too rough?
Take the time
Follow our sign

Girls are free
Always please
Jack your shit
Get into it.”

They are into it, so we repeat the ending chorus, “Get into it.”

“How about a little ‘Sex Part 1?’”

“He’s the boy who breaks all the rules.
He takes his time until you’re primed,
then gets it done 60 seconds flat.
Out the door leaves ya wanting more.
Don’t tell him you’ll do it later when you know
he’s gonna do you now.
Love it.”

“Part 2:

“You who acts so true,
finding me sometimes blue,
take me in your arms,
calm me with your charm,

I need you to give,
what we need to live.
Take my hands,
shake my hips,
all that we can,
kiss my lips,
invade my mind,
don’t leave my side,
forget my pride,
I need you inside.”
take me inside
take me inside.
take me inside.
take me.
take me.

You act so true,
With me so blue,
take me
calm me
you need me,
• reason to love.
Take my hands ,
Take my hips,
all you can,
kiss my lips,
invade my mind,
don’t leave my side,
forget my pride,
I need you inside.
take me inside.
take me inside.
take me inside.
take me.
take me.
take me.
take me.

The guys are butt-bumping their girlfriends or elbowing their buddies. No beer flying yet.

“How about ‘Love?’

“I never feel this way.
Just happy full of play.
I wake up every day,
You’re by my side,
You reach and touch,
I say goodbye.

There’s no future,
But we have now.
Don’t ask,
Some way,

“We’re perfect for each other,
I never think of another.”
Can’t be love, but who can say
I know you’re here to stay?”

There’s no future,
But we have now.
Don’t ask,
some way,
‘We can’t live by ourselves.
We need people that we love
We hate those who hate themselves
We know what they’re made of.

Love, love, love

I need your love
I need your love
I need your love
I need you”

“Too slow,” someone yells
We play ‘Paranoid’ to perk up the crowd.

“Too fast,” someone else yells.

“This is ‘Sneakin’, When yer 16 you gotta be fast.

Sneaking around
Never been caught
All over town
Better than not.

Thrill’s in the chase
No time to waste
Folks on my case
All is in haste.

Waiting’s the worst
You are my first
I need you now
We’re on the prowl.

Back of an alley
Sprawled in the dirt
No time to dally
Who will cum first.

shaka shaka love?
‘shaka shaka love shaka shaka
Shaka shaka love shaka shaka.”

The crowd turns the heat up. You can feel their excitement as they press forward toward us. I run up, stop and play riffs, moving the neck of my guitar like I’m fucking Casper, who takes it up the ass with a huge surprise on his face.

“This song we wrote about Robby and Michael, our double drummers. When Robby was ten he set Michael on fire. Michael was nine and when Robby told him he had saved his life by rolling him up in a rug. Michael punched him out.”
Everyone cheers and we do ‘Look before You Leap.’

‘Look before You Leap?’”

set you’re your buddy on fire,
Better buy a rug.
send your friends to hell,
Better get a priest.
Beat up a bully,
Better get a gun.

Look before you leap
Better to say no
End up in the shit heap
No place to go.

Leap, leap, leap
You fuckin’ freak
Leap, leap, leap
Strip and streak.”

Beat up your friend
Get new friends
Steal a new car
You won’t get far
Rape some sweet lass
A beating comes fast

Look before you leap
Better to say no
End up in the shit heap
No place to go.

Leap, leap, leap
You fuckin’ freak
Leap, leap, leap
Strip and streak.”

Now comes the final test, ‘False Gods.’
“Boys, this is our band’s song, ‘False Gods,.’ You can worship us from afar after we get famous. Get on your knees.”

“Where others feared to tread,
they gave us up for dead,
memories linger on eternally,
as Lucifer’s proud plea,
a world of our own,
on high a black throne,
we sing to make them see,
to be happy for eternity
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…
a world meek and blind,
laugh at all of mankind,
fools misunderstand,
we’re of Satan’s band,
a world of endless flaws,
facades and miracles applause,
eulogized but despised,
shed your false disguise,
fall to your knees,
utter useless pleas,
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…

pray in foreign tongues,
shoot useless guns,
sacrifice hallowed sheep,
shun cold, dark streets,
you’re just nasty fleas,
Set your minds to be

…False Gods, False Gods…

We will live eternally
To hear your painful screams
Just wait 20 years or so
You will know just what we mean

….We are False Gods, False Gods..”

… False Gods”

SONGWRITER: David Delgado/Tar Larner

Southern boys love their rock with death and bible prophecies. Everyone is yelling for more as we walk off. Finally I go up to the mic, “Well, nobody’s gotten me a beer, so we’ll be back with our star performer, Max.”

There were four more beers by the door. I go back and find the bartender.
“Bill?” I began tentatively. “You hooked up with Candy?”
“I ain’t Bill. That’s her ex. If you want a piece of him get in line.”
“Naw, we gotta meet Candy. She here tonight?”
“Somewhere. She don’t pull them tricks no more.”
“That’s good. We’re friends of her son.”
“Those boys ain’t out of pre-school.”
“No. Her first son. He just turned 16.”
“From the asshole dad who never sends her check.”
“We really need to meet her. It’s all good. He’s our original guitarist.”
“You rock pretty good.”
“Thanks. He taught me all I know.”
“I’ll find her. You sure this ain’t about child support or nothin.’”
“No. We hate her asshole ex-husband. It’s a long story, but Jace made us promise we’d find her.”
“Y’all playin’ another set?”
“You still selling drinks?”
“We may run out.”
“We’ll finish up strong. We’d never played those last songs before. Whatcha think?”
“It ain’t band camp, kid. All I can say is after you played Southern Man sales went way up and have stayed that way. You comin’ back Saturday night?”
“Sure,” I grin.
“Well, get out there. I’ll find Candy.”

I race out back of the parking lot and get my beer from Jack, who’s holding off the hoards. Our backstage is so way-backstage, anyone gets in. Robby has endless joints for them. When someone claims it’s ‘weak,’ I show him where to hold the Robby special hole so it draws.
“Fuckin’ city boys,” he complains. Then he looks at me, “Sorry. Y’all ‘s cool.”
“Hey,” I announce to the band. “There’s a good chance that Jace’s mom is actually inside here tonight. The bartender’s her old man. He’s looking for her.”
Everyone cheers. Jack hugs me, losing half our new posse.
“You boys ain’t faggots, are you?”
“Who’s askin’? We’s picky about who we let fuck us.”
That confuses them.
“We ain’t gonna fuck you. We’re gonna fuck you up.”
Just at that moment, a Harley roars around the corner, skidding to a stop next to the Chrysler. All in black leather and no helmet is Iggy.
“Am I missing the action?” he yells.
Max barks as Iggy knocks down the local who is ready to fight. All hell breaks out. Robby jumps on the back of one of the harassers and digs his fingers into his eye sockets. It’s like the rodeo with Robby bull riding. Michael is wielding his drum sticks like nunchucks. I punch the nearest guy in the gut and put him down with an upper cut. Hippie stands there waiting for inspiration on how to fight. I get tackled and end up grappling a guy twice my size.  The original group who snuck in with us decides it is a free for all and attack their friends who are intent on getting us. Jack is hiding in the car. But the excitement (and the pot) gets the best of him. He copies Robby’s move and launches himself from the car’s hood and hangs on to someone who wasn’t really attacking anyone. The bouncers come storming out, well prepared for some action. We rush back on stage, picking up our instruments. I mouth ‘Wish You Were Here,” our new Pink Floyd anthem.

“We’re back, after a little Daytona hospitality in the parking lot. (a few cheers) And this song is dedicated to Candy, if she’s out there. A little English Pink Floyd about what we feel for her son, Jace.

“So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue sky’s from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
And how we found
The same old fears.

Wish you were here.

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., IMAGEM U.S. LLC

A tall lady with long straight, blonde hair comes running up.
“You’re friends with my long-lost baby?”
“He sent us to find you. We all love him so much. Stay here. We have to talk after we’re done.”
She looks around anxiously, then totally relaxes with an angelic expression. Casper is hugging her. He’s still in her heart.

We play mostly blues and country for the last set. People are ready to sit down and enjoy the show. Bar business is down, but there’s a finished feeling to these songs. We even do a few Fats Domino New Orleans style blues hits from the 50s.

We get our biggest applause after we finish. We do Zeppelin’s ‘Ramble On’

and ‘Good Times Bad Times’ as encores.

As we finish the Zeppelin, Iggy comes charging through the crowd backed by his new friends from the fight.
“Enough of this English shit. We’re Americans. We want American metal.”
He jumps on stage and attempts to pull the mic away from me. The bouncers are on their way.
“Okay. Okay,” as I give him the mic. He mouths ‘Raw Power’ to the band and jumps around to face his fans.

He rips through it and goes right into ‘I Wanna be Your Dog.’ Max runs on stage and barks with Iggy.

The crowd loves it. The bouncers finally get there and haul Iggy away. His posse follows to keep him from a beating. The show  stops. We’re done.

Instead of leaving the stage, we all circle Candy, Jace’s mom. Everyone is crying. The Bartender comes over and is holding Candy. Her look shows she knows it is not good news. Casper keeps hugging her, but the angelic look is gone.
I swallow and start to explain.
“Candy, Jace is the inspiration for this band. He never stopped wanting to find you. He was angry and troubled but the inspiration he found to create this band changed him. He was a musical prodigy. When he died ten thousand people came out to his memorial.”
“He died?”
“His stepbrother shot him after years of abusing him. It’s partially my fault because I beat the bully up and told him to stop. Instead he got a gun. Jace was shot, dying at the hospital.”
Casper is tucked up in her lap.
Pointing to Max. “This dog loved Jace. Jace loved him because he had been protecting Jace and his younger brother. Jace was holding Max back when his older  brother tried to kill the dog and instead shot Jace.”
At first she hugs me, but ends caressing Max. He gets all the ladies.
Nate, the bartender, comes over. She sobs in his arms.
“We can feel Jace all around us. We have him in our hearts. If you still have him in your heart, take some of his love from us. You will always feel him there.”
That angelic smile comes back, as she cradles Casper in her arms. Nate lets each one of us hug her as we try to express the love we felt for Jace. He gives us their home address and says to come by after 1 pm so we all can talk. I run over and kiss her on the forehead.
“I loved him the most,” I confess. I did my version of the goofy grin and Candy instantly recognizes it. “That’s Jace’s smile.”
“I know. We were happy together.” The tears are spilling but I do not sob.

Jake, the bar owner, comes over and settles with us. I figure there were 120 people in the bar buying $3 well drinks at one per hour for 5 hours. The take would be $1800, so we’re due $450. The owner smiles at me, “Best night of the season,” and hands me $500.
“Comin’ back tomorrow,” Nate says.
“Yup, wouldn’t miss it.”
“Tell me you ain’t gonna do all them covers in concert?”
“Nope. Playing here was the first time we did a set of only our own songs.”
“The second set?”
“Well with double drums you give Skynyrd a challenge, just don’t play Free Bird, you look like fags.”
“That would be correct, sir. Usually the duet is with Robby’s girlfriend but the parents wouldn’t let any of the girls come.”
“Good thing.”
“Any more advice?”
“Don’t listen to big fat good ol’ boys.”
“Yes, sir, we’ll be back.”

I go back outside where everyone is hanging at the Chrysler and getting high.
“That’s intense,” Michael says.
“I saved yer asses,” is Iggy’s point of view, everyone pounding him on the back. We all compare our injuries, hors de combat. Jack might get a black eye. We all have scrapes and bruises.
“Y’all wanna come back tomorrow?”
Unanimous yes.
“Is Iggy part of the band?”
Somewhat less enthusiastic but still unanimous.
“He deserves a new name. How about ‘Nick,’ as in the nick of time.”
“Yah, Nick.”
I am not sure if he saved us or started the fight.
“Still trying to steal my job.” I accuse him.
“Just you wait,’ he warns.

As we are ready to leave, Casper signs he was going home with his mom. I am so happy for him. We kiss until he starts licking my ear. Jack grabs him too. They twirl around and kiss. Gays!

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