Jace’s Place Chapter 3 Part 1

The next weekend was the Buddy Rich show at a small theater in the Grove. Robby smoked us out, so we’d be in a receptive mind for the jazz genius. I was in a band with two drummers, but I was skeptical about drumming being more than a metronome to keep the guitars on the beat. For all four of us to sit together, we ended up getting tickets at the back of the hall. Once Rich started his performance, I was so high and my focus so intense, it seemed like I was in the front. My consciousness had shifted to a point almost on stage. I had telescoped myself past the audience. It was just me and Buddy Rich.  He was so full of energy; it just drew me in like a magnet. Afterwards I asked if anyone else had the same sensation. Just Michael knew what I was talking about.
“Yeah. I block out everything other than what I concentrate on. I’m transported to a space where there’s no one else but me and the performer.”
“Exactly.”
The concert had been an hour and a half. It went by so quickly, I felt cheated. Michael said for a drummer to perform solo for so long was totally exhausting. He felt the performance went on forever. Space and time warps.

After we left the show, we decided to walk around the Grove. I hoped to see Wilkie and Jill, but we couldn’t just drop in on them with the whole band. We went to the arcade where I had gotten Scott’s and my pukka shell necklaces. We were hanging out at the head shop where I saw these spoon rings, which were silverware salt spoons, bent to just go around a finger. Maybe we could all get one I suggested.
“Yeah, but who has the bucks?” They were $5 apiece; none of us had any money, so we were just window shopping. Sure enough, along came David and Jill.
“Hey, Castle. Good to see you, mate.” He walked over. Jill gave me a peck on the cheek.
I introduced the band and told him our name was False Gods.
“Sure it isn’t Falsetto Gods,” he teased.
“No way, we rock. Come to our show at the Kappa Sig frat house on Friday after finals.”
“You are the band everyone’s talking about. There’s going to be a crowd.”
“All right.”
“Get there about seven and help us set up. You can sit with us on stage.”
“Cool. I fly back to the UK on Saturday for Christmas.”
“You’ll be in London for Christmas?”
“Yeah. Coach has me working out at the Crystal Palace pool during break, but at least I can get to Aberdeen for a family Christmas.”
“Is Jill going?” I asked. She was chatting up Jace. She had perfect gaydar.
“Don’t even ask. She’s pretty bummed we can’t afford it. Hey, Jill. Tim wants us to be roadies for their show on Friday night.”
She looked sad when she heard Friday. She came over and asked if Jace was my new boyfriend.
“How do you know these things? Are we that obvious?”
“He’s just too sexy to be straight.”
“What happened with the kid from the swim team?” David asked.
“He got a girlfriend.”
“You didn’t fight for him?”
“My dad made me quit the team. It kinda all blew up one weekend.”
“Joey involved?”
“Indirectly. I met him in New York, then we flew to LA where he’s living now. I got back and Scott had been caught screwing his girlfriend. He had to move back home. I got injured and we never got back to where we’d been before.”
“That skinny girl his girlfriend?” Tim 234
“Yeah, Lydia. We’d all been hanging out. She was jealous when my girlfriend was here, ‘cause she was thinking she and I were going to go out. So she went for Scott. He forgot about me.”
“Poor boy,” Jill commiserated. “How long before you found this one?”
“Jace? We started the band in my room, he would stay over, and one night listening to Pink Floyd ..”
“Pink Floyd, those sneaky English bastards,” David said. “Turns every fanboy gay. And, which one’s Pink?”
We all laughed. It was the first time I’d told anyone how we got together. Jace came over, and I told him that David and Jill were our gay parents.
“How can they be gay if they’re together.”
“No, silly. They look out for us – gay parenting.”
“Whatever. Every straight couple should have gay kids. Keeps the population down.”
“Good point, son,” David concurred. We really laughed.

Later I said we could do our love song at the party and dedicate it to them, as David was leaving her alone over the holidays to be in the UK.
Jace said, “We can be their gay parents and keep her happy until he gets back. She’s too hot to be alone for the holidays.”

I decided I had to talk with Mrs. Watt, my summer mom. I needed to thank her in some way, and a Christmas gift seemed like a good idea. But what to give her? I could get a mug that said the ‘World’s Best Mom,’ but that was too sad. I didn’t even know if I could call her Mom any more. Scott probably told all his family that I was nothing but a stoner now. Maybe she’d be sad to see me. I had to show her I was proud of myself. I wanted her to be proud of me. I asked Jace if he’d help me play a song for her.
“Scott’s mom. Why, dude?”
“She was my mom all summer. I even called her Mom.”
“You call Susan, ’Mom.’”
“Yeah, but Mrs. Watt asked me to call her Mom. I started calling Susan Mom to keep her off our backs.”
“It worked.”
“Mrs. Watt really was Mom after the divorce, even before my mom left for Iowa.”
“Well, what song do you want to do? Do we have to play for Scott, too.? What a dick.”
“No. We’ll surprise her while she’s waiting to pick them up after swim team. We can drag the practice amps over and do it in the parking lot.”
“Maybe some students will hear us and we can give them flyers for the frat gig.”
“My, aren’t you the big promoter.”
“Just good for business.”                           Tristan07
“Well, what song?’ I asked.
“How about ‘Proud Mary?’ The last verse would say you’re doing good and remember her for being supportive to you.”

“Yeah, it’s not too sappy or too much the happy birthday song. It’ll make her think about me and see how they helped me.

We got it down. The week before Christmas, we got Hippie Greg to drive us to the pool parking lot. He had been sent to his grandparents all fall to sober up from too much pot. They gave him a car once he got his driver’s license. I got an extra-long power cable and hooked up our little amps, waiting for Mrs. Watt to pull in to get Stu and Scott. I hoped she’d be early, but no such luck. Before she arrived, several kids were already waiting for their rides and recognized me as I sat with Jace on the curb. No one came over, but then Mrs.Watt pulled in. I waved, and she parked next to where we were sitting. I ran up to her window and said I had a surprise for her.  She smiled.
“You were such a nice mom to me this year; I want to thank you by singing a song just for you. This is Jace, the guitarist in my band.”
“Hi, Jace. I didn’t know you had a band, Tim.”
“Yup, we’re playing on campus this Friday, but this song’s just for you: Tim 592

‘Left a good job in the city
Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis
Pumped a lot of ‘tane down in New Orleans
But I never saw the good side of the city
‘Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen
Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have [if you got] no money
People on the river are happy to give
Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the riverRollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Songwriters: JOHN C. FOGERTY
Proud Mary lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC GROUP, INC

As soon as we started playing, all the team kids came running over  and surrounded the Watt’s station wagon. They asked me if I had a band, so we passed out the flyers. Mrs. Watt was so pleased, but all the kids kept me from telling her how much I cared about what she did for me. The kids got us to do a couple of songs. Jace told me we’d do “Daydream Believer,

and then the Beatles’ ‘Long and Winding Road.’

 

 

By the time we had done those songs, the crowd had grown considerably. I had the kids pass out the rest of our flyers. For the older crowd we did Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid.”

 

 

That brought campus police, so we threw the amps and guitars in Hippie Greg’s car. Before we left, I ran over to say goodbye to Mrs. Watt. Stu was jumping up and down with Mike, so happy to see me. Scott and Lydia stood back glaring at me.
“Oh, Tim. That was wonderful. You look so different. Are you eating?”
“Yes, Mom,” and I realized what I had called her and started to tear up. Where was Jace when I needed a kick in the butt?
“Come here. Tim. We’ll always love you, even if we don’t understand you.”
The tears were rolling down my cheeks, but I kept it together well enough to say, “I loved being part of your family. I’m doing well, much to your credit for loving me when I needed it.”
Then she started to tear up, so I walked away. Stu came running after me, with all sorts of questions and typical Stu pestering. I handed him a flyer, at which he looked like it was the wrong Christmas present. So, I gave him a hug and all was well.
Running back to the car, he waved the flyer, “Look, Mom. Their band is called False Gods. They’re playing here on Friday at a fraternity. Can I go, pleeeease?”
I knew the answer to that question. Without looking back I ran to Greg’s car and collapsed into Jace’s arms, sobbing, choking, and laughing.

Christmas sucks. But then Michael’s dad came through with the hundred bucks we had earned at Pete’s party.  Twenty dollars each, with Mary saying she didn’t deserve a share. We told her to get off her ass more at the next gig and really earn her share. She agreed. Now I had some money for gifts. Maybe I could talk the head shop into selling me five spoon rings for the price of four. I’d have to slip away from Jace to make it a surprise. We were only apart when we had a different classes in the morning.

When we went to the garage after Nutrition on Tuesday, there were a couple of cars parked there. John told us, he had told several college guys that we hung out there on school days and to come back at 10 am. Word had spread about our pot habit. Jace was pissed at his brother, telling him how narcs would find out about the garage. But he needed to see Max; me, too; so we went into the garage to meet our fans.
“False Gods,” they yelled as we walked in.
Robby took charge, taking out a joint, “Get on your knees.” He lit the joint, and then walked to the first supplicant and passed it to him. Max played altar boy, Tim 316 following behind Robby and inhaling the exhale from each college boy. Then he sat in the corner with his paw over his eye. They asked when we practiced, but we said we didn’t. We never know what songs are going to be requested, so there was no point in practicing. They believed this crap. The legend grew. After they left, we agreed that the garage was a bust. We’d hang out at Robby’s for a while. We could go to Michael’s, but none of us wanted to get on the bad side of his dad, our benefactor.
Mary said, “How about going to class for once,” but we shouted her down.
The twenty was burning a hole in my pocket. How to get away from Jace without him noticing was a problem. With the garage out-of-bounds, I saw my opportunity as Jace had to feed and walk Max every night. I always went with them, but I came up with a bogus excuse to stay home one night. As soon as Jace left, I hopped on my bike and pedaled to the head shop in the Grove. Tim 607 With no time to haggle, I told the sales person I wanted five spoon rings but only had $20. He said no, but when I turned to leave, he relented. He even made up five ring boxes, like I was proposing to five girls at once. Merry Christmas. I didn’t want Jace to know because I didn’t want him wasting his twenty bucks on sentimental Christmas presents. That left me with the dilemma of Dad and Susan. I hoped we’d get paid for the frat party in time for Christmas shopping. Jace wanted Max to move in with us. I convinced him that a dog would put Jace’s tenuous residency in our house at risk. With the garage in hiatus, Max was acting like a junkie going cold turkey. Robby supplied us with a joint every night so Max got his fix. After getting high, we took Max out on the leash to do his thing. The pot made him act like a puppy on speed, running circles around us, or stopping to smell all the dog pee and poop in the neighborhood. We decided he acted just like Robby when stoned. Tim 268

Jace had been teaching me how to play rhythm guitar. Since we took requests, sometimes the rhythm was laid down before the lead guitar came in. Jace would do my rhythm parts until I had learned the chords, and then he would switch to leads. I learned the fingering by watching his hands and mirroring the strings. Jace really was a prodigy as he could play any song he’d heard from memory. I needed him to show me what to do. When I ran around with the mike in my hand, he would switch back to rhythm so my hands were free. If we had a bass player, Jace wouldn’t have to do rhythm. He suggested we get Hippie Greg to learn the bass parts. Also, he had a car. Hippie Greg said it was cool to learn, so now we were six. Michael’s dad was glad he didn’t have to arrange for a truck again, asking if we needed him at the show. I knew he was just testing us, when we all shouted he had to come. Even Michael wanted his dad there. Mr. Antonio even called Martin Spec and arranged to have Hippie Greg set up with a ‘P’ bass and amp. Now we had to find out if Greg could learn to play. Michael asked his dad if he would help Greg, since his dad had played standup bass. We had to practice extra hard that week to make sure everyone stayed on the beat and made the chord transitions. It was boring for the drummers as they had to play rolls over and over. They found ways to get on each others nerves. Often we had to wait until they got over their fights on who played and when. This gave Hippie Greg time to work with Mr. Antonio while we had to wait for everyone else. The first night we tried to practice, it was a shambles. Finally Robby stood up from behind his kit.
“Mr. Antonio, we appreciate all you do for us but we’ll never get it together until we can smoke a joint and chill.”
Michael turned white and looked like he wanted to hide in the bass drum. His dad laughed, “I wondered when you’d ask. Yes, I did inhale in college. I was in a band, too.”
We all sighed. Michael came out from under his drums.                  Tim 231
“You want to spark this up?” Robby asked Michael’s dad.
“I think I’ll just go have a beer while you guys get it together.”
He came back about half an hour later with a six-pack.
“This is as far as I can go with breaking the law. I don’t want to know about the other stuff. But don’t be shy in front of me. I work for you. Okay?”

He sat by Greg, and they went over the fingering changes he had to learn. I said we needed to do a new song of our own for this gig.
“We have to do False Gods, and it’s like a totally new song now,” Robby complained.
“Yeah, but it’s a rewrite. We need to play our own. We don’t want to end up playing covers at bar mitzvahs and weddings.”
“How about playing at funerals, I bet that would sell.” Robby suggested, and we all ignored him.
“How about this love song I wrote with Jace?” I asked.

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

“How can you write a love song when you ain’t got girlfriends?” Hippie Greg asked.
Everyone got quiet, until I asked him, “Didn’t you see our show at Pete’s.”
“Sure, you two were crazy on stage.”
“Does that give you a clue who’s in love with who?”
“Oh. I thought you was just fagging it up like Jagger and Richards do.”
“Does that answer your question?”
“Oh. Does that mean no girls will like us?”
“No. It means you get all the girls.”
“Okay. Fine by me.”

Robby said he’d heard a new song from Queen that was about looking for love, ‘Somebody to Love,’

“Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love somebody somebody somebody somebody
Somebody find me
Somebody find me somebody to love
Can anybody find me somebody to love ?
(Find me somebody to love)
Ooh
(Find me somebody to love)
Find me somebody, somebody (find me somebody to love) somebody, somebody to love
(Find me somebody to love)
Find me, find me, find me, find me, find me
Ooh – somebody to love
(Find me somebody to love)
Ooh
(Find me somebody to love)
Find me, find me, find me somebody to love
(Find me somebody to love)
Anybody, anywhere, anybody find me somebody to love love love!
Wooo somebody find me, find me love.”

written by Mercury, Freddie
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

“Yeah. We’ll play it first, then we’ll go right into our song,” Jace was ready to mix.
“Yeah. And, we can change our name to Queens.” Michael laughed.

Later Mary asked me if I liked the girl I kissed at Sorrento’s the other night. I had made an impression on her. Mary thought all four of us could go out sometime. I said sure. It was getting complicated. I told Jace what Mary wanted to arrange, telling him I wouldn’t go if he objected. Instead of thinking about it, he just said Mary had to set him as well, so all six of us could go out. That left Michael out, so I asked him if his secret girlfriend Jenna could come out with all of us. He said her father was too strict to allow her to go on dates. Then he had an idea: get her family to throw a Christmas party for her and afterward all eight of us could at least hang out, maybe even go to Sorrento’s. Michael’s dad did business with Mr. Lombardi, so Michael asked him to ask Mr. Lombardi to have a party for Jenna, and Michael’s band would play dance music for everyone. It would be a chance for me to sing all the oldies I loved. No one really dated anymore anyway. Michael was stoked. Mary promised she’d find Jace a girl to like. It was like me getting the Fender Mustang. It all fell into my lap.

But first we had to come up with a theme for the frat gig. I remembered that David was leaving for the UK the morning after our show and that he and Jill were coming to the party. I decided we’d only play UK songs. The English Invasion and Blues. And at the end we’d play Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love,’ dedicating it to Jill and David; then we’d finish the show with David singing the UK National Anthem, ‘God Save the Queen.’  If they wanted more, we’d do an encore of “We are the Champions.’ That’s to send him home with our Miami fighting spirit to take on the world in swimming. The English rule.
We had a good idea what to play. We hooked up Robby’s stereo at Michael’s, and played acoustic with English Invasion records, starting with Paranoid, Smoke on the Water, Satisfaction, and a lot of other Stones songs.
“Seems like everyone has a song. Who we missing?” I asked, “Who’s the forgotten boy?”
Iggy, who mostly was passed out at practice, suddenly became animated and jumped up, “Yeah, yeah, ‘Search and Destroy’.”
I hit the Stooges chord first before Jace remembered the song. My vocals came in when Jace hit his leads:

“I’m a street walking cheetah………I’m a runaway son of the nuclear A-bomb..”
Iggy grabbed the mix from me: “I am a world’s forgotten boy. The one who searches and destroys”

Writer(s): Iggy Pop, James Osterberg, James Williamson, James Robert Williamson
Copyright: Bug Music O/B/o Strait James Music, Strait James Music, Bug Music, Emi Music Publishing Ltd., Screen Gems-emi Music O.B.O. Emi Music Publishing Ltd., James Osterberg Music

Jace was totally into it. “You knows this, Iggy?”
“That’s my song.”
“You mad that we’re playing it?”
“No way, but I’m way better at it than Tim.”
Jace enjoys this tidbit. “Think you can take the mic away from him on stage?”
“I’m Iggy. It’s my song.”
“Okay, here we go again. Tim will just play rhythm and you sing.”
“Won’t Tim wanna kick my ass?”
“He has other plans for your ass.”
“Fuck him, then. If I do good, I’ll be the new singer.”
“No, just stay being Iggy, okay,” Then to everyone, “One,two,three,four..
I came in a beat late, “I’m a street walking cheetah., with a heart full of napalm,
I’m a runaway son of the nuclear A-bomb.”
Iggy’s ready now,

“I am a world’s forgotten boy;

The one who searches and destroys
Honey gotta help me please;

Somebody gotta save my soul…

The one who’s searchin’, searchin’ to destroy,

And honey I’m the world’s forgotten boy

The one who’s searchin’, searchin’ to destroy,

Forgotten boy, forgotten boy,

Forgotten boy said hey forgotten boy”

Writer(s): Iggy Pop, James Osterberg, James Williamson, James Robert Williamson
Copyright: Strait James Music, Bug Music, James Osterberg Music

That jam went on for a while. Iggy’s running around screaming, “I’m in the band, I’m in the band.”
“Stop, Iggy. I’m still the singer,” as I took back the mike, “But if you jump up with me we can sing it together, and if’n you do real good, I’ll concentrate on my guitar, and then you are the band’s singer. And, when you finish, just hand me back the mic, or we will never do another Iggy cover again.”
“Okay, Tim. But no one does Iggy but me.”
“Okay, but I might have to be a little bit James Osterberg if you’re not ready to sing. And, Iggy. if I won’t give you the mic, you have to grab it from me, but don’t worry, I want you to hurt me.”

Jace saw the confusion on Iggy’s face, “Listen. After we play all these English songs. You start yelling, ‘Play American, Play American.’ We’ll try to reason with you, but be an asshole, jump in our face and grab Tim’s mic. Turn to the drums and yell ‘Search and Destroy.” Tim and I will play an intro, You jump around facing the crowd, and yell, ‘one,two,three,four,’ “ I am a world’s forgotten boy; The one who searches and destroys.”
“We’ll just follow you. At the end, throw down the mic, and yell, “Detroit, yeah. Stooges.” And walk off.”

“Whada I do then?”Hippie Greg yells.

“Fuck all them ladies who want your rock star dick.”

Robby yells, “Little as it is.”

Iggy went to look for another six-pack.

Michael came out from his drums. “Listen up. I gotta talk to you about my dad.”
“He’s cutting off the beer.”
“Marshall Stacks, Marshall Stacks.”
“Shut up. I’m not Santa’s helper, okay.”
“Okay, okay.”
“He thinks we need to have a sound engineer and he wants to teach someone not playing to do it.”
“You think he’s trying to take over, and it’s raining on our parade?”
“Fuck you, Robby. You don’t think I love my dad?”
“Are we takin’ a break?”
“What is it, Mike.”
“It about Hippie Greg. Dad wants to turn down the bass feed when he gets lost in a song.”
“Hippie Greg can do that just by listening to himself and blocking his strings.”
“Okay, look. He’ll buy us a sound board and we can mix our sound the way we want, but it’s over two grand.
“It’s up to you Jace, you’re the music man.”
“Naw, we don’t need it. We’re raw now, that’s what I like. I don’t wanna end up playing jazz. Tell your dad, however you can, that we love getting his help, but that’s not gonna help us.
Then Jace turned around and yelled at Hippie Greg, “If you get lost, stop playing until we get to a part you know. I’ll try to tell you when to come in, like when we practice.”
“Don’t you think it’ll look bad if we’re practicing in the middle of a song?” I asked.
“Shut up, Tim. You play the bass line when Hippie is out of it. You tell him when to come back in.”
“Great.”
“Sorry, guys. My mom won’t let me practice at my house,” Hippie Greg tried to excuse his sloppy playing.
“Tim, I think he wants to move in.”
“No, way. I won’t get fooled again.”
“Sorry.” Samurai X 08
“Right, that’s you, Hippie sorry, sorry Hippie.” Robby pronounced.
“Fuck this shit; I need a blow job.” I announced
“I gotta do that, too?” Hippie Greg whined.
Robby reassured him, “I think that comment is for Jace.”
“Oh?? ..ooh.”

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