After pizza, we decided to go to both private clubs. We chose Porcellian first. We arrive like pimp-daddys with their ladies. As soon as the upperclassmen start to hound-dog the girls, we gather everyone and leave as a group. Fox is more amenable. We stay for a couple of hours. The bar s open but we stick with beer. It goes down better after all the pizza we ate. The noise level increases as more alcohol is consumed. The party is restricted to the lower floors. When the girls are asked if they want to see what the upstairs is like, we know it’s time for a mass exit. Our standards are not compromised. To be honest, it was a long day. I don’t ask Trudie if Joan and she want to sleep with us. I get the impression she is disappointed. I have more pressing plans – mad crazy fucking Jack-Off. I know he needs it and has high hopes. When we get back to the room, Minehan is sound asleep in Jack’s bed. We pull a quickie in the shower and collapse in our bed. Jack says he likes the small twin bed. It means I can’t get away from him.
On Sunday morning, we convince all the girls to go to 8 o’clock mass. We dress David in one of Jack’s suits, making him more presentable. He complains we’re worse than his mean parents.
“Jim says you’re a rich kid,” I expose his suburban roots.
“That asshole,” David doesn’t deny it. “The parental units are rich. A lotta good it does me. They won’t even buy me a car.”
“Ya gots a license ta drive yet?” I goof on him.
“Why git ya a car if ya ain’t gots no licence.”
“Stop pretendin’ you’s a farm boy,’ He changes the subject.
“And y’all ain’t no Townie or Southie.”
“I ain’t no rich bitch like old Jack-Off.”
“Wait ‘til yer old man gits the bill fer yer tuition.”
That stops him. “How much ya think it is?”
“Three thousand a semester.”
“Shit. I’m dropping out.”
“You can’t, David,” the 3D girls all whine.
“Hurry up and git a record contract. Then the record company gets ta pay,” I joke.
He goes to mass with us, praying fervently for something. He splits for home afterwards. I tell him never to pray for something for yourself. Praying has to be for the common good.
“I’ll shove yer common good up yer common ass,” he yells as he runs out the door.
We invite Trudie and Joan back to the room. We all ended up on the one bed. Jack’s bed stinks with sheets all covered in cum stains. We make out for the longest time. Both girls get us super horny and hard but won’t go any further. I figure it’s a test to make sure we aren’t exclusively gay.
The bus back to Northampton leaves at 2pm. We take a long walk along the Charles River, talking easily and laughing about all the antics from the weekend.
“See how important football is?” I defend my Iowa roots. “Now y’all’s become cheerleaders.”
“We didn’t appreciate you making us crawl around on our hands and knees and be chased by the Harvard male cheer squad. But then you made them crawl while we chased them back.”
“All’s fair turn-about.”
“It is all over-the-top but you seem to get it that girls want to be treated equally,” Trudie pats us on the back.
“When ya gots twin sisters and two moms at home, there ain’t no denying women’s rights.”
“Your mom’s a lesbian?” Trudie exclaims.
“Yeah. I guess it runs in the family,” I confess.
“We like that you’re both gay. It doesn’t seem to slow you down in the make-out department,” Joan admits.
We both beam, gave them a kiss, and then kiss each other. It’s all chaste, but the girls both scream and giggle. Equal rights for all.
We took the girls to Bailey’s’s Ice Cream parlour, south of Harvard Square. We all hav Sundaes, of course, sitting at a round, spindly glass table with pink spindly seats. It feels like we’re in Paris.
“I wish we’d come to Radcliffe instead of Smith. It is so much fun here,” Joan is being sentimental.
“Smith gives y’all a better education. Freshman classes at Harvard are nothing much,” I argue.
Of course, I’m still getting C- or worse on my assignments. Jack was a perfect A+.
“Maybe you should go to class,” Jack suggests.
“Why? You take word for word notes. I just refuse to spew them back at the profs.”
“You have no respect for the institution,” Jack complains.
“Yer jist an ass-kisser who parrots back whatever y’all is told.”
“Yer a know-it-all who ain’t always right.”
“All right boys. It’s been a long weekend. You can fight all you want later, but we have a bus to catch.”
“Ah, please, Miss Trudie. Ya cain’t leave now. I be missin’ ya sumthin’ terrible.”
“Ain’t enuff room fer the four of us’n in that little bed. We ain’t sleepin’ in Minehan’s cess pool.”
We all laugh. Jack and Joan are staring intently at each other.
I take Trudie’s hand. “You are great,” I drop the country persona. “Putting up with us, staying with the ‘Cliffies, going out on the football field, fending off upper-class snobs at private clubs, and eating pizza and ice cream all weekend. Please come back next weekend?” I ask.
“Have you cleared it with Jack? He may not want to do it again.”
“Are you kidding. Look at ‘em,” I point to the two of them holding hands and staring at each other.
“I already asked her. It’s parents week at Smith and both our families are meeting each other. Maybe the next home game?”
“That’s the Yale game in November. The Game. I already asked my twin sisters to come out from Iowa.”
“You’re dating your sisters?”
“Hell, no. They both date my best friend, the football player.”
“Ew, they date the same guy?”
“He plays football. He really big.”
“Naw. He’s my best friend and the twins never bin apart. It’s a good match, let me assure ya.”
“Well, we don’t want to get in the way for The Game.”
“It’ll be fine. You’ll love ‘em. Angie’s jist like you and Amy’s all peaches and cream like Joan.”
“I ain’t peaches and cream?”
“More like piss and vinegar,” I laugh. She socks me really hard. I fake-fall over, wiggling my feet in the air.
“We gotta go, Joan,” she pulls her roommate away from Jack. “We can’t miss that bus.”
We all run over to the terminal, getting there with plenty of time for kissing and hugging to say goodbye. As the bus boards, we noticed Troy and Venus doing the same. They wink their approval.
Walking back to the Yard, Jack and I start hitting each other on the arm, giggling and conscious that we have weathered a stormy weekend and still ended it together.
“Think they still want to go out with us?” Jack asks.
“I asked Trudie to come for next week’s game. They can’t. It’s parents weekend at Smith.”
“Let’s go there and surprise them,”” Jack suggests. “Their parents will be so happy they have gay boyfriends.”
“Right. You looked so gay with your tongue down Joan’s throat.”
He giggles. “She likes me. What can I say?”
“Trudie is just like Angie, always calling me out for my bullshit.”
“So, she’s your sister substitute?”
“Naw. No way I would ever lust after Angie. That’s incest. Trudie keeps it real.”
“Are we really gay?”
I pull him into a hug and frenched him right in the middle of Harvard Square. It isn’t a Hollywood moment. People stare and several call out ‘Faggots’. One person tells us to get a room. Jack is hot and horny, as we rush back to Mower. It’s a dick killer to find Minehan waiting for us.
“You want me to go up to 3D?” he asks noticing our hard-ons.
“Naw. You can watch and learn,” I tell him.
“Okay,” he’s ready to get educated.
“Don’t worry,” as I grab my stiff dick. “This is from saying goodbye to the Smithies.”
“They were cool. How come you’re dating girls?”
“You think we’re just faggots?”
“Well, yeah. I saw ya kiss in front of the Rat.”
“We were just slumming.”
“Whatcha think of my performance yesterday?” Everything is about him.
“You’re a natural star. Just don’t turn into a rock star asshole,” Jack warns him.
“Yeah. Enjoy playing with everyone. Your band mates will make or break you. Don’t make it all about yourself,” I advise.
“They’ll just do what I tell ‘em.”
“Jim’s totally cool. He needs to trust his playing. He picked it up quickly.”
“He’s a fag, too. No wonder you like ‘em.”
“Why do you say that? ‘Cause he’s sensitive? He really worries that he’ll let you down.”
“Shit. He needs to just play and keep his mouth shut.”
We just shake our heads. “You need adulation. Go up to 3D. They think you’re cute.”
“I am cute.”
We laugh, not just because he’s so self-centered.
“Let’s go play the MOOG,” he suggests.
H’s also irrepressible. We go down to the boiler room. Soon the walls of Mower are moaning and groaning. As David and Jack trade tracks, I fill in leads with my SG guitar. Jace is working with me. He takes over. I float above my body as Jace creates eerie riffs off the moody dirges coming from the MOOG.
“Too moody,” I complain.
“Then we’ll be the Moody Rudes, check out this one,” Minehan is inspired.
I’m just beginning to see
I don’t know what to say
What’s it matter to me
Chasing the girls away
They never call to me
The end is drawing me near
I don’t know why
Those other voices I hear
I must be high
No one sees my reflections of my mind
It’s just the kind of day to get left behind
So gently swaying in this fairyland of love
If you’ll just come with me you’ll see the beauty of
After: Songwriters: JUSTIN HAYWARD
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
He repeats the verse and chorus. We are now the Moody Rudes. Looking up we see a half-dozen Mower residents watching and listening by the door. We wave them in and offer them beer from the keg.
“Is that the Moody Blues?” one of the boys asks.
“No. We’re the Moody Rudes.” We win over the folk crowd. Sunday afternoons.
We play more Moody Blues and create our own mood songs. David comes up with his own lyrics without having to think about it. He claims to have visited Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone. We believe him. As soon as the keg runs dry, our fans depart. We make him go home.
“Work with Mike and Jim. They’ll follow you to hell and back, if you even want to return. You need them to back you up.”
“I’ve got you two. Why do I want to train those two dancing bears.”
“Because they’ll do what you say. We’re no longer in high school and willing to follow the Pied Piper.”
“I wanna be in a band with you guys,” he whines.
“Too many egos just screw it up. Keep it simple and you’ll be a star. Stay with us and who knows who you are?”
A rhyme in time stays true.
“We have studying to do.”
“So do I. What’s my assignments for this week, Jack?”
“A paper in English on Moby Dick (which you haven’t read), those calculus worksheets to be completed, the comparison chart between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and you need to go to the pool and pass the swimming test.”
“Well, let’s get cracking, then.”
We turn off the amps and lock the boiler room. Jack isn’t about to let anyone steal his MOOG. We go to 3D and find out that all the girls are at Widener Library, doing their homework. We sit down beside them. Three hours later, all Minehan’s assignments are done. He just uses Jack’s notes on Moby Dick, writing a long epic poem about slavery on whaling ships and the exploitation of native islanders. He answers all the calculus problems without doing any of the work; strangely he had the same answers as I had come up with by doing the proofs. His comparison chart in religion states that Islam requires all believers to never describe the Prophet, resulting in the women running around in veils and long robes, so all is hidden. When he announces he can’t swim, Jack makes me promise to teach him, as I was City Swim Champ in Miami. The girls are impressed, insisting I show off my muscles, which have mostly melted since I never work out anymore. All of us, including the five 3D girls, go to the pool to cheer Minehan in his swim lessons. He refuses to wear one of my Speedos and comes out in his boxers, which instantly slide down to his knees when he dives into the pool. They girls shriek and move closer to see what they can see. Minehan runs back into the locker room and returns with the Speedo under his droopy boxers.
“You just want me in this faggy underwear ‘cause you’re perverts,” he accuses Jack and me.
“Oh, David. You’re so sexy,” the girls all proclaim.
He flexes but no one notices. He thrashes around trying to swim a length of the pool. I try to hold him up with my hands on his stomach. He yells at me for trying to feel him up. Somehow he makes it a length without me having to touch him again.
“Now, I have to show you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation,” I announce.
Jack buyst pizza and beer for everyone at ‘Noch’s.’ David gets carded. He only has his high school ID that says he’s 17, so he gets no beer. He proceeds to drink most of mine and some from all the girls. He is being flirty and coy, which everyone loves. Jack is jealous, telling David he has to pay for all the beer he stole.
“What are you going to do, take it out on me in trade?”
The girls are shocked. David shrugs, “Ain’t gonna be the first time.”
“You make him have sex with you?” Jill is distressed.
“Not Jack,” David defends the nerd.
“Not Tim?” the girls scream.
“Naw. They have each other. They say I stink. I get hit on by all those retards at BU.”
That seems more likely.
“Let’s stop all the fag-ragging,” I demand. “I know you all know about Jack and me. Don’t mean we don’t like girls.”
“So, you’re supersexuals?” David laughs.
“Not enough to do skinny high school boys,” Jack asserts.
“Oh, my feelings are so hurt,” David mocks Jack.
“That’s not what you said was hurt when I got through with you,” I claim.
“Ew, the truth comes out,” Jill laughs.
“Fuck you all. I ain’t no faggot.”
“That’s a relief,” Jack jokes.
“Fuck off,” as David leaves, giving us all the finger.
I run after him, catching him as he strides to the T station.
“Wait. Don’t leave mad.”
He turns around. “How come everyone turns against me. You’re the gay ones.”
“It’s too easy to make you look silly for being a homophobe.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Fear of gays.”
“I ain’t afraid of you. You’re my friends. No one else likes my acting out.”
“You act like there’s something wrong with being gay. You shouldn’t listen to other people’s prejudices.”
“It don’t mean nothin.’ I likes ya. Ya say I’m a skinny string-bean Gumby. So I call ya gay. Same thing.”
“Okay, Gumby. You can call me Gaybo.”
“Perfect.” We start to shake hands but both pull back. “Psych,” we both laugh.
It’s late when we got back to Mower. The girls notice that Jack is obviously horny and anxious to be alone with me. They all stand around in front of our dorm room door on the first floor, until Jack can’t wait any longer.
“I need my beauty sleep,” he announces.
“Oh, or is that bulge in your jeans saying you need something else,” Jill points out.
Jack blushes, but grabs me and shuts our door on the five 3D girls.
“Better put a ‘Knock Please’ sign on this door. You never know when Minehan’s going to show up,” Jill advises.
I quickly make the note and opened up to put it on the outside. The girls are peeking in, catching Jack already half-naked.
“Ew,” they scream and run off. I wonder if it’s enough to cause nocturnal fantasies on the third floor.
Jack and I get right to it. I realize that all our bickering and actual fights are nothing more than built up testosterone. I take him in my mouth, bobbing and sucking until I know he’s about to go off.
“Stop. Stop. I’m gonna cum,” he tries to slow me down.
I spit him out and tell him not to worry. “This is just round one. Let’s make it a title bout.”
He giggles and wraps his feet around my straining dick. It’s like monkey sex, as I got close myself. We’re a frenzy of bobbing, sucking and stroking until he goes off in my mouth. I keep swallowing while going over the edge myself. I let loose all over the bed sheets. The sheets on both beds now need deep cleaning to become presentable again. I figure Minehan can take them home to Waltham. I’m not sure I can turn them in at the Chinese laundry without severe embarrassment. I know Minehan’s mom must be used to excessive emissions.
We lay there catching our breath.
“We always cum simultaneously,” Jack observes.
“No holding back here,” I claim.
“How can you tell I’m close.”
“Well, first you can barely get enough breath, your eyes roll up in your head so you can’t see, your dick vibrates, and your body shakes all over. I can take a clue.”
He hugs me at my exaggeration of his orgasms. We both are getting hard again.
“Fuck me, Tim. I need to be dominated,” he orders.
“Always the entitled one,” I mock him.
He throws his legs over my shoulders and rests his head on the one pillow we share. He stares at me intently. My dick is at full alert. I grab his butt and push it high enough to get my tongue between his two cheeks. His sphincter is pulsing as I spit and lubricate it. My tongue prods and probes at his canal. He pulls on the back of my head to get me to go deeper. He is soon ready, sliding down my arms so his butt is level with my dick. He reaches and thrusts it into his opening. He is so relaxed that I sink up to my groin in one motion. I hold it there as he shudders and begins to vibrate.
“Fuck me. Fuck me,” he cries.
“Shush,” I order. I don’t want our neighbors upset.
“Please,” he begs.
I comply and am soon pumping him like an oil well, up and down in a steady, slow beat. He is soon approaching orgasm. I keep it up as he goes off all over my stomach. No need to jerk himself as my abs are a washboard rubbing firmly on his garden hose dick. As usual it whips back and forth as the sperm goes flying. I speed up my thrusts, staying deep inside him while I pump with short, fast strokes. He comes for a second time. Our bed is soon a Minehan cess pool. I know I will easily fall asleep in it once we are done. As he finishes, I bend over and kiss him while continuing to fuck him. My French tongue thrusts are in time with my dick’s inward push. He speeds up the Frenching while I keep up with his beat. He is forcing me to cum. I relax, getting that being fucked feeling that I love when he is doing me. This is a new sensation as I give him the control. He tests his dominance by Frenching slowly. I respond with longer thrusts, almost pulling out fully before going all the way back in. He rolled me on my back and bounced up and down. We break our lip lock. I felt totally dominated as he is in complete charge of my orgasm. It’s coming soon. Now he’s cumming for the fourth time. I momentarily feel it unfair as I’m only reaching my second climax. Then I’m not thinking at all as the feelings take over. He keeps bouncing while I’m arching into him. My toes curl so much the arches of my feet start cramping. Then my whole body is cramping. I hold perfectly still, aching from the cramps. The second I ejaculate, I relax. The spurts come again and again. I pass out.
When I come to, Jack is sobbing on my chest. Maybe he thinks he fucked me to death.
“You turned blue,” he mumbles between sobs. “You weren’t breathing.”
I try to explain about the cramps. I can only mumble.
He panics, thinking I have suffered a stroke. His sobbing becomes shrieks. Our neighbors burst in, thinking someone is dying. Seeing Jack on top of me, naked and covered in cum is more than they expect or can fully comprehend.
“I’m fine,” I’m finally able to tell them. Jack collapses on top of me. They exit, slamming the door.
“No need to call 911,” they tell the other residents who are in the corridor. It’s a fitting anticlimax to our weekend. I pull Jack down beside me. My dick falls out of him with a loud pop. I’m instantly asleep again.
The next thing I know, Jill knocks and sticks her head in to say it’s time for breakfast. I’ve always hate Mondays.
“Com’n in,” I tell her. “We have a problem.”
I explain that Jack thought he had killed me and our neighbors rushed in at his screams.
“Well, what was it like being dead?” Jill jokes.
“Heaven,” I smile.
“That’s good news. Must be because we went to mass yesterday.”
“No doubt. But do we lie to the boys. I doubt they’ll be as accepting as you are.”
“Should you care?”
“Our popularity will take a hit.”
“Who’s says you’re popular?”
“We gave away a keg of beer this weekend.”
“Well, maybe it was hell that you went to?”
“Popularity is hell.”
“Get dressed. I’m hungry,” she dismisses our fears.
After breakfast, Jill and I report to the Lampoon, while Jack and David (who appeared for breakfast) go to class. Kurt pulls us into his office.
“You ready for full-on harassment?” he confronts Jill.
“Can’t be worse than groveling in front of the students and alumni at the football stadium,” she is game.
“I heard about that, except it was the boys who groveled for you.”
“Fair turn about,” I add.
“Well, I explained to the staff that we want to test how tough you are by subjecting you to their worst impulses.”
“How are we going make it a lampoon?” I ask.
“We’ll write it up as what a girl has to do to make it at Harvard.”
“Some people may not understand it’s a lampoon.”
“So much the better,” Kurt knows what he’s doing. “Can you take it.”
“Hey, after a weekend of Jack and Tim’s antics so they could impress their Smithie dates, I’m ready.”
“How did that go?” he asks me.
“They turned us down for this weeks’ game. Something about Parents Weekend at Smith.”
“Sorry. Take it as a learning experience.”
“Naw. We plan to crash Parents Weekend to get permission to date their daughters.”
“Good attitude. Maybe there’s another story here.”
“We plan to tell the parent units we’re gay, so their daughters are totally safe,” Jack can’t restrain himself.
“Are you gay?” Kurt asks.
“Not that gay,” we both answer.
He shakes his head and smiles at Jill.
Jill’s week of intern hell begins. She has several snappy retorts to keep her sanity. Fatty Terry asks her to give him a foot massage.
“Blow me,” she orders.
“What?’ Fatty exclaims.
“Blow me. You do know how to blow a girl, right?”
‘Um. Maybe.” He definitely is clueless.
Jill sticks her tongue against the inside of her cheek, thrusting in and out. Fatty almost loses his lunch. Again he is the object of his own ridicule. The entire staff room bursts out laughing. The rest of the day everyone repeats Jill’s blow job meme to him. I guess you can harass anyone into being lame.
More subtle hi jinks come at odd times. One guy tries to get Jill to take him into the bathroom (there isn’t a ladies one) to remove an eyelash that is bothering him. When he tries to grope her, she spits into his eye. Kurt sends him to the College Heath Service to make sure he doesn’t contract pinkeye. One guy actually slides under Jill so he could look up her skirt. She had written ‘fuck you’ across the crotch of her panties. It’s a dick killer. Whenever anyone calls her ‘honey’ or ‘sweetheart,’ she calls them dickhead or butt-face. It escalates all week-long, with a committee of self-appointed staff members coming to Kurt and demanding her internship be terminated as her behavior is ‘disruptive.’ Not surprisingly, most of the ad hoc committee are the ones who harassed Jill in her first week, before the staff was encouraged to make it hard for her. Kurt takes out the photos I took of their asinine behavior, noting they brought it all on themselves.
On Friday evening, a general staff meeting is held and the project discussed. After detailing the worst behaviors, Kurt lays down new rules.
“I hope all of you have gotten this anti-feminist behavior out of your systems. There will be nothing but respect shown to Jill or any future female staffers. We’re not some private social club, allowed to set our own standards of decorum and behavior. This whole exercise has produced a toxic work environment. I cringe at all the reports I’ve received about how Jill has been treated. That some of you have said she has responded with sexist, boorish behavior only reflects upon us. That we are so good at making it difficult for her reflects on how unprepared Harvard is for receiving more female students. The administration’s ‘Go Slow’ policy toward co-education has only encouraged those who never want the University to change. Don’t fight the future, gentlemen. It will bite you on the ass.
“My hat’s off to Jill for making us see the evil of our ways. Those who believe there is no place for her spunk and humor in the face of harassment can tender their resignations on Monday. I am relieving all four interns of their menial duties as servants for the staff and promoting them to full staff status. Their first assignment will be to make this exercise into a Lampoon article for the November issue.”
Before the four of us can cheer we looked around the room and realize everyone else is pissed that they have lost their slave labor for the remainder of the year. We shrug and go about our tasks. We still help those staffers we genuinely liked. There were at least two or three. And we remain Kurt’s pets.
Troy remains on our side. We ask him if he is going to Northampton the coming weekend. He is more than ready for more partying at Rahar’s. Venus is not involved in Freshman Parent Weekend. He’s glad to drive us there for Saturday night. Jill says the 3D girls also want to visit their Smithie friends. Everyone promises to chip in for gas. Troy just wants the free liquor.
Jack declares it is another Ritz dinner night to celebrate Jill’s triumph at the Lampoon. We update our attire to 1930’s standards. Even David fit into one of Jack’s formal jackets and cummerbund. He looked totally silly, having bleached his brown hair to a rusty red. He says it’s his Ziggy Stardust hairdo. We call him Ziggy the whole weekend. Of course, he insists he tag along to Northampton, promising not to tell our dates we’re gay.
Mummy has again arranged our dinner at the Ritz. We waltz across Boston Common as if we own it. The girls outdo themselves in formal wear.
“Y’all rediscovered yer prom dresses?” I kid.
Jack hits me for sounding country. It’s his new rule. David hits him back, my new defender, unaware of my compliance with Jack’s rules.
“If ya ain’t gonna fight back, I’ll defend ya, fag,” he announces, my knight in shining armor.
“Oh, David,” Jill murmurs, “you’re my hero.”
With proper attire, we are immediately seated at the biggest round table in the upstairs dining room. We have cocktails before ordering. David isn’t carded. He soon has consumed his own and his two female partners’ drinks. Jack steps in before Minehan launches into an impromptu performance for the whole dining room.
“We always sing a Cappella to the girls,” Jack tell him.
“What’s that?” Minehan isn’t up on Italian opera slang.
“Singing without musical instruments. We did Cole Porter last week.”
Jack launches into ‘Let’s Fall in Love.’ I back him up.
‘And that’s why birds do it
Bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love’
Minehan was aghast, thinking Jack was singing to him. But Jack takes Jill’s hand and sings the title line to her: “Let’s do it.’ Once that crisis is avoided, David jumps in at the second verse. He learned all these show songs as a kid listening to his parents’ record collection. He has to dance around the table and make it a full performance. Again, the other diners give us polite applause as we bow.
“That calls for another round,” he announces.
“No way,” everyone yelled, making him sulk. He hates being denied.
Dinner went smoothly, with appetizers brought out, compliments of the chef. We order from the main menu and the service is impeccable, the main courses delivered as soon as we finish the prior course. After dessert, we relent and have digestifs, as Jack calls our drinks. Minehan just laughs at all the fancy words, but doesn’t hesitate to down his own glass and sneak sips from his dining partners.’
“Let’s go up on the roof,” I suggest, remembering how Carol, one of the other 3D girls, spoke of her mother’s memories of dining and dancing under the stars in the thirties. We’re tipsy enough to take my dare. Soon we are all leaning over the front of the Ritz, admiring the unimpeded view of the lit-up Boston Public Gardens. We laugh at all the little people arriving and departing directly below us at the Ritz entrance.
“We need an orchestra to dance to,” Jack wants life to be perfect.
“Hell, no,” Minehan pulls out Jack’s harmonica. “We’ll do Irish Step Dancin’.”
The boy has many talents. Soon he has us all in a line and is blowing Irish ditties to get our feet moving.
The girls have all taken tap dancing. Jack and I look like fools. David tells us to keep our hands at our sides and tap to the beat. Of course, he’s took years of tap before he turned ten. Soon the girls are twirling and twisting at his direction. Even Jack and I are having fun. It lasts about fifteen minutes before hotel security arrives. The penthouse tenants complained that their ceiling is about to explode. Of course, security are all Irish Micks. They tell us we had to leave, then proceed to show off their jigs and step-dance moves. Our formal dress has saved us from being thrown out as vagabonds. Finally we take the elevator to the ground level. David says it’s time for the Rat, but the girls know better than to show up in their prom dresses. We compromise by agreeing to crash the Fox social club. We feel silly riding the T. We get nasty looks from the downtrodden for our attire. Fox is in weekend mode. We are stopped at the door as we’re not on the ‘list.’ Standing there in formal wear, we garner attention from the members. Our boss, mentor, and co-conspirator, Kurt Andersen, from The Lampoon rushes over.
“It’s okay. Let them in. I didn’t know they were coming.”
“Thanks, Kurt. Meet the other 3D girls from last weekend, Jill’s corridor mates.”
“Hi,” he introduces himself. “I’m Kurt. Jill and these boys are shaking up my magazine this Fall. And, did you have to bring Minehan? Is he your clone.”
“Oh, no. He’s definitely on his own trip. He had us doing Irish Step-dance on the roof of the Ritz tonight. We had to drag him here to keep from having to slum it in Kenmore Square.”
“Yeah,” David speaks. “From the Ritz to the Rat.”
“Okay. Well, enjoy yourselves. Why did you all leave at once last week.”
“Your boys tried to drag the girls upstairs to look at their etchings.”
“Oh,” he understands. “I’m glad you all stick together. Maybe you can refer to some other club when you write the story of the 3D Girls.”
“It was worse at Porcellian. We only lasted ten minutes there.”
The other girls surround Jill. “You’re writing about us in the Lampoon?”
“It’s just an idea. We have so many adventures,” I try to rescue her.
“Maybe we should write about you, Gaybo, and your frenemy, Gumby.”
The girls never miss any gossip. Kurt is all ears.
“It’s just an idea,” Jill rescues me. “We won’t write anything you don’t want us to write.”
“Why don’t we all have a drink,” Kurt ends the bickering. David is quick to follow him. We descend into the cocktail party. Chatter chatter chatter.
Once we have drinks and calm down, the 3D girls accuse us of being like all Harvard boys, taking advantage of women.
“We like you boys but your ambitions override your judgment. You’re willing to exploit us for your own advancement.”
“That’s what Harvard is doing. They have you under their microscope to find reasons to exclude women. We’re on your side.”
“No, you’re on your own side, Gaybo. Even the boys are wondering now after Jack’s hysterics Sunday night. We can only guess.”
“I passed out and turned blue. Jack thought I’d died.”
Minehan is all ears. He missed our drama.
“Why’d you pass out? Why was Jack naked?” Minehan instantly loses interest in any explanation.
“You don’t want to know,” Jack tries to apply good manners. “He got a cramp in his foot but when he ignored it, his whole body cramped. He wasn’t breathing and turned blue. I ran over and started screaming for help. They all burst into our room. Tim relaxed and woke up. It was a false alarm.”
The girls don’t look convinced, sensing we aren’t telling the whole story. Then again, they were like Minehan and don’t really want to know.
“Well, now you all have new names, Gaybo, Gumby and the Shrieker.”
We all laugh. I wish for a different name. I commit to praying for it at mass on Sunday.
Minehan grabs Carol, the dewy-eyed 3D girl whose mother is the inspiration for our Ritz antics. They both begin making the rounds of the party. I watch as he replays our performance of ‘birds do it, bees do it.” He’s very popular with the post-adolescent crowd. His bronze hairdo is a bit off-putting, but he is oblivious, so into replaying his performance.
Troy comes over. We introduce him to the 3D girls he hasn’t met before.
“Can we get a ride with you to Northampton tomorrow?” I ask.
“Not going to the game?”
“Our girlfriends can’t come. It’s Parents Weekend at Smith.”
“What about your other girlfriends,” he nods at the whole group.
“They’re our dorm-mates. Can’t sleep around where you sleep yourself,” Jack is being witty.
“Don’t tell them that.”
“Yeah, well they’re like the Red Sox bullpen. Maybe we’ll call on them for the later innings.”
“I thought you boys were feminists.”
“Only when we’re with feminists.”
“Well, that’s honest.”
“Well, I’m glad someone sticks up for Jill. It’s been hell for her all week.”
“Yeah, well, payback will be a bitch,” Jack lets Troy in on our secret. For once his mouth gets ahead of his discretion.
“What’s that mean?” Troy instantly needs to know.
“Just that women will be coming to Harvard and they’ll remember how tough it is in the beginning.”
“Oh. I thought you had some evil plot to disgrace us clueless males.”
“No need. Cluelessness is it’s own retribution.”
He agrees to take us to Smith. I purposely neglected to mention that Minehan would be coming. We watch as he and Carol continue to make the rounds at Fox. He doesn’t repeat his stories once, always finding something he thinks will interest his listeners. They remain amused by his enthusiasm. High School comes to Harvard.
“So what’s we doin’ tamorra?” David asks as we settle in our respective beds. We do appreciate that his mom has cleaned our sheets.
“We’re going to Smith to see Trudie and Joan.”
“Can I come?” he’s direct.
“Well, it’s kinda an adventure. They don’t know we’re coming. It’s Parents Weekend.”
“Don’t think I make a good impression on the parents, Gaybo?”
“What do you think?” Jack retorts.
“I can be good,” Minehan argues.
“We know you’re coming, so ya don’t havta lie,” I end the argument.
“I wanna meet yer junkie cousin that books Rahar’s.”
“I be you do.”
“Get him to let Moody Rudes play tomorrow night.”
“Good idea,” Jack is on board. “I’ll bring the MOOG. With your new hair, we’ll do a Ziggy Stardust set,” Jack is being creative.
“Yeah, my middle name’s Bowie.”
“Yah, David Boy Minehan.”
“I can hardly wait. Let’s go ta sleep.”
The 3D girls stick their heads in to get us to go to breakfast. David s wide awake, announcing, “Gaybo’s practicing abstinence to get ready for his Smithie girlfriend.”
The girls glance at us wrapped up with each other, scream and run out of our room. We joined them at commons for our morning gruel. Afterward, David wants to practice the Bowie songs we plan to do at Rahar’s.
“I ain’t callin’ Tim Gaybo no more, at least for the weekend. Now I just call ‘im Weird and Jack’s Gilly. We’re the Spiders from Mars.”
The girls love it. I feel especially weird. We go over the Ziggy songs we like and decide to do ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ ‘Starman,’ ‘Hang On to Yourself,’ ‘Suffragette City’ and finish with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.’ Minehan refuses to do ‘Lady Stardust’ as a threat to his manhood. He has no clue.
The girls beg to come but there’s no room in the Dart. We tell them they’ve just seen what we’re going to perform, so why bother going all the way to Northampton. They leave in disgust at our disregard for their desires. We find Troy, convincing him to leave early so well have more time at Smith. He laughs when he sees the guitars and keyboard we’re taking.
“Planning on impressing the girls.”
“No, this will be to impress the parent units. It’s Parent Weekend.”
He just laughs.
We laugh at being ‘Band on the Run.’
Once we’re at Smith, Venus runs to find Trudie and Joan. She comes back to say they’ve taken their parents to Friendly’s for dinner. It’s our favorite fast food restaurant. Troy says we’ll all go and ambush them there. Peering in the window, we see the girls happily chatting with the four parents, unaware about what is coming. I ask Venus and Troy to go in first and get the girls to come out. We’re casually leaning against the Dart when they rush out.
“What are you doing here?” they both ask.
“Time to meet the parents. It’s Parents Weekend.” Jack explains.
“I don’t think that’s the point. Smith wants the parents to see that their kids are safe, not that they associate with insane and degenerate boys.”
“You want us to leave?” Jack is putting on his best manners.
“No, but what do we say, that you just showed up?”
“That’s sounds like the truth.” I state.
“They’ll think you’re stalkers.”
“Well, here’s the deal,” I level with them. “David is possessed by David Bowie.”
“I wondered about his hair,” Trudie is always on top of style matters.
“We’re doing a show a Rahar’s,” I hope that Joey will put us on the bill. “Tell your parents we want to meet them and show them how creative we are.”
“Can you just say it’s a coincidence that you came here on Parent Weekend?”
“Sounds good,” Jack smiles. “But we are stalking you. You’ll never get away from us.”
Instead of laughing they look really concerned.
“He’s kidding. Only David would stalk someone,” I assure them. David puts on a scary face and hisses at them.
“Okay. Okay. We’re glad you’re here. But again you just assume your antics will be appreciated.”
“And to make it more interesting, I’m Ziggy. Tim’s Weird. And Jack’s Gilly. We’re the Spiders from Mars.”
“Oh, great. Let’s keep the performance on stage and let the parents not think you’re some weird gilly boys.”
“Cool,” David agrees.
The girls introduce us to the parents, explaining that we are in Northampton to perform at Rahar’s.
“Very pleased to meet you,” Jack puts on the charm. “Hope you’re enjoying Parents Weekend. We don’t mean to interrupt. We want to invite all of you to our performance tonight. We’re doing a song we wrote after Trudie and Joan visited Harvard last weekend.”
“I thought you were at Radcliffe?” Joan’s father asks. I recognize where she gets her direct approach to everything.
“They were staying with our friends from Radcliffe,” Jack hastily explains. “They all came to the football game and were drafted onto the cheerleading squad. They inspired Harvard in a 37-14 win over BU.”
“You were on the football field?” Trudie’s dad continues to be the interrogator. Trudie gives Jack a nasty look.
“Just the sidelines. Tim was getting the stands to cheer,” she explains.
All four parents are looking dubious, especially at David’s bleached hair. He needs to let us do his hair styling in the future.
“Well,” I move to get us out of there before further damage ensues. “We’ll let you enjoy your meals. I hope you can make the show. We really want the girls to hear the song we wrote for them.”
“I’ll guess it’s a rock song,” Mr. Trudie complains.
“More English Blues than rock,” I explain.
“Well, we do like jazz,” he states. We aren’t surprised.
I realize that Parents Weekend is all about the parents, not the students. We threaten their time with their daughters. I had hoped to have a greasy patti melt at Friendly’s but Jack pulls me away. Troy deposits us at Rahar’s with our equipment, driving away with Venus. He makes sure they can get in later.
“What’s this?” Joey asks when we appeared with instruments, giving Minehan the once over.
“We’ve come to entertain you,” I put on my best face.
“You want to play tonight?” at least he figures that out.
“Yeah. Can you squeeze us in?” all three of us looked hopefully at him.
“Jesus, Tim. I can’t pay you.” Joey has become like all bar managers.
“We’ll just take 25% of the bar while we’re playing.” I don’t care if we got paid. Minehan looks pained, thinking about his tuition bill. “And we need VIP treatment for our girlfriends’ parents.”
“Okay. Okay. You can put ‘em up in the balcony. They must be old, so they need to stay away from the dance floor. What are you playing for us?”
“We’ve got two acts. The first is a Ziggy Stardust show.” I point at Minehan’s glitter look. “Then if we get a good reception, we’ll come back as the Moody Rudes, our latest English rock knock-off.”
“Okay. Next time let me know you’re coming. You’ve been telling me all these tales about playing with Skynyrd and Joan Jett and other real rockers. I wanna see if it’s all bull shit or not.”
We laugh. “Don’t worry. Can you feed us?”
“Yeah. This is a restaurant. Tell ‘em at the bar I said to comp ya.”
We move our equipment into the band room, making sure it’s locked. The food is exactly what we like, greasy burgers and fries. We go back to the band room and pull out our guitars, tune up and start jamming. We still haven’t adapted well to the MOOG. It’s so sad sounding. Jack tries to tweak it. Finally I ask Jace to help. He instantly appears, going over the MOOG controls, fiddling about and finally getting a more sparkly sound out of it. He says something about modulation and filters, but we’re clueless. He proves once again that he is the true musical genius in the band. I’m a performer and Jack just follows my lead.
Minehan is intently watching our ministrations on the MOOG without seeing what Jace is doing.
“Who you talking to?” He demands once he realizes we aren’t speaking with each other. It’s time to clue him in.
“A ghost. His name is Jace but we call him Casper. He’s fifteen.”
“Right. So a ghost is tuning the MOOG?”
“He’s a Friendly Ghost.”
“So that’s why you love Friendly’s?”
“No. It’s the patti melts we love,” Jack laughs.
David comes over and watches as the MOOG appears to be setting all its switches, dials and knobs by itself.
“How does it do that?” he asks.
“Jace is doing it. You don’t trust him, so you can’t see him.”
“Ya can see a ghost?”
“Sure. He started ‘False Gods.’ After his brother killed him, Tim loved him so much he wouldn’t let his spirit die.
He came back from the dead and taught us all to play. He is helping your bassist Jim learn to play.”
“Jim can see him?” David doesn’t want anyone in his band to be better than him.
“All it takes is trusting. You’re not very trusting, David.”
“Whatcha expect? Havin’ ta live with you all. Was Jace a fag? That mean Jim’s a fag?”
“Shut up, man. It has nothing to do with being faggots, except fags feel no one trusts them.”
“Okay. How do I get Casper to like me?”
“He’s tried, but you block him. I’ll show you,” I get Jace to hover above me and the glow intensified around me. David can see that.
“Now he’ll hover above you. If you trust him, the glow will start. So far you’ve always rejected him.”
“I ain’t said shit to ‘im.”
“Ferget yer head. It’s your heart that has to be open. Ya cain’t jist think ya trusts ‘im. It hasta be yer heart that’s open.”
Minehan shrugs his shoulders, flopping to the ground on his back with his arms out-stretched. “Okay,” he shouts. “Rape me.”
We laugh, including Jace. Of course, nothing happens. Minehan is disappointed.
“I was ready and willing. Why didn’t it happen.”
“Stop thinking about it. Are you sad that he didn’t invade your heart?”
“Yeah.” A slight glow emanates around him.
“See. It’s your feelings that count. Now think about having a true musical genius in your heart that will allow any song you create to flow to your hands and sound exactly what’s in your head.”
That makes him think. The glow increases.
“How’s that feel?”
“Like I’m on stage and everyone’s cheering as I rip riffs like Hendrix.” The glow becomes intense.
“Jace will touch the top of your head. If you really want him in your heart you’ll find him there. If you’re really too uptight to be touched, let your heart yearn to have in there, but just stop the anti-fag attitude. You think Jim’s a fag for wanting to play music.”
“But that’s my thing. I don’t play all sissy-fied, like a faggot.”
“You are so confused, boy. Music comes from the soul. Your homophobic ideas come from your head.”
“What’s homopoebic again?”
“Being afraid of homos.’
“I ain’t afraid of you guys,” he asserts.
“Well, stop acting like we want to rape you. We’ve got each other.”
“Well, I don’t wanna fuck Jim either.”
“You want to make music with him, to have a band. It ain’t a gay thing. Unless you think Steven Tyler and Joe Perry are gay.
He snorts. “They’s so ugly they need to have each other.”
“Your prejudices defeat you. Just let Jace touch you and see how you feel about it.”
Minehan tenses up, takes a deep breath and prepares to be invaded. Again, nothing.
He relaxes, relieved he hasn’t turned gay. That was all it takes, just relaxing and letting Jace in. He shakes and smiles. The glow returns.
“It worked. I wanna tune the MOOG,” he’s ready for a ghostly music lesson. He places his hands on the dials, looks directly at us, while Jace directs his hands. The eerie wail coming from the speakers turns to a mellower pulse, that rises and sinks like an ocean wave. We clap as he turns the wave into short beats that rise and fall in the pattern of the greater wave.
“You’re surfing, dude,” I tell him.
He lets his fingers run along the keys, lending melody and rhythm to the wave. He closes his eyes. I recognize Jace’s signature sound intermixed with David’s more chaotic composition. They are jamming with each other. Jack and I take up the guitars and we’re a rock quartet. David turns on the rhythm function, creating his own drum beat. He starts singing a new song:
‘I was so hung loose
I met this girl she took away my blues
oh yeah, oh yeah
And I knew from the start
This little girl was gonna break my heart
that’s right, oh yeah
Roxanne, Roxanne, I don’t give a damn about your other baby
Roxanne, Roxanne, I wanna be yours’
Copyright: David Minehan
He repeats ‘Roxanne, Roxanne,” over and over, like a love-sick water buffalo.
“I guess ya ain’t turned faggot yet,” I laugh.
He runs over to his guitar and plays the rhythm part to his new song. I come in with some leads. Then Jace puts his signature into David’s leads. Jack gets back on the MOOG and follows our guitar riffs. We keep going, creating music and letting David compose the lyrics.
Soon the other bands turn up. They’re intrigued with Jack’s MOOG. Since we had planned on using their amps, we are happy to let them try it. We know Jace will retune it once it’s time for us to play. We’re all local bands, although we’re the only teenagers. They had the early 70’s look with long hair, skinny flared jeans, and body shirts. We say they look like refugees from the 60’s.
Joey comes back and tells us we have to go on first. He takes me aside and says we can have a second set, if the first one goes well. I ask if Trudie and Joan have arrived with their parents.
“Not yet, but we’ve set up the balcony for them. But I ain’t comping their drinks.”
“I doubt the girls will drink in front of their parents.”
“What’s the name of your latest band?”
“Oh, la dee da. No one cares this far from Cambridge.”
“We don’t care. But check it out, it’s what Jack and I are into now. The Neighborhoods is Minehan’s creation.”
Joey leaves, returning with two pitchers of beer to warm us and the other bands up. There’s no problem getting to use their amps. I tell David that we were going on as the Neighborhoods. He’s stoked. We hook up the MOOG, with Jace using it as a drum machine. Minehan remains off-stage while we set up. I start the intro to ‘Suffragette City” and David comes prancing on stage, pacing back and forth until it’s time for him to sing. I channel Mick Ronson. David starts out without his guitar, just singing.
‘(Hey man) I gotta straighten my face
This mellow thighed chick just put my spine out of place
(Hey man) my schooldays insane
(Hey man) my works down the drain
(Hey man) she’s a total blam-blam
She said she had to squeeze it but she… and then she..
Hey, man….. Wham bam thank you man
Suffragette City ,Suffragette City.. Suffragette.’
I back him up on the ‘hey, mans.’
We do another Ziggy song, and then David sneaks in the new ‘Roxanne’ song. Girls come running up to join the glitter group. Now we have fifteen fans. I look up into the balcony. No Trudie and Joan.
David goes back to being Ziggy for two more covers. Then he introduces us as The Neighborhoods from Boston, no mention of Harvard.
“On guitar and vocals, Weird, and on the MOOG rhythm machine, Gilly. We’re the Spiders from Mars.”
Everyone is in on the joke and laughs.
“Here’s a song I wrote about how the band met each other at the Rat in Boston. Ya ever been to Boston. The place to go is the Rat, or Rathskeller, if ya wanna be formal ‘bout it.
‘Went to the Rat
Stuck at the door
There I sat
Lonely and bored.
Out came two fags
Kissing and such
I just had to rag
They didn’t care much
They bought me a beer
Five beauties appeared
Made me their pet
I’ll get some yet.’
I’m glad the girls haven’t arrived yet, although I worry they may not make it at all.
After tepid applause for his Rat song, David flops on the floor and sings ‘Rock n Roll Suicide.’
“Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette
The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
Ohh how how how, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide…
oh oh oh, you’re a rock and roll suicide.”
I look up at the balcony. We’re not alone. The girls have arrived in time for our last song.
Our twenty fans clap and try to generate enough energy for an encore. Most of the crowd is just getting settled, talking and ignoring our teenage cover band. Knowing we hadn’t earned an encore, we stay on stage and then play ‘Ziggy Played Guitar.”
“Thanks Rahar’s and thanks Northampton. We enjoyed playing for you,” David tells the crowd. “Wait around for the next bands. You’ll like ‘em. And for the late night crowd, stick around. We may have a surprise for y’all.”
We run off stage, cradling our instruments. Jack is possessive of his Moog. David is pleased with his Bowie impersonation. We’re less happy, passed the cover band stage. He agrees to watch the guitars and Moog in the band room, greeting the next band with his impressions of how the crowd loved him. We tell him we’ll be up in the balcony with Trudie, Joan and the parents.
“Say hi for me,” as he turns back to his latest victims of the ‘all Minehan, all the time’ show.
I stop to talk with Joey by the bar.
“Pretty good, bro,” he tries to praise us. “That kid really looks like Bowie.”
“Don’t worry. Our next set will be all originals.”
“The Moody Rudes? Sounds like another tribute band.”
“We’ll do all originals. We really know how to make the MOOG set a mood.”
“Okay, but don’t expect to be treated like rock stars. The crowd needs to be challenged to actually get excited.”
“Good advice.” All I want was his acknowledgment that we were getting a second show. We ran upstairs to be with the girls. They jump up from their seats and hug us. The parents looked at each other.
“You guys were great.”
“That was David’s show. His band is called the Neighborhoods. Wait until we go on again. We’ll do our songs.”
“We do our blues show later tonight. I hope you’ll really like it,” Jack uses his good manners to involve the parents. “I expect you didn’t care for the rock show.”
“Well, we know it was for you kids. Why was that boy lying on the floor? And why was he smoking?” Mr. Field, Trudie’s dad, asks.
“It seems overblown. It’s just dance music.”
“My, I hope you girls don’t feel you’re suffering. We have sacrificed a lot to send you here.” Mrs. Field exclaims.
“That’s why we love to come to Smith. We feel so safe away from the City,” Jack tries to assure the parents.
“Don’t your parents worry about you?” Mrs. Field asks.
“My parents fully support our band. We played at St Patrick’s Cathedral at Easter. We sang ‘Amazing Grace’ there, as well as at Abysinian Baptist in Harlem.”
That is a shocker. Jack is trying too hard for approval. The families do not appear to be Catholic.
The girls look like they wanted to hide under their table.
“Can we get you refreshers on your drinks,” I drag Jack away, to stop him digging our graves any deeper.
“Jesus, Jack. Can’t you stop putting your foot in your mouth? Maybe the parents don’t want their daughters going to Catholic mass.”
“Who doesn’t want their girls in Church?”
“If it’s their church, but not someone else’s, especially someone who’s singing about suicide.”
He looks chagrined but his eyes show he feels betrayed. I adopt Trudie’s talk therapy method.
“What can we do that will make them more comfortable with us?” I ask.
“I know the perfect song we can do for them,” he enthuses. “See what the girls are drinking?”
I look back at them. They are sipping Cokes.
“You’re kidding me?” I laugh.
“I want to teach the world in perfect harmony,” Jack mashes the lyrics together.
We rush to the bar and obtained refills for both parents and kids. We carry the four alcohol drinks and placed them in front of the parents. The girls’ Cokes we hold just out of reach and began singing.
I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow-white turtle doves
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
It’s the real thing
What the world wants today
That’s the way it will stay
With the real thing
It’s the real thing
Won’t you hear what I say?
What the world needs today
Is the real thing
Songwriter: Ray Coniff
Everyone is laughing. It’s too corny not to be true.
“We’re the real thing, Mr. and Mrs. Field, Mr. and Mrs Cunningham (Joan’s parents). We want you to know we treasure Trudie and Joan, our first friends at Smith. We trust them so much. I call and get Trudie to give me advice on how to deal with my crazy roommate. We have so much fun. Their friend Venus introduced us and she’ll vouch that we’ve been perfect gentlemen. Trudie and Joan are so nice, we can’t stop wanting to be with them. That’s why we came even though we knew they’d be with you. We just want your approval to date them.”
It is unlikely that our singing has changed their opinion of us. Maybe it will after a second drink. We excuse ourselves, so they could discuss what we’re asking. The girls sit silently with beet-red faces. Trudie winks at me, as we leave them.
We roll into the band room, cocky that we rescued our first impression with the girls’ parents. Minehan and Jace are sitting at the MOOG showing off to the other bands. They’re playing a duet that appears to be a virtuoso four-handed solo by David. The other musicians are in thrall. When one of them tries it, Jace just shows him what to do. Jace loves the attention. I’d forgotten how much a 15 year-old must show off.
“How’d it go?” David asks.
“We asked them for their blessing. They’re discussing it now. We’re shoo-ins.”
“You asked the girls to marry you?”
“No, duffus, just for the parents’ permission to take them out.”
“What, is it 1950? You’re already going out with them.”
‘We just want the parents’ okay.”
The other band finds our teenage angst boring and tries the MOOG. Without Jace to lead them, it’s not successful. They believe Minehan is the genius. He claims to be a rock idol. I know we have to do ‘False Gods’ in the Moody Rudes set.
I anxiously check on the discussion going on in the balcony. As soon as I notice the adults have finished their drinks, we reappear with fresh ones. This time we bring the girls Dr. Pepper. Naturally we sing the ‘Pepper -upper’ song.
“Be a pepper, Drink Dr, Pepper.”
The girls sit there, stunned again.
“Com’n and meet the other band. Minehan’s pretending he knows how to play Jack’s MOOG. Your folks need to talk among themselves,” as we pulled them to their feet. As soon as we were out of the parents’ sight, we wheel the girls around and start making out. They are putty in our hands. We were not about to leave our hidden make out spot in the balcony. Both girls seemed to melt in our arms, leaning into us as we hold them up.
Eventually, as our balls turn blue, the sounds of the second band tuning up on stage causes us to break apart. What is it with bands that tune onstage? They think it sounds professional but is just pretentious posturing. Regardless, we all were ready for a break and run downstairs to join the slim crowd in front of the stage. I laugh seeing Minehan poised to jump on stage, guitar in hand. Jace was lurking next to him, with a big grin when he sees me staring at him. Ah, to be 15 again.
Their set s fairly generic. Their band name was Water Closet, referring to 19th century bathroom plumbing. They must be college boys., or dropouts from the 60’s, considering their age. Their songs are long intros, guitar solos and really long drum solos. Minehan s bored, so he plugs in his guitar and started adding leads from behind the stage.
“I guess I better introduce our guest, David,” the singer announces after the song is done. “What band are you from?”
“The Neighborhoods,” he yells out, “from the Rat in Boston.” He isn’t shy.
“Alright. That was him adding leads on the last song, ‘My Girlfriend Left Me.’ Com’n up on stage, if you’re gonna play.”
Water Closet suddenly realizes they have let the cat out of the bag. The drummer reaches over and pulls the plug.
“Well, that’s exciting,” the nonplussed singer admits. “David will be back later with his band.”
David bows and departs the stage. He made his point. The girls yell, “We love you, David,” as we whistle. I make a note not to let him upstage me in the future.
We cheer Water Closet on through their set. They seemed discouraged after David’s electric 60 seconds.
After they were done, we found Joey behind the bar.
“Ya gonna let us do our second set?” I ask.
“I guess. Yer guitarist ruined my headliner’s set. Is he gonna blow out all my amps?”
“Naw. We’s got a blues set planned. I can keep him from taking over.”
“Yeah. Let Jimi take over,” Joey jokes.
“Very funny. We’ll play our versions of the blues. Hey, thanks for taking care of our girls’ parents.”
“No big deal. Did ya make the big impression?”
“Big, yeah. Good, maybe not.”
“Hey, it’s rock n roll.” As he punchs me on the arm.
“Stop leering,” he orders the bartender. “We’re kissin’ cousins.”
Jack pulls me away, always on alert around my past lovers. The girls decide it’s time to get back to the parents.
“Make sure you come down for our set,” I tell them. They just nod.
Joey pours us cups of beer. Minehan instantly appears.
“Whatcha think? I was electric.”
“You got shut down for up-staging their band.”
“Music’s a cutthroat business.”
“You’re 17, David. Try to act more innocent.”
“You’re only 17?” Joey pulls away the beer cup I just put in front of David.
“Yeah, goin’ on 30,” as he grabs my beer and downed it. He staggers away. Joey poured me another.
“If the cops come, you guys are out the back door.”
We know the drill.
Jack and I bring up another round of drinks for the parents and Pepsi (not Coke) for the girls, singing the Pepsi Generation jingle to remind them we’re a new generation.
Even the parents laugh. I can’t say I moon-walked, but I would have, had it been 1980.
“Y’all’s welcome to come down for our second set,” I ask the whole table. “It’s the blues I promised. We have a special song that we wrote for the girls last weekend. It’s called ‘Sunday Afternoon.’”
“You’re not going to play that ear-splitting electric guitar again, are you?” Mr. Field failed to appreciate Jimi Hendrix.
“No way. This is mood music. We hope you like it.”
The girls jump up and left the parents speechless. Escape from the family zone.
We go back to the band room and corner Minehan.
“You’ve been the Neighborhoods all night. Now it’s our set. Just follow Jack’s MOOG. This is the blues, not punk rock.”
“What’s punk rock?” he asks.
“You’re punk rock. Just play rhythm guitar. We don’t have a drummer, so don’t be speeding up. The MOOG can’t change tempo like a drummer can.”
He thinks about it. “Okay. I can be a geezer, too, just like you.”
A rhyme in time is true.
“Howdy,” I grab the mic as we set up. “In case you’ve been paying attention, we’re two different bands that have come from Boston to entertain our sweethearts, Trudie and Joan,” as I point to them standing at the side of the stage by themselves.
“We first did The Neighborhoods’ set, which is David’s band from The Rat in Kenmore Square. It’s the place to be in Boston. David can’t help himself from being on stage. It was his Hendrix Experience you heard with Water Closet. Our band, ‘Moody Rudes,’ is from Harvard. A great institution that is trying to tame David into becoming a responsible student, even though he’s just 17. We’re betting that he tames Harvard. We all live in a co-ed dorm and this is the music we play in the boiler room. Those 19th Century brick walls echo with the wails. The ivy is dying on the vine.”
I turn around and tell Jack and David, “False Gods.’ Instead of thundering the intro, Jack plays it at a slow, quiet tempo, with David and me coming in as Jack increases the MOOG’s volume. I step up with David to the mic. Apparently he has learned the lyrics. We sing the shortened version as a duet letting the MOOG echo through the club at the end of each line:
“Where others feared to tread,
they gave us up for dead,
memories linger eternally,
as Lucifer’s proud plea,
a world of our own,
on high a black throne,
sing to make them see,
happy for eternity
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…
a world so meek and blind,
we laugh at all of mankind,
we’re 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 your useless guns,
sacrifice hallowed sheep,
shun cold, dark streets,
you’re just nasty fleas,
Set your minds at ease
…False Gods, False Gods…
we live eternally,
we hear your painful screams,
Just wait 20 years or so
know just what we mean
….We are False Gods, False Gods..
… False Gods”
“There is no denying that Jimi Hendrix was a guitar god,” I motion to David, who rips into his ‘Experience’ intro. I see the parents instantly cover their ears up in the balcony. I make a cutting motion and David shuts it down.
“But Hendrix is dead. He is a False God,” I assert. “We can bring his sound back but that doesn’t make us gods. ‘we laugh at all of mankind.’”
“We grew up in troubled times. These were our lives: ‘Life’s Lies’
‘This is our life,
our pride alive
Its our times
Lost our minds
Stupid rules rule
Demand we act
Just like fools
To be like you.
Look at me, you havta scream.
You think we all be freakin’
You gotta be fast to not be seen.
No wonder we’re always sneakin’
“No one knew what we did, where we were, or if they cared. We were always ‘Sneakin’”
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 were 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.”
Minehan jumps off the low stage with his guitar and repeats the chorus, ‘shaka shaka’ directly at the girls. A number of other girls rush forward and surround him. He’s wailing on guitar. I goto his amp and turn it down slightly, while pushing up the MOOG amp. Jack responds by slowing the rhythm. Minehan doesn’t have the power and volume to match him. He breaks away and comes back on stage.
I take the mic, “But we know how to love,” as I intro’d Sex 2, our love song, directing it toward the girls, all of them, about 20 crowding forward to the stage.
“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 is no future,
But we have now.
“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.
‘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”
I repeat the chorus, jumping in front of Trudie and Joan, going down on my knees while I sing to them. They are totally embarrassed, knowing their parents are watching from the balcony.
I go back on stage.
“This is the song we wrote for you, Trudie and Joan, after you left last weekend, ‘Sunday Afternoon.’ Our apologies to the Moody Blues.”
I’m just beginning to see
I don’t know what to say
What’s it matter to me
Chasing the girls away
They never call to me
The end is drawing me near
I don’t know why
Those other voices I hear
I must be high
No one sees my reflections of my mind
It’s just the kind of day to get left behind
So gently swaying in this fairyland of love
If you’ll just come with me you’ll see the beauty of
We repeat the verse, echoing the ‘Sunday Afternoon’ chorus over and over. The girls panic, running back up to the balcony, terrified of what their parents will say. All the other girls press forward, as I watched our girls disappear. Jack end the song on the MOOG, joining David and me at the mic.
“Come back. Come back. We need you,” we all sing. They ran away even faster. Romance hurts.
We walk off stage, but got a thunderous response. I guess real emotions count with your fans. I knew we’d do an encore. It had to be ’Barefoot Boy.’ David is a perfect Robby substitute but I need to show the act to him. It’s my turn to be flying around the club.
“Just follow me on this song. When I get to the chorus, I’m going to jump around the club. You havta keep playing the chorus. You can do it next time. I’m just showing you what to do.”
He looks quizzically at me. He knows I had upstaged him and needs somehow to get payback. Maybe this show-stopper is ready to be up-dated.
We run back on stage to increased applause. Even the barflies in the back are paying attention.
“I hope you liked the Moody Rudes. Since we’re out of songs, we’ll finish with our audience participation song. It’s called ‘Barefoot Boy.’ We played it at frats in Miami and got chased up a tree.
Makes a stand
To take his joy
Going hand to hand
Flying out free
Branch to branch
Through the trees
Free to be
A monkey like me
Ha ha ha
He he he
Haw haw haw
Chee chee chee’
At the end of the chorus, I nod to Minehan, who goes back and repeats it.
I’m off through the crowd, swinging up onto the walls, back down on the top of the bar, purposely kicking over the barflies’ drinks, up into the rafters and swinging onto the balcony. I stop in front of the parents’ table, singing without a mic and doing the monkeyshines. They’re speechless. The girls are further mortified. Jack has left the MOOG and joins me, as David continues the chorus, singing and playing to keep us going. It lasts several minutes, until Jack and I return to the stage. By this time the other girls are all doing the monkeyshines and their boyfriends were doing some version of the Wahtusi. We bring the song to a crashing end. Instead of applause we receive a shower of beer cups, drenching us. It feels oddly familiar.
“Thank you, Northampton. Now you know what we think of you.” We bow and run off with our instruments. Water Closet runs out to rescue their amps which are sputtering from the drenching. Solid state still resists. They glare at us, more out of jealousy than anger.
“I ain’t seen a better show since the New York Dolls at CBGB’s. And they have better songs.”
“But we’re not old junkies.”
“Not yet,” he warns. “Oh, here’s your bar-take. Where’d ya learn to get the audience to throw their drinks at ya. We had a spike in bar activity during and after your set. I’m considering that the after-set take was due to youse.”
He hands me $500, pretty good, since we weren’t even booked. But we did play two shows and Minehan was onstage during Water Closet. He is stunned when I hand him $200. Only $2800 left to pay off his tuition. Joey leads us back to the kitchen where we devour several burgers with fries. Rock n roll runs on grease. And beer.
I wonder if our relationship with the girls was irrevocably damaged. More crisis control will be needed. We’d have to play the anti-parent card. I wonder if Joan was ready to play rock n roll rebel. I trust Trudie is up for it.