After pizza, we decided to go to both private clubs. We chose Porcellian first. We arrived like pimp-daddys with a harem. As soon as the upperclassmen started to hound-dog the girls, we gathered everyone and left as a group. Fox was more amenable. We stayed for a couple of hours. The bar was open but we stuck with beer. It went down better after all the pizza we had eaten. The noise level increased as more alcohol was consumed. The party was restricted to the lower floors. When the girls were asked if they wanted to see what the upstairs was like, we knew it was time for a mass exit. Our standards were not compromised. To be honest, it had been a long day. I didn’t ask Trudie if Joan and she wanted to sleep with us. I got the impression she was disappointed. I had more pressing plans – mad crazy fucking Jack-Off. I knew he needed it and had high hopes. When we got back to the room, Minehan was sound asleep in Jack’s bed. We pulled a quickie in the shower and collapsed in our bed. Jack said he liked the small twin bed. It meant I couldn’t get away from him.
On Sunday morning, we convinced all the girls to go to 8 o’clock mass. We dressed David in one of Jack’s suits, making him more presentable. He complained we were worse than his mean parents.
“Jim says you’re a rich kid,” I exposed his suburban roots.
“That asshole,” David didn’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?” I goofed on him.
“Why git ya a car if ya ain’t gots no licence.”
“Stop pretendin’ you’s a farm boy,’ He changed 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 stopped him. “How muchcha think it is?”
“Three thousand a semester.”
“Shit. I’m dropping out.”
“You can’t, David,” the 3D girls all whined.
“Hurry up and git a record contract. Then the record company gots ta pay,” I joked.
He went to mass with us, praying fervently for something. He split for home afterwards. I told 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 yelled as he ran out the door.
We invited Trudie and Joan back to the room. We all ended up on the one bed. Jack’s bed stunk and the sheets were all covered in cum stains. We made out for the longest time. Both girls got us super horny and hard but wouldn’t go any further. I figured it was a test to make sure we weren’t exclusively gay.
The bus back to Northampton left at 2pm. We took a long walk along the Charles River, talking easily and laughing about all the antics from the weekend.
“See how important football is?” I had to 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 was all over-the-top but you seem to get it that girls want to be treated equally,” Trudie patted 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 exclaimed.
“Yeah. I guess it runs in the family,” I confessed.
“We like that you’re both gay. It doesn’t seem to slow you down in the make-out department,” Joan admitted.
We both beamed, gave them a kiss, and then kissed each other. It was all chaste, but the girls both screamed and giggled. Equal rights for all.
We took the girls to Bailey’s’s Ice Cream parlour, south of Harvard Square. We all had Sundaes, of course, sitting at a round, spindly glass table with pink spindly seats. It felt like we were in Paris.
“I wish we had come to Radcliffe instead of Smith. It is so much fun here,” Joan was being sentimental.
“Smith gives y’all a better education. Freshman classes at Harvard are nothing much,” I argued.
Of course, I was still getting C- or worse on my assignments. Jack was a perfect A+.
“Maybe you should go to class,” Jack suggested.
“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 complained.
“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 laughed. Jack and Joan were staring intently at each other.
I took Trudie’s hand. “You are great,” I dropped 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 asked.
“Have you cleared it with Jack? He may not want to do it again.”
“Are you kidding. Look at ‘em,” I pointed 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 laughed. She socked me really hard. I fake-fell over, wiggling my feet in the air.
“We gotta go, Joan,” she pulled her roommate away from Jack. “We can’t miss that bus.”
We all ran over to the terminal, getting there with plenty of time for kissing and hugging to say goodbye. As the bus boarded, we noticed Troy and Venus doing the same. They winked their approval.
Walking back to the Yard, Jack and I started hitting each other on the arm, giggling and conscious that we had weathered a stormy weekend and still ended it together.
“Think they still want to go out with us?” Jack asked.
“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 suggested. “Their parents will be so happy they have gay boyfriends.”
“Right. You looked so gay with your tongue down Joan’s throat.”
He giggled. “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 pulled him into a hug and frenched him right in the middle of Harvard Square. It wasn’t a Hollywood moment. People stared and several called us ‘Faggots’. One person told us to get a room. Jack was hot and horny, as we rushed back to Mower. It was a dick killer to find Minehan waiting for us.
“You want me to go up to 3D?” he asked noticing our hard-ons.
“Naw. You can watch and learn,” I told him.
“Okay,” he was ready to get educated.
“Don’t worry,” as I grabbed 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 was about him.
“You’re a natural star. Just don’t turn into a rock star asshole,” Jack warned him.
“Yeah. Enjoy playing with everyone. Your band mates will make or break you. Don’t make it all about yourself,” I advised.
“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 shook our heads. “You need adulation. Go up to 3D. They think you’re cute.”
“I am cute.”
We laughed, not because he was so self-centered.
“Let’s go play the MOOG,” he suggested.
He was too irrepressible. We went down to the boiler room. Soon the walls of Mower were moaning and groaning. As David and Jack traded tracks, I filled in leads with my SG guitar. Jace was working with me. He took over. I floated above my body as Jace created eerie riffs off the moody dirges coming from the MOOG.
“Too moody,” I complained.
“Then we’ll be the Moody Rudes, check out this one,” Minehan was 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 repeated the verse and chorus. We were the Moody Rudes. Looking up we saw a half-dozen Mower residents watching and listening by the door. We waved them in and offered them beer from the keg.
“Is that the Moody Blues?” one of the boys asked.
“No. We’re the Moody Rudes.” We had won over the folk crowd. Sunday afternoons.
We played more Moody Blues and created our own mood songs. David came up with his own lyrics without having to think about it. He claimed to have visited Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone. We believed him. As soon as the keg ran dry, our fans departed. We made 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 whined.
“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 turned off the amps and locked the boiler room. Jack wasn’t about to let anyone steal his MOOG. We went to 3D and found out that all the girls were at Widener Library, doing their homework. We sat down beside them. Three hours later, all Minehan’s assignments were done. He just used Jack’s notes on Moby Dick, writing a long epic poem about slavery on whaling ships and the exploitation of native islanders. He answered 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 stated that Islam required all believers to never describe the Prophet, resulting in the women running around in veils and long robes, so all was hidden. When he announced he couldn’t swim, Jack made me promise to teach him, as I was City Swim Champ in Miami. The girls were impressed, insisting I show off my muscles, which had mostly melted since I never worked out anymore. All of us, including the five 3D girls, went to the pool to cheer Minehan in his swim lessons. He refused to wear one of my Speedos and came out in his boxers, which instantly slid down to his knees when he dove into the pool. They girls shrieked and moved closer to see what they could see. Minehan ran back into the locker room and returned with the Speedo under his droopy boxers.
“You just want me in this faggy underwear ‘cause you’re perverts,” he accused Jack and me.
“Oh, David. You’re so sexy,” the girls all proclaimed.
He flexed but no one noticed. He thrashed around trying to swim a length of the pool. I tried to hold him up with my hands on his stomach. He yelled at me for trying to feel him up. Somehow he made it a length without me having to touch him again.
“Now, I have to show you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation,” I announced.
Jack bought pizza and beer for everyone at ‘Noch’s.’ David got carded. He only had his high school ID that said he was 17, so he got no beer. He proceeded to drink most of mine and some from all the girls. He was being flirty and coy, which everyone loved. Jack was jealous, telling David he had to pay for all the beer he had stolen.
“What are you going to do, take it out on me in trade?”
The girls were shocked. David shrugged, “Ain’t gonna be the first time.”
“You make him have sex with you?” Jill was shocked.
“Not Jack,” David defended the nerd.
“Not Tim?” the girls screamed.
“Naw. They have each other. They say I stink. I get hit on by all those retards at BU.”
That seemed more likely.
“Let’s stop all the fag-ragging,” I demanded. “I know you all know about Jack and me. Don’t mean we don’t like girls.”
“So, you’re supersexuals?” David laughed.
“Not enough to do skinny high school boys,” Jack asserted.
“Oh, my feelings are so hurt,” David mocked Jack.
“That’s not what you said was hurt when I got through with you,” I claimed.
“Ew, the truth comes out,” Jill laughed.
“Fuck you all. I ain’t no faggot.”
“That’s a relief,” Jack joked.
“Fuck off,” as David left, giving us all the finger.
I ran after him, catching him as he strode to the T station.
“Wait. Don’t leave mad.”
He turned 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 started to shake hands but both pulled back. “Psych,” we both laughed.
It was late when we got back to Mower. The girls noticed that Jack was obviously horny and anxious to be alone with me. They all stood around in front of our dorm room door on the first floor, until Jack couldn’t wait any longer.
“I need my beauty sleep,” he announced.
“Oh, or is that bulge in your jeans saying you need something else,” Jill pointed out.
Jack blushed, but grabbed me and shut 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 advised.
I quickly made the note and opened up to put it on the outside. The girls were peeking in, catching Jack already half-naked.
“Ew,” they screamed and ran off. I wondered if it was enough to cause nocturnal fantasies on the third floor.
Jack and I got right to it. I realized that all our bickering and actual fights were nothing more than built up testosterone. I took him in my mouth, bobbing and sucking until I knew he was ready to cum.
“Stop. Stop. I’m gonna cum,” he tried to slow me down.
I spit him out and told him not to worry. “This is just round one. Let’s make it a title bout.”
He giggled and wrapped his feet around my straining dick. It was like monkey sex, as I got close myself. We were a frenzy of bobbing, sucking and stroking until he went off in my mouth. I kept swallowing while going over the edge myself. I let loose all over the bed sheets. The sheets on both beds now needed deep cleaning to become presentable again. I figured Minehan could take them home to Waltham. I wasn’t sure I could turn them in at the Chinese laundry without severe embarrassment. I knew Minehan’s mom must be used to excessive emissions.
We lay there catching our breath.
“We always cum simultaneously,” Jack observed.
“No holding back here,” I claimed.
“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 hugged me at my exaggeration of his orgasms. We both were getting hard again.
“Fuck me, Tim. I need to be dominated,” he ordered.
“Always the entitled one,” I mocked him.
He threw his legs over my shoulders and rested his head on the one pillow we shared. He stared at me intently. My dick was at full alert. I grabbed his butt and pushed it high enough to get my tongue between his two cheeks. His sphincter was pulsing as I spit and lubricated it. My tongue prodded and probed at his canal. He pulled on the back of my head to get me to go deeper. He was soon ready, sliding down my arms so his butt was level with my dick. He reached and thrust it into his opening. He was so relaxed that I sunk up to my groin in one motion. I held it there as he shuddered and began to vibrate.
“Fuck me. Fuck me,” he cried.
“Shush,” I ordered. I didn’t want our neighbors knowing.
“Please,” he begged.
I complied and was soon pumping him like an oil well, up and down in a steady, slow beat. He was soon approaching orgasm. I kept it up as he went off all over my stomach. No need to jerk himself as my abs were a washboard rubbing firmly on his garden hose dick. As usual it whipped back and forth as the sperm went flying. I sped up my thrusts, staying deep inside him while I pumped with short, fast strokes. He came for a second time. Our bed was soon a Minehan cess pool. I knew I would easily fall asleep in it once we were done. As he finished, I bent over and kissed him while continuing to fuck him. My French tongue thrusts were in time with my dick’s inward push. He sped up the Frenching while I kept up with his beat. He was forcing me to cum. I relaxed, getting that being fucked feeling that I loved when he was doing me. This was a new sensation as I gave him the control. He tested his dominance by Frenching slowly. I responded with longer thrusts, almost fully pulling out before going all the way back in. He rolled me on my back and bounced up and down. We broke our lip lock. I felt totally dominated as he was in complete charge of my orgasm. It was coming soon. Now he was cumming for the fourth time. I momentarily felt it unfair as I was only reaching my second climax. Then I wasn’t thinking at all as the feelings took over. He kept bouncing while I was arching into him. My toes curled so much the arches of my feet were cramping. Then my whole body was cramping. I held perfectly still, aching from the cramps. The second I ejaculated, I relaxed. The spurts came again and again. I passed out.
When I came to, Jack was sobbing on my chest. Maybe he thought he’d fucked me to death.
“You turned blue,” he mumbled between sobs. “You weren’t breathing.”
I tried to explain about the cramps. I could only mumble.
He panicked, thinking I had suffered a stroke. His sobbing became shrieks. Our neighbors burst in, thinking someone was dying. Seeing Jack on top of me, naked and covered in cum was more than they expected or could fully comprehend.
“I’m fine,” I was finally able to tell them. Jack collapsed on top of me. They exited, slamming the door.
“No need to call 911,” they told the other residents who were in the corridor. It was a fitting anticlimax to our weekend. I pulled Jack down beside me. My dick fell out of him with a loud pop. I was instantly asleep again.
The next thing I knew, Jill had knocked and stuck her head in to say it was time for breakfast. I’ve always hated Mondays.
“Com’n in,” I told her. “We have a problem.”
I explained that Jack had thought he had killed me and our neighbors had rushed in at his screams.
“Well, what was it like being dead?” Jill joked.
“Heaven,” I smiled.
“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 dismissed our fears.
After breakfast, Jill and I reported to the Lampoon, while Jack and David (who appeared for breakfast) went to class. Kurt pulled us into his office.
“You ready for full-on harassment?” he confronted Jill.
“Can’t be worse than groveling in front of the students and alumni at the football stadium,” she was game.
“I heard about that, except it was the boys who groveled for you.”
“Fair turn about,” I added.
“Well, I explained to the staff that we wanted to test how tough you are by subjecting you to their worst impulses.”
“How are we going make it a lampoon?” I asked.
“We’ll write it up as what a girl has to do to make it at Harvard.”
“Some people may not understand it is a lampoon.”
“So much the better,” Kurt knew what he was 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 asked 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 couldn’t restrain himself.
“Are you gay?” Kurt asked.
“Not that gay,” we both answered.
He shook his head and smiled at Jill.
Jill’s week of intern hell began. She had several snappy retorts to keep her sanity. Fatty Terry asked her to give him a foot massage.
“Blow me,” she ordered.
“What?’ Fatty exclaimed.
“Blow me. You do know how to blow a girl, right?”
‘Um. Maybe.” He definitely was clueless.
Jill stuck her tongue against the inside of her cheek, thrusting in and out. Fatty about lost his lunch. Again he was the object of his own ridicule. The entire staff room burst out laughing. The rest of the day everyone repeated Jill’s blow job mimic. I guess you can harass anyone into being lame.
More subtle hijinks came at odd times. One guy tried to get Jill to take him into the bathroom (there wasn’t a ladies one) to remove an eyelash that was bothering him. When he tried to grope her, she spit into his eye. Kurt sent him to the College Heath Service to make sure he didn’t contract pinkeye. One guy actually slid under Jill so he could look up her skirt. She had written ‘fuck you’ across the crotch of her panties. It was a dick killer. Whenever anyone called her ‘honey’ or ‘sweetheart,’ she called them dickhead or butt-face. It escalated all week-long, with a committee of self-appointed staff members coming to Kurt and demanding her internship be terminated as her behavior was ‘disruptive.’ Not surprisingly, most of the ad hoc committee had been the ones who had harassed Jill in her first week, before the staff was encouraged to make it hard for her. Kurt took out the photos I had taken of their asinine behavior, noting they had brought it all on themselves.
On Friday evening, a general staff meeting was held and the project discussed. After detailing the worst behaviors, Kurt laid 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 were 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 could cheer we looked around the room and realized everyone else was pissed that they had lost their slave labor for the remainder of the year. We shrugged and went about our tasks. We still helped those staffers we genuinely liked. There were at least two or three. And we remained Kurt’s pets.
Troy had remained on our side. We asked him if he was going to Northampton that weekend. He was more than ready for more partying at Rahar’s. Venus was not involved in Freshman Parent Weekend. He was glad to drive us there for Saturday night. Jill said the 3D girls also wanted to visit their Smithie friends. Everyone promised to chip in for gas. Troy just wanted the free liquor.
Jack declared it was another Ritz dinner night to celebrate Jill’s triumph at the Lampoon. We updated 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 said it was his Ziggy Stardust hairdo. We called him Ziggy the whole weekend. Of course, he insisted he tag along to Northampton, promising not to tell our dates we were gay.
Mummy had again arranged our dinner at the Ritz. We waltzed across Boston Common as if we owned it. The girls had outdone themselves in formal wear.
“Y’all rediscovered yer prom dresses?” I kidded.
Jack hit me for sounding country. It was his new rule. David hit 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 announced, my knight in shining armor.
“Oh, David,” Jill murmured, “you’re my hero.”
With proper attire, we were immediately seated at the biggest round table in the upstairs dining room. We had cocktails before ordering. David wasn’t carded. He soon had consumed his own and his two female partners’ drinks. Jack stepped in before Minehan launched into an impromptu performance for the whole dining room.
“We always sing a Cappella to the girls,” Jack told him.
“What’s that?” Minehan wasn’t up on Italian opera slang.
“Singing without musical instruments. We did Cole Porter last week.”
Jack launched into ‘Let’s Fall in Love.’ I backed 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 took Jill’s hand and sang the title line to her: “Let’s do it.’ Once that crisis was avoided, David jumped in at the second verse. He had learned all these show songs as a kid from his parents’ record collection. He had to dance around the table and make it a full performance. Again, the other diners gave us polite applause as we bowed.
“That calls for another round,” he announced.
“No way,” everyone yelled, making him sulk. He hated being denied.
Dinner went smoothly, with appetizers brought out, compliments of the chef. We ordered from the main menu and the service was impeccable; the main courses delivered as soon as we finished the prior course. After dessert, we relented and had digestifs, as Jack called our drinks. Minehan just laughed at all the fancy words, but didn’t hesitate to down his own glass and sneak sips from his dining partners.’
“Let’s go up on the roof,” I suggested, remembering how Carol, one of the other 3D girls, had spoken of her mother’s memories of dining and dancing under the stars in the thirties. We were tipsy enough to take my dare. Soon we were all leaning over the front of the Ritz, admiring the unimpeded view of the lit-up Boston Public Gardens. We laughed at all the little people arriving and departing directly below us at the Ritz entrance.
“We need an orchestra to dance to,” Jack wanted life to be perfect.
“Hell, no,” Minehan pulled out Jack’s harmonica. “We’ll do Irish Step Dancin’.”
The boy had many talents. Soon he had us all in a line and was blowing Irish ditties to get our feet moving.
The girls had all taken tap dancing. Jack and I looked like fools. David told us to keep our hands to our sides and tap to the beat. Of course, he’d taken years of tap before he turned ten. Soon the girls were twirling and twisting at his direction. Even Jack and I were having fun. It lasted about fifteen minutes before hotel security arrived. The penthouse tenants had complained that their ceiling was about to explode. Of course, security were all Irish Micks. They told us we had to leave, then proceeded to show off their jigs and step-dance moves. Our formal dress had saved us from being thrown out as vagabonds. Finally we took the elevator to the ground level. David said it was time for the Rat, but the girls knew better than to show up in their prom dresses. We compromised by agreeing to crash the Fox social club. We felt silly riding the T. We got nasty looks from the downtrodden for our attire. Fox was in weekend mode. We were stopped at the door as we were not on the ‘list.’ Standing there in formal wear, we garnered attention from the members. Our boss, mentor, and co-conspirator, Kurt Andersen, from The Lampoon rushed over.
“It’s okay. Let them in. I didn’t know they were coming.”
“Thanks, Kurt. Meet the other 3D girls last weekend, Jill’s corridor mates.”
“Hi,” he introduced 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 in Kenmore Square.”
“Yeah,” David spoke. “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 understood. “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 surrounded Jill. “You’re writing about us in the Lampoon?”
“It’s just an idea. We have so many adventures,” I tried to rescue her.
“Maybe we should write about you, Gaybo, and your frenemy, Gumby.”
The girls never miss any gossip. Kurt was all ears.
“It’s just an idea,” Jill rescued me. “We won’t write anything you don’t want us to write.”
“Why don’t we all have a drink,” Kurt ended the bickering. David was quick to follow him. We descended into the cocktail party. Chatter chatter chatter.
Once we had drinks and calmed down, the 3D girls accused 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 guess.”
“I passed out and turned blue. Jack thought I’d died.”
Minehan was all ears. He had missed our drama.
“Why’d you pass out? Why was Jack naked?” Minehan instantly lost interest in any explanation.
“You don’t want to know,” Jack tried 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 didn’t look convinced, sensing we weren’t telling the whole story. Then again, they were like Minehan and didn’t really want to know.
“Well, now you all have new names, Gaybo, Gumby and the Shrieker.”
We all laughed. I wished for a different name. I committed to praying for it at mass on Sunday.
Minehan grabbed Carol, the dewy-eyed 3D girl whose mother was the inspiration for our Ritz antics. They both began making the rounds of the party. I watched as he replayed our performance of ‘birds do it, bees do it.” He was very popular with the post-adolescent crowd. His bronze hairdo was a bit off-putting, but he oblevious, so into replaying his performance.
Troy came over. We introduced him to the 3D girls he hadn’t met before.
“Can we get a ride with you to Northampton tomorrow?” I asked.
“Not going to the game?”
“Our girlfriends can’t come. It’s Parents Weekend at Smith.”
“What about your other girlfriends,” he nodded at the whole group.
“They’re our dorm-mates. Can’t sleep around where sleep yourself,” Jack was 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 let Troy in on our secret. For once his mouth got ahead of his discretion.
“What’s that mean?” Troy instantly needed to know.
“Just that women will be coming to Harvard and they’ll remember how tough it was 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 agreed to take us to Smith. I purposely neglected to mention that Minehan would be coming. We watched as he and Carol continued to make the rounds at Fox. He didn’t repeat his stories once, always finding something he thought would interest his listeners. They remained amused by his enthusiasm. High School comes to Harvard.
“So what’s we doin’ tamorra?” David asked as we settled in our respective beds. We did appreciate that his mom had cleaned our sheets.
“We’re going to Smith to see Trudie and Joan.”
“Can I come?” he was 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 retorted.
“I can be good,” Minehan argued.
“We know you’re coming, so ya don’t havta lie,” I ended 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 was on board. “I’ll bring the MOOG. With your new hair, we’ll do a Ziggy Stardust set,” Jack was being creative.
“Yeah, my middle name’s Bowie.”
“Yah, David Boy Minehan.”
“I can hardly wait. Let’s go ta sleep.”
The 3D girls stuck their heads in to get us to go to breakfast. David was wide awake, announcing, “Gaybo’s practicing abstinence to get ready for his Smithie girlfriend.”
The girls glanced at us wrapped up with each other, screamed and ran out of our room. We joined them at commons for our morning gruel. Afterward, David wanted to practice the Bowie songs we planned 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 loved it. I felt especially weird. We went over the Ziggy songs we liked and decided to do ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ ‘Starman,’ ‘Hang On to Yourself,’ ‘Suffragette City’ and finish with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.’ Minehan refused to do ‘Lady Stardust’ as a threat to his manhood. He had no clue.
The girls begged to come but there was no room in the Dart. We told them they had just seen what we were going to perform, so why bother going all the way to Northampton. They left in disgust at our disregard for their desires. We went and found Troy, convincing him to leave early so we’d have more time at Smith. He laughed when he saw the guitars and keyboard we were taking.
“Planning on impressing the girls.”
“No, this will be to impress the parent units. It’s Parent Weekend.”
He just laughed.
We laughed at being ‘Band on the Run.’
Once we were at Smith, Venus ran to find Trudie and Joan. She came back to say they had taken their parents to Friendly’s for dinner. It was our favorite fast food restaurant. Troy said we’d all go and ambush them there. Peering in the window, the girls were happily chatting with the four parents, unaware about what was coming. I asked Venus and Troy to go in first and get the girls to come out. We were casually leaning against the Dart when they rushed out.
“What are you doing here?” they both asked.
“Time to meet the parents. It’s Parents Weekend.” Jack explained.
“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 was putting on his best manners.
“No, but what do we say, that you just showed up?”
“That’s sounds like the truth.” I stated.
“They’ll think you’re stalkers.”
“Well, here’s the deal,” I leveled with them. “David is possessed by David Bowie.”
“I wondered about his hair,” Trudie was always on top of matters.
“We’re doing a show a Rahar’s,” I hoped that Joey would 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 smiled. “But we are stalking you. You’ll never get away from us.”
Instead of laughing they looked really concerned.
“He’s kidding. Only David would stalk someone,” I assured them. David put on a scary face and hissed 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,” he agreed.
The girls introduced us to the parents, explaining that we had come to Northampton to perform at Rahar’s.
“Very pleased to meet you,” Jack put 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 asked. I recognized where she got her direct approach to everything.
“They were staying with our friends from Radcliffe,” Jack hastily explained. “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 continued the interrogation. Trudie gave Jack a nasty look.
“Just the sidelines. Tim was getting the stands to cheer,” she explained.
All four parents were looking dubious, especially at David’s bleached hair. He needed to let us do his hair styling in the future.
“Well,” I moved to get us out of there before further damage ensued. “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 complained.
“More English Blues than rock,” I explained.
“Well, we do like jazz,” he stated. We weren’t surprised.
I realized that Parents Weekend was all about the parents, not the students. We threatened their time with their daughters. I had hoped to have a greasy patti melt at Friendly’s but Jack pulled me away. Troy deposited us at Rahar’s with our equipment, driving away with Venus. He made sure they could get in later.
“What’s this?” Joey asked 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 figured that out.
“Yeah. Can you squeeze us in?” all three of us looked hopefully at him.
“Jesus, Tim. I can’t pay you.” Joey had become like all bar managers.
“We’ll just take 25% of the bar while we’re playing.” I didn’t care if we got paid. Minehan looked 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 got two acts. The first is a Ziggy Stardust show.” I pointed 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 laughed. “Don’t worry. Can you feed us?”
“Yeah. This is a restaurant. Tell ‘em at the bar I said to comp ya.”
We moved our equipment into the band room, making sure it was locked. The food was exactly what we liked, greasy burgers and fries. We went back to the band room and pulled out our guitars, tuned up and started jamming. We still hadn’t adapted well to the MOOG. It was so sad sounding. Jack tried to tweak it. Finally I asked Jace to help. He instantly appeared, going over the MOOG controls, fiddling about and finally getting a more sparkly sound out of it. He said something about modulation and filters, but we were clueless. He proved once again that he was the true musical genius in the band. I was a performer and Jack just followed my lead.
Minehan was intently watching our ministrations on the MOOG without seeing what Jace was doing.
“Who you talking to?” He demanded once he realized we weren’t speaking with each other. It was 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 laughed.
David came over and watched as the MOOG appeared to be setting all its switches, dials and knobs by itself.
“How does it do that?” he asked.
“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 was helping your bassist Jim learn to play last week.”
“Jim can see him?” David didn’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 got Jace to hover above me and the glow intensified around me. David could 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 is open.”
Minehan shrugged his shoulders, flopping to the ground on his back with his arms out-stretched. “Okay,” he shouted. “Rape me.”
We laughed, including Jace. Of course, nothing happened. Minehan was 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 emanated 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 made him think. The glow increased.
“How’s that feel?”
“Like I’m on stage and everyone’s cheering as I rip riffs like Hendrix.” The glow was 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 asserted.
“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 snorted. “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 tensed up, took a deep breath and prepared to be invaded. Again, nothing.
He relaxed and was relieved he hadn’t turned gay. That was all it took, just relaxing and letting Jace in. He shook and smiled. The glow returned.
“It worked. I wanna tune the MOOG,” he was ready for a ghostly music lesson. He placed his hands on the dials, looked directly at us, while Jace directed his hands. The eerie wail coming from the speakers turned to a mellower pulse, that rose and sank like an ocean wave. We clapped as he turned the wave into short beats that rose and fell in the pattern of the greater wave.
“You’re surfing, dude,” I told him.
He let his fingers run along the keys, lending melody and rhythm to the wave. He closed his eyes. I recognized Jace’s signature sound intermixed with David’s more chaotic composition. They were jamming with each other. Jack and I took up the guitars and we were a rock quartet. David turned on the rhythm function, creating his own drum beat. He started 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 repeated ‘Roxanne, Roxanne,” over and over, like a love-sick water buffalo.
“I guess ya ain’t turned faggot yet,” I laughed.
He ran over to his guitar and played the rhythm part to his new song. I came in with some leads. Then Jace put his signature into David’s leads. Jack got back on the MOOG and followed our guitar riffs. We kept going, creating music and letting David compose the lyrics.
Soon the other bands turned up. They were intrigued with Jack’s MOOG. Since we had planned on using their amps, we were glad to let them try it. We knew Jace would retune it once it was time for us to play. We were all local bands, although we were the only teenagers. They had the early 70’s look with long hair, skinny flared jeans, and body shirts. We said they looked like refugees from the 60’s.
Joey came back and told us we had to go on first. He took me aside and said we could have a second set, if the first one went well. I asked if Trudie and Joan had arrived with their parents.
“Not yet, but we’re set up in 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 left, returning with two pitchers of beer to warm us and the other bands up. There was no problem getting to use their amps. I told David that we were going on as the Neighborhoods. He was stoked. We hooked up the MOOG, with Jace using it as a drum machine. Minehan remained off-stage while we set up. I started the intro to ‘Suffragette City” and David came prancing on stage, pacing back and forth until it was time for him to sing. I channeled Mick Ronson. He started 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 backed him up on the ‘hey, mans.’
We did another Ziggy song, and then David snuck in the new ‘Roxanne’ song. Girls came running up to join the glitter group. Now we had fifteen fans. I looked up into the balcony. No Trudie and Joan.
David went back to being Ziggy for two more covers. Then he introduced 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 was in on the joke and laughed.
“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 was glad the girls hadn’t arrived yet, although I worried they may not make it at all.
After tepid applause for his Rat song, David flopped on the floor and sang ‘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 looked up at the balcony. We were not alone. The girls had arrived in time for our last song.
Our twenty fans clapped and tried to generate enough energy for an encore. Most of the crowd was just getting settled, talking and ignoring our teenage cover band. Knowing we hadn’t earned an encore, we stayed on stage and then played ‘Ziggy played Guitar.”
“Thanks Rahar’s and thanks Northampton. We enjoyed playing for you,” David told 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 ran off stage, cradling our instruments. Jack was possessive of his Moog. David was pleased with his Bowie impersonation. We were less happy, past the cover band stage. He agreed to watch the guitars and Moog in the band room, greeting the next band with his impressions of how the crowd loved him. We told him we’d be up in the balcony with Trudie, Joan and the parents.
“Say hi for me,” as he turned back to his latest victims of the ‘all Minehan, all the time’ show.
I stopped to talk with Joey by the bar.
“Pretty good, bro,” he tried 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 wanted was his acknowledgment that we were getting a second show. We ran upstairs to be with the girls. They jumped up from their seats and hugged 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 used 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, asked.
“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 exclaimed.
“That’s why we love to come to Smith. We feel so safe away from the City,” Jack tried to assure the parents.
“Don’t your parents worry about you?” Mrs. Field asked.
“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 was a shocker. Jack was trying too hard for approval. The families did not appear to be Catholic.
The girls looked like they wanted to hide under their table.
“Can we get you refreshers on your drinks,” I dragged 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 looked chagrined but his eyes showed he felt betrayed. I adopted Trudie’s talk therapy method.
“What can we do that will make them more comfortable with us?” I asked.
“I know the perfect song we can do for them,” he enthused. “See what the girls are drinking?”
I looked back at them. They were sipping Cokes.
“You’re kidding me?” I laughed.
“I want to teach the world in perfect harmony,” Jack mashed the lyrics together.
We rushed to the bar and obtained refills for both parents and kids. We carried the four alcohol drinks and placed them in front of the parents. The girls’ Cokes we held 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 was laughing. It was 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 was unlikely that our singing had changed their opinion of us. Maybe it would after a second drink. We excused ourselves, so they could discuss what we were asking. The girls sat silently with beet-red faces. Trudie winked at me, as we left them.
We rolled into the band room, cocky that we had rescued our first impression with the girls’ parents. Minehan and Jace were sitting at the MOOG showing off to the other bands. They were playing a duet that appeared to be a virtuoso four-handed solo by David. The other musicians were in thrall. When one of them tried it, Jace just showed him what to do. Jace loved the attention. I’d forgotten how much a 15 year-old had to show off.
“How’d it go?” David asked.
“We asked them for their blessing. They’re discussing it now. We’re shew-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 found our teenage angst boring and tried the MOOG. Without Jace to lead them, it was not successful. They believed Minehan was the genius. He claimed to be a rock idol. I knew we had to do ‘False Gods’ in the Moody Rudes set.
I anxiously checked on the discussion going on in the balcony. As soon as I noticed the adults had finished their drinks, we reappeared with fresh ones. This time we brought the girls Dr. Pepper. Naturally we sang the ‘Pepper -upper’ song.
“Be a pepper, Drink Dr, Pepper.”
The girls sat 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 wheeled the girls around and started making out. They were 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 held them up.
Eventually, as our balls turned blue, the sounds of the second band tuning up on stage caused 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 ran downstairs to join the slim crowd in front of the stage. I laughed seeing Minehan poised to jump on stage, guitar in hand. Jace was lurking next to him, with a big grin when he saw me staring at him. Ah, to be 15 again.
Their set was 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 were long intros, guitar solos and really long drum solos. Minehan was bored, so he plugged in his guitar and started adding leads from behind the stage.
“I guess I better introduce our guest, David,” the singer announced after the song was done. “What band are you from?”
“The Neighborhoods,” he yelled out, “from the Rat in Boston.” He wasn’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 realized they had let the cat out of the bag. The drummer reached over and pulled the plug.
“Well, that’s exciting,” the nonplussed singer admitted. “David will be back later with his band.”
David bowed and departed the stage. He had made his point. The girls yelled, “We love you, David,” as we whistled. I made a note not to let him upstage me in the future.
We cheered 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 asked.
“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 joked.
“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 punched me on the arm.
“Stop leering,” he ordered the bartender. “We’re kissin’ cousins.”
Jack pulled me away, always on alert around my past lovers. The girls decided it was time to get back to the parents.
“Make sure you come down for our set,” I told them. They just nodded.
Joey poured us cups of beer. Minehan instantly appeared.
“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 pulled away the beer cup I had just put in front of David.
“Yeah, goin’ on 30,” as he grabbed my beer and downed it. He staggered away. Joey poured me another.
“If the cops come, you guys are out the back door.”
We knew the drill.
Jack and I brought up another round of drinks for the parents and Pepsi (not Coke) for the girls, singing the Pepsi Generation jingle to remind them we were a new generation.
Even the parents laughed. 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 asked 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 jumped up and left the parents speechless. Escape from the family zone.
We got back to the band room and cornered 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 asked.
“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 thought about it. “Okay. I can be a geezer, too, just like you.”
A rhyme in time is true.
“Howdy,” I grabbed 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 pointed 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 turned around and told the Jack and David, “False Gods.’ Instead of thundering the intro, Jack played it at a slow, quiet tempo, with David and me coming in as Jack increased the MOOG’s volume. I stepped up with David to the mic. Apparently he had learned the lyrics. We sang 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 motioned to David, who ripped into his ‘Experience’ intro. I saw the parents instantly cover their ears up in the balcony. I made a cutting motion and David shut it down.
“But Hendrix is dead. He is a False God,” I asserted. “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 jumped off the low stage with his guitar and repeated the chorus, ‘shaka shaka’ directly at the girls. A number of other girls rushed forward and surrounded him. He was wailing on guitar. I went to his amp and turned it down slightly, while pushing up the MOOG amp. Jack responded by slowing the rhythm. Minehan didn’t have the power and volume to match him. He broke away and came back on stage.
I took 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 repeated the chorus, jumping in front of Trudie and Joan, going down on my knees while I sang to them. They were totally embarrassed, knowing their parents were watching from the balcony.
I got 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 repeated the verse, echoing the ‘Sunday Afternoon’ chorus over and over. The girls panicked, running back up to the balcony, terrified of what their parents would say. All the other girls pressed forward, as I watched our girls disappear. Jack ended the song on the MOOG, coming up to David and me at the mic.
“Come back. Come back. We need you,” we all sang. They ran away even faster. Romance hurts.
We walked 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 was a perfect Robby substitute but I needed to show the act to him. It was 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 looked quizzically at me. He knew I had upstaged him and needed somehow to get payback. Maybe this show-stopper was ready to be up-dated.
We ran back on stage to increased applause. Even the barflies in the back were 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 get 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 nodded to Minehan, who went back and repeated it.
I was 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 stopped in front of the parents’ table, singing without a mic and doing the monkeyshines. They were speechless. The girls were further mortified. Jack had left the MOOG and joined me, as David continued the chorus, singing and playing to keep us going. It lasted several minutes, until Jack and I returned to the stage. By this time the other girls were all doing the monkeyshines and their boyfriends were doing some version of the Wahtusi. We brought the music to a crashing end. Instead of applause we received a shower of beer cups, drenching us. It felt nicely familiar.
“Thank you, Northampton. Now you know what we think of you.” We bowed and ran off with our instruments. Water Closet ran out to rescue their amps which were sputtering from the drenching. Solid state still resisted. They glared 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 warned. “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 handed me $500, pretty good, since we weren’t even booked. But we did play two shows and Minehan was onstage during Water Closet. He was stunned when I handed him $200. Only $2800 left to pay off his tuition. Joey led us back to the kitchen where we devoured several burgers with fries. Rock n roll runs on grease. And beer.
I wondered if our relationship with the girls was irrevocably damaged. More crisis control would be needed. We’d have to play the anti-parent card. I wondered if Joan was ready to play rock n roll rebel. I knew Trudie would be up for it.