Plastic People – Chapter 7 Part 1

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

‘These little town blues, are melting away

I’m gonna make a brand new start of it, in old New York

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere

It’s up to you, New York, New York’

Songwriters: ADOLPH GREEN, BETTY COMDEN, LEONARD BERNSTEIN

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

 

It’s obvious that Jack has adjusted to Westside chic, expecting limos, instead of the subway, to get around, a concierge to be available for every need, and life at the Dakota Tim 498to be a self-contained bubble.  We argue every time I insist we go underground to Soho or the Bronx. I’m not about to give up the freedom to roam as we please. Despite our arguments, we spend every second together, even bathroom breaks. I swear if we menstruate, we’ll cycle together. It doesn’t take long for our new best girlfriend, Liza Minnelli, to recognize her soul mates.  We are quickly adopted as her personal assistants. Bobby De Niro thinks it hilarious that we are her gay pets. tim-708 He makes outrageous demands to get us away from her. His status as an Academy Award nominee for Taxi Driver means we never hear the end of how our movie bombed while his role as Mean Street’s mailbox bomber led to an Oscar nomination as a cabbie. We finally shut him up by shaving off all our hair tim-692   and adopting his skinhead persona when he is around. Liza is bereft, although we do make Page Six when we meet Andy at Max’s one night. We make up stories about cruising the Lower Manhattan meat-packing district and as gay skinhead defenders beating up bashers.

“Those are my people,” De Niro complains.

“Right, closeted faggots who take out their repressed needs on prostitutes. Sounds just like ‘Taxi Driver.’

“Hay. I rescued Jody from prostitution,” he reminds us.

“See. And you don’t even know she’s gay.”

“Jody’s a kid. Can’t be a lesbian,” he rejoins.

“Kids can’t be gay?” as we kiss in front of him. Tim 611

“Fuck you.” He walks off to his trailer. We start calling him trailer trash. Liza retaliates by insisting she get a plush Airstream, as she asserts her seniority for winning an Oscar before De Niro. We secretly called her RV trash but maintain our loyalty as her pet PAs.

Marty keeps out of these star spats, Tim 619 frustrated that no one is immersed in their roles as jazz musicians. We convince him to hire Nina, as her father was a songwriter on Westside Story. Of course, Julian tags along. The four of us are more useful as extras and appear in many of the movie’s backgrounds. Liza identifies herself as one of the kids, a spoiled uptown brat. Bobby and I love to tease them about their entitled attitudes. Marty complains his stars fail to exhibit a blazing on-screen romance due to their frenemy attitudes off-camera. Both camps are coming from different senses of superiority. Our PA days seem tenuous as we are more of a distraction than not.

As a result, we’re often sent to the Warhol Factory to coordinate the footage from our movie, to keep us away from his real stars. Andy enjoys our stories of goofing off with celebrities.  He even accompanies us back to the set to ostensibly work on the editing with Marty. Usually he just takes candidsTim 503 and some portraits while there. Marty tells us to stop bringing him, as it is just another distraction. It means Andy has Marty coming to Union Square to work on the editing. Bobby often comes, making blatant remarks about all the degenerates at the Factory.

“You’ve made a career of playing degenerates,” I accuse him.

“At least I’m no sex degenerate.”

“That’s ‘cause ya ain’t sexy,” Jack pipes up.

Bobby chases him around the photo studio, upsetting the Big Shot camera. Andy loses his temper, Tim 504 banning the three of us. Marty leaves with his star. The editing on Jace’s Place is further delayed. All this playing around reminds me that Jack is a kid who needs distraction. I’ve given up playing a country bumpkin but he remains an Upper Westside dilettante. I find a movie theater playing ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ midnight_cowboy_postertaking Jack to a late night showing.  I insist we move back into the Chelsea for a week so we can immerse ourselves in acting out the Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo roles. midnight-cowboy Jack takes a while adjusting to the down and out Ratso. Giving blow jobs to each other in deserted stairwells is fun practice. It helps that we talk Liza and Bobby in getting a room there as well. Liza loves the slumming. We lecture De Niro on encouraging Liza’s half-Italian heritage. She is too overwhelmed by Judy Garland’s fame to own her own. It all comes to a head while we entertain Bobby in Liza’s Airstream with our a Cappella singing. He sings ‘It’s Amore’ to Liza. When she starts to sing ‘Over the Rainbow,’ I stop her, insisting she do her own song, ‘Cabaret.’

 

Bobby takes it as an insult to do with their Oscar rivalry, but she really belts it out, which wins him over. Marty shows up wanting to know what we were doing on his set. We all sang ‘Money, Money’ at him, to insult him as well. Jack and I finish up with ‘Willkommen,’ channeling Joel Grey.

“We’ve moved to The Chelsea,” Jack announces. “We needed to get back to our roots.”

“Your roots are a silver spoon,” Marty contends.

“All the more reason to stop pretending we’re too famous to be performers. If you want your film to play in Little Italy, you better get some sparks going between Minnelli and De Niro. They’re also sharing a room at the flea bag.”

Thus began our short ‘Berlin in the Village’ phase. The stars agreed to take cabs, not limos. We drag them to Max’s,  where De Niro puts up with Andy’s fey antics; tim-709 Liza is entranced. One night, they get up and reprise their ‘Cabaret’ act, backed by the New Wave band, Television. The chaos overcomes the talent but it was all in fun. Page Six makes the most of the romance between Marty’s stars, especially since Liza is still married to one of her father-substitute husbands. Bobby makes her feel better by explaining that all Italian men are jerks to their families. Apparently he is exempt as he isn’t married and dislikes his own father. At night, we hear lots of bedroom noise through the cheap walls. Later she confesses she  previously preferred gay lovers. It’s a revelation to be with an Italian Stallion. She relies on us to assuage her ruffled ego, admitting it is a turn-on to be dominated. Jack promptly tries to act macho, Tim 631to everyone’s amusement.  Marty has to admit that the dailies are much improved with real sparks flying between his stars. Jack asks to be promoted to assistant director.

“This is no business for kids,” Marty reminds us.

Our week at the Chelsea ends with a visit to our favorite writer, Bill Burroughs.

He remembers us because I had told him about the ‘Wild Boys’ performance at Doug Weston’s house. Burroughs now receives royalties for the rights to perform it. It keeps him in dope while his career revives. ‘Naked Lunch’ is out on spec with a screenwriter. Hollywood is ready for Burroughs. We are anxious to use his magic typewriter. He warns us it can be too truthful and hurtful, essentially revealing naked emotions. Jack and I separately sit there and auto-type our feelings. We share each other’s typed page. It contains the same, single word: ‘Breaking-up.’ We cry.11c

Burroughs is sympathetic, “But I told you it was too honest. Take it as a warning.”

We stifle our tears and swear to each other that we will never break-up. We know it will take work. We also know both of us are worrying about it.

Andy is contacted by LA art collectors  about the Jace’s Place exhibition. He is to fly there and wants to use the Stone’s Lear. Marty knows it’s time to settle down on the set. He believes we’re a bad influence on his buddy Bobby – he has misjudged us but is more than glad to see us flying off to LA. He even gives us scripts and dailies to deliver to United Artists. We promise to relay what they think back to him. Jack is in pretentious assistant director mode. Andy’s assistant Blair comes along as well, ostensibly to look after Andy, but more likely to keep us under control.

We land at Santa Monica Airport and stay at the Beverly Wiltshire. tim-860 We share adjoining suites. I suffer déjà vu. It has only been a few weeks since I was there with Dad. I also want to see Tony and Jimmy and hope to run into Joan Jett and Tom Petty. Jack remembers Tom as trouble at the Skynyrd concert. I tell him Tom has gone ‘Hollywood,’ and not to worry that I’ll revert to country boy mode.

“You’ve done so well all summer,” he attempts to compliment me.

“Right. I’m so entitled now.”

I sneak off and call Doug. He is effusive and wants to come over, especially anxious to meet Andy. He promises to bring Elton John,  who was doing a reprise of his breakout shows at the Troubadour.

“We’re here on business, so I’ll get back to you,” I put him off. It makes me feel so LA.

Blair is concerned that I’m hijacking the trip to my own purposes. Andy says we should go to the Elton John show and meet Doug & Elton later. I call and tell Tony to set up a reservation at Dan Tana’s between Elton’s shows. Tony confirms it with Doug. Blair agrees. Tony is taking Elton shopping on Rodeo and asks us to join him, just Jack and me. I know about Elton’s shopping sprees for his boyfriends. Whew, so much scheduling.

“Are you the object of his attentions now?” I ask Tony.

“No way. He has this stuck-up London punkTim 402 he lavishes his credit cards on.  I’m just the tour guide. The tips are good, though.”

“You’re driving Elton around in your Datsun?” tim-697

“Naw. He always has a limo.”

“We’ll look for it and the London punk.”

I explain to Blair and Andy that we were going out, asking if they wanted to hang out with Elton and 4 teenagers.

“Not tonight. Andy has to rest if he’s going to the show later,” Blair is the personal assistant Nazi.

Andy looks pained.

“Why don’t you walk with us and meet Elton? Just avoid the shopping spree.” I suggest.

“Nobody walks in LA,” Blair knows.

“Well, it’s just up the block to Rodeo Drive. You can take Elton’s limo back here if you get tired.”

“We’re coming,” Andy decides. Blair gives me a nasty look.

I call Tony, who agrees to call me when they arrive.

“We have to wait. Elton and Trevor are  in the bedroom working out what they will be shopping for.”

“Then it may be a while. Andy is delaying a nap in order to meet us.”

“Andy? That’s your Iowa name.”

“Right. But this is Andy Warhol. tim-709 I’m here on business with him.”

“My, ain’t you the star fucker.”

We laugh.

“Just let me know when you’ve arrived. We’re across the street at the Beverly Wiltshire.”

“And, it’s paying off well for ya,” he continues his needling.

“Ya seen Joan Jett.” tim-647

“Yeah. She likes it I kin get her into clubs. She’s mad at you fer ditching her.”

“Did you tell her why?”

“Naw. I don’t get into people’s drug issues.” Tim 583

“Wise move in LA.”

“Yeah. I’ll call soon as I knows.”

His Southern accent was from South Bay.

Jack has been listening in.

“Who’s Tony.”

“He’s my best friend here. We became ‘tight’ during an orgy at Doug’s two years ago,” I’m being more honest than cautious.

“Did ya fool around last month?”

“Just in an adult theater for the benefit of a crowd of perverts.”

“So, he’s a prostitute?”

“Naw. He’s Doug’s boyfriend. We was jist havin’ fun. Doug’s old, you’ll see. You’ll like Tony and his friend Jimmy.”

“Who’s Jimmy? Someone else from an orgy?” Jack is getting jealous. tim-692

“Jimmy was too young. He felt left out when no one picked him. We then made him feel part of the group.”

“Group? How many were there at this orgy?”

“It was the Burroughs’s ‘Wild Boys’ performance. I told you all about it.”

“The tee-pee boys. Oh my god, I thought that was just a story.”

“They know you’re my boyfriend, so don’t worry. It won’t be like Tommy.”

“Yeah. They’re all junior high dropouts by now.”

“Don’t be a snot.”

“I will if you start acting like a tramp.”

“Is having fun beneath your standards now?”

Blair is listening, now that Andy is taking a nap.

“You boys fighting now?” he is put off.

“Ever since William Burroughs’ magic typewriter  Tim 163said we were breaking up.”

“Please don’t break up while we’re in LA. Andy’s very fragile.”

“You’re right. I’m being selfish, wanting to hang out with my LA friends. We’ll just cool it with them. We’re here about Andy’s art and Marty’s movie business. I forget that Andy’s not a teenager.”

“We’ll make it all about Andy,” Jack agrees.

“I’ll let you take care of the movie side, Mr. Assistant Director,” I tell Jack. He is mollified.

Jack goes to take a bath, saying he still feels dirty from our week at the Chelsea.

Blair and I order room service. He laughs at my expensive hamburger and fries.

“I’ll take you to Oki Dog. It’s far superior to this fare and only $1.25 with fries.”

“Is that a Japanese dog?”

“Naw. Jist a hot dog with chili, onions and cheese, wrapped in a tortilla by a Japanese cook. He’s like the John Belushi character on Saturday Night Live. ‘Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Coke, not Pepsi.’”tim-698

We both finally can relax.

“How old are you, Blair?”

“Twenty-five. Sounds old, huh?”

“No way. Yer jist gettin’ started in life. We’s still kids, jist tryin’ ta git a’goin.’”

Blair’s mouth drops open. “You don’t have that country accent when Jack’s around.”

“I’s havin’ ta learn how to talk proper so’s I don’ts embarrass ‘im at Hahvahd.” I am off and running, getting’ it all out while Jack is lazing in the bath.

“So, you really are a country boy.”

“Naw, my roots don’t run deep. I grew up in the military. In Miami they called me the Cracker from Alaska.”

Blair laughs.

Last year ‘bout now I’s livin’ it up in the Everglades, eatin’ fish chowder, singing to a black panther at night, Tim 421 and keepin’ an eye out fer mean ‘gators.” tim-703

“Y’all gots talent, that’s fur shure,” he quips.

“See how easy t’is? Jist don’t try too hard.”

“Don’t has to. I growed up in Alabama.”

“She-it, y’all’s jist like me, havin’ to stop myself from soundin’ like a redneck.”

“I ain’t no redneck. My daddy’s gotta plantation. I jist growed up wid rednecks.”

“’Scaped ta New York City, didcha?”

Jack comes into the room, wrapped up in a over-sized white terry cloth robe, drying his almost bald head of hair.

“What are you guys talking about?”

“Nothing. Just goofin’ on each other. Blair’s a good ol’ boy, growed up on his daddy’s plantation in Alabama.”

Jack looks pained, Tim 585 knowing the attempt to rid me of my country accent has suffered a setback.

“People don’t take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously.”

“Oh, Jack. It’s serious when you have to speak other than how you think. Remember Grant’s New English. Maybe we can practice some before we move to New England.”

That thought brightens him up, knowing we’ll be together as roommates in college.

“Okay. Only speak country when everyone’s country. Like ‘when in Rome.’”

“Fine by me,” I quip. Jack shoots me a sharp look.

“Okay. It is fine by me.” I correct myself.

“What is fine?” Jack can’t help himself.

“Okay. Okay. I will only speak like a hick when I’m in the sticks.”

“Thank you,” he concedes.

“I guess that makes me a hick from Greenwich Village,” Blair adds.

“Naw. You’s some cracker whose mummy sent yer baby ass off to some fat Black mammy for breast feedin’, where y’all learned jive and gospel a’fore you’d learnt to speak proper,” Jack lays it on.

That makes us howl which wakes up Andy. He comes into our room, looking disheveled and sleepy still. Tim 472

“What are you laughing about.”

“Nothin’ yer Pennsylvania coal miner hillbilly ass that jist came up from a holler don’t know,” Jack is on a roll.

Andy turns around to go back to sleep. All three of us jump up, hug him, and lead him back into our room.

“We’s all admittin’ we’re jist country boys at heart, workin’ hard ta make a livin’ in the City,” I explain.

He laughs. “I ain’t no cracker from sum holler. My daddy’s folks come over from Poland. They’s coal miners there.”

“That explains the Warhola that is always on your checks,” Blair exposes Andy’s ethnicity. “I thought it was some anti-nuke form of protest.”

“Well, are we meeting Elton John for shopping,” Andy changes the subject.

“Just waiting for him to finish fucking his rent boy so he can decide how much jewelry to buy him,” I joke.

“That sounds expensive,” Andy begins to question going to Rodeo Drive with five teenage shopaholics.

“No worries, Andy. Jack buys me everything I need. Just be cautious with my LA friends. They have no scruples about the material world.”

“I’m going back to sleep,” he decides.

 

Tony calls an hour later. Just Jack and I meet them at Fiorucci’s on the corner of Rodeo and Wilshire. tim-699 Elton is right inside the front door, ensconced at a pinball machine, reprising his ‘Tommy’ role as the Pinball Wizard.

 

Of course he has a crowd, which he eats up. Tony and Jimmy wave us over.

“Meet Trevor. He’s with Elton,” Jimmy is host. The boy is our age, dressed like an English poof, Tim 481 with eyeliner and puffy hair.

“Good to meet ya, mate,” I put on my worst English accent, sounding like a limey from Australia.

The boy barely acknowledges us, keeping his eyes on Elton and the pinball.

“He’s not too talkative,” Tony explains.

“This is Jack,” I told Tony and Jimmy.

“You’re Tim’s boyfriend,” Tony is effusive.

“Yup. My main squeeze,” as I hug him.

“Yer a lucky guy,” Jimmy vouches for me. Jack beams.

This activity distracts Elton, who promptly loses his balls (he plays two balls at once) and it is ‘Game Over.’ He inserts another quarter but relinquishes the game to Trevor.

Elton has had enough performing and comes over to join us. The store personnel disperse the onlookers. Beverly Hills sales clerks know how to keep you shopping.

Elton is 30 and dresses flamboyantly. tim-700

“Oi, mates. Who are your buds?”

“Oh, Elton,” Jimmy is still the host. “This is Tim and Jack. They’re from New York and are with Andy Warhol at the Beverly Wiltshire.”

“I’m at the Sunset Marquis. It’s tres trashy.”

“We stay at the Chelsea in Soho when we need trashy,” Jack puts on the charm.

“That must mean true trashy,” Elton quips.

“They never ask any questions as long as you don’t complain about the cockroaches.”

“Ew. I just get noise complaints.”

“Maybe after the show tonight we can create some noise,” Jack winks at him.

“You’re with Andy? Didn’t I see you in photos from Cannes last year?”

“That’s me. Our movie bombed but Andy rescued me.”

“You’re even cuter in person. Why did your movie bomb.”

“Too much fagging off with my boyfriend, Tim,” Jack grabbed me around the waist, kissing me for show. Tim 307 The flashbulbs go off. Trevor is instantly at Elton’s side.

“You must meet these boys, Trevor. They have a band and already a movie in which they flaunt their sexuality.”

“That’s what rock’s about,” I pipe up.

“You said I could be in the band,” Trevor complains.

“All in due time. This tour I’m going solo.”

“We’re going to eat dinner with you between shows tonight,” I tell him. “You’ll love Dan Tana’s. It’s right next door. It’s Italian.”

“I’ll bust my sequins if I eat between shows.”

“We’ll keep it exciting, so you burn off all those Italian calories,” I smile at Elton.

“I want to play more pinball,” Trevor whines.

“Let’s has a competition to see who’s best,” I suggest.

“I’m already the pinball wizard. This is my machine,” Elton likes competition. Trevor is one of many victims.

He’s right about the machine. It is themed from The Who’s ‘Tommy.’ Elton’s round face with outsized glasses is on top of the scoreboard.   He puts in six quarters, pleased to be paying.

Jack goes first. It isn’t long before both balls elude him. His score is paltry and doesn’t make the top scorers’ list. Elton can’t wait, going next. His piano playing skills make him a real wizard, eventually putting two balls simultaneously in play. We’re standing beside the machine cheering him on. Trevor resents being out of the spotlight and accidentally hits the side of the game, causing it to ‘tilt.’ Game over. Elton’s score is good enough to make the top ten list. Jimmy goes next and is an ace, beating Elton and getting the top score. Tony plays casually, barely shaking the machine (to rack up extra points by rattling his balls up against a scoring post). I go next, showing Tony how to really get extra points. We play as a team, each taking a flipper button. We almost reached Jimmy’s score but cause our own ‘tilt’ by hitting the buttons too hard.

“Watch me, dolts,” Trevor is last. He’s as skillful as Elton, putting two balls in play at once. The points are flying up the scoreboard. Once he has the top score, he let the balls pass the flippers, confident that he is the winner. Elton has the last word though, putting in another quarter for a second turn.

“You sabotaged me by causing the tilt. I get a replay,” he commands. All except Trevor laugh. Soon he has passed all of us, only stopping when the scoreboard approaches all nines. He knows it’s ready to flip to all zeros. He has the best possible score and proudly typed ‘EJ’ at the top of the high scorers list. We cheer while Trevor sulks. A photo of Elton at his machine surrounded by five teen boys makes Variety the next day, along with a blurb about his shows at the Troubadour.

“When do I get to meet Andy?” he asks. Even celebrities worship other celebrities, especially when they are in different fields.

“Tonight at dinner,” Tony confirms. “He’s anxious to meet you, as well.”

“Are you his pets?” Elton asks both of us.

“More like he’s our fairy godfather,” Jack jokes. tim-725

“Can I be your fairy godmother, then?”

“Sure. We love to share. Just ask Andy,” Jack responds.

Tony calls for the limo. Before it arrives, I brazenly promote myself, my new Hollywood persona.

“Want to hear the update I’ve created to ‘Crocodile Rock?’”

“Stealing from my pal, Bernie?” Elton laughs.

“Me and my friend Tommy spent four months hiding out in the Everglades and bein’ terrorized by this humongous crocodile. I got a song inspired by that and set to Bernie Taubin’s song, your greatest hit.”

“Don’t know if it’s the greatest,” Elton wants more idolizing.

“It’s certainly great.”

Jack gives me a sharp look. We’ve never discussed a cover of the hit.

“Just go with it. We’ll make it up as we go,” I whisper to him.

He looks worried.

“Where can you play this plagiarism?”

“I’ll call my friend Jimmy at Larrabee Studios. We can go there on the way to the Sunset Marquis.”

“I like your spunk, kid.” Elton remark while Trevor looks pained.

“Wanna play with us, Trevor?” I figure we need to include the rent boy.

Jack looks even more pained. I run to a pay phone outside. Jimmy answers and says they are tied up, recording Joan. He relents when he hears Elton is involved.

“Tell Joan she can jam with him,” I instruct Larrabee Jimmy. “We’re reworking ‘Crocodile Rock.”

“Still playing rock wannabee, Tim?” Tim 419

“Yeah. Cain’t help meself. Set up a piano for Elton.”

“Com’n by,” LJ laughs. “Will he play on an electric one?”

“Sure. I got him wrapped around my little finger.”

“No doubt.”

I walk back inside Fiorucci’s.

“Okay to play an electric piano?” I ask Elton.

“Oh, am I in the band?” he snarks.

“You promised Trevor, didn’t you?”

Everyone laughs, except Trevor, who now looks more panicked than elated.

“Limo’s here,” Jimmy announces.

The Fiorucci’s staff is relieved we were leaving,  as the paparazzi follow our entourage out to the limo. We pose for them before jumping in. Tim 609 Jack and I kiss Elton on both cheeks. Trevor fumes.

At Larrabee Studios, Joan and Jimmy are waiting for us. I introduce Joan as guitarist and singer for the Runaways. tim-647

“I know, the all-girl band that plays hard rock,” he quips.

“Yeah, and yer the piano man who plays soft rock,” she laughs.

“We’ll play songs by both of you,” I compromise. “Trevor here wants to be part of Elton’s band. This is his tryout.”

Trevor is mortified, as Joan gives him the once over.

“It’s all set up in the main studio,” Larrabee Jimmy announces.

Elton looks around the small one story building. “Is there another studio in here.”

“Just the main one,” LJ admits.

“I guess we’ve got your attention. Any recording done must remain in my possession. I want that in writing.”

LJ runs off to get the paperwork, while we saunter into the recording space. Elton walks over to a Yamaha electric piano with a scowl on his face. His expression changes when he spots a beat-up upright piano in the corner. He sits down and quickly hits a few notes. They sound tinny and flat. LJ runs up with the contract for our session.

“You don’t want to play this old thing. Someone put thumb tacks on all the striking pads to make it sound honky-tonk. We never fixed it.”

“It’s perfect,” Elton declare. “Mic it up in the middle of the room.”

LJ scurries away to change the set-up. Jack and I find suitable axes to play while chatting with Joan.

I introduce Jack as my boyfriend, making her smile.

“I’m still pissed you split when I went off with Tom last Spring.”

“I had just come from Hollywood Pres, where my cousin had OD’d. It was not my moment to try junk.”

“Grow up, kid. It ain’t the end of the world.” tim-719

“I felt bad, but I wasn’t about to indulge.”

“Your loss.”

“Naw. We always have fun together.” Tim 485

“Don’t get romantic now. You have a boyfriend for that.”

“I’m an equal opportunity kid,” I laugh.

“Ya ain’t gonna get far with that line.”

Trevor is looking lost as he checks out the guitars available for his tryout. He’s shaking his head.

“Not happy with the choices?” I ask.

“Maybe I should get my own guitar from the Sunset Marquis.”

“You’ll do fine, Twit,” I call him, making him even more uncomfortable.

Elton is banging on the up-right, loud and ringing. He has a smile as he ran through several chords from his hits.

“Play something,” Jack shouts, getting Elton to do a solo, as LJ adjusts the mic levels.

“How about something about the Blues,” he answers. He starts playing and singing.

We grab our guitars and play along. Joan doesn’t play but joins at the chorus, ‘I guess that’s why they call it the blues.’ Trevor looks lost. We all join in at the end.

“How about a Runaways song?” Elton encourages Joan.

“This one is what I call Tim, Cherry Bomb.”

Elton has no problem joining in, banging on the old up-right. Trevor continues to look lost. Jack and I come over and show him the chord fingering and when to come in. As soon as he tries to follow us, LJ turns down his amp, so it doesn’t get too discordant. Jace appears at this moment to rescue the poor Twit. Unfortunately, Twit isn’t open to his ministrations. His amp stays turned down at the mixing board. Jace moves over and sits with Elton, tinkling on the high octaves while Elton keeps banging the lower range. Elton isn’t fazed that the instrument is acting like a player piano.

“That’s one magic honky-tonk piano,” he declares after we finished. “Let’s hear what you’ve done to ‘Crock Rock.”

I move over to a vocal mic.

“This version is dedicated to Tommy,” I wink at Jack, who is not happy. “To Tom and Huck, livin’ large in the Everglades. With kudos to Elton and Bernie.” I wink at him and play the opening notes. He jumps in right away.

‘I remember when rock was young

Huck and Tom had so much fun

Campin’ in the ‘Glades and skipping stones

Livin’ large in a lean-to of our own

But the biggest kick we ever got

Was what we call the Gatorsaurus Rock

While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock

We were hopping and bopping to the Gatorsaurus Rock

(Jack and Joan jump in) Tim 566 Tim 458

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking

When your feet just can’t keep still

I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will

Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights

Tom and Huck was gettin’ tight

Gatorsaurus Rock was out of sight

(I motion to Twit to sing the backup with Elton) 10

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

(I come back in) tim-646

But the days went by and the ‘Gator just cried

Tom got sick and almost died

Long nights on a breathing machine

Dreaming of the ‘Glades and stolen blue jeans

But they’ll never kill the thrills we’ve got

Burning up to the Gatorsaurus Rock

Learning fast as the weeks went past

We really thought Gatorsaurus Rock would last

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking

When your feet just can’t keep still

I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will

Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights

Tom and Huck was getting’ tight

Gatorsaurus Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

I remember when rock was young

Huck and Tom had so much fun

Campin’ in the ‘Glades and skipping stones

Livin’ large in a lean-to of our own

But the biggest kick we ever got

Was what we call the Gatorsaurus Rock

While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock

We were hopping and bopping to the Gatorsaurus Rock

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking

When your feet just can’t keep still

I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will

Tom and Huck just gettin’ tight

Gatorsaurus Rock was out of sight

(Everyone came in together for the closing chorus)

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la.’

 

Songwriters: BERNIE TAUPIN, ELTON JOHN

© Universal Music Publishing Group

 

We all bust out laughing, especially Elton. Even Twit relaxes and feels okay about his non-playing.

“Okay, kid. You made your point. That is cool. Who’s Tommy, and why were you being Tom & Huck. Even I know that book.”

“We’s escaped the juvenile authorities together. Gatoraurus ate the hounds that tried to track us in the Everglades. Which was fine until he chased us up a tree trying to eat us. Tommy was petrified of ‘gators. We built the lean-to under the tree as an escape route, and Gatorsaurus never returned. Y’all gots ta hear ol’ Tommy tell it. He really gits into describin’ the ugly 28 foot croc.” Tim 351

That is the end of the session. Elton tells Twit he’d done great but he’d have to wait to perform with the band after the solo tour was done. Twit looks relieved. At least he knows he hasn’t played well. But it is all about how great we feel playing together. He figures he’s passed the audition. Joan gives us a preview of her latest creation, ‘The Queens of Noise.’

We all just smile at what really is just noise.

LJ asks Elton if he wants to add a track to the Runaways song, but he just shakes his head. We all head out to the limo.

 

Next: https://timatswim.com/plastic-people-chapter-7-part-2/

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