When we got back to the Waldorf, Jack grabbed my hand.
“I can’t believe he’s really gone?” he asked, the tears streaming down his face.
I hadn’t realized how much Jack loved him. I gulped and nodded, unable to say it. My heart was saying that he’d always be there, as well as in Jack’s heart. He was in the hearts of everyone he literally touched. Were we meant to be his apostles? I knew that was wrong. We could call him Teen Jesus. He always was just the boy I loved. Horribly abused and murdered, he was a parable to Jesus who was the Christ. His message was to protect the children. We had been his voice and message for the last three months. I had to sit down. Jack sat with me on a lobby couch, with tears streaming down our cheeks. The uncles came and led us upstairs to the suite. We collapsed in the spare bedroom, falling asleep in each other’s arms.
Hours later I opened my eyes to see Jack staring at me.
“I didn’t want to wake you.”
“How long have you been awake?’
“Not long. You’re so beautiful when you sleep.”
He kissed my eyelids.
“You been smoking weed?” I joked.
“I’ve been crying. It’s so silly. How can I love someone I never met?”
“Yet you managed to have sex with that person about a hundred times.”
“I feel so violated,” and he winked.
Jack snuggled in with me. “Tell me things I don’t know about Jace.”
Were we going to stop calling him Casper, the Friendly Ghost? Why had he left us? I had all these questions, all because I wrongly assumed he’d always be with me.
“When Robby played the Devil to scare Dave and Jazz, Jace went along with it because he thought he was evil and doomed.”
“But he was so sweet.”
“His family told him he was just like his mother, a wild, waste case.”
“But she wasn’t. She really loved him. We saw that.”
“Finding her was the first goal of our Spring Break tour. Maybe by seeing how nice she was, he could accept that it wasn’t he who was evil, but his step-mother.”
“Being wild isn’t necessarily evil.”
“Yeah. He was definitely wild.”
“Can we do the monkey song without him?”
“What about the sex pact?”
“Oh my god, we can never have sex again.”
“Talking with the kids about being open-minded and following their true feelings was pretty much saying to resist rules. The sex pact only worked when he was around to participate.”
“Feel like breaking a few rules right now?” He wiggled his semi-hard hose at me, swiping my hip a couple of times. He left streaks of pre-cum on my skin.
I wiped my hip clean and licked the liquid off my finger.
“You are so sweet,” I winked at him.
Even though my cock was limp, a drop of pre-cum glistened at my piss hole. Jack swooped down. “You’re pretty sweet yourself.”
“Clean living?” I guessed.
“No way. We live on burgers and fries. You’re just naturally sweet.”
“Don’t expect me to fuck you like I did Saturday night. I was just mad at you.”
“Mad fucking. I loved it.”
“I thought you wanted me sweet?”
“I just want you, sweet and sour.”
My dick was perking up. I realized that we both liked this sex talk, as foreplay.
“Do I talk too much? Wanna just do it?”
“Yes, but I like the banter too. You taught me to fuck all night. We may never leave the Waldorf.”
Then I got distracted. “Wonder where everyone else is?”
“No,” as he rubbed along my side with his fully erect dick.
Maybe I have attention deficit. I put everything but Jack out of my mind.
I rolled toward him, hooking my legs around his. I pulled him toward me, rolling on my back so he lay on my belly. Grabbing his butt, I pulled him toward my face, taking his stiff dick into my mouth. He slithered into my mouth with the head of his dick half way down my throat. I swallowed several times, putting added pressure on his shaft. He got my clue and thrust deeper each time I swallowed. Keeping my hands on his butt, I wiggled my fingers around and slightly into his asshole. He was shuddering, as if he would soon cum, until I started stroking his ass rhythmically. He returned to a regular in/out of my mouth, calming himself with the rhythm. Reaching behind himself, he grabbed my dick by the shaft, slapping it against my hands that were priming his ass. I pulled his butt cheeks apart to provide easy access to his asshole. Leaning my head back and raising my groin up to allow my dick’s tip to enter his ass , I pushed my legs off the bed. I was doubled up enough to allow my dick halfway into his ass. Jack stopped pumping my mouth. I grabbed my legs behind the knee caps and pulled myself into him all the way. We started rocking back and forth, like a child’s hobby horse, pushing our dicks into each other without thrusting.
“Oh my god, this feels so relaxed and hot,” Jack gushed.
I tried to mumble something similar, but his dick kept the words inside my throat.
We started to laugh, which caused the rhythm to go out of whack. The laughing caused a sideways motion that counteracted the rocking horse motion. Every time I pulled on my legs, causing my dick to penetrate further, he slid backwards into me. As I relaxed my legs, I withdraw and he slid forward into my mouth.
My neck was getting stiff from the hyper-extension. As I rolled forward, I tucked my feet up against my thigh. He rolled backward on the bed and I was suddenly on top of him. I fucked him furiously for a few seconds, getting close, as my dick did its extra turn at the tip. I rolled back and let him thrust into my mouth rapidly. I only had the tip inside his ass. It was exquisite, feeling his butt tighten and release as he approached climax. The nerve endings near my cock’s head were extremely sensitive. With long thrusts, he began to spurt at the back of my throat. I was about to cum, so I rolled him backward again. His dick came out of my mouth and was spurting all over us. I was in position to rapidly thrust into him. I started my climax after remaining rigid for a couple of seconds. Every time I came, I thrust harder and harder into him. His arms were clasping me tightly to his chest and stomach. His cum provided Astroglide to my thrusts and we slid back and forth. Pulling my shoulders down to him he French-kissed my fevered lips. I was done.
“Sweet, mad fucking.” Jack exclaimed.
He jumped up and led me to the shower.
“It was in the shower where Jace and I first fucked,” I continued the Jace stories he hadn’t heard.
“How’d you get him into the shower if you hadn’t fucked yet.”
“He’d had a wet dream that he thought was real, but the first time was when he was washing me and I wanted him to fuck me.”
Jack looked totally crestfallen. “That was me, not Jace.” He started to cry.
“Oh my god, I’m such a pothead,” as I tried to wipe away his tears.
Jack hugged me. “These are good tears. It means you love me as much as you love Jace.”
“It’s okay?” I asked.
“Sure, but it means I get to fuck you now in the shower.”
He proceeded to wash out my ass with his tongue. Momentarily I was being fucked. Fair turn around.
Afterward we were lying naked in bed. Jack giggled.
“Let’s order room service,” he suggested, more hungry than horny now.
“What about everyone else in the suite? I don’t feel like being with anyone but you.”
“Let’s get dressed and see who’s here. We can go down to the restaurant and eat there.”
“Can I get something to wear? I’m sick of this white suit.”
He had a full closet of clothes. Mummy had him covered. He jumped at the chance to dress me, having the greatest difficulty deciding which garish underwear I should wear.
“I’m not modelling briefs unless you pay me like Felix does,” I kidded him.
“How much for a quick runway walk?”
I saw from his hardening dick that he was serious.
“Okay, You have to walk Max in Central Park,” I agreed.
He quickly chose three pairs for me to model. I changed in the closet and came out as if I was doing a striptease, swinging my hips and pulling the briefs down at the hip to expose white skin. He couldn’t stop himself from masturbating. After the third pair, he was so excited, I came over and rubbed my butt against his hand and dick. He came all over me.
“I guess I won’t wear these,” stripping off the soiled briefs. “Why don’t we wear the same color and style?”
He was panting from the excitement, nodding that he liked my idea.
We ended up in matching outfits. We sneaked out and went to the dining room for breakfast. We ordered way too much. Michael and Jenna walked into the restaurant. They looked apprehensively at us.
“Com’n over here. We’re done feeling sorry. Help us finish all this food. We ordered way too much.”
Michael dug in, while Jenna was careful to not seem like a big eater. Michael started kidding her, feeding her bites of our eggs and pancakes.
“Any word from the others?” I asked
“Hippie stayed with me after all the Times Square action. He’s sleeping in.”
“What about Robby and Iggy? We haven’t seen them since last night.”
“God, I hope they stayed away from dope,” Michael moaned.
“They’ve got to be bored. What else are they going to do?”
“You’d think they’d of learned their lesson.”
Jack pulled out a business card. It was Robert Maplethorpe’s.
“Why did you keep this,” I was instantly jealous.
“Jeez, you don’t trust me much, do you?” he complained.
Jenna and Michael giggled at our jealousy spat.
“You call Patti, so they can look in on them. I know they’re not going to lecture them on the evils of heroin,” Jack suggested.
“Sure you don’t want to speak with Maplethorpe?” I was piqued.
“Not while you’re looking so cute,” and he stuck his hand into my pants’ waistband, snapping my matching briefs. That gave me a rise.
Michael realized what was going to happen and hustled Jenna out of there. She had not witnessed our sex play before.
I went to call Patti. The phone rang and rang without anyone picking up. It was 9 am, way too early for junkie New Yorkers to be up.
When I came back, the three Jacettes and Grant were finishing our breakfasts. Jack was flirting with Edi, which was my cue to flirt with Flo. Grant was taking an uncomfortable (for me) interest in Mary. I realized that Mary had been abandoned by Robby’s drug collapse the entire time she had been in New York.
“Hey,” I greeted them. “Jack’s promised to walk Max in the Park. Let’s all go. It’s a nice spring day. I’ll go get Max.” I indicated to Flo that she should come with.
Up in my parents’ room, Max looked anxious to get outside.
“Looks like you’ve skipped school today,” Dad observed.
“Do I still have to go? I’m a star now.”
“Not in my book, sonny.” I recognized he was joshing with me for once.
“Hi, Flo,” Susan greeted her. “Enjoying New York?”
Flo gravitated to her and they chatted about shopping and stuff. Dad took me aside.
“I know it’s been more than a 16-year-old can handle, but we want things to go back to whatever was normal before this trip.”
“Does that mean I can’t live at the Waldorf?”
“You boys will be on a flight with us back to Miami and not miss any more school than necessary.”
I didn’t have the energy to fight him.
“Yes, sir. All of us are going to walk Max in Central Park. Let me know what the plans are. We have to get our stuff at the Chelsea, but we’ll be ready to go.”
Dad looked at me like he missed having an argument about it.
“I am proud of you, son,” and he pulled me into a hug. I just grinned at Flo and Susan. Max barked, jealous that I was getting Dad’s affection. I almost barked, too. I didn’t need to check; I knew I had the biggest grin going. Max already had his leash. We were out the door.
In the lobby, Grant was courting the ladies while Michael was conversing with Jenna. The Jacettes would have made Ray Charles proud. They had used their shopping day to good use, even selecting Easter bonnets for our stroll in the Park. I called Mike Sr. and told him to have that journalist from Interview meet us at the Metropolitan Museum for lunch and take our pictures strolling through Central Park in our Easter best. Michael and Grant had on coordinated outfits. Our matching outfits were enough of a faux pas to give us a little edge. Jack came down with the Uncles, telling them to park the cars at the Metropolitan Museum and meet us there for lunch. I called Patti again. She wasn’t really awake but liked the idea of meeting us for lunch. She promised to bring Robby and Iggy.
“Shall we stroll, ladies,” I bowed to them and all eight of us went out the front entrance of the Waldorf Astoria. Surprisingly, there were cameramen waiting for someone. They captured our stroll. Just as we were about to turn onto 5th Avenue, Max barked. We looked around. Hippie had just come running out, barefoot and hayseed as hell. We whistled, and he saw us. The cameramen were all laughing at that shot. One look at us in our Sunday best made him turn around to go change.
“We’ll meet you at the fountain at the entrance to the park,” I yelled at him.
He raised his arm to acknowledge he had heard.
The winter weather had broken, with a bright, sunny day and blue skies forever. There were kids everywhere. New York City schools were out for the week after Easter, as a reward for having to listen to preachers all the previous week. Grant wanted to go back and get his boom box, but we told him to stop ‘workin’ it.’
“We’re having a Stroll down 5th Avenue,” I told him.
Michael started slapping the slow beat. Grant and I harmonized the guitar and bass, while Jack sang, ‘Come, let’s stroll…’
We stopped, dropped our hands, and faced each other across the middle, doing the back and forth walk of The Stroll. Grant and Mary stepped into the middle and walked the line. They were replaced by Michael and Jenna once they reached the end of the line. Michael sped it up and soon we were dancing with each other, nobody really paired off. Max spotted his first, real fire hydrant and proceeded to lift his leg. The mood for dancing ran down into the street.
Once we reached the Park, we waited for Hippie to join us, standing on the steps to a big fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel.
Jack squealed, “Let’s go find Eloise.”
“You’re so gay,” Mary remarked.
Everyone, even me, agreed, but we didn’t want to admit we also knew who Eloise was.
Black girls on roller skates came up to the Jacettes and asked if anyone had a cigarette. Grant was Johnny on the Spot with cigarettes and a lighter. He introduced the girls and himself, saying we’d sung at Abyssinian Baptist the day before. Soon he and the Jacettes were putting on a doo wop mini-concert. Hippie finally got there, still looking pretty hayseed. We gave him Max’s leash and told him to find some weed. Max knew that word and quickly led Hippie into the crowd on a mission to score. Next thing Hippie was leading three Black guys over to where we were watching Grant and the girls.
“What up, white boys?” they asked.
“Light it up,” I answered.
“How you know we got weed?”
“Max says so,” I replied.
“I don’t know no Max,” they complained.
“Meet Max, our drug sniffing dog,” and I pointed to Max. “Spark it up.”
“S’cool,” He nodded and brought out a big double-paper joint. It went out and around with little hope of it returning.
“Satisfied?” he asked.
“Listen, LaShawn (guessing his name), you wanna get in on some doo wop lines with the Ladies?”
“With my boys,” he looked back at his gaggle.
“Follow me,” I led them over to Grant and the Jacettes, after they finished their act.
“You got some challengers, Grant,” as I indicated LaShawn and his buddies.
Grant was in his element. The guys did their back and forth, while the girls waited for them to be ready. They’d throw down their rap moves.
“The name’s not LaShawn
You honky dude.
I’ll eat you for lunch
If I’m in the mood.”
“Then bust a move
To show your groove.
We take no prisoners
We’re all just bisness.”
“Wop Wop do Wop”
Then, “stop stop stop
Buba Bop Bop
Wop Wop Wop”
We’d throw down here
But I see your fear
You Southern boys
Just makin’ noise.”
“Ask your Aunt Fanny
We’re from Miami
While you eat snow
We be doin’ blow. “
“Wop Wop do Wop
Stop stop stop
Buba Bop Bop
Wop Wop Wop”
Two New York boys jumped out, as the Jacettes kept up the beat. They did splits and spins, like Michael Jackson. When they were done, Grant jumped in to break some moves. A Hispanic kid jumped in with him and they matched the first two. Grant wasn’t dressed as Super Fly, but in his Sunday best he was pretty fly busting moves.
The girls stopped when he was done. Everyone laughed and Not-LaShawn pulled out another doobie. I was relieved when Jack didn’t partake, fearful of X-rated behavior in the Park. He walked over to the Jacettes and gave them a direction. He came over to me and whispered ‘Sneakin.’
The Jacettes started up another beat:
“shaka shaka love?
‘shaka shaka love shaka shaka
Shaka shaka love shaka shaka.”
Jack and I stepped up and rapped our song’s lyrics:
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.”
Jack went solo:
“My name’s Jack Town
I never back down
This is my man Tim
Girls, give him a spin.’
Everyone was whooping and hollering.
“White boys don’t rap.”
“Right. We sing. Now you’ve met the band,” I introduced ourselves. “The ladies are the Jacettes, Mary, Jenna, Flo and Edi.” I bowed to the ladies. Michael’s on drums, Hippie’s on bass, and you met Grant, Jack and me. We’re ‘False Gods.’
”Hey. You were in the Post.”
I couldn’t believe these kids saw Jack kissing Andy Warhol.
“Don’t believe all you see.” I joshed.
“They said you was Teen Jesus at St Patrick’s yesterday.”
I should really keep up with our press.
“I’m not Teen Jesus. That’s Jace. He died.”
“It said he appeared at the end of Mass.”
“Yeah. He kinda went to Heaven yesterday.”
“How can you go out and celebrate if that really happened?”
“He was the inspiration for our band, taught us to play, have fun, and showed us how to make kids be safe from abuse.”
“Was he abused?”
“Yeah, by his step-brother, who shot and killed him.”
The crowd had grown considerably, including the photographers from the Waldorf who had followed Hippie. When I said Jace had died, they all got real quiet.
“How many here have had someone die that they loved, even as a friend?” I asked.
The girls were nodding, while the boys were looking uncomfortable.
“Think about how much you miss them. Now raise your hand. Look around and find someone who also has lost a loved one. Think how nice it would be if you could reach out and connect with the person who’s also hurting.”
They looked confused and embarrassed, but since it was all girls, a few hugged, and then all of them hugged.
“Now you boys missed your chance, just by being slow. Let’s try it again. How many boys have had a friend killed or abused. Just raise your hands.”
Just a few did, until I told the girls to reach out to the boys who had lost someone. Suddenly the boys caught on and almost all the hands went up.
There were a few who hadn’t raised their hands. I had them come to the front.
“Now aren’t you the lucky ones, never having lost a loved one. No reason you can’t reach out to the others who had that sadness in their heart. Any girls who want to reach out and connect with the lucky ones?”
Sure enough, they were given the bum’s rush and no one was left out.
“This is what Teen Jesus is about – kids trusting each other. That sadness I spoke about in your hearts, it’s really love. But it’s lonely. It needs more than just your love. Jace told us to trust others by seeing the love they had to give. Who’s going to mess with that, mojo? We’re all kids and we’re all friends, right?”
I’d preached enough. The kids started to surrounded us and ask personal questions. After a few minutes, I whistled, “We’re going to promenade in the Park. Come with us. This is our last day in the City.”
Hippie got Max who led our parade. Next came all four girls, arm in arm in their Easter best and followed by the guys and about fifty kids just strolling in the Park. We went a long way, finally stopping at the Bethesda Memorial surrounded by an amphitheater. We decided to do ‘The Stroll’ again.
Lining up on either side of the steps, Michael and Jenna led the two lines and started mouthing the song’s slow beat. We all were doing the five steps back and forth.. Jack and Edi stepped into the middle of the two lines and strolled together to a higher step. We all went in backward order, with Jenna and Michael finishing at the top of the stairs. Michael bowed and took Jenna’s hand, turning to face the crowd around the fountain, now about two hundred kids. He sang a Capella our Sex 2 song:
“You who acts so true,
finding me sometimes blue,
take me in your arms,
calm me with your charm,
I need you to give,
what we need to live.
Take my hands,
shake my hips,
all we can,
kiss my lips,
invade my mind,
don’t leave my side,
forget my pride,
I need you inside.”
take me inside
take me inside.
take me inside.
Jenna pulled him to her and gave him a big kiss. I could hear the cameras clicking. Our Romeo and Juliet. Everybody cheered. It felt like a wedding. If Michael doesn’t get laid after that performance, he can’t be Italian. He swept her off her feet, running down the stairs, stopping short of the fountain. He threw her up into the air. She had her head back, letting him catch her. Good start. We surrounded them and ran off toward the Metropolitan Museum, It was almost noon.
The first person I saw was Maplethorpe. I reached over and grabbed Jack’s hand. I wasn’t going to let him go. Flo and Edi grabbed our other hands. We all ran up. Andy, Patti, Jon Landau, Father Frank, the two uncles, Marty, Mike Sr. and a whole crew of photographers and cameramen were assembled . In the center were our two chariots, the De Soto and Chrysler, with their tops down. Iggy and Robby ran over, apparently revived.
“Well, just in time for our New York departure.”
“Face it loser. This is our swan song.” Robby had his own brand of humor back.
I smiled at Patti and winked. She laughed. Robert looked over, and Jack blew him a kiss. I pulled him sharply closer to me. Patti and Robert both laughed. Andy answered our air kisses, with one of his own.
Marty came over. “Before we go in for lunch, we want you guys to pose with the cars.”
Max was the quickest to comply, jumping in the back of the Chrysler. Hippie and Iggy jumped in back with him, fighting over the leash, until Hippie relinquished it to Iggy but grabbed a hold of Iggy’s leash. He was in full ‘I Wanna be Your Dog’ drag. They were a perfect threesome. Robby and Michael were in the front. Grant helped each of the Jacettes into the back of the De Soto, seating them on top of the rear seats with himself in the middle. Jack and I got into the front. We insisted that the two uncles be in their driver’s seats. After a few shots with them, all the adult guests went into the museum. We were positioned and re-positioned, as well as waiting for the right lighting or for all the cameramen to be ready. It was an ordeal. Marty finally had enough. He went over to the photographers to discuss what shots they had from our stroll in the Park. He found out about all our morning’s antics. He just shook his head. The crowd of kids had waited for a chance to be photographed. So an additional shoot was organized including the kids as background. We actually had fans.
Finally, we were released to join the luncheon party. Mike Sr. had reserved a private banquet room. A loud cocktail party was going on. Jack and I joined Andy at a corner booth, where he was surrounded by Patti and Robert plus his assistant.
“Thanks for rescuing Robby and Iggy,” I spoke to Patti, keeping Jack on my other side.
“They just needed a little hair of the dog,” she laughed. I was afraid I knew what she meant, but the boys seemed much improved.
Andy shooed them away and seated us on either side of him. Jon was protecting Jack. I relaxed.
“You came to New York as a wide-eye fourteen year old. Look at you now. The media have discovered you.”
“I’m still pretty wide-eyed. I havta be in class tomorrow morning. It may be massive culture shock.”
“I’ll bet you find something to grab your attention. I hope it isn’t calculus.”
“I’m only in Algebra II. In English, we start on ‘The Tempest” for our spring performance.”
“Let me know when it is. I’ll fly down.”
“Mr. Clark will faint if you come. We’ll give you the weekend of your life,” Jack promised, winking.
Andy pretended to have his breath taken away. “You boys are too naughty.”
“We’re serious, Andy. You can stay in the Grove, and we’ll entertain you.”
“Give Blair(his assistant) the dates. We’ll come.”
We both hugged him. Flash bulbs went off from the room’s doorway.
He really was quite shy, for the Pop Artist of the Century. He was truly lovable, unlike Maplethorpe. I knew I was being unreasonable. Jack loved that I was jealous.
“So what’s next for the Ungodly Ones?
We laughed. “Most people think we’re trying to be tin gods ourselves. You really get it.”
“Jon explained it all to me,” bringing Jon Landau into our conversation. “I heard Bruce’s revised version of American Dream. You even had him change the title.”
“It’s now ‘Born to Run.’” Landau spoke.
“That’s much better,” we laughed and praised ourselves. “Is it a hit?”
“I don’t know how to say it, except it’s a classic. He sounds young again.”
“Jesus, Jon, he’s only twenty-five.”
“He was trying to be a street poet. Now he’s full of energy.”
“Do we get royalties?” Jack asked.
“That’s what he said.”
“No way,” I objected. “He took us in, treated us like real rockers, and helped us with our songs. He picked out a line from our idiot chatter and made something of it. He’s the hit-man.”
“You may regret it later in life.”
“There’s no later in my life. It’s only now.” I was so conceited.
“Columbia’s sinking a ton of promotion money into the song, so prepare to hear your song a lot.”
“Cool,” we both agreed.
“So, how’s the Interview article going? Still looking for snappy quotes?”
“Tell me about this morning in the Park. Where did those 300 kids come from?”
“It’s Spring Break. We met this rap crew from Harlem and had a face off. Then we did the Teen Jesus thing and got everybody loving themselves. It was a real Beatles moment.”
“You performed in the Park?”
“Yeah. Marty’s getting the photographers to send him their shots. I’m sure he’ll share, if you’re paying.”
“Don’t you ever announce what you’re going to do?”
“It was totally spontaneous. Max started it all by going up to the brothers and demanding to be smoked out. Max knew they were holding. He’s like a police drug dog except he’s a stoner dog, totally addicted to pot. He finds it everywhere we go. Very handy.”
“So, I should really go over and interview Max?”
We laughed. “He’s the star. Just interview Iggy. He’s the real character. He really isn’t in the band, but don’t tell him that. He showed up just as twenty rednecks were ready to kick our asses at the Roadhouse outside of Daytona. They all became his friends. They helped him charge the stage so he could sing Stooges songs. He really is Iggy.”
“Do you guys really want me to do the whole article on just you? I want to show how the youth (you guys) are needed to reinvigorate rock n roll (Bruce).”
“Everyone’s got an angle. We don’t care what you write, just that it’s true, no lies.”
“You got a lot to learn kid.”
Andy shooed him away. Marty came and asked us if we’d do a final shoot, all of us parading down 5th Avenue in our Easter bonnets.
“That’s Irving Berlin,” Jack exclaimed. “We’ll do ‘Easter Parade.’ Com’n, we’ll lose the light.”
I sat a bit longer with Andy. “He’s got the Broadway gene, doesn’t he?”
“We perform every night for Mummy during the cocktail hour.”
“It’s a whole way of life here,” Andy complained.
“Still a young kid from Pittsburgh?”
“I was. Now, you are.”
“Naw. I’m a hick from the sticks.”
“No, slick, you’re something else.”
I leaned over and really kissed him. It took him by surprise. He just looked at me as I followed after Jack.
On the way out, Father Frank stopped us.
“Cardinal Cook has appointed the Franciscan Order to oversee and staff the Jace’s Place project.”
“Congratulations. That should keep the Brothers busy for quite a while.”
“When we’re all back in Miami. I need to decompress from all that’s happened this weekend.”
“Let’s do it tomorrow evening at Mummy’s cocktail hour,” Jack suggested.
I looked at Father Frank. “Are you going to be able to protect us?”
“We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”
Outside, Marty had the crew all set to film us. I told him to give us a single mic, as we would do a duet as the girls and musicians paraded down 5th Avenue. The remaining kids would follow after us, once we had sung the lyrics and were strolling. One camera was set behind the kids, so it looked like a concert. The other was a close-up of our faces. Michael counted off the beat and we sang our hearts out for Irving Berlin to the thrilled Flo and Edi.:
“In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it
You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade
I’ll be all in clover and when they look you over
I’ll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade”
We turned around and sang to the Jacettes
“On the avenue, fifth avenue, the photographers will snap us
And you’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet
And of the girl, I’m taking to the Easter parade
Songwriters: IRVING BERLIN
Published by Lyrics © IMAGEM U.S. LLC
As we finished we took the girls hands and proceeded to stroll down 5th Avenue. The kids chased after us. Marty being The Director, we had to do several takes. With no end in sight, on the 5th take, we just kept going, leaving the crew in our wake. The kids joined us and we strolled along the park as far as The Plaza. Stopping there, we got claustrophobic with the large number of kids. Once the cameramen were set up, we jumped into a horse-drawn carriage. We trotted off, waving to all the kids, who now were running behind us. We told the drivers to drop us at the Metropolitan Museum. When we got there, we dashed over to the two convertibles, jumping in and leaving the remaining kids in our dust. It was our ‘Hard Days Night’ Beatles shot. Luckily the Uncles had been waiting and were ready for us.
We drove Downtown to The Chelsea in order to pick up all our clothing and stuff from the trip. Nobody wanted to go into Robby’s room; It stunk of stale vomit. I called Mike Sr. and asked what the flight plans were for everyone. Eastern had a flight at 6 pm. Everyone was booked. I reminded him that Iggy had joined us in Daytona. He put me through to Jay, his assistant, who asked me what Iggy’s full name was. I had no idea, so I just said Iggy Pop. The assistant snorted, but said nothing.
“What about Max?” I asked.
“You mean Mr. deBowser? He’s in first class with your parents.”
“You’ve taken care of everything,” I gushed.
“You’re so cute, Tim. I can’t stand it.”
That’s about how far phone sex went in 1975.
I was downstairs in a small alcove of the Chelsea’s lobby, trying to write a letter of rebuke to Jon Landau. From what he had said at lunch, he was going to turn our Interview article into a PR piece for Bruce’s upcoming album. Since he was the producer of the album I felt he was just using us for his own purposes. I thought about writing Bruce, knowing he’d take our side. On the other hand, I really wanted to confront Landau. He was denigrating what we had done to reinvigorate the lame music industry for which he shilled. All we do is have fun with the music and entertain. Bruce had wanted to be more than an entertainer. He aspired to be a street poet like Dylan and got distracted from being entertaining. Hell, I got distracted while having sex with Jack that morning. We’re not little automatons putting out songs for music executives. I was getting distracted again.
A tall thin older man came over after observing my tribulations over the rebuttal I wanted to write before Landau submitted his piece.
“Hi. I’m Bill. Are you a writer?” he asked.
“Naw. I’m just a high school kid. I am trying to write a letter to a real writer. I have too many thoughts to get started.”
“Come up to my room. I have a magic typewriter that can help you.”
I was more than a bit suspicious of his ulterior motives, but he didn’t look strong enough to hurt a flea. Why not? A magic typewriter was what I needed.
His room was small and packed with books and papers. It also had a faint odor which reminded me of Robby’s vomit. I was feeling ill at ease.
“Can I get my boyfriend?” I asked. It seemed normal to say that here in NY.
“Sure, I’ll clean up a bit.”
Now I knew he was gay, but he still seemed nice. I was using Jace’s openness system. I trusted him.
I got Jack and we went back to the small room.
Jack looked around and sized the man up. “He’s cool, Tim. He’s a famous writer.”
“I need help telling Landau off about our Interview article. He wants to make it all about Springsteen and how a bunch of kids got him to act young again.”
“That’s pretty self-serving, since he’s producing the album that’s coming out.”
Bill sat me at the typewriter, which looked really old, with raised keys and long, spindly letters. He had Jack put a hand on my shoulder so we both had a psychic connection to the machine. I expected it to start typing out my letter for me.
Bill shook his head. “Just start by addressing the letter. Let your fingers move as you feel they should. Not what you think you should.”
“Just like when I play guitar,” thinking of the advice I gave John when he was learning to play.
I let my feelings go and restrained my thoughts. A letter was quickly drafted.
Jack was reading it. He blushed and kissed me on the cheek as it came out. The letter was to Jack, retelling how I felt making love to him that morning.
Bill laughed. “Now do you believe me?”
“Yeah. That’s exactly how I feel when Jack is touching me.”
“You boys are firecrackers.” I’d heard that before, but it was Jack’s first time. He hugged me.
“Now both of you concentrate on what you feel about this writer and do the letter you want. What kind of writer is he?”
“He’s a music reviewer.”
“You mean he’s a hack,” Bill declared. “Just say what you think. Don’t try to sound like anything but a pissed-off kid. Send it to his boss.”
The letter flew out of the machine. Bill laughed when he saw it was addressed to Andy Warhol.
Before you print Landau’s review on the time he spent with us this past weekend, please be aware that he intends to use our youth and high spirits to promote the record album he is producing for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
We were happy to welcome Landau to many of our activities and opened up our feelings to him as our stay in New York progressed. You know we eschew artistic considerations about our performances. We’re just kids playing the music we love and involve our audiences in the fun of the moment. We’re just a cover band.
Now we see he is just a music industry hack, using his own words to turn the excitement of our music to revive the moribund fortunes of Columbia Records and the music industry.
We love Bruce and his band. He embraced us and helped us get ready for New York. He took some of our excitement and put it into his music. His new record will be a classic.
Landau had nothing to do with Bruce’s revival. Jon denigrates all kids by believing his talents are needed to transform the youth and verve of our band into the adult music market.
Rock n Roll is for kids. The best songs are made by kids. The music producers, executives, and lawyers turn it into their own profits. Most musicians never make a living at it. We do it for the love of performing and the love of the music.
We also love you for being with us and enjoying our antics. Please participate in one final antic. Bring Landau into your office and burn his review to his face.
Jack & Tim
We clapped and congratulated ourselves on writing what we felt.
“How do we get a typewriter like this?” we both asked Bill.
“You already do. It’s in your hearts. Your fingers connect what you feel to the keys.”
We both hugged him, which made him slightly uncomfortable. He took out a book and inscribed it for us. It was ‘Wild Boys.’
“You’re William Burroughs,” I announced.
“I told you. He’s a famous beat writer,” Jack being a smarty pants.
“I performed the smoke ritual from this book in Hollywood last year.”
Bill looked confused. “No one asked me if they could perform my work.”
“Doug from the Troubadour had a bunch of us kids create a massive scene in his backyard. He said it was just like what you wrote in this book.”
I described the whole ritual with the whips, the smoke, my orange suit and the sex that ended up in a six way doggy style orgy.
Jack looked aghast. Then he smiled. He realized he could use my immoral behavior as blackmail to get his own orgy.
I gave Bill the telephone contact for Doug. Ten years later Duran Duran did their ‘Wild Boys’ music video, and Bill got paid.
He needed the money more in 1975.
We grabbed the letter to Andy, kissed Bill, and ran out to meet the others in the Lobby. The gay uncles drove us to La Guardia in time to meet the adults and return to Miami. They had to turn around and drive back to Florida, with all the equipment. We kissed them goodbye, thanking them for putting up with us and rescuing us so many times.
“It was the trip of a lifetime,” Uncle Tam said.
I went up to Mike Sr. and gave him the cash we had earned at the roadhouse gigs, almost $3000. I told him I had given some of it to the storefront church in Daytona Beach.
“For a reprobate, you’re pretty honest.”
“I’ll never forget crying my eyes out in front of Spec’s. You told me if it was too much, you didn’t have to buy me my guitar. You taught me to be honest.”
Marty was there to see us off. I showed him the Andy letter. He laughed his ass off and promised Andy would get it.
Dad showed up with a white cane and Max, as his guide dog.
“You get to go First Class?” I kidded him.
“I figured they wouldn’t argue if I was paying more. No way Max was going in a crate.”
“Max always gets the spotlight,” I complained.
A photographer asked if we’d pose for a picture. There were 31 of us plus Max. He asked if just the band would pose.
“This is the whole band,” I told him. Everyone cheered and Max barked.
On the plane, I settled in next to Jack. Only the band members and friends had to ride economy. I had no reason to complain.