When we get back to the Waldorf, Jack grabs my hand.
“I can’t believe he’s really gone?” he asks, the tears streaming down his face.
I didn’t realize how much Jack loves him. I gulp and nod, unable to say it. My heart is saying that he’ll always be with me, as well as in Jack’s heart. He’s in the hearts of everyone he literally touched. Are we supposed to be his apostles? I know that is wrong. We may call him Teen Jesus. He always was just the boy I love. Horribly abused and murdered, he is a parable to Jesus who was the Christ. Jace’s message is to protect the children. We have been his voice and message for the last three months. I have to sit down. Jack sits with me on a lobby couch, with tears streaming down our cheeks. The uncles come and lead us upstairs to the suite. We collapse in the spare bedroom, falling asleep in each other’s arms.
Hours later I open 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 kisses my eyelids.
“You been smoking weed?” I joke.
“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 winks.
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 of himself as evil and doomed.”
“But he was so sweet.”
“His family told him he was just like his mother, a 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 is, he could accept that he wasn’t someone who is evil. It’s his step-mother.”
“Being wild isn’t necessarily evil.”
“Yeah. He definitely was 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 works when he is around to participate.”
“Feel like breaking a few rules right now?” He wiggles his semi-hard hose at me, swiping my hip a couple of times. He leaves streaks of pre-cum on my skin.
I swipe my hip clean and lick the liquid off my finger.
“You are so sweet,” I wink at him.
Even though my cock is limp, a drop of pre-cum glistens at my piss hole. Jack swoops down. “You’re pretty sweet yourself.”
“Clean living?” I guess.
“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 want me sweet?”
“I just want you, sweet and sour.”
My dick is perking up. I realize that we both like 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 distract. “Wonder where everyone else is?”
“No,” as he rubs along my side with his fully erect dick.
Maybe I have attention deficit. I put everything but Jack out of my mind.
I roll toward him, hooking my legs around his. I pull him toward me, rolling on my back so he lays on my belly. Grabbing his butt, I pull him toward my face, sucking in his stiff dick. He slithers into my mouth with the head of his dick already half way down my throat. I swallow several times, putting added pressure on his shaft. He gets my clue and thrusts deeper each time I swallow. Keeping my hands on his butt, I wiggle my fingers around and slightly into his asshole. He’s shuddering, as if he’ll soon cum, until I start stroking his ass rhythmically. He returns to a regular in/out of my mouth, calming himself with the rhythm. Reaching behind himself, he grabs my dick by the shaft, slapping it against my hands that are priming his ass. I pull his butt cheeks apart to provide easy access to his asshole. Leaning my head back, I raise my groin up enough to allow my dick’s tip to enter his ass. I push my legs off the bed. I’m doubled up enough to allow my dick further into his ass. Jack stops pumping my mouth. I grab my legs behind the knee caps and pull myself into him all the way. We start rocking back and forth, like a child’s hobby horse, pushing our dicks into each other without thrusting.
“Oh my god, this feels so hot,” Jack gushes.
I try to mumble something similar, but his dick keeps the words inside my throat.
We start to laugh, causing the rhythm to go out of whack. The laughing creates a sideways motion that counteracts the rocking horse motion. Every time I pull on my legs, causing my dick to penetrate further, he slides backwards into me. As I relax my legs, I withdraw and he slides forward into my mouth.
My neck is getting stiff from the hyper-extension. As I roll forward, I tuck my feet up against my thigh. He rolls backward on the bed and I’m suddenly on top of him. I fuck him furiously for a few seconds, getting close, as my dick does its extra turn at the tip. I roll back and let him thrust into my mouth rapidly. I only have the tip inside his ass. It is exquisite, feeling his butt tighten and release as he approaches climax. The nerve endings near my cock’s head are extremely sensitive. With long thrusts, he began to spurt at the back of my throat. I’m about to cum, so I roll him backwards again. His dick pops out of my mouth and is spurting all over us. I’m in position to rapidly thrust inside him. I start my climax by remaining rigid for a couple of seconds. Every time I cum, I thrust harder and harder into him. His arms were clasping me tightly to his chest and stomach. His cum provides Astroglide to my thrusts. We slide back and forth. Pulling my shoulders down to him he French-kisses my fevered lips. I’m done.
“Sweet, mad fucking.” Jack exhales.
He jumps up and leads me to the shower.
“It was in the shower where Jace and I first fucked,” I continue 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 which he thought was real. The first time was when he was washing me and I wanted him to fuck me.”
Jack looks totally crestfallen. “That was me, not Jace.” He starts to cry.
“Oh my god, I’m such a pothead,” as I try to wipe away his tears.
Jack hugs me. “These are good tears. It means you love me as much as you love Jace.”
“It’s okay?” I ask.
“Sure, but it means I get to fuck you now in the shower.”
He proceeds to wash out my ass with his tongue. In moments I’m being fucked. Fair turn around.
Afterwards we’re lying naked in bed. Jack giggles.
“Let’s order room service,” he suggests, 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 has a full closet of clothes. Mummy has him covered. He jumps 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 kid him.
“How much for a quick runway walk?”
I see from his hardening dick that he’s serious.
“Okay, You have to walk Max in Central Park,” I agree.
He quickly choses three pairs for me to model. I change in the closet and come out as if I’m doing a striptease, swinging my hips and pulling the briefs down at the hip to expose white skin. He can’t stop himself from masturbating. After the third pair, he’s so excited, I come over and rub my butt against his hand and dick. He comes 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 is panting from the excitement, nodding that he likes my idea.
We end up in matching outfits. We sneak out and go to the dining room for breakfast. We order way too much. Michael and Jenna walk into the restaurant. They look apprehensively at us.
“Com’n over here. We’re done feeling sorry. Help us finish all this food. We ordered way too much.”
Michael digs in, while Jenna is careful to not seem like a big eater. Michael starts kidding her, feeding her bites of our eggs and pancakes.
“Any word from the others?” I ask.
“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 moans.
“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’m instantly jealous.
“Jeez, you don’t trust me much, do you?” he complains.
Jenna and Michael giggle 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 suggests.
“Sure you don’t want to speak with Maplethorpe?” I’m piqued.
“Not while you’re looking so cute,” and he sticks his hand into my pants’ waistband, snapping my matching briefs. That gives me a rise.
Michael realizes what is going to happen and hustles Jenna out of there. She hasn’t witnessed our sex play before.
I go to call Patti. The phone rings and rings without anyone picking up. It was 9 am, way too early for junkie New Yorkers to be up.
When I come back, the three Jacettes and Grant are finishing our breakfasts. Jack is flirting with Edi, which is my cue to flirt with Flo. Grant is taking an uncomfortable (for me) interest in Mary. I realize that Mary has been abandoned by Robby’s drug collapse the entire time she’s been in New York.
“Hey,” I greet 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 indicate to Flo that she should come with.
Up in my parents’ room, Max looks anxious to get outside.
“Looks like you’ve skipped school today,” Dad observes.
“Do I still have to go? I’m a star now.”
“Not in my book, sonny.” I recognize he is joshing with me for once.
“Hi, Flo,” Susan greets her. “Enjoying New York?”
Flo gravitates to her and they chat about shopping and stuff. Dad takes 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 don’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. We’ll be ready to go.”
Dad looks at me like he misses having an argument about it.
“I am proud of you, son,” and he pulls me into a hug. I just grin at Flo and Susan. Max barks, jealous that I’m getting Dad’s affection. I almost bark, too. I don’t need to check; I know I have the biggest grin going. Max already has his leash. We are out the door.
In the lobby, Grant is courting the ladies while Michael converses with Jenna. The Jacettes would make Ray Charles proud. They put their shopping day to good use, even selecting Easter bonnets for our stroll in the Park. I call Mike Sr. and tell him to have that journalist from Interview meet us at the Metropolitan Museum for lunch and to take our pictures strolling through Central Park in our Easter best. Michael and Grant have on coordinated outfits. Our matching outfits were enough of a faux pas to give us a little edge. Jack comes down with the Uncles, telling them to park the cars at the Metropolitan Museum and meet us there for lunch. I call Patti again. She isn’t really awake but likes the idea of meeting us for lunch. She promises to bring Robby and Iggy.
“Shall we stroll, ladies,” I bowed to them and all eight of us go out the front entrance of the Waldorf Astoria. Surprisingly, there are cameramen waiting. They capture our stroll. Just as we are about to turn onto 5th Avenue, Max barks. We look around. Hippie has just come running out, barefoot and hayseed as hell. We whistle, and he sees us. The cameramen are all laughing at that shot. One look at us in our Sunday best makes him turn around to go change.
“We’ll meet you at the fountain at the entrance to the park,” I yell at him.
He raises his arm to acknowledge he hears us.
The winter weather has broken, with a bright, sunny day and blue skies forever. There are kids everywhere. New York City schools are out for the week after Easter, as a reward for having to listen to preachers all the previous week. Grant wants to go back and get his boom box, but we tell him to stop ‘workin’ it.’
“We’re having a Stroll down 5th Avenue,” I tell him.
Michael started slapping a slow beat. Grant and I vocalize the guitar and bass parts, while Jack sang, ‘Come, let’s stroll…’
We stop, drop our hands, and face each other across the middle of the sidewalk, doing the back and forth walk of The Stroll. Grant and Mary step into the middle and walk the line. Once they reach the end they are replaced by Michael and Jenna. Michael speeds it up and soon we’re dancing with each other, nobody really pairs off. Max spots his first real fire hydrant and proceeds to lift his leg. The mood for dancing runs down into the street.
Once we reach the Park, we wait for Hippie to join us, standing on the steps to a big fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel.
Jack squeals, “Let’s go find Eloise.”
“You’re so gay,” Mary remarks.
Everyone, even me, agree, but we don’t want to admit we also know who Eloise is.
Black girls on roller skates come over to the Jacettes and ask if anyone has a cigarette. Grant was Johnny on the Spot with cigarettes and a lighter. He introduces the girls and himself, saying we’d ssng at Abyssinian Baptist the day before. Soon he and the Jacettes are putting on a doo wop mini-concert. Hippie finally gets there, with shoes but still looking pretty hayseed. We give him Max’s leash and tell him to find some weed. Max knows that word and quickly leads Hippie into the crowd on a mission to score. Next thing Hippie is leading three Black guys over to where we’re watching Grant and the girls.
“What up, white boys?” they ask.
“Light it up,” I answered.
“How you know we got weed?”
“Max says so,” I reply.
“I don’t know no Max,” he complains.
“Meet Max, our drug sniffing dog,” and I point to Max. “Spark it up.”
“S’cool,” He nods and brings out a big double-paper joint. It goes out and around with little hope of it returning.
“Satisfied?” he asks.
“Listen, LaShawn (guessing his name), you wanna get in on some doo wop lines with the Ladies?”
“With my boys,” he looks back at his gaggle.
“Follow me,” I lead them over to Grant and the Jacettes, after they finish their act.
“You got some challengers, Grant,” as I indicate LaShawn and his buddies.
Grant is in his element. The guys do their back and forth, while the girls wait for them to be ready. They 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 bizness.”
“Wop Wop do Wop”
Then, “stop stop stop
Buba Bop Bop
Wop Wop Wop”
We’ll 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 jump out, as the Jacettes keep up the mouth beat. They do splits and spins, like Michael Jackson. When they’re done, Grant jumps in to break some moves. A Hispanic kid joins him and they match the first two. Grant isn’t dressed as Super Fly, but in his Sunday best he’s pretty fly busting moves.
The girls stop when he’s done. Everyone laughs and Not-LaShawn pulls out another doobie. I’m relieved when Jack doesn’t partake, fearful of X-rated behavior in the Park. He walk over to the Jacettes and gives them a direction. He comes over to me and whispers ‘Sneakin.’
The Jacettes start up another beat:
“shaka shaka love?
‘shaka shaka love shaka shaka
Shaka shaka love shaka shaka.”
Jack and I step up and rap 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 is whooping and hollering.
“White boys don’t rap.”
“Right. We sing. Now you’ve met the band,” I introduce 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 can’t believe these kids saw Jack kissing Andy Warhol.
“Don’t believe all you see.” I josh.
“They say 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 followed Hippie. When I say Jace died, they all get real quiet.
“How many here have had someone die that they loved, even as a friend?” I ask.
The girls are nodding, while the boys look 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 look confused and embarrassed, but since it’s mostly girls, a few hug. Then all of them hug.
“Now you boys missed your chance, just by being slow. Let’s try it again. How many boys have a friend who was killed or abused. Just raise your hands.”
Just a few do, until I tell the girls to reach out to boys who lost someone. Suddenly the boys catch on and almost all the hands go up.
There were a few who hadn’t raised their hands. I have 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 have that sadness in their heart. Any girls who want to reach out and connect with the lucky ones?”
Sure enough, they are given the bum’s rush. No one is 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 tells us to trust others by seeing the love they have to give. Who’s gonna to mess with that, mojo? We’re all kids. Now we’re all friends, right?”
I’ve preached enough. The kids start to surrounded us and ask personal questions. After a few minutes, I whistle, “We’re going to promenade in the Park. Come with us. This is our last day in the City.”
Hippie has Max who leads our parade. Next come all four girls, arm in arm in their Easter best and followed by the guys, about fifty kids just strolling in the Park. We go 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 lead the two lines, mouthing the song’s slow beat. We’re all doing the five steps back and forth. Jack and Edi step into the middle of the two lines and stroll together to a higher step. We all go in reverse order, with Jenna and Michael finishing at the top of the stairs. Michael bows and takes Jenna’s hand, turning to face the crowd around the fountain, now about two hundred kids. He sings 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 pulls him to her and gives him a big kiss. I hear the cameras clicking. Our Romeo and Juliet. Everybody cheers. It feels like a wedding. If Michael doesn’t get laid after this performance, he can’t be Italian. He sweeps her off her feet, running down the stairs, stopping short of the fountain. He throws her into the air. Her head back, she lets him catch her. Good start. We surround them and run off toward the Metropolitan Museum, It’s almost noon.
The first person I saw is Maplethorpe. I reach and grab Jack’s hand. I’m not going to let him go. Flo and Edi grab our other hands. We all run up. Andy, Patti, Jon Landau, Father Frank, the two uncles, Marty, Mike Sr. and a whole crew of photographers and cameramen are assembled . In the center are our two chariots, the De Soto and Chrysler, with their tops down. Iggy and Robby run over, apparently revived.
“Well, just in time for our New York departure.”
“Face it loser. This is our swan song.” Robby has his own brand of humor back.
I smile at Patti and wink. She laughs. Robert looks over. Jack blows him a kiss. I pull him sharply closer to me. Patti and Robert both laugh. Andy answered our air kisses, with one of his own.
Marty comes over. “Before we go in for lunch, we want you guys to pose with the cars.”
Max is the quickest to comply, jumping in the back of the Chrysler. Hippie and Iggy jump in back with him, fighting over the leash, until Hippie relinquishes it to Iggy but grabs a hold of Iggy’s leash. He’s in full ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ drag. They are a perfect threesome. Robby and Michael are in the front. Grant helps 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 get in front. We insist that the two uncles be in their driver’s seats. After a few shots with them, all the adult guests go into the museum for lunch. We are positioned and re-positioned, as well as waiting for the right lighting or just for all the cameramen to be ready. It becomes an ordeal. Marty finally has enough. He goes over to the photographers to discuss what shots they have from our stroll in the Park. He finds out about all our morning’s antics. He just shakes his head. The crowd of kids wait for a chance to be photographed. So an additional shoot is organized including the kids as background. We actually have fans.
Finally, we are released to join the luncheon party. Mike Sr. has reserved a private banquet room. A loud cocktail party is going on. Jack and I join Andy at a corner booth, where he is surrounded by Patti and Robert plus his assistant.
“Thanks for rescuing Robby and Iggy,” I tell Patti, keeping Jack on my other side.
“They just needed a little hair of the dog,” she laughs. I was afraid I know what she means, but the boys seem much improved.
Andy shooes them away and seats us on either side of him. Jon is protecting Jack. I relax.
“You came to New York as a wide-eye fourteen year old. Look at you now. The media has discovered you.”
“I’m still pretty wide-eyed. I havta be in class tomorrow morning. It may be a 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 promises, winking.
Andy pretends to have his breath taken away. “You boys are too naughty.”
“We’re serious, Andy. You can stay in the Grove. We’ll entertain you.”
“Give Blair(his assistant) the dates. We’ll come.”
We both hug him. Flash bulbs go off from the room’s doorway.
He really is quite shy, for the Pop Artist of the Century, and truly lovable, unlike Maplethorpe. I know I’m being unreasonable. Jack loves that I’m jealous.
“So what’s next for the Ungodly Ones?
We laugh. “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 speaks.
“That’s much better,” we laugh in praise of ourselves. “Is it a hit?”
“I don’t know how to say it, except it’s 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 asks.
“That’s what he said.”
“No way,” I object. “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’m so conceited.
“Columbia’s sinking a ton of promotion money into the song, so prepare to hear it a lot.”
“Cool,” we both agree.
“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 knows when they are 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 laugh. “He iss 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 just 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, not lies.”
“You got a lot to learn kid.”
Andy shooes him away. Marty comes and asks us if we’ll do a final shoot, all of us parading down 5th Avenue in our Easter bonnets.
“That’s Irving Berlin,” Jack exclaims. “We’ll do ‘Easter Parade.’ Com’n, we’ll lose the light.”
I sit a bit longer with Andy. “He’s got the Broadway gene, doesn’t he?” he asks.
“We perform every night for Mummy during the cocktail hour.”
“It’s a whole way of life here,” Andy complains.
“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 lean over and really kiss him. It takes him by surprise. He just looks at me as I follow after Jack.
On the way out, Father Frank stops 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 suggests.
I look at Father Frank. “Are you going to be able to protect us?”
“We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”
Outside, Marty has the crew all set to film us. I tell him to give us a single mic, as we will do a duet as the girls and musicians parade down 5th Avenue. The remaining kids will follow after us. Once we sing the lyrics and are strolling a camera will be set behind the kids, so it looks like a concert. The other will do close-ups of our faces. Michael counts off the beat and we sing our hearts out for Irving Berlin to the thrilled Mary, Jenna, 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 finish we take the girls hands and proceed to stroll down 5th Avenue. The kids chase after us. Marty being the Director, we have 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 join us. We stroll along the park as far as The Plaza. Stopping there, we get claustrophobic surrounded by the large number of kids. Once the cameramen are set up, we jump into a horse-drawn carriage. We trot off, waving to all the kids, now were running behind us. We tell the drivers to drop us at the Metropolitan Museum. When we get there, we dash over to the two convertibles, jump in and leave the remaining kids in our dust. It is our ‘Hard Days Night’ Beatles shot. Luckily the Uncles are waiting and are ready for us.
We drove Downtown to The Chelsea in order to pick up all our clothing and stuff from the trip. Nobody wants to go into Robby’s room; It stinks of stale vomit. I call Mike Sr. and ask what the flight plans are for everyone. Eastern has a flight at 6 pm. Everyone is booked. I remind him that Iggy joined us in Daytona. He puts me through to Jay, his assistant, who ask what Iggy’s full name is. I had no idea, so I just say Iggy Pop. The assistant snorts, but says nothing.
“What about Max?” I ask.
“You mean Mr. deBowser? He’s in first class with your parents.”
“You’ve taken care of everything,” I gush.
“You’re so cute, Tim. I can’t stand it.”
That’s about how far phone sex goes in 1975.
I’m downstairs in a small alcove of the Chelsea’s lobby, trying to write a letter of rebuke to Jon Landau. From what he said at lunch, he’s turning our Interview article into a PR piece for Bruce’s upcoming album. Since he’s the producer of the album I feel he’s just using us for his own ends. I think about writing Bruce, knowing he’ll take our side. On the other hand, I really want to confront Landau. He denigrates what we’ve done to reinvigorate the lame music industry for which he shills. All we do is have fun with the music and entertain. Bruce tried 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’m getting distracted again.
A tall thin older man comes over after observing my tribulations over the rebuttal I want to write before Landau submits his piece.
“Hi. I’m Bill. Are you a writer?” he asks.
“Naw. I’m just a high school kid. I’m 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’m more than a bit suspicious of his ulterior motives, but he doesn’t look strong enough to hurt a flea. Why not? A magic typewriter is what I need.
His room was small and packed with books and papers. It also has a faint odor which reminds me of Robby’s vomit. I’m feeling ill at ease.
“Can I get my boyfriend?” I ask. It seemed a normal thing to say here in NY.
“Sure, I’ll clean up a bit.”
Now I know he’s gay, but he still seems nice. I’m using Jace’s openness system. I trust him.
I get Jack. We go back to the small room.
Jack looks around and sizes 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 sits me at the typewriter, which looks really old, with raised keys and long, spindly letters. He has Jack put a hand on my shoulder so we both have a psychic connection to the machine. I expect it to start typing out my letter for me.
Bill shakes 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 restrain my thoughts. A letter is quickly drafted.
Jack reads it. He blushes and kisses me on the cheek as it comes out. The letter is to Jack, retelling how I felt making love to him this morning.
Bill laughs. “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’s Jack’s first time. He hugs me.
“Now both of you concentrate on what you feel about this writer. Do the letter you want. What kind of writer is he?”
“He’s a music reviewer.”
“You mean he’s a hack,” Bill declares. “Just say what you think. Don’t try to sound like anything but a pissed-off kid. Send it to his boss.”
The letter flies out of the machine. Bill laughs when he saw it is 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. We 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, involving 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 has 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 to 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 for 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 clap and congratulate ourselves on writing what we felt.
“How do we get a typewriter like this?” we both ask Bill.
“You already do. It’s in your hearts. Your fingers connect what you feel to the keys.”
We both hug him, which made him slightly uncomfortable. He takes out a book and inscribes it for us. It is ‘Wild Boys.’
“You’re William Burroughs,” I announce.
“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 looks confused. “No one asked me if they can 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 describe 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 looks aghast. Then he smiles. He realizes he can use my immoral behavior as blackmail to get his own orgy.
I give Bill the telephone contact for Doug. Ten years later Duran Duran did their ‘Wild Boys’ music video, and Bill got paid.
He needs the money more in 1975.
We grab the letter to Andy, kiss Bill, and run out to meet the others in the Lobby. The gay uncles drive us to La Guardia in time to meet the adults and return to Miami. They have to turn around and drive back to Florida, with all the equipment. We kiss them goodbye, thanking them for putting up with us and rescuing us so many times.
“It’s the trip of a lifetime,” Uncle Tam says.
I go over to Mike Sr. and give him the cash we earned at the roadhouse gigs, almost $3000. I tell 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 is there to see us off. I show him the Andy letter. He laughs his ass off and promises Andy will get it.
Dad shows up with a white cane and Max, as his guide dog.
“You get to go First Class?” I kid him.
“I figured they wouldn’t argue if I’m paying more. No way Max is going in a crate.”
“Max always gets the spotlight,” I complain.
A photographer asks to pose for a picture. There are 31 of us plus Max. He asks if just the band will pose.
“This is the whole band,” I tell him. Everyone cheers. Max barks.
On the plane, I settled in next to Jack. Only the band members and friends have to ride economy. I have no reason to complain.