It was 1980 and I was a sophomore
in high school. Rock music was my life. I always
strived to have some sort of band going on. The one I
currently had was a three piece, or so called "Power Trio".
I attended a Catholic High School, Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, New York.
It was and is an all boys school. The only feminine specimens in
this school were old nuns and the seldom-occurring female instructor.
Needless to say teenage boys in this school were starved for girls.
Several times per year the school would schedule a musical event in
which only boys from Stepinac could attend but girls could come from
anywhere. In the past I believe these get-togethers were called
The only problem was that in my high school years, dancing
was not popular at all.
Looking back it was a strange time.
It was the post disco years and disco was seen as so uncool. Dancing
therefore was uncool. The bands that were hired to perform were Rock Bands so it
turned out to be more of a show. Too bad for us Stepinac boys.
We would have been better off in the 50's in suits and ties. At least
we would have been able to touch a few girls on the hips while dancing.
Boys and girls at these mixers didn't really mix all that much. So
with no dancing I found the mixers very boring.
During one mixer I
decided to ask the drummer and bass player in my power trio if they wanted to
play a song. They said alright but they said there is no way the
band will let us use their stuff. The band was "Steeple
Chase", and after all these years I can still look back and say, they were a very good
band; very professional and with the best equipment.
So boldly I
went up to the guitarist after their first set was over and I asked "Can
my band play a song?" To my surprise the long haired guitarist
looked at me for a moment and said "O.K., after the first song of our next
set I'll announce you." I found my friends and told them. I
also told one of my teachers, Fr. Hummel, who looked at me with a strange look after I
After I told my drummer he wound up in the bathroom
puking because of fear. In a pure teenage disregard for his health
I convinced him he had to play.
As planned the guitarist announced
us and we walked on stage. The guitarist handed me a beautiful
custom made electric guitar. We played "Wild Thing"; the
Jimmy Hendrix version roughly.
All the students were so surprised
to see us playing on the stage. A large group of boys flooded the
stage and cheered us on, no girls.
When the song was over they
attacked me with a plan to tear my shirt to shreds. I was wearing my
favorite red flannel shirt. As it ripped I didn't even care, it
was my first taste of fame and it felt great. As the crowd
dispersed around me they left me with a thin rag hanging off my
The next day I was working all day in a Baskin Robbins
serving ice cream and I felt humiliated to be this blossoming rock star
with a pink and brown striped shirt.
Towards the middle of the day
an older teenager came up to the the freezer and said, "Hey, aren't
you that guy who played at the mixer last night". I said,
"yes". He said he was a senior at Stepinac and I thought he was going to say something negative
or sarcastic because of course he was an upper classman.
surprise he said, "The whole time you were playing I kept wishing it was me
up there". Little did he know that his comment would stick with
me for a
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