Diaries of a Rocker
Sojournstar - The Diaries of a Rocker
I'm making this page about my personal rock and roll experiences, performing and traveling on the road and off, and because I simply thought it might make an interesting Lens for me to use partially as a journal, and partly for my friends, and other visitors to ask me questions, or interact with me in a really cool way...
It may be obvious then, that this Lens will and should be updated regularly, and any questions or comments from you all, will certainly be a source of inspiration for answers, and for sparking other stories I could tell.
I may tell stories about some famous people I have known or worked with, as well as other encounters with well known folks. I certainly do not want to be considered a name dropper, because that is not the case, but being that I am getting older, not younger at a current 61 (2013) I do want to document as much as possible for the internet world to see, and I thought Squidoo would be as good a place as any... You will hear stories about Motley Crue, and AC DC as well as stories about Frank Zappa and more, you may even hear a story or two about my mother who had worked with people like Robert Alda, and knew others such as Kay Francis and Ester Williams.....
So if you come across my little Lens here, and it sparks some interest in you, please feel free to ask, add, or interact with your own related stories, I encourage you!
And thank you for visiting!
Event for Event!
Thank you for visiting!
Like my Lens & be sure to comment
so I know you did & I will do the same!
My early years.....
I spent my childhood moving from place to place, grew up partially in London, New York, and Florida because my father was British and Sicilian, a Merchant Marine, who had traveled most of his life, till he met my mom, and discovered he was to have his first child at 50 something, he then decided it was time to start the course for settling down. I was actually born in Long Island New York on a family Christmas vacation in the states, instead of the UK where I should have been. It was 2 months before mom could travel back there with me in tow, as I was told, I almost killed her in the 29 hours it took to have me lol. Altho at the time we were "stationed" just outside London, (I say stationed in quotes, because my dad at this point did not have to continue on the ships, he just wanted to) I lived and was raised in several places in the first several years of my life, and traveled just as much, back and forth, over under sideways and down. lol.
My mother, born in New York also, but raised in Italy, had been an entertainer, and had made a name for herself in her early days as an opera singer. She had a full career until her first husband broke her nose, and she ended up with a steel plate to reconstruct the bone. She always encouraged me with music. For that I will always thank her!
I studied piano, and played the many recitals when I was young, learning mostly by ear.I had a hard time with the standard lessons (as I did with school in general) and bug in a rug twas boring as heck when I found out I could play Exodus by ear.
I began singing early also. Encouraged at a young age, by a teacher, when I was about 7 or 8, the music teacher in those days only came to class once or twice a week, and would get the whole class singing. One day she began searching the room for a particular voice, then began walking right for me. Even at around age 8, I had a pretty strong voice. She picked me out, asked me to sing by myself, told the class THIS is what she wanted the class to sing like. In any case, I was extremely happy and I never forgot it.
Ballet and tap dancing classes were also part of my past from about age 5 to 8, but I think I really loved music more. I played in my first band at 12, but that band never made it out of the garage, except for one party for a school friend. I played keyboards, or at least we practiced and I played keyboards, and regardless of never making it out of the garage, it was an experience I will always treasure!
Livin in the Haight
346 Lyon St ( 3 houses from the corner of Fell and Lyon, Panhandle Park)
In 1969, I left home for good at the tender age of 17, making my way from one coast to the other, and ending up in San Francisco. The house you see was the first place I lived in San Francisco. It was really an awesome Victorian, and it was great cause it was walking distance to the Haight, and the Family Dog, a club where I ran lights for bands like Osceola back in 69-70.
In those days there were still many bands we later came to know as famous, including the Grateful Dead, and Sha Na Na.
After living at Lyons street for awhile, the boyfriend at the time and myself, decided to move onto Berkeley, because we were getting involved in some of the current campus activities. This made it a little difficult to get to the Family Dog at this point, so I had to limit my light shows to when Osceola played by then. We lived a few blocks away from the campus, directly across the street from Peoples Park. Just after the aforementioned boyfriend and I parted ways, I sat in my upstairs bedroom window which looked directly over the park, and watched the riot in the park in 69, thankful that my instincts still worked really well back then, as I just walked back home only 5 minutes before cops showed up and busted some heads before arresting some folks.
I continued to live in Berkeley after leaving that house, as I had grown fond of it, and had lots of friends there. Among several places there was a very cool apartment on Telegraph Ave on the 11th floor. I got into the elevator one day, and it stopped on the 10th floor. Jim Morrison and his agent or producer, I am not sure who, walked in. they had rented several flats on the 10th that had been empty, for an entire week or more. I had heard about it, but had never seen him, until almost the end of the week, when he walked into the elevator. He stared at me for a few floors, then said to me "Don't you know who I am" as if I guess I was supposed to fall apart or something lol. I said, "Yes, I do" and we continued to stare at each other till the lobby, then got out and walked in different directions out on Telegraph. I always found that to be so egotistical and rude, and altho I liked the Doors, never really cared for him there after.
The next place I lived in Berkeley, was the last, and in the module called BeZerkly California, you will find a little bit about that.
and David Peel and the Lower East Side
2324 Stuart Ave, Berkley Ca. ( half block from Telegraph Ave, and walking distance to UC Berkeley!
Fondly becoming known in the day, as BeZerkly, because so many felt like they had, or were going crazy there, and I remember kids saying things like, "will we ever get out of BeZerkly"!
After moving to the next place, I found myself living in an amazing house, 3 stories high, with tons of Victorian alcoves and hideaway rooms. You might say it was communal, as 30 of us lived there, but we did all have our own rooms and spaces.
If memory serves me at all, there were at least 6 actual bedrooms and 12 huge rooms designated as bedrooms that were other rooms such as a den, library, a tiny room under the stairs, not including kitchen, dining, living room, etc... I was lucky to have a little front room with common area next to it, on the second floor which you can see in the pic.
I never said I was anything but a "hippie" in those days, so we all paid the rent, $285 a month at the time I believe, by panhandling Telegraph every month. Altho some of us did work, it was not really enough to take care of it all. I and another guy friend in the house who was nick named Stash, still worked at the Family Dog, but of course, we had 30 mouths to feed in the house, not to mention the occasional guests. Some of the more earthy girls in the house were growing incredible foods in the backyard gardens, and were really adept at cooking for large numbers of people.
One night while running lights in SF for Osceola, I ran into a couple of characters from a New York Band called The Lower East Side. They were both very friendly and one especially looked like someone who might have stepped out of a page in history, 17th or 18th century history that is. He reminded me slightly of some of the blokes in the UK, with frills and lace, a very manly look in those days. His name turned out to be Harold C. Black, and his sidekick with him was Tommy Doyle. David and the rest of the band were elsewhere that night, so I did not meet David till a day or 2 later.
That night tho, Harold, and Tommy, came back to Stuart St. with me, and crashed at the house in my room for the rest of the time the band was in town, about 3 weeks. That weekend, on Sunday I think, we all met on the Berkeley Campus, and somehow from that time until we left Cali, I became a little part of the band, banging a tamborine, and yelling Have A Marijuana!
Harold kept talking about this project he left behind in NY, and the plans he had for it when he got back. I could sing, and I was cool, did I want to come back to New York with them and be part of his project? HECK YEAH!!!! So 3 weeks after meeting them, I left with Harold and Tommy for NY.
On our way to NYC from San Francisco, we had car trouble in Utah, close to Moab. Lucky for us, Harold knew some people in SLC, and called them to help. The car was going to be days getting fixed, so we were picked up and brought back to SLC to stay for a few days while the car was getting fixed. When it was time to go get the car,I made a huge decision that will forever haunt my life. I had gotten close to Harold's friend Bob, and decided to stay in SLC with him. Altho I do not regret the people I met there, and the experiences I had due to my association with the people there, it is still till this day, the single BIGGEST mistake I may have ever made in my early lifetime. Harold and myself are still friends till this day, and I still talk to him by phone, and converse with him online, I love him to death lol, but he is a constant reminder of what could have or might have been, had I just gone on to New York with him and Tommy.
Videos from "Back In The Day" - Something Harold always says!
Remember above I said something about not going along to New York being a major mistake.
Here are some videos of my friend Harold, along with the project I was refering to, TeenAge Lust Band,
some David Peel and the Lower East Side, and the most regretful to me lol, videos of my
aforementioned friends, playing and protesting with John and Yoko, just to name a couple of folks :)
Hear Me Sing!
Go to either of these link below, and listen to me sing!
Please let me know what you think! Be Kind lol!
This is the Moody Blues
The Moody Blues were, and always have been one of my favorite,
if not THE favorite band for all time!