Even though I still play as much as I can in the clubs and in concert halls, the “good old days” of me playing in the local clubs of NYC were especially formative, and kind of wild, too! There was a good assortment of places to play, such as The Lonestar Café, the Other End, Mikell’s, Kenny’s Castaways, The Bottom Line, Home, The Metro Club, Max’s Kansas City and many more! Seemed like one could actually do a small “tour-lette” of the city just by hopping around from one of these haunts to another, back in those days!
There were many strange, though memorable incidences as well, such as the time I played at the Lonestar, and must’ve been shocked 12 times in one show onstage….it drove me so insane, I recall throwing my guitar and storming off the stage in anger. Especially when I noticed that not only was the sound man doing nothing about it, but he seemed to actually be causing it to happen deliberately!! Nice guy! There was also a legendary R&B and Jazz club uptown called Mikell’s where I had played many a set with the great bassist, Jerry Jemmott, some nights going well into the wee hours of the morning! When I had played there with my own band, we weren’t too warmly received, since I think we played a little too much of a “Country-ish” set for the regulars there.
It just seemed like I never had a really smooth night, unless I was at my “home base” club, Kenny’s Castaways, on Bleeker street. Otherwise, it was disaster after disaster, with many confrontations with club owners, soundmen, you name it! Never really ever found out why, unless they thought I was some young “upstart” who they were going to give the “rookie’s” treatment too. Of course, these people didn’t realize that even though I seemed like a kid, I already a decade’s worth of touring and recording experience under my belt already!
Still, all in all, it was a time of experiences I certainly wouldn’t trade for anything, and the memories of these times have all “mellowed” for me over the years. Even such “wonderful” nights as when the Lonestar café kept shocking me, and the 6’5” “bouncer” at the club with his 10-gallon hat told me I’d have to “fight him for the money” to get paid for that gig! I had many a night of fantasy after that gig of me driving my car right through the front plate glass window of that place! But don’t worry, I “took care” of them in other ways, and they apologized profusely to me within 2 days after that show! You just never k now what’s going to actually happen when you book a gig!