Here ya go Groovo, Let me know what you think ok?
p.s. got an idea for the next one; the night at the Sundance Lodge when all the college kids streaked the place!!
Please check out the accompaning Podcast to get Gene's Take on the story!!
Brian and Lumpy; Michigan Rock and Rollers!!
When you’re bouncing around the country in a rock and roll band or I should say ricocheting around the county you end up in places you’ve never been before and meet people who will remain part of the memory you keep forever of your vagabond traveling days. I did it for a few years with my musical friends and to this day it’s amazing how many memories we talk about, even those different memories of the same events. The memories are mostly character driven and two of the more interesting characters we met in Michigan are coming right up next!
Like the old 1950’s hit song by the Teddy Bears “To know him is to love him”, Brian and Lumpy were the kind of guys that we traveling rock and rollers loved!
Now we weren’t the kind of band that had deluxe accommodations or tour buses, we were a van band. We crammed all of our stuff into two vans. Most of the motels we stayed in were efficiency units with a kitchen unit so we could save a bit of cash and cook our own food. Most of the times we played rock clubs six nights a week. We’d play a week in one place, the next week somewhere else. Nope, no high flying rockers here, just guys on the road wishing for the best! One thing about being a traveling bar band was that we usually had enough time at each job to get to know people and the place. One night jobs don’t allow for that; no time to hang out, just do the show, pack up and go. Bar bands; turn the stuff off at night grab your instruments and head for the restaurant or coffee shop or hangout that was open at 2:30 am!
So guys like Brian and Lumpy were the welcome greeters in strange towns. Enthusiastic fans, they knew everything about the town we were in and had the connections to recreational refreshments and were eager to share their stashes! Most good rock towns had guys or girls like that, but these two were exceptional. Brian’s claim to fame was the night he went to a Ted Nugent concert at Cobo Hall in Detroit and fell into an Altec A-7 P.A. Speaker and spent the whole show in there getting blasted by waves of high decibel hard rock. Brian couldn’t hear after that for a few days but he didn’t mind, he loved Ted Nugent. Lumpy was called Lumpy because both he and Brian worked on and off for small traveling circuses and Lumpy’s job was that of a Lumper. Someone who “Lumps” equipment into semi trucks or train cars. Brian did other jobs that didn’t warrant nicknames! However, Lumpy had another characteristic that separated him from the rest of the people we’d ever met! He danced on flying feet. By that I mean his feet moved like whirling dervishes while his upper body was barley moving. On a crowded dance floor all one had to do was look at the feet of the dancers and wham; there were Lumpy’s feet moving at warp speed compared to everyone else’s. It was almost like the male dancers in “River Dance”! Nothing quite like looking at the dance floor from the stage and seeing a sea of bodies moving and in the midst of them all is a set of flying feet. You could see Lumpy every time.
Brian and Lumpy became friends of the band. We first met the two in Pontiac Michigan. Then we ran into them again in Jackson Michigan and back in Pontiac. They had been doing short circus tours and we were hitting many of the same towns in Michigan so it was always a fun event when we’d re-connect and the last time we saw the dynamic duo it was a top ten rock and roll adventure! That was in Pontiac and we had a luxury going for us there, our next job didn’t start until the following Tuesday which gave us Sunday and Monday to get to the new job which was probably a hundred miles or so away so it wasn’t a big travel time scenario. We could party after the Saturday show with Brian and Lumpy who wanted to throw a “see ya later” party. We probably would never cross paths with them again since we were heading back West to Montana in two weeks and those guys only left Michigan to go to Florida to do winter time circus stuff.
The party started normally enough back at our motel and was churning along at full speed when Lumpy called for silence. The assembled party goes fell quiet and Lumpy ceremonially pulled out a velvet pouch from his pants pocket and put in on the kitchen table. “Ok you guys, in this is a bottle containing what we refer to as ‘F---ers’, “Capsules made up of all the stuff we’d had left over at the end of the year. We just mixed it all together and capped it up. Let’s get this party started!” Most of the people just kind of looked at the mighty capsules but I, Geno, Brian, Lumpy, and Orbit our drummer, each picked up a capsule and with a flourish we all ate them in unison. A few blurry hours later dawn had broken and after walking around in a happy daze near our motel several of us ended up in the restaurant of a Holiday Inn where they were serving Sunday brunch. We happily joined the brunch bunch even though our appetites were barely there. But it turned out to be great fun as several of the waitresses had been at the club the night before and had enjoyed the band. They made life most pleasant for a group of highly psychedelicsized people who were no doubt just smiling and staring and laughing! However we tipped well and behaved ourselves and staggered out into the noonday sun hopping to come back down to earth so we could finally go to sleep! The mission of Brian and Lumpy to throw us a great party had been a great success and as we left Michigan a couple of weeks later for our Westward trek to Montana we fondly looked back as we crossed the state line and saluted Brian and Lumpy; Rock and Rollers for all seasons and the kind of folks that make Rock and Roll on the road an adventure to remember!!