The music post seems to be popular on Mondays in Bloggerville, so I think it's time for another walk down musical Memory Lane.......with the G-Man.
A few weeks back I had a post about witnessing the implosion of our local hallowed concert venue, the IMA auditotium. One of the reasons that they could do that was because they had built a place called The Whiting Auditorium. The Whiting is a beautiful place, very intimate, as it only seats 2001 people. It is built nearly as a replica to the New York Opera House. It has huge acoustic sheilds hanging from the ceiling, and the seats are quite comfortable in plush thick red valour....Our college fraternity had contracted the job of providing ushers for every show that came to Flint. Ballet, Opera, Motown, Jazz, Rock, Broadway, whatever show came to town, we saw it for FREE! It was a sweet deal really, when all the other frats and sororities were having car washes and BYO's to raise money, we were dressing up and watching every big name in show biz.
My job at every performance was to tear tickets at the door until show time, then go back stage to keep the 'unwanted' groupies away from the entertainers. It was great, and I have many back stage tales to share......but in due time. This particular story is about Jerry Lee Lewis.
Jerry Lee at one time was as close to becoming the king of rock and roll as anyone. He could play piano like a madman, he was charismatic, he was handsome....but he made the unfortunate mistake of falling in love.....with his 14 year old 3rd cousin! I realize that in the Deep South thats the same as total strangers, but for the rest of society, that was tantamount to incest.
But he was still an awesome entertainer, and he still could pack em in.
So Jerry Lee came to town back about 1970? I did my normal stint on the door, and then slipped quietly back stage to assume my other nightly duties. It was kind of quiet in the wings, so I was just chilling and mingling just off stage, waiting for the show to start when I felt a presence behind me, I slowly turned around, and it was Jerry Lee. Now I have been at the behest of many famous people at the Whiting, and I didn't usually become star-struck, they are just normal insecure folks, like you and me. We were both waiting for the MC to announce his name when the theater Mgr. came up to him and said.." Jerry, I've seen your act, and get you get sort of wild, you can do what ever, but DO NOT jump up on top of my 8,000 Dollar Steinway piano...get it"? Jerry Lee gave a big grin, agreed to those terms, and just as the MC announced his name, the roar of the crowd started to become deafening, he turned to me and said.."Son, hang onto your socks, here comes The Killa!"
....."You shake my nerves, and you rattle my brain.
Too much love, drives a man insane.
You broke my will, but what a thrill....
Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire".
He kept his promise that night, he did not stand on the Steinway...But he did smash a 500 dollar piano bench, much to the chagrin of the Mgr. But, as he put it, "well worth the price of admission". ..Guess what tune was on the radio this morning?.......Peace.......... G-Man