A Trio of Vandals
For a certain ugly 6-year period in my life, I used to run sound for live bands. I was good enough at it that I was paid the same as the band members. The first band I worked for on an ongoing basis was the David Smiles band, a six-piece band that had nobody in it named David Smiles at all. I worked for this band for nearly three years. Around 1980, when new wave finally began to become popular in the U.S., the hipper members of the band decided to begin plans for a groovy new new wave group. The hip band members consisted of: Leonard, the band's self-appointed (and self-important) leader and guitar player; Joe, the cute li'l lead singer (5' 6" and laid by a seemingly endless, perpetual supply of beautiful women from gigs); and of course, me.
The new band would be named The Results (Leonard's idea, of course). We landed the best bass player and one of the best drummers in Portland to be in the group, and soon, a keyboard player. Since we would be playing all-original music, we would need to write some songs. About 30 would do it. That was where the Beach Getaway idea began.
The three of us plunked down our savings (actually it was the cash we got for the equipment when the David Smiles band broke up) of about $350 each to rent a house 1 block from the beach in Pacific City, Oregon ("Home of the Doryboats!"), a bunch of recording equipment, and supplies (liquor purchased in gallons).
It was halfway through the month, and we hadn't got much done in the way of songwriting. Our simple beach life had been complicated by visitors: A major local cocaine distributor buddy of ours dropped by at one point and I didn't sleep for three days after; Leonard and Joe were bringing local chicks around all the time; our new bass player had moved in, and was turning out to be an extremely abrasive person to be around.
Eventually, Leonard and Joe, in an act of amazing arrogance, decided that the bass player had to go back to Portland. The two of them announced that they had unanimously "voted" on it, and I would have to give him a ride back to Portland, and maybe I should stay there a couple of days so they could get this songwriting done.
On the way back to Portland, I told the bass player that they were making me do this because the two of them couldn't stand him. This planted the seeds that would eventually cause him to be the first one to quit the band.
I then disappeared, staying at my girlfriend's house for a week and a half, waiting for the end of the month, when we would be having a weekend-long party at the beach house.
Somewhere along the line, I decided that I would invite my friends, Steve and Greg, to the weekend party. Joe and Leonard wanted to party instead of write songs? We'd show 'em how to party, all right.
I explained the situation to Steve and Greg, how there would be this HUGE beach party and we had this house a block from the beach and it was our last weekend there so we could do whatever we wanted to the place while getting irresponsibly drunk and since Steve and Greg would know nobody there they could make fools of themselves if they wanted. Steve was particularly good at this, and I always enjoyed being around him when we were both roaring drunk. They graciously accepted my invitation.
And so it was that Greg, Steve, my girlfriend Jan, myself, and Greg's dog, Sumo (half Mastif, half Great Dane) piled into two vehicles and took the 2-hour drive to Pacific City. When we arrived, Leonard began bitching because he hadn't been able to figure out how to work the tape recorder without my help. Meanwhile, Steve and Greg pitched their tent next to the house in a side yard.
Lots of "friends of the band", about 30 people total, arrived that day. Gallons of liquor and wine were bought. Everyone began to party, and by dusk, a huge bonfire was roaring on the beach, surrounded by a solid wall of drunk people.
As it became darker, a bunch of the women stripped naked and went skinny-dipping in the ocean. About this time, a very drunk Greg went off to urinate on an isolated hill overlooking the beach. He then disappeared. I assumed he had gone back to the beach house.
In time, a very drunk Steve and I stumbled back to the house and found some shitty red wine in the fridge. We each poured ourselves a 16-ounce glass and began to talk in the living room/kitchen area. As was typical for Steve and I when we were both very drunk, he began calling me childish names and I began berating him in front of other people for being too drunk. Finally he pulled off his shirt and began to pronounce how manly he was. I pulled off my shirt and pronounced myself TWICE the man he was, giving him a shove just to emphasize my point. He spilled about half his wine on the kitchen floor, and began hollering at me for causing the spill. I grabbed the nearest thing and quickly sopped up the wine spill. After Steve re-filled his wine glass, he discovered that it was his shirt I used to soak up the Burgundy. He began bitching at me, his words now a slurred jumble. Wishing to take no more, I slapped his wine glass, still in his hand, really hard. It went flying. The wine completely covered my best synthesizer (a Roland Jupiter-4), my sequencer (Roland again), Leonard's entire cassette collection, and a big, nice, white, cloth-covered chair that came with the house. Not giving a shit and, in fact, thinking this was actually funny, we each re-filled our glass and went to look for Greg, who had vanished mysteriously.
As we walked toward the beach, Greg came stumbling toward us. He drunkenly recalled a tale of falling down the hill after peeing and hitting his head on something, after which he lay unconscious for 2 or 3 hours. Now his pants were full of sand and, dammit, he'd lost his cigarettes in the mishap. But, he still had a joint! As I began to talk him into smoking it with me, we walked back to the house. Steve went to pass out, at last, in the tent. Greg laid down on a bed in the house, and I pulled up a chair and we smoked the reefer. I noticed Greg's ear was completely full of sand. We talked as we smoked until suddenly Greg went silent. He had passed out with the roach in his hand. I grabbed it and sucked the last of the life out of it.
I then laid down in the double bed I had reserved next to that one. Jan, who had gone to sleep hours earlier, was already there. I had just fallen asleep when a guy named Jim came in and announced that the bed Greg was sleeping in was his own, reserved hours earlier. Greg sleepily obliged, and stumbled outside to find his rightful place in the tent.
However, as soon as Jim fell asleep, he began to snore. Loudly. It woke up both Jan and I. But, as luck would have it, Jan had brought her fishing pole, and it was propped up against the wall next to me. I whacked John with the fishing pole as Jan tried to stifle a laugh with her pillow. This woke him up and stopped the snoring. For a few minutes. Then it would be time to whack him with the fish-pole again while Jan snickered. This went on most of the night. Nevertheless, I was the first one to get up-and-around the next morning. An inspection of the house brought the realization that Steve and I had made a MAJOR mess with the wine spill. That was when I decided that maybe I should start gathering my shit and go home, not later in the day, but NOW. I was figuring out that the last one here would be the one who had to clean up all this.
I went outside to find Steve and Greg. Where the tent had been, there was nothing left but a couple of tent-pegs scattered about, and... Greg! He was lying face-down on the lawn, visible to cars passing by the house in broad daylight, one shoe on, the other nowhere in sight. I laughed like hell and continued to look for Steve. His Blazer was still in the driveway, and that's where I found him, asleep in the back with Sumo (half Mastif, half Great Dane).
Jan had been packing to leave, and I slowly rousted Greg and Steve and explained that we should probably get out of there as quickly as possible. They complied, and we were just leaving as the others began to wake up. Leonard bitched about our leaving without helping to clean up, but he was too groggy to make a real big deal out of it.
Half an hour later, over breakfast at a coffee shop a ways down the highway, Steve explained how last night he suddenly decided it would be a good idea to take a drive with Sumo in the passenger seat while he was shitfaced drunk. He was famous for this. He had grabbed the tent (for some still-unknown reason, maybe he feared theft), and drove up and down Highway 101 for a couple of hours. Greg, stepping outside to sleep in the tent, found no tent, so he just laid down and passed out.
Leonard had to pay for the chair.
It served him right.
THE RESULTS lasted about a year, with no one ever getting paid. However, the bass player left after just 3 months, and I quickly followed suit to join a truly hot, up-and-coming Clash-clone band named the Confidentials (possibly another Unspeakably Stupid Story).
LEONARD has had some success as a sound-effects man in Hollywood, his film credits include some really bad horror flicks and the occasional John Waters film. He drives a Jaguar.
JOE is a chiropractor in the Seattle area.
JAN became my wife.
STEVE died in a mobile-home fire.
GREG somehow became a Rush Limbaugh fan, and I haven't seen him in years.