I once barfed all over the carpet in the Taylor's living room. It was the in the early morning hours after the One For The Sun concert at Hermitage Landing in 1984. The sun drenched day I spent there watching Alcatrazz, Kick Axe, Duke Jupiter, Peter Criss, Greg Allman, Ratt, and many others had become a sun burned and sun stroked sick bed for me. I was weak and perhaps still disturbed by the sight of the drunk women on the boats at the rope line committing lewd acts with whiskey bottles. Maybe it was all too much for my teenage mind and naive soul. I remember well the look of disgust that the Gonz's father, Bootie, gave me when he discovered the congealing vomit. I never was invited to spend the night at the Taylor's again.
But the Taylor's living room still became a home away from home especially when we laying the groundwork for what became our first band The Dislocated. If Bootie wasn't at home sleeping in the La-z-boy we took over and watched movies like The Toxic Avenger, Decline And Fall Of Western Civilization, D.O.A., and Heathers, or we listened to the big stereo. The Gonz felt like the clarity was best at around the 9 spot on the dial. This would rattle the windows and you could feel the air shift around you with sonic waves pounding against your chest.
We mainly listened to compact discs since the Gonz was a very early convert to the digital world. We would crank up some Stormtroopers Of Death, Metallica, Danzig, Primus, Megadeth, ZZ Top, and Van Halen. The Taylor's also had the Radios Appear album by Radio Birdman. It didn't fit into their collection at all, but yet there it was nestled beside what little vinyl they had bought as children and a small stack of albums their mother had purchased when she had probably been around our age. It was those records of his mother that interested me the most.
There were Elvis albums. RCA original releases along with some of the repackaged Pickwick label ones. She had Beatles albums too, but only the first wave. I don't remember her having anything after Rubber Soul. Which makes sense since the Gonz was born in the Summer Of Love. You don't keep up with the teenage music scene once you become a parent. Anyways, she also had alot of blues albums. My memory is hazy on some points: was there Muddy Waters records, surely (and you could call her surely since her name is Shirley) there were some BB King LP's. But there was definitely some Jimmy Reed ones. She really dug Jimmy Reed.
Which was all right, but it wasn't the best of her records. The cream of the short stack of albums,and she did keep them stacked on top of each other (I had to educate them on how to properly store record albums), was an album by Bo Diddley. I was familiar with Bo Diddley, but mainly just for the shave and a haircut beat. The moment I first heard the lines, "I walk 47 miles of barbwire..." leap out the speakers with all of the sizzles and pops of a well worn and listened record I was floored. This platter out punked anything I had been trying to peddle to the Taylor brothers in my attempt to get them to form a punk rock band. Like Bo Diddley sang, "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover."
So this latest week has been kind of a bummer what with Bo Diddley cashing in his gunslinger chips. He was a rock and roll, rhythm and blues poet of the greatest magnitude. He was "500% More Man" than most. The world is a grayer place without him in it. I hope he's been reunited with Jerome and the Duchess. I just wonder if the Taylor's would let me come by and sit a spell in their living room again. Maybe the old record player still works.