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Jeff Thomas & "7"

Steve Thorsen, Jeff Thomas & Phil Provost - "7"

“7” Flyer – (Defacement done by Krystyna, for some reason!)

This is my friend from Boston, Jeff Thomas – and some of his many “7” bandmates. I hope Jeffy forgives me, because I promised to write this blog post well over a month ago and am just now getting around to it.

I thought I had met Jeff during the second time I lived in Boston (Boston Part 2) BUT, in reading through an older diary, I realized that I had actually met Jeff during the first year I lived in Boston (Boston Part 1), when I just happened to go to a club that his band Slash played at. I vaguely remembered meeting him that night, since at that time, I wasn’t really hanging out at rock clubs, so being at one kind of stood out in my mind. But when we finally did meet, for “real”, in early 1980, neither of us remembered that first meeting, from two years previous. Plus, I think Jeff was wearing spandex pants that first time I met him, although he swears that isn’t true!

Funnier even still are the photos in this post…they were all taken during my “Boston Revisited” Tour, although I knew both Jeff and Jane during Boston Part 2. (Yes, confusing even for me!) I will add their photos to both Image Galleries so they are represented equally for those two times I was in Boston.

And even funnier than that….Jeff and I talked on the phone about a month and a half ago and he said he would mail me some of his CD’s and since he doesn’t have a computer yet (WTF?!) I told him I would mail him some photos. We got each others mail on the same day, and each of our envelopes to each other, contained the same photos, from 30 years ago. That was pretty freaky!

Phil Provost, Rick Delano, Jeff Thomas & Jane Balmond - "7"

Where’s my Photo Credit?!

But, what I came to find out, after opening his “7” CD, was that Jeff illegally used my images for his CD liner with NO photo credit! He “violated” my copyright! Ha ha! Oh well…They were pretty crappy photos anyway since I just happened to have my camera with me that day, and they were rehearsing in this god-forsaken place that had no air conditioning.

I find it amusing that I have hundreds of images, of bands I didn’t really know, yet I hardly have any images (and no “pro” images) of my very good friends, who were in bands. What a bad friend I must have been.

I have so many memories of hanging out with Jeff…he was one of the few people we knew, who had a car in Boston, and he was the only person who didn’t drink or imbibe, in any way, shape or form, so he was always sober enough to drive us all home.

My Bud – Jane Balmond Keyboard Player extraordinaire

I (re)met Jeff, in early 1980, and I liked him, but Jeff was crazy ga-ga in love, with my best drinking buddy friend, Jane. When Jeff and I talked on the phone recently, I read him some stories out of my Diary from back then, and apparently one night, when he was giving me a ride home from the club, I started “bitching” about guys in general, saying I was “done” with them. When we reached my apartment, Jeff got out of the car and told me that I “needed a hug” so he picked me up and started twirling me around! That made me crack up and got me out of the bad mood I was in!

Jeff didn’t remember that story, until I brought it up again, and then it came back to him. Every time I have a conversation with someone from the past, one of us always says something or remembers something that triggers a memory in the other person. The most ironic thing is the last entry in my diary, from that second year in Boston, is with me being pissed off at Jeff, for chasing after Jane, and dissing me in the process!

Eventually Jeff and Jane were in a band together (the band’s name was “7”) which is where the rehearsal photos in this post come from.

When I came back to Boston in the Spring of 1981, I remember Jeff was the first person I met up with. I think all our other friends were working, so I remember Jeff and I walking from Kenmore Square to the house he was renting in Brookline. I think I’ve already said that certain music or certain songs remind me of very specific parts of my life. I will never forget, that Jeff played Prince’s new album Dirty Mind for me, as soon as we got to his house. I fell in love with that album and I still remember how that music moved me, to this day.

Rick Delano, Jane Balmond, Jeff Thomas - "7"During that same Boston trip, Krystyna and I disappeared to New York for a long weekend, and when we came back to Boston, is when I met Mark Normand and a bunch of other people. I remember that at the end of that week, Jeff had a huge party at his house, that I think I invited three different guys to. Didn’t know which one I was really interested in, (and Jeff was probably in that “mix” as well) so I thought I would see how the night went.

I ended up leaving with Mark Normand and his friend Kevin and I’ll never forget Krystyna and Jeff, hanging off the balcony, calling me a “trampoline” as I walked away, into the night! Ha ha (Trampoline was a ridiculous word that my gay friend Tony came up with, for people who “bounce around” from one person to the next.) In my defense, I never had this many guys around, at any given time. My Mother had just passed away and I think I was looking for a “distraction” from the pain.

I did come back to Boston again, that same summer, (one loses track of just exactly how many times I went back to Boston) and during one of those trips, I remember Jeff, Jane, Krystyna and the other guys in the band, drove me to the airport to go home, and we tried to get Jane’s dog through the airport as a “seeing eye” dog! No one was buying that, because Jane’s dog Max didn’t behave very well.

Jane Balmond, Max the Dog, and a bottle of wineJeff eventually moved out to LA at around the same time Krystyna did. They both lived with me, for awhile, at what I am now going to start calling the “Commune House”, in Manhattan Beach, since so many people lived there, or stayed there, at any given time. It was like the “Halfway House” for all recently relocated people from Boston.

I did find some other hilarious photos, from Easter Sunday at that house, that has me, Jeff and Krystyna in them, as well as my cat and a rabbit. (I have no idea who owned that rabbit!) I still have to scan those images in, so it will be awhile before they are online.

Jeff and I talked on the phone about some of the stuff we remembered from those days in LA and some of the stories he remembers never happened at all (or they only happened in his mind! ha ha) and the other stories…well, they’re not “fit” for a family blog, such as mine is! Let’s just say that those memories are best left, just between the two of us.

At one point, Jeff ran a “Jam Night” at a local LA club and Krystyna and I were bored, so we thought we would go torment him. We dressed up in strange outfits and wore wigs (I think mine was blonde) and we pretended to be French. I say that we had Jeff fooled, ’cause he came up to me and started hitting on me. Jeff swears that he knew it was us all along! Yeah, right!

I do have photos of Jeff at my LA going away party, so he actually lived in LA a lot longer than I did. I did see Jeff one other time, when a band he was in, played here in Florida. It might even have been the weekend that Kevin and I got married, so I know we didn’t go to a bar, but I think we met up with Jeff during the day, to say hi.

Jeff Thomas and Rick Delano - "7"

Don’t give me “that” look Buddy!

Following this post are two of my favorite songs of Jeff’s. One is She Rips the Bone, which I have heard about a gazillion remakes of (but I still love it) and the other one is Break the String.

When I listened to the CD’s that Jeff just sent me, I was instantly transported back to that Summer of 1981, and that hot, sweaty rehearsal space, where I first heard, Jeff, Jane, Rick and Phil rehearsing those songs. It really is amazing how music makes such a powerful impact in our lives.

Enjoy the songs and I will be adding more to the Jeff Thomas and “7” listening Library soon!

MUSIC: Listen to She Rips the Bone by Jeff Thomas

MUSIC: Listen to Break the String by “7”

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