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Tag - Boston Rock Bands

21st Century Fugitives – Will someone please sign this band?!

Just ran across some new music videos by 21st Century Fugitives, a band that I first heard about last year, that is made up of 12, 13 and 14 year olds. They’ve recorded a cover of Ring of Fire that just makes me laugh at how good it sounds. They’ve also re-recorded a video of them performing an old La Peste song, called SpyMaster, and they even have a great original song called Epic Fail.

God knows I’ve seen a lot of “up-and-coming” local bands over the years and quite frankly, not many of them (who were probably double these kids age when I heard them) sounded as good “live” back then, as 21st Century Fugitives do right now!

My “Going to bars and listening to Bands” days are long gone but if I still lived in Boston I would definitely go check out 21st Century Fugitives at one of their live gigs.

If you want to know more about 21st Century Fugitives, visit their Facebook page or YouTube Channel, or listen to some of their music videos, by clicking a link below.


Listen to Spymaster (cover) by 21st Century Fugitives

Listen to All Kindsa Girls (cover) by 21st Century Fugitives


21st Century Fugitives is: Jackson Kehoe, Jaden Mendola, Jimmy Bezreh, John Lucas and Gavin Burke. (Above image © K. Anderson)

How I became That Girl from Boston

I didn’t know I had earned the above mentioned moniker until almost two years after the fact, but this is the background and the events that led up to me becoming known as “That Girl” from Boston.

This is another “Six Degrees of Separation” story that should have been part of an earlier post of mine, but my ex-boyfriend, Randy Gun, negotiated with me to keep the information out of his story. While I kept my word on that, he in turn, did not keep his word about promises he made to me, so…the story now gets to be told.

In an earlier post I wrote about meeting my idol, Steven Tyler, I brought up the theory of “Six Degrees of Separation,” which basically means that there are really only six people who separate you from any other person. In my blog post about Steven Tyler, only one person separated me from meeting him.

This second “Six Degrees of Separation” story that affected my life, didn’t have such a great outcome but the story of it linked me to not one, but two very popular musicians at the time, who thought it best, for some reason, to mess with my personal life! This second “Six Degrees” story ping ponged from Boston to LA to New York and then back to Boston. This story happened during my second year of living in Boston (The Boston Years – Part 2).

In September of 1979, I met Randy Gun, who was a musician from New York, and our romance ramped up very quickly. We met at an after hours club on a Saturday night where I approached him and asked if I could shoot photos of him. He said we could do it the next day or in two weeks when he came back to town. We spent the next day together and that night I went with him to watch his band, The Necessaries, play at The Rat, and to shoot photos. By the next morning, when he rode with me on the subway to work, he was begging me not to see anyone else but him!

I had gone to the club the previous night to shoot photos of him and his band. While Randy & I got along easily and seemed to have a lot in common, I had no intention of starting a relationship with him. We sat and talked that night during breaks and I noticed that he had a wedding ring on. I didn’t have much experience with relationships since I was only 20 years old at the time and he was 25. I didn’t know many married people so when I noticed the ring I asked if he was married? He replied that he wore the ring to make it seem like he was “taken” and wearing it usually kept girls away from him. (Funny thing is…I read on Facebook recently that some guy had told this same story to a friend of mine! Hmm…)

Anyhow, he did tell me that he lived with a girl in New York, who was older than him, but the relationship was not a serious one and it was on its way to fizzling out.

During the next break, we went next door so he could grab something to eat and when we came back down the stairs into the club, with no warning, Randy pushed me up against a wall and kissed me. He couldn’t keep away from me the rest of the night and I was a bit overwhelmed by all the attention he gave me.

Two days after he got back home, Randy was on the phone telling me he needed to get out of New York and he asked me to come pick him up the following weekend, after his show at Trax. My brother and I went to pick him up the following Saturday night, and Randy came to spend more time with me in Boston. The next two months were a whirlwind of me going to New York to be with him or him coming to Boston to be with me. I was with him at pretty much every show his band performed at but we also got together during their weekends off as well. The times we had to be apart we literally spent hours talking on the phone.

But…Randy was still living with this girl in New York, which didn’t make me very happy, but he had nowhere else to go and that frustrated him. We didn’t argue about it at all…I think I just accepted that it was part of this “situation” we were in together. Aside from that one obstacle, Randy gave me everything I could want out of a relationship. He was very gentle and considerate with me, he looked out for me, if he said he would call me at 5:00, the phone would be ringing at 4:45. I knew that Randy cared for and loved me, which was a welcome change from a previous relationship that I had been in.

We talked about him moving to Boston but since he was a musician, the music scene in Boston left a lot to be desired when compared to New York. By October 16th, Randy said that he wanted me to move to New York, so he could show me everything the city had to offer and so we wouldn’t have to be apart, or sleep apart anymore. On October 18th, Randy told me he was on the verge of moving out. My diary even says that during one phone conversation Randy worried that our hard partying would hurt the babies he wanted to have with me! On October 29th, the night of a really big show, Randy pulled me aside and told me he was falling in love with me.

On November 4th, I received a phone call from a girlfriend of mine who was living in LA at the time. She asked how my love life was and I told her about my whirlwind romance with Randy Gun, the guitarist from New York City. She told me that she was seeing Thomas Trask, who was also from New York, and who was a guitarist in The David Johansen Band. I vaguely knew of Johansen, that he had been the lead singer of The New York Dolls, and he was from New York, but that was about all I knew. She told Thomas I was with Randy and when I talked to my boyfriend later that night, I shared the news of my conversation with her, and the fact that she was seeing Thomas Trask.

Well, Randy sort of freaked out when he heard about this conversation. He asked me if I had told my friend his name, and the name of his band. I told him that of course I had, why wouldn’t I share the news that we were together? Randy and I had a pretty intense three hour talk that night, about the whole situation we were in, and he told me that everyone knew everyone else in New York and he was afraid of gossip getting around.

This obviously upset me and it was a stupid statement, because everyone who was in the band or around the band, knew that Randy and I were together. Our relationship wasn’t a secret, nor was he trying to keep me a secret. (Besides, how can you keep someone a secret, when she is with you at every Concert/Show you play at?) I told Randy that I didn’t want to keep seeing him because I could foresee that I was going to end up being hurt in the end. I wanted to walk away but Randy wouldn’t let me go. I asked him not to call me again and that lasted for about three days. Then Randy was on the phone calling me again and arranging his next visit.

On November 12th, Randy asked me to move to New York to live with him. During that same phone call, he asked me to come to New York, the following week for a few days. The band’s last gig for awhile was the upcoming weekend where they had several shows scheduled in one night’s time. I would be going up for those Saturday shows and then staying a few days past that time.

On Friday, November 16th, Randy called me at 5:45 am to tell me he had been kicked out of his apartment on Tuesday, the day after we had last spoke. He had been living in the band’s rehearsal space since then and he asked me to come to New York right then and there. A friend and I caught the next bus to New York and Randy met me at my hotel around 2:00 pm. He was quieter than usual and more introspective. Randy was upset about band business and with getting kicked out of his apartment. He was glad I was there for him and he told me that once the weekend was over, and the gigs were all done, he would be coming back to live with me in Boston. At last there was a bright spot on the horizon for me!

That Saturday, his band (The Necessaries) played three different shows, at two different venues. They opened for the Talking Heads at the Capitol Theatre in New Jersey and then they had two shows at Hurrah’s, in New York City, later that night. On Sunday, Randy and I spent the day walking around the city, going to Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (odd as that sounds, that is what my diary says that we did!) and going to the Mudd Club later with Ernie Brooks and his girlfriend. On Monday we took a cab to the bus station and he told me he couldn’t come with me right then, because he had a dentist appointment to go to the next day. He said he would take the bus to Boston after that.

Four days later, when I hadn’t heard from Randy at all (which was very unusual) I broke down and called his ex-girlfriends apartment. Randy answered the phone and my world fell apart.

Randy told me that after I had left on Monday, he had gotten fired by the band. (He actually told me he had quit the band but in later years I heard the real story.) He literally was on the street and had nowhere to go. Randy told me that he loved me more than her, but he had to start at the bottom again and needed someone who could take care of him.

I was only 20 years old. I could barely take care of myself, let alone another person, so I had nothing to offer him. His best bet was to return to the older girlfriend and that’s what he did. The deal he had to make with her, in order to return to her apartment, was: “No more seeing, no more talking, no more sleeping with, that Girl from Boston.”

So you are probably yawning by now, thinking: “What’s the big deal? It’s just another break-up story.” Ahh…but let me tell you how the girlfriend found out about us.

What I didn’t know at that time is that the music scene in New York is very incestuous and everyone knows pretty much everyone else. When I talked to my girlfriend in LA on November 4th, and she told Thomas Trask about me and my new boyfriend, Randy Gun, apparently…Thomas told David Johansen about it and David Johansen told his good friend Debbie Harry (lead singer of Blondie) about it, and Debbie Harry was apparently friends with the girl that my boyfriend (Randy Gun) lived with in New York! Debbie Harry thought it would be a good idea to let this “friend” know, that her boyfriend was cheating on her, with some girl from Boston.

As a small (not really) backstory…at this point in time (1979) David Johansen had already achieved cult-like fame for his years fronting the band The New York Dolls. Blondie’s Heart of Glass had already topped the charts in early 1979. Blondie’s hit One Way or Another topped the charts soon after that. In June of 1979 (before I had even met Randy) Debbie Harry had been photographed by Annie Liebovitz and was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. That October, I actually watched Blondie perform on Saturday Night Live, while waiting for Randy to call me.

At this point in 1979 both David Johansen and Debbie Harry were already international recording stars. Why they saw fit to mess with two young kids lives, is beyond me to this day. Neither my boyfriend or I was famous or well known. We were just two young kids, starting out in life, while Harry and Johansen had at least 10-15 years on us. They had absolutely nothing to gain by passing on gossip they had heard about two people they didn’t even know.

Funny thing was – I always “blamed” Debbie Harry for breaking up our relationship when in actuality she pushed Randy towards me, because his girlfriend kicked him out, upon hearing the news of my existence. It wasn’t until the band kicked him out, a few days later, that he reversed his trajectory and went back to where he started from.

I never really held any of that against Randy. New York was a tough place to live in, even way back then. I didn’t like it but I understood why he had to go back to her. I was upset and shed some tears at the time, but it wasn’t a breakup that really broke my heart.

Needless to say, less than a week later, Randy was on the phone calling me again. All that Spring Randy kept asking me to send him bus or plane tickets so he could come back to see me (I never did send anything to him because I didn’t want to be hurt again.) I knew full well that had Randy stayed with the band, or had he kept coming to Boston to play, he wouldn’t have stopped seeing me at all, and our story would have had a different outcome.

That relationship he went back to didn’t last out the year (big surprise). Over the next two years, Randy called and sent me postcards when he was overseas playing with Peter Gordon and Love of Life Orchestra, and he talked about coming to see me in Boston or LA, where I ended up moving to.

When I came to New York the Summer that my Mother passed away, Randy and I met up again and it was like we had never been apart. Within a few hours of seeing each other again, in the same way he had done two years before, without any warning, he pushed me up against a subway wall, kissed me and told me he wanted me to come home with him. It was very easy to accept his offer, so Randy took me in and being with him helped me through the pain I was going through, over losing my Mother. We also ended up getting back together a year after that, when we were both in Chicago at the same time. So in the end, no one really kept us apart at all.

I found out about my moniker “That Girl from Boston” when I was trying to get in contact with Randy, that Summer I came back to New York. No one had cell phones or email back then and you had to call a bunch of people, to track someone down. When I was calling around, everyone wanted to know “Who” was looking to talk to Randy and when I said I was a “friend” from Boston, the responses were: “OH – You’re That Girl from Boston.” When I questioned Randy about those statements later, he said that our story had caused quite a stir, back in the day, and I was amused to hear that our little romance had so many people talking about it! Little did I know that I was so “infamous,” in New York City of all places!

It’s also funny to see how life comes full circle.

Today (September 29th) marks 32 years since I first met my ex-boyfriend, Randy Gun. I came back in contact with Randy, earlier this year (after 30 years) and coincidentally both Blondie and The New York Dolls started touring again this year.

Think I could have gotten backstage at either of those concerts if I told them who I was at the gate?!

I never was a fan of Blondie or The New York Dolls, to begin with, and after what they did to me, I wouldn’t give them a second of my time.

Funny thing is, I had no idea who Thomas Trask was or what he looked like. When I sat down to write this story, I finally decided to google his name. Kudos to my girlfriend who he was seeing in LA! Thomas was a very good looking guy back then and I applaud her on her taste in men!

Since I didn’t know Thomas (then or now) and he was the one who thought it was a good idea to tell David Johansen about me and my boyfriend, Randy Gun, I just hope that my blog post doesn’t turn around and bite him in the ass, which it could, since you can find out many interesting things about people, if you just google their name.

If Thomas did have a girlfriend back then (Fall of 1979), she can now find out, through my blog post, that he cheated on her, with my friend.

Touche!

How I Met Steven Tyler

There is a theory (and a movie) called Six Degrees of Separation, which means there are basically only “six” people who might separate you, from any other person on Earth.

What I have found out, time and time again, is that sometimes that “degree” of separation is very small indeed. My “degree” of separation from Steven Tyler, my favorite Rock Star, was only one person! The full story is below.

Earlier this year, I started looking through old photos, and reading old diaries, and I started noticing patterns…like how all of my old boyfriends had dark hair and were Musicians…and through the friends, lovers, spouses, etc., that have appeared and disappeared in my life, the same person keeps cropping up again and again. Yep, you guessed it, Steven Tyler! (I even seem to have more photos of Steven Tyler, than I do of some old boyfriends.)

Much to the chagrin of every boyfriend, husband, male friend (and sometimes even female friends) I have loved Steven Tyler and Aerosmith since the beginning of time. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t love Aerosmith. I had every Aerosmith album (even bootleg ones), I emulated Steven’s style in clothing, jewelry and even haircuts (as my old photos have also started to show.) I even lived in Boston, not once, but twice in my life. Did I move to Boston just for school, or was my real “quest” Steven Tyler?!

I wonder, if this “love” I had for Steven Tyler, started me on my path of falling in love with dark-haired Musicians? Since that seemed to be the only “type” of guy that I chose to have relationships with, for a very long period of time.

So here’s my story of how I met Steven Tyler. And, I’ll give the best part away…he kissed me.

Read on for details.

Steven Tyler - Aerosmith

THOSE LIPS

I was attending my second college, in Boston, at the tender age of 19 (This would be my Boston Part 1 days.) At that time, I had a P/T job in a phone room, and our supervisor was this guy named Dave Scott. Dave was a very unassuming type of guy – he had red hair, glasses, was maybe about 5’6″, and he told us that he was the “original” drummer for Aerosmith! We would just roll our eyes and humor him when he said this, because we knew there was no way, he was ever in Aerosmith! We would just listen to his stories, with half an ear, not really wanting to be rude.

Aerosmith - Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford, Tom HamiltonAerosmith was known as “The Boys from Boston”, so whenever they played Boston, it created a frenzy. Dave came into work one day and announced that he had tickets to the concert, and unlimited access backstage, and he asked “who” wanted to go with him? My love for Aerosmith pushed my hand high into the air, and I “volunteered” to go! I had never been backstage at a concert before that time, and the thought of going backstage for Aerosmith, literally made me a nervous wreck.

I do have to point out that I went “dressed to the Nines” for this very important event. Apparently my diary says that I wore a Black corduroy jumpsuit, Red & White Adidas sneakers, and a Red Satin Baseball jacket. (Dear God, it is embarrassing to even write that now!)

I met Dave at Boston Music Hall and we had some trouble with our passes, and didn’t get backstage before the concert. Tom Hamilton had apparently gotten us our 10th row seats, so that made the concert really enjoyable. I actually managed to catch an Aerosmith frisbee that Steven Tyler threw from the stage as well (still have it to this day.)

Aerosmith Concert Ticket - Boston Music Hall - March 1978

Check out the “cost” of the Ticket!

After the show, we went backstage and I was first introduced to all the guys from the band Boston, who had also attended the show.

Aerosmith Backstage PassBrad Whitford was the first Aerosmith member to come up to us and he hugged Dave and held my hand, as we were introduced. Next Tom Hamilton came up and yelled out “Pudge” and gave Dave a big hug. Since he had gotten us the tickets, I thanked him for that, and he seemed surprised for the thank you! Tom Hamilton is also one of the tallest people I have ever met in my life. Joe Perry then came over and seemed very quiet in person. I was looking and looking for Steven Tyler, but he was nowhere to be found. Dave knew how much I wanted to meet him so he said: “Sorry you couldn’t meet Steven, maybe next time.” I was crestfallen that I couldn’t meet my “true love”, but then Tom Hamilton came back up to us and said that Columbia Records was having a private party for the band, and we were invited to come. Dave turned to ask me, if I wanted to go, and I said: “Do you even have to ask? So off we went to the private party for Aerosmith.

I must note that while I hadn’t believed that Dave was really the original drummer for Aerosmith, when all the guys came up and hugged him and had a “pet” name for him, I thought: “Hmmm – maybe he does know them, at least.” (Turns out that when I read Aerosmith’s Autobiography a few years ago, Dave was the original drummer. When the band moved to Boston from Sunapee, New Hampshire, he was too young to move with them, so they found Joey Kramer instead.) Wow! That was a surprise to read so many years down the road.

The party for Aerosmith was at Dom’s in Boston, and there was an open bar. It was really crowded so Dave and I grabbed two bar stools at a corner of the bar and ordered drinks. We sat there talking for awhile and then Dave said: “Don’t look now, but Steven Tyler is right next to you!” I turned on my bar stool and Steven was right there, leaning his back against my chair. I was so flustered, that Steven Tyler was so close to me, that I touched him with one finger and said something like: “I Die” and Dave just laughed at me.

Steven finally turned around, saw Dave and yelled out “PUDGE!” and grabbed him up in a big hug.

Brad Whitford & Steven Tyler - Aerosmith

Yes. I took this photo…off my Television!

Then came the defining moment of my life…Dave said: “Steven – I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine.” Steven (looking very serious) reached out and held my hand, in both of his, and Dave said: “Steven Tyler, this is Mj. Mj, this is Steven Tyler.” Steven looked at me and then looked at Dave, and in his indubitable Steven Tyler fashion said: “Friends? You mean you two haven’t F****d yet?”

My eyes must have been as big as saucers and my mouth was just hanging open because not only had I not slept with Dave, I had no intention of sleeping with Dave, and for that matter, I was still a virgin at the time! I think Steven sensed his faux pas because when he saw the look of horror on my face, he quickly apologized. I must have stammered something like: “This is the first time we have been out,” to which Steven replied: “That’s the best time!” Again, another look of horror must have crossed my face, because Steven apologized again and kissed my neck. Ok. That almost made up for how embarrassed I was by his comments!

It’s funny when you meet someone that you have idolized from afar and who is a Rock Star no less – What in the world do you say to them?

Steven TylerMy diary “says” that I told Steven that while I’d always wanted to meet Mick Jagger, I was glad I met him instead (I’m sure he loved that comment) and I told him that I had enjoyed the concert and since it was my “first” concert in Boston, I was glad it was Aerosmith.

You always expect your “idols” to be larger than life, so I was very shocked, when I got down off my bar stool, to find that Steven was at least two inches shorter than me! (And I was probably only 5′ 8″ at the time.) That really shocked me because I expected him to be well over six feet tall!

Later in the evening, as the night was winding down, and people were leaving, Dave and I walked over to talk to Tom and I thanked him again for the tickets and I also told him, that I was glad my first concert in Boston had been Aerosmith. Tom put his arm around me, kissed the top of my head and said: “I’m glad you liked the show.” Tom and Dave started talking, so I wandered away from them.

I looked over by the door and saw Steven talking to a bum, that had walked in off the street. Steven caught my eye and motioned me over to him. I looked behind me to see “who” he was looking at, but I was the only one standing there! I was puzzled as to why he was motioning me over and when I walked up to him, he put his arm around me and told the bum that I was his girlfriend and he had to leave now. We walked away, arm in arm, and when we’d walked across the room a bit, he then turned and put his arms around my neck, and his forehead against my forehead and he thanked me for “rescuing” him from the bum. I said that I was happy to help him out and I was also happy that I finally got to meet him.

Then he kissed me!

I swear to God I almost fainted.

Steven Tyler & Mj Wilson - My Brother from another Mother?!

We DO look sort of the same in this photo! So do the lips!

Don’t get all excited…it was a very chaste kiss, yet I was totally shocked by it. What in the hell do you say, when your favorite Rock Star kisses you full on the lips?

I came up with a brilliant “post kiss” comment and said: “Wow! I always wanted to kiss someone who had bigger lips than I did.” Steven said: “You don’t know what kind of shit I got in High School about them.” I said: “I know – so did I. People name calling and saying derogatory things.” He said: “Yeah, didn’t that suck?” I said: “Yeah, but at least we have a special look – I’ve learned to live with mine.” He smiled, winked at me, and said: “They come in handy sometimes, don’t they?” I said: “Yeah, they do help sometimes!” He hugged me and kissed me again and I turned and left. How I managed to walk away, and not fall over, I will never know.

I went home that night and woke my roommate up because I was jumping up and down on my bed, yelling that Steven Tyler had kissed me!

I became somewhat of a local celebrity, among my girlfriends, for that experience, and the funniest thing was, when I told them the story, of what had transpired between Steven and me, they all asked me: “Did you give him your phone number?” I was such an innocent back then, that I was confused by their question, so I asked: “Now why would I have done that?”!

To this day, Aerosmith is still my favorite band, and Steven Tyler is still my number one, favorite Rock Star! I don’t know why all these men “hate” on Steven Tyler so much. Sorry guys, but Steven is still one of the most unique vocalists in the rock world, to this day he writes very sexy music and he is still hot!

Like Steven said in a recent Rolling Stone interview, he keeps in shape because he thinks he “owes it” to his fans. THANK YOU. We appreciate it Steven.

Steven Tyler on Motorcycle

Yes, I’d “Ride” it!

NOTE: While I love Steven Tyler, and I would love to see him every week on TV, when I first heard that he was going to be a judge, on the new Season of American Idol, I didn’t know how America was going to handle someone who pretty much just said what he thought (like he had done with me in Boston!) I was a little worried about how all that would go down and at first they made jokes on the show about “bleeping out” what had come out of his mouth, but no one was more surprised than me, that America just adored Steven Tyler by the time the show ended! He was a kind and gracious judge, who didn’t mind sharing his emotions when he felt them. I hear he’s coming back as a judge for the next season of Idol which is just fine by me.

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) Mangini - "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) Mangini – Keyboard Player extraordinaire

As I said above, 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) Mangini, 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 Max, 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) Mangini, 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”

Mark Normand Photo Gallery

Mj Wilson Photography - Mark Normand - Boston Bass PlayerI escaped to Boston, right after my Mother passed away, and I met Mark Normand, a few days after I came back from a short, side trip to New York. It was the beginning of Summer in Boston and there were parties everywhere and everyone eventually ended up down at our “hangout,” which was The Rat in Kenmore Square.

Mark was from Lawrence, MA, and it’s a city where they pronounce words in strange ways! His name wasn’t pronounced “Mark” it was pronounced “Mahk”! It seemed we spent half our time trying to figure out what the other was saying, or arguing about which way was the correct way to say it: (i.e., “Park” vs “Pahk”, ‘Boston” vs “Bahstan”!)

I spent the remaining time I had in Boston with Mark and I also came back to Boston, about a month after we met, to stay with him and watch his band compete in a local “Rumble”.  Mark played Bass and his band at the time was called Swingers Resort.

I met Mark’s Mother, Rachel, when I stayed at his house and I absolutely loved her to death and we hit it off from the moment we met. Much to Mark’s chagrin, we would sit at her kitchen table for hours and talk, and she would tell me what to “watch out for” when dealing with him. Not many Mothers will do that but she was a very special lady!

After I went back to Chicago, after that second visit to Boston/Lawrence, Mark called one day, to tell me that him and his best friend Kevin, were “on the road,” hitch-hiking from Boston to Indiana, to come stay with me at my parent’s cottage. They arrived a day later, stayed for a few days and then hitched back home!

Mj Wilson Photography - Mark Normand - Ace Frehley Bass PlayerWhen I headed back to College in LA, at the end of the Summer, Mark followed soon after and came out there to live with me.

Mark lived with me in LA for a few months, and he tried to find gigs and a band to play with and he eventually found a job. He had to go back to Boston, to pick up some equipment, and I think he just ended up staying there, because it was easier to find work. It seems he left behind a bass amp, because I ended up lugging that thing around for years and years, until I finally threw it away!

A year or so later, a friend and I were walking near Beverly Center in LA one night, and we saw a guy with long hair and a leather jacket in front of us, who was walking up the street with his girlfriend. He turned around, at the sound of our voices, and yelled out my name. Before I could register who it was, he ran over and picked me up and twirled me around in a circle! He was so excited that he had run into me that he took the girlfriend home, and we met up at The Rainbow on Sunset Blvd., and we sat and talked and drank for hours, catching up on our lives.

Mark had been going back and forth between LA and Boston and had been playing with several bands. I don’t remember the actual timeline of them but he did end up playing for Keel, Ferrari, and Ace Frehley. I seem to remember he told me he was also doing something with Punky Meadows, of Angel, who had been one of his idols for a very long time. It all seemed to be clicking for him musically and I was happy for him that he was getting so many opportunities to play with different musicians and bands.

When the bar closed down, we hugged outside and went our separate ways. I haven’t talked to Mark since then but I did find these photos of him, photos of his old band, Swingers Resort, competing at the WBCN Rock ‘N Roll Rumble in Boston and I also found a video on YouTube of him playing Bass and singing lead vocals on Strange Ways by Ace Frehley (link to song and other photos is below). I think I’ve also found Mark on MySpace, so I’ll have to send him a message to come look at his photos!

Funny thing is, Tom Bull, who was the drummer for Swingers Resort, showed up one day in LA, asked if he could crash with us and we ended up taking him to Magic Mountain Theme Park and tortured him on the roller coasters! Tom was a great sport, and when I find those pics, I will be sure to post them.

I took these photos of Mark, outside of Krystyna’s parents house in Brookline, MA. Her dad was a dentist which is where the drill came from, in this bottom photo!

MUSIC: Listen to Strange Ways by Ace Frehley (Mark Normand on Bass & Lead Vocals)

Click Here to view my Photo Gallery of Mark and Swingers Resort

Click Here to view other Photos from this visit to Boston

Backstage Passes & Concert Tickets

Backstage Passes and Concert Tickets from my East Coast days.Aerosmith Backstage Pass

Aerosmith Concert Ticket - Boston Music Hall - March 1978

Mj Wilson Photo Archives - Backstage Pass for The Necessaries & The B-52s at The Paradise - Boston, MA

Mj Wilson Photo Archives - Ad for The Necessaries & Talking Heads Concert at the Capitol Theatre

Mj Wilson Photo Archives - Concert Ticket for The Necessaries & Talking Heads at the Capitol Theatre

Mj Wilson Photo Archives - Backstage Pass for The Necessaries & Talking Heads Concert at the Capitol Theatre

Mj Wilson Photo Archives - Newspaper Ad for The Necessaries at Hurrah's

The Necessaries played TWO shows at Hurrah’s, the same night they opened for the Talking Heads at the Capitol Theatre

Trax - New York City

Before I knew what a “Guest List” was

Mj Wilson Photo Archives - The Necessaries 7" Single - You Can Borrow My Car b/w Runaway Child (Minors Beware)

Mj Wilson Photo Archives - The Necessaries Back Side of 7" Single - Randy Gun, Ernie Brooks, Ed Tomney & Jesse Chamberlain

The Necessaries – Randy Gun, Ernie Brooks, Ed Tomney & Jesse Chamberlain