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Tag - The Rat in Boston

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!

Randy Gun Photo Gallery

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterThe Photo to the right, of Randy Gun, is one of my all-time favorite photos. I think it looks wicked, and sexy, and cute, all at the same time.

It’s funny how “true” I am to my own tastes, because when I unearthed these photos, about two months ago, I quickly decided that this one, was my “favorite” image from the many rolls of film that I had shot.

When I found other images, that were taken in my Boston apartment back then, this same image of Randy, was hanging on my wall as an 11×14 print. I guess my photo tastes haven’t changed at all over time.

I met Randy when I lived in Boston (Part Two.) He played Guitar and handled vocals for a New York City Band called The Necessaries. While The Necessaries headlined their own shows, on the East Coast, they also were the opening act for bands like The Clash, The Talking Heads, and The B-52’s. My time with Randy was a whirlwind of going to concerts that they were playing at, in both Boston and New York, and sometimes even going to multiple gigs in one night’s time. It was a fun time to be out and about in the burgeoning music scene, that was taking place on the East Coast, and his band was busy playing out, pretty much every weekend.

Anyone who knows me, or has seen the inside of my closet, knows that I pretty much only wear Black clothes. Suffice it to say that my love for “all black” clothes (and my fondness for Black leather) probably started with Randy.

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterWhile I don’t remember every bar or club that we went to, I know that in New York they played shows at CBGB’s, The Mudd Club, The Bottom Line, Hurrah’s as well as Trax and in Boston they played at The Rat and The Paradise. Funny thing was – I didn’t even know what a “Guest List” was, before I met Randy, as I was so “new” to the music scene at that time.

Unfortunately, The Necessaries ended up changing personnel and Randy moved on to play with a different band that didn’t travel on the East Coast that much and I ended up moving to LA the following year. We kept in touch sporadically after that.

Two years later, I ended up in Boston and New York again, the Spring/Summer that my Mother passed away. A bunch of my friends from LA, came to meet me in New York, to show their support and my friend Krystyna and I thought it would be a good time to “find” Randy as well. This was in the days before cell phones, or email, so I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to get ahold of Randy through friends. (The Music “scene” in most cities is a really small community so it isn’t that hard to “find” people.) While I was calling around and being referred to different people to call, they kept asking “who” was “asking” for Randy. I figured the safest answer at that time was to say that I was a “friend” from Boston. It was hilarious to find out that most responses to me were: “Oh, you’re “That Girl” from Boston!” (Which is another story altogether.) So, “That Girl” from Boston actually did find Randy and he ended up helping me get through the really tough time of dealing with the grief I had. Funny thing is, neither of us really remember anything about that time, but I know I stayed there, with him, for a long weekend, and there are foggy memories of club hopping and drinks and leather pants and…whatever happened there, it did alleviate my grieving and started me on my path to healing.

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterAbout a year later, I left LA for a vacation and went home to my parent’s house in Chicago. As soon as I came in the house from the airport, my Stepmother told me that I had a message. Since no one knew I was coming home, I asked her “who” the message was from. She replied: “Randy.” I asked bewildered: “Randy, who?” She said: “Read the message – Randy Gun!”

To say I was flabbergasted would be putting it mildly. I called Randy up at his hotel and asked him what in the hell he was doing in Chicago, at the exact moment I happened to come home for a rare visit? He was in town playing some Music Festival with LOLO (Love of Life Orchestra) and asked if I wanted to come down to hear them play. I was out the door in very little time, happy that I actually had something to do while I was in Chicago.

I have to note here that Randy pretty much always looked the same. He was really tall, with crazy, curly dark hair and he always had on a Black Leather Jacket and Black Sunglasses (the sunglasses were even on at night, much to everyone’s dismay.) So, I get to the hotel, ring his room to tell him I’ve arrived, and he asks me to wait in the bar for him.

So, I sit at the bar and I’m looking around at the scenery, wondering if he’ll look any different, but figuring not, because it had only been about a year since I had last seen him in New York. I look towards the door and look away and then do a double take and look again. This tall guy enters the bar, wearing a Black leather jacket, with Black Sunglasses on, but…he’s bald! Of course it’s Randy, and as he walks up I said: “You are kidding me, right?!” He asks if I “like the look”, to which I immediately reply, “No!” I asked if he was really bald now, and apparently the story was, he was trying to cut his own hair and goofed up so he “figured” that shaving it all off, was a better answer! (LOUD NEGATIVE BUZZER SOUND HERE!)

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterI don’t remember much of the rest of the night although Randy did remember a little more. He said it was some Music Festival with a lot of bands and they played by the waterfront. I know we went to the show, we don’t know how we got there, or how we got back. I don’t remember hearing any of the bands play but I remember calling Krystyna on the pay phone to tell her that she would never guess where I was, and who I was with!

Eventually, Randy had to come look for me because he couldn’t even find me, once their set was done, as I was still on the phone. Unfortunately, (and it may be a shortcoming of mine) I have never been attracted to bald men, so I ended up going home pretty much right after the show. I remember Randy “trying” to convince me that he was the same person, only minus the hair, but it was too much of a visual upset for me, so I had to leave. (I’ve also had to apologize profusely for that attitude of mine since then.)

Other than one phone call, another time I was in New York, about 4-5 years later, I basically lost touch with Randy, over the years. Most of my friends from the East Coast ended up visiting and/or moving to LA, but Randy was one of the few people who never did.

I found Randy (again) on Facebook at the end of February 2011. It has been almost three decades since we last spoke. I didn’t even remember that I had these images until I figured I must have shot photos at some point during our Boston/New York days. I was thrilled when I dug these negatives out of a box about a week later.

I hope you enjoy the photos. These were all taken the day after I met Randy for the first time. The Black & White images perfectly suit the grunginess of “The Rat” which was the Rock Club that we all hung out at, in Boston.

NOTE: The following photo is not one that I took but I always thought it was a great photo of Randy, so I thought I would include it. This image came off The Necessaries single and was taken by Paul Waldman.

Randy Gun - The Necessaries - Image by Paul Waldman

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to I Do by Randy Gun
(My images/his music)

MUSIC: Listen to I Apologize by Randy Gun

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to You Can Borrow My Car by The Necessaries
(My images/their music)

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to Runaway Child (Minors Beware) by The Necessaries
(My images/their music)

Read more of my stories about Randy Gun

The Necessaries: Runaway Child (Minors Beware)

Back in March I found six rolls of film that I had taken of The Necessaries when they played The Rat in Boston, MA. I’ve been scanning photos like crazy and posting some of them to Facebook. Sat down last night and decided to make a Video using my images set to one of their songs. I think it turned out pretty good.

Click Here to view my Photo Gallery of Randy Gun from The Necessaries.