I had a weekend and night job in an Akron, Ohio
jazz club called The Bank. The club was built in a former bank
. They kept all the booze in the vault
, itself sealed by a foot thick, round steel
door. It was a great club, and people like Etta James
and Red Garland
played there. I was the bouncer
. I'm glad jazz fans are almost always mellow.
Every Wednesday night 15 60 75, The Numbers Band, came to play. Fronted by singer/guitarist writer Robert Kidney that band made original music, with a strong blues, funk and jazz influences. They're still at it today, just a bunch of guys who have played together for 35 years without fame and fortune because they love playing. They are one of the cool bands you can see for a few bucks.
That night was slow. In fact, the club was dead. There seemed no point for me to work the door, no point in playing much either. So I found myself sitting at the bar talking about music with tenor player, Terry Hynde. A slim girl in jeans and a flannel shirt took a seat next to us, and Terry introduced me to his little sister, Chrissie. She was leaving for England in a few weeks, because the music scene was 'better' there. We had a couple beers and talked. Though she wore too much eye makeup and her chest was small I decided Chrissie was cute in bad girl sort of way.
So here i am sitting here with the future queen of Rock'n'roll? The originator of the tough-girl-with-a-soft-heart snarl? I geek out. She's headed for England. They have lots of castles and gothic cathedrals over there. Surely she would be interested anecdotes from the siege of Kenilworth Castle, the details of Edwardian keeps and the intricasies of the flying buttress.
Wrong idea. She listened, yawned, and left me to my beer with a sneer. As always.
That was my one brush with rock and roll stardom. Chrissie went on to England, formed The Pretenders and made a couple of the finest records in the history of rock. But Tattooed Love Boys was on the stereo when Patty lit the candles signalling that I was finally, thankfully about to lose my virginity.
So thank you Chrissie. I didn't get any tattoos, but I finally did get some. And you were there, if only as tiny squiggles on vinyl, the night I became a man.
15-60-75 is usually considered sort of a numerological code for 1-4-5, that most common of blues progressions, and a staple of rock. You can find out about them at numbersband.com You don't need me to tell you where to look up The Pretenders