Friday, January 20, 2006

"Get a second-hand guitar, chances are you'll go far if you get in with the right kind of fellows"

Crosstown Rhythm Various venues around s/w Ohio 1977-1979
Gary Lewis & The Playboys LeSourdsville Lake, Middletown 1978

I can't even remember how many times I saw CTR back then, but I do remember distinctively the first time I ever saw them.

I was 12 years old and shopping with my Mom at the Mall one Saturday afternoon. The Mall used to hold entertainment events in the middle of the mall on the weekends--one time I remember seeing a Kenny Rogers look-alike contest--and this particular Saturday they had an Elvis impersonator performing. CTR was the backing band for the Elvis impersonator.

Mom and I stood and watched the show, and sometime during the performance I fell in love with the angelic, blond bass player. I fell in love quite frequently back then, but the infatuation I had for this guy lasted for a few years. After the show I went up and chatted with him. His name was Jon, and his older brother Ric was the guitarist. I asked about other shows, and Jon wrote down a list of venues they'd be playing in the near future.

I was hooked.

I went to see them every chance I got, and became friendly with the band and their sound & lights guys. Thankfully, they split with the Elvis impersonator and branched out on their own. Although they were only ever a cover-band, they were a damned good cover band, and I still think of them whenever I hear "Brick House" and "Taking Care of Business."
Already a budding photographer, I began to shoot their shows, and somewhere in my box of photo albums is an entire book devoted to my three years of geekdom as a groupie for CTR. I saw Gary Lewis & The Playboys because CTR opened.

Sometime in high school I lost my infatuation with Jon, and the band (all of whom attended local high schools) went their separate ways upon graduation.

Ric joined various bands after graduation, including a stint as guitarist with a semi-famous band.

I ran into Jon several years ago--a friend's band was playing some divebar and Jon did a surprise, solo acoustic set before they went on. He was still angelic.


Anonymous said...

Thank you,
It is so nice that after all this time someone still remembers! J H

Miss_K said...

Hi John!

Don't ever put that guitar away for good, man.