WEIRDEST PLACES WE PLAYED?
Well, the InRhodes played for the grand opening of an ice skating rink in Santa Monica, that was weird. They had wooden risers set up out on the ice. (1) it was REALLY cold, (2) as soon as we started playing and moving around, the risers began to separate and slide across the ice, (3) extension cords, mic and guitar cables started to disconnect. Before anything drastic happened we literally “pulled the plug” (I think we still got paid).
One time the InRhodes were a surprise “birthday present” for the wife of a psychiatry professor at UCLA. We hid in their pool house for an hour while guests arrived for her birthday party. As folks gathered and mingled around the pool, we “baked” in this closed up, dark, poorly ventilated room. When we were given the cue we threw open the doors and started blasting. I swear somebody fell into the pool but that may be a “wishful” remembrance rather than an actuality.
Also on my list of weird places was a series of events. Backstory – Yardley Cosmetics was (is, I guess) a British cosmetics firm that was breaking into the US market. Remember in the late ‘60’s ANYTHING British was cool. To promote their products, they came up with the idea of booking movie theaters on Saturday mornings when they were not being used. So the InRhodes were booked to do about a dozen of these gigs by Ratner. They used a well-known LA radio DJ – Gary Mack, as the host (we knew him well as he’d frequently hosted the Santa Monica civic gigs we’d done). They had us play after Gary got the crowd worked up, then they’d have a mini fashion show and cosmetics demo. Well, I actually don’t know what happened after we played because part of our show (the ending) was for us to drop our instruments and run out, further inciting the crowd. Now, again, remember this is 1966-67, think Beatlemania, screaming 13 year old’s (girls). So frequently when we played, we had crowds of screaming girls chasing us out of the theater and down the street – not only at the Yardley Beauty Bash’s – they were called, but at regular gigs. I remember Faulkner and me being chased into a bathroom at a junior high and a girl literally putting her fist through a wired glass window, she was pounding on it so hard trying to get in.
The Beauty Bash gig ended on a high note with Yardley paying us to fly to Hawaii and do a show at the Hawaiian Convention Center. Another West LA band The Association (“Along Comes Mary,” “Cherish”) was playing there the same weekend. This was not a 300 seat movie theater; however, it was a 5,000+ seat auditorium with a VERY LOUD crowd. We had worked out an intro that had Howard hiding under the stage and us “looking for him” while we played the intro to one of our songs (“Lookin Around” – get it?) Anyway, the girls were so loud that Howard couldn’t hear when to “pop out” from underneath the stage . . . the intro went on and on. Finally he showed, Byrd glasses and Rickenbacker 12 string and all. I do remember that we didn’t get paid for the gig, they just paid for our plane tickets and hotel rooms for a week. The other memory of significance is that the hotel we were booked into had several floors rented by the University of Hawaii as women’s dorms for summer school. So we had dozens of college girls to hang out with. Oh, one more thing, my sister Linda happened to be in Honolulu staying that summer so I got to hang out with her too. That was pretty cool.
(No, your eyes are bad, this is a photo taken by the local newspaper photographer who got "trippy" by overlaying different negatives to create this image).