college daze


I’m really getting the hang of this blogging thang… not!

Who knew you were supposed to write it, then edit it, then post it?! I’ve been trying to do all three things at once all zen like, kill all three birds with one stone, one big stone ( a very cruel, cruel analogy ) So there’s that and the fact I am writing stories that don’t make sense if you don’t read them in chronological order like a book and blogs aren’t read in chronological order like a book. I guess you have to read the end first and work your way back or something. My blog’s more chronic – logical than chronological. Either way I have another installment of Space Hippie goes to college. Enjoy.

I was having fun in the sun at SunTanU. I had made a whole bunch of friends on my floor. Those were wild times. Bongs in the dorm before breakfast, sneaking out the daily rations of all the staples ( orange juice…screwdrivers! milk…white russians! ) from the cafeteria. Keggers and mattress races on the weekends. We’d take all the doors off their hinges and  coat the hallway with talcum powder. You’d run and jump face first on a mattress on the floor, sending it sailing down the hallway, riding it all the way to the end at a high rate of speed, crashing into the people standing by the keg. Our R.A. wasn’t going to report us. She was drinking with us! Nowadays they’d bust you for one beer, expel you for smoking even one cigarette in your dorm room. Fascists!

Bands played every Friday on the patio. I used to go see them. Mostly the Jazz Ensemble and stuff like that but they had rock bands too. One of them was The Boyz, 3 chubby Cuban guys playing bad Led Zeppelin covers. I could blow these guys off the stage. I needed to put together a band! One of my friends in Pearson, let’s just call him the Doctor, told me about these two guys he knew who played rock. They were buying acid from him too. He was going to introduce me. I did meet them and he was right, they rocked! When we finally did put a band together, we named it Yin Yang in honor of the acid we were all doing, blotter acid each hit stamped with a black and white yin yang symbol. I can’t remember for sure where our first gig was but we were soon playing  every weekend. Mostly on campus, on the patio and at frat parties, but also at private parties, then a few bars. We got pretty popular pretty fast.

When we played the Rathskeller’s birthday , we ended up on the local tv news. I best remember that gig for the English  guy that came to see us. I can still picture him, glasses, graying hair, balancing a beer on his belly, and in his English accent, he explained to us he had a “ pub “ ( his words ) in Little Haiti and would we be interested in playing there?

Back in those days there weren’t many places to play. Miami hadn’t been developed yet. South Beach was still a derelict no man’s land. The Design District was still Liberty City. Little Haiti was just north of that. The first time we played there, we found out what the charming English guy described to us as a “ pub “ ( while regaling us with stories of working with the top stars of the British music scene ) looked to us like a bombed out building in the hood. ( it still looks like that! ) There was a long bar serving beer and wine populated by a few regulars. two pool tables, a jukebox yes, but back then no stage, no p.a.,  ( but there was a laundry room though, that was a plus ). Even so that first gig went down well. We packed the place and everybody got loose. At one point we had a drunken hooker singing for us and we didn’t sound half bad. Especially if you were drunk as we were.

So the place was a hit with our crowd, not only did they have nowhere to go to hear live music, the drinking age had just changed from 18 to 21 and this was one place they could go and not get carded. They were happy, Dave was happy we were bringing in customers. He always referred to the band as “ Ying Yang” & “ the last part of the monkey that goes over the fence “. Um’ I think that’s some sort of droll English slang. That’s how I started playing at Churchill’s Hideaway now a venerable Miami institution, Miami’s CBGB’s even. Dave Daniels came to see us at the Rat. We’ve  been friends ever since. Good Ol’ Churchills. Go check it out. They have great music 7 nights a week. Jazz jam on Mondays, with Theater of the Underground out back. Sweat Records next door. Great deals on automotive items late at night, batteries, car stereos, etc. courtesy of the guys wheeling them down the street in a grocery cart …at 1am in Little Haiti, of course it’s not stolen. Tourists get your picture drawn by Joachim who has 5 babies to feed at home ( 4 depending when he tells it ) but mostly certainly a big crack pipe at home to feed. ha ha Nowadays any band worth it’s salt from Miami has a shitload of  Churchill’s stories,  it’s become the mecca of the Miami music scene AND IT’S STILL GOING STRONG! If you go, try the Shepherd’s Pie and tell Dave I said hello. Oh and that guy singing with the Boyz, future Maverick Raul Malo went on to have a dozen top ten country hits and never sang a Zeppelin cover again.


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