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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
IN MEMORIAM: FRED IS DEAD
A few days ago I reminisced about my two least favorite oldies employers back when I ground out living as a musician. One of the stinkers I mentioned was Warren from The Belmonts. But I didn't mention that Freddie, the only remaining original, was actually a pretty decent guy. He had no stomach for lying to the band...so he left that task to Warren. Instead, he drank to excess and chain-smoked to his heart's content. The drinking didn't affect me - but the chain-smoking did. There was nothing quite as repulsive as driving to Maine in a car with not one but two chain-smoking Belmonts (Davey was a chain-smoker as well).
Anyway...in an idle moment, I googled The Belmonts to see what was up with the band and discovered that Freddy died this past January of guess what! Lung cancer. I remember Freddy losing a five dollar bet to me when he put his money where his mouth was throwing down a fiver behind Wheeling being the capital of West Virginia. And I remember him snapping on me in Amagansett after I had sex with an overweight groupie. Freddie had a daughter who loved rappers....to which he used to ask her "can you hum it for me?"...referring to her favorite rap "song."
Along the way, I backed too many fake oldies...and too few originals. But while Freddie slurred the intro to "I Wonder Why" owing to his inebriated state, he was at least the real article. So I say goodbye to Freddie. May he rest in peace as I remember him...with a cigarette in one hand and a pint of Smirnoff in the other. Amen.