Rascals 68

AUGUST 30: CAN’T SEE A THING TILL YOU OPEN MY EYES

Just finishing out the summer internship at The Chase Manhattan Bank off of Wall Street (95 bucks a week), all of 16 years of age I was ready for the big stage. We ventured out from Suburbia, AKA The Sticks, on the LongIslandRailRoad to Jamaica Station and then a subway took us into the heart of Queens, New York to see what was and probably still is the Greatest AMERICAN Rock band. This band did it all, they wrote, produced, played their own instruments and sang like a church choir…THE RASCALS.

The Rascals, Nazz, The Vagrants, Eire Apparent at the  Singer Bowl  (8/30/68)

It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert. With clear skies, the train ride was uneventful, and the crowd enthusiastic, me being one of them. My girlfriend accompanied me, my buddy George and his date, a beautiful 16 year old blond from Europe who was visiting George’s family. She could and would cause some problems in months to come as she was beautiful and a flirt. But back to the show.

Eire Apparent, a band produced by Jimi Hendrix (they said it at least twice during their 25 minutes of fame, was in hindsight, about as good as we got at Hullabaloo, the local teen club. Nothing too shabby, just okay. NAZZ was next up. The drummer was superb, the singer and bass players were pretty good. Yet there was something quirky and eye catching about the guitarist. Windmills, neck bending, string slapping, a bit theatrical and too cool to describe. Not having seen anything like this before this Todd Rundgren guy caught my musical attention at that moment and would have my attention for many moons to come. Local favorites (boys from Forest Hills) the band I witnessed many times at Hullabaloo, The Vagrants, hit the stage with a set of their own tunes doing an extended version of a Stones tune (Satisfaction) and finished with RESPECT. Pretty nicely done on a big stage, a completely different Vagrants then I was use to seeing at Hullbaloo. The stars of the show, the band I was dying to see,The Rascals,were tremendous. The applause was deafening at their introduction, after each tune, and at the end of their hit filled set. Hit after hit after hit after hit. Solos, musicianship, vocals, all clear, clean and crisp. It was heavenly. I was hooked, I needed more.