Mike's Big Column
PART 3: MIKE'S BIG GUITAR DEBUT

You don't realize how much equipment there is until you start breaking down a stage and putting the stuff away and then packing it into a U-Haul truck. There was a lot of heavy, bulky, back breaking equipment and tons of duct tape. If duct tape wasn't invented, there would be no rock and roll shows.

The band loved Marshalls. The heads were the old tube ones. They tried the newer ones but didn't like the sound. The bottoms were also Marshalls. I thought they were heavy until they tried these new ones called Crate. I hated them and thank God they hated them also. They weighed twice as much as Marshalls and the sound just wasn't right.

When setting up the stage, you would put one bottom on top of another and then put the head on that. I always thought that it was shaky and would crash to the floor but everyone said don't worry about it. I would take duct tape and put it in between the head and bottom just in case. I think Mr.French used to enjoy seeing me worry all the time. During one of the songs he would go to the stacks put his hand on the top and rock it back and forth. In my mind I could see them falling and me panicking. Thank God, it never happened.

I am still an apprentice learning from every show. One day at a club called Zaffy's in Piscataway, N.J. (Was someone pissing on a cat and decided, 'Hey, I got a great name for this town?') The band comes out and there is no Kenny. There is a new really sick looking individual on bass. Ladies and Gentlemen, kids of all ages, please welcome Mark "The Animal" Mendoza. I think but I am not sure, that Kenny just said back stage that night that he was done with rock and roll and mark got drafted in. The show must go on. It's a little fuzzy but this is what I think happened. I think this is the first show I did guitars solo. They didn't get a replacement yet.

So now I am shitting in my pants. I want everything to go right. Not. During "Fool For The City", Dee would pick up a guitar and join in at the end of the song. He picks it up and starts playing and looks over at me and starts making faces and pointing. I thought he was being funny. Not, again. Altini didn't turn on his stack nor the volume. Nada. Not a good start to my career. You can be rest assured that every time after that, I double and tripled checked everything. Once again Kevin (Fatty) came to my rescue.

The night's over, the show is a success, we go outside to get the truck. Some bastard punctured the tires with a knife. Didn't get out of there till 6:00am. To this day, I think it was that guy from Emits.

Until next time,
Altini

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Animal At Emit's
Part 3: Mike's Big Guitar Debut
Part 4: You're Yelling In My Ear...
Part 5: Security, Peacekeepers and Eddie Kramer
Part 6: Never Buy Lo Mein Fron A Bait Store
Part 7: Greetings from Asbury Park
Part 8: Ah! Hito! Hiata!! It is...Garbage-Ra!!
Part 10: Goodbye, Tony, Hello, Joey... Goodbye, Joey, Hello, Richie...
Part 11: The Gemini, Big Sal and Altini's Fan Club
Part 12: 'Where's My Corned Beef Sandwich??'