PART 7: GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK
So here we are. The biggest band in the tri-state area. You know in high school how people would say, Kiss is better than Queen and shit like that. Now it's Twisted Sister is better than White Tiger or vice versa.
The promoters knew. If a national act was playing and they had trouble selling seats, put T. S. on the bill as a special guest and you will sell out. Such as the case with Judas Priest. They were scheduled to play Convention Hall in Asbury park, NJ They couldn't sell shit. So John Scher put T. S. on the bill. SOLD OUT!
We get there in the mid afternoon to load in. My fist impression of Asbury Park is, what the fuck. Here it is, the middle of the summer, no one on the beach. it looked like a MOAB hit this town. It was like Newark by the ocean. Elmo backs the Uhaul up to the door but we have another problem. The door is about 3ft higher than the floor of the truck. So we have to take the equipment off like people in a fire brigade. 2 guys would grab and pass to the next 2 and ally oop to the guys at the stage door. What a horror. All the stuff is in and we are waiting for Priest to get done with the sound check. Me and Fatty go exploring. There had to be 20 dressing rooms in this place. All run down of coarse but still you can feel the history in this hall. We went up to the roof and the view was amazing but the hell with that. We need food! Whenever you do a big show, the promoter is supposed to feed you. now the headliner gets to go first and you get what's left over. Me and fatty found the catered goods. It was a fuckin BBQ that Fred Sanford would have in his junk yard with a cooler with no ice in it and raw hamburger. I think the guy in charge of cooking was named Sal Minella, so we passed.
Twisted's time for sound check. I was by the guitars fiddling with things and over comes Rob Halford. I thought it was strange for any one in the headliner to come over and chat, especially a singer. They are usually the ones that go to the dressing room and stay there until show time.
So I am thinking, he's English, maybe they are different or something. So we talk a bit and he says maybe I will see you later. Well, the guitar tech for Priest comes over and says, 'hey, he likes you.' I go, 'What's not to like?' 'No,' he says, 'he really likes you.' I go, 'Get the fuck out of here.' I thought this guy was busting my balls; No one was gay in the 80's metal scene! Then I thought about it. Halford looked like those bikers you would see if you went up the West side of Manhattan at night. Now I am thinking, what the fuck. Big Sal is laughing his ass off when he sees my face. Sound check goes well and now I am hiding till show time.
T. S. hits the stage and the place goes nuts. I think the audience even got to Dee. They were having such a good time playing and the audience was so cool, Dee jumps off the stage and runs into the audience. We have a panic attack cause no one can get out there fast enough to make sure nothing happens. Dee doesn't give a shit. he is out there running up and down the aisles, singing and putting the mic in fans faces, letting them sing. He finally gets back to the stage with a big smirk on his face. I guess it was another rock and roll first. First, I really think they invented speed metal and second jumping into the audience and being at the mercy of your fans. It was a test of sorts. If you love em, nothing will happen.
T. S. kicked major ass and Priest really had to work for their money that night. They had to be on their game or Twisted would have showed them up. The fans always make out when the opener rocks.
After the show, Halford comes up to me, puts his arm around me and says 'You want to come on the bus?' I told him, no way, I like chicks and took off. Well, Sal, to this day, still breaks my chops about that.
The anti-climatic thing about playing that show is the next night, we played a club down the block from there called Park Place. Nice club but last night we played to couple of thousand people. Before the Park Place show, Tony Petri took some of us out to get a cheese steak. I am from New York. I don't eat a thing called Cheese steak. It sounds fuckin disgusting. He persuades me to try it and it aint so bad. Now I am addicted to them.
Until next time,
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??'