Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman shares stories of memorable rock 'n' roll encounters that took place in our local environs. This week: Friends with quirks...
with the musicians with whom I've worked. For the most part, our
socializing has been somewhat perfunctory -- an interview, a greeting at
the hotel, a press tour -- nothing that really enhances a personal bond
beyond the standard business connection. Still, most of my musical heroes I've met been pretty nice people, and in a couple of cases, I've even made connections that linger long after our initial encounter.
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When I worked in record company promotion, things were a lot more casual. Bands would come to town and actually spend a day or two between gigs. For the most part, they were only too happy to treat South Florida as a sunny getaway, given that they often hailed from places where the sun rarely shined and winter occupied the majority of the year. I recall one particular occasion when the Canadian band Red Rider came to town. Known mainly for their rock radio staple "Lunatic Fringe" (and lead singer Tom Cochrane later had the hit "Life is a Highway") the band proved to be a genial bunch, exceedingly friendly and eager to simply settle down and have a good time during one of their few real breaks from a demanding Stateside tour. After they arrived, I invited them over to my house simply so they could hang out and lay back for a few days, allowing them to take advantage of my swimming pool and some home grown hospitality. Indeed, they seemed most interested in soaking up the sun, and within minutes of their arrival, they sprawled themselves out on my front yard, oblivious to the fact they were basking by the street. To me, it seemed odd to stretch out in a place where they could be observed so closely, but none of them seemed to mind. While my wife and I offered them drinks and sandwiches and left them to their own devices, my neighbors probably found the scene somewhat strange.
"I'm really sorry," I sputtered. I promise it won't happen again. And it wouldn't have, had I not been laid off from Capitol Records just prior to her next visit.