Halloween 1982

At Halloween 1982, a joint called Club Mod in Passaic, NJ held a "Mods and Rockers" night. There were gifts from a local radio station, and promises that JT would be there. The manager, Freddie, seemed the type who might actually know Johnny, so my band - The Score - signed on for the gig. We were one of the "Mod" bands. One of the other "Mod" bands was led by Walter Lure, but I can't remember the name of his group.

The club was packed and after all the bands had played, and all gifts and awards had been handed out, JT still hadn't arrived. Around 2AM, the club buzzed - and there he was, surrounded by a minor entourage. Johnny was led immediately into the manager's office, where he stayed for 10 or 15 minutes (I assume this was money/coke time). When he came out he lit an enormous joint and was handed a bottle by the bartender. He asked around about who had been the last band on stage (I wasn't far from him, of course) and I said we'd been. He said who owns the Orange amp? I said me, and he asked if he could use it for the next set. I said yes, needless to say (Johnny, using my amp!!!). He set up with Lure's band backing him.

They started - but he had turned the amp up all the way and it fed back terribly. Every time he tried to play it was nothing but noise, and he kept walking further into the audience and turning the guitar's volume up and down. After a few minutes he gave up, and took the mic off the stand and started singing to a basic blues riff. There was a guy dressed in a robot costume, and he sang, "Hey Mr. Robot, I'd like to be like you."

I ran around behind John, picked up the guitar, turned the amp down to a reasonable level, and played riffs behind what he was doing. This went on for 15 or 20 minutes until he turned to the band, raised his hand, and was done. It was disappointing because I would love to have heard him play guitar again (I saw The Dolls 5 times). But it was way cool to have played behind him. I have photos of it, and it was a great moment in my life.


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Managed by Chris Ridpath: chris@thunders.ca
Modified: May 7, 2001