the last days of lenny bruce
From graduation until about January, 1975 life was tough in Memphis. Stax was going under and the Memphis local band scene wasn't what it was in the late sixties early seventies. Gigs got tougher to find...club owners got sleazier and drugs were all over the place. This was a rough time and it seemed like some kind of dark cloud had moved in over the city. I was working in a music store. Biff Conrad had broken up. I was living right at poverty level. I was in this band called Neltan Gritz. Pretty cool band with one of my best friends and favorite guitar players, Harrell Otis. Our drummer called a band meeting one night and told us that he was gay and was coming out of the closet. We took it in stride and kind of said "hey, just don't let it get in the way of the band and don't come on to us". We thought that was the end of it until he started coming to rehearsal in tube tops, hot pants and fishnet stockings. At first it was funny but after a while it was getting out of hand. We were starting to play out some and get a buzz going. One night he showed up for practice all dragged out. After some choice remarks from us we got to work. We practiced at the music store I worked at. I look up one night and there's two guys staring in the window at our drummer. One of these guys was the local mouth of the south so I had a chill move over me knowing this would be all over town the next day. Sure enough...a local player comes in the store two days later. He walks up to the accessories counter and asks for three sets of Ernie Ball Light Slinkies, six Fender medium picks, some Martin guitar polish and a drag queen.
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