Moose on the Loose

I found this show “playbill” in a box in my attic. March 21, 1977. I was one year away from getting a record deal but I was already working with Harold Kleiner in NYC and things looked promising. My band was breaking up so we all decided to go out with a bang and put on a big show. Not unlike what we still do in the Fall when I return to Meriden, CT and round up the old gang.

I had to go through this with you. What a bizarre trip down memory lane. Okay. Here goes.

Arcadia Ballroom. Loved this place. It felt like our Fillmore East. Great crowds. Great sound. Pretty girls. After this show Johnny P went to work for the Dogs and they always played here so I spent a lot of time standing at the mixing board. And flirting with Mark Mirando. Did I say flirting?

I meant flirting.

Moose on the Loose? Well, I guess you gotta call a show something. I guess I thought the rhyming words were funny. I thought it would be amusing for a bunch of people to have to admit they were going to attend a “Moose on the Loose” concert. We even made up little round tickets, as I recall. Wonder if I have one of those deeper in this box? I would stick my hand in but I fear mice droppings.

One Armed Bandit was the band I was in after I returned from Santa Cruz. It had Kevin and Dean in it from the CA band and… Barbara. Eddy was now on steel guitar. I see we played Country Song. This was the song that I heard on the radio a few years before and it made me fall in love with Pure Prairie League. Dean sang it. That’s cool.

Mexico is a song I wrote. It was one of two songs I recorded in a studio that made Harold Kleiner call me from CBS and start helping me. Not a bad Eagle’s rip off of a song.

Bump Bounce Boogie…well, you didn’t have a hot girl in the band and NOT get her up front. This was a Texas swing song that we undoubtedly mutilated. Babs was great on it.

Time to showcase Paul P.T. Kroll. He was the Dylan of our town. He was the leader and lead singer in the band that I went to Santa Cruz with…but he was now back in CT and “at liberty”. We couldn’t get him to join the band but he was willing to get up and sing a few. I wish I could recall what songs they were.

Martin Beck!! I see we then reformed the Santa Cruz band and played some of the songs that did NOT get us a record deal in California.

Round and Round was one of Paul’s that I loved. I have a cassette of it somewhere but I don’t recall how it goes. I know it had the word “Round” in it. Something in the Air was the Thunderclap Newman song from the radio that PT did in his own, cool way that, for me, beats their version. Then came MY song, Leave Me Blind. This song ended up on the solo record I made the next year. Tommy Sepiol was originally the lead player in the band that went west but as soon as we got there he quit to take up classical guitar. (as lead guitar players are wont to do) I never knew at what point he decided he didn’t want to play rock and roll anymore. Maybe what we played was not his idea of rock and roll. He did manage to become an incredible classical guitarist. Bastard. He rejoined us this night to play a cool guitar part on this song. I still remember setting up the folding chair in the middle of the stage so he could play some solo numbers and I could go to the bathroom.

Mike Showerda came out with an acoustic guitar and sang the JD Souther song Silver Blue. Awesome. I’m sure I was out of the bathroom by then.

Whispering Moose, as I recall, was a semi band we threw together just for this show. Hence the Moose reference. We did a mish mash of songs from various bands we had been in…Grizzly Bear (Dean’s fave and a song I fell in love with when I first heard it on a Youngblood’s album at the WPI library where I used to go and listen to albums I could not afford to purchase.

Kansas City Southern. Lots of PPL songs in this show. Quite the foreshadowing, eh? No wonder they hired me. I knew all their shit.

Smoke Smoke!! The only reason Johnny P would come out from behind the board. He came up and sang this song. Quite the moment of theater. I am looking at a picture of the two of us doing the song as I type this. That’s why there are so menniuy mistjhkikes.

LEO BOOGIE! There’s a name I forgot. I hear he’s still around. A boogie woogie piano player with enough personality to make Dean and Eddy hide in the corner. RC Cola!! How cool that we did an NRBQ song since I became friends with Big Al after I moved down to Nashvegas.

Remember the hot girl singer? Gotta have more of her. She got her own little segment while we backed her up. All these songs put Eddie’s steel guitar to good use. Loved these songs. We were all in love with Babs. I can say that now.

I see I got MY solo section. I probably tried to weasel out of it. I think the first song…The Love You’re Letting In is an original. If it is…it is lost in the mists of time. I’m sure it was a classic. Sleep’s Dark and Silent Gate is a huge downer song about death so it is wonderfully appropriate that I play it during this festive evening. I apparently had not learned about the show business concept of “pacing” yet.

That’s right. We had an electric guitar player named Eric Sabo in the band for a while. He was way above our talent level. He enabled us to play Steely Dan songs…and here’s where we did just that. Reeling in the Years. I wonder if I strapped on Eddy’s white Strat and played the harmony parts? If so, they probably sucked.

Riot in Cell Block #9 was Dean’s showcase. I still can hear him screaming out “The whole rhythm section was the purple gang!!!!” That boy could sell a song.

PT comes back to sing Lucinda. I kind of remember this song. I don’t know if it was an original.

To wrap up the show we did my song Goodbye Rosie. This was the other song on the original reel that I sent to Harold and it got me on the road to “Success.”

It says here we had a special guest. Anyone out there remember this show? Do you remember who this was? And what did we play as a Finale? Dean was always good coming up with great songs to wrap up shows with. I don’t remember. Too bad.

That was a fun night. The logistics were nutty. It made every session or concert I’ve ever put on since seem pretty damn easy.

We lost John Petrucelli a few years back. That was crushing. As far as everybody else on the list, everyone is still on the right side of the grass, right?

Come on. Anyone out there at this show? Got any memories of your own?