With Music, Come Stories Part IV

RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
edited February 2014 in Strut Central
Some names have been changed for obvious reasons...

Back in the early 90's my friend Paul Major asked me to try to track down the local NY musicians who had recorded an LP under the name The Patron Saints. The band was made up of two brothers and a third member and was titled ???????Fohhoh Bohob???????. I did some research at the local library and found one of the two brothers living in the same town in NY as where the record was from. That evening I called the number and was greeted by a woman at the other end. I explained that I was calling from Texas and was trying to locate a gentleman who had been in a band and recorded an LP. She asked where I was calling from in Texas and when I responded ???????Irving??????? she immediately hung up on me which was kind of weird.

I thought about it a few days and decided to call back that weekend. This time a man answered and I explained who I was and why I was calling. He said I had the right guy and he asked if I had called earlier in the week. I told him I had and he then apologized that his wife had hung up on me. He went on to explain that the third member of the band also just happened to live in Irving, Texas and that before he had moved there he had threatened to kill the two brothers and their families. We had a long discussion about the record and I learned that the unusual title was their neighborhood slang for ???????F*king Bl**job. When I said I might try to find the member who lived in my town(we???????ll call him Jim) he strongly suggested I shouldn???????t.

Out of curiosity I looked up his somewhat unusual name in the phone book and sure as shit he lived about 3 blocks from where I worked. The next day at lunch time I decided to drive by the house and just check it out. It was in an upscale area and when I found his home it was one of the nicer ones in the neighborhood. That night I called my partner Mark, told him the whole story and asked if he wanted to go knock on the front door with me the next day. He agreed and the next day after work we met and drove to the house.

We went up to the door, rang the bell and were greeted by a very nice, well dressed elderly gentleman. We explained we were looking for Jim and he turned around and called in to the other room for him. In a few seconds Jim came literally running towards the front door, stark naked and barely holding a towel around himself as if he had just jumped out of the shower. He excitedly said he was so glad we had come over and that he would go get dressed. We entered the house and his sweet Mother came over and introduced herself to us and asked if we were friends with Jim. We explained why we were there, that we wanted to talk to him about his music but that we had never spoken to or met him before.

Jim came back out dressed and told us to follow him back into his room. We had to walk through a bathroom which was kinda strange and he led us to a room that looked like it was one of these secret ???????safe??????? rooms hidden away in an unusual manner. We entered the room and sat down on a couch and noticed that Jim seemed very fidgety and nervous. He didn???????t really want to speak about his record but he immediately asked if we would like to see his record collection. Of course we did and he opened a closet door to reveal an amazing collection of about 800 LP???????s. He had all the classic rock titles???.Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, etc. except every last one of them were South African pressings. He explained that his Father was in the oil business and he had spent a good part of his youth living in South Africa where he had amassed this incredible collection.

Right about then my partner Mark leaned over to tie his shoe and Jim freaked out! He screamed ???????The guns aren???????t under there, they took them all away??????????whoa???.things had been a little strange but they just got fucking weird. Then Jim said ???????There are isotopes under the house that could give us cancer, but that we shouldn???????t worry because he had built a force field to protect us???????. Now my buddy Mark was the type of guy to see this kind of action as entertainment rather than something to be worried about and proceeded to egg Jim on. Mark said ???????I see you have lots of paintings of little girls in here, what the hell is that all about???????? Jim starts getting real defensive and says ???????They think I???????m a pedophile but I???????m not. I was supposed to get out of prison but they made me stay a few years extra because I was the only one who knew how to fix the computers???????.

That was enough for me as it was very apparent that Jim had some serious mental issues and I was in a ???????secret??????? room where my body may never be found. I shot Mark a dirty look, did my best to calm Jim down and told him we had to leave. Jim showed us to the front door, thanked us for coming and invited us back. I went home and told my wife this story and she just shook her head as she knew about my habit of associating with ???????eccentric??????? characters. She was pretty pissed however, a few nights later when Jim called the house to ask me if I was a Doctor or from Star Trek. The fact that this guy knew my phone number and where I lived, scared the crap out of her.

I never heard from Jim again and I never went back to visit. About five years later I was reading the local newspaper and saw Jim???????s obituary. Doing a little more research I discovered that he had committed suicide. A few weeks later I decided to go by the house and offer my condolences to his parents. His mother answered the door, remembered me and my name and said that Jim had never been as happy as he was that day we had visited him. She excused herself saying she would be right back and reappeared holding Jim???????s Gibson SG guitar that he had cut and carved into an almost indistinguishable shape. She said she wanted to give it to me and that Jim would have wanted me to have it. I thanked her very kindly but refused. I did however tell her that if she was ever going to get rid of Jim???????s record collection she should call me rather than sell them at a Garage Sale as they were quite valuable. She apologetically informed me that the record collection, along with most of Jim???????s belongings had already been donated to various charities. His records had gone to the local Public Library.

Of course the next day I called the Library and they told me the records had been sold at their annual Book Sale the week before. To this day I have never ran into or heard about a collector buying this amazing collection of South African records. In a somewhat ironic twist, my partner Mark succumbed to a combination of mental illness and drugs himself and committed suicide a few years later. RIP

  Comments


  • I've tried a bunch of times to connect to that Patron Saints album and just can't.

    RIP Mark M, who played on some hot records.

  • Keep them coming!!

  • ppadilhappadilha 2,106 Posts
    did I miss part III?

  • minimini 858 Posts
    Great story as always. Thank you.

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    ppadilha said:
    did I miss part III?
    I'm assuming he's counting as Part III the addendum late in the thread for Part II?

    You know what I like about Rock's stories, he said to no one in particular? They so often have this real bittersweet, affectionate quality to them, a kind that you don't usually get from record dudes that have been doing it for more than a minute. I mean, I'm sure he's got his share of unalloyed triumphs where he went to the right place at the right time and talked to the right person in the right way and ended up getting gold for the price of onions, but those stories are--to his credit--rarely the ones he tells. Instead, he comes through with stories like this one that more often than not have at their literal center what would to most people would constitute a disappointment--day late, buck short, no copies, found the Lord, burned everything, died last week, used the tapes to mend fishing nets, etc.--but have at their emotional center something incredible and redemptive. He's not pretentious enough to cop to such a thing, but the fact is that these are almost always first and foremost stories of humanity and connection, and I think you'd have to have a very specific malaria of the soul to finish reading a story like this one and have as your first thought "Aw, that sucks that he didn't get those records."

    And, I mean, I'm speaking as someone who used to double-sleeve shit at thrift stores so that I could get two records for a nickel instead of one. At charity thrift stores, son. The fact that a reformed dirtbag like me can read with a smile these stories where the dude didn't get the goods, that's really something.

    This is probably embarassing him, so I'm gonna stop, but suffice it to say, I was glad to read his note in the earlier post that he's been in a writing mood.

    But why am I talking about him like he's not here? This is deeply boss shit, Rock. Please keep it up.

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    James......thanks for the comments...they mean a lot coming from someone whose writing I admire.

    Hope you like Part V

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    Co-sign everything James said.
    Thanks Rock, good stories.

    Too many record stories are nothing more than, 'I bought it for a quarter off an old lady and sold it for $500.00'.

  • if i don't get to sit and talk with you over beers before i die, i've blown it.

    great stories. great storytelling.

    i appreciate these very, very much.
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