Everybody look what’s going down.
The next day I had a show in the park with the Imps and the Becky Sagers. Everyone else in town had cancelled their activities, but I’m genetically imprinted with the adage, “The show must go on.” Seems my grandfather and all his brothers owned the Anderson Hotel in Monticello, N.Y., a prime stop on the Borscht Belt and a place where many greats got their start, most notably Sid Caesar. The Andersons ran the hotel, booked the talent and played in the band. Did I ever mention that my uncle created the first music video (which featured Johnny Mathis and was played on a Scopiotone)? Well, point is that “show biz” is in my blood.
So, the post-Sept. 11 show was a tough crowd. We were all in shock that night, but there was a sense of community in the park that transcended the dire circumstance. It reminded me of a show I did at LaSalles during the first week of the Gulf War in 1991. It was my weekly “Variety Show,” and I had to unplug the giant TV they used to have near the front door that was projecting images of the Highway of Death in order to get ready for an evening of cowboy songs, skits and bands.
Last year, on Sept. 14, the governor announced that there was a plot to blow up the Golden Gate Bridge. That night we had 10 bands at the Senator loading in at 6 p.m., when suddenly all of Chico went dark. Some fool kept inciting panic by yelling that he heard on the radio we were under attack. In response, we set up a circle of candles outside the theater, and The Craze played a great acoustic set. Face it people, if the shit goes down, the only thing we’ll have is the ability to entertain each other. So fight terrorism by supporting local music.