It’s been two years since Mary and I have been together with all 4 of our kids at the same time. This week, we’ve been hunkered down on 7th Street and the Boardwalk in a 4 bedroom, 4 and a half bath at the South Beach Condos. Mike, 29, and his significant other, Jess, flew in from Los Angeles, Katherine, 30, Randall, 32, and his wife Lizzie all flew in from Breckenridge, Colo. with 2-year-old Riley and 2-month-old Mikey, and Chaz, 34, from Lincoln, Neb. Other family members and friends have been dropping in throughout the week. It’s a big reminder that there is nothing more important, or enriching, than family and true friends.
Many of you have said that you like to read the funny or crazy stories that I ask each artist. So, this week, as my schedule is otherwise consumed, I thought this would be a good time to re-share a few of those stories. I hope you enjoy revisiting these as much as I have.
- Drummer for Randy Lee Ashcraft and the Saltwater Cowboys:
Back with Great Train Robbery at Shippensburg State College, we were playing their Spring Fling, Kix was the headliner and we were the next act to perform for 8,000 plus college kids. There was a set of train tracks behind the field. A bunch of kids had a bit much to drink and thought they were going to rob a train when it came by. So they built a huge fire on the train tracks to stop the train. At the same time, a bunch of others decided to steal the ambulance and when they took off they wiped out a whole line of Harleys and the cop that chased after them wound up wrecking his cop car. About a year later, I”m working in my surf shop in Fenwick Island and in walks a guy with a Shippensburg hat on and I told him the story. As luck would have it, he told me that he was the cop that wrecked his car that night. We shared a good laugh over that.
- Lead Guitar with RandyLee Ashcraft and the Saltwater Cowboys:
I was gigging 6 and 7 nights a week back in 1986, just like I am now, I guess. This beautiful girl comes up to me one night named Sylvia Saylor and she says, “buy a Saylor a drink?” I say, “darn right.” Sylvia is now my wife and we’ve been together since that night. We have a wonderful son named Grant and we do a Trio called Phobia when the Cowboys aren’t booked.
- Bass Player, Three Sheets Acoustic:
My very first public gig was in a bar when I was 15 years old. We have all of these band members and I talk to the owner of the bar and we work out the money. There was a $4.00 cover charge. The owner says he’ll pay us $1.00 of the cover charge after the first 400 people show up. So being novices, we accept the deal. We play our guts out all night and at the end of the night, I go to the owner and ask him about our pay and he gets a big smile on his face and says to me, “awe, man, you JUST missed it. We had 380 people show up tonight.” The other band members asked me what’s up with our pay and I had to tell them, oh yeah, about that. Haha. A great lesson to learn at 15.
Joe Mama, aka, Joe Wirt
- Drummer, Two Guyz and a Mama:
I was playing a wedding gig about 5 years ago and the best man was having quite a good time when he tripped over a floor monitor and blasted into my drum set exploding the entire kit everywhere like a ten pin ball hitting a strike at the bowling alley. I was left sitting there by myself with only sticks left in my hand.
- Guitar / Vocals, Two Guyz and a Mama:
I was playing a gig with Nantucket back in the 70s and one night a couple of locals asked the bass player and me if we wanted to party with them later. We said sure. So we follow them out to the car and eventually going down dirt roads in the Mississippi Delta country, we think we’re in trouble. The car pulls over, the guys get out and open the trunk. The bass player and I are absolutely sure that we are about to be dead men. They walk around with some mason jars full of moonshine and said, “Ok, you boys ready to do some real partying?” We drank moonshine with them all night and made it back safely. Whew!
- Keyboards / Bass / Vocals, Two Guyz and a Mama:
Back around 1995 we’re playing a gig on 127th street. We’re on stage and the stage is a foot or two higher than the floor. In the back of the stage is this door, right behind the drummer. So we’re playing and really hitting some hard classic rock and all of a sudden the drums stop. We’re looking around; the drummer was gone. We’re like, where the heck did he go? A few minutes later, he comes running around the bar with the drum sticks in his hand. He said he was getting animated on the drums and he fell out the door and it locked on him. He couldn’t get back in. So he had to run around to the front door to get back in.
- Lead Guitar / Vocals, Thin Ice:
We were in Jackson Mississippi, 1975, across from the Coliseum. Elvis was in town and the hotel was slammed with girls. They all thought Elvis was staying at the hotel. We always dressed real nice from tuxedo to jump suit to casual but, we were always looking nice. So we come out in our tux jumpsuits and all the girls thought we were part of Elvis’s band. We found no reason to make them think otherwise. Well, I can tell you, we found out what it was like to be in Elvis’s band.
- Lead Singer, Arizona:
We’re driving up here to Ocean City, from Memphis, and Tony was at the wheel and following his GPS and he got detoured and lost somewhere in Washington, DC. I’m sleeping and all of a sudden the van stops. I wake up and we are surrounded by guys with machine guns pointed at us. He drove into some guarded government facility by accident causing a big stir. Pretty freaky way to wake up. Rick wanted to get out and stretch his legs. I said are you crazy? They have machine guns pointed at us. They searched the vehicle and the trailer, turned us around and ultimately got us back on our way.
- Rhythm Guitar / Vocals, Thin Ice:
We were playing at a waterfront place, Market Street Inn, Salisbury, Md., and they had us on a barge tied up to pylons with the audience on the shore. As we were playing over several hours, the tide went out. We were getting lower and lower until what seemed like we were 8 feet below the crowd. It’s like we were playing to the bulkhead. Totally bizarre. Nothing we could do about it so we just kept on playing.
Brant Quick - Singer / Songwriter, Solo Artist:
About 5 years ago, I was playing at a little dive bar in North Myrtle Beach in a town called Little River on the border of North and South Carolina. I was playing a duo with another guy and we were killing it all night long and partying with the crowd. Jager Bombs were being hoisted the whole time because we thought we had a free bar tab. At the end of the evening, the owner comes over with what I thought was our pay but, he presents us with a bill for $150 because we had no free bar tab at all. So I told him I didn’t have any money to pay him and he starts hollering at me and I return the verbal fire. He starts chasing me around the bar, then outside and down Highway 17. He’s screaming that he’s going to kick my butt the whole time I was running so fast that I ran right out of my good flip flops, you know the ones with the bottle opener on the bottom. Now I’m sprinting barefoot when I see a sign that says Welcome to North Carolina. My friend stayed at the bar and got all of our gear out of there. The worst part of it all was losing my favorite flip flops.
Again, I want to thank everyone for your support of Meet The Band. I have some great interviews coming up in the following weeks. Until then, see you all out and about.
RandyJamz is the frontman for The RandyJamz Band and half of the duo with, The Baltimore Boyz, featuring Jay (The Great) Vizzini. Available for gigs of all types as a solo, duo, and full band act. If you would like to be interviewed for a Meet The Band article, contact him at: email@example.com