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Chapter 1 - Blue Light
Chapter 2 - Dave's Room
Chapter 3 - Airfix
Chapter 4 - Blue Monday
Chapter 5 - The Boston Years
Chapter 6 - The December Projects
Chapter 7 - Pinkney Park
Chapter 8 - Grass Roots
Chapter 9 - The Albums
October Palace
Leftovers and Other Exotic Foods
New Shoes
Chapter 10

Untitled Document

"A listening evening envelopes my mind"

Blue Light


Captain Henry's
In October of 1971, Dave Procter and I played our first gig together. It was in the basement of the Rowayton Community Center at 33 Highland Avenue in Rowayton, CT as part of a Boy Scout/Girl Scout/Sea Scout event called the “Show and Do.”

We played with a guy we knew from school, Don Savoie. Blonde and blue-eyed, Don was the good looking one and the best musician among us. Dave, for some reason, had just got a beautiful 12 string acoustic guitar which had a fantastic, rich sound. I had an old nylon 6 string that I could barely play (a gift from an old girlfriend) and some harmonicas. Nonetheless, we were a minor hit when we played our little set, especially among the Girl Scouts, which was of course the point of picking up instruments in the first place. I remember we did the Rod Stewart/Martin Quittenton song Maggie May, still a new song at the time. Dave’s 12 string filled in for the signature mandolin part. In the audience was a young(er) Harry Hussey, with whom we’d have more musical connections.

That fall, Dave and I regularly played together at my house and his. We even did comedy, parodies of radio programming and commercials. He taped much of this on a small, bad quality reel to reel tape deck. (Mercifully, these tapes are long lost.)

We called these sessions the Blue Light sessions, named for the blue painted bulb we´d use to create "mood". We played and practiced for months at my house at 11 Richard´s Avenue and at Dave´s upstairs bedroom at 16 Flicker Lane. For Christmas, 1971, my parents gave me a steel stringed acoustic which increased my volume if not skill. We played whenever we could.

Dave called the tape we strung together, the MacDonald Memorandum (we often went to the newly opened MacDonald´s down the road from me after we played). I have what I believe is a list of what we put on that long lost Ur-tape. It has songs interspersed with parodies of commercials and other comedy bits. Instead of times for each segment, I have the number of feet listed as per the tape recorder counter. The songs in order include:

  • You Ain´t Goin´ Nowhere Bob Dylan
  • Mister Tambourine Man Bob Dylan
  • You Can´t Always Get What You Want Mick Jagger/Keith Richards
  • Times They Are a ´Changin´ Bob Dylan
  • Welcome Back Home Skip Battin
  • 42nd Street Gunhill Road
  • All I Ever Really Want to Do Bob Dylan
  • Mercedes Benz Janis Joplin/Michael McClure/Bob Neuwirth
  • I´m Goin´ Home Alvin Lee
  • Flying John Baldry
  • Streets of London Ralph McTell
  • Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35 Bob Dylan
  • Lady of the Blue Original
  • Room to Move John Mayall
When we were out, at a party or wherever, we usually had our guitars. (Like I said; girls.) No comment about the quality of our music. Most of our material consisted of covers, especially Bob Dylan, which Dave could easily play, and I could easily sing and play harmonica on, but both Dave and I were starting to write. We found we needed the intimacy and trust of a partnership to try out new material and gain honest perspective. We also needed more space. Dave´s room was long and narrow with two beds. My bedroom was even smaller. In the spring of 1972, Dave moved up by moving to the basement of his parents´ house.