August 12th, 1966
Sometimes our most passionate writing can be found in the pages of our teenage diaries…
Helene picked me up at around 7:30 and she looked great! We stopped at the Plaza so she could get some flashcubes for her 304 Instamatic camera. I brought mine, too. We parked about three blocks from the Civic Center, which was good, considering the crowd. Such weirdos like I’ve NEVER seen! I mean, I’ve seen boys with shoulder-length hair before on TV, but it’s nothing like in person. One “normal” character was in boots, skin-tight white levis, a wild Carnaby shirt and long blond hair — it just had to be set.
So…in we went to our seats — center aisle — 5th row. Just TOO excellent! After sitting around for a little while I finally located the kids — Terri, Judy, Ronni and Barb. I told them about going backstage by sign language. They were dying! They were trying to see my hair with opera glasses. I saw Richard out in the hall. He said he was gonna get me back there. We went back to our seats and the show finally started about 10 minutes late.
First group was The Rare Breed. The most adorable drummer and guitar player were in it. I couldn’t see past the girl in front of me without cocking my head. Suddenly the drummer was staring in my direction (I think his name is Scotty). I wanted to make sure that he was looking at me so I turned my head the other way…and so did he! I was SO happy!
In between groups, Ken Crash (“who’s he?”). Johnny Dark and some other dumb DJ stalled for time by plugging “Ready, Steady, Go” and some other garbage. Next were the Shades of Blue with one good song,. They also sang “Oh How Happy” I think, and “Sweets for My Sweet”. This girl in front of me was a raving maniac. She was hysterical just WAITING for Chad and Jeremy and the Raiders. Weird or not? The place wasn’t full but they drew a pretty good crowd — loud anyway.
So…next came The Uptown Dancers and the Turtles. The Turtles put out an excellent song last year that I would’ve like to hear, but about 10:00, in the middle of their act, Richard came to take us back.
I was as excited as anything. Up to then, I had to laugh aloud everytime I thought of what a celebrity I’d be to the kids if I really could meet the groups…So, Helene, me and Gordy (his cousin) got up, ducked under the ropes marking off the sides and went into a door marked Stage Door. What a coincidence! HA HA. OK — so I was nervous. We walked up 3 steps and down a hall toward the stage. There was a black mat over a sort of rubber floor which my heels sank into. We made a right and in two seconds were in front of a door. In we went and I found myself in a room a little larger than my homeroom this past year. I think it was a dressing room from the bright lights, mirror and showers. There were about 25 or 30 boys and girls, especially, lined up around the side of the room. I stayed near the door.
We only had to wait a minute before the door opened and in trooped Chad and Jeremy and Paul Revere and the Raiders.
I was in a beautiful state of shock. After reviving, I received a Chad and Jeremy pamphlet and set off getting autographs. First to be approached was Paul. Upon signing the back of my book (I had no paper), he remarkd, “I know those two chaps”. I should hope so, after performing in the same show!
Fang (who also said the same thing!) was next and ran out of ink on the “G”. he tried twice to make the pen work and then gave up. Believe me, I know what it says. Chad and Jeremy did the honors following Fang and made nice little practically unintellible scrawls.
I figured it was time for some picture-taking. Actually, I really don’t know how I could think at all. I can’t remember if I got Paul or not, but I know I shot one of Mark. Fang posed, but I couldn’t get the button on the camera down, so I missed it. Don’t worry — I got him and Chad and Jeremy and maybe Harpo. Helene then suggested that I have my picture taken with a couple of them. This was not the place for shyness, so off I went. Believe me, I was in the daze to beat all dazes.
Paul again was first on the list. My brilliant recruiting speech consisted of, “Paul, would you mind if I had my picture taken with you?” He didn’t mind. He just put his arm around me (WOW!) and smiled. It’s funny but I never realized how tall he is until now. Over 6 foot, I’m sure. His hair was a little shorter than I remember it, but other than that he looked the same.
Next was none other than your favorite and mine, Fang Baby! I repeated the question to him, even though he was busy signing autographs. In repsonse, he put his arm around my neck, and hoding the paper in that hand reached across and continued to sign. I died 1,000,000 times. TV does not do this boy justice. He is precious to beat all precious. But the blasted flashbulb didn’t go off, and when we finally got the picture, Fang had his arm back. Oh well. I approached dear Harpo after that (he was sort of by himself) and he smiled his very self-conscious smile and SNAP!
Next come IT, and I do mean IT. I asked Chad to be in a picture with yours truly, and he looked down at me, smiled, and said in that gorgeous British accent, “Of course, luv”. Oh God — What have I done in this world to deserve such ecstasy? Well, you can guess what followed — TWICE the flash didn’t blink. Chad offered to see what was wrong but declined quickly after one look at the camera. He was so funny. All this time his arm was around my waist and I was lapping up every second of that delicious feeling. What a man! Finally it was taken after I had informed Chad that I was not moving until that darn camera worked.
On I moved to darling Jeremy (please don’t mind my sentimentality). He’s another cute 6 footer, with another luvable grip. He has an adorable way of looking right at you when he talks, with those beautiful big eyes of his. So ended the photography section. Only parts I could kill myself over were missing Smitty and Mark and not getting that “intimate” pic of Fang and I.
Here come the descriptions…As far as my weak brain will allow me to remember (which can’t possibly be much considering the condition I was in), Fang looked sharp in tight gray pants with white pin stripes, a groovy long sleeved polka-dot (possibly) shirt and maybe boots. One them had boot loafers on — don’t ask me who. Fang’s a doll — no two ways about it. His hair looked good and I think he had a little more powder makeup on than did the others. He has a real smooth complexion, big eyes like Jeremy, and OOH — that smile! He’d be great in a toothpaste commercial.
Mark can be described in two words — tough and sexy. He was both, all over. It leaked out of every pore. He was another tall one — and big-boned, too. He had his little pigtail, too, which I would’ve liked to pull. He had brown suede boots, tight pants (what else?), boots and someone, I know, had on an excellent-looking big, black belt. One of my only disappointments of the night was not getting up close to Mark.
Harpo’s outfit seems a little hazy — something like a bright colored (possibly orange) jersey. Chad and Jeremy looked fantastic. I can’t tell you exactly what they wore until I get the pictures back, but they looked great. Most of it was brown, though. Smitty was a panic. A little guy with a stern-looking expression — he got to this girl’s heart all right.
That being over, I leaned against a wall and stared at Fang who looked a little bushed. Then I joined everyone for a group photo, professionally taken. Mark had both of his arms over the shoulders of two girls so I wedged myself in beside him. His elbow is tough, too. (What? 😉 I wish I had bought color film and had gotten more pictures, and that there was more time. If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. Oh yeah — I would’ve liked to have said something about Laredo to C&J.
All of a sudden, we were all out of the room and Helene handed me a C&J album — not yet on sale and grabbed from somewhere. Before sitting down again (it was intermission) I went over to the gang. They were gnashing their teeth in envy. They had seen me leave. The girl in front of them kept trying to say something to me but couldn’t get it out. I was still starry-eyed. Then the second stage set in where my knees turned to water and I just had to sit down or fall down.
The show went on. Some dumb group called the Guillotines had their damn amplifiers on too loud and when the crowd yelled at everybody from the police to the DJs to turn them down, they misunderstood us for yelling at the group. Dummies. Tommy Roe was OK — nothing spectacular.
Chad and Jeremy had everybody going crazy from the minute the curtains opened. Jeremy is a lot more of a ham, I think. He yelled (jokingly) at the girl in front of me to shut up and she wilted on the spot. All she could say wuz “He talked to me, he looked at me” over and over again. They sang a nice little dirty song and a medley, plus “Distant Shores” — just great.
And then — THE RAIDERS! What an act! I didn’t scream during the show; just chewed gum like a maniac. It was pure maniacal bliss. Their routines are 50 times as great in person. Everything had perfect timing, and even a wrong note hit by Paul was funny. The place was bedlam. Terri was jumping up and swinging her jacket with the rest of them. But I got a little fed up with a girl hollering in my ear, so I upped and went to watch from behind the rope. I even managed to edge closer to the stage than any other kid there. It seems practically impossible, to me, to jump the gate to the stage. Between the first row and the guard rail there are a few cops, then there’s a drop with 10 policemen lining the bottom of the stage and some on each side. It’s a good arrangement.
Anyway, a little after my move we were all hustled backstage where after a few minutes, I went in the wings to watch the performance. Absolutely everybody was remarking how polished and professional their act was, as well as funny. We mustn’t forget the songs either. My favorite was one by Fang entitled, “Baby, Please Don’t Go”. Linda’s got it on her album, which I promptly borrowed.
Too soon there was an abrupt silence and I realized that the curtain had been drawn. Here comes the neat part — Almost immediately, the Raiders laid down their instruments and charged in my direction (I heard today that Harpo may have ripped his pants). They looked so good in their costumes. In the room I forgot about their outfits and was thinking that they would wear the clothes I described. But those are their EVERYDAY clothes. ACK!
Four Raiders ran by but Gordy’s mother stopped Fang and begged him to sign his name. I could see him having little fits. He hollered for the rest of the boys to hold the bus. I stood next to him and stared. He was so hot that a little drop of sweat had dripped down on his chin. Then off he ran. I chased after him, and Helene after me, then Richard and some other guys. I missed seeing them and C&J get on the bus, but I saw it pull out from out back. What an exit! But even then, some kids were out screaming by the bus. I heard that they stayed for awhile at the Holiday Inn. Some guy said he passed there earlier and some 400 girls were out front with WE LOVE THE RAIDERS signs.
I’d love to do it again. I’m just sorry I don’t remember as much as I’d like to, and that I didn’t get to say some things I wanted to say. Before we left, I managed to fool around for a few minutes with Paul’s keyboard. His fingerprints were all over it…