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Rock Tales #49-Jay Vaquer

One of the Bitter End's first gigs was at the Fort Benning Teen Club, where I first met Herb and Mike Guthrie. We were hired for a Saturday night dance by Mrs. Fraker, the club's director. We set up, did a sound check in the afternoon, then went home to get dressed. Mike was dating Sheri Stansell (later known as singer Sheri Jarrell who performed in Columbus with her husband Phil, who dumped Sheri after he wrote a top 40 hit, made megabucks, and bought a farm, and left Sheri with over $10,000 in debt) who decided we needed the Jimi Hendrix look. We went to Gaylord's and bought several cans of hair spray, which Sheri tediously applied to our teased out hair. When Mrs. Fraker saw us walk in she nearly went into convulsions. She said we were not going to play if we didn't get our hair down. We tried to tell her that this was our new image but she insisted we did not look like that when we auditioned and we were going to have to do something about it before we went on stage. Sheri tried to flatten our Afro looking hair jobs which made us look more like Bozo or Einstein. Then, finally, Mrs. Fraker let us go on stage. After the first set we were going to our table when some kid noticed that Herb was wearing a Major's oak leaf on his lapel. The kid approached Herb and asked him to take the insignia off since his father was a major and he thought Herb was being disrespectful. We told the kid to get lost before we rearranged his face. He went to Mrs. Fraker and said he was going to call his father if she didn't make Herb take it off. She told Herb to get it off but Herb remained adamant. While they argued, the kid called his dad who showed up with the Military Police in no time. Herb told them the oak leaf was a gift from his uncle who had been killed in Vietnam and there was no way he was ever going to take it off. The major and the M.P.'s were touched by Herb's lie and politely told us to pack up our gear and go home, with no pay and we were banned from playing on post - again.

Rock lesson #49-Don't let shock fashion get in the way of your check






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