WE HAD TO GREASE our hair back one more time, let
it be with water soluble Groom and Clean or Dippity
Doo, anything but Dixie Peach pomade.
Finally, Day One arrived, and once again we revved
up the time machine for a last spin around our home
track at Saint Mary's. Same deal as Cal Berkeley's
Alpha Phi party, only twice the number of people
outside on this warm Spring evening. This time the
Family, whose numbers included two sets of identical
twins who routinely hung their peers by their cuffs
from San Francisco's Army Street overpass, arrived
on the hood, roof and fenders of an early 50's Merc.
Under the baton of future San Francisco Police Lieutenant,
the late George Stasko, the Family heckled the peaceniks
and held the stunned natives rapt with their compelling
switchblade, uh, choreography.
neck bowed and ears bent back, the Mighty Quinn
led off with "Daddy
Cool". Howling like wolves amidst
the trees surrounding the amphitheater, the crowd
Whee-oohed along with the Whackettes on "Dedicated
to the One I Love"; and gasped as one when
Craig collapsed off the stage in the throes of
death at the climax of "Teen Angel".
video page -- "Circa 1970"
) All the while Laz, now Rocco Vaselino, and the
boys wept, prayed and shoveled like rockin' grave
diggers behind him.
the end, the audience went silent like the bubbles
Hunt. The vibrato-laced strains of
colored the night air and Julio preached to the
choir about another world, one as removed from
the Nixon era as was the scent of Jade East from
the stink of Patchouli Oil -- the story of Cousin
Chui and his neighbor Yolanda; a Passion Play,
really, that compared the squeegee sound of Chui's
kissing to the swishing of windshield wipers recalling
in the same sentence the sacred images of cashmere,
of Hollywood and tuck
and roll interior (the Chicano trifecta)--
a seamless segue to the finale, "Goodnight
After six months of planing and rehearsal, Day
One had come and gone. Our mission was accomplished;
our career was over.
fortuitously, in the summer of 1971, Butch Whacks
& the Glass Packs became widely known in the
Bay Area for the sound of our name, not the sound
of our music. We owe that serendipity to KSFO
DJ Terry McGovern who had just launched a one-hour
show each evening dedicated to teen age death
Endless Sleep", "Tell Laura
I love her", "Moody River" and
the like, under of the nom de plume, "Richie
Terry/Richie spent the drive time slot plaintively
searching o'er the airwaves for his long lost
group - the Blue Flames. Since the Blue Flames
were not to be found, Terry (also a comedian who
cameoed in American Graffiti as the how-do-you-like-these-etchings?
school teacher) aimed his beacon at any group
anywhere who specialized in the musical stylings
of the mythic Blue Flames, somebody somewhere
who could sing "Little
Star" with a straight face, an
actual combo that could back him up for real at
a Midsummer's night sock hop at Lowell High School
in San Francisco.
With opportunity a knockin', someone, lets call
him a little bird, but someone and we won't mention
any names shameless Craig, but someone called
Terry/Richie and told him about this new group
at Saint Mary's College across the Bay in Moraga
tearing it up at frat parties known as "Butch
Whacks & the Glass Packs". Zooom. We
were instantly on the air; and back in business.