I was writing to Republic over at FreeRepublic.com the other day, and realized I had actually
laid out some of the information I'd need for the book, "Bye Bye Broadway Central", and figured I'd start it here for my fellow travelers......
In the 60's we were hippies, which was a name given by
the old Greenwich Village artists to these new kids that showed up and wanted to be "hip"....some were hip...mostly they were high....
It was then the Wizard was truly born, I always figured it would be
a great book, but I'm not ready to write it.... named for a hotel that eventually fell down....
I'm rambling.....I used to sing in the Cafe Wha, a basement coffee house run by the first Roth,
Manny, (you all
know his son, David Lee) on the corner of Minnetta Lane and McDougal Streets...Bill Cosby, Jimmy James, (you knew him as Hendricks), some kid named Bruce, who, may I say, has gotten MUCH better than he was then....and
on and on to Dylan, Cary Grant, John Lennon....the Wiz has lived a wonderful life...
As a songwriter it is my words that matter to me, and when someone who has obvious
understanding of the REASONS we were
hippies, when someone who understands appreciates your words.....that is a truly special thing.
There were times I'd take the small stage at the Wha and take that audience right away with me....they were mine, we'd
laugh, and we'd cry, together....they were golden days.....I'm amazed I survived them.....Those stories will come deeper in, we have to start out in ""The quiet green suburb of Glen Cove", my press agent, William
Fanning wrote in my Columbia Records press kit. Glen Cove, Marguerite, and that summer before my life changed, and the Wizard headed off to New York City to stay........
Music, Marguerite and the Vornados: the years before I went off to New York
I had always been with God. I can remember sitting on the curb with Karl and explaining about God to him, were we even
5? So most of the early songs were about Life and trees and God and stuff....
".... I'm afraid you'll have to stop cutting your grass..." CBS comes to Glen Cove
It was actually Bob Hughes
who I met first, that night at Columbia records...he had a partner named Nicholas DeMartino, who would become my manager. Nicky loved me and my music, and he made me better than I was. I will remember him
forever. He loved my words and thought they should be heard, and was older than me....he understood the music better than I did, he loved this song: "The Future Belongs To The Children"
Bob and Nicky were
partners in a company called Diamond Productions, and I was to be their first "star", Bob did the most beautiful arrangements.....funny they came damn close......
Jones Street: My introduction to Sex,
Keep in mind that I was 18 when I actually lost my virginity....Marguerite and I had had love, and that is very different than sex...
Bob Merritt fixed me up with a
girl he was seeing. I'm sure he told her I had never been with a woman in the Biblical way, and she dutifully took me home.......
We started to live at Jones street, where all the members of the band had been
staying...remember, TV guide called me a "square hippy" and that "I knew God was Alive" at a time when that was very unfashionable, like today, and while I'd been talking about being drug free, some of "the
Other Half" as my band was called, were stoned out of their minds, except for when they were around me...and I was just a 18 year old kid who knew words and music, and little else....but I was to learn about it all, and
that started on Jones Street.
The Broadway Central Hotel
After loosing Marguerite to my career and unlimited sex, I had nothing to anchor my life to but God, who, as I pointed out earlier,
had always been there first to begin with.
8th Street to Brooklyn, and the Jersey Shore.
Now keep in mind that each of these could be it's own chapter, but let's start when Audrey, (1) and
I moved into Nicky's apartment on 8th Street.
Nicky loved and respected me, and didn't really want anything to come between us and the music, but I had been staying with Audrey since I moved out of the Central,
and she said "she couldn't move into an apartment with a man and not be married to him" and I figured that the noble thing to do would be to marry her....so I did. In "The Answer" cafe on McDougal Street,...It was
a coffee house run by the Salvation Army, I didn't know at that time it was a religion, by Audrey was a member of the SA and so away we went.....
#1 to #2, as in Wife #
509 east 11th Street, and nails through the door.
The Wizard is born
While a lot of the Wizard's birth could have been a part of the last chapter, I decided it was important enough to give it some
I always dreaded the thought of being labeled a singer/songwriter who was now doing TV, or some other list of "titles", and I wanted to be as original as possible, and at the same time, keep that
envelop as pushed as possible.
Here I was in the greatest city in the world, New York, 8 million people, how to stand out, make a statement, and get removed from the pigeon hole of singer/songwriter every time I tried
to do something new.
The Wizard was perfect.
As the Wizard Gandalf The Grey, and fully dressed that way, people would have to reexamine their feelings....by seeing me dressed in such clothes, and being a wizard as
occupation, caused people to decide anew what they thought. It forced them to decide how they felt about this strangely dressed character, which also told them and I a lot about themselves as well.
Here on Eighth Street
Bill Porter, WDW and #3
I always had
my best adventures with Bill Porter. He is to this day my closest friend, although that should not be held against him....
Back to Long Island and Tina
This is where this tomb has to come to an
end....I can't stand sitting here writing all this stuff. But years after Corn, I met Tina, the woman my Mom passed me off to for good keeping....I'm sure you'd find my wonderful life with Tina a bit boring.
For 2 reasons: Tina is my wife, and I can't tell you about the really cool stuff, and what I would tell you would seem pretty uninteresting....love everyday, a home, support, giving and sharing...these are not the
things of books today.....
If there's ever a follow up to this book, someone else will probably have to write it......But they can call it "My time in Heaven, here on earth, by