A “One Man Band” goes back to Florida and becomes a Rock Star living the dream. It was the winter of 1986 and I was leaving New York and heading to Florida for the second time. This time though, I was an adult with musical skills. I got to Florida but all of the bands in the area had all of the players they needed. I went to work for a temp service and kept looking for players at jam sessions and the like. So one day, three years later in 1989, after work, I stop off at this local bar and run into a bass player that went by “Duce”. He was from Louisiana and Coon-Ass all the way. It wasn’t long before the conversation got around to music, and he was looking to get something going as well. He knew a drummer that went by “Cha-Cha” that had a double bass kick drum kit.
We set up at Duce’s house and found out really quick that we all had good musical skills and clicked together. We got right to work on a song list and in a very short time had a working show put together. Of course, I was the Lead singer and Lead guitarist because of the coincidence that we were working from the song lists that I used in my solo shows. We were ready to go except for one thing…. we didn’t have a band name. In the process of coming up with a name, I puffed, puffed, and passed that which contained “THC”. We all agreed to come up with an acronym for “THC”. Thus “The High Court” was born in the Fall of 1989. I had one of our groupies lay down on a sheet so I could trace her body for the design of our first logo/banner. The banner and logo has since changed to become more “Politically Correct”. But in 1989 is was simply a cool looking banner.
We had everything ready to go to start gigging except the favorable agreement of the local club scene. It just so happened that Duce’s house was on the same street as two local bars. So we decided to have a Halloween Party. It turned out that both bars lost a ton of money that night because all of the locals came to the party and decided to hang out there.
The next day, one of the club owners approached us to play at his bar. We agreed and became the house band at “Don’s Place”. The other bar the “Rusty Nail” had a less profitable during that time. We eventually played there and packed the house. The High Court from 1989-1991 packed “Don’s Place” at every performance. We were playing a lot of songs from bands like Poison, Guns and Roses, White Snake, White Lion, as well as an arsenal of Classic Rock. Yes, by this time some of the music of the 60’s and 70’s became known as “Classic Rock”! It really didn’t seem that long ago. You’ll have to remember that as we went into the 90’s, even the songs of the 80’s became “Classic Rock”. Until that one fateful day that Duce had to leave town in haste, and go on the lamb. I thought it quite ironic for a musician to be having trouble with the law and being a member of “The High Court”. Needless to say after a two year run, we went into recess at that time.
But by then my reputation as a singer/guitarist was well known and I hooked right up with a solo gig for a ladies’ night at “Lenny’s”. Some of the weekend bands weren’t too happy with me because, the local crowd would end up spending most or all of their money that night and not have enough to go out to see the bands on the weekend. The price you pay for being a local “Rock Star”! That gig lasted a good year until I knocked on the door one afternoon to set up for that night’s performance, and found out that the place was closed down for racketeering.
By then (1992), I was looking for any side or full time gigs (solo, duo, or full band). I performed once more in 1992 for an AIDS benefit at Williams Park in Saint Petersburg, Florida with a Broadway Star “Ann Hodges (I was definitely younger and thinner at that time). Again, I was ahead of my time playing benefits for AIDS. Of course at that time the disease was fairly new and there were little if not any real cures.
Then life, as it always will, got in the way of music. This time though, it was in a good way. So goes part of the journey of a musician. And speaking of the journey…
Next blog: From Florida to the lights of Vegas….http://bit.ly/29y9eBV