This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 17, 2002 2:03 PM. The previous post in this blog was I swear. The next post in this blog is The season for giving is upon us. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, November 17, 2002

Still Coastin'

My cousin Jim, one of those mentioned in my piece of a couple of days ago about the Coasters (among other things), writes:

I still have probably a hundred or so 45's in the basement. Perhaps on the next rainy day, I'll drag them out to see which ones survived the heavy duty plays with needles that weighed a pound or so, and the parties where they were commingled with other people's records and handled (and tossed about) with abandon.

And, of course, there are the Coasters. Perhaps you already knew, so I will try very hard not to spew endless details, but perhaps my most amazing moment in all the years (damned near 40!) that I have been playing music in one band or another, was the night I played drums for the Coasters.

Sometime between '72 and '75, we had a little trio that was working weekends in a place in Bloomfield called "Murray's Pub." The owner tried his hand at booking "oldies" acts. One of those acts was the Coasters. I could not believe it. I figured that I had a free ticket to see the Coasters up close -- possibly even from the "wings" as it were.

The Coasters showed up that night, and singing with them was Earl "Speedo" Carroll of the Cadillacs ("The often call me Speedo, but my real name is Misterrrrrrr Earl"), who replaced a member who had passed away (I believe). The only back up they used was a guitar player, who travelled with them all the time, and a tambourine.

So, when their guitar player wanted to talk with the "drummer" from the group that was set up. He also wanted to talk to Paul the bass player. He asked if I/we would back them up. My heart damned near exploded. He ticked off some of the songs that they planned on performing and asked me if I knew them. Do I KNOW them? I grew up with them!

Next thing I knew I was on stage with the great ones, while they kicked ass and took names. Some of the tunes I remember playing with them are "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "Searchin'," and "Poison Ivy." There were others that will come back the next time I pick up my "Complete Collection" of the Coasters songs. A week or so later, I was playing with Harvey and the Moonglows ("Ten Commandments of Love"), but nothing, nothing, nothing would top actually playing "Searchin'" with the Coasters and simply not being able to believe it was all happening.

The music was king.

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