Thursday, February 24, 2011

Before There Were 5 1977 THE BLACKLIGHT INCIDENT

As I start to right this I hear the theme from "That 70's Show" going through my head and I realize how much I LOVE that show, I still watch it nightly, and I am impressed by how accurate it is. But that's just a note, because I thought about it while I was starting this post, so I typed it, it has absolutely nothing to do with anything from here on.
1977 Andrea and I cruise "Skyway" a drive in, Fairlawn Ohio, everyday because the guys that work there are hot.  I have become friends with one Mike Johnson, he is friends with one Jim Harris, who is the center of my universe only he doesn't know it.  I have such a HUGE crush on Jim Harris that I think I spent like...5,000 dollars at Skyway in 1977 alone.  Luckily I was a gymnast and a dancer so I didn't get fat because I ate a LOT of cheeseburgers and drank a lot of cokes in the 70's and well, I threw most of it up anyway.  I found out Jim Harris was the drummer in this band "Milestone" they were extremely popular and played every weekend.  Mike Johnson was the sound guy.  Because I was a couple of years underage I could not go see them when they played out.  I told Mike my dilema and I also told him I wanted to be a singer and Andrea told him I was really great and I sounded like Linda Ronstadt.  Mike decided to help us get in the club they were playing in Kent soon and I was SO EXCITED!  They needed a female singer on some recording they were doing and I was to go out and meet the band, which featured one Mark Jendrisak on bass guitar, of course I wanted to make a good impression so I dressed the part, black, always me and Johnny Cash with the black.  I wore a black long sleeve t shirt and a short skirt, tights, boots (for some reason I can remember what I wore to almost everything I am a FREAK).  So Andrea and I get in this club illegally, it's in Kent, can't remember the name but most definitely not JB's though it was on Water St. I am so dressed to impress, I was aloof and full of "you are so lucky to meet me" attitude, which was not how I felt at all, I was a nervous wreck, more because I was hanging out with Jim Harris's band than anything else.  My Mother taught me well, if you are nervous you have to convince yourself you are better than they are. I wasn't convinced but I was a really good actress.  I danced in those days, I danced and danced and danced. I loved jazz, I loved moving my body and it loved moving.  I was really quite a good dancer, my Mother and my Sister and my Aunt were all dancers, my Mother and her Sister owned a dance studio in Akron in the 40's.  Dancing was so therapeutic, it made me less....stressed, anxious, whatever it was that had me tied in knots 90 percent of the time, went away when I danced. kids make fun of me when I dance because I'm so awkward, amazing what a few extra hundred thousand pounds can do to YO MOVES!  I digress...if I even spelled it right, I digress again.
I am nervous, so I hit the dance floor, the band is staring at us,, Donna and Jackie one tall, one small, both young teenagers ready to take on the world with their finely honed dance moves BABY!  I actually looked back at Jim Harris like...OH YEAH, HE NOTICED ME,  I am IT MAN! (Yes I just said Man). Look no further, your dream mama has arrived and I would like to kiss you on the lips (that was all I could imagine at that age, late bloomer, if you kissed someone on the mouth you were DIRTY and I was feeling DIRTY).  Then everything went wrong, like it does, suddenly, out of nowhere, people were giggling, pointing, laughing and I was sure I was dancing poorly, I must be a bad dancer, why didn't everyone tell me, all these years I thought I was as graceful as a swan, me and Jennifer Beals, buckets and water and dancing.  BUT WAIT, Andrea is looking horrified, she likes dancing too!  It can't be about the dancing "OH DEAR GOD MY NOSE IS BLEEDING" I have terminal cancer, it's my heart, there are so many things I wanted to do yet....I am being pulled from the dance floor, they must be rushing me to the hospital, but are going to the restroom, I must have to wash up in case the paramedic is hot, Andrea would not let me be bleeding profusely from my nose in front of a hot paramedic so she (like Mark a few years later) is taking care of me.  We get to the rest room and she whispers in my ear, and I am ready for it, scared but strong.  "There are blacklights on the dance floor"!!!  I am so relieved...that is not scary at all, I am OK with blacklights and I can still have another Christmas!  God Bless Us Everyone!  NO...NO NO NO Trace...we have to go, you are wearing a white bra and underwear, your clothes are black, you can see right through everything you are basically just dancing in your white bra and panties and OH MY GOD Jim Harris likes you now!
I looked down and I saw nothing, no blood, no white, just black skirt, shirt, I looked fine so WTF? (We did not say WTF back then but it was what I was thinking I'm sure of it).  I went back out, being the brave, strong, up and coming punk rocker that I was, and I went to the dance floor, and YES they all clapped and YES I was glowing white under my clothing and YES I was mortified but....I was raised by Helen Nixon Thomas and I was better than anyone in the room so I embraced my inner stripper, danced a bit more then went home, cried, then laughed my ass off with my BFF Andrea Beckett.  Damn right Jim Harris likes me now!   SHE'S A MANIAC, MANIAC ON THE FLOOR...AND SHE'S DANCING LIKE SHE'S NEVER DANCED BEFORE.

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