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The Musician... see you among the stars

Chapter 30 - Disco

Disco Music Breaks Out

Chapter 30 - Disco

The New York City club scene is happening once again, but it's not live music. It's all built around this new Disco music. Someone told me about this fantastic club called, "Infinity." One day, I thought that I would try to check it out. I went to Broadway between West 4th Street and West 8th Street where I was told it be located. I saw a lot of people hanging about in one area, but it was a very dark area. I looked around, but there was no sign or anything else that would have marked the place only a bunch of people hanging about. It is very difficult to get in any club in New York now because they are now eying you up and down to see if you fit in their atmosphere. If you don't appear to fit then they won't let you in.

It's becoming very difficult to visit clubs in Manhattan. I parked my car and walked toward the area where some people were. I asked them if there was a club there and they pointed to a dark door. I opened it and walked into the little entrance area and saw a young guy sitting on a stool dressed in diapers. He looked at me intensely as I smiled and he let me pass. I was in. Once inside I noticed a giant neon penis on the wall. The place and sound system was huge. The girls were extremely sexy and hot. You could go up to a girl and touch her breasts and she would smile. One could press his dick against her ass and she would smile and it was like that with any girl at any time. The music and DJ'ing was superb. A bald older guy like me never had it so good. I had so many girls which I was playing with that night that I didn't know who to be with. I just kept on moving from one to another. At the end of the night, I had thanked the guy who let me right in without any problem. The guy in diapers was named, John. I had a fantastic time and met and played with many girls and from now on I would now be a regular at the club. I enjoyed it so much that I would go every night. The DJ's were brilliant and I heard many great songs and styles of mixes from one song to another. This caused me to continue buying records and eventually my record collection grew to about 2500, and that was all the great 12 inch songs and album cuts.

I met a guy in my neighborhood that played guitar and we jammed a few times at his house. In the process I had met his father who worked for the Lorillard Tobacco Company the makers of Kent and Newport cigarettes. One day, I asked his father for an interview and he presented one to me. The son told me that if I got the job, then they would present me with a company vehicle also. I really wanted to get out of the drapery business. The drapery job wasn't paying me very much money for the headaches of dealing with the decorators and the customers. My car was deteriorating and I would like to get rid of that expense. So I did the interview and surprisingly got the job. His father gave me the territory of now defunct Coney Island, my neighborhood of Bensonhurst, and Bayridge. They indeed supplied me with a nice company vehicle. I began enjoying the work very much, but I hated the amount of paperwork I had to do. I hated doing a lot of paperwork and thus I was always falling behind in the paperwork. After about eight months, I was excelling in the position and I received my first credit card through the company. It came in the mail unexpectedly, because I never put in an application for it. Then about a week after that, I received a TWA credit card. I guess I was working for a company that many credit card companies have thought was prestigious. It is kind of weird, because I could never get a credit before now. I had to have someone be co-signer in order to get credit as purchasing my Chevy Impala. Now, here I am working for a tobacco company and I get two credit cards in the mail, back to back, without even applying for them. I'm beginning to feel important.

I excelled at my job which was basically a cross between a salesman and company product promoter. No other sales representative could compete with the job I was doing in my areas. However, it seemed that the better I did my job the more the manager, my friend's father, busted my balls. It seemed he was never happy and always had negative overtones. He never said what a good job I was doing. The guy was beginning to annoy me and thus he is becoming a pain in my ass. It started to make me feel very uncomfortable with the job. He was similar to my old photography teacher. I had heard that I was coming up for a promotion, but I wanted him to stop to breaking my balls. I wanted to do my job the way I saw it, and I had the freedom to do just that. I was supposed to apply what I thought was right and the manager and assistant manager, who was a very nice guy, were supposed to guide me. They would drive around all the sales representatives' area and look at their promotional work they were doing. The assistant manger as well as my other fellow representatives is very impressed with my excelled work, but my friend's father always was negative. As time went on, the negativity from my friend's father got worst, and I unconsciously began to slack off on the job. I began to lose interest.

During my sales representative visits through Bayridge, I would stop in this little hip record store which was located in a Spanish neighborhood. I would purchase some of the special 12 inch records they would carry. I eventually became a very good friend of the owner who loved my expertise in music and I knew my stuff, because I owned 2500 records. I had heard that he was opening a new store in Staten Island and so I asked him if I could be the manager of that store. He only told me that he would keep me in mind. Meanwhile, Gregg Diamond and Jim Gregory are on the top of the world. They got record deals with two companies at the same time and are turning out hit albums and songs one after another. Makes me more frustrated to think that I could have been apart of it.

The cigarette company manager just continues to break my balls, and I was now looking for a possible way out. Now, I am beginning to really hate my friend's father. The new record store was close to opening and I was hoping I could make a switch in jobs. I would rather be close to music than help convince people smoke the companies brand of cigarettes even though I am a smoker myself. I enjoy smoking cigarettes and thats my thing, my vise, but to convince others to smoke my companies brand, I have a little problem with that. My friend's father has now began spying on me. I saw and caught him two times hiding about amongst the crowd in certain areas and I made believe I didn't see him. I went into a store and watched his spying techniques through a window and I didn't like it at all. It now fells like big brother watching over me. It weird to think that someone is always watching you and following every move you make to try to catch you doing something that they feel is incorrect to their structure so that they can have ammunition to come down on you. That is what it felt like, and I decided I had enough of it. If someone is going to follow me everyday and try to hide from me so as not to see them then it's time to quit the job. I didn't like the consistent spying so I was forced to quit the cigarette company before the new record store job possibly came through. This put me in an uncomfortable position with two problems. First, I had to make the owner of the record store Eddy think that I was still working so I can stop by his store on a regular basis and not stop the momentum I built with him. That wouldn't be too difficult. The second problem was I didn't have that much money left to sustain me. I just had to hope that the record store manager job would come through, and I had to hope that it won't take too long. If so, I was going to be in financial trouble again. I didn't want to hit my credit card. I waited patiently. Two weeks had past, and I still hadn't heard anything from Eddy. I got dressed-up in a suit as if I was still working, and I took the train to Eddy's record store.

I walked in the store like I was still working, and I asked Eddy about his new store which should have been opened now. Eddy said that he opened it and hired someone else. I was very surprised, disappointed, and shocked to hear that, but I played it very cool as if I was still working and didn't need a job. I asked Eddy if he liked the manager he hired, and he said that he really didn't. I asked him, "Why not hire me. I'll be great for the store. You won't have to worry about a thing especially with my knowledge of music." He replied that he was going to give the new manager two more weeks and then he would make a decision. I asked Eddy if he would call me and let me know one way or the other, and Eddy agreed to do that.

I was broke. I needed to get some money. I couldn't function. I went into the bank and hit my credit card for the max of $500.00. I figured that if Eddy's job did come through then it wouldn't be a problem. Two weeks again had gone by, and Eddy finally gave me a call and said that he was going to hire me as the new manager. I asked him if it was definate because I needed to give my job two week notice. He said that it was definate and that he also needed to give his manager a two week notice, and asked me get ready. Wow! Fucking great! That was certainly very close to being in a financial disaster.

Finally, Eddy had called and I began the new job, but I had to wait a few weeks to be paid. The credit card bills came rushing in and I paid the first payment slightly late. The second payment then got twice as higher and I defaulted on that payment by only sending the initial payment minus the exorbitant interest from the first payment added on to the second payment. Before I knew it I was in credit card trouble. In didn't take long for the credit card company to call me continuously over and over. The credit card company quickly referred my account to a collection agency which quickly began a harassment campaign.

Meanwhile, I decided to get very bold with Teresa. I asked her if she wanted to stop by my house later on. That night she knocked on my door. When she entered, I put my arms around her and kissed her madly like I had always wanted to do. She loved every minute of it and we felt each other up. I didn't have sex with her, but we spent the whole night playing with each others body. I was in total ecstasy. I finally had my arms around the girl of my dreams. Oh God, I want this girl so badly forever. I think I could be able to be responsible and provide for her. I really have nothing stable to offer her. She is dating a guy who is a butcher. He has a steady business and he can provide for her. I can't give her anything. If only I had money. If only I was rich. The next day, I had walked out of my house and Teresa was standing in front of her stoop with her parents. The distance was about 400 yards. She stared at me as if to say take me forever. I looked into her eyes as if to say, if only I could and thought that I wished I could come to you now and take you away. Then I became saddened and in my mind, as I was looking at her eyes, I said in spirit, I have nothing. Maybe I could somehow someday make it before she gets married. Then I could steal her away, and I know she wants me to, but it really is not likely. I could never provide for her under the salary of the record store, and I don't know where my future is heading, except that I knew my life is heading somewhere toward the music.

I enjoyed working at the record store very much. The owner Eddy was like a brother and not like a boss at all. I could do anything I wanted and I was ordering all the records. This put me in direct contact with the record distributors and I was able to order all the fabulous records that I personally wanted. The only drawback was that it wasn't really a store, but a record department in a concession department store. That means that every department in the store was privately owned. The management of the department store was an asshole and the guys who ran it were connected. We had a lot of problems in the store with robberies. The store was located near a housing project of black people. The black people came in and stole like crazy, and they were good at it and they were very sneaky and slick. My boss Eddy taught me everything to know about how they do it and the games they play to try to distract you. I also learned about Boosters. Boosters were well dressed white people in suits who had special business type raincoat style clothing which could hold as many as 50 records in one shot. One Booster would stack up a selection of 50 records in a bin, and the other would lift them all at once and slipped them into his specially designed jacket. Eddy made me very aware of what I had to watch out for.

It is three years now since Disco first came out. I spent close to a year in the record store and at the same time clubbing at Infinity. Often I took the ferry directly into Manhattan after I finished work in Staten Island. The club was so fantastic, but then it suddenly closed down without warning. I had heard that other clubs were beginning to close and the Disco scene and its music had become in jeopardy. Through people I had met, they suggested another club called, The Ice Palace. This club was small and considered a gay club. It was mostly men, but the girls that attended it were very loose and very beautiful. I went to this club every Friday and Saturday night. The girls were very hot and the gay guys never bothered me. I became very good friends with the DJ's and asked them to play the tape of my recorded, Do You Wanna Love Me song I did with Louie and Johnny. The DJ put it on early in the evening and it sounded terrible. It was a bad attempt to make a disco record. Johnny and Louie tried, but failed. Nothing had ever become of the record.

A movie of the Brooklyn Disco scene was made and released called, Saturday Night Fever. It was a great movie that depicted the scene at its best. Although I had never attended the Brooklyn scene, the Manhattan Disco scene was certainly the best and totally different from what the movie depicted. I guess they could not put all the sex and drugs on the big screen. The music that they used in the movie was never the music that they played in the Manhattan clubs. Disco music in the Manhattan clubs was more like club dance music.

Disco music was an underground independent form of music. Meaning that the music industry, the RIAA, had never recognized it as threatening to the music industry overall. That means that the Major Artists on the labels, the artists that sell millions of records were still selling millions of records, and Disco was considered a low form of record sales. It never amounted to very much on the large scale. However, many people were getting rich especially the producers, just like Gregg Diamond. They made dance records without actually having an artist. When the record was finished, an independent label would sell it and make a lot of money, but there was never an actual group available. The people who recorded the songs were studio musicians and singers. Of course, it wasn't with all of Disco, The Tramps, Donna Summer, The Commodores, The Village People, Kool and the Gang, etc, were all groups. However, the big sellers, Gregg Diamond's Bionic Boogie, The Saturday Night Band, Voyage, and The Monster Band, were all non-existent. They were just the reflection of the producer. All these independent record labels and producers, like De-lite Records, TK Records, Philadelphia International Records, Salsoul Records, were getting very rich and the major labels like, Columbia, Warner Bros., MCA, A&M, and Atlantic etc. didn't like it. After awhile, they major record labels began loosing a good share of the market. The major labels had decided to put a stop to this craze. In 1980-81 they bought out all the independents and put a stop to the entire Disco movement.

Big business or big brother, which ever you want to call it, put a stop to the whole music scene again. All at the same time, the FBI did a crack down on the Mafia and the music industry put a crack down on the Disco scene. Is this a conspiracy or a coincidence? The clubs, just like in the late 1960's began closing again like dominoes falling one right after another. However, there was a few clubs that were holding on like Plato's Retreat. Plato's was a bath house that had transformed into a disco. One could not get in unless he brought a girl with him. It was a couples place. A guy had to enter with a girl. Once inside they then had to take all their clothes off and then they were presented with a towel to wear instead. They could dance on the dance floor, swim in the pool nude, soak in the steam room, or have sex in one of the dark areas. There was many clubs like Plato's Retreat around the city. This new trend went on for about a year and it was difficult for me to take part in it, but I was trying to. I couldn't find any girl that was into to it that would go with me Then out of the blue, a mysterious sexual disease called Aids hits, and the mayor of New York closed all these clubs down immediately. Now there were no clubs to party at anymore.

Again, the music scene is dying my job working for Eddy is great, but I was not happy with the constant harassment these owners and manager of the department store were giving me and I became very frustrated in the way they treated me. I never got along with these people from day one. I tried to ignore or deal with it, but they kept applying more and more pressure, and I finally had it out with them. In the process of verbally lashing out to them, they asked my boss Eddy to let me go. Eddy didn't want to do it, but I guess they put some tough-guy pressure on him so Eddy then had to reluctantly let me go. He told me that he liked me very much and that I made great money for the store, he didn't want to do this and he fought for me, but he has to do it. I understood. However, I wanted the change, because I didn't like the people who ran the department store any more, and I wasn't willing to put up with their unnecessary harassment against me. I liked Eddy as a brother. He is very good to me and supported every move I made at my digression. I didn't want to leave Eddy, but in a way I was happy that I left, because it felt like I was around a Mafia type of situation with all these thugs hanging around telling me what to do all the time.

Here I was trying again to figure out what my next move was going to be. I was hoping that I would receive my tax return. I was going to receive $700.00. This would help me out a great deal. Then, I finally received my tax return, and it was only $200.00. The IRS's letter that came with it stated that I owed them $500.00 in taxes from working in Colorado. The letter also said that the IRS in Colorado was responsible for taking the money. The letter had no phone number to call. I tried to contact the IRS in Colorado, but no one knew or could direct me, and I was spending money on the long distance calls for nothing. I became very pissed and frustrated. I was counting on getting that money to bail me out. I know that I had figured my tax forms in Colorado correctly. In the years there, there was never a problem. The IRS just robbed me of $500.00 those mutherfuckers! Now hat will I do?



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