Now for people who know me it may be hard to believe, but I can be quite naive sometimes. For example, summering in Gloucester MA as youngster, and seeing the locals like Bill and Patrick and Jamie all riding in there 14 or 16 foot boats with just swimming trunks and no shirt all summer I thought they lived a life like the kids on Flipper. I really expected them to someday break out their “other boat” which would turn out to be one with a big fan on the back and skip across the mash as if it were the Everglades. Of course that was silly, but it didn’t occur to me that this was Massachusetts and it got real cold in the winter.
Anyway,some time in my youth, maybe it was around the time we went to the No Nukes Rally at Battery Park, (that’s a story for a different day) my friends began calling me Moses. I’m not even sure if I realized it for several months at first. Despite that, and why, I’m not sure. I guess because I was always leading the people on a journey to a concert or some other adventure far away. You will have to ask Fuji exactly how and when it came about, but I did kinda like hearing people scream out…Moses, when I showed up somewhere.
Back to being naive. Once I got to hear some Southern Rock in my early teens I was hooked. The Allman Bros. at Fillmore East was my first Southern Rock album, and I sure I wore it out well. Accordingly I began to purchase all kinds of Southern Rock albums and Charlie Daniels soon became my new favorite band. So when I heard He was going be playing in the area I scraped up enough for two tickets and bought them through Ticketron. What I failed to consider was that the concert was at the Long Island Coliseum, as opposed to Madison Square Garden (which was easy to reach). And the Long Island Coliseum was a good distance for a kid with only mass transit available to him. Nonetheless, I was going and Tim Brown wanted in too, so the stage was set for another far out adventure. During the time leading up to the concert I had purchased a Confederate soldier replica cap, and Timmy had gotten a Rebel flag put on his Levis jacket. Not particularly for the event but just because that’s what kids do who buy records with their bands wearing that kinda stuff. Soon before show, maybe the day before, I did a little research and found out we could take the subway to a transfer for a train that went to Long Island, and get off about 10 blocks from the Colosseum without a huge outlay of the little cash we had. Looked great on the subway map, and what could go wrong it was just Long Island and we were from Da Bronx.
Here is the naive part. To me at that time Long Island was some mythical island where people vacationed, with beaches and palm trees, and cute little beach houses. It never occurred to me that there were cities and large populations of all kinds of folks out there. On the night of the show we picked up whatever we were bringing to the show which was most often Southern Comfort, since it did the trick with only a half pint and was easily concealed. And tickets and booze in hand, off we went to the show with our confederate flag jackets, and rebel caps flying freely.
Things always look closer on a map, and especially when you exit the train to find you are in some sorta Long Island housing project among a mostly, OK, a completely African American community. And to top it off you are wearing symbols which to you signified Southern Rock, but to those around you had a way different meaning. It was at this point, about two blocks from the train station, with the arena a speck in the distance, that I decided we would just roll up the jacket and stick the hat in a safe place, say the trash, and hope we live to tell about it. Well, as we moved on down the road and got several more blocks away, things began to get better and the prospect of living to tell the story appeared a real possibility.
We did make it there with some help from the courage producing Southern Comfort, and had a great time right up front, singing and hootin’, and all that stuff you do at a rock concert. This was the tour where Charlie Daniels premiered his Devil Went Down To Georgia song. I don’t even think the album was out yet, but we had a blast. The piano player had a massive white grand piano with Yosemite Sam painted on the front, and Charlie was still kinda young and set that fiddle on fire to everyone’s liking. It was an uneventful trip back if you ignore the standard barfing that goes along with drinking that liquor at the tender age we were at the time. And after a long time in the wilderness Moses brought the people, (me and Timmy that is) to the Parkchester train station at Westchester Square. Where as a good leader I forced him to walk home my way so I wouldn’t have to walk it alone. I may be naive but I’m not stupid.True Story.