Part I of the Upside of R&R Home

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Part II of the Upside of R&R Home

Was it really like that?

    Chapter 8 fully covers that subject in its ENTIRETY. Although, I still maintain that I personally know nuttink of these things.

   Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll?  The staple label of an entire generation and then some. Probably the most promiscuous and wild age since the 1920's, with all its bathtub gin and flappers. Touting "free love" as it's battle cry, young men and women (known as flower children in the 60's) bonded on a since unequaled physical and communal level that has left its mark on our society. There were "pluses and minuses" to that part of our history. That goes without saying.


   The HIV epidemic has inserted a sense of urgency for maturity and self-responsibility like no other "socially transmitted disease" in history. Perhaps a good thing in that respect. I'm basically pretty liberal with my views on human sexuality. Just "let be what will be." Personal rights should always be a high priority in a free society. They should be temporarily altered, only out of need in life threatening situations, like potential death from disease or war. We are currently (with the Al-Qaeda terrorism situation) enduring this diminishing of certain human rights here in our own country, just for the sake of security. A necessary action that must be monitored closely, but implemented just the same. Our lifestyle has been invaded and jeopardized by the acts of others. you might remember to thank those young men and women, dressed in military uniforms with berets and rifles at the airports (at least at this writing). Take the time to thank them for what they're doing and tell them to be careful, too.



    This year we continued with the, almost continual, touring. Only taking breaks to go into the recording studio and record albums. Our first album of 1970 was called, appropriately, "IT AIN'T EASY." One of my favorite albums that we ever recorded. The singles released were "Mama Told Me Not To Come" and "Out in the Country." We branched out a little on this album, doing an original song written by the group called, "Rock n Roll Widow," which was basically a song about groupies.


   A story comes to mind from 1970 or '71 when Hoyt Axton was touring with us (This story also appears in the TRIBUTE section of this web site). Performing with us really wasn't the best pairing for him, but it did get him some good exposure as a single artist. He usually opened our shows, unless there were other acts on the bill. Anyway, Hoyt had his black Cadillac on the road and would drive from gig to gig, sometimes, state to state. We generally flew or had a tour bus, but from time to time, one or more of us (usually me, Joe Schermie or Floyd Sneed) would bail and say "I'm riding with Hoyt. See ya!." One instance in Mobile, Alabama that Hoyt and I both loved to recount involved me, Floyd and Hoyt. We pulled into a little diner on the side of the road and were having something to eat at the counter. This was after a gig, so you must picture what we looked like. Here was Hoyt, a hulking figure with a southern redneck look to him, then me, with my 70's rock-fag image in all my rock garb and clothing and next to me was BLACK Floyd Sneed, with his huge arms in a sleeveless shirt. I stress BLACK due to the time frame and the geographical area we were in, ALABAMA: 1969. This was a trio fit to be lynched, if you get my drift. An off duty, plain clothed, drunk detective came in and slowly made his way to the end of the counter and sat down. He ordered some coffee from the waitress, who obviously knew him. As we sat there finishing our meals, this guy couldn't help himself. He stared down the counter at us and in his most macho, southern bigot voice. loudly stammered out the question in Foster Brooks fashion, "So tell me, are you guys with the circus or sumpin'?" Of course, with my head way up my butt, in a rock n roll success posture, I answered "No, we just played to a sold out crowd of 20,000 people in your civic auditorium." This fixed things up, all right. Timing has always been my strength. Yeah, right. He then says, "You know, I think I'll just give the station a call and have them send a paddy wagon to get you all and throw you in jail." Everything about us just pissed this guy off. With that statement, he got up and slowly stumbled over to the pay phone, which was behind me on the wall. He pulled out a dime from his pocket and as he tried to put it in the phone, he dropped it on the floor. It bounced a couple of times and then started rolling towards me, finally going around 2 times into a slow, 4-foot circle, before it stopped spinning just short of me. I looked at Hoyt, shrugged my shoulders and smiled a "what the hell" smile, then got off my stool and picked it up. I turned to the cop who was standing there with his mouth open, reached out and said "You dropped your dime." As he stood there, bloodshot eyes burning red with little blue varicose lines of outrage in them, he resumed his stumbling attempt to make the phone call. We were finished with our food, so we just got up, paid our bills, walked out and got in Hoyt's black Cadillac, which had a limo look with dark-tinted windows. Just as we were driving away, the drunk cop came out of the diner. With his hand on the door, he leaned on the door jam and stared helplessly at us, as we drove off. We all rolled the windows down and smiled our biggest "shit eatin' grin" and yelled, "bye-bye!!." Not a big ending, but Hoyt and I sure loved reminiscing about that incident. That cop was so drunk, he couldn't even get it together enough to put these "malcontent weirdo's" in the slammer. Funny!

Keeping it Going

   There's an old saying that holds a lot of truth: "NOTHING BREEDS SUCCESS LIKE SUCCESS." A little success is a major boost to your confidence and therefore, your ability to focus on keeping it going. Big success motivates you even more. Although self-indulgent, to some degree, we were so thrilled with all that was happening, it often seemed more like a dream. Too good to be true. The more we did, the better it got. The better it got, the more we did. Another saying is, "When your ship comes in, you'd better row like hell for as long as you can. And when you feel like you just don't have anymore to give, ... then row some more." An amazing time in my life. Wondrous and filled with so much joy. With the creative flow and productivity, the 7 of us were "making magic" on a regular basis. More than the sum of its parts describes it pretty well. Chemistry, something you don't question and only partially understand. Just be thankful for it and keep your oar in the water.

Graphic deleted due to Farside Copyright infringement. It was the Gary Larson one that showed a suspiciously long-coated, mobster type ... asking a butcher about the price of something. There was a fat kid with his back turned ... sweeping the floor, standing behind the butcher. The capction read (Butcher talking)"WELL, I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IF BEFORE ... BUT I SUPPOSE I'D LET THE KID GO FOR ABOUT $1.99 A POUND."


   Yes, it felt like "flesh peddling" after awhile. It seemed like our management and record company kept us on the road or in the studio constantly.


We were the flesh; we were the item to be marketed and sold. Of course we loved it, but it did feel like flesh peddling at times. The nature of the business. In a way, it was what we signed up for, what we had hoped for. So, if it sounds like I'm complaining, don't take me too seriously. I DID love it. God knows I LOVED IT ALL.

   This seems as good a place as any to thank the family of the late Jay Lasker, President of Dunhill Records for all he did in the making of our career. Jay and Marv Helfer were integral in the success of Three Dog Night. They worked long and hard for us.

   Even though I loved playing live, being in the studio was the greatest thrill of all for me. In recent years, I have really gotten into the live performances because I'm getting a chance to meet some of you and say a sincere, "thanks." I like that part. In the recording studio, we had the extra benefit of having the talent of Richard Podolor and Bill Cooper, our producer and engineer. They rowed like hell, too. They were also a part of the chemistry, let there be no doubt about that.

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