Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chas




Eventually I want to get to a girl friend I lived with in the 70s named Jill. When we split up she moved in with a friend of mine named Chas. Chas is the subject of this story. I wish I had a photo of him.

Chas was a drummer in a band whose pianist, Greg Hardin, ran Magic Masters Pro Audio. They built my band’s PA and did sound for all the great outdoor events of the time.

Magic Masters had a recording studio in their basement. This is where my band bought a keg, threw a party and recorded three live songs that appeared on a flexi-disc insert of Carrie Lindsay’s magazine “Noisy Paper”.

My band had an old refrigerated beer truck we called Zsa Zsa we parked out back. From my back porch in Benton Park I can look down on our old parking space. (Dominic this should give you an idea of where I live now. Come visit!)

Jill and Chas lived in a beautiful old mansion on the same Gaslight Square street where I used to live.

Our band was always looking for a singer and, for a minute there, Chas wanted to try. I’m not sure why we didn’t pursue that but he soon changed his mind and decided he wanted to be our promoter.

I was seeing Danny’s old girl friend Josie at the time. One night Josie and I were hanging out at my south side apartment when Chas showed up. He was very taken with Josie. He had booked several interviews at Chicago radio stations and I was supposed to push our latest single. I can’t remember if it was Lauren Garbo or The Scrape but I grabbed a box of records, we both swallowed a handful of speed and took off for Chicago.

Chas grew up there and we had plenty of friends to stay with. I must have done ten interviews a various college stations over the course of a week. I recently found a box of receipts for several record stores that sold our discs on consignment. I wonder if any ever sold.

I’m not a talented enough writer to describe what a sweet guy Chas was. The last time I saw him he was running his Dalmatian in Forest Park. One night, in the middle of band rehearsal at Magic Masters, Chas had a brain hemorrhage and died.

Photos of Jill, me playing a pre-punk VFW Post 555, and our first single.

5 comments:

tonpatti said...

What can you say about Jill? She was incredible, someone who I loved myself, even though I could never come to terms with my feelings about her. It's nice to see a picture of her. Strange that NOW it's something I want so much, but when we were kids and she took pictures of me when we went out somewhere to do something I felt terrible.

It was half teen self-consciousness and half dread of the love I felt I could have fallen into.

Doggie said...

I had a few adventures with her. I'll get around to them. We were at a birthday party for Margie out in the country recently. There was a photo gallery Marge had in an out building. There were pictures of Jill out there I wish I had. I'll always love her!

marlies said...

i grew up with greg hardin and his family who started the music masters in st louis..
i lost contact with him so many years ago..
does anyone know what he is doing now?
or where he might be?
thanks.

Doggie said...

I do know he moved the business out to West County. Spoke with him a few years ago. Don't know if he's still there.

MagicMaster said...

The reports of my dissappearance and death have been greatly exaggerated......GH
Marlies, I would very much like to hear from you..read on...
Yes, Jill and Chaz were beautiful and industrious, in that order....Miss them both a great deal...Kinda tend to wonder where bros Chris (Shig) and Jerry are these day too.
Also wonder about all of the Earwackers and many other good folks I was lucky enough to be associated with during my time in STL area as Minutemen, Flower Seeds, Stonewall, Scenery Beanery Band, Jukebox Symphony, Rockwood, Salt & Pepper, Black Rose, Shiggie, Lightnin' and Arsenal Street et al...and Magic Masters Sound & Lighting of course. And friends on the personal side....
I contacted David last night and he has sent a note which I am about to open...
I'm an ol' "farmer musicianer" now (as in highway farty...) looking for contractors to build a house (shell) on my current fort of last resort near the MO canjun town of Arcadia. Getting ready to come out of retirement (2002) for a couple of sound gigs and welcome everyone to the Mountain Music Festival...weekend of 16-17-18? (Fri-Sun) October in Ironton, MO. Friends can camp on my place (have a big barn w/loose hay if needed) about 2.5 miles away or stay at the Fort Davidson Motel in Pilot Knob, or Shepard Mountain Inn in Ironton, Plain & Fancy B&B Arcadia, Dragonfly Inn S of Arcadia, Bearcat Campground Lesterville, Elephant Rocks 3 mi N of Pilot Knob, Johnson's Shut-ins 10 mi NW of PK, or Fredericktown or Farmington (both about 25 mi). Festival is free and on the courthouse lawn on Main street. Quality music from Johnny Highland to acappella to The Martins, Heartsfield, Steppin' in it, Mississippi Sawyers, Blend, contra dance, chick & dumplin' dinner, etc.....
Peace, Love and Prosperity...
Greg Hardin reallivesound@yahoo.com drop me a note or a complete history since we last saw each other....
Doggie...is that you Doogie, Dougie the infamous Scotsman? Please let me know....I'd really like to talk iwth Douglas Armstrong who is quite a musician and technician himself.
Oh Yeah...Legalize Cannabis & Outlaw Psychotrophics to correct the economy & save a lot of needless pain and death...but start saving the planet today by following this commonly accepted wisdom - waste not, (so we will) want not.