.
Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!


This is
'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Sunday, May 8, 2016

THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE (Or, 1982: THE LEAGUE OF SOUL CRUSADERS, Part 3 - Blog Bit 12)




THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE (TSOML)...
'THE LEAGUE OF SOUL CRUSADERS' Years - Part 3...
Yes, I know I said that I'd be discussing our insane dog, Mickie, in this installment, but I think I'll save him for later.

"The League" was a dual engine machine, and that's one reason we stood out everywhere we went. We had two motors that were crazy as phuc. Their names were Torch & Nappy.

Every League member played a role in the whole: Pooh was the court jester; Cranium was the odd science geek; Twinkie, the Blonde-Headed Swede, singer, ladies man and sometimes instigator. I was the Spiritual opiate (according to Torch). But Torch & Nappy were the engines that could make the thing go from zero to six hundred and sixty-six in one-tenth of a second and all... night... long. They were in continuous motion.

Torch, unofficial leader and THE Alpha male amongst Alpha males - about 6'2", maybe a shade taller, bright red hair. Napoleon, 5'6", dark brown hair - the enforcer, tough as hell. Energy? Officially proven in a scientific laboratory to be "off-the-charts!" 

Torch and my brother Nappy were the two most energetic persons I'd ever known - just human dynamos of energy. So, putting those two guys in the same room together (with beer) was just an amazing thing to behold! You never knew what was going to happen - EVERYTHING seemed possible - and all you could do at times was just hang on for the ride and try not to pee your jeans laughing.

CRANIUM,  NAPPY,  AND  TORCH  ON  BAY  STREET  ROOF.  I  MADE  THE  SIGN:  "THINKIN'  MAYBE  WE  DON'T  LEAD  THE  LEAGUE?"

A couple of stories about TORCH & NAPPY, and then a song...

In my last installment, I told you about some of our lingo and our favorite dance club, 'THE MUSIC MACHINE'. Well, through me and my Blues albums, the Soul Crusaders learned some Robert Johnson songs like 'Love In Vain'.

One night we were at The Music Machine when a particularly "laminated" (read: drunken) Napoleon asked a woman to dance (although his herky-jerky movements gave the impression he was already dancing with himself). She said no, he got mad and decided to stumble home from The Music Machine. It would have been about a 12-mile crawl, so we got in the van and went looking for him shortly after he stormed out. 

Meanwhile, Napoleon had entered a bar to buy a cigar for the walk home, when some "big, fat feller with some artificial hair" started some crap with Nappy just because he was only 5’ 6”. Well, Nappy – never one to take any crap – reciprocated with some lip o' his own and then left the bar with his cigar.


Fat Feller, figuring he would show his bar buddies how tough he was, went out after little Nappy and took a swing at him. (Ooooh, big boo-boo, Fat Feller! Ya just don’t antagonize “Little Mad Guy”). 

With freakish quickness, Nappy flicked a left jab to set Fat Feller up, and immediately followed that with the right cross. Now ordinarily, Nappy’s right cross is enough to send ANY man to the next lunar cycle, if not to the Moon itself. But in this case, being in the “100-proof condition” that he was, Nappy’s punch merely succeeded in putting Fat Feller’s head into the full-speed Linda Blair Exorcist-Spin Cycle

By the time the headlights of our van flashed upon the two combatants squared off with each other in the street, Fat Feller’s head was just coming to a stop, his toupee was lying in the dirt in the next county, and all of the fight had gone out of him (who knows where it went, but it was later reported that something with its tail between its legs was seen yelping Westbound on Pico Boulevard, moving with great haste toward the Pacific Ocean).


We hustled Napoleon into the van while apologizing to Fat Feller. (Nappy was involved in this altercation, so naturally we had just “assumed” it was his fault. Ha!) But undoubtedly Fat Feller couldn’t hear the apology because of the ringing in his ears. And we drove off singing at the top of our lungs, “Ooooh-Ooooh, all my love’s in vain!”
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FUN WITH CARS:   
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There was a game that Torch & Nappy played a few times - usually at night in empty beach parking lots - where a laminated Nappy would climb up on top of his van and Torch would drive it like a maniac - going in circles, making sharp right and left turns, suddenly slamming on the brakes - all in an attempt to throw Nappy from the van and onto the asphalt. Torch was the Harry Houdini of drivers - there was almost nuttin' he couldn't do with an automobile - but when the unstoppable force met the immovable object, Torch had trouble bucking Nappy off his own van.

Then there was this game we called "The Space Walk"...
Before Torch acquired "Tiburon" (a 1964 hardtop Cadillac that he blowtorched the roof off of)...

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...Torch had a 1962 hardtop Cadillac, and that's the one he used for The Space Walks.

In the Cadillacs, it was always 3 Soul Crusaders in the backseat and 3 in the front, Torch being the driver. The Space Walk was when we were traveling on a long stretch of road, Torch would crawl out the driver's side window, the person next to him would slide over and take the wheel, and the "shotgun" passenger would move to the middle. Then Torch would flatten himself out on the hood or the roof of the car and gradually pull himself over to the other side of the Cadillac and crawl into the passenger's side window.

Yes! We'd switch drivers without even slowing down. That was called "The Space Walk". [Don't try this at home! It should be attempted ONLY by laminated professionals!]

And yes, I've posted this before but it's certainly worth repeating.
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ALPHA MALE DAD Takes Down LAPD Officer At Festival
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The "Alpha Male Dad" in this video is Torch, many pounds heavier and many years later, after 'The League Of Soul Crusaders' years were ancient history. But it's still Torch very much being "Torch" - you know, knocking a mentally sick cop unconscious, taking his camera and his gun and breaking up his child porn operation. Watch 'n' learn...
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If you're wondering how that turned out, well, the Orange County Weekly named Torch the 2007 'Father Of The Year'. You can read about it HERE.
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Some folks quickly speculated that Dornan - never known for indecision or loss for words - had overreacted. But the evidence Dornan recovered led to numerous child-pornography and child-annoyance charges, as well as an upcoming trial. "I wasn't going to stand there and do nothing," Dornan told the Weekly. "Not me. That's my daughter!" Excellent.
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And now imagine partying with that Alpha Male on a weekly, and often daily basis for years, and add Nappy 'n' beer. Can you hear me now? 
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The reason YOUR group of friends were NOT like MY group of friends is because MY group had Torch & Nappy and YOUR group did NOT! We had dual badass engines. I'm sure you had wild, fun times, but did your group of buddies inspire a book, a song, and several poems? Anyone awarded "Father Of The Year" by a newspaper?

The MTV channel was launched in the Summer of 1981, and for those first few years, The League Of Soul Crusaders watched a lot of music videos while drinking a lot of beer. This was usually a daytime activity. By nightfall, we were in full party mode, playing Springsteen albums if we were at the Bay Street house, or livin' large at The Music Machine or Mom's Saloon or The Oarhouse, Yesterdays, The Sunspot, Jolly Jack's, or crashing someone else's house party.

JOLLY  JACK'S  "KOCKTALE"  PARLOR.  ANYONE  WANNA  SHOOT  SOME  "ASS-WHUPPINS"?
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The videos I most clearly remember drinking to were these...
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'YOU GOT LUCKY' - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 1982
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'THE OLD MAN DOWN THE ROAD' - John Fogerty, 1984
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'MONEY FOR NOTHING' - Dire Straits, 1985
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However, more than any other MTV music video, the one that most reminds me of the "Bay Street Days" (which were really "years") is 1982's 'COME ON, EILEEN' by Dexy's Midnight Runners. I can't hear this song and see the video without suddenly feeling very much like I'm sprawled out on the living room couch with a 3-beer buzz and all kinds of insanity going on around me...
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'COME ON, EILEEN' - Dexy's Midnight Runners

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My previous blog bits pertaining to 'The Soundtrack Of My Life' (TSOML) can be found by clicking the links below: 
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TSOML #1 - Prelude To An Introduction
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TSOML #2- Introduction
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TSOML #3 - First Song: 1959
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TSOML #4 - 8th Birthday: 1967
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TSOML #5 - Summer: 1974
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TSOML #6 - Outlaw: 1978
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TSOML #7 - M*A*S*H: Late 1978
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TSOML #8 - Innocence Lost: 1980
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TSOML #9 - A Friend With A View: 1980 

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TSOML #10 - The League Of Soul Crusaders: 1981
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TSOML #11 - The League Of Soul Crusaders: 1981 - Part 2
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For more TSOML participants, visit the blog of GIRL WONDER ('Your Daily Dose') by clicking HERE.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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24 comments:

  1. Ok....all of you in the car...are you in a parade?? Is this for being the nuttiest, booziest men around? Is that really your friend who took down that disgusting excuse for a man never mind being a cop? I hope that cops saw some jail time and will forever have a hard time sitting down if he did end up in jail. It does show how these predators think and where they go to get their kicks. Don't get me started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRGIT ~
      Yes, that is really Torch in the video who took down (and out) "that disgusting excuse for a man".

      Here are some follow-up stories if you're interested:

      http://www.ocregister.com/articles/lakin-168057-girls-young.html

      http://www.ocweekly.com/news/ex-lapd-cop-admits-guilt-in-oc-kiddie-picture-arousal-case-6447848

      Yes, the photos are from a 4th of July parade in the L.A. area in 1983. The parade included dignitaries, celebrities, and floats.

      We decided that we and Tiburon (the Cadillac) should be in that parade, too. And as Torch often yelled: "We do what we WANT!"

      So, we sneaked in. Fortunately a friend happened to be at that parade taking pictures and he took those of us. We sneaked in behind the U.S. Navy's atomic warship float. It just seemed like a good spot for Tiburon.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  2. That's a great song that I haven't heard in years, and yes, I remember most of what you posted here being told to me in one form or the other, like The Space Walk. I'm pretty sure I'd die if I tried to attempt that, but there's only one way to find out. Here, hold my beer...

    Oh, and I never get tired of that video of Torch talking about his contempt for that cop after beating him down AND stripping him of his gun. That's how you do it!

    I know that cop probably never got any kind of proper justice, because they never do, but what Torch did to him was (I would hope) enough incentive for him to never try that crap again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-B ~
      "Here, hold my beer."
      ...No more dangerous and ominous words were ever spoken!

      I like when I can plagiarize myself (aka copy 'n' paste) as it makes posting "new" blog bits so much easier.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  3. Stephen,

    Come on Eileen just about captures the energy we summoned on a regular basis. Not a Santa Ana wind blown night goes by without me recalling the magic and in particular the Space Walks. You described it well....Grab the wheel...

    The herky-jerky motion Nap used to conjure up is another good description which I recall well and I remember that night. Well, parts of it anyway.

    I also remember when MTV used to play music videos and most of the time they were running in the background of our shenanigans. Good times my friend. Thanks for documenting in the book and here.
    JW,
    Pooh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...AND POOH, THAT'S NOT ALL...

      It's a good thing we drank as much as we did. Sober, we wouldn't all have survived half that stuffs.

      At the Bay Street house it always seemed like there were half a dozen things happening all at once, and occasionally a couple of them would collide. Ha!

      And I have this image in my brain of one night when Torch was trying to buck Nappy off the roof of the van. He made some sharp turn and both of Nappy's legs just went swinging out into midair. He was clinging to the roof by just his hands but he managed to hang on. And of course Nappy was laughing hysterically at the same time. Incredible!

      Man, there will never be another "us". ...That's protly a good thang.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. POSTSCRIPT:
      And, oh yeah, a laminated Nappy had that certain body language. I used to say he's totally spastic.

      "How's Nappy tonight?"
      "He's spastic."

      I can still mentally picture the way his arms, hands and wrists would move when he was really plowed. Ha! That was a deep drunkenness when Nappy got all spastic.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    3. I think Nap was chanelling Joe Cocker more and more as the liquid hit his liver. Good times, good times, let the good times roll.

      Delete
    4. :o) "Channeling Joe Cocker"... that was very nearly it.

      "Let the good times roll,
      let them knock you around."

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  4. BTW I agree, nary a good thing ever happens after the words "Here, hold my beer."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, you might as well be saying, "Call 9-1-1."

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  5. I got to thinking as you described your friends how any circle of friends like you had, or were my friends, or any other group that I've seen could almost have been assembled by a casting director. I guess there's some kind of chemistry or whatever you want to call it that attracts certain people to hang out together.

    My circle of friends had certain personalities who played certain roles as well. It reminds me of those movies like Dazed and Confused or whatever buddy films you might think of. I just find it kind of interesting to ponder. Wonder if anyone has done a research study about friend groups and the magnetism that attracts.

    My friends could get pretty wild, but I tended to gravitate away when things started seeming a bit over the top. I was a good boy and didn't want to risk trouble. I recall going to the anti-war protest at the University, but I'd stay off to the side as an observer of sorts. I created my own safe space before safe space was even something anyone thought about except my safe space was more to do with not getting in trouble than hearing something I didn't want to hear.

    You guys were a crazy bunch for sure.

    Dexy's Midnight Runners were a fine group. Too bad they didn't do more stuff. Or maybe they did and most of us never heard about it.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEE ~
      I would guess that with most groups of friends it's a lot about geography and some shared interests.

      In my last installment, Sheboyganboy Six asked me what I thought was the real basis of my group's formation - stipulating that drinking was something we DID but was not fundamentally what we were really about.

      I thought it was a great question that I'd never really thought a whole lot about before.

      I decided that a shared appreciation for a certain style of humor AND a great deal of inventiveness or creativity was the cornerstone of our bonding.

      Going one step further now, I'd also expand my observation to include that the inventiveness was pretty strongly rooted in rebellion. Not mindless "anarchy-like" rebellion, but more like an Alice-In-Wonderland kind of thing. Why do it THAT way? Why not do it OUR way? Or...

      ...the sign says "Keep Out", so let's go in. The bar is too quiet, let's make it fun. The parade is for fancy people, let's cut in. Let's change drivers without slowing down because... we can!

      I only ever had that one Dexy's album but I liked all the tracks and played it often. And the rambunctious energy level of the song 'COME ON, EILEEN' was very much a natural for the Soul Crusaders.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  6. Much of this I already knew. Maybe I read bits and pieces on your Stuffs blog????

    I wasn't familiar with The Space Walk. Holy tomole. I read that and think it's really amazing all of your survived this period of your lives. You may not have known it at the time, but ALL OF YOU had angels with you all the time. You guys were a full-time job!!!

    I think the most shocking part of this entire blog bit was that you watched MTV for hours in the 80s. The 80s. The music you say you hate. (And don't tell me MTV was the reason for the hate. Or that 80s music was the reason for the hate.) MTV was awesome. Whoever thought of it... brilliant! And there was great 80s music and not so great 80s music. But the mix of music and video... inspired!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      Yeah, various parts I'd published before in different places. 'STUFFS' for sure, and the pedophile cop story was at 'FERRET-FACED FASCIST FRIENDS'.

      Ha! Yeah, we were a full-time job for our guardian angels, who were undoubtedly getting "overtime" pay frequently, as well.

      My MTV watching went up through 1985. I know that because of the Dire Straits video, which I was surprised to find was from '85. I would have guessed it to have been 2 or 3 years earlier.

      But notice the common link between all those music videos I mentioned? They're all by "Classic Rock" artists, with the exception of Dexy's Midnight Runners.

      Yeah, I liked some of the '80s music BY OLDER ARTISTS. But at the same time 'You Got Lucky' and 'Money For Nothing' were getting played on MTV, so were Duran, Duran and Flock Of Shitgulls and Yakking Heads and the B-52s, etc. And... I... Hated... That... Stuffs!

      All that synthesizer-drenched, artsy-fartsy, girlie-man music turned me off of the "typical" 1980s Pop sounds. But I still liked some of the older artists that started in the late-'60s / 1970s.

      And notice that the ONE MTV music video band I mentioned here, which DID originate in the '80s (Dexy's), did NOT use synthesizers, but they had fiddle and banjo and other "real" instruments.

      So, you see where I'm comin' from now?

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  7. Al Bondigas here. Remember when we were at the music machine one night, getting ready to leave, and The Pooh spotted a guy he recognized from maybe eight or nine years prior, and immediately charged after him screaming and cussing at him? The guy didn't know why he was about to get attacked and just kind of ran around people with this shocked look on his face. Well, evidently he punched the pooh in the stomach when they were kids and the Pooh harbored ill feelings and a lot of anger all those years. Man, we couldn't stop laughing all night, after that. Or remember when he opened the door of Jack in The Box, yelled "bring back the clown", then pulled his pants down and bare-assed all the patrons and staff? Hahahahahhah. Man, my sided is hurting. Oh, and quit exaggerating about Nappy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JUDGE AL ~
      Ha! Yeah, I sure do remember those incidents.

      That first one, I have a clear mental image of the dude running in circles around total strangers standing on the sidewalk out in front of The Music Machine, while an already weaving Pooh was also weaving around the people attempting to give chase.

      And I was standing there with my mouth open and wondering what was going on and what great thing had I missed that led up to that "Benny Hill chase".

      And how 'bout the time a laminated Pooh was trying to remove a Jack-In-The-Box framed painting that was bolted against the wall? The restaurant manager yelled, "What the hell do you think you're doing?!"
      Pooh: "Takin' it home."

      HA!-HA!

      So, the manager yells, "You better get out of here! I'm calling the cops!"
      Pooh: "I'll give you something to call the cops about!" And then he starts rubbing his belly, patting his head, and blowing raspberries at the manager.

      Man, you couldn't make this shit up!!!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  8. Al,
    I recall being bribed by you to do the bare ass thing. The bring back the clown was simply divine inspiration. Was it a half-pint or a six pack? A six pack assassin, that's what they called me. It was Tommy HInes and he had it coming in true Unforgiven fashion.
    Ugggggh!
    JW,
    Pooh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. POOH, I'll let you buy me a La Barbera's pizza if you promise to throw a few Mickey's into the deal for me.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Al Bondigas here. Yeah Pooh, it was a six pack of Heinekin that I bribed you with. I remembered the guys name after discussing it with Stephen. Yeah, he did deserve it, he was a jerk.

      Delete
  9. Once again, a lot of interesting stories you have to offer. They never fail to entertain. Props to Torch and his heroic manner. Funny how some would think he was extreme. He did the right thing.
    Great song for this tale. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, JEFFY!
      There's more where these came from.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  10. I strongly disagree with your assessment of this as anything less than a stellar battle! Enjoyed the whole sheeeee-bangggg. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, DOC. I appreciate that. To me though, a blowout will always be a disappointment. Regardless of the winner, I always aim for a close race.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      POSTSCRIPT:
      You might wanna take another look at your eyeglasses prescription or else your medication prescription.
      ;-)

      Delete

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