The burly doorman swung the heavy wooden door wide open revealing a full house. A capacity crowd was expected tonight at this wonderful Somerville bistro. Indeed only one name appeared on the guest list: Kathy Duff.
Who in this place would not love to see her wonderful face and blonde hair flitting
from table to table? She is the reason we are all here tonight: to memorialize
her with a rock and roll gig.
Kodak moments abound as Jo and I made our way to the bar stopping to talk with a dozen or so people. John Felice and Jeff Conolly were chatting and drinking beers at a table in front. WBCN program director Oedipus was laughing it up with former Real Kid, Billy Bogioli. Bob "Do the Boob" Colby was hanging with John Felice's baby sister, Katie. Hell, even my ex-wife was there. Flashbulbs were poppin' everywhere. (Ya, I'm old enough to remember flashbulbs)
Finally reaching the bar we ordered up and watched in amusement as the godmother of Boston rockers, Helanie Saad, argued with the aforementioned burly doorman in an effort to gain passage for herself and her young Joey Ramone-ish guest from France.(from England actually and he was DJ for the evening- ED) The tenacious doorman chased her onto the center of the room where she quickly turned and spat several words into the guy's face. Whatever she said stopped him dead in his tracks and she disappeared quickly into the crowd. BRAVO Helanie! A true master at her craft. (She's cracked tougher doorman than you buddy!!) I felt like applauding!
9:45 pm I love Eric Martin's new trio. It's such a clean sound and his incredible voice requires very little accompaniment. When he sang "Pretty Flamingo" the whole world stopped and everyone's ears turned toward the stage. I was so drawn to his vocal that I forgot what I was saying to whomever I was talking to.
10:45 pm ALRIGHT! The Real Kids are setting up! In a low, serious voice John gave a decent eulogy and exploded into "Up is Up". Instantly the dance floor was brimming with happy, dancing Bostonians. It was great! It was one of those gigs where everything comes together, all the planets are aligned, the club, the people, the music. How I wish every gig could be like this one.
11:40 pm The DJ was spinning some really cool tunes between
sets. I scrambled onstage with my fellow Lyres.
Jeff gave a eulogy of his own that included
a loud WAAAA WAAAAA WAAAA crying thing. (It was cute. You had
to be there.)
When I heard the news of Kathy's death, Jeff was the first person I called. Needless to say he was very upset. I felt his tears through my cell phone. One doesn't fall out of love with Kathy.
When we broke into "Help You Ann" a crazy young man ran up screaming in the middle of the dance floor and poured a whole bottle of beer over his head. He then proceeded to dance wildly flailing his arms and knocking into anyone in his path. It is somewhat cool to see such enthusiasm but dammit he chased everyone back their seats!
This is the crazy dancing guy throwing beer all over himself...why that's.....
After our set I was framing a picture of Denise Rowe and Maria D'Innocenzio. The front door opened on its own and an eerie but pleasant warm breeze brushed past my ear. The door slammed shut as I released the aperture. The flash lit up the entire room. I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder and turned around. There next to the door lay the guest list. The only name printed on it, Kathy Duff, was crossed off. I knew she would be here. -RC
and Kathy Duff