Let The Drummer Take A Ride

Mike Allen, Alan Arras and Sandy Argus in the 1968 RL Thomas yearbook photos
Mike Allen, Alan Arras and Sandy Argus in the 1968 RL Thomas yearbook photos

Margaret Explosion had a gig tonight at the Little Theatre Cafe and Peggi and I were running late, I should say later than usual. We should have been playing by the time we got there but no big deal. Peggi’s sister left LA yesterday, just before the earthquake, to spend some time with her mom so they both showed up for the gig and we started talking. I went up to sit down and play and I realized that I had forgotten my sticks. That’s pretty bad. The band started without me and I went home to pick them up. I took my espresso along for the ride.

Peggi and I had been playing in the basement the night before and I found the sticks in a dark spot. I headed back to the Little and ran into Mike Allen at the door. He was in my class at RL and we chatted for a bit while the band played without a drummer. They sounded pretty good.

The really weird thing is I had the first page of a pdf of scans of our yearbook open on my computer at home and Mike was one of the people on that first page. He was reminding me that his brother was the drummer in the “Root of All Evil”, a band that I used to see all the time at Panorama Bowl. And they played our high school as well but it was always more fun over at Panorama Bowl. They covered the bowling lanes with plywood and about every twenty minutes a fight would break out on the dance floor. Most of the bands of that day covered the Rascals and Smokey, Mitch Ryder and even Barbara Lewis’s “Hello Stranger”.

I volunteered to make the little badges that people wear at the reunion. That’s my favorite part, looking at the old photos. Here’s a photo of Frank Paolo, who was also in my class, in a post he sent out to our class.


5 Replies to “Let The Drummer Take A Ride”

  1. Once when you guys were playing at Starry Nights I watched Mike Allen get into an argument with the management because he was using his laptop in the dining room where you were going to set up to play, and they wanted him to move to the other room. Like his presence would be a distraction to the other patrons, or some such thing. He was not happy. This was all happening under the big knock-off Van Gough Starry Nights mural on the wall.

  2. I think the drummer-less set was very interesting- everyone overcompensated by playing very rhythmically and the piano player also has a percussive style. As a result it was one of the most rhythmic sets I’ve seen from the band.
    Too bad you had to miss most of it!
    I cannot shake the sensation that today is Friday…

  3. So I send out a dispatch from my “pseudo-blog” in preparation for the 40th RL Thomas reunion and a friend in Rochester sends me the link to this blog and I see these faces from the past and start to get a little psyched. Mike Allen was a huge hearth throb back in the day, we all got our senior pictures taken at his father’s shop across from Empire Lanes. I painted my “twiggies” (tiny eyelashes drawn on with liquid eyeliner in honor of the world’s first super model) in their bathroom so my parents wouldn’t see me do it “and ruin my senior picture”….. So obviously Mike Allen was on my mind even before I got the link to this blog. If I didn’t know better I would believe there was a whole profound and cosmic synchronicity going on here. wow.

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