Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Evolution - Part 2

After Sleeper, I headed for college and spent the next 2 years as a piano performance major at the University of MN Duluth. Then in 1981 I joined a show band called Sensitivity who had lost their keyboard player at the last minute, just before heading to Asia for a 3-month USO tour.

Sensitivity was what is known as a "professional show band." Billed as a "Las Vegas Style Review," we played everything from New York, New York to the Blues Brothers (I was Elwood). The three women were the front singers and professional dancers and the men were the musicians and featured acts.

Our venue consisted of a 90- minute fully choreographed show and our group was the third act of a larger tour consisting of Lou Rawls and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

Essentially the way the performance hierarchy worked was Lou Rawls played only the largest 10 or so stages, the DC Cheerleaders played those and the next 20 smaller rooms, and we played those as well plus every officer's club, cafeteria and mess tent the military had to offer - sometimes 2 or 3 shows a day.

Here is one of our posters:

All in all, I would say we got the best deal of the entourage. Not only were we able to experience more of the true Asian culture, but our "adventure factor" was ten-fold that of everyone else. For example, we played the mess hall at the infamous Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of Panmunjeom South Korea, a tiny cafeteria at the Marine base on Iwo Jima, and a training camp tent deep within the jungles of Okinawa - accessible only by helicopter. Lou Rawls only got to visit the nicest, cleanest and largest military bases on the tour.

Some of the places we played included:
Japan, Okinawa, South Korea, Philippines, South Pacific and Hawaii.

[Next: Part 3 - Livingston Fury and beyond]


Mooselet said...

Dude, love the open neck shirts with all the chest hair. Right before all the glam 80's and its eyeliner and lipstick for men... oh tell me you didn't go down that route?

Looks like a lot of fun.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Funny, it's like you've seen tomorrow's post. This path of evolution I was on could not be stopped, like a runaway fashion train headed for disaster!

Anonymous said...

A bit disco... but nothing too horrible yet...