Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dear Diary - Dawn

In December of 1981 young Jeffrey joined a "show band" called Sensitivity.

For those of you who have never seen such an act, this means that in addition to playing the current dance music of the day, we also performed a one-hour "Vegas style" variety show as our 2nd set.

In the early 80s, this type of thing was very popular at large hotel nightclubs.

As you can see, Sensitivity had 3 attractive female singer/dancers backed by a 4-piece band. Until this point, I had only ever played with unshaven rock musicians in stinky bars, so this was a brand new experience for me.

This next segment of my diary takes place at a swanky corporate hotel in downtown Providence, Rhode Island in January of '82.

Then I met a girl. Just like that too. We were playing one nite in the 1st week and I was watching the girls, as usual, dancing in front of me but I didn't really notice any exceptionally cute ones to talk to (or try to anyway). But one girl I didn't notice had met Hank at the end of the night so he told her he was married and pointed to me.

She was drunk and seemed to take instant interest in me as she led me to her table.
"What's your name?" I queried.
"Dawn" was her reply.
It was very clever dialog on my part.
"Would you like a drink?"
"Yes, please."
I had her now.

Soon I realized
that we must talk and I told her to wait at the bar while I quickly ran to change my clothes. She seemed almost surprised to see me come back and explained that she really didn't think I would.

Dawn was a very pretty woman about 23 or so. She seemed lonely and sad and was quick to come right out and tell me she appreciated my concern and company.

Well, one thing tumbled ahead to another and soon (with not much hesitation on my part), we were together. We spent a good deal of the next 3 weeks together which caused some very interesting problems.

And now... the rest of the story:

"Interesting problems" was a bit of an understatement.

You see, as a naive 20 year-old musician who was on the road for the first time, I had no experience with high-end east coast hotel night clubs or the clientele who frequented them. Like Dawn for instance.

It was interesting because during the 3 weeks we were together, we did really normal things during the day - like going to the mall, taking her 6 year old son to the zoo and seeing the sites in Boston. And then at night she'd show up late and we'd sit up and watch TV and talk and do other things that couples normally do.

So imagine my surprise when one night, the police knocked on my door with a search warrant and drug sniffing dogs, and made us step out of the room so they could search it. Also imagine my surprise when Hank, the owner of the band, pulled me aside to tell me that Dawn was not the "nice" girl I seemed to think she was - and that she had apparently been arrested at another hotel before for trading "favors" for cocaine.


Needless to say I was heartbroken. And confused. And in denial.

So what do you do when you're a songwriter whose heart has just been broken?

You wax poetic with a pun-laden tribute to the girl you cannot have.


When I think of Dawn, it's not the day
or a sudden thought that passed my way
The word means more to me than this
it means a soft and gentle kiss

And when I see Dawn I do see light
But not the kind that ends the night
No, I see love shine from inside
so bright, the sun in shame would hide

And when the sunrise warms the day
Dawn warms my heart in the same way
And helps the seeds of love we share
To grow, and be forever there

The beauty of the break of day
is what Dawn is, the poets say
They see its beauty when it's light
I see its beauty day or night

And Dawn means starting new again
like every morning that has been
And Dawn is music the same way
Like when the birds sing for the day

And Dawn gives life to everyone
the way the flowers need the sun
And like a child that we know
Dawn gives life to help him grow

My love is like the drops of dew
because it's there when Dawn is too
It's only different in one way
it won't dry up and go away

So Dawn means many things to me
all of which in her I see
And in the cold, dark night I find
that Dawn is always on my mind


So there you have it, another entry from the diary that keeps on giving.

Until now. You see I've finally read through the whole thing, and except for hours of music-related entries, I don't know that there's much more in the way of embarrassing romantic failures. Therefore, I think I'll hang it up with this one.

So say adieu to young Jeffrey... a young man who couldn't seem to get anything right and just wanted to be loved.

Is that so wrong?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you'd like to read the previous 5 entries in this Dear Diary series, just click on the "DIARY" label here.


People in the Sun said...

I thought the woman in front of you was grabbing your nuts, but apparently she's just holding a cane.

Having the police come in with a warrant must have made you a little more street-smart. But I could have told you she was bad news from the first sentence.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, cool picture. Did you guys have to dance too or was it just the girls?

Idaho Dad said...

Wow, you've led such a tragic and dangerous life. What was it about the 80's that fostered such angst? I have a similarly depressing tale of a broken heart from that era. It involves my passion and desire NOT for a woman, but for a starry-eyed event called Hands Across America. Some day I'll write a post about the very hard life lesson I learned that day. For now, the memory still burns a little too much.

Whit said...

I hope you have that photo framed on a wall somewhere.

Windyridge said...

Aw that's so cute!

JD at I Do Things said...

Farewell, young Jeffrey!

You know, that song is a bit corny, but the way you use the metaphor is pretty good.

Are you sure this is the end of young Jeffrey? I'd like to hear more about Sensitivity.

Anonymous said...

Man, were you ripe for the downward spiral. Just be glad that ship passed in the night.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

people in the sun - Sure, that's easy for you to say now. ;-)

elizabeth - Kind of. The guys were also featured in various routines. I did a tribute to the Blues Brothers and had to dance around like Elwood - including doing the "worm" on the floor. It was actually very entertaining.

idaho dad - Ooh, sounds intriguing. I'm looking forward to hearing about it.

whit - No, my family took down my shrine to the 80s years ago. Maybe someday when my kids are gone and I have my own little room I'll hang all my memorabilia back up.

windyridge - Are you sure you didn't mean to say pathetic?

jd - No, I plan on editing a really long video of my travels through Asia. But I would need to get it down under 10 minutes for bloggers to stay tuned. You know how short our attention spans are.

bill - She was actually a really nice girl who was just caught up in a bad thing. Fortunately she never once involved me in any of it.

April said...

I was beginning to think this was "How I Met Your Mother" and the last entry would be about your wife. I'll try to live with the disappointment.

Mom Thumb said...

Didn't the Backstreet Boys record that song?

Unknown said...

Nice how you got Michael Jackson to join the band.

Michelle said...

So I guess at 20 the 6 year old kid who is around during the day and vanishes at night isn't at all a red flag, huh? Thank goodness it didn't result in your arrest (we assume)!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

april - How I met my wife wasn't a whole lot different. Except for the whole police/cocaine thing.

mom thumb - Yes. And I haven't seen a dime!

gette - What do you mean? I don't see an alien lifeforms in that picture.

michelle - Nope, no arrests that night. Like I said, she never used anything when she was with me. Also, her sister used to babysit her son at night so that didn't seem odd either.

Heather said...

I really think we need to see more photos of young Jeffrey.

yellojkt said...

You keep the most discreet diary ever. No details whatsoever. You are such a gentleman.

And you should be flattered that she was giving you for free what she was coke-[vulgar term for prostitution]-ing to others.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

heather - Try the MUSIC label. There's some good shots in the "Evolution" series. But I agree. I have plenty of old photos that need their day in the sun.

yellojkt - I know, the only thing she ever wanted from me was my company. Plus, she probably figured out right away I had no money and hence no 'cain.

Anonymous said...

It 'dawned' on me that there are some many puns with the word dawn that I won't even go there.
You know, this story is like watching a train wreck, but in such a sweet and innocent way.

Anonymous said...

I actually saw 2 gigs you played with Sensitivity. One I remember was a small hotel in western Wisconsin just off Interstate 94. I remember thinking at the time it was a little cheesy but very fun. You did a great job on the Ellwood part of the Blues Brothers. Thinking back I think I liked Sensitivity better than Livingston Furry… I need to get up to Cloud one of these days to catch you 2 man acoustic show.


United Studies said...

This is great! I love learning about your early years...

Babs-beetle said...

Poor young Jeff. In 3 weeks, you saw no signs? Love is blind.

I think that maybe after twenty your diary may be a bit too Risqué for your blog ;O)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

carlae - Kinda sounds like a Movie of the Week.

funkster - I remember those gigs :-) Boy, I sure hope it wasn't our sequined jumpsuits you liked better.

jacki - Pay attention... there's gonna be a test!

babs - You think correctly. ;-)

Doozie said...

In the picture of you with that band, the girl in front of you has her hand in a move awkward position. Was she going for your crotch? I don't trust her.

Kathy said...

Jeff, you gotta stop making me cry. Oh, wait. You said this was the end of the diary entries for us? Thank God because I weep for young Jeffrey, and not just because of your hair.

Ed said...

If you look quickly it looks like the gal on the right is showing some bush....and not the George W. type...

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

LOL! at people in the sand's comment.

Aw, Dawn was not worthy. I loved your sappy poetry.

Anonymous said...

Cops and drug sniffing dogs? That's a rockin' Friday night for me! LOL

Ed (zoesdad) said...

I'm with People in the Sun. First thing I though was "holy crap, she's she's got a hand full." Seriously--I did a double take.