Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On The Road - Submitted Reader Supplement

...continued from On The Road - Gabe

Those of you following my On The Road series may find this post interesting. I received an email today from a reader (only referred to as "A Fly on the Wall") who wanted to share this note he/she received from someone else who had seen my stories and wanted to contribute some additional background information about Gabe and the business he ran.

Even though there's no real way to know how historically accurate this information is (being as how it is 3rd-party anonymous hearsay), I still enjoyed reading it because it contains all the elements of a good story: drama, celebrity intervention, and the MAFIA!

Honestly, I had no idea who/what I was involved with during my brief stayover at the barn and my 6-month employment by Gabe, but after reading this - I'm glad I didn't know this back story!

So here, in someone's unedited words, is the story of Gabe.

So you will know more about the time at The Barn....

Gabe built it out of his pocket with whatever he could lay hands on, it had a recording studio, a mirrored dance room, a TV Studio, and several rooms for stages. It was meant to be a school and a video and recording center...it was ever growing, changing. Old trainees that would see him like at The Addadin in Alanta City, would stop playing and come hug him. You were there to be trained and sent out so you could earn a good living if lucky. When you were there, Eb was the Voice Coach, Don was a helper and the bands were taken out locally to be showcased, also select performers would go out on their own to make money. Gabe had a traveling Mariachie band and traveled the world, was related to another traveling band and changed his last name. He's what you would call a Mystro, he and Eb had perfect pitch and is what Eb often taught you how to sing in the pitch, tone and meter. And, yes, even at the clubs Gabe would lean under the table and yell --- YOU SUCK!!! -- Hopefully it made you stronger as the road is NOT an easy place and, as your efforts now show, YOU DID HAVE GOOD TALENT.

Gabes land bordered Jack Palance's land and they fought constantly. Gabe's home attic was huge and housed many many outfits for all the showbands. Gabe actually lived in West Hazelton. The owners of the Beacon were a sweet Greek couple. The area, and entertainment in general, was controlled by the Mafia - whom Gabe confronted often and they often came armed. The area WAS a mafia stronghold- he grew up with them and lived amongst them, but was not of them - they respected him. Remember the ICED OVER DRIVE WAY? Some people that were there then was, Johnny Angel - about time he was putting together The Rock And Roll Idols -- the ones you see playing in Vegas imitating Idols, came from him many years before. When you did not see Gabe, he was at home on the phone with Agents/Promoters - who really were throwed off, but he got his band the World's Fair, etc. The original singer for the boxtops fought to stop bands like there ( where you buy the name and put them out as the original entertainers ). The mafia fought the Boxtops ( Gabe's) because they had a black singer and she was preg - blacks did not play in their clubs - so, the local yokels had to be dealt with at the clubs.. The INTENT was good and the bookings could be kept going and all could be taught and grow. He was your coach - you will NEVER forget him, ya ain't gotta like him or agree with his style, but he was the Coach. 

BTW, the RECORDED MUSIC was personally hand delivered in NYC - even if sent to him from past people he had mentored... he BELIEVED in his people. And yes, The Barn was a whirl wind :) 

 As Willie says, "there's 3 sides to every story, your side, my side and, the truth". I'll leave to each to chose which is which.

I suppose all this anonymity is due to the fact that whoever submitted this story is concerned about implicating a certain nefarious group of fedora-wearing men. And so as more and more people become Facebook fans of I Played in a Gabe Garland Band, the plot continues to thicken. I can't wait to find out MORE of what I don't know!

But right now I'm still hoping someone will submit a picture of dear old Gabe. I know there are some out there. Anyone?

Next Up: The First Show

13 comments:

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I CAN NOT WAIT for the next installment of your journal.
The whole thing is just such a weird and interesting story and I wish my stepfather, who was a musician, was still alive because I'd be willing to bet he knew, or knew of, this guy.

VE said...

I think you all can get a reality show on E with this...

Well, my blog roll starts anew tomorrow. I'd be honored if you participate again in 2010. Leave a comment and you're on the blog roll! Thanks for visiting and commenting in 2009.

Michelle said...

Interesting... there are definitely things I'm glad I didn't know or realize when I was younger, but I think you've got me beat here. Looking forward to the next one!

Kathy said...

Jeff, I forget about how old you were at the time all this was going on. How much of this story were your parents aware of when you got back? I'm pretty sure if they'd known that armed Mafia were making house calls, they'd have been sick about it. I love these stories. There needs to be a movie made about the Gabe years. And I'm dying to see a picture of this Gabe character. There's GOT to be one out there. I hope you can scare one up.

Jeff said...

shieldmaiden96 - I'm looking forward to it too. Believe it or not, I haven't been reading all that far into my journal so I don't actually know what's yet to come. I wonder what becomes of me!

ve - Apparently you can get a reality show on E about anything - so yeah, I think there's a good chance.

michelle - What's more interesting... is finding out things you didn't know about your youth, when you're 48 years old!

kathy - Quite honestly, I think my parents are finding things out about this adventure for the first time right here. There wasn't that instant communication in those days and I was gone for several months before I had a chance to "report back in" with my travel stories. And of course I chose to leave some of the juicier details out on purpose. ;-)

Babs-beetle said...

It's all very intriguing, and fun learning more about the people we spent time with. I also, quite innocently became involved with someone in the 'underworld' when I was younger. Thankfully, not for long!

Maureen said...

I wonder what happened to you too! did you become a huge star? Did you get cement shoes for pissing off the Mafia???

Oh, I can't wait to find out!

Jocelyn said...

You had me at "feuding with Jack Palance."

Anonymous said...

I lived about 12 miles from "The Barn" and in 1981 after seeing an ad gabe had in a local paper went down and signed on as a songwriter. Although I performed since 1965 what i wanted most was writing. So gabe auditioned my songs and signed me. Oh yes, the day I went day the Barn was standing room only so maybe a lot of you folks were also there at the same time. Well, things are moving along until gabe tells me he wants me to go out on the road as an Elvis tribute artist.( I'm a big Elvis fan always was and did a tribute show in a few of my prior garage rock groups) but I didn't want to perform, only songwriting. Well gabe got pissed at my refusal and that ended my time at The barn. I'm still writing. So to all of you, all the best.

Anonymous said...

From the songwriter in prior post, my signing off all the best, please do not take it the wrong way, I only meant that i wish all the best life has to offer to all of you. Peace

GaryHall said...

I met Gabe in 1974 in Memphis tenn.the first thing he said to me was "put that guitar down get out front and entertain the people"He was truly a one of a kind.It seems crazy but I miss him.

John "Box Tops" Lepre said...

Where's the next installment? I need to compare notes

john Lepre said...

We should have a Gabe Garland alumni reunion