I’m Cryin’ 96 Tears

Sometimes my new CBC Radio One habit serves, not to elevate my media taste but to push it back down to the netherworld wherein dwell the likes of peopleofwalmartawkwardfamilyphotos and craftastrophe.

So it was this lunchtime that I was, as other listeners would know, listening to The Vinyl Cafe and the repeat of a Dave and Morley story:

It was 1972. She was working in summer stock, in a ­theatre in Providence, Rhode Island—eight plays, two months. She was a seamstress.

There was a 3,000-seat arena not far from the theatre. There was a free skate from eight to ten every Monday night. It was the only night that the theatre was dark. She kept meaning to go skating. She finally did—at the end of August. It was the night she met Dave.

Dave was in town with a Dick Clark Caravan of Stars pro­duction—eight acts in two hours, including “?” and the Mysterians, The Archies, and Bobby Goldsboro. It was a hateful tour. The musicians hated the music they were playing and they loathed the venues they were playing in. A sourness descended on the whole enterprise before the end of the first week. Dave, who began the tour as the technical director, soon realized he was presiding over the rock-and-roll equivalent of a Ford Pinto. He could count on something going wrong every day. He kept waiting for the explosion. The only salvation was the most hated moment of all—the last number of every show—when Bobby Goldsboro sang “Honey.”

About two weeks into the tour one of the Mysterians bought a battery-operated megaphone, and every night a group of musicians would huddle off-stage, trying to distract Bobby Goldsboro by singing alternate lyrics during his song. They would sing just loud enough so he could hear them and the audience couldn’t. In Saratoga Springs they rigged up a microphone behind stage. The plan was to feed their version of “Honey” through Goldsboro’s monitor. Somehow the feed got rerouted—it was never clear how—and their lyrics, which involved Honey doing unspeakable things with a shaved, greased goat, got routed through the arena pa.

To the audience it appeared as if this unbelievable rewrite was actually coming out of Goldsboro’s mouth. Goldsboro, who was dimly aware that something was horribly wrong, gamely finished the song. While the crowd watched in disbelief. When the tune came to an end, there was a moment of pure silence. Then, Goldsboro looked around in confusion as the audience rose as one and gave him the only standing ­ovation he got on the tour. After the show he kicked up such a fuss that the Mysterians had to stop their evening antics. Instead, every night, when it was time for “Honey,” they would slip into the audience, where Goldsboro could see them, and put on oversized construction ear protectors, waving, smiling and making rude gestures at him while he sang.

Things got so bad that Dave left the tour and began to advance the show. This meant arriving in each town a few days ahead of everyone else to prepare the arena and then, thankfully, to leave before anyone else got there. He spent that entire summer arguing with arena managers about concession rights and electrical boards. And that is how he came to meet Morley in those last days of the summer of 1972.

Alas, my attention wandered away from the story at this point as I began to wonder, whatever happened to Bobby Goldsboro?

Of course the answer was readily at hand.  Google led me to Wikipedia  and Bobby Goldsboro’s Official Website (tomorrow, wish him a happy 69th birthday – bobby@bobbygoldsboro.com).

It seems that Bobby no longer performs actively, but he’s keeping busy in this semi-retirement.  He makes children’s teevee shows.  And,

Recently, the energetic dynamo decided to pursue another lifelong passion; oil painting! He has quickly gained a reputation as a world-class artist. Having never studied painting, the self-taught artist is now being featured in one-man art shows at galleries around the country. His paintings are being purchased by fans and art lovers alike and Bobby and his wife, Dianne regularly donate paintings and giclee prints to charities for fund-raisers.

If you work in the arts, this is mondo NSFW.

But if you dare,

descend with me,

down

down

down

down

down

Really Bobby, your website has to protect this image from unauthorized copying?

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