[If you have not read Part 1 of this story, you should click here now]
The Next Morning…
I wake up with every part of my body in pain. I could barely lift my head let alone get out of bed. But I did. The first thing I get is a message from Chris Lord Alge saying sorry something came up and we’d have to do the session in LA. Thank God!
I fly back to LA the next day and face the barrage of questions from my wife Shelly. I’m sporting the black eye from hell. After way too many explanations I decide right there and then no more explanations… to anybody. If anybody asked what happened I’d just say you don’t want to know or just shake my head. After a couple of days it was time to do a gig up in Northern California. Monterey or someplace we could drive to and then back.
Richard had hired not a tour bus but a Winnebago on steroids. Friends and family were allowed to come and it seemed every damn one of them took a look at my eye and wanted to know what happened. I was wearing sunglasses and said nothing. My sister Denise came to the show with her six year old son Dillon and I remember Richard and him playing for hours. I think he was giving the hint to the wife it was time for a family.
So after the show we say our goodbyes and take off back for LA. It’s late and after an hour on the road people are getting quiet and starting to crash. At some point I find myself upfront in the Winnebago with the father Dick Marx. The driver, Dick Marx and me. Everyone else was crashed it seemed. I had a beer and nodded to him as I sat down and we just watched the stripes on the highway roll by. After a few minutes he swivels his chair towards me and says, ” Alright! What really happened?” We locked eyes for a second, I sighed and started the story. It went something like this.
“Well, Mr. Marx, this big, crazy ass bouncer was saying some really nasty things about your son and me. He said I sucked Richard Marx’s dick after he took it outta my asshole. Well, I was ok with all that but when he said I liked the music too… well… then I had to hit him.” I said this last bit deadpan with a little glint in my eye. Then… Silence. He just stared at me hard for at least 30 seconds, then saying nothing, got up and walked to the back of the bus. I watched him go thinking to myself, “hmmmmmm… no sense of humor.” Those were the last words we ever had together. I never saw him again.
I end up doing the recording session I was supposed to do in Minneapolis in Hollywood with Chris Lord Alge, but it meant delaying my flight to Japan. Richard Marx and the band had already flown over and when I arrive at the airport I find my good buddy (NOT) Paul Warren is on the flight also. Now I didn’t really know Paul that well but I’d been around him enough to know that I didn’t like his style or trust him. He’s a helluva guitar player, but as Gary Grainger (another great guitar player and classy guy) would say, he’s a useless cunt. You know the type… He smokes but never has his own. He does drugs but never buys any and is always hitting you up for yours. He found out my wife had valium and never failed to ask her for some everytime he saw her. He immediately asks if I’ve got any blow. I make the mistake of saying yes and end up sharing what little I had with him on the flight to Tokyo. Normally a little prick like him wouldn’t even deserve a mention for these petty antics, but it’s relevant for the end of this tale.
Up to this time I’d spent quite a lot of time in Japan during the 80’s. My first international tour stop was Japan with Rod Stewart in 1981. So, two tours with Rod, along with two more with Eurythmics, and I also filmed a movie with Dave and Annie in Kyoto.
We had a night off when we got in, so instead of resting I head to where every rocker in the know goes in Tokyo, which was down to Ripongi Square and the Lexington Queen nightclub. In the 80’s there were thousands of American and European models in Japan on lucrative 6 month to one year contracts and they all would hang out at the Lexington Queen. It seems, as I was told by more than one model, that after a month or two in Japan they would develop a healthy appetite for Western men. American, European or Australian, they weren’t picky. The place was always filled with beautiful women. The owner knew me on sight by now and welcomed me in and bought me a drink. I immediately fell in with Journey guitarist Neal Schon. A very happy jovial soul he is and a good drinking buddy. He was on the bill of the same concert as us with a new group called Bad English. We drank and caroused all night and had a good ol’ time.
At sound check the next day it was a very cool hang as I knew a lot of the musicians and roadies from all the different groups on the bill. And what a bill in was. It went something like this: Headlining Jeff Beck w/ Tony Hymas on keys and Terry Bozio on drums, Richard Marx, Bad English, Steve Lukather Band, and some other great bands. It was held in a brand new arena in Yokohama and it was really something for the times. Capacity around 20,000 with all the latest technology including large TV monitors in the dressing rooms downstairs where you could watch the show on stage. I know it doesn’t sound like much for 2014 but for 1989 it was the shit. I had played with Jeff on tour with Rod Stewart on the Camouflage Tour and we’d also been in the studio together where we traded licks on harp and guitar on a song on that album called “Bad For You.” In 1986, when I was shooting videos with Eurythmics in LA, Dave Stewart and I were at the bar at the Sunset Marquis and Jeff came up to me and asked me if I was interested in maybe doing something together. I was totally floored and honored, but respectfully declined as I was just starting a world tour with Eurythmics. I’ll never forget Dave excitedly coming up to me saying, “Hey Jimmy, Jeff Beck is here!! ” I said , “Yes I know.” What I’m trying to get at is even though Jeff had a reputation for a bad temper and being hard to get along with, for some reason we always got along and even had some memorable hangs but we’ll save that for another story.
We did our sound check and went back to the hotel but I never got a chance to say hello to Jeff. The Jeff Beck Group was the headliner and Richard Marx was right under him.
read part 3, here…
Richard Marx & the Fine Line Between Humor & Unemployment
[…] read part 2 here… […]
“Z, Ya Bastid!” You are my new favorite author! Loving all the road stories!!!! Too funny. Whew!…..glad you’re still here to tell em’!
Please stay in touch bro. So great to reconnect with you!