|Chapter 19. PUNK 'N ROLL HIGH SCHOOL|
|Tracks...the Wild Ones|
|Our last Tracks drummer was an energetic 17-year old, Bryan Brat, who had replaced Pat O’Neill when he left to tour with Aerosmith. Bryan had been a fan of the band before joining and had set up a gig at his school, Arlington High - probably so he could show us off to his peers who hadn’t been old enough to see us play in bars. Bryan figured since Lorry and I had split for New York the gig would be called off. Despite illness, many hangovers and a former psychotic drummer, Tracks had never cancelled a gig - we had been dumped from a few, thrown out of a few others, but never missed a scheduled show – so we intended to keep our perfect record and return to Boston for one last finale.
So in January of 1979 Lorry and I left our cozy apartment in New York City’s lower east side (and our hot new band, the Wild Ones) and ventured, once more, into the snow covered environs of New England for one last show as Tracks. They had us in the gym with cafeteria tables set up as a makeshift stage. There were chaperons all over the place and we were eyed with extreme suspicion. Of course, I had already had a few shots of tequila to hold off the cold weather and so had Lorry. In the Boston vernacular, we were shit-faced. But, no cause for worry, that was often the state of things with Tracks.
We were advised, in no uncertain terms, that alcohol and tobacco products were banned on school grounds. But that prohibition had never stopped me when I had been in school myself and it sure wasn’t going to stop me now. The kids jamming the place looked rowdy and ready so I was pretty sure they wouldn’t risk starting a riot by stopping the show. Pat O’Neil was back from the Aerosmith tour (Lorry and I were staying at his place) and we were planning to have him man the drums on the last two songs which were the ones we had previously recorded in the studio with him. Pat begged off the night of the show, choosing to help man the PA and recording equipment he had gotten set up for us. We were really psyched for this gig knowing it would be our last together. Lorry was wearing her punk ‘n roll finest – ridiculously tight and tattered leather pants with the broken fly modestly held together with a large Clash pin, a pair of scruffy, street-toughened cowboy boots and for just a touch of femininity, a black lace blouse beneath her biker jacket. I recall all this 'cause she looked sooo damned good. She kicked it off hot and we immediately knew it was one of those nights. Maybe we were a little out of tune and maybe we had taken a few too many pulls from the bottle of Jose Cuervo stashed inside Lorry’s Fender Concert amp. But this was definitely punk & roll. Sloppiness and all, I think Tracks could be a very hot band on occasion. And this was one of those times.
There were numerous delays during the show. The make-shift stage (held together by duct tape) kept coming apart with Bryan, drum kit and all, in danger of disappearing into the chasm throughout the night. Lorry and I were also constantly admonished between songs to “Put out that butt,” and many more choruses of “You bring out that bottle again and we’re shutting you down!” Luckily, they couldn't catch Lorry's lyrics or that would have really upset them. It got to be pretty routine after awhile and when the authorities realized we weren’t going to behave and they couldn’t really risk how the student body might react to pulling the plug, they merely kept at it to keep up appearances. And the kids didn’t seem to mind the delays. I suspect most had their own stash of something or other to keep them pumped.
Listening to the recording of that last gig some twenty-five years after the fact, it sounds almost exactly as I remembered it. Yeah, we were sloppy, sometimes out of tune, sometimes even lost, but always managed to hold it together and all things considered, put on an amazing show. And the show was a real party. The kids were just crazy and great. Working with Bryan, John Shriver and Pat was fantastic. I always considered them friends first and band mates second. And Lorry, of course, was the doll she always was. As the recording displays, she was really into it that night and it may very well have been her most enthusiastic performance with the band. All and all, a fitting final testament of what Tracks was all about.
|Tracks 1st Show:
August 28, 1976 – The Rat, Boston, MA
Lorry Doll, vocals, guitar
Jeff Rey, guitar
Chuck “Angel” Myra, drums
George Maloof, Bass
|Tracks Last Show:
January 20, 1979 – Arlington (MA) High School
Lorry Doll, vocals, guitar
Jeff Rey, guitar, vocals
John Shriver, bass, vocals
Bryan Brat, drums
|"We been together for a long time and ... anyway, this is gonna be our last gig together."
(wild audience hoots and hollers)
"It's not that great!"
- Lorry Doll on stage with Tracks for the last time January 20, 1979
|The Last Tracks Set:
BOMBS AWAY (not recorded)
LOVE IS HOT (John Shriver, lead vocals)
BRAKES ON YOU
LOVE IS (BONDAGE & LEATHER)
I DON’T NEED YOU
(CAN’T GET THE) CITY OFF MY MIND
Power to stage cut-off due to curfew
(CHEAP IMITATION and AFIRE were planned for encore)
These snap-shots are the last known photos of Tracks as a group - rehearsing at Blue Door. I remember many photo flashes going off all through that last gig, but those pictures have never surfaced.