In 1971 Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes did a show at Plateau Hall in Montreal. It was a very small venue, holding about 500 people sitting on the floor with legs crossed. and cost $5 admission. The stage was about 4 feet above the floor.
It was an amazing concert blowing us away. At the end, Ted said, “Our new album, ‘Marriage On The Rocks’ is released in the US, and won’t be available in CanaDa for 6 months. Watch for it.” That was the end of the show.
Ted stayed on the stage to talk with anyone interested, and I was at the back of the small group. Finally standing face to face with him I said, “Ted, loved the show. Best one I’ve seen to date. Ted, I don’t want to wait 6 months for the album. Here’s my name and address and $5. Will you mail me one from the US please?” He took the piece of paper and the fiver and said, “Sure, I’ll mail it.” I had no doubt at that moment, he genuinely intended to mail it.
In those Days the Canadian Dollar was worth more than the US Dollar, and an album was only $3 American, so the cost was covered. My friends and I left the show totally satisfied. The next Day I was mentally flailing myself thinking ‘why do I get carried away in my enthusiasm? It always ends up costing me more. I paid twice to get in.’ While I had the faint hope the album would arrive, it didn’t, and eventually I forgot all about it. Naturally, with his busy lifestyle, sending it would lose priority for Ted within days. It was no big deal for me.
In 1975, I quit my position of ‘National Marketing Representative, Mining Division, Dominion Engineering Works Ltd. of Montreal without having another position to move on to. The next Day, February 1, I had a Spiritual Awakening that totally changed my outlook on life and this Material World. The Executive Personal Agency was sending me to fantastic job opportunities, but I talked about my Spiritual awakening and religion doesn’t mix in job interviews.
There was 1 interview with a California Company, I thought went very well. The Sales Manager seemed so interested in my experience, I thought I got the Position. Calling the Personal Agency the next Day, the man handling my account asked me what happened? I asked him what he meant? Didn’t I get the Job, I asked? He said no. but he did tell me the Company interviewer said, ‘he didn’t know what I was high on, but he sure wished he had some.’
I didn’t realize it then, but I did have a new job talking the Word of God, and 8 months later, with shoulder length hair, beard and new found Faith, sold all my possessions, put on a back pack, and leaving Family and Friends in my Spiritual Wake, entered the US to seek the upcoming Spirit of ’76, the 200th Anniversary of the 1776 US Revolution.
It was one of the best years of my 75 years, including the experience 3 Days into the Journey when I found myself deep inside the Black Ghetto of Trenton, New Jersey, where White People don’t go in Daylight, at 1:30 in the morning. I was surrounded by some 30 Black youths, and 1 of them was saying he was taking my backpack and it belonged to him. I walked out of that scene with my backpack unmolested, the story you can read here. Everywhere I went, People treated me like a king as I hitchhiked through some 40 States.
For a Time during the Winter of 1976, for the 1st Time in my Life, I lived in warm, sunny Venice Beach, California. I had a free place to stay half a block from the Ocean. I washed dishes at Suzanne’s Kitchen on the boardwalk Friday to Monday for $1 an hour and meals. I had another job setting up the patio tables and chairs at The Sea and Shore Restaurant at 7am, also on the boardwalk. For doing that, I got a full breakfast and could sit on the patio with free coffee all Day long, talking with anybody and everybody. I was invited to party more than Time allowed.
One afternoon, I was walking on Santa Monica Boulevard, and passing by the Santa Monica Civic Centre, the marquee announced Ted Nugent for 2 nights, and this was the afternoon of the 2nd night. My instantaneous 1st thought was, ‘Jesus! That guy owes me $5.’
Being psyched right up, I rushed back to the apartment, and wrote a simple flowing note essentially saying the same as I recount at the beginning of this story from 1971. The note ended with these words, “Ted, I don’t expect you to pay me back the $5, but seeing that I am in Santa Monica, I would appreciate being your guest at the Concert Tonight, to see how you have progressed these last 5 years?”
I got really excited and going on the Boardwalk, showed it to a friend. He also got excited saying, “That’s going to work!” By the end of the afternoon, I showed the note to 4 other friends, and they all got excited saying, “That’s going to work!” We all gathered in the apartment ready to go when someone I met a month earlier as I was hitchhiking in Laguna Beach, arrived unexpectedly, driving his father’s big black Cadillac Limousine. The Signs were good!
When we got to the Arena, there were masses of young people with no tickets held behind Police barriers across the street. I told my friends the only way this is going to work is if I get this note in Ted Nugent’s hands, and there is no way 7 of us could hide by the Stage Door. I told them to wait as long as it took, and I’d be back to get them, assuring them I wouldn’t go in without them.
Hiding in some bushes by the Stage Door, eventually Ted Nugent arrived in a Volvo with 2 other People. Going right up to him I said, “Ted, please read this note.” He did, and looking at me said, “Is this True, Brother?” I said, “Honest to God Ted, that’s the Truth.” Just like that he said, “You’re in.”
Not knowing Ted Nugent, discretion told me it was not the Time to mention my friends, and as we approached the Stage Door, a guy sitting behind a desk just doing his job, asked me my name? He had a list of names of people allowed in and said, “Your name’s not on the list. You can’t get in.” Ted Nugent said, “He’s with me.” The guy just following his instructions said, “His name’s not on the list. He can’t get in.” Ted said, “You didn’t hear me. He’s with me.” The guy blindly doing his job said, “He can’t get in. His name’s not on the list” and I was being shuffled by the bouncers as the tone and tension rose.
I was flabbergasted, and I expect everyone else was too, when Ted said, “Listen! I’m his pass and he’s in, and if he’s not in, there’s no show Tonight.” Of course, the guy backed down right away, and I was given a Back Stage Pass. The people who got out of the Volvo with Ted stayed at the Stage Door as I walked with him I didn’t know where? Opening a door off a hallway, there were 6 of the most beautiful women most males would fantasize over, and Ted went to a table along the Wall, and sitting on it with his legs crossed, the 6 women formed a semi-circle around him. I was shunted off to the side like the proverbial fly on the Wall, watching the scene before my eyes. I was munching on munchies, and it looked like Ted was feasting on the women with his eyes thinking God knows what? I soon realized he was psyching himself up with energy for the show, and I didn’t want to interrupt that. It wouldn’t be cool to say, ‘Ted, I have 6 friends outside, Can they come in?” All the while I was thinking. ‘Jesus, give me some ideas how to make this work?’ My friends outside were my main priority.
Eventually someone opened the door and said, “Ted, you’re on in 5 minutes.” He got up and I followed him walking rapidly down a hallway. I said, ” I saw you were psyching your self up for the show, and I didn’t want to interrupt, but I have some friends outside, and it would be very good if they be allowed in to make this a very memorable evening.” He said he’s like to help, but he didn’t have Time. Replying “I understand that, but it’s important these people be let in to make this an exceptionally memorable show Tonight.”. At this point he turned into another door and I was desperate and said, “Ted, you give me authority to use your name, and I promise you, the energy at the show Tonight will be twice as high as it was last night.” He said OK! OK! You can use my name.”
I went down to the Stage Door where the 2 people who arrived with Ted were there, and I said, “Ted just got called on Stage, and he didn’t have Time to attend to this himself, but I have some friends outside, and he said you can let them in.” The guy asked, how many? I said 6 and he said go get them. I thought, ‘O Joy! Thank you sweet Lord.’ My friends waited, and all 6 were let in through the Stage Door, but without a Back Stage pass. That was the 1 and only Time I used his name. In our little section on the floor, we were ecstatic and had a fabulously good Time. It was contagious.
As the band did the encore, I told my friends I was going backstage but I was not going to stay, so wait. I never saw Ted Nugent again, but as the band came off the high stage, I mixed in the middle as a swarm of people were moving rapidly down a hallway. The band was not at the Stage Door and did not witness what happened. They didn’t know me, but one band member said to another exactly these words, ” Man, I don’t understand it. The energy out there Tonight was twice as high as it was last Night.” Hearing those words, I rejoined my friends, got in the Limousine and went for a Pizza, totally thrilled with the experience.
These 43 years later, I don’t remember their names, but it’s probable each of those 6 tell this story from Time to Time as an exceptional Night in their Life.
Venice Beach was a very rich experience for me, especially having this powerful, vivid Dream I remembered upon waking, that came True 2 years later in this big real World.