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The Penetrations, page 3

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in the bathtub

Three from a professional photo shoot we actually paid for. 
I'm not sure what purpose they served, but I like them.
Gary Brown was the photographer, and these pictures were
taken in his home on 6th Street.

                                        Darrell breaks his leg.

                                In October of '72, Darrell was driving his car on Iowa Street when a drunk driver crossed the center line and plowed into him. 
                                Darrell's leg was broken badly and he spent sixty-five days in traction in a Topeka hospital. 

Pens with Jody
Darrell's replacement

During Darrell's hospital stay, we used Jody Spotts on lead guitar.  Jody was a Lawrence native who worked at Richardson's Music.  Jody was a fine guitarist but had not been exposed to nearly as much "roots" music as we had, so he didn't really know how to play R&B, but we gave him credit for trying.
Jody went on to become the road manager and guitarist  in Neil Sedaka's band before dying  in an automobile accident.

This photo was taken at a junior college dance in Western Kansas. 

Darrell with crutches    
Darrell Returns
Here's Darrell's story of his return to the Penetrations:

"I figured I was out of the band for sure.  Spotts could play better than I could, so I didn't think I'd be back.  But then you guys called me... I was really way too messed up to travel to Lawrence and play a gig (and man! Becky picked me up in Topeka, in some wretched car that Duby owned, and drove me to Lawrence for a gig.  She was a scary driver!).  We were playing at the Red Dog.  I had to sit in a chair, with my broken leg (which was in a cast!) propped up on pillows on another chair.  I literally nearly passed out from the effort: I regard it as being the most unpleasant gig I ever played.  I was on crutches, and new to them; it was almost impossible to get up on the stage... There was no way I could get to the bathrooms, and [I] had to piss in a beer pitcher at the back of the stage.  I hated travelling to gigs while I was in [that] condition, but I really wanted to be back in the band."
Here's Darrell at the Mad Hatter, crutches leaning against a speaker cabinet.

These selections were recorded live at the Red Dog in late '72 or early '73.

Tell the Truth - the Ray Charles song.

Slow Down - Larry Williams, the Beatles; I like our version better than the Beatles'.

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - we kinda had our own version, a little like Aretha Franklin's, but with a little surprise at the end.

Cry to Me - the Solomon Burke ballad.  I've always liked this song, and we did it nicely.

Shakin' That Thing - don't remember who the original performer was, but it's a Bessie-Smith-like number, with a nice rhythm pattern by us.

I Got My Mojo Working - Muddy Waters.

I Just Want to Make Love to You - Jim Martin on sax.  We based our arrangement on Etta James's version.
The Red Dog Inn.

Red Dog Inn

The Red Dog Inn was opened in an old theater on the 600 block of Massachusetts by John Brown and Mike Murfin in 1965, and in the sixties featured a host of bands managed by Mid Continent Entertainment:  The Fabulous Flippers, The Red Dogs, The Rising Sons, the Blue Things, the Young Raiders, and more.  Currently known as Liberty Hall, It continues to be a popular venue for live music.  The hall has also been known as The Opera House and The Free State Opera House.

The first time I went there was in about 1969, with Michael Duby.  We talked to John Brown, whose office was upstairs on the south side, about booking whatever lame band we had at the time.  He was courteous but promised nothing!

Even though bass players generally dislike the acoustics there, it's a great place to play because of its size, shape, history, and gestalt.  The big stage really makes you feel like you've hit the big time, and it is the top venue in Lawrence.

On stage at the Red Dog ----------------------------->>
Becky at the Red

1317 Rhode Island.
Michael Duby had started his own band, Polio, and he wanted to share practice space in the loft at 706-1/2 Massachusetts. 
As a result, the band moved out of the loft and into the house at 1317 Rhode Island. 
Buddy shared the upstairs with three people, and Brad, Darrell, Becky, Deanne Hochstetler, and I lived downstairs. 
Three memories I have of that place: 

1) Making homemade ice cream,
2) Playing extreme Spin-the-Bottle with residents and guests, and
3) trying to teach Deanne how to ride my Honda Dream under the influence of controlled substances
    and watching her plow slowly into the Lawrence Jr. High School fence at the end of the block.  No one was hurt.

What Becky remembers is the worst cockroach infestation of her life.  At some point she moved into her own place, an upstairs apartment on 11th Street, just west of Massachusetts.

The bus
   The bus, parked in front of 1317 Rhode Island.  My motorcycle is right behind it.
The Bus.

We now had a band bus, which we parked on the street in front of the Rhode-Island house.  It was a 1960 International Harvester with a 6-cylinder engine and a two-speed rear axle, acquired from a place in Kansas City which - duh - sold used school buses.  We painted most of it blue, but it was too much effort to paint the top so we left it National School Bus Chrome (yellow).  Unfortunately, the vehicle was never designed for highway travel; we had to have the engine rebuilt at one point.  After the Penetrations broke up, the bus was sold to The Billy Spears Band.

Darrell reminded me of the time when the generator bracket on the engine broke during a ride home from central Kansas after a gig.  We were at the top of a hill on a road with no shoulder, so we couldn't pull off the road.  We coasted BACKWARDS until we found a spot with a shoulder and had to wait until morning for someone to come along and stop. No cell phones!

Another time, coming home from a gig in Oklahoma City - where we didn't get paid - the bus blew TWO tires.

During this time, Michael Duby was arrested and charged with drug sales, narked out by one of Vern Miller's minions. 
  I never knew the specifics.  During 1973 he spent some time in the state penitentiary at Hutchinson, but the Penetrations continued. 

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Copyright 2006,2013 by Andy Curry