It's crunch time...and I'm nowhere near finished the writing portrions of the book. To be honest, I'm a little short of half done. And I'm exhausted. Not so much from writing as much as from figuring out the dates of the shows. I think the dates are important and the book is going in chronological order of the dates I shot them. Seemed the only sensible thing to do.
I had some of the dates from a photo of my bulletin board with a bunch of backstage passes tacked to it. Then I did a lot of research trying to piece together tour dates of the individual bands. And finally, I started tracking down the record reps I worked for. So far I talked to two of them. The first one was to nail down the date for the Blues Jam. I had a picture on the concourse of Frank Gigliotti from CBS so I figured it was his show. Well, he didn't even remember being at the show. But he offered up the name of a promoter he thought might know so I tracked him down. He didn't know but he gave me the contact info for Tom Worrall. Tom was partners with my very close friend, Gary Switlo (one of my dedicatees), and they had the ticket agency that covered most of the shows at the time. They eventually sold out to Ticketmaster and Tom still works for them.
Anyway, Tom ended up emailing me a pdf of a bunch of handwritten accounting pages that listed every show they did in chronological order. It was amazing. All but ten of the shows were listed. Although I ran into a little trouble when some of the bands appeared twice in the same years. At least I had a rough idea of an order.
Several of the leftover bands belonged to Monica Neputsky, who I also tracked down by some miracle. She didn't have dates either but she suggested I get in touch with a journalist we knew who still works at the same paper. I emailed him and he's checking it out with their library.
But then tonight I had an epiphany. I remembered all those numbers that were written on the black & white neg sheets. I talked about those before when I was writing about Michael Bloomfield. And they came up again yesterday because I finished writing his text. I realized those numbers had meaning. Like a secret code. Even though I didn't keep track of the dates, the numbers did. Because I numbered them consecutively as I shot. Eureka!
For example, Michael Bloomfield is number 21. I know I shot him on January 12, 1974 because it was stamped on my backstage pass. And it was one of the passes tacked to my bulletin board. I know I shot John Lee Hooker before mid-February because I listed everyone I'd shot in a journal entry. But the neg sheet was number 82 so I knew it was from a later show. I shot Hooker at least three times. I finally placed it in late June because Darrell Anthony Sweet was number 73 and I shot Nazareth on June 12, 1974.
The Beach Boys were confusing. I thought I shot them in December 1974 but then their neg sheet was number 48/49, right after Zappa's 46/47 and he was on March 14, 1974. Then I started really looking at the pictures. In the black & whites they are wearing different clothes than in the color. Turns out I shot the b&w's at the March 17, 1974 show and the color in December. No wonder my brain hurts.
Then I got really confused with the Blue Oyster Cult/T-Rex show. Research found that they played Vancouver on October 21, 1974. But I know they came swimming at my house, which would have been impossible in October. Had I lost my mind? The neg sheet is number 107 and Harrison is number 112. I know Harrison was November 2, 1974 because it was the opening show for his Dark Horse tour and I also had a dated ticket stub on my bulletin board. How could they swim at my house in an outdoor pool in October? Well, I was using my other neg sheets of non-dead musicians in conjunction with the list I got so I could narrow done the dates. I have another Blue Oyster Cult sheet numbered 76. Hah! They played with Nazareth on June 8, 1974 and that means they were swimming in my pool on Sunday, June 9th.
And in all of this there was another odd revelation. I mentioned to Frank that I had found a jpeg of the T-rex/BOC review from the Georgia Straight (local music paper). He asked if Bob Geldof wrote it. When he said that, I instantly remembered the Bob Geldof that wrote for the Straight. I could see his face clear as day. I saw him on a regular basis. I could hear his voice. His English accent. Then it dawned on me. He's the same Bob Geldof that was in Boomtown Rats and does a bunch of things to save the world. Geez. He was still in Vancouver when I left. And I guess I never bothered to put two and two together by the time he got famous. I mean, who'd of thought I guy writing music reviews for a local Vancouver paper would suddenly become a rock star in the UK? Even though he looked exactly the same and had the same name. Duh. Sometimes I'm a total putz.
Now do you understand what this is doing to my brain? Two many numbers, too many lists, too much cross referencing, too much living in the past, not enough brooms to sweep away the cob webs, too much to do, too little time. Somebody save me...from myself. Anyway, they're all done now...everyone at least has a month and a year...except one. Stanley Turrentine. I only shot color, so there's no neg sheet number. And he played in a club that my friends didn't ticket. Any ideas on where I should put him?