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Friday, July 13, 2012

7-10-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #143 (The Washington Squares - Sidebar about Syd Straw . . . )


Because I was hanging out with Syd Straw in late 1983 and early 1984, just into the Squares days, several opportunities came my way and I look back and have to thank her.  I met my boyfriend, Rick, because she told me about a party on 8th Avenue at a friend of a friend’s apartment (it was Rick’s). She never showed up there, but it didn’t matter ‘cause I met a cute guy -- and a good man -- who took a big shine to me and we were together for over 5 years.

I also took on a part time job that I needed to pay my rent for a few months.

Syd Straw was an interesting and fun friend. Tall, gangly, bespectacled, hippie-cute in a skinny, long-haired, Patti Smith way, she had a self deprecating “Aw shucks” manner, was very warm and schmoozy, and always ingratiating. We got along great at first: Syd has a neat sense of humor and can make you feel really good because, as I said, she’s a fantastic charmer and schmoozer.

I’d just get annoyed when she’d break out into these mini-rants with a loud sing-song voice, twirling around while walking on the streets with me, “I have to SINNNGGGG!”  Yeah, I thought, can it, Straw woman “--and some of us, we gots to work/ooh watch me now. . .” from ”Sweet Jane” by Lou Reed & the Velvets. I, too, had to sing -- but wasn’t as good about taking that message to the skies. Besides, I was already in a band that was working hard & moving ahead. Syd was self-grooming for solo stardom (and I admire that -- it’s hard for me to do), and she succeeded in a few years with the Golden Palominos (or the Go-Pals, as the hipsters called ‘em).


(photo of Syd with Bruce on bottom left from CA trip --when the Squares visited John Stewart, in Malibu)

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