I have to say, we did some really interesting and cool stuff, and I very much credit Tom Goodkind with getting us out there and finding opportunities. He was an MBA from N.Y.U., and figured out how to use his business degree -- and acumen -- to get us ahead, from marketing to business plan.
One of the opportunities that came our way was to go on a Midwest tour with then-upcoming comedian Billy Crystal. This was before “When Harry Met Sally” and the Oscar hosting that he did. . . as I said, he was an up-and-comer.
At any rate, again, having temp jobs on the side in NYC worked well for me. We got the tour itinerary and, I believe, flew to Cleveland, where we rented a car to drive around where the tour was going. I don’t exactly recall, but think we toured with a bongo player at that time, either a guy named Ben (who was a little scary) or Frank Gianninni (who was a real nice, cool guy).
So, we did the first show on this little theater tour, and it went well. Billy liked us, and we posed for a pic with him (attach).
But Bruce had some other plans in his nutty, defiant brain. A natural comedian himself (and a Jerry Lewis aficionado), he got it in his head to learn and steal Crystal’s jokes -- and tell them during our set.
SO WRONG! I had no idea he was doing that at the time, though. Did Tom know? Hard to say, but I think if he did know, he’d have said, “Bruce, man, that’s such a bad idea ‘cause we’ll be thrown off the tour, man.”
. . . which is exactly what happened after two gigs: we lost the tour and were sent back home with our figurative tail between our legs.
Still, I just really wish I knew what possessed Bruce to do that. But we’ll never know, ‘cause he’s long gone. . . next year, it’ll be 20 years ago that he died.