Monday, September 24, 2012

9-24-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians -- Starter Job #207 (Oops! We did it again with Billy Crystal, take 3. . .)

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.

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