August 6th, 2005
Hi gang! Well, I’m in a really strange mood here. I just finished watching the movie that some fine actors, (in my opinion!), did on the life of the Three Stooges. I thought it was great! I love those guys,
and my son Chris C. freaks for them!!!
I find it hard to believe that any guys like that… who made so many peoples’ hearts smile in a time when smiling was hard… ’cause times were so hard… I find it hard to believe that their story could make a person feel so sad.
They had so much to give; so much raw talent just waiting for some corporate ass to take advantage of… and Hollywood’s full of folks waiting to prosper on someone elses’ talent. Don’t get me wrong here, I believe that there are TONS of honest behind-the-scenes folks in tinsel town who really want to help someone out that they believe is deserving and talented. The problem is that for every one of them…. there’s five of the other guys.
I don’t wanna soap-opera out on you here, but I think those guys deserved more. They made a fortune for someone, but not for themselves. (Hey, wait a minute! That sounds kinda familiar!). Well, now I gotta try to tell you a tale. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s a damn shame. I think I’ll call this story…….
“Me and Moe”
In the early 1970″s, Black Oak Arkansas was livin’ in Hollywood. Man, whata place! I really love that place! I always said there were about 4 or 5 cities in the United States where you could get off of a plane blindfolded, and by the smell and feel of the place alone, (and I don’t mean because it’s a bad smell or feel… just different!), you could tell where you were! HOLLYWOOD! That’s one a dem places!
We were recording for Atco/Atlantic in those days, and we were still steel-hard and a mile wide in our own eyes! Invulnerable! That was a word you only heard in Superman comics, but that’s what it felt like. Everything we touched went right! Life was good.
We were on the road so much that we had to grab recording time when we could… where we could. In those days, people around us became family. That seldom happens anymore with newer groups, but to this day I still have brothers and sisters from those days whom are a part of me. It is said that many people will walk through your life, but only true friends leave footprints on your heart. These were the days when that happened.
During our days in L.A., we were lucky enough to have had several fine ladies who helped us green country boys try to keep our shit together secretarial-wise by helping out. One of them later hooked up with the singer from Pink Floyd, one became nurse maid to our ape named Gibert, (that’s another tale!), and the one I’m talkin’ about here used to be a Mouseketeer! Yep, I won’t mention any names here, but she was on the show when she was a wee lass! Of course, she wasn’t making any great big bucks workin’ for an up-and-coming rock band, so she worked part-time in a studio in Hollywood… and worked for an insurance company also.
Pat, Harvey and I were doing over-dubs in the studio she worked in, and she was at the front desk that day. After a few hours of labor tryin’ to hit the right note at the right time, I take a break and go out front to the reception area. She’s on the phone talkin’ to someone, sees me come in… and hands me the phone! “Say hi to a friend of mine,” she says. “I do his insurance, and he’s gotta stop by for a few minutes.” I take the phone and say, “Hello.” A voice from my childhood says, “Hey, knucklehead, I’ll be down to visit ya in a few minutes!”
“Is that who I think it was,” says I! “Yep,” says she. I find out that she is Moe’s insurance agent! Ain’t Life Grand! I wait and wait and wait and wait and wait. FINALLY, this old 1950’s car pulls up out front, and HE gets out of the driver’s seat! Moe! Man, you coulda knocked me over with a dandylion fuzz! I hold the door open for him, grinnin’ like a possum eatin’ grapes! “After you”, he says. “No sir, after you!” I answer. “Oh, superstitious.. hey?” he says!! Damn! He was good!
O.K. gang, you gotta picture this. Moe was the last of the Stooges still around. He was about five foot nothing tall, still had his hair in the same ol’ bangs that I remember, but his hair is now snow white! Wrinkles are so deep on his face that you could have hidden your stash there, but man…. it was still Moe! I don’t think I could have been more excited talking to Moses!
He did his business with our lovely assistant, and then he and I talked for just a few minutes. Not near long enough. Within a year after that… he was gone. I told him of our big plans and how we were gonna conquer the world, and he smiled. “Do ya do it for the enjoyment ya bring to others, or do ya do it for the money?” he asked me at the end. I thought of the answer I could give to someone like him who had made hundreds of millions for someone… while he was making only hundreds for himself….. “What money?” says I!!! Moe is now laughin’ his ass off!
As he leaves, an ancient comic with one more laugh left in him, he tangles his foot in a metal fold-up chair…. and kicks and cusses and falls while he’s fighting with this piece of furniture!! Now, I’m laughing my ass off! And then… he went away….. I never saw him again….. but…. Moe,….. man, you touched me.
Peace, my friend,…… peace.
Well, this little happy/sad story calls for a drink. Thank ya’ll for listening to my “Ramblin’s”. I hope to see you all one day again soon. You, too, Moe.