1975-1977 (various 4-5 gigs).
The shows at this club were just another excuse for my friends to get together and go absolutely wild. One night we were playing and we smelled that familiar odor of Fruit Loops. I looked at my friend Joe Despagni and we both understood that the bathroom had just been destroyed. Sure enough, one of my friends walked out of the bathroom with toilet bowl in hand.
Now, the owners of this club were these two huge guys that basically had steak tartar for brains. After the show they kicked us out and started picking on us in the parking lot. One big goon went for our singer Barry. At 5’4″ Barry was fearless and undefeated on the CP Wrestling team for his weight class. He actually held his own with this moke.
You may not believe this, but I have never in my life struck another person out of anger. You see, I had the baddest toughest brother in all of Long Island – Roger Vai. Everyone knew him. He was, and still is, one of the coolest, funniest, toughest guys I know. Afraid of nothing, I’ve seen him beat the living shit out of people. When he was a kid, nobody was allowed to pass our house unless they were beaten up at least once by Roger Vai. A real bully he was, but if you were on his good side you were protected.
Nobody ever tried to fight with me because they knew my brother would kick their ass. This saved me from many an ass-beating. To this day, in many areas of Long Island, I’m still referred to as “Roger Vai’s little brother”.
So, back to the story about this moke at the bar. This guy that was fighting Barry towered over me. I go up to him and say “Hey man, why are you picking on this guy when he’s so much smaller than you?” Before I knew it, he hit me right in the face.
All I saw was my feet up in the air. I came to a few minutes later with my friends hanging over me. I remember saying “Don’t tell Roger, don’t anybody tell Roger that this guy hit me…”. I knew if Roger knew this guy hit me, someone would get terrifically hurt, possibly killed.
The first thing that Frankie Calavagna (our singer Barry’s brother) did was run and tell Roger. Roger’s friends are dangerous people. Many were Hells Angels, some are dead and some are in jail. Just as I thought, Roger got very upset and went down to the club that next night with his entourage of gentlemen. They were packed with baseball bats, knives, and a few had guns strapped to their legs.
We got to the place and one of the owners was there. He immediately called the cops and his brother, but the place still got turned inside out and the guy was severely beaten.
When the guy’s brother (the one who hit me) pulled up in his car and started yelling at Roger, Roger reached into the car and grabbed this guy, pulling him out of the car right through the window. Lucky for him, the cops showed up right at that minute. Geez, I guess I should have just ducked.