Saturday, August 16, 2008

Really, Julio Iglesias and Elton John?

Each week Mystix tried to scrape up enough money to rehearse in a music recording studio for a couple of hours. We would all chip in money equally. When we could afford it, we would rehearse in the studio sometimes twice a week and/or extended hours. The cost back then was about $60 an hour. There were 5 of us at the time, Deniz, Laurence, Leo, Rich and me. At the end of each rehearsal, I would go up to the office and reserve a room for the next week. The intention, like the previous band "Red Rum", was to create original music and practice enough so that we could start recording professionally in the studio once we found some investors to pay for it.

It was a typical hot day on a Friday in Miami. As I am watching the clock at work, I am thinking about the exciting weekend that is coming; starting with tonight. The plan was to rush home at 5 pm; grab something to eat; shower and change into my Caravicci jeans, Italian shoes, Rock t-shirt, matching jeans jacket and a white hat. This was all very much in style in the 1980's. Everyone in the band would pile into Deniz's van and head to the studio around 6:30 pm. We had a room reserved at 7 pm. After a couple of hours of practice, we were then supposed to go to Hallandale Beach to see a Heavy Metal band play at a rock night club.

When we rehearsed at the studio, we would use some of the studio equipment such as Mikes, Amps etc. The rest of the instruments were in the van. As the guys were unloading the van, I walked up to the office to get us checked into the practice room and to pay the rental fee. Deniz accompanied me to the office. The guy there said, "You can't rehearse here tonight". I quickly responded that we reserved a room last week. He completely ignored the fact I made a reservation and told us that the entire studio is rented out for the evening. He said we can rebook for a different day. To say the least, we were pissed and argued for a short time, but with no success. We asked when did this happen? He said on Wednesday the entire studio was reserved for Friday night. We kept asking, who is reserving the studio tonight, but the guy in the office refused to give us a name.

As we were storming out of the office, we walked down the main hall. I looked to the left and saw big black equipment boxes with silver metal trim. On the black boxes there was the name "Iglesias" from a spray painted stencil. Deniz and I proceeded closer to check it out. Some of the other equipment boxes had "Julio Iglesias" painted on them. We walked out the back door of the studio and met the guys in the parking lot. We had to break the bad news to the rest of the band that we can't practice tonight because we got kicked out by Julio Iglesias. There were mixed emotions like anger and disappointment. At the end, we just laughed about the whole thing. In our minds with our Rock'n Roll egos, it was embarrassing at the time to lose our practice studio to Julio Iglesias. If we lost the room to Bon Jovi, Slayer or Van Halen, then it would have been viewed as cool.

We had a couple of hours to kill before we plan to go to the night club in Hallandale Beach. We drove to a Bennigans. Everyone ordered drinks and dinner. Deniz knew a waitress there, so he was chatting with her as we all just hung out for a while. I had already eaten dinner in my small apartment earlier, so I just ordered a Coke and a piece of pie. Then around 8:30 pm we drove to the night club. The guitar player in the band playing that night was Deniz's friend. Last year this guy won the local rock radio station, 97 GTR, guitar contest. I don't remember this guitar player's name; however I do remember he won the guitar contest again in 1988. In 1989, my new bride "Deya", Deniz and I actually went to the bar where 97 GTR hosted the guitar contest; and saw this guy win again for a third year in a row. As you listened to his guitar solos, you are mesmerized by how great he played; it was unbelievable! We left the restaurant and drove to the club. It was about a 20 minute ride. The club was dark, the heavy metal music was loud, and the place was packed with 21-24 year old guys and girls hanging out. When the band had a break, Deniz introduced us. It was a fun evening at the club. After a couple of hours, around 11pm we decided to leave and start driving home.

As we were approaching the highway, we noticed an entourage of limos and other vehicles getting on the highway going north. Leo mentioned that Elton John was performing at Joe Robbie Stadium tonight. This was the new Miami Dolphins football stadium that had a seating capacity of at least 60,000. We were just arriving at the point when the concert was over. The traffic was immense if you could imagine. We all lived south, but someone in the car said let's follow Elton and see where he goes. We agreed, as strange as it was, and entered the highway going north. As we approached Ft. Lauderdale, we could see the limo ahead of us signaling to exit. I was new to Florida and unfamiliar with the area. The guys knew exactly where Elton was going. There was a very upscale gated condo community on the ocean called Turnberry where the rich and famous lived or had vacation homes. Ok we now know where they are going, why are we still following? We were discussing that there could be a great after concert party. We decided to continue to follow Elton. I could see a gate entrance ahead. I asked how we are going to get in. Leo said we will just say we are with the band. We had music equipment and certainly looked the part. I then proceeded to laugh uncontrollably. When we got to the gate, Leo told the guard that we were with the group ahead as part of the band. Deniz's old van was a clear give away. This guy at the gate was intelligent enough to know that we did not fit into the Elton John entourage profile. We were told to enter so that we could turn around to leave right back out. Yes, a split second flashed through my mind about making a run for it on the Turnberry grounds, but we just followed the guard's instructions and turned around and headed home.

In the end, the band didn't rehearse because we were kicked out of the studio by Julio Iglesias. Also, we couldn't attend the Elton John after concert party. But even though we had an unexpected little adventure, we were able to listen to great original heavy metal music at the rock club; and overall it was a fun night. Of course, the events regarding Julio Iglesias and Elton John turned out to be a funny story to tell the next day.

1 comment:

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