Good Day to All Y’all,
The (All*Star) Thursday closest to the Summer Solstice is always a good one for us. It coincides nicely with the birthday of Roger the Reliable, proprietor of Chez Meier, home for so many of our All*Star Thursday celebrations. It also has served as the crash pad for countless friends from around the world who come to town. We have had some legendary Jams on this day, like when Dave Murphy came in a few years ago, turbo-charging the atmosphere with his intensity, and doing his amazing ground work on our Green Beach. It ain’t San Diego and we got no sand, but he sure made it seem like he was at home. (Hey Murf–we’d love to have you come on back!)
June 23, 2011 seemed like the perfect date for the first All*Star Thursday Guest Jammer Initiative Honoree, Richie Regs! Richie is a founding member of the Tribe, and has been very much missed since he decided to take his talents to Miami (actually, nearby Fort Lauderdale). That made the Board’s pick for the first guest easy. The others were tougher, because there are so many wonderful folks in our extended family, here and abroad. More to come on that subject…
Early rain and the laying down of some fungicide meant the Meadow was closed, so the Bandshell was going to serve as our basecamp for the second time this season. Upon my arrival, flying plastic was already sizzling through the air. Robbie-Rob, Young James, and Barak were already shredding on the hard concrete. In addition to Richie Regs (looking lovely in Yella), there was another familiar face. Kerry Komar, the inventor of the nail delay, was in from the ATL. He was being interviewed for a documentary on the Central Park scene in the 70s. His daughter Molly also came out to join us. As tall as her old man, she’s quite the beauty and made the overcast day a bit brighter. Our merry band was rounded out by Bradford T., The Oracle, Doug E. Fresh, JB, Roger, Chuck, Ted Shred and the Lovely Chrissy, Jaime-TJH and Barb, and Emily (Mrs. Barak!). In addition, Bill Doobs made his way down from his mountain lair, plus Tony Furman (Whamo’s former PR guy), and Mark Dana, and representing blasts from the past, came out to say hello. Mark was heading for Wimbledon but had his priorities in order.
Given the celebratory nature of the day, it was appropriate that The Gamboa was in the house, waiting to see who would seize the moment, wantin’ it more than the next guy. I nailed up and got my first Jam in with Richie, who is recovering from a hernia operation. When he took a break, I slipped into the ferocious fray with Rob, Barak, and James. Barak made an early bid for The Gamboa by hitting a number of insane combinations, and crushing two double spinning seals that had to be classified as ‘High Gitosis’, because of his body position, and one that I can’t even describe that Rob called Razor’s Edge. Young James took on the challenge by hitting his own double spinning barrel Gitis, throwing down the gauntlet to Rob. I have described Mr. Fried as having echo-location because he always knows ‘zackly where the disc is going to be. On this day he was completely locked in, and he dialed it up several notches. Moments after the aforementioned Razor’s Edge, he hit a spinning Gitis, a double spinning Scarecrow, and another Gitis off of a sweet inside counter kick brush. During his next combo, James yells out “NO BONES!” (as in ‘no bones about it’) and Rob responded without hesitation with a clean double spinning barrel Gitis of his own. Wow…just friggin’ WOW!
That early jam set the tone for a great day. In addition, the City of New York has a public arts project that has placed pianos around the town…including by the Bandshell. The first player was a teenaged skater boy who had been buzzing through our Jams. He sat down and started playing Tchaikovsky. Nice! As folks listened to the music, things got to simmering. Jaime-TJH showed off his short game skills with Chuck and Richie. Kerry got up with Roger, and I believe Bradford T. And Young James snatched up Dougie, anchoring a revolving door Jam on the west side of the Bandshell’s courtyard space. I was lucky enough to draw The Oracle for a solo duo to loosen up him up. We played until it was time for the official group shot, then got right back to it. Once I had done this bit of service, I got a tasty beverage from the Lovely Chrissy, and sent him off to get some Fresh and James.
What became the final Jam of the evening started with me and Sir Tedley with a brief Kerry K. interlude before he took off for dinner with (Good Golly) Ms. Molly. The new cat on the piano was playing high energy, Jazz inflected classical, giving us an extra boost. As always, Mr. Shred was nothing short of amazing. Then the Oracle rotated in until his back tightened up, follow by James, and Roger for while, before he exited to begin enjoying his birthday celebration.
At that point, James again announced he was making his bid for The Gamboa with an extremely Bad Attitude seal. Teddy responded with a signature role combination sealed with distinction, while I played point guard, setting each of them up and filling in the gaps. We had tremendous Flow, with both of my compatriots covering all kinds of ground, and displaying a full spectrum of innovative disc dexterity. I stayed in until the lights came on and dusk settled in, but James and Ted just kept going and going and going….
As darkness gathered, the committee of between 2 and 69 came to a decision regarding The Gamboa. It was a very tough call, given Barak’s early bid, the way James played all day and into the night. But it was Robbie-Rob who earned it with his overall spectacular play. This was the first time he won the darn thing, which was a big surprise to all of us. The after-party was held at Dean’s Pizza on 85th Street, and we all had a blast. There was more Jammin’ on Saturday, and Sunday was a day at the Beach. Long Beach…sand, waves, and Jams. A Great Way to finish an A*TGJI Weekend. The only question is…
When are YOU Comin’ Down?!
Peace Out, Yo!