this one is more serendipitous.
to begin with your first road manager
has to kill himself
(see Anecdote # 37 blog from August 15.)
then, he has to be replaced by a road manager
of a different stripe: the "Road Mangler"
which is the title Phil Kaufman goes by.
Phil is an extraordinary person with a colorful past.
friends with Charlie Manson, before the massacre.
friends with the legendary Gram Parsons.
at Gram's insistence Phil agreed
to burn Gram's body out in the desert
if he were to die.
they made a pact.
a few years later
Gram Parsons died,
Phil stole his body,
drove it into the desert,
and promptly burned it.
you meet Phil after his prison tenure
and find him to be one hilarious fellow.
dressed in his best Harley garb,
he has (at that time) a knack for staying
completely smashed on booze
and yet doing his job very thoroughly.
one morning at breakfast with Phil
the waitress asks for his order.
he replies, "I'll have a Turkey Club."
the waitress says,
"I'm sorry sir, we're only serving breakfast,
no sandwiches until lunch."
"it's a type of whiskey, dear", he informs her.
next, you have to be fortunate enough
to take part in one of frank's annual rituals:
the Halloween concert in New York City
at the ancient Palladium Theatre.
since it is halloween
Phil will look after the costuming
for willing band members.
and since you are already in a costume of sorts
(a paratroopers jumpsuit bought
at an Army/Navy store on Melrose Ave.)
you're happy to oblige.
as it happens the entire concert is being filmed
to be released as a live concert film called baby snakes.
so when Phil shows up late in the afternoon
with your costume you try to put on a brave face.
the costume he's chosen is a WAC uniform
(a female military outfit from the 40's)
which matches your paratrooper jumpsuit
and just so happens to fit you perfectly.
at some point during the evening's concert
you find yourself offstage
changing into the WAC uniform.
the film crew surrounds you as you don
the now-infamous $500,000 Jimi Hendrix strat
and step back onto the busy stage
in front of 2,000 people
and a host of lights and cameras.
it's at this precise moment you realize:
you're wearing a dress.