Monday, April 27, 2009

The Theme to the Patty Duke Show
or
Two Weeks in Heaven

I can't believe this was 20 years ago! Going through these tapes has been a very emotionally trying experience for me. I've been revisiting moments that I think would have been better left to a fuzzy memory. I really didn't have any business performing in these shows; This was the third time I ever got up in front of an audience and sang.    Granted it's a pretty amusing bit, but it almost hurts to watch me look so awkward; and it stings even more to see myself at 25 looking all cute and remembering how things were then. 

This clip brings back a very clear memory for me... I had only sung once before at the Orchid Show.  I was asked to come back for the next show however I didn't think I could make it because I had a date with Gamal.  Gamal was this six foot four, out of work Venezuelan runway model and kick boxer.  I adored him and we had this two week affair that I think I'll remember until I die. 

We met at Club Berlin one night when I was standing around with friends. From behind me I heard some one say, "I dare you, do it, do it..." Suddenly, this strikingly handsome, tall man with a shock of black hair said to me in this deep Fabio-ish voice, "I'm going to take you in my arms and kiss you now..." And he swooped me in his arms, leaned me back and kissed me... All of his friends applauded. I think I almost fainted...

After that we started to date. Going out with him was like being with a movie star... heads turned wherever we went. He called me his "Little Crystal" and told me how wonderful I was every other minute.  Sigh... Of course, it couldn't last. The night of the show, which I really wanted to do, he wanted to go to see "A Handmaid's Tale" which was playing across the street at the Biograph Theater.  However,  I won battle and we went to the Orchid Show and I sang this silly song.

Things then were never the same again between us;  Afterwards we went to Berlin  and he got drunk and cried and said he wanted to go back home to South America, thinking he was having a psychic vision that his grandmother was dying.  Then he would go off and dance like a whirling top on the dance floor.   He wore a black turtle neck sweater whose every pill and speck of dust glowed bright in the black lights that lit the club, "Look John, look at my chest, I have the whole universe on my chest..."

He stopped answering my calls, I think I even wrote a sensitive poem and mailed it to him... he called me and said, "I can not see you anymore, you are too wonderful, and we should always remember these last two weeks as something special.  I will treasure the time we had together forever..." He even made breaking up seem like a Charles Boyer movie.  In the following months I'd see him sometimes waking down the street with some new guy; Gamel in his short toreador coat his arms up like a Tyrannosaurus. 

I know now why actors don't like to watch their old movies, it's always about something else... not the performance... 



During this time, I was doing the Sinatra-thing. It was the only way I could think of to get on stage and sing. I would never have thought just to sing as myself. I think in my head I was going for a type of Gordon Jenkins lush arrangement. I can't believe I was bold enough to get up and do this stuff then... and oh, I purposely mixed up the lyrics at the end. Sinatra at the time was always getting his lines turned around.

There's a lot more where this came from... for better or for worse...

3 comments:

Θράσος said...

Very cute and such manly voice!
Liked you, nothing to feel weird of...

BC said...

That was a really great story, Johnny. Good song, too.

PonyBoy Press said...

Beautifully told story. So interesting to see this tape and know what was going on for you. Interesting idea that that is why people don't like to see their movies. I have tapes and tapes of radios shows from the 90's that I don;t want to listen to, but not sure what to do with them...anyway, I'm catching up with your blog.