Friday, November 12, 2010

For Jason... The Ledbetter's Fire.

Jason, a new reader and commenter on my Ledbetter's stuff has asked about the Ledbetter's fire.

Oddly enough, it was the fire that cemented my place in Ledbetter's. I went from 'someone who really liked the music (and the boys who sang it) and was there almost every night' to someone who worked her butt off fixing the place after the fire.

It happened in the summer. My family and I went to Balboa Island in the summer for a couple of weeks. It was another spotlight time, as it was a small island, safe and fun, and if you went across the ferry to the peninsula there was the Prison of Socrates. The Prison was another fold club (ex beatnik place). I did my first on stage performance there and met, having borrowed his guitar, my first folk singer. Read into that what you will...

I came back and called my friend and said "I'm back, let's go to Ledbetter's" and she said "It burned up last night"..

Heart broken..

No other words for it.

One of the articles I"m enclosing mentions the fire as happening AFTER the Survivors got their name, and it may be true. I have a picture I can't put my hands on with a couple of guys who worked at the club posing with the Survivors life ring and some burned pieces of instruments. Wish I could find it.. oddly enough, the group sang in Manhattan Beach in a club that wasn't even left when I moved here.. go figure...

So, after the shock, we set to fix it. The fire may have started with a cigarette, as stated, but I seem to remember it starting in the recording booth, or near it. I still have some large tape reels with music recorded there... I believe one is Dave Mason, but haven't been near that kind of player in years (if the tapes are even good). I'd love to see (hear) who else is on there.

Refurbishing the club took a while, and was not without it's trials. I was on a ladder, painting a stain on the walls... at one point I went to move the ladder and the bucket of stain fell on my head.

By the time we all quit laughing, the stain was hardening.. We had no running water or cleanser, so I had to take a jar of handyman cleanser and go across to the laundromat and TRY to wash it out in the sink. I was a blonde at the time, and for a long time I would put my hair in little pony tails. One was smooth and the other was ... a horse tail. I also suffered a number of splinters which I would remove with a knife (much to Randy's dismay and shuddering).

We rescued some of the instruments; most notable was the bass that was later painted black (I noted it and did the same for my guitar when I moved to Hawaii). Randy,as usual, had everyone working on the club who was in a group but not playing somewhere. All in all, it was a good time, and the club was better for it in the end.

And Jason?.. Here's the New Society picture... you will, of course, recognize some of the players from other groups (grin). I believe I see Gary Mule Deer (ne Miller) in the back there...

and a good picture of a very young Mike and John.

So.. let me know what else you want to know, J.. I'm glad to remember!


At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Jason Odd said...

Howdy, kinda weird to see my name in a post, but very cool, many thanks all 'round.

By the way, talking the LA folk scene, have you seen the Al Ross Blog, http://power-pickers.com/ ..?

Al was part of the rival club scene over at the Ash Grove, interesting reading, just like here.

Thankyou for sharing, I wonder what happened to that LP of material?....
Also interesting to see that John London was using the London name that early, usually in Monkees related trivia, he didn't change his name to London until he became Mike's stand-in on the first series of the Monkess, and that he changed his name for the screen actors guild membership.

But that article pre-dates the Monkess!

MizMarilyn, not trying to subvert the concept of blogging, but I would love to swap emails about this period. Note that my email has been inserted in the URL portion of my post.

Thankyou for the pics and info.. and that is Gary M., but before the New Society cut their LP in 1966. How Randy kept you all in line.. or at least track of you all!



At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Jason Odd said...

got it thanks.. and I posted in the wrong topic!



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