So, Whitey worked for me and he said his band The Stiffs, (who later became Stiffs Inc. because of legal blah blahs,) needed work and they lived in a store front on St. Mark’s Place between 1st and A .
And so, I gave them crap to sell outside the store. This was in the early 90’s.
They fucked it up. I’d go over to the storefront and they were playing the Beatles boardgame and drinking egg creams from Ray’s and chasing customers away with attitude. I blame Donnie most for not making me money.
Anyway, I didn’t really want to tell you about how the Band fucked up selling shit for me outside the storefront they were living in.
I really wanted to tell you one of the greatest rock and roll stories of all time. It involves Donnie the drummer of The Stiffs Incorporated.
On numerous occasions, Donnie was able to screw up the band. Once, I introduced them to a friend who was a film maker and was interested in making a video for the band. Donnie placed my friend in a break a way chair and my friend fell down after he sat on it. Who would do such a thing to a person who is interested in making a video of your band?
The band was full of sabotage.
Anyway, that’s not the story that is important about Donnie and the greatest moment in rock and roll history. Are you ready?
So, something was wrong with Donnie. I mean he was fun to talk to but he was mostly “on”… like he didn’t want to talk in a relaxed way. He wanted to be… clever or funny all the time in a kind of Don Rickles kind of way.
I love Don Rickles, but Donnie was no Donnie Rickles
Donnie had one preoccupation and that was he became obsessed with The Sweet and a video of them performing on some Rhino glam compilation.
He’d watch the song over and over, and over and over. And then he’d watch the song over and over and over and over. He started to mimic the singer and started to sew the outfit that the singer wore in the video.
Months went by, years went by. The actual singer in the band died from alcoholism but Donnie kept going over the glam video over and over. Now, he had the suit and the movements and the rest of the Stiffs just thought he might be autistic. Certainly, the word retarded was thrown around back then.
And then it happened. A reunion show with a new singer had a gig at Madison Square Garden. Donnie put on his glam suit and went to the show. He was in the first row. He had to be in the first row
And then it really happened.
The Sweet came out and started to play their first song of the night and it was the song that Donnie had turned into his karaoke life.
Now, the new singer didn’t come on the stage when the music started for dramatic effect and so the stage where the singer was supposed to sing was empty and there was a lonesome microphone on the stage…
And yes, you know what Donnie did. He jumped on the stage and grabbed the microphone before the new singer could get a chance to make his debut.
The band did not know what was going on but you can imagine that they thought their dead singer had come back to life. They weren’t about to stop, “Wig Wham Bam.” twenty seconds after they had just started the song and not now that their original dead singer had come back to life.
The crowd went crazy for Donnie. All his hard work at living this karaoke life was about to give him his 15 minutes or at least 3 minutes and 13 seconds of fame till security guards kicked his ass…
The last time I saw Donnie, he had just gotten into a fender bender on twenty sixth street by the big Flea Market in Manhattan.
He had become a prop buyer for Production Sets. There he was in the middle of exchanging
insurance cards with another guy and all I wanted to do was talk about Donnie and how in my mind he had accidentally pulled off one of the great rock and roll moments of all time.
I mean what are the odds that the band would reform, and what are the odds that the stage would be bare and that they would start the show with a song that Donnie knew so much better than any other person on the planet?
That is the God Lotto or as I like to call it “Goddoh”
If you know of a better story, I definitely want to hear it.
And would someone tell Donnie that he didn’t make me money and he was a fuck-up but I love him anyway.