Rock’s Briefest Roadie

by Regis Boff

I was a roadie for one gig. I worked for a band named ” Five Dollar Shoes.” A folk singer named Melanie who later hired me owned them.
She also named them, stealing an idea from an old black song,” Mommy, won’t you please buy me a pair of one dollar shoes? She cunningly upgraded it to “five dollars.”
In the long term, this revision did not help.
I was paid to lug their equipment to a club on the beach somewhere in southern New Jersey. They were to open for “Sly and the Family Stone.” Sly was a fucking God. He was also an undependable shit-bag.
We loaded up the small U haul truck with all their stage gear and spent the day driving down from New York. The guy in charge of me knew how to plug in the electronics. In the pantheon of all human knowledge, this was all he knew that I did not.
We unloaded and set up the gear. Our band, “The Shoes” showed up ready and on time for the soundcheck. They resembled a more garishly inexpensive imitation of Queen and Freddy Mercury shoved into a dryer full of scarves.
The show was canceled without our boys even getting on stage because Sly didn’t show. We packed up the shit again and drove back to New York. I quit the next day.
I may well have been a roadie for the shortest period in Rock history. A tie was the best anyone else could ever manage.