I gave you a gift a while back, a sneak peek of Rock and Roll (see blog dated 6/19). I decided to give you another little tease.
The LOOK INSIDE feature should be up on Amazon soon (according to FAQ’s).
Here you go, I hope it makes you want more!
In early October, 1981, Traveler’s tour schedule took them to ‘the Windy City’ for a week, two sold-out shows, and a meeting with Andy and famed writer, Norton Edwards, for an article for Rolling Stone magazine.
As Roddy made arrangements for their meeting, he relayed Andy’s wishes to Norton; he wanted Beth there, but she was off-limits for the interview. The article was on Andy; Beth wasn’t ready for that kind of exposure, and Andy didn’t want her singled out in any way.
After Norton agreed, the plan was for them to meet Tuesday at the Billy Goat Tavern, one of Chicago’s legends, for lunch to start the process.
Norton interviewed many celebs over the years, but this was the first time Andy had agreed to an interview. Meeting at a fun place would make it easier for Beth. The Billy Goat is famous from the Saturday Night Live skits with John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Loraine Newman and Bill Murray. A driver dropped them at the restaurant and as soon as they were in the door, the fun started.
A big Saturday Night Live fan, Andy walked to the counter and ordered “Cheezborger! Cheezborger! No fries, cheeps! No Pepsi, Coke!” as Beth looked on laughing.
Andy and Norton talked for a long time; Andy was very comfortable talking about himself, his career, the band, even what he wanted to share about his relationship with Beth. She listened intently as Andy told about the early years. He told about his mom making him take piano lessons as a child, and then participating in the choir at church. But it was school that played a key role in developing his passion for music. He joined the school jazz band in junior high school, first playing the drums. It was there that he met Nathan Perry and Dina Miller, who would become Nathan’s wife shortly after high school. That experience progressed into a real love of music that led to guitar. By the time he was in high school he and Nathan were in a ‘garage band’ playing school dances, and he loved it.
After graduation from high school in 1969, Andy and Nathan met Scott Force and they formed the band, Traveler. Nathan, Scott and Andy were the original band, and then Dane Allen and Nigel Rose joined. They played at bars in the Houston area in the early ‘70s. The response was good. They kept busy and developed a huge local following.
In 1974, they won a local bar band competition and the prize was an opportunity to record a song. They wrote a song called “Traveler”, recorded it, and released it to local radio stations only. Word of mouth had the request lines as far away as Tucson requesting them. And that, as Andy said, “was that.” He talked briefly about the parting of Scott Force and Dane Allen and Mark Jones and John Smith’s arrival in their places. He was very positive in his words, nothing negative.
Beth joined the conversation because Andy would include her in questions, more like conversation, but she pretty much “yes’d and no’d” and let Andy do the talking.
Norton watched, curious, when she spoke, intrigued, watching her watch Andy so intently, watching him with so much love, watching her guard fall and her laughter surface. And he wanted to talk to her, but respected Andy’s wishes.