The Front Lines woodshed
In the summer of 1982, The Front Lines got a new drummer, Jeff, and needed to get him up to speed before Northwestern's New Student/Rush Week, where we were scheduled for 5 gigs. [see gig list] I had just graduated Northwestern and had a summer job through July, and we somehow managed to coordinate our vacations to take off some time the first week of August. The five of us - Phil, Kevin, Bruce, Jeff, and I - drove the Shalom-mobile east to Phil's sister's home in the rural outskirts of Reading, Pennsylvania.
We set up our sleeping bags on the living room floor, and I realize now how rock'n'roll is a young man's game. Maybe middle-aged men can do this kind of stuff, like in City Slickers, but I don't think so. That was only a movie.
We set up our equipment in a one-room outbuilding called a cold-house[?], where we rehearsed thereafter. Phil started a tradition by holding up a green Rolling Rock beer bottle, and saying, as if to a camera, "When you're rock and rollin', have a Rolling Rock!" I remember actually having more orange juice.
After a long day of rehearsals, we all walked to the front of the property and leaned on a rail fence, watching the night descend. As it got darker, it began to feel more like the great outdoors, and fireflies began to flicker on the side of a hill across the road. We stood transfixed as they became more numerous and more intense, emitting "ooohs" and "aaahs" as if it were a fireworks display.
In the van on the way home, there was a telling exchange with Jeff. Someone mentioned the upcoming frat gigs, and Jeff, a frat member, objected to the abbreviation "frat."
"Would you call your country a "c*nt"? he demanded.
"If the circumstanes were right, maybe," said Bruce.
"Would you call Robert Bob?" mocked Phil.
So it came as no surprise less than two month later, when Jeff called to say he was leaving The Front Lines to join a wedding band, though he did seem surprised that we didn't try to dissuade him from leaving.