The Big Debut. . .
In the summer of ’62, Peter Feldmann was performing at Mephisto’s, which was a restaurant in the basement of the building that had previously housed the YMCA. The owner, Dave Bernheimer, wanted it to be an upscale eatery, which couldn’t have been easy given the location.
Peter asked me to fill in for him one Friday night, and because I had zero experience performing, I tried to turn him down. Peter persisted, and I gave in.
My other friend, Bill Thrasher, conspired with the owner to provide some publicity for my debut. Bill was a great guitar player with a talent for drawing. He concocted an ad for me and, unbeknownst to me, had it printed in the News-Press.
That evening when I got home from work, Bill’s wife Maggie asked me if I had seen the newspaper. I looked and was shocked. Bill had drawn a cartoon of me singing and playing the guitar and, though mortifying, it was so funny I could only laugh.
At least the customers couldn’t say they weren’t warned. Since no one asked me back, that was my one and only performance in a very short career as a folk singer.