If you follow my blogs you know they usually have something to do with songwriting. An easy call since most of my time is spent coaching songwriters these days:-) But this one is different.
This one is the first of a few I’m writing this year at the suggestion of my wife, Kathy, who thinks all of my old “war stories” need to be in book form before I croak. Here goes one of my favorites.
Keeping The Faith
In the 70’s I was part of a band called “Faith”. Faith had one interesting ride after another from being signed by Terry Knight (Grand Funk Railroad), first album cover shot by Richard Avedon, nationally hyped from double page ads in Rolling Stone to billboards on Sunset Strip, hype backfired - lost the record deal, playing back in clubs, slugged our way out to another major label deal with 3 albums on Mercury, the hit “Dancin' Shoes”, headlining theaters and opening for some amazing artists including Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, Thin Lizzy, The Allman Brothers, REO, Foreigner Hall and Oates and, on December 6, 1976 Peter Frampton in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is at the height of his “Frampton Comes Alive” phase.
Hello Fort Wayne
So…day of the gig and our band pulls into the parking lot of the Memorial Coliseum. Our little mobile home right behind I don’t know how many beautiful silver buses needed to make Frampton come alive that night. This parking area sat at the bottom of a fair sized hill. Our job was to exit the mobile home, walk around the hill to the back entrance and get a sound check in. One by one we left the mobile home until it was just me and my bass, backing out, closing the door behind me.
Meet The Mob
I started to hear a hum, turned around to find it was coming from the top of the hill. I stopped to watch what I would probably call a mob. Frampton fans, a ton of Frampton fans. I don’t mean casual Frampton fans, I mean rabid Frampton fans. A Frampton mob!
The hum got louder and louder and en masse, the mob began to gather together and start down the hill…toward me. Curiosity turned to panic as they started actually running downhill andI picked up the call of “that’s him”!
As they got closer I scoped out my options. Try and get around them, through them or get back into the mobile home and lock the door and pray. I tried the door but it had locked behind me! The mob is waaaay closer now and I’m in full panic mode when I hear this - “That’s not him…that’s NOBODY”!!! If you can imagine a group that size, flying downhill and putting on the brakes all at once, that’s what I saw. One disappointed and somewhat angry Frampton-ites coming to the realization that their hero was a zero.
“That’s not him, that’s nobody!”
I was left standing next to my bass, next to the mobile home looking at the back end of the mob. I picked up my bass and made the long walk around the hill to the back of the coliseum and I remember thinking how scary it would be to be that famous. I don’t know if I was happy to be nobody again, but I was alive!
Late 2016 and I walked into my favorite wine store to be greeted with “anybody tell you you look exactly like Peter Frampton? He’s a friend of mine and I swear…”
So here we are again, lot less hair, both settled in Nashville and both alive and rocking! I may have taken a few liberties with the recreation pic! One more note, I did meet Peter after the show and he was a really kind gentle soul, probably the most famous face on the planet at that moment. He's still making great music these days.
Jan 4, 2017
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Check out this interview in the recent edition of M Music and Musicians Magazine for stories behind a few of my songs!
About Mark Cawley
Mark Cawley is a hit U.S. songwriter and musician who coaches other writers and artists to reach their creative and professional goals. During his decades in the music business he has procured a long list of cuts with legendary artists ranging from Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross to Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Russ Taff, Paul Carrack, Will Downing, Tom Scott, Billie Piper, Pop Idol winners and The Spice Girls. To date his songs have been on more than 16 million records. Mark’s resume includes hits on the Pop, Country, R&B, Jazz, and Rock charts and several publishing deals with the likes of Virgin, Windswept Pacific, and Steelworks/Universal. Mark calls on his decades of experience in the publishing world, as an artist on major labels, co-writer with everyone from Eliot Kennedy and Burt Bacharach to Simon Climie and Kye Fleming, composing, and recording to mentor clients around the globe with iDoCoach. He is also a judge for the UK Songwriting Contest, Nashville Rising Star, a contributing author to USA Songwriting, Songwriter Magazine, Mentor for The Songwriting Academy, sponsor for the ASA, judge for Belmont University's Commercial Music program and West Coast Songwriter events , a popular blogger and, from time to time, conducts his own workshops.Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, Mark has also lived in Boston, L.A., Indianapolis, London, and the last 20 years in Nashville, TN.