IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE: 1977,DECEMBER 30: THE PATTI SMITH GROUP with RICHARD HELL and THE VOID OIDS/THE ERASERS at the newly re-named “CBGB’s Theatre” on Second Avenue, the old Anderson Theatre. My brother and I, with a growing angry crowd, spent a very cold night outside waiting to get in. I had my usual pack of Marlboro Reds and we shared a bottle or two of wine. After an unusual delay the doors finally opened to find the theatre had limited if any heat, poor(no )plumbing and limited services, none. The usher led us to a nasty looking broken seat but it was close to the stage on the right. WE, my brother and I were primed and ready to go. The ERASERS a band we saw a few times at CBGB’s and MAX’s opened and did not disappoint. Funny note: you could see frost coming from the singers mouth, it was so cold in this freaking dirt hole. Then RICHARD HELL and The V.O’s hit the stage with “Blank Generation”. This is going great, but I’m still freezing. Then the PATTI SMITH GROUP ripped it up opening with The Velvet’s “We’Re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together”, “Ask The Angels’,”Kimberly”(my bro’s fav), “We Three”. “Till Victory”, we are rocking now, this place is nuts. Then, a Ronette’s cover, “Be My Baby”,”Pumping My Heart”,Patti slows the pace with “Ghost Dance” and I’m getting so excited knowing this is going to be a blast as we get closer to the end except for all the NYPD officers and NYFD uniforms suddenly walking about the place. Patti addresses the crowd talking about a new song she recorded and then she introduces BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN who joins the band to perform “Because The Night”. This is followed by “25th Floor” and then the crowd, we, collectively sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our host, Patti Smith. But something is amiss as the NYPD and NYFD are now on the stage, not joining in the chorus. As we conclude the birthday song the NYFD closed the place down by announcing the numerous fire code violations. Patti, the diplomat, beseeched the courtesy of one more song, really two “Radio Ethiopia’ and “RnR N” if everyone promised to leave in an orderly fashion, which we did, slowly. She invited everyone to meet her over to CBGB’s to continue the party which was a mob scene so we headed home as my brother had a doctor’s appointment the next day.

December 31: We, my brother, his date, my wife, and I had tickets for NEW YEAR’s EVE at My Father’s Place in Roslyn featuring ROBERT GORDON. Earlier in the day my brother had a procedure in North Shore Hospital. At about 6pm he called me to tell me he had cancer and had to stay for testing.In the blink of an eye…everything changes…