MAKIN' MUSIC AT
WILLIAM FLOYD HIGH SCHOOL
photo courtesy Bob Paquette
BOB PAQUETTE & "WINTER SKY" AT WILLIAM FLOYD HIGH SCHOOL - MAY 1976
I am putting this photo on here for several reasons. One: to call your attention to a completely new area of interest on "The Knapps Lived Here" website, and that is The History Of Long Island Working Bands from the 1950's - 1970's, If you ever went to a club from Montauk - Manhattan during those decades, you may see something about a band you danced and listened to or a club you went to on those pages, They are still very much a work in progress. and hopefully will grow rapidly.
And Two : The synchronicity of where this photo was taken . Wiliam Floyd High School (my school from 1952 - 1964 which has its own section on the web sight) coupled with the fact that I am seeing this photo for the first time, just as I have started building web pages on Long Island Bands. When you visit the Long Island Band site, the first thing you will see and read about is Schulte's a place in Mastic Beach, where seeing live music played for the first time, kind of led me to a life in music.
And Three: THE BIZARRE & WILD WORLD OF MUSIC THAT HAS BEEN PART OF MY LIFE FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS
I find it quite ironic that this photo, was taken of the last band I was in on Long Island and it was taken the very last time we ever played together, in a town where we first played together !! The occasion was a concert for World Hunger that the late Harry Chapin organized, we had played several dates that year with Harry for that cause. I believe the Central Park sign was in reference to a much bigger event in NYC, that was coming up in the near future. Winter Sky, might of played there too, but this was our Swan Song concert. Winter Sky was a folk & country blues trio, from 1975 - 76 comprised of the late Mike Silvestri from Deer Park, and Sue & Ken Joseph of Mastic, who sometimes appeared with their buddy, singer songwriter Bob Paquette of Mastic Beach. In fact all four of us first all played together in 1975 at La Parisienne, a little French resturant in Mastic Beach that was housed in the former Kozy Korner Ice Cream parlor
La Parisienne did not fare as well as the Kozy Korner. It lasted for about one summer in Mastic Beach. However it came flashing back to all four of us, in the above photo, after we left a meeting in NYC in the spring of 1976 with Tony DeFries, who was David Bowie's manager. A month or so earlier I had pitched Tony a song demo of Winter Sky and in his very proper British matter told us to our faces that day, "IT STINKS LIKE A COUNTRY HIT! " translation= he liked it and he smelled $$$$$. So he wanted to meet with all of us to discuss a recording and management deal. After we left Tony's office, which was right at Central Park south, we decided to find a coffee shop to sit down and fathom what we were just offered as there were extenuating circumstances all ready brewing within the band, Tony was not perhaps fully aware of them, nor were we about to disclose them because they just might kill the deal. However, seasoned pro that he was , ( he had managed David Bowie from the days when he was just plain David Jones through the superstardom period of Ziggy Stardust ) one of the first things Tony said to us was, as he laid out his vision for our band, "We need to put in writing, as who gets what when you split up, which I know you will do eventually....all bands do."
And so as we started walking down the sidewalk looking for a coffee shop, we turned the corner on 59th street and 5th Av there it was, right in front of us......in this instance it was beacon projecting an omen in so many ways.