Chapter 35 1972 - Studio

Henry had been a Nixon man all his adult life, and when word came about the Watergate break-in, he was sure the whole thing had been cooked up to discredit his hero.

“There’s no way our fine President is involved in this,” he told Buddy. “It’s all a conspiracy. Time will tell. Time will tell.” He shook his finger, and then shook his head in disgust.

“Henry,” Buddy told him. “The press doesn’t lie. The facts are pointing straight to the President. He’s got it all over him.”

Buddy liked to goad Henry whenever the subject of Nixon came up, but this was getting a little too personal. It was putting a real strain on their friendship.

“Listen, Buddy. You’re full of it yourself. Nixon is not a crook. I’m telling you, it will all come out, and you’ll see I’m right.”

Buddy figured he’d better not push any more of Henry’s buttons, so he changed the subject. “Hey, what do you think of those kids of ours? They’re sounding pretty good in that band they got going.”

Henry took a moment to adjust to the sudden change of subject and began to mellow a bit. “Yeah, they make a lot of noise, that’s for sure. It’s not the good stuff like we used to do.”

“Kids don’t want to play the ‘good stuff,’ Henry. They’re more interested in the new sound. Hard rock. Heavy metal. You know.”

“Well, that hard rock and heavy metal is about to break all the windows in my house. It seems I’m always after them to turn it down.”

“I’m a bit concerned about that Daly kid, though,” Buddy confided. “I think he might be some sort of pusher. Spike saw enough of that in juvie. I don’t want him to be tempted.”

“Spike’s a good kid,” confirmed Henry. “That stint in the hall was probably the best thing that could have happened to him. Look what it did for him, getting him playing the drums. I just wish he wouldn’t hit them so hard when they’re playing at my house.“

“Hey, remember the old hatchery place? They never rebuilt it, did they?”

“You’re asking me if I remember? How could I forget?” Henry held up his fingerless hand. “So what of it?”

“I think the land is up for sale. You know, you and I got some put aside. I was thinking that maybe we could build the band a practice space. It’s pretty remote, and wouldn’t bother folks as much as it does you.”

Henry pondered the suggestion and warmed to it. “I’ll bet we could make a nice little studio for about ten grand. We still got a lot of the old equipment from the Scrappers.”

Henry and Buddy engaged Sam to help them design the place. Sam had done some work as a carpenter, and knew a bit about building spaces. In a couple of months, their makeshift studio was complete.

“I’m glad we put in the extra insulation in the walls,” Henry said. “It will cut down the noise a bit. I just don’t want to be in there when they really turn up those amps!”

Golden Fingers moved their equipment into the studio during the summer. Their daily rehearsals intensified their desires to excel, and I was writing even more music. The four-track recorders that were installed were able to capture some of those new sounds, and a distribution of the tapes to some of Buddy’s contacts in the music business were beginning to get some notice.

Henry and Juliette’s 22nd anniversary was coming up in August, and they decided to make a big deal of it. “Everybody waits to celebrate their 25th,” Henry declared. “But we want to be different. We’re putting together a big shindig this year. And we’re inviting all our friends.”

Juliette wasn’t sure it was appropriate to make such a big deal about their 22nd, but Henry was unconventional at times, and stubborn in his insistence. She finally broke down and got in the mood.

“We’ll rent out the Stomping Grounds and throw a big party,” he told her. “Invite everyone, it’ll be a great time!”

Buddy offered to reunite the Scrappers and asked Henry if he’d like to sit in on guitar. Henry declined, “That was long ago. That dream is over. But we’ll take the Scrappers.”

After a month of planning, everything was set for August 12. The Stomping Grounds was decorated like a wedding chapel, the stage was set up for the band, the drinks were on the house and everyone was having a good time. The Scrappers reunion was a big hit and the party went on late into the night. Two A.M. arrived faster than anyone expected, the drinks stopped pouring, but the fun never let up. By 6 A.M. the party was finally winding down, and the revelers were straggling out into the morning light to head home.

Golden Fingers had a rare day off from rehearsal, but the fact that they got to drink up with their parent’s permission was reward enough for their break in discipline. After recovering on Sunday, they hit the studio first thing Monday morning.

As I approached the building, he could sense something was wrong. A shattered window first told the tale as he noticed the open door. Rushing in, to his horror he discovered the studio was empty. Burglars had wiped them out.