Those Two Foreign Kids Who Moved to the Neighborhood
Another stark reminder of an era gone by
I have a friend who is a fellow attorney. He's about ten years older than me. When I took up guitar twenty years ago, he went to the guitar store with me and helped me pick one out.
That's because even though my friend is 5'4" tall, balding and weighs 145 pounds, when he plugged in an electric guitar at my loft, he unleashed a torrent of rock n roll licks like he was Jimmy Page.
After I picked my jaw up off the ground, my friend told me this story.
He told me about two kids he grew up with in his neighborhood. They came from some foreign country and they could barely speak a lick of English. The boys' parents could not speak any English at all.
The one kid played classical piano, and the other learned guitar. The young one hated the endless piano lessons and played drums instead, whenever he could. But the older brother who had the guitar got jealous of the drum kit and insisted they switch.
The two kids formed a band. My friend learned guitar, but he was not good enough to be in the band. The brothers played at backyard parties, and my friend has tape cassettes of the shows.
As they got older, but before they could drive, my friend's mother drove them all to see concerts in Los Angeles, and sometimes on the Sunset Strip.
Leaving the show, my friend would ask the younger brother what he thought of the famous guitarist they just saw.
"He's okay I guess," was the usual response.
The brothers' band had a rival band they played against in contests and with whom they competed for shows and parties. The brothers stole the lead singer. Or something like all that.
My friend the attorney is Jewish, and he grew up in Pasadena, California. The lead singer of the rival band was also a Jewish kid from Pasadena, whose father was a doctor.
His name was David Lee Roth.
Will we ever know such a relatively blissful, carefree time again?
I doubt it.