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On the Road with Van Halen…I mean Crash Palace!

27 Jan
Crash Palace 1989: Me, Porto, Doug and T Hall

My buddies and I formed the Hard Rock band Crash Palace in 1985. We thought we would be the next Van Halen. So, just like Van Halen we tossed out our best friend and lead Singer: Stickman.

The three of us told ourselves it was for the best. The need was for a more seasoned, mature front-man. T Hall was the man. He was older than us, and was a more polished singer than Stickman. T Hall told us he was 27, but one day when Porto and I used his ID to buy beer, we noticed he was actually 34.

At first, things went well. We played all the local dives. Trashed dressing rooms… and coined ourselves “The most Destructive Band in the Hudson Valley

Our next step was into the studio to record such future hits as “Not You”, “Under a Cloud” and “TT One”.

We soon became bored with our hometown…the thought was of relocating the band to NYC…But T Hall had another idea: Daytona Beach Florida. He pulled out a map and showed us where we were going. We all agreed. T Hall was very persuasive.

The Band loaded into T Hall’s Chevy van, equipment and all, and hit the road for Florida. The van became our mobile home; littered with girlie mags and billowing smoke. We left our former lives behind and headed off onto Route 95 for fame and debauchery.

We arrived at Daytona Beach for Spring Break 1990. The first order of business was to drive the van on the beach….it was heaven. Girls in G-strings, party people everywhere. This was it. All we needed was a place to crash and an endless string of Gigs!

As far as partying went, success was achieved. We rented an old dilapidated mansion, and made quick friends, partied all night and had a blast!

But T Hall hadn’t done his homework.

Crash Palace was an all original band, with a couple of cover songs thrown in for good measure. Our set list gave us about an hour of material…2 hrs at best if stretched out. The club circuit in Florida was based on full-blown cover bands. They would play 3-hour long sets, for a whole week at a club. Apparently Crash Palace didn’t fit the Florida mold.

PJ‘s was our local club of choice. Different bands passed through every week. Some good, some bad, some really good, some really bad! They were all pretty much “over the top” hair metal glam-bands; spinning out the hits of the day. Poison meets Twisted Sister meets Whitesnake. You get the point.

At that time PJ’s would not book us because of our lack of cover material. So our plan of attack was to ask/beg the current house band if we could sit in on their equipment during a break. Most bands agreed, others looked at us like we were crazy.

Up on stage we let it really rip. Pent up energy and booze fueled our aggressiveness. Most of the time we had to be pulled off by a less than amused and angry band. But, PJ’s was impressed by our show, and offered us a gig of our own in the near future!

We started rehearsing in earnest, learning cover songs to go along with our act. Not the cheesy songs everyone else was playing, but stuff from Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Guns & Roses etc…We were ready to Rock!

Van Halen 1980...our Role Models (via google)

The day before our “Gig”, T Hall came down with some sort of liquor induced sinus infection. The gig was off. We were done, soon back on Route 95 traveling north to New York, cold, and winter. Crash Palace was never to perform live again. Doug and Porto went on to a new band and I went back to college. T Hall was never heard from again…now it’s all just memories.

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4 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Music & Entertainment

 

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4 responses to “On the Road with Van Halen…I mean Crash Palace!

  1. BP

    January 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    oh my god. This is on the level of your sister’s documentary about growing up at Westbeth.

     
  2. gpp20

    February 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I like your hair razoray!

     
  3. Doug Birnstill

    February 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    holy shit ray thats awesome. you forgot tommys all night “gatherings” in his bedroom with the seeds of the earth. dont forget magster living his big ass in the basement and portos kim with the 4 wisemen hidden under her dress and was it kenny? who rented one of our rooms remember him “am i symetrical”? i had a blast. those damn “coonta” bugs scared the shit outta me. i remember when tommy busted out the spindles on the staircase when we took his oatmeal cream cookies but in the end he made up for it with his future fall harvests. was it a crazy time? absolutely. would i have traded those times for the world? absolutely not!!!!

     
    • razoray5150

      February 3, 2011 at 3:58 am

      Doug, Thanks. You have a much better memory of the details than I do. I just tried to capture the overall essence of that time. It was crazy. Crazy ass Kenny…cut like a rock…haha! Those were the days. Keep reading bro…I have many more crazy stories ahead…and by the way I will pass along big Steve’s email…we got in touch recently!

       

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