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Discussion in 'L Ron Hubbard' started by afaceinthecrowd, Jan 18, 2011.
Ron Miscavige Sr interviews Neil Sarfati on L Ron Hubbard and the Apollo
Totally agree - TR the bongo player from the Apollo Stars. What was LRH thinking (unless somebody else chose that puke-awful pic)
This is absolutely true. Luten and Bill were very talented awesome musicians. So were some of the others. We all varied in skill and musicianship and musical experience. The flute player, Kenny was only 11 years old for Christ's sake. I was not a bongo player and had never even been in a band. What I played was keyboard. Diana Hubbard had a beautiful baby grand which she gave me permission to play. I also played guitar and took trumpet lessons when I was younger living in Puerto Rico...but bongos? Not. I had great rhythm though. Bill Potter recruited me because he used to come down to Mimeo Files (where I was Mimeo Files I/C) on the Flag Ship and he heard me "finger drumming " on top of the metal file cabinets. They sounded like "snare drums". We all were called by LRH messenger into the PR lounge with orders to put together a few tunes for the local townsfolk in Madiera. By sheer luck guys had their instruments on board. I had no bongos but there was a cheap pair in the PR lounge. We asked each other "Who knows how to play what songs?" and we put together about 4. We "rehearsed" for a coupla hours. We played next day in the town square and the people loved us? Question mark because I wonder were they ALL tone deaf...cause we sucked big time LOL. But it got us some good PR so we were ordered to put together another batch of tunes as well as the 4 we first played but this time we had several days to rehearse and we got "better" Twasn';t long after that we recorded POS...and you already know THAT outcome.
If you listen closely to POS you CAN hear noteworthy (pun intended) talent in the album. As i stated before POS was recorded too pre-maturely (before we became a really tight knit and skilled group) and there were future recordings folks would have raved about had the damn tracks ever been mixed and released as album #2...but they never were. I'm sure the album cover would have been more carefully chosen the 2nd time. I'm 68 now and often wonder if those master tapes still exist somewhere...doomed to never be heard and enjoyed. I really don't blame the harsh critics of POS. A lot of people didn't like it but were too afraid to say anything lest they be labeled something undesirable. To this day I still get messages from people who listen to it on YouTube - a mix of pro and con - it's just all a matter of personal taste and opinion anyway. It's interesting how the POS subject still lingers off and on to this day. It's only been what... 44 years? My biggest regret is that I had a one of it's kind only cassette of one of our rehearsals and I lent it out - like a dope - and never got it back. Damn it. I would have posted it on YouTube for you all. Sorry people I really am. BTW I know I'm repeating myself here and there in several posts. Hope I'm not annoying anyone by doing so.
Tom Rodriguez - Apollo Star Bongo Player
To set the record (pun intended) straight re: recording the POS. NO it is NOT TRUE that LRH charged ANY of us $1.00 per wrong note.
IF that were true can you imagine the many thousands of dollars I (the bongo player) or Charlie Rush (the drummer) with ALL those drum strikes would have had to pay or any of the other guys on their instruments? LOL We'd have ALL been broke LOL. I'm just exaggerating. We weren't THAT bad but yes,we did make mistakes and some made their way into POS...but we were never charged for them. PERIOD. AMEN already to this BS myth!
TR - Apollo Stars Bongo player.
I liked it.
It was raw and mangy but hot and kickin'...
Thanks for the first hand clarification !
Ron Miscavige, in a recent podcast with Neil Sarfati, Neil stated that the band was indeed docked pay for messing up. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other. Recollections can vary. What bothers me is, when you're playing jazz, how do you know when someone plays a wrong note? It would seem that such a weird infraction would be impossible to determine.
I haven't listened to that podcast and yes recollections can vary. It's been 44 years. I can tell you this much for 100% certain. I never got fined. If any of the others did it is totally news to me. I never heard any of the others mention it (back then) or that they were ever fined. I can assure you that if it were true there would definitely had been some complaining about it...but then again if you were overheard by let's say a Commodore's Messenger you may have gotten into trouble. (Sorry Neil but that's what I remember. Exactly how much did YOU get fined then Neil? LOL
Neil and I had a mini reunion some years backand it was very nice to see each other and reminisce. I was saddened to hear what became of some of the band members. Once LRH said to me, Luten and whomever else may have been there (I just don't remember) in LRH's office on the Apollo that we (the Apollo Stars) gave him the best and most compliance than anyone else ever had and that we would all be together as a band again many years into the future (or some such wording) a la "We Come Back" I think. I wanted that to happen in this lifetime but obviously it hasn't. I have had many dreams about the band varying from pleasant to unpleasant over the years. It wasn't all fun and games. We had our ups and downs like when a few band members "blew" while we were in Curacao (I think it was there) to join a local musicians band...but they came back and were assigned Treason and put into the RPF...but they returned rather quickly to the band I believe because maintaining our PR value as a complete band was more important. Again this is MY recollection. Did you folks know that we had our performances videotaped and afterwards we would make funny on the spot commercials for LRH which he really got a kick out of. One of them was for the "Get a New Body Company" and we'd have Wayne Marple speak a certain way and then enter a small closet (like a Catholic confessional) and then he'd come out as Luten Taylor speaking the same way. If after a performance there was no commercial LRH would send a messenger down asking "LRH wants to know where's the commercial!" I heard that at a recent event at GOLD a video of The Apollo Stars performing was played. I asked and begged for a copy so I could share it with my family but I never got a response. Duh...foolish thinking on my part being a declared SP and all.
What POS listeners "hear" and refer to as "jazz" may have very well been "jazz" to those who know jazz, but we (as strange as this may sound now) were eventually forbidden to play "jazz" and were only suppose to play what LRH gave the name "Star Sound" to. It was suppose to be very primitive, tribal and incite rhythmic response in the listener. I also agree that if you are playing free form jazz it would indeed be impossible to determine a wrong note(s) however our modis operandi was for every rendition of every song had to be played exactly the same ...not for note including the solos and THAT'S when it is easily possible to "hear" and pinpoint wrong notes. I just watched my favorite group "Chicago" on TV and their entire broadcast consisted of songs played and sung note for note...even the solos. Many people love when a band plays their favorites exactly the way they first heard them. Some folks don't like when the band varies the song. Example: Chicago's song "Beginnings" the original trombone solo I love, but when they performed the song many other times the solo was very different. I didn't like that...but that's me, but I understood! To have to play something exactly the same time and time again can be unenjoyable for the musician and takes away creative freedom.
Bumping this very enlightening thread!
John Coltrane said "You can't play a wrong note; it all depends on what you do with it."