MR. MOJO RISIN’ (Part 1)

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago 

Took a look around, see which way the wind blow 

Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows…

When I was seventeen I went to L’Amour. (Better known as  “Lamorz“.)  Yes, I was underage but remember back in the day it didn’t matter. Plus the guy I  was with had a lot of  juice at the front door.

The late George Brossard introduced me to the club scene.  After getting a taste of L’Amour I turned into a “club kid.”

L’Amour was a club with live rock bands performing but in between sets a D.J. spun vinyl for the crowd;  I recall ‘Stray Cat Strut’ or the Doors, ‘LA Woman’. Two outstanding jams.

L’Amour was billed as “The Rock Capital of Brooklyn.”

What many people fail to realize is that the club started out playing disco music. Gloria Gaynor was the first performer singing her smash hit, “I Will Survive.” Bands like Crystal Ship, Sticky Fingers, Metallica and Twisted Sister all rocked the house at L’Amour.

Like most clubs around the city, L’Amour was dark inside. Most patrons seemed to be wearing black and the one thing I can’t forget is the waitresses with their black trays scooting around taking drink orders. I may add they were awfully attractive too.

Coming off a tough break-up with my first girlfriend Maureen was difficult. I was having a hard time keeping a conversation with someone of the opposite sex. That all changed for me after I started going to clubs in the city.

It was a warm, Friday night in June, somewhere around eight o’clock.  After playing basketball down at East fifth street I was walking up Prospect Avenue past McBears. George was hanging out outside with a few other guys.

George was a great guy. He had long black hair and an Adam’s apple that was extra pointy. George was a little over six feet tall and was skinny; he couldn’t have been more than 150 pounds soaking wet. His nickname was ‘Chicken George’. For some reason, George took a liking to me; he always had a positive comment for me. Whenever I’d see him around the neighborhood we’d always talk sports.

“Hey Red, how was the run down East fifth?”

“It was good.” I answered as I kept dribbling my basketball.

“You wanna go out tonight?” he asked me.

“Go out where”?

“Don’t worry, just meet me back here later tonight at ten.”  George didn’t wait for my response. He hopped in his car and drove off.

I stood there and watched him having no idea where George planned on taking me. I had heard guys talk about going out on the weekends from spending time in the schoolyard eavesdropping.

Arriving home I turned on the TV in my bedroom and watched a baseball game. Sitting on my bed I kept glancing up at the clock on the wall. Time was going so slow. My mother was on the phone in the kitchen chatting with a friend. A little after nine I got up and started looking through my dresser drawer for some clothes. I had no idea what to wear.

Grabbing a pair of wrinkled blue jeans, a sky blue Mark Elliot polo shirt; I was ready to go.  I slipped on my white, high top Chuck Taylor’s but before heading out, I grabbed a toothbrush and cleaned the sneakers off. I splashed some Brut cologne on my neck and felt like a million dollars.

As mom chatted away on the phone in the kitchen I looked around for her purse. Spotting it on the couch I made my way over towards it.  Sitting on a chair in the kitchen Mom had her back to me as she smoked a Salem cigarette. While she was engaged in her conversation, I kept an eye on her and slid my hand in her purse to grab any bills I could feel. As I pulled a few out, I looked at them, noticed a couple of tens and stuffed them in my pockets.

“See ya later,” I shouted to her as I walked out of the apartment.

She didn’t even hear me; she kept on talking on the phone.

Downstairs I waited on the corner of Windsor and ninth for the light to turn green. Muggsy was walking by with his radio in his arm listening to a song by the Who.

“What’s up Muggsy?”

Like usual, all Muggsy did was nod his head.

“I’m goin’ out,” I said to him as I crossed the avenue.

Without missing a beat he looked back and shouted, “BOOGIE TILL YA PUKE!”

Muggsy was a cool dude who was into rock-and-roll. Whenever you saw him on the avenue he was always playing rock tunes. You’d never hear any disco coming from his box.

As I walked down Prospect Avenue towards McBears I started to get butterflies in my stomach.  I made my way past the schoolyard on Howard Place and noticed a few kids in the schoolyard shooting around.  Down one block at Fuller Place there were some people hanging out on the corner.

“Yo, look at Red, he is all dressed up,” someone said.  I put my head down and walked faster. Another kid said, “Yeah, all dressed up and nowhere to go.” 

“Fuck you!” I fired back.

Approaching McBears I could see a couple of people hanging out outside.  I spotted George sitting in his car waiting on the corner of tenth avenue.

“C’mon Red, hop in.”

I looked around, opened the front door of his car and got in.

“I picked up something for us,” George said as he showed me a six-pack of Budwesier.

It was Friday night, the weather was great, I was feeling great, it was going to be a great night.

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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18 Responses to MR. MOJO RISIN’ (Part 1)

  1. TonyF16th St says:

    Steve,
    George was my wifes cousin. They lived next door to each other on 11th Ave.
    A life gone way tooooo young.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Yes! Way too early. Good dude man, good friggin’ dude.

      RIP George Brossard.

      Can you get me the exact date he passed!

      I may have to write a dedication to all the good people that passed away from our neighborhood.

  2. dpc65 says:

    Didn’t George Brossard play on OTB in the Summer League? He didn’t have “Nameless” on the back of his shirt one summer did he? He did have a good shot. It’s a shame he passed on way too soon.

    • hoopscoach says:

      DPC,

      We need Glenn to chime in on that one.

      I do know that while OTB sat back in a jumping-jack zone defense George had a classic line to his teammates while he was on defense.

      Glenn tells the story better than I do…

      • dpc65 says:

        And Charlie Warsdale (spelling?) had UGHHH on his shirt. And the “Abominable” in the middle holding the anchor down. Gotta love the memories!!!

      • Glenn Thomas says:

        Yes George played for OTB in 1979. He joined our team a few games in. He played up top in the 2-3 zone. I remember one night we were playing Jimmy Routhier’s team. Routhier had guys like Richie and Mickey Deere, Gerard Cole, and John Corrar to name a few. I remember the late Joe Farrell who was in the back of our 2-3 zone (along with myself and Big Dan Mahoney) telling George to keep watch and shade John Corrar. Corrar was on the wing. George replied “Don’t worry I got him locked up” I almost broke out in laughter. George could talk some smack! Funny stuff!

  3. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    There is a tree dedicated to him outside McBear’s.. I will see if the info is on the plaque when I am on my way home tonight.

  4. TonyF16th St says:

    Steve,
    George died 4/28/91 and was buried 5/2/91

  5. Glenn Thomas says:

    I remember going to Lamour one night and Wendy O’Williams and The Plasmatics were playing. They were a very loud punk band and used all of these pyro and fire attractions. One night I went there with George Brossard and this band lights off these fire projectiles and lit the ceiling on fire. I was like Holy S…..t! I never went back there after that night. Years later they had that really bad fire up in Rhode Island at a rock club with another band basically doing the same thing and so many people died as a result. I remember how casual I took that ceiling being on fire that night at Lamour and only years later after that Rhode Island tragedy realized just how lucky Im was that night.

  6. pat fenton says:

    You caught a great mood to the neighborhood, Steve, with this piece. It made me think how we all had our time there, the older guys like me, and the younger guys like you, but all that time passing, all the generations going by in Windsor Terrace seem to be caught in a black and white world of memory. And I don’t know why that is, but I think it’s true. The young Hamills all thrown into the mix and none of us having the least idea where we were headed. At least I didn’t.

    I gave Bob Rice a call this morning and I told him to go onto Container Diaries and look at those black and white pictures you have been running, by Mickey Breen. When I first read that Gladys Mastrion sent them to you, I thought back to meeting her for the first time at a reading of my writing in the Chelsea section of New York recently, and during the break she told me that she lived a few doors away from me on 17th Street; and she remembered me. And I left that night with this feeling that I had known her forever. And I don’t know why, but it all has something to do with coming out of our part of Brooklyn, Windsor Terrace. How lucky we were.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Thanks Pat, those images are amazing.

      Kudos to Gladys and Mickey Breen.

    • dpc65 says:

      Pat, I was reading some history literature regarding some events in the 1800s. One of the last names of the writers/correspondents was Fenton, also. It’s a long shot, but, were there any Fentons in your family who were journalists way back?

  7. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    ok, I finally remembered to look at the plaque, but I see Tony F gave you the info- such a long time ago..I didn’t know him, but surely, like so many others, gone too soon..

  8. Pingback: PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC (Pt. 2) | CONTAINER DIARIES

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