Grabbing the Horn by the Bulls at Boston Garden
Jon Pousette-Dart, fronting his namesake band or as a solo performer, has been a mainstay on the New England music scene for over forty years,
Let’s see. I’m on the island of Nantucket one summer, where I had family who lived year round. I was hanging out with old friend Eugene Grimaldi at the Chicken Box, where John Hammond was to play that night. As we were standing at the bar late in the afternoon, Eugene said to me, I’m going to get you on the bill. He went up to John at soundcheck and said you should check out this kid. John asked me to play a few songs, after which he asked me to open for him the next two nights. I was all of 20 years old I think.
The first night I played, after my set a guy named Don Law came up and drilled me about who I was. He said you ought to come to Boston, and perhaps there is something there for you. So I did. He signed me to manage along with his other acts at the time, Livingston Taylor and The J. Geils Band. So began my introduction to the wonderfully fertile musical landscape of Boston in the early ’70s.
For whatever reason, Don took me under his wing. It was a fortuitous place to be, because he was involved with almost everything that was passing through Boston and the region. Youth is a beautiful thing, and I was fortunate to be in a blossoming environment where Bonnie Raitt, J Geils, Aerosmith, Boston, Spider John Koerner, Reeve Little, Peter Bell, James Montgomery, Peter Johnson, Robin Lane and so many more were hanging out in the midst of the best period I can remember. Boston was rocking.
Because of my association with Don, I used to witness some surreal rock ‘n’ roll events. One night, Don brought me to the Boston Garden to see The Who. Don’s security crew “bulls” were the linebackers and other players from the Harvard football team. They weren’t looking to make friends with the audience. In the middle of The Who’s set, someone jumped onstage, grabbed John Entwistle’s French horn, and dove back into the crowd with it. Don’s crew made short work of that guy, and the French horn was soon back in its place onstage and the show continued.
Not a half hour later, the same guy launched back onstage, grabbed it again and dove back in the crowd. I don’t think he had much going on in his brain to try that move twice. Don’s Garden linebackers were all over him, throwing the guy for a loss and regaining possession of the horn. I’m amazed to this day, that some guy had it in him to try and get out the door with Entwistle’s French horn. I’m sure security showed him the door after his second attempt, and hope that he was able to walk away in one piece after the linebackers piled on him.
Published on July 1, 2014