POPPING OUT OF A MUSIC BOX
Our first show as The Dangers was about two weeks into our existence. It was a fly by the seat of your pants club that would only be open for another month, but to the band, it was the big time. There was a five-foot tall sheet of bulletin board paper proclaiming The Dangers! The Reactors! And Friends! We soon learned that And Friends meant there were only two bands likely to show up.
But there were plenty of folks there for a punk place in San Berdoo! The Reactors were a great hardcore band with a bass player who looked like a Mexican George Harrison, a tough punk girl singing named Dash and a very intense guitar player named Tony Bramel, who would later write many Dangers songs with Chris. The Dangers went on and Bob was very drunk. On the first song, he fell off the right hand side of the stage knocking over the PA, which crashed on to the head of a happy dancing girl with a chain in her nose. She got back up and so did Bob and the set continued. The same girl fell again when Chris hopped off the stage on Costello’s Mystery Dance, clipping her pretty good, but she was the hearty type. What a sport! A great start! Show biz!
We played all our covers real fast, twice as fast as they should be. Chris sang The Police “Message in a Bottle” and looked at Johnny who looked at the list and shrugged. No more songs! So, he threw in “Take Her Away,” the earnest pop tune. The audience whooped it up and was just as happy. We went to Johnny’s “Older Women’s Boy.” Big applause. So, onto another Chris song, “ The Girl is Alright.” Midway through the song, Johnny and Chris exchanged a raised eyebrow look, and nod. If our songs went over as well as the covers, if the audience liked this new stuff so much, we could never be a cover band again. So be it! We did end that night with a cover song to fill in the last 20 minutes of the set... The Modern Lovers “Roadrunner.” Chris ran around the stage, made fun of the band, especially Johnny’s perfect hair, and rolled on the floor, like he was having an attack. This was the best night of our lives. We gathered at Denny’s and reveled in our new future. It was like popping out of a music box never to be pushed back in.