Sunday, June 26, 2016

Happy Birthday, Nephew Eddie

Edward Edgar Ekis’s mother worked at the local Five & Ten store on First Avenue. You know, the one with the mechanical jalopies and "Ride "Em Cowboy!" outside the store - a dime did it. On Friday nights, Asst. Manager, Ellie Ekis closed the store at 9pm. This put Mrs. Ekis home at 9:15.

our first album cover, Ed, Buddy, teepee

Sometime in 1969, on one Friday the cocktail lamp was lit at 5pm and the first wave would roll in. There were seven to ten regulars, a poker game always got going, and the music blasted. (I never played cards, I stunk at cards.)  J Geils, “Looking For a Love,” “Floyd’s Hotel,” Jeff Beck, "Truth," Humble Pie, “Thirty Days In The Hole,” Black Sabbath, “Paranoid,” Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy,” Jacksons, “Never Can Say Goodbye,” Led Zep, “Everything,” The Who, “Who’s Next,” “Quad,” Beatles, “Rubber Soul & Revolver,” Sly, “Everything single song he did," “Billy Preston, “Outer Space,” and every worth while 45 single from 1962 and forward. 

Eddies' older brother Ginter had a doctorate in Entomology, the scientific study of insects. Eddie bought into science and loved exotic animals. Fall 1970, Ginter came home from a research trip to India with a gift for his brother - two Rhesus monkeys. Eddie named them Chiquita and Toto. Eddie caged in the tiny tar roof of the beauty parlor under his second floor apartment. They loved beer and lived in a cage in the kitchen and had a terrace out the window when the weather was nice. A porch for everybody. If the weather was right we’d move two chairs and a bottle of Yago Sangria out there and hang out with the monkeys, but if they didn’t like the music they went cuckoo crazy nuts and pulled our hair. We carefully made our record selections. Toto & Chicata hated Black Oak Arkansas.

At five to nine everyone knew the drill. The brown bags came out and all the empties into the garbage. Ekis ran to the turntable for our “Go out,” last song. We'd march out of the building, on our way to somewhere that was never as much fun as Ekis's house.We sang along:

I'm looking, I'm looking, I'm looking,
Somebody help me find my baby!

Happy 61st Birthday, Edward Edgar Ekis, we miss you, brother.

Yvette, Joe & Eddie

Eddie warming up

Gerard, Eddie & Karl

Chris, Gerard, Nick & Eddie 1966

Ed, Gerard & Arlene

look pretty happy to me, Ed & Arlene

Buddy, Ed, tp

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