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QUITE literally, from the 1st to this 18th Annual Farewell Performance, we have had no more than one rehearsal where everyone is there in the same room at the same time, usually the night before opening night. It is a live act that is dangerously close to improv in light of the limited amount of time that we have to prepare. (three complete production rehearsals max and about six weeks of Thursday night juke box jamming out at Secret Studios on Army Street) We have rehearsed by phone, by fax, in the pool, in pairs, by telepathy and in some cases not at all. Due to logistical obstacles, some of these sketches are drawn like sandlot football plays in the dirt and executed with a live audience in wait; modern day trials by fire. This absence of structure adds a certain edge of the earth excitement that you don't get in your day-to-day life; the thrill of flying and the fear of crashing are adrenaline charged cocktails that are hard to put down.

So how are we able to still do this after 30 years? Lets begin with something that Vancouver Sun journalist, Scott McCrea, drolly observed about us in 1975. He ended his review stating that we conveyed "the spirit of having fun, all thewhile keeping just enough professional distance from the audience to keep it from muttering aloud, "Hell, we could do what they're doing if we had enough nerve, enough booze, enough . . ." (See Review)

He forgot to add "time" and "energy". And of course, he never met Dee Dee Crockett, a drop-dead gorgeous lady Minah bird who sounds like the records of every pop diva we put in her path. So lets now go back to March of 1986 to the Glass Packs' rehearsal room at China Blue Studios at the corner of what was 2nd and Berry in San Francisco, now straightaway centerfield of Pac Bell Park.

In late 1985, Butch and the Big Fella went to see new a group called Big Bang Beat, featuring four shimmering, talented (still rockin') female singers (Hi Katy and Annette and Kathy and Kita), and came away realizing that we'd better jump into the late 20th Century and add a woman or two of our own. Auditions for several aspiring lady Glass Packs were set up, but Julio assured us all that once we saw his nominee, someone whose real name was "Dee Dee", we would look no further.

Dee Dee showed up for her audition at a grungy China Blue studio and filled the sweaty dimly lit room first with the scent of jasmine, next with her orange "outfit" (yikes!) and then let us have it with her voice. Dee Dee cut quite a spritely figure but, oh my God, when she sang "Maybe" the sound filled the room and forced us out the door; she was the Chantels. Next, it was "Be My Baby", and Ronnie Spector was there, and then "Dedicated to the One I Love" and on and on; every girl group song we could think of she knew. Each Glass Pack on duty that night repeated his vows after witnessing Dee Dee trying out for the team. We cancelled all other auditions and 15 year later have looked no further.

This has been an equally interesting ride for Dee Dee. While she gets her own dressing room (later to be shared with Jeannine), she has had to fit into an all boys club, one that had so much history before she got there; old habits, oral traditions, spontaneous customs, sacred rituals that have continued with or without her in the room. Put another way, Dee Dee is subject to the same friendly fire as a gum-smacking night shift waitress at a truck stop. But this waitress knows every song on the jukebox.

Lets start with her first year, 1986, the 4th Annual Farewell Performance, where a sparkling, fringed mini-skirted, antennae headed Dee Dee shimmied as an alien go go dancer in "Star Trek VII: Spock Does the Peppermint Twist". Bob Sarlatte had just appeared in the movie Star Trek IV, and was uniquely qualified to impersonate a very square, immobile mustard-clad William Shattner, while 240 lbs. of Julio Lopez appeared as Spock complete with Vulcan ears and hair beneath a spot lite shower of hand thrown glitter (materializing) in a way, way too skin tight blue Star Trek outfit. Kirk and Spock were backed by the Glass Pack band or "crew" decked in equally form fitting custom made Star Trek jerseys. On cue, Spock disobeyed Captain Kirk's order "Don't Touch that Dial" and activated the earth-ending Harmonipod (a shoulder mounted picnic beer cooler) which instantly kicked the band into a mind bending warp speed "Peppermint Twist", whereupon Captain Kirk fruged in slow motion, Julio shook it like Chubby Checker on hot coals and Dee Dee did the Hullabaloo jerk behind them singing the "Bop Shoo Wap, Bop a Bop a Shoo Waps", while the rhythm section lifted off to an interplanetary musical plane mystically aligned with the spirit of Joey Dee & the Starliters, a groove never equaled before or since. Hag's guitar solo burned a hole in the night; obliterating the formidable licks on the record.


  © 2005 Butch Whacks & the Glass Packs