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.
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
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 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
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.
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