Chapter 70:     The Concert

ART, MELLY, ADAM contributing--

Saturday, the 26th of July

Time never quite stops grinding on, and the big night came at last, 
even though our little band was still trying to figure out exactly 
what their act was.  Adam was the calmest of the four, surprisingly 
enough.  He seemed especially focused.

The kids loaded the van with their instruments and equipment, went 
into Seattle early to set up at Paramount Northwest.  Pokey drove, 
since Adam couldn't fit into the driver's seat of anything but his 
Squatchmobil.  Elaine and I would come a couple of hours later for 
the show itself.

They did not actually have so much equipment to set up, since they 
were an acoustic band and had been allowed to use the piano and PA 
system already in place for Chrome Pie's concert.  But they had to 
do sound checks, tune their microphones to the house acoustics, 
which Dan Potter was doing for them, while Chrome Pie had their own 
sound engineer.

Dagrolyt was interested but could not attend, of course.  It would 
have been impossible to pass him off as Adam, since Adam was on stage.  
He told us that he could watch the concert by his own "special TV", 
hinting that he would do so by astral projection.  I wished him good 
reception, rather doubtfully, but he seemed confident.

Squatch & Friend's performance was scheduled for 8:00 in the evening, 
so Elaine and I decided that dinner in Seattle could be part of the 
fun for us.  We went to a seafood restaurant on the waterfront.  It 
was a splendid summer evening, one of those long drawn out red and 
golden sunsets, warm again after a few days of summer rain had washed 
the sky clean.  Seattle seemed especially alive and bustling, probably 
because we had not spent an evening in the big city for months.

We knew better than to try parking anywhere near the concert hall and 
took one of the free city center busses, stepping off into the middle 
of an enormous crowd waiting outside the Paramount Northwest building.  
There were mostly young people, but also quite a few hippie-generation 
types like us.  We had expected it be a popular event, but this seemed 
far bigger than anticipated.

We learned that the concert had been sold out and noticed that scalpers 
were selling tickets as if it were the Rolling Stones or some other big 
name.  Of course, we knew that Chrome Pie was quite popular and assumed 
that this crowd had not come for the local warm-up band.

But as we listened to people around us it became clear that many of 
them were interested in hearing what Adam's band had to offer.  Few of 
them had actually ever heard him play music before, but Adam was a 
familiar Pacific Northwest figure, known from television documentaries 
and interviews, respected for his talent as a public speaker, so many 
were actually interested in seeing if he was any good at music too.  
I took note of some conversations going on around us:

"What's this Squatch & Friends thing?  Publicity stunt?  Some guy who 
growls like a bear?/ No dummy, it's Adam Leroy Forest, that real live 
Bigfoot who grew up in Monroe./ Oh yeah, I used to see him on National 
Geographic Channel once in a while--he has a band now?/ I thought he 
was dead or something./ So is he any good?/ Hey, haven't you seen the 
Heart Must Go On video on YouTube?/ Yeah man, that was Major, 
tears in my eyes or what?/ Well, I'm here for Chrome Pie./ Yeah, 
me too, but I got a feeling about tonight..."

So they knew who Adam was, if not his band.

On our way through the crowd to our seats in front we recognized 
several people we knew among the audience, some of Adam's old school 
classmates from Monroe as well as fellow students and personnel from 
the Anthropology department at the UW.  They waved to us, we waved to 
them.  

The Paramount is one of those old elaborately ornate four-story concert 
halls from a bygone era.  Gilt and satin, sculptured woodwork, nooks 
and crannies, multiple balconies.  We had VIP seats down in the first 
rows, Elaine finally got to say, "My son, the Star." 

The man who had arranged this concert came over to greet us and I was 
amazed to recognize him: it was Simon Bintzen--good old Si from my 
college days at Bellingham twenty years before, a little heavier and 
balder now, but still looking classy.  

Back then, Si had been the guy who always masterminded college dances, 
concerts, film cavalcades, comic conventions, and so on.  We hadn't 
been close friends but had shared some classes, talked sometimes, 
nodded to each other.  He was aware that I was Adam's father from 
media coverage of the famous Bigfoot and was expecting me to show up.  
It had been his idea to book Adam's band as warm-up to Chrome Pie.  We 
laughed about the little coincidences in life--not yet realizing that 
this was part and parcel of one of those really big coincidences.

The show was slightly late getting started, due to the size of the 
crowd.  Chrome Pie had gone from an up-and coming California band to 
international superstar status in the last year.  This was due to their 
very successful third album, Conniption Fit, several videos on MTV 
and a road tour covering most of the USA.  They'd always sold out in 
Seattle anyway, but this was bigger than ever.  

There had been over 2,000 tickets sold, but besides the attending 
audience were television cameras and crew around the stage for video 
coverage of this concert.  They were recording a series of Chrome 
Pie's live concerts; Chicago, LA, and now Seattle.  So their concert 
would be digitally immortalized, later to be shown on TV and released 
as double CD/DVDs.  

But that was for Chrome Pie, of course, not for Squatch & Friends, who 
were only a warm-up band.  There were no plans to record them.

Finally everything was ready.  Si Bintzen went up on stage to introduce 
the bands.  He seemed even more cultured and classy and hip than when 
I'd know him at Western, certainly more professional, but still just 
as honestly enthusiastic about the show he had put together.  

He announced that he was thrilled to be able to present Chrome Pie 
tonight, a great band with tremendous popularity.  But he was just as 
eager to introduce this unknown warm-up band called Squatch & Friends 
to an unsuspecting public, confident that this would be the beginning 
of a very special musical career.

Well, he was right, of course.  I probably need not go into detail 
about the concert itself, which is after all, best documented by the 
live video recording that came out of that evening.  You have probably 
heard many of the songs on radio by now, or seen the videos on MTV, 
you may even own copies of the "S&F Live" CD and/or DVD, since it has 
now become so popular. 
 
In fact, I assume that some of you reading this are S&F fans because 
of that very concert.  Others may be reading this to find out just 
what happened--how one single concert by an unknown band could have 
had such an impact on our culture, and how a weird little acoustic 
band went so miraculously big-time on that one Saturday evening in 
Seattle.

So I shall indulge in some details, for I too see that night as a 
fabulous and unforgettable experience, one which will stand out in HD 
color and stereo among the memories of my life.  I don't even need 
to see the DVD.  My son, the Star, indeed.


Dark stage, a spotlight follows Adam out to the center of it, where he stands alone with his guitar. He doesn't seem especially large up there with nobody else to compare him to. He looks almost Messianic, dressed in white, slim and elegant in casual-cut suit, sporty jacket, loose trousers, open-collared shirt. Hairy, but well-groomed. Is this guy really a Bigfoot? He looks so human--although LARGE. The audience waits silently, not knowing what to expect from him. He bows, almost formally, slides his guitar into position and sings a solo without microphone. Simple guitar chords without amplification, the power in his Orator's voice electric enough to fill the hall. I was born a wild and wooly Sasquatch, But just like all of you, I grew up tame. You've seen me on TV because I'm famous as hell, Well, I guess everybody knows my name. But would ya wonder what it's like to be A freak like me in your society? Wouldn't ya think that I'd rather be Normal like you, instead of me? But maybe you were born a tiny hairless human, Or maybe you've got looks, but have no heart, While I've been seen on TV, I must be handsome as hell-- Well, I wouldn't want to mess up what I've got. And besides, deep inside, I always knew That it's cool to be a weird one of the few. And somewhere, out where other wild things rule Normal is like me, instead of You. Elaine and I had heard Adam singing that song for years, from back when playing with Smokey Chesterton's band, but it had never sounded like that before. This version was pure Country & Western: the loner telling his story--and it could only be HIS story, obviously. It was sung with absolute authority. Even WE were impressed by this fascinating new musical personality. Later we learned that Melly, Pokey and Lissandra were also surprised by the song, which was supposed to come later in the set and which they considered their weakest song as a group. They all agreed it was much better as a solo. Apparently Adam had simply plucked his spontaneous new version out of the ether while the others were being nervous about going onstage. Adam had laughed and said to them, "I can't even remember which song we're starting with," shrugged, "but I have a feeling it'll all work itself out." "You're not nervous at all?" Melly looked up at Adam: he seemed even bigger than ever and to be surrounded by an aura, a halo of light. Like an angel (she said). "Not a bit. This is going to be a Power Moment, can't you feel it?" "Shit, Freakfoot, are you stoned?" Lissandra asked. "Absolutely, but I haven't taken anything. It's the energy here--the haka--I'm really picking up on it. I mean, not just mine, but yours and all those people out there. Everybody's got haka, whether they know it or not and we're going to channel it ALL right now." Melly wondered if Adam was losing touch with reality, but then the signal was given that it was time to go on stage. Adam seemed to come back to reality, focused and ready. He said, "All right, I DO know how to start the show now--you guys wait here for one song. I'll do a solo, then tell a little story as you guys join me out there one at a time, then we'll jump into Take Me Seeking." They were all surprised at this departure from any plan ever discussed, but shrugged and nodded, so Adam went out onto the darkened stage alone and sang Wild and Wooly. The "little story" Adam mentioned was an even bigger surprise to those of us who knew Adam: he suddenly began to talk about having been with the Sasquatches, which had been so secret up to now. Of course, he presented it as an amusing fantasy (probably not fact--but maybe!), thereby introducing the concepts of "Squatchland", haka, Atli and shaman magic. His point was that music is magic, which he then proved to be true. He spoke informally, conversationally, effectively creating the aura of magic and mystery that permeated the entire concert. It was a fascinating example of what an Orator can do. But I hardly need to quote him here, you can find many recordings posted on You Tube and his story is to be included on the DVD. The "& Friends" part of the band had been concerned about Adam's behavior, but they too were charmed by his story and felt the respect from the audience. It encouraged them so much that when by the time they were to join Adam onstage they felt absolutely fearless. "Man, this really IS a power moment!" Pokey confirmed. As they joined Adam on stage he paused his story to introduce each of them one by one. When the band was finally ready to play absolutely everyone one in that concert hall was tingling with expectation. The song set they performed that evening ended up deviating from any plan and every rehearsal, but Adam generated such a strong lead that he was easy to follow. Then the others also took turns leading, Adam following them. They must have been charged with that magic Adam had been after all along, because they played with energy a quantum higher than their most energetic rehearsals. Rather soon it becomes obvious to the audience that they are witnessing a historical musical event. Melly's hair is flying around her head as she pounds and tinkles her piano in time to Pokey's decidedly primal rhythms, spanking those drums alive. Lissandra breaks into an overtly sexy dance around her bass-box, THUMPing and BUMPing and taking every other butt in the house along for the ride. But it is Adam's show. He is the maestro playing the audience along with his guitar. I know, because I am part of that audience. He becomes a Rasputin, hypnotizing us all, everyone gets hooked. As the show progresses, he becomes more magical, more excited--and so do we, the music faster, more intense, heading for overload... Erotic overload, for some. The audience was stimulated, to say the least, people were becoming visibly uninhibited. Ties were loosened, shirts and blouses went flying, there was some nudity. Several cell- phone videos of the band performing and audience reactions from that concert are rather popular on You Tube but some are censored and must be found on porno sites. Erotic indeed. Well, that must be enough trivia, I think you get the picture: the concert went well. So rather than break the flow of narrative by dwelling on an event already so well documented on CD and DVD and You Tube, we can move on.
here you can find my own perception of the CONCERT
and here is the set-list of the band's own SONGS
or you can look them both up later in the APPENDIX
The audience was so enthusiastic that they would not allow Squatch & Friends to end their part of the show, even though they were only the warm-up band. It did no good to announce: "We really do have to get off the stage now, Chrome Pie would like to have a chance to play too." Finally after two extra-extra encores, Adam sang a solo so that the rest of the band could sneak offstage. The last number was Adam's solo scat- instrumental vocalization of Malagueña Salerosa. Everything went according to plan except that the latino guitarist for Chrome Pie, Miguel deSanto, became so excited about Adam's version of that classic Spanish song that he just HAD to run out onstage to accompany him, spontaneously delivering one of the most brilliant electric guitar solos I've ever heard. Then he and Adam almost fell down laughing. Everyone else was on their feet, cheering or weeping, didn't seem to matter which. Then Scott Richter, lead singer for Chrome Pie, walked onstage to Adam, and after his semi-comic up-close realization that Adam was too tall for discrete ear-whispering, Adam squatted to his level so that they could speak together. They come to an agreement, both nod. Adam announces, "Okay, now it IS Chrome Pie's turn--but after their set we're all going to do a jam together." The audience cheered some more, everyone was happy. The curtain closed for Intermission, band change. Backstage, Adam was hugging the rest of his band, lifting them all up at once in his embrace. They were jubilant, aware that they had just had a great success. Even the members of Chrome Pie were lavish with praise. When Chrome Pie finally did come on scene, Scott Richter spoke into his microphone, "Now we get to come onstage after THAT? Hey Squatch & Friends, thanks a hellova lot for warming up our audience!" He pretended to be totally dismayed, then shrugged and laughed. "But, okay folks, we'll do our best. Glad to be back in Seattle, by the way," and off they went with their big electric sound. That audience could have been somewhat reluctant to shift over to another kind of music so suddenly, but it was immediately aware that this band too was charged with the haka Adam had been telling them all about. They started with one of their earlier big hits, Please Don't Kill Me, Baby and were fantastic. All right, I am a Chrome Pie fan; I think they're great. They call their kind of music "Sweet Rock", but it's really just up-to-date rock'n'roll. I have their three albums. I liked many of their songs and Miguel deSanto was certainly one of my own favorite guitar players. But even so--I'd heard their records many times and had definitely enjoyed them--on this evening they were better than I had ever heard them before. More magic, no doubt about it. They did 16 numbers of their own and when they stopped, quite abruptly, Scott made a serious-sounding announcement: "Well, time's up! The concert you paid for is officially over--our job is done." He bowed politely. "So you can all go now, if you want." There was a unanimous groan of dismay from the audience. "But," Scott appeased them, "in a few minutes Squatch & Friends is going to join us and we're all going to play music together just for fun. You guys are invited to hang out with us while we do, but first we're going to take a little break, so hang in there." I hadn't been to many concerts in the last 10 years, certainly none as big as this one, but it was clear that no one in the audience considered this concert standard issue. Everyone agreed that this was a special experience. Strangers were talking in groups, excited, laughing, friendly, "Woodstock" was mentioned quite often. When the stage lighted up again, the five from Chrome Pie and the four from Squatch & Friends played music together. What they decided to play was primarily 50's and 60's rock and they went crazy doing it. So did the audience, who ended up dancing in the aisles, up on stage, in toilets, everywhere. It got silly; those people were animals, although nice friendly animals. The concert went on for an hour after it was supposed to end and finally the authorities had to close it down, it was making a lot of noise at 1:00 AM in downtown Seattle. Then it was over and the audience had to go home.
But not us, there was a party atmosphere backstage. Everyone felt that this concert had been uniquely successful. Musicians, camera and sound crews, roadies, family such as Elaine and myself, we were all euphoric about how it had gone. We went backstage to congratulate our local band, which was not easy, so many others were trying to do the same thing. Security had been informed as to who we were, so we got in, but they were keeping out a horde of people wanting to start a new party or trying to make quick deals. I helped pack equipment, feeling like a cool roadie, socializing and hanging out with rock'n'roll stars. I'd had a glass or two of champagne backstage but wasn't about to actually start drinking, since we had an hour's drive home to Monroe. But those rock and roll musicians and roadies with Chrome Pie, they got into it. Drinks, joints, cocaine, no holding back for them. I knew that Adam and Melly were moderate in their use of stimulants and depressives, although Lissandra was a dedicated Party Girl. I was truly gratified to see that Pokey was still not drinking himself into oblivion. He'd had two beers and no more, was now drinking soda water. Even when the pretty girls started showing up and the party atmosphere was getting quite ribald, Pokey was holding fast. It seems that the infamous Groupies of the rock'n'roll scene actually do exist, by the way. They were allowed backstage by the security crew because the musicians and road crew insisted: sex, drugs and rock'n'roll still are the major perks of being a rock star. Elaine and I were observing all this with great wonder, two old-fart anthropologists studying the ways of young natives and thoroughly enjoying the show. The flirtations were so blatant, those musicians would screw anyone, those girls wanted to take on a star--any star would do. Even Pokey, he was surprised to discover. He too was being flirted with, offered groupie sex. But Pokey was in a dilemma: he'd been hot for Lissandra and she had even admitted some heat back at him, but she was in that confusing three-way relationship with Adam and Melly, all of them locked into a morass of celibacy. Now it seemed he could take his pick of several girls, but Lissandra would see him do so and he might blow whatever chance he had with her. But then, she was flirting with Scott Richter anyway. Scott was swarmed by girls, as usual, but seemed most interested in both Lissandra and Melly, unable to decide which. In fact, both our girls were obviously lusted after by the entire road crew as well. Melly was playfully deflecting all comers, clearly being faithful to some lucky unknown boyfriend. Although her glance often drifted over to where Adam was surrounded by female fans and well-wishers, perhaps to her amusement--or not. Yes, Adam too was being flirted with, although with great respect and much less overt sexuality. He was cordial and friendly to everyone, but could obviously not take the flirtations of those girls seriously. He knew most of those young girls would run away if he tried to take them up on it. Besides, he was just as focused on Melly as she was him, looking over at her again and again. I could almost see sparks of haka flying between them. But then another kind of woman approached Adam, a BIG powerfully-built negro woman and everyone could see what she wanted. She was really quite striking, about 6'2" tall, 25-35 years old, long kinky hair, face like a pretty black Amazon. She was genuinely beautiful in her own way, but bigger (and maybe stronger) than most men and probably too intimidating for your average guy. She walked up to Adam and looked UP at him in wonder. She didn't have to say it, you could imagine that for the first time in her adult life she felt small, petite, delicate and feminine. Desire radiated from her, she clearly wanted to be Adam's private groupie and did not care that he was a Bigfoot. This was the perfect man. She introduced herself with dignity, "Hello Adam, my name is Kathleen..." But Melly rushed in like a tiger defending her cub, grabbing Adam's hand and snapping at the big black woman, "He's with me!" I'd never seen Melly be nasty before; at least she did not say "bitch" although we could hear her thinking it. Kathleen stepped back but looked up into Adam's eyes for confirmation or denial of Melly's claim, not ready to give up hope yet. Adam nodded, shrugged apologetically and put his big arms around all of Melly. The black woman nodded back, a disappointed expression on her face, then gracefully retreated without a word. A mini-drama. Rarely had Melly or Adam ever displayed their feelings for one another in public, knowing their inter-species love would be shocking for many people and was just asking for trouble. But they let it show that evening, although still discreetly.
Charley Madison, Chrome Pie's bass player was saying to Adam's band, "Hey you guys gotta TOUR with us!" "Oh, wow," Pokey said, "that'd be SO cool!" "Yeah," Adam agreed, but wistfully, "wish I could! But I can't just now, got another commitment first." He was still holding Melly and she was not going anywhere. Si Bintzen came in to us, waving his hands with great enthusiasm. "Adam, you guys, that was...well, better than you know! And here's the best part: we've got it all recorded in digital audio and High- Density video. Your show, audience reaction, everything." "How can that be?" Pokey asked, "That camera crew was here to tape Chrome Pie, not us." "They were testing the equipment, so they shot Adam's opening number-- and just couldn't stop! They ended up recording the whole show. KING TV already wants to make a deal with them--and you. And--AND--Mort Spencer Himself from Songmonger Music was also in the audience and wants to produce a CD/DVD of this concert!" We were all stunned. This was overnight sensation stuff: "Unknown band gets offer from Big Studio at first concert!" We each said something like, "Uhn...wow, really?" Adam was the only one who was not surprised, as if he had known it would turn out that way all along, certain that his magic could not go wrong. Although it did.

Chapter 71

Adam out of Eden