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partners to Celebrate

by | Mar 3, 2021 | Celebrate, J Geils Band, partner

Yes, that picture is Faye Dunaway, and no that is not Frank Zappa.  I always enjoy finding odd things to Celebrate about the artists, and try to tease just enough that if you really want to know more, you can.  And with today’s theme being “partner”, this seemed like a perfect place to slot in a story about one of the other major players in the band, and also a short story about partners that I still Celebrate from those days at SMU in the ’70s…

… on our dorm floor, there were 40 freshmen, a Resident Advisor (junior-ish), and then 2 Sophomore Advisors (SA).  They were there to mostly mentor/advise/observe… the heavy was the RA.  Ours were really great, and at the end of the year, a friend who I was tutoring through physics (I guess I did that a lot…) asked if I wanted to be SA with him.  Sure – what could possibly go wrong?  We could not be more different I would find – he was a Yankee from Rhode Island, and also was on his way to be a priest.  But… we shared an abiding love for all things Dr. Pepper.  Days would often end with getting 2 from the Coke machine and a huge glass of crushed ice… 

Pete Blankenfield was also from the Bronx, but not at all engineering-focused.  He was involved in the High School of Fine Arts near Harlem, and he would often attend concerts at the Apollo that was just around the corner.  He was admitted to Tufts for the School of Museum of Fine Arts, and his roommate was… David Lynch – yes THAT David Lynch, the filmmaker.  He formed a band called the Hallucinations and toured with The Velvet Underground, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Water, and even Van Morrison. 

From his appearances, he was asked to be… wait for it… a DJ – although his show was on a REAL radio station.  Now admittedly it was the night shift, but it became one of the go-to shows in Boston, and the name he used was “Woofa Goofa”.  As J Geils was reforming his band, they needed a new vocalist, and all of them shared a love of “the harp” – no – not THAT kinda harp.  This is the mouth harp that you might know as “the harmonica” and something that literally everyone in the band not only could play, but loved.  Pete joined the band and changed his name to … Peter Wolf

They would grind out shows all around Boston from 1967 through the 80’s, but what about that picture of Faye?  As the article I found said, long before Billy Joel, Eddie Van Halen, or even Bruce Springsteen, Peter married a star… or Faye married a rock star before Christie, Valerie, or Juliane.  Faye said this, “We were like two warriors standing shoulder to shoulder. That’s how we used to think of ourselves.  There was no ego clash between us, though we were always ambitious.  If he needed something, I would help him with it.  And if I needed something, he would help me with it. … With Peter, I never had to worry if he loved me. He simply did.”

I didn’t marry my roommate, but as partners, we settled into a great relationship, and come back tomorrow to hear the story about who I did marry… and how my roomate led directly to that connection.  For today, think about the partners you have had over the years and how they have changed your life’s trajectory – some better than others.  But either way, it is worth celebrating that you at least have some good stories to tell… some of which you can share 😉 

Faye and Peter would eventually drift apart, and divorce JUST before the band would have one of their biggest hits – Love Stinks 😉  And Peter was one of the key writers for most of their songs, so you do have to wonder.  They stayed close and friends, which says something about both of them as partners.  As you are moving through this year, what partners from your past should you be reconnecting with to Celebrate where you both are now.  More interesting, what are you creating now that you will look back on fondly 10 years or more from now?  Either way, think about what would make you think about coming… Back to Get Ya!!

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