March 2024
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Saigon Kids Stories: Anything That’s Part Of You

by Admin

As most of you know after being exiled from Saigon my parents sent me to a Co-Ed Boarding School in Arizona to complete high school.

The second day after arriving at school and checking into the dorm, I was kicked back in my room with my room mate and a couple of other guys, when we heard someone playing an electric guitar and a commotion down the hallway.

I looked down the hall to see what was going on. There was a crowd of guys overflowing from one of the dorm rooms down at the other end of the hallway – clapping hands, some signing, most moving with the groove, and some just cheering everyone else on.

I hollered to the other guys in my room, “Party time! Let’s rock!”

We poured out of the room and headed down the hall. As we got closer we could almost feel the walls vibrating from the guitar amp being cranked up so high — but, could still make out the familiar sound to *Tequila* echoing throughout the dorm.

In moments we were all in the middle of the crowd moving with the groove, snapping fingers, clapping hands and all shouting out in unison, “TEQUILA!”

I edged my way through the crowd and into the room to find out who was picking guitar.

There was a tall skinny blonde haired kid at the back of the room picking away on a Fender guitar with the amp blasting.

As he finished playing *Tequila* and everyone shouted in unison “TEQUILA!” one last time … someone in the crowd shouted, “Go Johnny, Goooo… pick it Logan!” Followed by everyone starting to sing,

Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans,
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood,
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned to read or write so well,
But he could play the guitar like ringing a bell.

Go Go
Go Johnny Go
Go Go
Johnny B. Goode

as Logan began picking licks like Chuck Berry himself.

About that time another kid in the dorm pushed his way through the crowd holding his guitar up over his head, until he got near the Amp. He plugged in and started jamming too.

I turned around working my way back through the crowd, grabbing Patrick (a kid from Texas in the dorm room across the hall from mine) saying, “Come on, man, get your bongos let’s rock this place!”

“Cool man, let’s do it!”

I went to my room, grabbed my flat top, and Patrick (or JD as we nick named him) got his bongos and we went back to Logan’s room joining in the jam, just a rock’n roll’n having a blast.

BUT … (there’s always a BUT, isn’t there)

About 15 minutes later the head dorm master (some bald headed old retired army colonel who was about as *square* as it gets) pushed his way through the crowd and pulled the plug on the Amp …

The guitars stopped.

The walls stopped vibrating.


For a few seconds.


JD laid into his bongos playing as loud as he could (I thought he was going to break is hands, he was beating those skins so hard).

And …

Fred my room mate screamed at the top of his lungs, “ROCK’N ROLL IS HERE TO STAY!!”

Followed by …

Everyone in the crowd chanting as loud as they could,


while clapping their hands, stomping their feet and jumping about.

We kept chanting louder and louder, while *The Colonel* stood in the middle of the crowd turning beet red, trying to bark out orders for us to disperse, only to be ignored and drown out by our chanting.

About the time it looked like the top of *The Colonel’s* head was going to explode the 2 assistant dorm masters arrived and broke up our little party.

JD and I hung back in Logan’s room. We introduced ourselves to each other and did the usual getting to know you routine of where you from, why were you sent to boarding school, etc. We learned Logan was from Nashville, TN. His parents sent him to the school to get him away from Nashville and away from the people he was running with there. Seems his passion for music had got the best of him. Most of the kids in Nashville that he hung out with spent most of their time ditching school and playing music. As I got to know Logan better I came to understand his parents concerns. All he lived for was to play guitar — blues, rock’n roll, country, any kind of music. And, he was good at it for an 18 year old kid. He’d never had a music lesson in his life. He played completely by ear — hear it, figure it out, play it. He spent a lot of his time hanging out at clubs, bars, and small recording studios around Nashville — jamming with other musicians.

Over the next few weeks Logan, JD and myself began jamming after school hours. The school didn’t want us jamming in the dorm, as it was too disruptive to the other students. But, let us use the school auditorium. This actually worked out better because we could make as much noise as we wanted without disturbing anyone. Plus, there was a school piano in the auditorium, and we could use the PA System too.

The school *Canteen* was located on one side of the auditorium. It was a room fashioned after a soda fountain, but without the fountain — instead canned and bottled pop, and vending machines with snacks. It also had a couple pinball machines, a jukebox, booths and ample open floor space to dance. Sort of the school’s version of the corner drug store malt shop. Next to the Canteen was the swimming pool. This area was the school social center during non school hours.

About 15 feet from the Canteen there was a side door to the auditorium. When we were jamming some of the kids started hanging out around the door, dancing on the sidewalk. After awhile they just started coming in the auditorium and hanging out. The auditorium didn’t have fixed rolls of seats. It was more of a multipurpose building. A large open room with hard wood floors, and a stage at one end. School dances where held in it. When stage functions took place, they’d set up rolls of folding chairs, etc.

Once we started jamming in the auditorium, on a regular basis, it became sort of an extension of the Canteen. Kids would mill around between the swimming pool, Canteen and the auditorium listening to us jam and dancing.

We kept it as an *open jam* letting anyone who wanted too join in. Many of the other students who played would join in. Some playing piano, sax, guitar, drums, congos, bongos, various horns, slap bass, and some just vocals — everyone was welcome to join the jam. This made for some interesting sessions — and, many time for some very, very unusual music too, given the mix of experience levels being from *I want to learn to play* to *I know one or two chords* to *I know 3 songs* to highly experienced, such as Logan. But, we all had a lot of fun and learned a lot from each other.

After a couple of months, we started talking about forming a band so we could play dances around the area. We were fully confident we could become the next rock’n roll super band. There was no question about it in our minds. We were the next super stars — right up there with Elvis, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.

And, such was the birth of *The Dixie Three*. The World’s Greatest Rock’N Roll Band!

Logan and I playing guitar and singing vocals, JD on slap bass and bongos. Rock’n Arizona like it had never been rocked before – or ever will be again (Praise the Lord!).

Soon we were booking gigs to play school dances, fairs, carnivals, rodeos, as well as, private parties around the area. And, occasionally night clubs and bars.

We hired a kid from one of the other dorms as our booking manager. Peter was a very, very strange kid. He can’t really be described in words. But, at age 17 he was already investing in the stock market. He had a head for business (and not much else). Peter was from Hollywood. His dad had something to do with movie production. Peter was the dork of dorks. To this day, I doubt there has ever been a dorkier dork. But, Peter knew how to get the gigs and knew how to crunch the numbers. We would’ve been happy with $25-50 each per gig — but, Peter set a minimum for us of $375 for a 2 hour gig. And, he always got it. Sometimes even more. Peter’s cut was 25% off the top.

A lot of the time it was just the 3 of us. But, often times we’d bring along others to play piano, drums, sax and horns, gals to sing vocals and back up vocals — all depending on who and if anyone was available when we had a gig to play. We’d pay the extras $10 a gig. That was big money back then when minimum wage scale was 35 cents per hour.

Life was good making rock’n roll music with more hot babe’s than we could handle falling out of the sky all around us.

In 1962 Elvis released *Anything That’s Part Of You*. The first time I heard it – I was TOUCHED!

It struck a nerve with me.

Being raised in the transient life of a diplomatic family — I’d received many, many *Dear Bob* letters from loves I’d left behind (or who had left me behind) when we left one post, moving to another.

The words of the song instantly stuck home with me, reminding me of the *Dear Bob* letters and the girls who sent them.

We immediately added it to *The Dixie Three* play list. Within a few days Logan had figured out the music and I’d memorized the words to the song. After that we performed it at every gig.

Fast forward to …


I bought some new computer audio/video recording, editing and mixing software. The next challenge was learning how to use it. The more I learned about how to use the software and what it could do, the more amazed I was at what was capable with it.

I discovered I could create complete music tracks on the computer, without ever touching an instrument. And, do the same with back up vocals. Awesome!

What would happen if I added vocals then edited and mixed everything together? Could I create a complete recording?

To answer that question below is the first project (learning experience) I did with the software.

The instrumentals and back up vocals were all digitally created, edited and mixed with the vocals. The graphics could be better, but for this project my focus wasn’t on graphics.

If you are listening to this and you are one of the girls I left behind (or who left me behind) along the way — I dedicate this song to YOU! 🙂

From *Clod Studio 33* enjoy …

*Anything That’s Part Of You*

PS: For those of you who are wondering. Logan returned to Nashville where he is still making music. JD returned to El Paso where, unfortunately, he passed way in 2004.

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