The members of the Paisley Ascot could barely play their instruments. We did manage to book a couple of gigs at the EOC, but the lustre of these first forays into public performance is diminished, perhaps, by the fact that the EOC was a large residential facility for the mentally handicapped down in Lewisville. Somewhere there is a cassette tape of one of these gigs. On it you can hear one of the "clients" start to wail like a banshee halfway through our version of "Purple Haze". The screams gradually become fainter as the client runs from the auditorium.
In another incident, one of the clients began glowering at Mookie and moving ever so slowly toward him, like she was about to pounce. His courage seriously withering under that awful gaze, Mookie took refuge behind his large Yamaha guitar amp until the danger had passed.
By the Spring of 1984, hours of practice were paying off and we were actually becoming proficient at our instruments. Well, this is mostly true.
I choose my words very carefully here, for hurtful mistakes were made all those years ago and I wish to avoid adding insult to injury. The Toy was, and is, a naturally gifted musician. He currently lives in California and plays in the Atomic Love Bombs. But, as he freely states now, back in highschool he simply didn't practice like he should have. It was becoming increasingly obvious that the rest of the band was progressing and he was not.
This was openly discussed, and it seems like there was something like the equivalent of a growth plan or something, but by early May nothing had changed. Girlfriend problems were not helping, especially since the girlfriend in question started coming to the practices. After a string of particulary awful rehearsals, the other three members of the band decided that a change was necessary. This was on May 10, 1984.