Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Regrets? I've Had a Few...

This is a very sad story, so please try not to laugh.



First, the dramatis personae.

The gentleman on the right is Tommy Womack, a versatile rock utility infielder who's made a lot of excellent music over the years; I particularly recommend an album he did as a member of The Bis-Quits (on John Prine's Oh Boy! label -- look for it) and his solo debut Positively Na-Na, featuring the absolutely brilliant "What Ever Happened to Cheetah Chrome?" (scroll down for a listen).

More to the point, however, the tall, lanky, slighty androgynous blonde in the middle is the redoubtable Marshall Chapman, a fabulous singer/songwriter/guitarist who is the grandniece of Amelia Erhardt and who for a brief moment in the late 70s came this close to being the country-rock Patti Smith or Chrissie Hynde. I interviewed Marshall for Stereo Review back in the 70s and got to know her fairly well. I also had a mad crush on her, which is to say I would have killed to boink her, and the same might have been said for the twenty or thirty people I dragged to her shows over the years. Men, women, gay, straight -- everybody wanted her.

Anyway, sometime in '79, I think, my first wife and a few friends went to see her at some dive in NYC, and when the show was over, they went to another bar down the street while I went backstage to pay my respects. Marshall then proceeded to put her arm around me (have I mentioned that she's like 6'1"?), and said to me (have I mentioned that her voice is a breathy marvel, like Katherine Hepburn with a southern drawl?) and I quote: "Steve -- have you got a girlfriend tonight?"

Shmuck that I am, I allowed as how, oh gosh, I'm sorry, but yeah I do, and said my goodbyes. Fifteen minutes later I had rejoined the wife, and told her the story. At which point she looked at me as if I was some kind of mongrel idiot and said "You didn't go home with her? Are you out of your mind? Don't you know that someday you're going to be 87 years old and sitting on a park bench in Miami, and you're going to think back on not having grabbed the chance to boink her -- and you're going to have a stroke and die?"

My first wife, folks.

I told you this was a sad story. Please -- try not to laugh...

Postscript: In 2003, Marshall wrote Goodbye Little Rock and Roller, an absolutely lovely autobiographical memoir (in which that episode does not, alas, appear) and you should order it from Amazon pronto. It comes with a CD of some of her best songs, BTW.

17 comments:

Gummo said...

TMI, dood, TMI.

For someone who attracts women the way flowers attract bees (don't even try to argue, I've seen you in action), you sure seem to spend a lot of your time not boinking....

steve simels said...

I actually e-mailed this to Marshall (who's a very happily married woman at the moment).

We'll see if she still has a sense of humor...
:-)

Anonymous said...

Dude, I remember you saying you had never been married. Just lived with two women long term.

ql

steve simels said...

She wasn't really my wife.

It just sounds better for the story...
:-)

Anonymous said...

Dude.

Silly person that I am, I think you did the right thing ... which you can also remind yourself of when you are sitting on that park bench (which I would guess will be in Central Park, or Riverside Park, or Prospect Park) ...

And I'm leaving this anonymously, for a change.

Mike said...

Man, I just lost all respect for you.

:-)

Brooklyn Girl said...

I'd bet my last dollar (well, okay, maybe not my last one ... although if I'm that broke, what the hell) that, generally, the men who read this will have one reaction and the women who read it will have another.

Me? I'm keeping my mouth shut.

Kid Charlemagne said...

I always thought Marshall Chapman was a guy. ;>

steves said...

I remember when I first heard this story I think I agreed with the first wife. Now that I'm a married man, not so much. But still...

TJWood said...

Love the story, Steve. I remember that interview you did with Marshall in Stereo Review, late '78 or early '79, when the Jaded Virgin album was out. I enjoyed the interview, apparently Marshall did as well :). Anyway, has Jaded Virgin ever been reissued, to your knowledge?

return of the plumber said...

I can testify the above story is completely true. Simels has always been madly in love and lust with Ms. Chapman. I always hoped Steve would get a second chance with Marshall!

MBowen said...

Sigh...reminds me of when I met The Bangles...

TMink said...

I went out with her younger cousin once in college. I think she kissed my cheek good night.

Not even close, I know!

Trey

jac said...

DAMN YOU, SIMELS!

I wish I had known Marshall was at Eddie's - my wife and I go there quite often.

But at least now I've found her web site thanks to you, and she's back at Eddie's on Jan. 20.

It's on my calendar, and you are forgiven.

;)

steve simels said...

TMink said...

I went out with her younger cousin once in college. I think she kissed my cheek good night.

Not even close, I know!

Trey


No, that's incredibly cool.

Whoa -- I am totally not worthy....

steve simels said...

Anyway, has Jaded Virgin ever been reissued, to your knowledge??

TJ -- I believe so. You can get it off Marshall's website IIRC....

TMink said...

Steve, you are too kind, but turning down a night of sin with Marshall is way above getting a kiss on the cheek by Heather Ott! And I am sure the others here will back me on this!

At least in my book. Heather was stunning, but I could never figure out what it was that hit me and my friends like a ton of Viagra bricks. Marshall is damn sultry, and she has that drawl that is a bit wicked in and of itself. Heather (her younger cousin) was a sum of the parts kind of woman, really striking but as a whole person, not just eyes or ass or whatever.

Trey