September 2018
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“I’ll tell you when to Invade Cuba!”

Papa John was our “manager” of sorts. Bethlehem Asylum was ensconced in a big South Florida coral rock mansion, living the life of rock stars in Coconut Grove. Papa John appeared in our lives from out of nowhere, but he took care of us in interesting ways. He was a formidable physical opponent, so we always got paid at the gigs around Miami. He was a combat veteran from the Korean War. He then moved on to private clandestine work for various intelligence agencies as well as doing double time work for the Columbian and Jamaican cartels ruling the North Caribbean. He was very well connected. For some reason, he liked our band. He was middle aged and built like a whiskey barrel, Under his longish curly almost greying hair, long hippie mutton chops and occasionally wearing granny glasses, was a guy who had traveled the world killing people and blowing things up. He had also been the president of the Camancheros Motorcycle Club in San Bernardino, California and was a personal friend of Sonny Barger, the president of the Hell’s Angels. Mother Magoo funeral procession featured Papa John, Terry the Tramp at the front of the hog motorcade that stretched for miles.
One tropical afternoon Captain Ego, our bass player, was sitting at the dining room table with me and Papa John. He started complaining that the band wasn’t making enough money. When Papa John finally had enough he respectfully explained something. He was always very polite and easy going, but at this moment he was flustered enough by Jim’s complaining, so he explained some things to us.
“If you want to make some quick easy money, just go out into the everglades with some guns. Do some target practicing. Pretty soon some guys are gonna show up. They have white shirts on and black ties. They’ll have on sunglasses. They drive big black cars. He’s gonna come up and ask you, “What are you doing?”
You tell him. “We’re going to invade Cuba! Cuba Libre!”
Then the guy is gonna ask for your name and number, then he’s gonna give you ten thousand dollars in cash, and he’ll say,
“”I’ll tell you when to invade Cuba!”

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