Do You Believe In Magic In A Young Girl's Heart?

by Tammy Frey

Thank you so much for Live At the Wax Museum. It's really special to me because I was there - just a teenager with a fake ID, that I got from a fake ID dealer - "Fish" - whose father had a laminating machine. That magic night, December 9, 1982, was the very first time that I saw NRBQ and I could not believe my eyes and ears. It was love from the first note. There they were: Terry, the piano playing dynamo who looked and danced like Dennis the Menace, Joey who looked and sang like Beatlemania, and Tom who looked and played like a drum pounding teddy bear, and of course the guitar monster Big Al. Plus the Whole Wheat Horns - Terry's bro Donn on trombone and Mr. Spring on sax! Plus very special guest John Sebastian whose opening set included the theme from Welcome Back Kotter, which being an owner of that 45 and a fan of the TV show, was a huge thrill for me.

NRBQ was on a roll in 1982, and I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. My then boyfriend introduced me to Elvis Costello, Squeeze and NRBQ. Elvis Costello and Squeeze were better than just about anything else on Top Forty, but I flipped for NRBQ. They blended all the styles that I loved - Beatles, my mom's old rock and roll 45s, and jazz into a unique thing all (and only) their own. Washington, DC was on a roll then too, the popular radio station, WHFS, was truly groovy and alternative. Their after school DJ, Weasel, played NRBQ everyday and he would always say that Yankee Stadium was next to Pet Sounds - the greatest rock album ever - wow! Best of all my high school Richard Montgomery in Rockville, MD had its own radio station. Even though I got cut, my brother Rudi got to be a DJ and he played NRBQ every day before class and during lunch. NRBQ was the most popular band in the world at my high school. Like Beatles popular!

Back to the Wax Museum, it was in a terrible part of town, but I wanted to go so badly that I must have lied about where I was going because if I told my mom I would have never been able to go. Nevertheless I was so excited about it that I drew a poster of the band to hold up during encores - I had no idea people don't do that in nightclubs - to me it was like going to see the Beatles at Shea Stadium.

The concert was beyond my wildest dreams - I'm sure I can hear my delirious squeals in the crowd! Afterward, we stopped at the Howard Johnson's across from the Watergate Hotel to have grilled cheese and fries. I got home so late that I was grounded for a month. I can't believe it was over 20 years ago! From that night on, NRBQ's music has been one of the most enduring and magical things in my life. Thanks for the memories!