Clock Busted in Peoria Dec 4, 2009 11:37:17 GMT -5
Post by ekforum on Dec 4, 2009 11:37:17 GMT -5
In April 1968 while the Alarm Clock was on tour, we had a night off in Peoria, Illinois. Our show there was scheduled for the following night...so some of the guys drove over to the local University area for some entertainment. Lee Freeman and myself stayed behind to work on some music we'd been writing. We had brought with us a small amount of the finest cystal-meth ever...they don't make this stuff anymore. It was pure, powerful and sparkled like powdered diamonds.
After sniffing a bit of it, Lee wrapped the rest in small piece of Holiday Inn stationary (that's where we were staying) and then covered that with some cellophane to keep it dry.
I'm guessing it was around midnight when there came a knock on the door of our room. When I opened the door I was greeted by several police, two news teams complete with lights and cameras, and some undercover cops.
They tore all our of our rooms apart. They made us strip and searched us EVERYWHERE. No wonder Michael Jackson was embarrassed. I understand.
Lee kept moving around the small cellophane-covered square until it finally wound up between the frame and the cushion of a chair next to the door of our room. One of the plain-clothes guys saw it when he removed the cushion. Looked it all over but didn't take it apart...just put it on the dresser. After searching us they hauled us all off to jail.
I'd never been to jail before. Actually, I haven't been there SINCE. It was a wet & dark place with some kind of slime dripping down the black cement walls. All night long one of the deputies sat there telling us how we'd ruined our lives by using marijuana. I mean, the ALL NIGHT LECTURE. Real boring stuff. Lee and I were released around 6 AM.
When Lee and I got back to the hotel to collect our luggage and guitars, we found that cellophane-square right were the cop had left it! The Holiday Inn told us to 'git'....we'd been kicked out.
In Mark Weitz' room (Mark's the keyboard player who wrote most of the music for "Incense & Peppermints") the cops found a bag of weed taped to a chair. Seems that one of the people the guys brought back to the hotel was an informant who'd planted the stuff.
Mark and our road manager, Bob Hathcock, were detained and booked on possession...a VERY SERIOUS charge in 1968! There was also a charge of "Bible burning" - though I think that charge was dismissed. Some guys in the band had been playing with smoke bombs that day, lit one and threw it into a room. It landed on a Bible.
The Peoria gig was cancelled. We may have played one other show - I don't think the promoters were interested in us any longer. How times have changed, eh?
When we all got back to L.A., our manager thought it'd be a good publicity opportunity - so he hired San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli. In case you don't know who Belli is, he was arguably the most famous attorney in America at the time. His retainer was the 2005 equivalent of $100,000...that was just to get started.
Belli's arrival for the trial in Peoria (or maybe it was a small town adjacent to Peoria) was the biggest event there since Harry Truman had passed through in the 1950's.