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The Student Teachers

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October 1979...getting close to our big gig opening for Iggy Pop and The Cramps on Halloween at the Palladium. At this point Destri was already bringing Bowie around to our rehearsals. It was crazy...we were all in awe. He actually walked up to Lori in rehearsal and showed her a different way to play a bass part. She was trembling. Bowie also brought Eno to one of our CBGB gigs and they were amused at our cover version of Roxy Music's Re-Make, Re-Model. I would vocally imitate each instrumental solo towards the end and I could see Eno's eyebrow raise as I got to his noise solo. I did it right to him.

One night after the Halloween gig Jimmy had Bowie over for some late-night convivial conversation. Laura invited me and so we were all getting pretty revved up talking about music, politics, whatever. Then Jimmy got a phone call from an A&R lady at RCA who had been coming to some of our gigs because her boss knew my mother from temple. She had finally caught a 'sober' gig and decided she liked us and wanted to sign us to a singles deal. This was big news because RCA had stayed out of the 'punk' signing frey up until then. Jimmy put his hand over the phone and said "RCA wants to sign the Student Teachers to a singles deal, what should I do?" Bowie looked up said "Oh No! Don't let them do it! They'll rip them off!" He was in the middle of a legal battle with RCA, his label. Jimmy took his hand off from over the receiver and said "NO!" really loud right into it and hung up. She never returned my calls again...and went on to become one of the most powerful women in the industry - Nancy Jeffries. At the time I was a little upset...but looking back on the trajectory I was on at the time, I think Bowie probably saved my life without even knowing it. I think of him as one of my guardian angels because of that little outburst of his.

We did a few more gigs opening for Iggy at My Father's Place in Roslyn, Long Island. Bowie asked Jimmy to play on his record and then dismissed him when Jimmy insisted on creative input - can you imagine making any kind of demand on Bowie?...then suddenly Bowie was gone, Iggy was gone, our moment in the glory of our rock heroes had come and gone...and we settled back into playing gigs at Max's, CBs and Hurrah.