I remember anxiously looking out the window of my parents house watching for someone named "Richard" to arrive. He was driving in from Madison, and I knew very little of him other than the brief but promising conversation we had the day before regarding an ad I had placed in a free local magazine: "16-year-old girl looking to start a band. Into Patti Smith, The Rolling Stones, etc. No hippies."
A dull beat-up van slowly pulled into the driveway and an interesting looking skinny man wearing a beret and walking with a distinctive bounce in his step approached the front door. Richard politely introduced himself to me and my parents. My mind began to race. His intellect and sophistication were immediately evident. What had I done? I was in way over my head. I had been in bands with a few of my school friends, but Richard was a completely different animal.
Wait 'til he finds out I can't sing and play the piano at the same time. I bet he thinks my home permanent is really lame. I need braces. Oh my God he's 25 years old. I bet he has his own apartment and everything!!!!! But Richard put me at ease and we went down to the basement, where my piano was, and started working on songs.
For the entire summer, Richard drove from Madison to Brown Deer on an almost daily basis – to the point where I was wondering if I was ever going to have any time off. I had two more years of high school left, and summer was a precious commodity before the doom laden return to class.
But we had fun working on songs by The Yardbirds, Roy Orbison, The Stones and – "Boom Boom Boom Boom, knock me offa' my feet" – I was knocked off my feet by his booming voice, constantly moving stick legs and that swing in his bass playing. After practice we would ride around in his van on an absurd random search for other band members. Richard would see an elderly woman walking down the street, roll down his window and ask her if she played the drums.