Michael Lytle and George Cartwright

Allentown – Summer, 1981


One of the best places to play in the world at the time of the early 80’s was Gary Hassay’s place in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Gary was/is an improvising musician, a horn player of some renown, who by virtue of not living in New York, loved to bring the music to him.

I always recommend performance spaces run by musicians. They will think of the music first. Take the Rainbow Gallery of 70’s Minneapolis, whose stage was as big as the rest of the room, for example. Such was the place run by Gary and his strikingly beautiful and gracious wife, Pamela. They were the best hosts and friends, made sure you had everything you needed and the concert was well recorded and a fine audience provided. I’m reminded that they even took us to a country swimming hole for an outing.

This was a very good concert, recorded very well, but for some reason my tape copy has a bit of distortion we will have to overlook here and there. David is really hot. He is amazing in the first set, vocalizing like crazy and pushing the whole way. Unfortunately, he looses his mind during the 2nd set, and the whole thing becomes a bit disturbed (He starts a version of Ben Johnson’s “Knocking Piece”, for example), cut short, and a break called for. In the 3rd set, we get it together, but alas, David looses it again, pulls George down with him (thankfully the tape runs out) and Gary, Pamela and the audience had to have us committed on the spot. Personally, I don’t think it was fair I had to be put away as well, but there you have it. - Took us a month to get out…

ml, nyc, 12/11