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I proceeded to send Donnie copies of the Badfinger repertoire that we would be performing, including tunes like Day After Day, which required slide guitar, and No Matter What. Donnie arrived a week and a half later and stayed with me in Wisconsin. After several get-togethers over a few drinks, actually many drinks in typical Badfinger style, we started rehearsals on the south side of Milwaukee. We rehearsed for approximately a week and a half, and then headed out for what became the beginning of an eight-week tour. We played Indiana, Bloomington IL, Minneapolis MN, and basically all over the Midwest. Musically, the tour was successful and we bonded well as a band. Tom Evans and I became good friends. We had a mutual admiration for each others musical talents. I was fascinated by the many stories Tommy told me about one of my idols, Paul McCartney. Tommy had observed Paul working on Back in the USSR at Abbey Road Studio in London. “Paul,” Tommy commented, “was a total workaholic.”

Unfortunately, the tour was getting cumbersome due to poor routing and the many hours we spent traveling. We decided to take a break mid-tour in order to reschedule events and dates that would make more sense from a traveling perspective. During that time, Tommy and Bob stayed in what is now my guest house in Mequon. It was November. I remember my parents, who were living in the main house, invited both Tom and Bob to a Thanksgiving dinner. I still remember the grin on Tommy’s face when my mother served him his first-ever slice of pumpkin pie. He loved it and nearly ate the whole pie. He then proceeded back to the guest house and partied the rest of the night away.

 

The tour resumed with a change in personnel. We had a new road manager by the name of Ray Ranieri. Ray was truly a breath of fresh air. He had experience as a road manager for many years with performers like Judy Garland and also knew McCartney quite well. The tour went exceedingly well. By the time we hit New York City to play at the Bitter End, we had sold out every show. Lines literally extended around the block, and not everybody could get in. I got an autograph from the legendary song writer Doc Pumus, who wrote hits for many important artists. Also attending the evening was the soprano-singing Lou Christi (who had recorded Rhapsody in the Rain) and many of New York’s musical elite.

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