Here is a little thing I wrote in 1982. As you can
see, I call it:
MY SON, THE ROCK SINGER
There's no business like show business...
My son is a rock singer. He always wanted to be a rock singer. The odds against achieving great success in that field are overwhelming - - - but he did it. He is the lead singer with a group known as August Redmoon.
There's no business I know...
Most importantly, he did it on his own. As his father, I have absolutely no knowledge of this type of work. In fact, I was against the whole idea. “It was well and good to have an interest in music, but first you get a job.” If I said it once, I must have said it a thousand times.
Everything about is appealing...
Mike always loved music. To be able to work at an enjoyable activity is a goal to be longed for; desired by many; attained by few. What better way of life could exist than spending endless hours working towards improving and perfecting a love relationship? Not to mention the satisfaction gained by bringing so much pleasure and happiness to a world so sadly in need.
Everything the traffic will allow...
Mike had pleaded with me for months to see him and his band perform. I declined the many invitations for the simple reason that rock music was not my thing and I was sure I would neither enjoy nor appreciate it. Finally, feeling pangs of parental guilt, I conceded and we went to see a concert. The long drive through Los Angeles to get to an affair, which was bound to be unpleasant, did not get the evening off to a rousing start. Once committed, however, we did go through with the deal.
Nowhere could you get that happy feeling...
It was at a small club in Reseda, California, called The Country Club. I now understand it is a well-known center of rock music, but I didn't know that at the time. It probably wouldn't have meant much if I did know. It was an impressive structure as far as the exterior went. A huge, brightly lit marquee announced the appearance of AUGUST REDMOON. I felt something was crawling on the back of my neck.
Yesterday they told you, you would not go far...
Mike, with his wireless microphone, took off into the audience. He was singing and dancing though the audience when I heard him yell, "My Dad's here somewhere. Where's my Dad?" He found me and came to our table and threw his arms around me, announcing to all assembled, "This is my Dad?' I pumped my fist skyward and yelled, "Yah. yah!" in tempo. Something got in my eye about then and somehow that affected my ability to breath easily.
That night you opened and there you are...
Somehow the music wasn't loud anymore. I was watching a great performance. People were at the edge of the stage trying to reach up and touch my kid. It was fantastic! More flashing lights, more fog, a drum solo and the show was over. The lights went down and they left the stage. So soon? The fans would have none of it. They wanted more. Much cheering and whistling brought them back for one more number. To say I was impressed would be, at least, an understatement.
Next day on your dressing room they hung a star...
We went backstage to the dressing room. After passing a guard and going up a small flight of stairs, we saw the band. They were all sitting quietly, perspiring and, not surprisingly, tired. I hadn't realized that a show was such an athletic undertaking. I too was exhausted, but proud and extremely happy to have been there. I feel the words I spoke to them at the time were inadequate to express my true feelings.
I know this much, perhaps the industry has not yet acclaimed Mike as a star, but Webster says, "Star(n.) a person who excels or performs brilliantly in a given activity."
In our house, he's a star!
We left and went to the car. Looking back I saw the marquee with the big, now even bigger, letters "AUGUST REDMOON”.
That darned bug was back on my neck again
Let's go on with the show.
August 29. 1982
Yorba Linda. CA
The band, August Redmoon, eventually dissolved and my son, Michael Henry, who was the lead singer, formed a new group called ARMED FORCES. They were well on their way to success when a rare bone cancer overtook Michael and he died in 1998 at the age of 37. His music lives on and I see that his final CD called “Take On The Nation” is still available at Amazon.com.
Fortunately, the music Michael composed and sang will live on, as will the positive impression he made on all who were privileged to meet him.
I couldn’t have asked for a better son – only one who stayed longer.
Let's go on with the show.
A footnote from Michael's sister, Kathy:
When Michael was no longer
able to perform, he kept his hand in by becoming a music journalist. This link
is to one of his interviews: http://www.hardradio.com/shockwaves/saxon1.html
This page is lovingly kept by his dear friend, Bob Nalbandian. I like to visit it because I can see Mike's work and almost hear his voice. He was courageous, gracious, kind and determined to be happy. One of my heroes, my baby brother.