Saturday, July 28, 2007

DON GRAY, 1951 - 2007

DON GRAY - One Of His First Nights With BDS
(He Must Have Thought, You're Supposed To Wave At Cameras)

---Don passed away 2 days after his birthday. He passed April 9, 2007. I found out from Bobby Darling. It happened 5:15 AM, Monday morning.

---Don had been ill for awhile. I, personally, didn't realize that the end was as near as it was. I haven't seen Don or Bobby, other than e-mails and video, in about 27 years.
---I remember the day Don showed up to audition for the band Bobby and I were in before The Bobby Darling Show. The name of that band was ''Franconia Notch.'' The name of the band came directly from National Geographic. In that band was Fred McKay, the father of Adam McKay, of SNL fame.

---Don showed up with his drum set and out of an afternoon of hearing drummers, we selected Don. He, also, owned a vehicle that could haul some of the equipment, which didn't hurt his chances of being chosen.
---Without much discussion, we decided on Don Gray. The choice was one of the few things we were ALL agreeing on at that point. It wasn't too tough, as we ALL felt comfortable with Don, and I will say, he with us.
--After about a year of playing with Don, ''Franconia Notch,'' dissolved. That is when Bobby and I, formed, ''The Bobby Darling Show.'' Don really got Bobby and I our first gig, in Holyoke, MA. It was a little place that held a lot of people. It was the ''Broadview.'' Don suggested this club after Bobby and I ''bombed-out,'' on our first audition. We had set-up to audition, but the club owner told us to wait awhile. By the time the club was ready, and the involvement of some Gin-and- Tonic, we were, I guess, more than ready. Not to belabor the point, but the ''Broadview,'' would be better than playing for some diners, especially if we intended to involve, ''Gin-and-Tonic.'' We learned a lesson that night.
---Don was always very supportive of what Bobby and I were doing. He would come to see us quite often.
---If you read the BIO section of the official Bobby Darling website, you will see that I left The BDS on New Years Eve, 1978, and Don Gray joined. They began playing, a month or so, after.
---Don played the drums and added to the comedy. I saw them play on Cape Cod, that summer. I thought that the drums made a big difference. Dinsdale played the bass, Bobby on guitar, and they had ''Little Ricky,'' [Don Gray] on drums. They were a real trio and much more danceable. I was getting ready to join the Jesuits, which is a whole 'nother story.
---I saw them play a few times after that, and saw how well Don fit into our particular craziness. The picture above was provided by Cindi L. For different picture, see I, admit, I didn't know Don as well as I maybe should have, but as my brother, Peter, said, ''Don always seemed like a nice guy.'' I have to agree. RIP, Don.
[Check-out Bobby Darling YouTube of, ''SATISFACTION.'' It features Don Gray doing Mick Jagger Impression.'']

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