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Missed Masterpieces: Edgar Winter Group


Back in the late-‘70s I had this tight group of friends. There were six of us and we were really close. No one ever tried to steal someone else’s girl. Anyone could hang out with anyone, no one ever really felt left out. ---Hell, we’d stand in front of a freight train for each other if it came to that.

We were also famous for doing and surviving some of the stupidest stunts known to mankind (“Jackass” my ass).

Our hang-out was The Italian Village on 9th East. We knew all the waitresses, and a couple of us KNEW a couple of the waitresses, but we loved them all. We’d often order shrimp pizza. Once a single shrimp fell off the pizza into Jay’s glass of drinking water and he did this whole body imitation of a shrimp trying to swim to the top of the glass. Instantly, five guys peed their pants; funniest thing I’ve seen in my life, and that’s saying something.

Every time we entered the restaurant (about three times a week), one of my friends would run over to the jukebox, which was almost as old as we were. He’d throw in his change and punch the numbers for the song “Free Ride,” which was about five years old at the time, but had stayed popular.

He’d play the song three or four times, along with Zeppelin and Mountain (“Mississippi Queen”), but we never got sick of it.

The song was from the Edgar Winter Group album They Only Come Out at Night, which made sense to us since both of the Winter brothers were albino (I sure miss that simple idiot logic). The album even seemed a little dangerous because it had Edgar in drag on the cover. The album also had the best instrumental ever made. Yes, you know what song I’m talking about: “Frankenstein.”

When I was in sixth grade, we’d wait for the part of the song that sounds like machine gun fire and then all fall to the ground like we’d been shot (give me a break, it was sixth grade).

Get the album; it’s full of uncomplicated, harmless fun. We all could use a little more of that.