Homeless, yet living in the finest hotels

homelessWhen I was in my twenties, I traveled for 85% of the decade.  When we were “Commonwealth”, we toured the Playboy Clubs and Marriott Hoteis. There was no need to set up housekeeping in any city because all you did was sleep in hotels.

I found that a trunk, instead of suitcases, enabled me to carry a crock pot, a skillet and spices. Yes, I did, I cooked my meals  in my room. The guys would sometimes come over after the show for whatever concoction was simmering and melting with the spices and vegetables in my room.

It used to be “all healthy things.” I was a vegetarian, as a teen and only dabbled with fish or meat infrequently in my lifetime. I also had a large arsenal of books, to keep me company at night, until Jorge Casas the bass player , arranger and songwriter became my love and roomie.

But, even before Jorge was my BF, he influenced what books I read. He turned me on to the classics, PBS , and fine living. Maurice, the leader, from London also influenced my reading. They thought American girls were under-educated, and they were right in my case!

I took my dog, a one-eyed shitzu, named Sammy Davis with me when I was with Spiral Starecase. I gave up the trunk and crock pot and took my dog. It was so nice to have a furry little friend on the road when it is a 12 piece horn band and you are the only girl. I remember working Buffalo, and it was freezing when I had to take Sammy out to do his business.

It was always lonely on the road, except for that one time when Jorge and I had a life together. That was a minute in time. the other years, it was a lot of books, insomnia, and  dates with sometimes very strange people. For Instance, I was at The Chicago Playboy Club, and we all went out after work to see Linda Clifford and her band.  Nightlife was great in Chicago, you could party all night.

Soul Train - Don Cornelius

Soul Train – Don Cornelius

Guess who i wound up with, dancing, and then going to breakfast?  Souuulllll train’s Don Cornelius. He was a nice man, and took me out for the best pizza i ever had, { well, it was Chicago}  we had a wonderful evening, a long dinner, and then he asked if I wanted to see his penthouse.  Yeah, I was dying to see where this icon lived.  He drove me to a high-rise and valet-parked. We rode a private elevator to his beautiful, very clean, penthouse. He showed me around, never once touching me. Asked me if I wanted to stay over. I really didn’t have those feelings so I declined, and he was a perfect gentleman. Probably very sorry he wasted his time on me! He drove me back to my hotel, and we said farewell.

Another Chicago time, there was a very blonde very tall, very handsome Swedish guy who eyed me for 2 or 3 nights on stage. I finally went over to meet him. he had a thick accent, and we went to a late dinner. Lunch the  next day, and dinner again. He said he was in town for the week. we spent every day and night of the rest of his stay.

On the last night of his visit, he said I was so nice and he felt so badly about lying to me. I said “Oh no , you aren’t married?” He said “No, worse, I’m American. I only pretended because girls go for it.” I was livid. I could not believe how stupid I felt. It was a long time before I dated on the road again. In fact shortly after that, was when Jorge and I started looking at each other in a different way, and got together.

Being on the road is hard enough but being a woman on the road is murder. I can’t believe I survived it.  I read a lot of books, met a lot of kooks, but also some very nice people. In Memphis Tennessee, I dated a really cute younger guy who I would fly back to see on my days off. He looked like Paul McCartney and was so nice and really fun. So, the road was good, and the road was bad. But it made me the person I am, and gave me the stories to tell here on my blog posts!  The road was great after I had a partner , in Jorge,  before that it was awful!  Thank goodness, We are still good friends. forever. 

Mr. Hefner, working for your organization was heaven, and I miss the clubs, the shows, and the bunnies. This is a new era and superior venues for musicians are few and far between. I miss living in the Playboy hotels a bit. Takes me back to write about it. Thank you Irving Arthur who booked us, if you are still with us. Thanks to all the agents, Bobby Morris, who kept me working my entire young life.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Maintaining Your Vocal Health

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