Myths & Legends By Jah Paul Jo
Pasadena City College in the mid 1970′s was a gathering spot for musicians… and not just ANY musician. A virtual hotbed for what would later become “heavy metal.” All the Van Halens were there… Chris Holmes from WASP and Tommy (Bass) Lee of Motley Crue were there, too. Members of Armoured Saint, Stryper and (naturally) Dread Zep all put in campus time with many others.
Not many who *attended* actually had classes. Most just hung out, talked rock and roll and looked at girls. Girl-watching was particularly good in September and October, before they picked the Rose Queen. It was required that girls be enrolled in school if they were to be picked for the Rose Court… many dropped out after getting passed by. Musicians knew this and positioned themselves in the “quad” area accordingly.
PCC also had the added cache of being able to boast that Frank Zappa had attended school there… not to mention that Albert Einstein himself had dedicated our science lab. Not too bad a place to hang out!
One day, my old high school pal, Carl Jah, told me that he had met a guy in music class that had invited him to his house after school. A fellow guitarist, like-minded about music, Carl was excited to meet him and wanted to bring me along. OK… let’s go.
The first thing you noticed about arriving at Gary Putman’s house was that there was VERY loud guitar playing coming from inside. So loud you could hear it plainly from the street. We knocked on the door which was open and slightly ajar – no answer – guitar still super-loud. We bit the bullet and just walked in.
We went through the living room, past the kitchen and followed the guitar playing. In the sunken den area, Gary’s mother was sitting in a lounge chair, feet up watching a television about two feet away from her, obviously struggling to hear her show… which, of course, was impossible. In the same room (I swear!) was Gary, electric guitar plugged into a Marshall stack, I’m assuming volume on *eleven*
Here’s the best part… Completely naked.
Yep! We figured we need to be in a band with this guy. And so it was…