Joel agreed to come and listen to us rehearse in our studios. Though in fairness, he had moved on from the music scene to the film world with his brother Ethan (known now simply as The Coen Brothers). But to his word, Joel came round. He was very refined, a gentleman. Arrow played a good set of selected songs and Joel loved my voice and the way I used it. He said, “I love the way you curl a word, manipulating its flow, climbing or diving on the sound”. He was up-front in telling us that he was jumping over the music fence into filming. In fact, he was getting ready to fly over to meet up with the film crew on location in the Philippines for his 1st film. He said “Ok! I will see what we can do here, I will come up with a 5 year contract, but the 1st 4 years are my options, the 5th and final year I will let you decide what you want. Do you have an Attorney?” “No!” Came the reply from Arrow. “Ok” said Joel, “I will find you an attorney unknown to me and we will see if we can sort this out.” Indeed, the Attorney was well known, but not to Joel, she was Karen G. Fairbank, Law Offices of Loeb & Loeb.

After a few weeks, the 2 main writers and guitarists, Luis Sanchez and David Caris of the band, were finding things difficult to relate and quarrels broke out. I was beside myself, I could not believe how things were unfolding, including song percentages. In the end, Joel had to throw in the towel. “I’m sorry, but I don’t need this”, he said. “I have done this, seen it before, and got the T-shirt, so to speak. I can’t carry on, I have many other commitments now”. I just stood there watching the whole thing blowout. I could not do a thing to stop it. Luis and I got on ok and decided to find other players with just him and me writing songs, 50/50, so I agreed.

We found a solid bass player, and instead of 2 lead guitars, we would try to find a great keyboard player. We came across Bob Zirwes and though he was writing his own songs, somehow it wasn’t jelling anyway. So we tried looking again, and found Gabriel Katona (ex-keyboardist to Rick Springfield). Then, new material evolved. I wanted to bring back a favourite name for the band, and got my way. So Ruby Spoon was born again, American style.

There were a few things I loved about L.A. – One was happy hour (though’ why they called it ‘hour’ I don’t know, because it started at 4pm and lasted until 7pm).

In my books, that’s 3 happy hours. Anyway, you could get free food between these hours, or two drinks for one, depending where you went. There were Spanish Bars, Italian, Mexican, English, American, Puerto Rican, Brazilian – everything! One of my favourite haunts called Simply Blues (American food), was a 20 floor High-Riser Business block, with a restaurant on the top floor and for 25c, you could buy a cooked rib or a small steak sandwich, plus 2 margaritas for the price of one’. The food was gorgeous.

For one 1$ you were full up with food. 6 lots of margaritas and you were anybody’s! In the corner of the room, was a grand piano and a different pianist / singer, every night, would sing Jazz and Blues. One time, I shut my eyes to this guy playing the piano and singing, you’d swear it was Frank Sinatra. We did all the Bars, a different bar every night, with 3 happy hours, saving ourselves a fortune.

Story continued in next blog post…