Note: Corrections and additions below are in [brackets and bold]
If ever a name had significance, it was Double Shot!
Ken and I had gotten closer as the end of Silver Laughter became clear. Jon and I had drifted farther apart and had stopped writing songs. The mood in the motel rooms was lower than low. After being “rejected” by Atlantic, we continued to play on the road. The grind was getting to us.
During our last days, we met a duo (Jack and Dodi who billed themselves as “Two of Us”) who were playing in a club nearby; I think it was Mitchell, SD. They played easy listening music and toured much like Silver Laughter had been doing. We got to be friends and stayed in touch. When our band breakup was imminent, I am not sure if it was Ken or I who suggested we do the same thing – go duo!
As a final Silver Laughter performance, Art put together a last appearance at the Valhalla Ballroom without Jon knowing it. We brought in a pal from Worthington, MN to take his place… another Ken with LOTS of energy. He had been following the band and knew all of our material plus a lot of cover songs so we played that one night, (Ken, Ken, Paul and Mick) and then headed off to do our duo thing!
Ken Wiles and I had a photo taken to promote the new concept. We chose Double Shot because of the double meaning. The two of us were shot from touring with Silver Laughter and also we were drinking a lot.
Quite honestly, this was a lame attempt to stay in music. Ken and I started writing original songs together and would sprinkle in our stuff with the cover material. We had a Fender sound system we bought on credit from our friend’s music store in Norfolk, NE along with an electronic drummer we called “Ringo”. But the going was tough.
[Note on the photo that the talent agency is Biggstar. That was us. We started out with no manager trying to cut the 20% commission, but quite quickly we learned that we needed someone who knew how to get us booked! So we decided to go with the same agent who Two of Us used.]
Our new manager, [Bill] Rothe wasn’t sure where to book us, so one week we were playing Howard Johnson’s in Moline, IL (where I met Sandy, the mother of my daughter, Angela) doing easy listening, and then he put us in Thunder Bay, Ontario at a country and western bar. We scrambled to learn a bunch of Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley and other stuff to appease the audience. Then the next week he booked us in a disco bar so we learned a few disco songs. It was after a couple of months when we ended up in Escanaba, MI, then down to Grand Rapids, MI (each club with a different musical theme) where we called it quits and decided to move to California!
During that time, Ken and I wrote a bunch of songs together. I am working on getting it together to do a recording of some of them. Slowly but surely I will get it done.