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Danny Scher: Back To School With Thelonious Monk


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I remember that was the night when I told myself I really want to be a concert promoter. It was that concert–that night.
—Danny Scher
A high-stakes election season. Streets filled with rage and protest. Cries for racial justice and equity. The latest news from summer 2020? Of course, but that also describes the American Scene in the summer of 1968, when a high school student in Palo Alto, California, first got the idea to book Thelonious Monk to play his school's auditorium. That student was Danny Scher. His recording of this concert, called Palo Alto, was scheduled to be released publicly for the first time by Impulse! on July 31, 2020. In the time since this interview took place, the album has disappeared from the label's release schedule due to unspecified, unresolved conflict with the artist's estate. The wait continues...

A consummate storyteller, Danny shares the tale of how a sixteen-year-old boy got into booking concerts while he was still in high school—which led to his career at the side of legendary promoter Bill Graham. It's a story of hustle, chutzpah and not accepting any limitations.

All About Jazz: Set the stage for me. What was happening in Palo Alto in 1968?

Danny Scher: In Palo Alto, at the time, a few months before Martin Luther King was assassinated and Robert Kennedy was assassinated, there was a lot of tension in the community. Palo Alto, being a predominantly white community, is across the highway from East Palo Alto, which is predominantly a black community. There was just a lot of tension. But people—very similar to what's going on right now, in a way—were saying things that would make them feel as one with both communities. Our high school yearbook was dedicated to Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. It made note of how many blacks and people of color were admitted to colleges.

I was born in Palo Alto. I went to public school there, and then I went across the street to Stanford for my undergraduate and graduate. I spent the first 24 years of my life there. As a resident of Palo Alto, as a kid in elementary school, you would just hear things like, "Well, just stay out of East Palo Alto. It's tough. It's dangerous."

There was a neighborhood in East Palo Alto which had a couple of really good hamburger places and a ribs place, which is where we used to ride our bicycles to get hamburgers. But there were record stores there. It was called Whiskey Gulch. And, now, I believe it's where the Four Seasons is.

When the Four Seasons went in there, because it was technically in East Palo Alto, the Four Seasons wanted to change the address to Menlo Park. Anything except East Palo Alto. And East Palo Alto turned them down on it.

At the time, after Martin Luther King and the riots, there was a movement to change the name of East Palo Alto to Nairobi. So, at the time I did this concert, there was a lot of press activity and an election coming up. The concert was October 27th (1968) and the election was the following Tuesday. The first Tuesday in November, like it is, now. The show just happened to be a few days before the election.

I remember there were some people who were smirking, "Oh, East Palo Alto wants to change their name to Nairobi." Some people were smirking, and some people thought this was good. I really didn't have a position one way or another as long as they kept the hamburger places open!

There was definitely tension, but it was never "Fuck you, Palo Alto," or "Fuck you, East Palo Alto." It was, "Hey, can't we just figure out this out and all get along?" So that's kind of what was going on. I mean, as a kid, I remember riding my bike to these places and I never felt unsafe or anything. If you went into East Palo Alto, basically there was a main highway, a main street that would take you to a bridge, the Dumbarton Bridge, it would take you to the East Bay. That street is called University Avenue and continues on to the west side to the heart of Stanford University.

If you look at the poster for this show, my parents lived on University Avenue and we were taking mail order tickets. This is how unsophisticated I was as a promoter: It said "Tickets available by mail order. Send it to Jazz, 939 University Avenue," which was where I lived. That was my parents house. But I didn't even know enough at the time to say, you know, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope or your tickets will be at the door. If you look at the poster, it just has the address! I was still learning along the way.

AAJ: They must have thought they were sending their money to the headquarters of jazz.

DS: I know, but we did get a couple of letters. I remember we actually got a couple of letters with checks for $2 or $4. And even though the ticket price was $2, $2 even in 1968 was really cheap. But if you were a student, the ticket price was $1.50. And it didn't even say, "Paly students." We had a different kind of poster—a thing that went out the schools that said" Student ticket price: $1.50." I don't think any student came from any other school, unless they were really into jazz at 16 years old, like I was. Maybe three or four. Who the hell knows?

AAJ: At that time, in that era, where was Monk in terms of his career? Can you set that context?

DS: I really wasn't aware at that time of what was going on with him, personally. I didn't know of any psychological problems, or the financial problems. The only magazine that I read at the time was Downbeat, and I still subscribe to this day. Downbeat never talked about any of the negative sides of musicians. It was, "Monk has a new record. Check it out." "John Coltrane has a new record," or Duke Ellington. You never heard any of the negative. I really wasn't even really aware of the controversial things going on with his life. And it wasn't really until just very recently I heard that he was not a big record seller.

I haven't asked TS (Monk's son and guardian of his legacy) this, so you can confirm it with him, but one of the reasons that this record has taken so long to come out was because Monk was not a big record seller. Even though—I just came back from driving and I heard in the space of driving 20 minutes, three different versions of Thelonious Monk tunes by three different artists—every piece he wrote was a masterpiece.

AAJ: That's an interesting way to say it. He was a musician everybody revered and whose compositions everybody else wanted to play. He was a musician's musician, which is a blessing and a curse when you're the guy who's the musician's musician.

DS: And it's complicated. I think people were reluctant to book him because they weren't sure if he was going to show up or who he would show up with, or what. And I wasn't even aware of any of this stuff when I called his manager.

AAJ: So he was doing a residency or a run of shows at Jazz Workshop when you decided to book him?

DS: Yeah.

AAJ: Where was the Jazz Workshop?

DS: I think it was in what we would call the Tenderloin, and I think now it's a parking lot, or a little park. There's a little plaque on the sidewalk. The Jazz Workshop was basically a bar, and you had to be over 21 to get in. I wasn't over 21, so I never went there. Another one was Basin Street West, which was also a restaurant, so minors could go in there. If you want a little side story, I can give you a little side story on Basin Street West.

AAJ: Oh, please.

DS: It was a few years ago, at the Monterey Jazz Festival, with Dave Brubeck. Dave Brubeck, at that point, was like in his mid-eighties, late eighties. There was a social event going on there and I'm in the social private event, and he's there. And I went up to Dave Brubeck—speaking to him in the same way I am speaking to you now -I said, "Mr. Brubeck." "Yes?" I said, "I have a story to tell you. When I was a kid, and you were playing at Basin Street West, in San Francisco, I was a newspaper boy and I wasn't old enough to drive. And I remember saving up my money to go up to see you at Basin Street West. And I went there, and I was clearly the youngest kid there. And they said, "Where do you want to sit?" I said, "Well, I'd like to sit by Joe Morello, because I'm a drummer." And I said, "And then, Mr. Brubeck" He says, "Yes." And meanwhile, while I'm doing this, people gather around. "And then I bought my ticket. The ticket was $3.50. I took a bus. I had to save up for the bus. I had to walk from the bus station to the club. And then they came to me and they said what would you like to drink? And I said, "Oh, no, nothing. That's fine." They said, "Well, there's a two-drink minimum." Now, Mr. Brubeck, I didn't know about this minimum thing, you know. I just bought my bus ticket, I bought my ticket to get in and then they said a two-drink minimum. I said, "OK, I'll have two cokes." That's $2.50. Now, Mr. Brubeck, all the money, I want you to know, that what I paid for the bus, walking there, your ticket and then the two-drink minimum that I knew nothing about, I spent a month's newspaper boy earnings to see you. And you know what?" And he said, "What?" I said, "It was the best money I ever spent." And he said, "Phew, I thought you were going to ask for your money back." And everyone cracked up. And I said, "Can I have my picture taken with you?" And I have that picture signed on my wall right here.

AAJ: I have to tell you, I thought you were going to tell me he pulled a $10 bill out of his pocket and stuffed it in your hand.

DS: [Laughing] No, it was the best money I'd ever spent!

AAJ: So, as a 16-year-old, you want to book this concert. What did you do?

DS: Well, Monk wasn't the first concert. To really back up, when I was a kid, before Vegas and Reno and Tahoe became big areas, there were two casinos in Lake Tahoe—Harrah's Club and Harvey's Club. They were right across the street from each other. This was South Shore, Lake Tahoe. And I'm like eight or nine-years old, and my parents loved going up there and going gambling. It was pretty boring, actually, for kids to go up there. But I come from one of six boys and I remember at that point I think I had two brothers. So, there were three of us. And we'd go up there and my parents would check us in to a little place where kids could watch a movie. It was really boring. Now, they've got a whole thing, you know, check your kid in for the day while you're out gambling.

AAJ: Like DisneyWorld.

DS: Like DisneyWorld. It wasn't like that in the late fifties and earlier sixties. It was just a movie theater. And we would try to break out of it. But the reward we got was my parents would take us to a dinner show at Harrah's, and it was a really—I didn't think of it then, but it was an old-fashioned dinner club. We would see Lawrence Welk, Red Skeleton, The Lennon Sisters with Lawrence Welk. As a kid, I looked forward to the dinner show. I remember the waitress would come, she'd take our order, and then she'd go up to this door, and I would see her hand kind of go underneath and then she'd go through the door.

I remember thinking, "Boy, I guess that's backstage." So, at a very early age, I would go up to the door, put my hand—there was a little buzzer, and that opened the door, and it let you in backstage. I used to sneak in backstage, and I'm like eight or nine-years old, and get all of these people's autographs. And no one ever threw me out. No one ever said, "How'd you get back here?" I would go up to Lawrence Welk. I really had a really good autograph collection, until it got lost. And my parents, now, they knew what I was doing. They thought it was great, you know. "Whose autograph are you going to get today?" I remember telling my parents, I said, "You know, someday I want to be a concert promotor, and I gotta stop people like me from sneaking in backstage."

I think it's genetic, in a way. Because I took my son to the Olympics, in Athens, in 2004, and my son said—after we had just saw the swimmer win his eighth medal. It was a big deal -and my son said to me—he was 12 or 13 at the time, he says, "I'm going to go back and get his autograph. See if I can meet him." So, he saw the press going and we had always talked about—we call it "The Walk." If you know The Walk, you can get in anywhere. So, I said, "OK, well, I'll be here when you come back." And he didn't come back for like an hour and I'm waiting for him. I said, "What happened?" He said, "Well, I went back with all the press and they were doing a little press conference, and I'm standing there listening to the press conference. And then this door shut and we were outside the facility. I was outside and I had to come back in." And I said, "So how did you do it?" He said, "Well, I just knew the walk and I was able to walk in." I said, "Let me get this straight. Greece just spent like a billion dollars to have high-level security and you were able to be locked out and get back in?" He said, "Yeah, Dad, you know, you taught me The Walk." I said, "I didn't teach you. I think you just have it. It's genetic."

AAJ: So, Monk's coming to the Jazz Workshop, and you decide he's coming to your high school.

DS: I digressed a little. I wanted to be concert promoter, and jazz is it for me at that point. There's a lady at UC Berkeley named Darlene Chan, who was a student there, who was starting the Berkeley Jazz Festival. I called her and asked if I could put up posters for her. I was, I think, 14 years old at the time. And she sent me posters. I'm putting up posters because it kind of made sense, you know, putting up posters at Stanford and Palo Alto for the UC Berkeley Jazz Festival. I put up posters and she gave me free tickets. I did that every year she was there.

AAJ: That's the dream job in the music business, right there. You started right at the top. "I'll put up posters if I can come to free gigs."

DS: Well, it's like the William Morris Mailroom! So, I told her, "You know, I'd like to put on concerts at my high school." And she said, "Who?" And I said, "Someone local. I know Vince Guaraldi lives here, and Jon Hendricks lives here." And she said, "Well, here are their phone numbers." So, the first concert I actually put on was Vince Guaraldi and Jon Hendricks. That was in 1967, a year before my Thelonious Monk show. I did that at what, at the time, was called the "Girls' Gym." We had two gyms at Palo Alto High School, the Boys' Gym or the Girls' Gym. And we had it at the Girls' Gym. That was really the very first concert I did. It was right after they came out with the movie the Peanuts cartoons that he did all the music for. When I look at pictures in the yearbook of him, he's playing an upright piano. I didn't even know about baby grands, or grands.

I really don't remember how much we paid him, but he said, "Kid, have you ever done a show before?" I said, "No." He said, "Well, why don't you come up and I'll give you a little education." So, I took a bus. He lived in Marin, somewhere. I took a bus up to his house and he gave me copies of press releases and pictures of him and bios. And he said, "When you do a press release, here's how you do it. You keep it to one page. You have your contact information at the top. You have the venue, the artist, etc." And then he gave me a box of paper handlebar mustaches because that was his thing. He said, "You can hand these out to your friends, and you can walk around, and look like me." There were posters for that, and I have no idea where they are. I don't have any of those.

That concert did really well. I remember that was the night when I told myself I really want to be a concert promoter. It was that concert—that night. By the way, these were all under the pretense of raising money for the International Club, and we supported schools in Africa and such.

Then I did a Cal Tjader concert. And I told Darlene that my two idols were Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. And she said, "Well, here's Thelonious Monk's phone number." At this point, I'm 16 years old, so I'm old enough to drive. So, I'm putting up posters for her and picking up musicians, artists for her, as they came into the San Francisco Airport and I would drive them to Berkeley for the jazz festivals.

I would pick up Cannonball Adderley, and Gil Evans. I was there to get them there on time. I remember picking up Gil Evans one time at the airport. He was coming in to play with Miles Davis. They were doing Sketches of Spain. I remember picking up Gil Evans at the airport, and he said, "I know that there's great bread in San Francisco, French bread." So, I said, Well, let's go get some." So we went to a place in the airport, a tourist stand where they were selling French bread. There was a line to pay. He has the bread under his arm—you know, holding his bread in the line. After about two or three minutes, he lost his patience and he said, "Let's go." And he's carrying the bread. I said, "What about the bread?" He said, "No, let's just go." I said, "So, we're making a run for it?" He said, "That's right." So, Gil Evans stole a loaf of bread and I was his accomplice.

AAJ: I think there's statute of limitations. It's OK.

DS: Monk is coming to play at the Jazz Workshop and Darlene knows that and she said, "Here's his manager's phone number." A guy names Jules Colomby. There was Jules and Harry. They were two brothers. I started with Harry but ended up dealing with Jules. I called them up and said, "I know you're coming to San Francisco and I'd like to book you at my high school in Palo Alto." And he said, "Well, we're playing in San Francisco." I said, "Yeah, I know, but you're playing at night. Maybe you could do an afternoon show at the school." And he said, "Well, you know, you're going to have to pay me $500." I said, "That's OK. We can do that. I've got 350 seats and I think we'll sell them for $2 each and hopefully there'll be some money left over for the International Club." And he said, "OK."

He sends me a contract with pictures of Monk and albums to play -Monk had just released Underground, at that point. It was a regular press package. He was treating me like anyone who was buying Monk. By the way, I had the principal sign the contract because I couldn't sign the contracts. We had a little radio station, we called it Radio X and we played music during lunch hour. My friend would play rock'n'roll and I had a show —I think it was Wednesdays or Thursdays. It was a jazz show where I'd play jazz and be able to promote what I was promoting. "Here's Thelonious Monk," or "Here's Vince Girauldi. We made up stationery that said Radio X, Palo Alto High School, and the address. We sent these letters to record companies to get promotional copies of the records, so we could play them on the radio station.

We started getting promotional copies of the records that I still have. They would come with a big white sticker on the front. It would say what songs to highlight so you could easily see the title and how long each one was. By the way, this guy was interested in going into radio and spent his whole professional career in radio because of that. I mean, he got the bug there in high school.

I'm thinking, "Boy, I'm doing Thelonious Monk, one of my idols." And the show is not selling very well. That's OK. I can promote that. We had printed up posters and I'm putting them up in East Palo Alto and the police are telling me, "Hey, kid, this is not a good place for you to be. This isn't safe. You're going to get in trouble, here." I said, you know, "I feel just fine, and I'll be in bigger trouble if the show doesn't sell." I'm putting the word out in Palo Alto, but the show still wasn't selling. Being the newspaper boy that I was, there were certain stores that I did business with and the music stores, the bookstores, the florist that I would buy flowers for my mother's birthday or something.

So, I put together a show program to sell ads for these businesses in because it's not selling well. Then, even if no one showed up, I'd sell enough ads to be able to pay Monk because the last thing I wanted to do was lose money on the show. That wasn't even a concept. It never crossed my mind we would lose money.

I put together this program with the ads, and knew I sold enough in the programs with the tickets that we had sold already, that I'd broken even. And a couple days before the concert, a janitor comes to me and says, "If you let me record the concert, I'll tune the piano." To this day, I don't remember if he said, "I'll tune it," or "I'll have it tuned." But it was tuned. I don't know if he tuned it himself. We're still looking for the janitor. We have it down to like three or four people. What we're hearing from the janitors, so far, is that most of them are passed away. But I thought for sure someone would have bragged to their children or their grandchildren, "Hey, I once recorded Thelonious Monk."

So, I said, "Yeah, you can record the concert." The piano gets tuned and he records the concert. I called Monk a couple of days in advance. My first conversation with him was to just check in with him to see how he was doing and if he wanted anything special. "We're looking forward to seeing you at the high school." And he said, "What are you talking about" I go, "You're playing our high school on Sunday." He said, "No, I'm not." I said, "Yeah, we have a contract with Jules Colomby, and he sent us press materials. We've had your recordings. We've been playing them on the school radio station. We have posters all over town. We've made a program for the show." He said, "Well, I have a gig that night." I said, "Yeah, I know. That's why you're playing in the afternoon." He said, how am I going to get there? I said, "Well, my brother's old enough to drive so can come get you and the band." I don't know if I actually said, "old enough to drive," but definitely, "my brother can come and get you." My parents would not let me drive to San Francisco. It was too far away, being a new young driver. I only had my license a few months.

So, he says, "OK." My brother comes, picks him up. The word in East Palo Alto is they're very skeptical that Thelonious Monk was going to play in what they called "Lilly White Palo Alto." I put the word out to East Palo Alto and said, "If you don't believe that Monk's going to be there, then just come. Don't buy a ticket. Come, show up at the parking lot and when you see Monk, then buy a ticket." So, they did.

The parking lot was filled with people from East Palo Alto. My brother drives up. I remember the bass was kind of sticking out of the window. They see him and the Quartet getting out of the car. They line up, they buy their tickets. There were two opening acts. So, it wasn't "An afternoon with Thelonious Monk." There were two other acts and musically, it just fit. The other acts were comprised of local kids and some Stanford students that had a band. So, I got some of the Stanford students that came over and bought tickets, we had East Palo Alto people, and we had a segment of kids from the high school.

We did the show and it was great. I get the tape from the janitor. We get Monk home. And I really didn't think much about it for another 50 years. A few months later, I promoted a Duke Ellington concert when I was still in high school, the following March. Because while this was going on with Monk, I'm trying to get Duke Ellington to come to the high school. And I knew he was also playing in San Francisco doing his Sacred Music Concert.

AAJ: Was it a smaller band at that point?

DS: No, it was a full band. I didn't promote the whole band, but he was playing in San Francisco, doing a show at a church. I'm in a youth symphony orchestra, called the California Youth Symphony. And I played timpani and percussion in the orchestra. I went up to San Francisco, I took a bus up not knowing where he was staying. I knew of two hotels in San Francisco at that time—the Mark Hopkins and the Fairmont. I took some records and I went up to the Mark Hopkins Hotel, picked up the phone and said, "Is Mr. Ellington here?" "There's no Mr. Ellington registered." I went across the street to the Fairmont Hotel, "Is Mr. Ellington here?" They said, "Hold the phone." He picks up the phone. I said, "Mr. Ellington, I'm in the Youth Symphony Orchestra and we're trying to raise money to go Australia. And I brought some records of our symphony. So maybe if you listen to it, you would consider doing a benefit for us to help us raise money to go to Australia?" He said, "OK, come up to my room."

I remember going up to his room, he answers the door. And the entire interaction was maybe 15 seconds. He opens the door. I said, "Here are some records of our youth symphony. All high school and junior high school kids." And he said, "Thank you very much." He shut the door and I went home. Six months later, he's coming back to San Francisco. He's playing at Bimbo's now and I'm old enough to drive. Again, I went up there without an invitation or anything. I went right to the Fairmont. I said, "Mr. Ellington?" "Yes." And I was there with my girlfriend. My high school girlfriend. I said, "You may not remember me, but I brought up some records of our youth symphony and maybe you would consider doing a fundraiser for us." And he said, "As a matter of fact, I did listen to it and I really enjoyed it. And I think I would, but can you come up and have dinner with me in my room, first?"

So, my first meeting with him was dinner in his room, with my girlfriend and room service. To this day, the former high school girlfriend, we still joke about this. Then I gave him a ride to the gig and gave him a ride back. and I kind of became his San Francisco driver for the rest of his life. And he did come and do a concert with us to raise money the following March. So, I did Monk, the end of October, and then the following March, when I was still a senior in high school, I did Duke Ellington. I have that on tape that's never been released or heard, by the way.

AAJ: To go back to the Monk show for a second, the janitor is not identified?

DS: We're looking for him. And we now have a working title for the janitor. The working title that we have among us is "Monk's Custodian Recorder." My son is working on putting word out on social media. We're kind of narrowing it down. We know some of the guys are dead. In the school yearbook, where it has pictures of all of the teachers and their names, there's a group picture of the janitors, with their brooms, and all it says is, "The Janitors." We don't even have the names. We're slowly zeroing in on it. If anyone knows anyone who might have been a janitor...This is 52 years ago. So even if they were 30, they'd be in their 80s, now. So even if they're not here, we'd like to give them a credit in the album if we could find out who the guy was who recorded it.

AAJ: Is the photo that's used on the cover of Palo Alto from that show?

DS: No.

AAJ: Were there any photos?

DS: The only photo I have is in the high school yearbook.

AAJ: Oh, that's incredible. So, somebody took a photo for the yearbook.

DS: Yeah. And I got a hold of the photographer, who's still alive. He was a classmate.

AAJ: Do the kids remember it?

DS: There were people there who I met at my 50th reunion, last year, in 2019, who told me that they loved Monk, but they really went because of the other bands. And that's fine. I would look at that as being a good booker.

AAJ: That's the sign of a good package, right?

DS: Exactly. I don't think anyone really thought of it as historic in any way. I didn't. Really it was—you know, we were high school kids. It was never, "Hey, look what I did." I spent my whole professional career with Bill Graham doing predominantly rock'n'roll. We had a relationship where I could do whatever I wanted. I had to book, of course, what was coming around, but, you know, if I had other ideas, he'd let me do whatever I wanted to do. The office was filled with posters: Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Big Brother, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones. And in my office, I had one poster. thought it was kind of cute because it had the date, you know, 1968.

Bill Graham was a Holocaust survivor. And in 1985, our president at the time, Ronald Reagan, went to Germany to a cemetery where there were Nazis buried. And there were major discussions of trying to get him to not go. And Bill held a rally at Union Square in San Francisco. We had a full-page ad and a rally to convince him not to go. It wasn't a concert. I remember going to Bill and I said, "We're doing a rally. You want me to get balloons." He said, "No, Danny, this isn't a show. This is a protest. And we're going to protest and hopefully convince our president not to go to a cemetery where Nazis are buried." Almost sounds current.

And after we held the rally and we started getting anti-Semitic letters and phone calls, and three days later our office was fire-bombed and destroyed, including this poster. And I got a call a couple of weeks afterwards from a teacher who was still at my high school, and I hadn't talked to her since school, and she said, "I happen to have one more poster of the Monk concert, because that was the first thing that we had ever printed on colored paper, and I saved it, and you're welcome to have it." And that's the poster that's in the album and that's on my wall, now.

When I first started working with Bill, I was his booker. We had adjoining offices. But I was a kid. I was just out of business school. I'm like 24 or 25. I remember one of the first really big shows that I worked on by myself, it was 12 dates with Bette Midler. And there were three dates in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and Berkeley. And if you put all those dates together, it was the first million dollar booking I did, all of them together. It sold out. And I was really feeling good and I felt that I had gone up a step. And Better Midler came down with appendicitis, and the dates were cancelled. And Bette Midler's road manager was a guy named Brian Avnet. I'm talking 45 years ago, now, thereabouts.

I became friends with Brian Avnet, who was also just kind of a kid. We were all kind of kids at that point. And he went on to break—what?

AAJ: Josh Groban?

DS: Very good. Yes. That's the same Brian Avnet. We had a bonding experience over that. We were set up to open the show at Berkeley Community Theater and she came down with it that afternoon. We were ready to open the doors. Everything was set up on the stage. Before Josh Groban, he managed The Manhattan Transfer, also, for years and years. Brian and I still communicate. And a couple of years ago, we were having dinner. And his friend is Bobby Colomby, who is the drummer of Blood, Sweat and Tears, who was the brother of Jules and Harry Colomby, who I bought Thelonious Monk from.

We're at dinner and I mention that I had never met Bobby, before, but I know his brothers. Brian said, "Well, let's call him up." He called him and Bobby said, "Why don't you come by the house." So, we went by the house at like 11:00 at night. Spent a couple of hours...I'm telling him Bill Graham stories. He's telling me other stories. You know, you never know how things are going to come together. There are lots of stories like that, yeah.

Photo: Todd Johnson

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