Friends - Arnie Holland, President, Lightyear Entertainment:
I was a musician in high school. I played in two bands, simultaneously. Music was so important to me, it was a cornerstone of my life. But when I got to college I met some guys that were so much better than me, I gave up performing and just watched, amazed, as they kept getting better and better. First it was Rick Levy, who lived in my dorm and was best friends with Bob Holtz, who was my first real college friend, may he rest in peace.
Rick introduced me to Beau Jones, and when they formed “Mrs. Wigg’s Cabbage Patch”, to David Kagan. As band booker for the dorm’s Men’s Residence Board, and then social chairman of our fraternity, I got them a couple of gigs.
The first incarnation of Wax didn’t include David, though--it featured Steve Morris on flute and Susan “Charity” Hamlin as singer. And that’s when it started to get magical. Something was going on here, and it was special. There was one night they played for free in back of Houston Hall, and it was just freaking amazing.
Later, Sue and Steve left, and David became the singer. When Rick Chertoff and Rob Hyman came on board, and this incarnation came together, we all started to think about making records, it was that strong. We all just knew it would happen someday.
We had a house down at 13th and Rodman, and originally it was Bob, Beau, Rick, and me. But Bob’s girlfriend didn’t like our wild parties and made him move out, so David moved in. Then the parties got wilder. Chert and Rob were housemates too, on the West side of town, and that became our stopping point when we were on campus.
Everyone was in the band except me. But I was part of the “group,” and when I wasn’t studying or working on the newspaper, I was the DJ, cheerleader, publicist, and number one fan. And we had a lot of hallucinogenic experiences together that are better remembered than written down.
The “group” included Jimmy Helman and Rob “Westy” West, who were the equipment guys, but mostly they were our friends. They were part of everything we did, and the three of us hung out, with all the band members’ girlfriends, and our own, at all the gigs.