Musical Memory

I took Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC in the spring of 1967. I also took my 94B20 cook schooling at Fort Jackson. For some weekend passes I returned to Washington to visit my fiancé, for others I just stayed at the base. On one Saturday in April I walked the base to see what was there and found an empty recreation facility with musical instruments. I dabbled a little bit on the guitar and picked up an electric guitar and started to play. The building was empty so no one criticized my playing. About fifteen minutes later three guys walked in and picked out two electric guitars and a set of drums and started to play. They were really good and put me to shame. After playing a few songs the drummer came over to me and asked if I played bass guitar. I responded that I didn't but could play bass notes along with them on my guitar He agreed and we started to play all types of songs from the day. Soon after that an Army Captain came in and ordered us to stay put. He left and returned with a deuce and a quarter truck and ordered us to load our equipment on the truck. He took us out to some amphitheater on the base and had us set up our equipment. What started out as a small get together turned into a concert for hundreds of recruits as we played and sang many popular songs. The whole time I marveled at the abilities of the other three musicians. We finished, returned the equipment and returned to our respective company areas. I don't recall seeing any of them for the remainder of my time there. Some time later while watching TV I think I recognized the drummer who played for Tommy James and the Shondells as the drummer at Fort Jackson. One guitar player looked like someone from the Turtles and the other guitarist was very similar to someone who played for the Loving Spoonfull. I am not totally sure of this but I will say that it may have been one of the best concerts ever given at Fort Jackson.

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