Legendary band kicks off ‘Like it or Not’ World Tour

Published 9:29 am Friday, July 11, 2008

By Staff
Mckeithan column
There is money in nostalgia.
The top bands of the ’70s and ’80s are reuniting — the living members are, anyway — and playing sold-out shows while getting mega-rich once again. Bands named Van Halen, Journey, Boston, The Eagles, Kiss and Klutz are rocking arenas around the country.
What? You’ve never heard of Klutz? Then, you’re no rocker. Klutz was a HUGE act playing major venues in the greater Laurinburg/Maxton area during the glory years of three-chord rock and big hair. Oh, NOW you remember. I thought so. I shouldn’t boast — BUT — I was a founding member of Klutz. (Yes, I will sign a glossy photo for you) …
Editor’s note: The Washington Daily News requests that you keep this knowledge to yourself and disregard McKeithan’s sad attempts to find meaning or acceptance with his “band.” We don’t want him distracted from his “work.” He had some very unpleasant experiences being hounded by paparazzi and beautiful women. He’s found a fulfilling career now working at the WDN where no one really cares about him, or his job — we’d like to keep it that way.
… I knew that I could find meaning and acceptance with MY band, once again. Sure, it will distract me from my “work,” but I miss being hounded by paparazzi and beautiful women!
(Just teasing.)
(Not really.)
Knowing that Supergroups are making millions of dollars, my bandmates and I decided to reunite and rock the world … again! (Imagine this: Loud cheering from thousands of people can be heard as the power chords of “We Fight With Music” — an original song — penetrates the deafening din of decibels.)
After many long nights of rehearsals in recent months, Klutz was ready to perform, yet again. Our lead singer, Perk, booked us to play at a corporate party in Charlotte. Unofficially, this was to be the 34th performance of the legendary band from Laurinburg. It seemed like the first one, all over again.
Because we are now aging rock stars, each sound check must also be accompanied by a reality check. Like many rock bands, we have some inescapable “drug problems:”
I am one of two drummers in the band, and I also play keyboard — poorly. I have NO stage presence whatsoever. I don’t know how to shake my booty on stage. I don’t even try for fear of scaring the children in the crowd. However, there was a moment during the performance when I was really gettin’ down that I heard a gasp from the audience and this comment, “Awesome! Did you see the keyboard player just then? He transferred a portion of his body weight from his right leg to his left! ROCK ON, DUDE!”
Where Klutz is concerned, we put the “gig” in giggles. I doubt this young crowd had ever heard of some of the songs on our set list. We probably seemed as dated and irrelevant as the Lawrence Welk Orchestra.
When I calculated how much I cleared after rehearsal, lodging, food and travel expenses for this reunion concert, I was in the hole $875. (That’s JUST between us.) I really enjoyed being around my lifelong buddies, who know me better than I know myself. It was also a lot of fun to play music once more, reliving the glory days of youth.
What does the future hold? I don’t know. I eagerly await another Klutz gig … if I can afford it.
t deal of respect and admiration for those in the medical field. I have seen, firsthand, the incredible healing of family and friends under the care of talented doctors and nurses. I’m your biggest fan.
Unfortunately, there’s another, less heroic side of the tale of the good doctor: The bad patient.
This is my story:
I’m on constant alert. At the onset of any perceived “symptom” — I leap into action. That’s right, I Google it. I have an amazing ability to — with one click of the mouse — diagnose my disease or infirmity. Usually, it’s a very rare, terminal illness.
Then, I’m off to the doctor’s office. I am not going to reveal who my doctor is (thank me later, Dr. Teixeira) because the following is a fictionalized account.
I don’t view my frequent doctor visits casually; they become a multi-phase mission. Here is how a typical “mission” goes:
Front-desk person: May I help you?
Yes, I need to see Dr. Not-To-Be-Named (NTBN) immediately. My name is William Ray McKeithan. I am a male, and I filled out your forms last week when I was in here for malaria. Here’s a copy of my living will, my medical power of attorney, and my safe deposit box key. I have prepared a complete family medical history dating back to 1865, listed my drug allergies and copied my insurance card and my college transcripts. You have all you need.
We don’t have an appointment available until March.
That’s no good; I’ll be dead by then. I think that defeats the purpose.
Then I went, there. I started shouting medical terms to get respect and to show everyone in the lobby that I meant business: “This is a code purple, people!” I shouted. “I need to see the doctor, STAT … I may need to be quarantined!”
I then calmly took a seat, knowing I’d see the doctor soon.
First phase of mission, complete.
Just three hours later, as I sat reading the October ’87 edition of Southern Living, I was whisked back to triage.
Nurse: OK, what is it this time, Ray?
I had a headache yesterday.
Any other complaints?
Yes, someone tore out the fried Moon Pie recipe from Southern Living.
No, I mean medical problems.
Well, what are they?
I’ll save it for the Doc, if that’s OK with you, Nurse Friendly.
Phase two, complete.
I had only waited two hours in the exam room when the doctor rushed-in.
Doctor NTBN: “What’s ailing you this time, Ray?”
Headache, Doc.
Any other pain?
Well, please describe it.
It hurt.
Was it a sharp pain or a dull ache?
At home.
No, I mean where on your body?
Well, I go to lunch in five minutes.
I think you can see where this is going. He didn’t come out and say it, but the doctor thinks I’m a wimp. He’s probably right, you know. I offer no apologies to true wimps who may be offended by these comments. (I don’t have to worry about them anyway — because they’re wimps.)
I left the doctor’s office empty-handed. Not one needless test was ordered. No unnecessary scans or biopsies occurred. No follow-up appointment was scheduled.
My symptoms miraculously disappeared and I returned home to delete the “Bubonic Plague and You” bookmark from my computer.
Mission terminated.
Ray McKeithan is associate publisher of the Washington Daily News. He cannot be reached this week because he is on vacation. He left a very sincere, non-sarcastic message for his reader(s) saying he “wishes you were here.”