Mike's Big Column
PART 11: THE GEMINI, BIG SAL, AND ALTINI'S FAN CLUB

Hey Ya, haven't written in a while. I wanted to clear up something that I wrote about.

It was Petri, Teeter, Brighton, Pero. Now that I think about it, Richie Teeter did the band a favor to fill in whilst they looked for a permanent drummer. Rich was a great guy, easy going and had a great personality. he did the famous Barinelli jeans commercial. remember, 'Barinelli barinelli, oooo, Barinelli.' I still could hear him sing it. He really wanted them to find someone quick, he wanted out in a bad way. I guess because he had other projects or it just wasn't his bag.

That's the only corrections I have for now but I can bet my bottom dollar, it won't be my last!

As Mr. French put it, "What's the matter, having a senior moment?" I had to laugh at that because it is so true. you remember something. Then you write about it. Then you post it. Then you go, I f'd up, it happened like this. then you say, God, the fans must think I am on vitamin Q or something.

I used to like it when we would play The Gemini in Yorktown Heights, New York. It had a good stage, the dressing room wasn't too small and the crowd was just great. The band would usually come in individually. Like the rest of us, everyone had to drive to all the clubs. When Dee got there, he would go straight to the video games. he was like a video maniac. I think the games were Asteroids and Invader or something like that. He would pump $10.00 at a clip and I think a little kid named Danny Stanton would play him every now and then but don't quote me on that.

At The Gemini I found out something I thought was unusual (at the time) for a guy in a band. I am talking to Jay Jay and he says, 'Altini, did you know you look like Luke on General Hospital?' Eddie chimes in and agrees with Jay Jay in his raspy voice. I asked how they knew about G. H. and they said they watch it. I am like, huh? But it made sense. You work all night. You get home at 5 or 6Am. You get up at 1 and there were only 7 t.v. stations on back then. Regular people are at work. You get hooked on the soaps.

I wasn't as outgoing then as I am today. I would get nervous going on the stage. One of my jobs was to get a piece of duct tape, roll it like a long skinny joint and put it on the mic stands. then stick the pics on that. Half the time my knees were shaking. So it was to my great displeasure that when it came time for Mr. French to do his 'buy a T-shirt rap.' He would call me on stage to model the T-shirt du jour and mention that I look like Luke to the audience. Every time we played there after that, whenever I walked out on stage at the Gemini, these bunch of maniacs in the front row would yell out 'Luke, Luke, Luke' with their fists in the air. They were loving dubbed 'Altinis' fan club.'

The Twisted Sister fan is really like no other. They get into the show as much as the band did. The fans would leave the clubs soaked in sweat and exhausted. One night we realized that the regular bouncers weren't working at the Gemini. I think they just hired a new crew and the crew wasn't prepared for a T. S. show or the fans that come to see them. During the show, the band noticed that some people in the crowd were being man handled and thrown out by these guys. Dee and Mark waved Big Sal over to their side of the stage. After a short talk, Sal came back over to Eddies' side. He told me that they wanted the bouncers to cool out and leave our people alone. I saw Sal go over and stop one of the bouncers from beating on one of the fans and the guy started getting pumped up. Sal came back and said 'Make sure the guitars are out of the way, something is brewing.' I remember Little Roger and I think Glenn Golden (Scott Aufner's boys) were with me and I told them to stay behind me. One bouncer came over and took a swing at Sal. Sal grabbed his arm and threw him to the ground. Then a bunch of others came over. Sal went into the corner and kicked and punched his way through them. He literally beat the shit out of the whole squad and the band didn't miss a note. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it for myself.

Afterwards, the club apologized and I guess everything was OK. I don't know how many more times we played that place, if it all but I do know one thing. Someone videoed part of a show we did there because I saw this tape recently. Video was in its infancy and the quality was so so. I particularly like it because Dee had a blow up doll and threw it off stage. After the song was over he was asking were I was. I wasn't at my station, I was indisposed. So he goes 'Where's Altini, where the fuck is Altini?', shrugs his shoulders and says 'He's probably fucking the blowup doll in the back.' So that's my claim to fame if the tape ever goes public.

That's it for today folks.

Next stop: The Old Osprey
Altini

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Animal At Emit's
Part 3: Mike's Big Guitar Debut
Part 4: You're Yelling In My Ear...
Part 5: Security, Peacekeepers and Eddie Kramer
Part 6: Never Buy Lo Mein Fron A Bait Store
Part 7: Greetings from Asbury Park
Part 8: Ah! Hito! Hiata!! It is...Garbage-Ra!!
Part 10: Goodbye, Tony, Hello, Joey... Goodbye, Joey, Hello, Richie...
Part 11: The Gemini, Big Sal and Altini's Fan Club
Part 12: 'Where's My Corned Beef Sandwich??'