This goes back to a conversation I had with Rob Stoner outside the Turning Point Cafe some years ago.
Stoner, former bass player for Bob Dylan and longrunning session man and music industry insider, was at the Piermont venue playing with rockabilly crooner Robert Gordon. I ran into him afterward.
Stoner sang Gordon’s praises and made smalltalk for a few minutes.
Then I had to do it: I asked him about Topaz.
Topaz was a short-lived band formed in the late ’70s by Stoner, singer Jasper Hutchinson and guitarist Billy Cross. They released one vinyl album in 1977 which, for some reason, I purchased and kept.
It’s wasn’t a total lark, by the way. Former Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson appeared on the album, as did drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who played with Journey, Rick Derringer and a host of other noted musicians. Drummer Howie Wyeth, who played with Dylan, was also on the album.
Anyway, I sincerely thought I’d impress Stoner outside the Turning Point. He searched his mind briefly, sporting the kind of expression someone has when confronted with information they haven’t thought about in years – or simply had tried to forget.
But he remembered.
Then he laughed. I’m not sure if it was out of amusement or simply out of pity that I’d actually store such meaningless information away in my otherwise valuable brain. But he laughed, and noted that, other than his mother, I’m probably the only other person on the planet who bought the album.
In fact, the album sold so poorly that it never made it onto amazon.com, nor does it seem to have been converted to CD – something even the Archies managed. Topaz is one of those “lost in time” records – even if I found it.
But I’m sticking to my guns – there are good cuts on the album. Don’t you think Mrs. Stoner?
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