With a complete format change in mind, I started to plan the
marketing for the new station. I needed help navigating the maze of buying
television in Boston. I turned to my former promotion director from WHDH, who
after much hard work, expended energy and sheer determination had turned
herself into the top billing account executive at Channel 5. Lee helped me plan,
place and spend the budget.
Late one snowy, dark Friday afternoon we finished the TV buys,
as we were walking out of the Prudential Center, I said to her, “Big weekend?”
Lee said “my sister and I were going to have dinner and then see Toni Lee
Washington at Johnny D’s, but she couldn’t back from DC in time.” (Lee’s sister
was the Chief of Staff for Congressman Joe Kennedy) “I’m heading home, but, wait
a minute, I’ve got the tickets, why don’t you come with me?” So off we went to
Red Bones in Somerville, had dinner and then walked through Davis Square to Johnny
D’s. We got to the club early, grabbed a table close to the stage and next to
the dance floor, had a few cocktails and caught up on the news about our old
staff members from WHDH. There we were, middle aged, well dressed and
surrounded by hipsters, students and 60’s relics all gathered to hear the “Queen
of the Boston Blues”. Did I mention Lee is black?
Toni Lee fronted an 8 piece band and kicks ass, big time.
Soon Lee and I were dancing on the packed dance floor, after 30 minutes, Toni Lee
showed mercy on her fans, she mellowed into a slow, grinding version of Wilson Pickett’s
Midnight Hour. As we danced I came face to face on the dance floor with a white
kid wearing a Harvard Crew T-shirt, his partner was a gorgeous Halle Berry
look-a-like. As we faced each other he gave me the thumbs up.
When we sat down at the break, we noticed young Mr. Harvard and
his date standing up drinking their beers. Lee said, “They look like nice kids
let’s invite them over to sit with us.” We did and they were nice kids. We
drank and danced and talked about life.
After the next set, I got up and headed for the men’s room.
While I was standing at the urinal, a typical “Masshole” stood in at the next
urinal. He turned to me and said, “You and your old lady got a couple of good
I almost pissed on my pants, only in Boston!