Gary James' Interview With Steve Boone Of
The Lovin' Spoonful
In the mid-1960s The Lovin' Spoonful racked up seven Top 10 hit singles, including "Summer In The City", "Do You Believe In Magic", "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind" and "Daydream". Playing bass for The Lovin' Spoonful was Steve Boone, who also happens to be the co-writer of "Summer In The City" and "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice". We spoke with Steve Boone about the Lovin' Spoonful then and now.
Q - Steve, as we speak, there is still an active Lovin' Spoonful that is performing. Where do you perform these days?
A - Well, we just got off a cruise ship which was just a fabulous assembly of groups from our era. The cruise was called the Flower Power Cruise and I think it was Time - Warner that was behind it, but in any event it was really well done. It was on a cruise ship called The Celebrity Summit. In the past when we do cruises usually the cruise promoter, the person who hires the bands, will say buy a thousand cabins. And so there are a thousand other cabins that aren't there for the entertainment. They're there just for the cruise. In this case the boat was entirely sold to people who wanted to go to the Flower Power Cruise. So they got to see not only The Lovin' Spoonful, but Eric Burdon,
The Zombies, The Yardbirds, a terrific Beatles tribute act. I'm not a huge fan of tribute acts, but in this case obviously The Beatles can't perform or don't perform anymore with just two of 'em. So, a tribute act that does a good job, I take my hat off to. Everybody did great performances. The Zombies were especially good in that they introduced some new material that was experimental. It was out of their comfort zone. I liked it. Some in the audience didn't get it, but it was good to see a band of that age experimenting still, so it was a great cruise. On Wednesday of next week I fly up to New York for two shows. One is in New Jersey. Woodburg I believe is the town's name, and the other one is in Westbury Music Fair on Long Island where we've worked before. Of course I have family that live on Long Island so it's a bit of a homecoming. Our spring slows down in April and picks up again in May and June. By the time June gets here, we work. I'm just going to average it out to say three days, maybe four, not days but gigs a month until October and it slows down again until either cruise or casino work. I guess the average for the year probably approaches thirty dates, but maybe would be closer to twenty-five. We haven't filled our schedule out for this year, (2017) so I can't say exactly. Just as much work as I personally want to do and I think I speak for the rest of the band. Everybody in the band has separate things going on that are related to music and so occupation-wise The Lovin' Spoonful is not the only thing band members are doing with their own time. I'm just thrilled to be playing at this age in my life. I'm a photographer that would also like to launch a series of picture books accompanied by little poems instead of a caption. So we're all fully engaged in a 365 day year, but The Lovin' Spoonful probably only occupies 100 of those 365 days.
Q - People will come up to you after a concert and say, "How come we can't hear this kind of music more often?" Are they asking why other bands don't play the type of music you guys used to play or are the asking why The Lovin' Spoonful isn't making more music these days?
A - That's a pretty nice question actually. It covers a lot of bases and I would probably say yes to both parts to that. Here's why: In the 1960s, I have a theory, and it's just my theory, is the factor that makes a song memorable 99% of the time is the melody. The lyrics take a little while for the consumer to digest and listen to and memorize, but the melody is almost instantaneous. I think one of the reasons '60s music is still so well regarded is that it was melody based. Not putting down the lyrics at all, they're just as important, but they take a longer time for the listeners to kind of imprint on their brain. I think today, especially with computer based recording, and I'm a fan of of computer based recording, I make that caveat. With computer based recording the beats are more important and then the lyrics in a lot of the stuff, not all, is mostly poetry recited to a beat. They call it meter, conservative poetry. I think with today's modern music, Rock and Rap, not just Rap, is interesting lyrics. I don't have any problems with the lyrics, but lacks melody. So I think what a lot of people are saying when they make those comments is I try to listen for music today, but I can't remember it. I like it. I hear it. If I don't write the title down I don't remember it because I can't go and recite the melody because there isn't much melody in today's music. So, are people longing for a time past? Our age group are. I notice at shows we constantly get the same remark and that is they just don't make music like they used to in the '60s. Of course, that's not true, but it's a well received comment because the music today you have to search. You've got so many categories. In the days of the late '50s, early '60s, there was essentially Rock, Country and Rhythm And Blues. Those were the three categories. As the '70s came upon us and eventually MTV, there started to become sub-groups, urban this, suburban that, Alternative Country, Alternate Rock, Punk Rock. All those sub groups have fans but they dilute the over-all audience so that there's not really a general category called Rock anymore. It's almost the same with Country and R&B. R&B I think has two distinct categories, the Urban, what we call Rap or Hip Hop, and the traditional R&B like Rhianna and then some of the artists who are the Diana Ross's of today. Then Country has the same thing, but with Rock it's just all over the map. There's all these different categories of Rock music and so people don't know where to go to find it. There's great music out there, but if you're really interested in finding it you gotta get on your computer or your radio, whatever you choose to find your music and really search for it. It's harder for the fan to find music they can remember. I think that traces right back to the lack of melody in computer based music.
Q - Since we're talking about songs, you were the co-writer of two of The Lovin' Spoonful's biggest hits, "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" and "Summer In The City". How long did it take to write those songs?
A - Well, they aren't the same. "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" happened pretty quickly. I was visiting with Joe Butler (The Lovin' Spoonful's drummer) at his girlfriend's apartment in Greenwich Village very early in The Spoonful and they had a Baby Grand there and I was fooling around with a riff that I had heard, that I had created in a recording studio. A piano riff. I was playing it and Joe said, "That's a great sounding melody. Do you have any lyrics for it?" I just came up with this "You didn't have to be so nice, I would have liked you anyway." I was thinking in my mind about this girl I just met that other guys in the band tried to set me up with. She was a great girl. We actually became great friends, but we never hit it off romantically. I went to
John (Sebastian) with the beginnings of that song, the melody, the rhythm and the first line and a couple of other lines and then we finished the song pretty quickly.
Q - Does that girl know that song was written about her?
A - Eventually, yes. She has an interesting history. She was a friend of Zally's (Zal Yanovsky, The Lovin' Spoonful's lead guitarist) from Toronto, Canada. Zally was the one who tried to set me up with her. When she came to New York to visit we had a wonderful visit. She was gorgeous. Absolutely no strikes against her. She was a terrific looking girl. She ended up having a baby with
Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Her name was Naree Wilde. She did know eventually that the song was written about her. So it's a very neat little story. I've heard a lot of people tell me how much that song in particular stands out from The Spoonful repertoire for being very heart felt. A lot of people really relate to the lyrics in that song. "Summer In The City" on the other hand had a much different genesis. Mark Sebastian, John's younger brother, had written a song. He was seven or eight years younger than John, so he was an early teen when he wrote it. It was a little awkward in it's structure. It didn't really have a beat that John felt good about. So John encouraged him to bring the song to the band, which he did and then John stepped in and on the structural changes to the lyrics, my contribution was in the recording studio. This all took place over months. It didn't happen in just one week. Maybe early '66 Mark came with the original song and by April I think when we started recording it, it had been though several iterations and restructuring. Then in the studio I contributed my part which is mostly instrumental to the structure of "Summer In The City". So, they're vastly different in how they came about. In fact, most of the Spoonful songs had that as how they were done. They were all done differently. Say, "What A Day For A Daydream", I think John wrote that in half an hour on a tour bus. So there's no one way that Lovin' Spoonful wrote its material. It seemed to be whatever fit the occasion is how it turned out.
Q - The Lovin' Spoonful were "discovered", for lack of a better word, in a New York City club called The Night Owl. You almost had to be in a big city like New York at that particular time in history if you wanted a record deal, didn't you? You couldn't have been in a smaller city and expected record executives to come in.
A - Yeah, that's very safe to say. Outside of those boundaries a few acts did emerge, but for the most part, it was New York, L.A., Nashville in those days and Miami. Bur really Miami was a junior player. It was New York, L.A., Nashville. Of course all the cities of any size had their own little music scene, but there was very little industry, in other words offices by the big record companies in the U.S. Of course you got over to the U.K. and Europe it was different. They had offices in a lot of places. In the music business in the '60s it was those three cities and that didn't change really much until the late '70s. Then Miami became a big time player. Philadelphia had it's time. San Francisco of course did in the late '60s. Chicago had its scene. Then after MTV, Austin, Texas and other smaller but still very important cities had their own music scene, but you're right, in the 1960s it was the big three.
Q - In 1965 Warner Brothers and Columbia wouldn't sign The Lovin' Spoonful because you weren't British. But at that time
Sam The Sham was on the charts with "Wooly Bully" and that wasn't a British act.
Sir Douglas Quintet was on the charts with "She's About A Mover" and they weren't British. So what were those people talking about? The charts weren't dominated by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
A - In fairness to the comment, it was an off-handed comment made by Joe Smith of Warner Brothers and it may not have been company policy. It was just, "I love these guys. I can't sign them." It wasn't because we weren't British, it was because we didn't have a British accent. What that meant was a record company signs a band not only for their music, but for their marketability. They have to look pretty good. They have to have a certain professionalism abut them. So I think what Joe was saying was, "Great records, but how am I going to get them through an interview if they don't sound like Liverpool?" Again, it was an off-hand comment and I'm certain there were many acts out there, The Beach Boys being one, that prevailed all the way through The British Invasion. But having said that, you've got to remember now that in 1965 there was no such thing as an L.P. I mean there was, but it was for Jazz and Classical. Rock bands played singles. That's what you did and you put out an album with nine crappy cuts and two hit singles on it. So the business was changing. We were offered a contract by Elektra Records which was a very high-end company. They were a Folk based company. Joe Holzman was a friend of the band and we turned them down strictly because we didn't think they could get records on AM radio. FM radio had not become a player in Pop music. It was a player in, like I said, Jazz and Folk and Classical. We didn't think Elektra could get our songs on AM radio the way Capitol got The Beatles on and the way other labels got the other bands on. I think by and large we were right. Elektra would've been a classy label to be with, but probably at the end of the day we would've gotten paid for the record sales we actually generated. But that's neither here nor there. At the time in 1965 we wanted to get on AM radio and really disc jockeys probably bought more into that off-handed comment about not having British accents than any record company executive did. They didn't want to interview a band that didn't sound like John, Paul, George and Ringo. They wanted to interview bands that had that Liverpool accent.
Q - That's interesting. Back then it was so important to have the right accent so your records could be promoted, especially to the disc jockeys who would then interview you. I would've thought it's all about the music.
A - You would think that, but it's not true. Record companies and DJs were not the same animal. Record companies had to crunch numbers. DJs had to crunch listeners. They had to keep listeners interested. Let's face it, Sir Douglas and Sam The Sham were interesting, but by and large they were more interesting for their personalities. They were both outsized personality organizations and so they didn't have to compete with The Beach Boys because they had their own little niche, but for the bands who wanted to break through in say 1964, 1965, that were American, it really helped to have something going for you that was a little different than two guitars, base and drums. So it was a complicated time. Our choice to go with Kama Sutra (Records) was based, not all, but pretty largely on the fact that these guys knew the biz if you know what I'm saying. They're Brooklyn born guys. They were rough and tumble. They knew what they had to do to get records on the air and they did. They delivered for us. Our first seven hits all made the Top Ten and our first nine all made the Top Twenty. So that's a pretty good track record that I doubt Elektra could have delivered, maybe not even Joe Smith at Warner Brothers. It's hard to say because it was so competitive, AM radio. You had disc jockeys like Murray The K, Cousin Brucie, people like that, that were personality guys. They wanted to be the fifth member of the band no matter what band it was. So you needed a combination of not just a great record. Unfortunately I always thought the music should speak for itself, but it did not. It probably still does not. If you look at Rap music, a lot of it is all personality based. There's not a whole lot of talent in some of these artists because they're using a computer to create their records. I guess you call it a talent, but they're just such out-sized personalities that they get air time and they get face time and they get all this time without really having to create masterpieces. I think a lot of things have changed, but one thing that hasn't is the loudest voice in the room gets the most attention. That's always been the case.
Q - You had three days to record and mix the "Daydream" album. If you had three months, would there have been any difference?
A - Well, you asked a heck of a question for The Lovin' Spoonful. They had us on the road so much, working, traveling, away from home, away from the studio, that I doubt the scenario you mentioned could have been possible. We were booked in advance obviously, so finding a week when we could get home, get a good night's sleep in our own bed and then go into the studio for three or four days... Of course our producer didn't have to go on the road. He could take longer to mix it, but getting it recorded really required, and remember eight track was just breaking in. Four track was the standard. So there wasn't a lot of over-dubbing you could do. So really, we were tight as a band. One thing I should tell the audience at our shows is that in the late '50s and 1960s most bands that had hit records did not play on those hit records. They'd come in and sing over tracks created by studio musicians.
Q - Right. The Wrecking Crew.
A - The Wrecking Crew being one. The Lovin' Spoonful with no exceptions in the rhythm section played on ever single one of our hit records. Joe and I played on the rhythm track of every one of The Lovin' Spoonful's records. So we were tight as a band. Joe and I had played together for three or four years out on the Island (Long Island) in a cover. We were tight. We could go into the studio and as long as the songs didn't have to be taken apart and reconstructed again, we could get ten to twelve songs done in three days and the economics of scale to take us off the road and put all those people associated with it out of work, managers, tour people, all the people that have to be paid out of the band's touring, out of work, would have been a hardship. So I would have loved to have the liberty to say Fleetwood Mac had in the '70s and the Eagles had in the '70s to take months with unlimited tracking. By the time the '70s rolled around, twenty-four track was becoming a standard. It was just a luxury time. You could sit down and have your bass part to perfection because you could go over and over it and take the best of eight different attempts. That wasn't possible in the mid-1960s because by the time you did the rhythm section on two tracks, scratch vocal on one track and you're doing four track, all you've got is the musical instruments. You can start balancing down with a good engineer or producer but you're running out of tracks pretty quickly. There's not a whole lot of chance to sit there in the listening room and say, "Well, I don't like that note on the second chorus." So really the answer to your question is that was a great album. It came out good. It could've been better absolutely if we'd had eight track for the whole entire album, if we'd had computer based technology to be able to really fine tune things, but like they say in drag racing, you run with what you brung. What we brung is we had five days off and maybe we had three and a half, four days in the studio out of those five days to record the album. So, we did. You do what you gotta do, obviously.
Q - Bob Cavallo was your manager?
A - Yeah.
Q - He ended up being a promoter?
A - He actually ended up his career as the Chief Executive Officer of Walt Disney's music operation. He had quite a career as a manager and as a promoter, yes, and he took over Hollywood Records for Disney. Then he ended up retiring as the Chief of Music Operations for Disney. He was quite a powerful man in the entertainment business.
Q - Had you gone to Bob Cavallo after having these string of hit records and said, "Bob, we need more time in the studio," what would he have said to you? Doesn't the manager work for the band?
A - Well, of course. And that's fine in hindsight to say that. We did say that. I can't remember a time when we weren't complaining about the lack of down time and home time and more time in the studio. Like I said, you're presented with a time table and a schedule. Now, what comes first? The chicken or the egg? Do we do 'live' shows or do we make records? Of course one depends on the other. But to have a 'live' schedule you have to book out a year in advance and so, where does the record come in? Now, this is just germane to the 1960s. Everything changed in the 1970s. After Woodstock, all the big money people realized this is not a niche. Rock 'n' Roll is huge. It's the biggest segment of the entertainment business. That changed everything in itself, how Woodstock changed the money dynamic. Prior to that it was still considered a fad. By most big players the 'live' entertainment was more important than the records. I know that sounds odd, but that was where they made their money. So, until Woodstock if you sold a million albums, that was what they called a Gold album, that was considered phenomenal. Nowadays bands sneeze and sell a million copies. Everything changed after Woodstock. Prior to that we could complain all we wanted about having more time, but there wasn't more time. There just wasn't. It was either give the finger to the 'live' audiences and the promoters that were buying this, which meant that they would not buy again because we turned them down, or find a slot on the schedule where we could slip in. Like I said, the album came out pretty damn good. Would it have been better? Of course. Could it have been worse? Yeah, absolutely. But at the end of the day the "Daydream" album was a pretty good album. "Hums" was even better. Everything played suffered for other reasons, technical reasons, not the material. But "Daydream" in particular was really our coming of age album because the first album, "Do You Believe In Magic", we were still feeling our way around the studio and the band itself. To answer your question, of course we would've liked more time and of course we could've gone and stomped our feet and had a temper tantrum in front of Bob. Bob was about our age. He wasn't somebody who spoke from a pedestal, "Now listen boys." He was just a few years older than us and a good guy. Bob was the initial reason the band was successful. He stuck it out when nobody wanted to sign the band. He hung in there. So it wasn't like we had this acrimonious relationship with our manager. It was just the politics of scale. Either you don't do the 'live' dates or you don't take two weeks or a month in the studio. At the end of the day we tried to find a compromise. That's really what it boiled down to.
Q - It took The Lovin' Spoonful twenty-five years to get royalties from your record company? That means you depended on the 'live' shows to make a living, right?
A - Well, that's right. And in 1968 John left the band. Zally had already left a year earlier. Joe and I and Jerry Yester carried on with another single, "Never Going Back", which didn't do as well as it deserved, but it did get on the charts somewhat. (Billboard #99 in July, 1968) But really, after 1969, prior to Woodstock, I had already committed to producing an album for Mercury Record. I stopped doing tours with The Lovin' Spoonful in the Fall of 1969. So from that point until 1991; well, in 1967, the band re-signed an additional contract on top of the existing one. That additional contract called for seven albums to be done. We got a fairly large cash advance to do it. But by today's standards it was piss in the bucket. It was hardly anything. But by the standards of the mid-'60s it was a good chunk of cash. Whenever we would enquire to the record company, "Where's our royalties?", they say, "You haven't sold enough records to pay back the advance." We kept trying and trying over the years. When you make a deal with the devil, I'm making an analogy here, I'm not calling Kama Sutra the devil, we knew these guys played rough and tumble. They were not choir boys that ran Kama Sutra Records. So when you come after someone who's not a choir boy, they're going to pull out their fist and punch you right in the nose. That's what happens. And so, we got punched in the nose, not literally of course, but just told to forget it. And there were other contractual reasons why they weren't delivering any royalties to us. Were they bonafide? Were they legit reasons? No. In 1991 we finally hooked up with a law firm that had enough strength in their letterhead to make record companies go, "Oh, shit. These guys are for real." And so we got a settlement out of the current record holders. Then in '93 SONY and RCA bought the catalog and from that point on it's been great. They pay us on time. We have a fairly nice contractual arrangement with SONY. But during that period between '67, when the new contract was signed, and '91, I had already gone on to other sources of income. John had pursued a solo career. Joe had gone on to Broadway with the original production of Hair and Jerry is a multi-talented guy, and Zally was in Canada having a great career working with Kris Kristofferson and starting his own restaurant. Jerry is just the ultimate, complete musician. He's a musician, a vocalist, an arranger, a producer. He can do it all. Engineer in the studio. We all had other ways to make money and it wasn't like, "We can't eat tonight because they didn't pay us any royalties."
Q - Did your manager, Bob Cavallo, also go after the record company for unpaid royalties?
A - You would think. He moved to the West Coast in 1969 and at that point I was in the middle of producing this album for Mercury Records. In 1969, early 1970, I bought a sailboat. I'd had enough of it. I bought a sailboat and moved lock, stock and barrel, wife, dog and cat onto a fifty-six foot sailboat in the Virgin Islands and lived down there for almost four years. So, I in my own way was tightening the noose around my financial neck by doing that, but I had just had it. I'd been on the road constantly. I didn't have a personal life. I'm a life-long sailor. I wanted to be somewhere where I had full control of my destiny. So that's what I did. Whatever everybody else did, including Bob, was finding ways to survive, to make money and stay in the business. And they did. Bob went on to become very successful. I'm not pointing the finger at Bob Cavallo. He's a good guy. Just like our producer Eric Jacobson was a good guy. If there's anybody to point the finger at, it's right back at ourselves, the band, for not being more pro-active, but I think you name every band in the record business with that charge.
Q - I keep hearing these stories about bands that were ripped off by their management and cheated out of their royalties by their record companies by the very people that were supposed to be looking our for their best interests.
A - Oh, it's probably worse today because more than anything else those manager record company head guys are honed in the field of battle. They came from being performers. So they know what they can get away with. Because this is a computer based era, we've got performers or artists that couldn't really play a 'live' show if they didn't have all the back-up the record company provides for them in the way of sync tracks, promotion, production gear and video stuff. It's all smoke and mirrors. There's a lot of good music. I'm not putting down today's music. It is what it is, but it's a different world. Back then, The Beatles went from one record label to another 'cause they got pissed off and we could have too. But you don't have that today. Today, you're pretty much an indentured servant. It's just easy to pick apart the flaws of the system, but it's better to have some success than none at all I believe. One thing that has leveled the playing field of course is, I'm going to call it YouTube generically, but you can now in the new era, where singles kind of dominate again, you can pretty much put your own stuff up there if you're clever and if you have a video camera and you know how to play, you can get your own stuff out there. Will you sell millions of records? Probably not, but you can build a career and then you can go to a major record company and say, "Hey look, I've sold 100,000 on my own. Why don't you consider signing me?" And there's a good chance they will.
Q - What kind of venues were The Lovin' Spoonful performing in, in the mid-1960s? Hockey arenas?
A - For the most part in '66, '67 it was arenas, 5,000, 10,000. We did The Rose Bowl. We did a couple of big venues. Like I said, Woodstock changed everything. Up until that it was Madison Square Garden, Westbury Music Fair, places like that. One of the things about The Lovin' Spoonful, we were almost, if not the only Rock band to play colleges. Prior to '65 most universities hired Jazz, Folk and R&B (acts). Rock was not considered acceptable entertainment for colleges in the early '60s. The Spoonful pretty much rode that track, not exclusively, but we were one of the first Rock bands to work a lot on college campuses. In '66, '67 I would say we were on the road 250 days a year. It was an unbelievable schedule we had to keep.
Q - Did you ever cross paths with Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix?
A - In reverse order, me and Zally saw Jimi Hendrix when he was Jimmy James. He was a hired gun for a band in New York City. I forget what the name of the band was. This would've been early '65 and his claim to fame would've been that he played guitar with his teeth. He was obviously a fabulous guitar player. We both agreed that this guy was gonna go somewhere, but he hadn't become Jimi Hendrix yet. Janis of course we ran into on the West Coast. I can say that pretty much in our travels we crossed paths one way or the other with everybody. We did several shows at the Longshorman's Hall in San Francisco, which was the budding flower which became the Summer Of Love. A lot of those bands hadn't even formed yet. The Airplane, The Dead, but they saw us, they heard us. They were in the audiences or they were just getting their bands started. We saw Jefferson Airplane when they were just starting to perform at a nightclub in San Francisco. We crossed paths with pretty much all of the music acts of the day.
Q - Jim Morrison?
A - Yeah. Two sisters who were girl friends of mine in New York City dragged me literally to this nightclub, Vyanos on the East side. They said, "You gotta hear this band." I frankly wasn't very impressed. Paul Rothchild was a very close friend of John Sebastian. In fact, he was the reason Jac Holzman and Elektra Records wanted to sign us. Paul saw how good the band was going to be very early on. So, Paul Rothchild was The Doors' producer. I mean, they made great records, but at the time they were still a little rough around the edges. I didn't think much of 'em, but Paul and his sister, Karen I think her name was, they loved 'em. They thought they were the next thing to the Holy Grail. I met 'em all and shook hands.
Q - You were living in Florida for a time, then you moved to North Carolina. I guess Florida got too populated for you?
A - It's a combination. Fort Lauderdale, where I was living, I just visited there this past weekend. I love Fort Lauderdale. I'm a sailor. It's the sailing capitol, if not the world then the Southeast. But yes, I had a wonderful house in North Fork of the New River, but you had to plan your trips to the supermarket. The traffic got so heavy. It was very crowded on the highways. It got very stressful. It was just not a comfortable place. Really I was enjoying my time there because I was involved in community organizations and we started an environmental committee that had done some nice projects. In 2005 one of the guys in the band that I had produced after Spoonful for Mercury (Records) and he was also the manager of my recording studio in Baltimore, invited me up to visit him in North Carolina on the July 4th weekend in 2005. We went on a whim, literally on a whim we bought an eleven acre property out in the pine barrens of coastal North Carolina with the intention of building a house and a recording studio out in the woods. So we put our house out on the market in Fort Lauderdale and moved up there, but right at the time we moved up, the early days of the recession were hitting Florida real estate and I couldn't sell my Florida house for three years. It practically bankrupted me 'cause we had to support the second property in North Carolina and we couldn't get financing to build a studio. So by the time 2010 rolled around we moved back to Florida, but this time we moved to St. Augustine where I grew up as a kid and had a wonderful young life in St. Augustine back in the 1950s. Then I rented there for a couple of years 'til the dust settled on my whole financial thing. By the time that happened in 2013, St. Augustine was starting to get crowded, (laughs) if you can believe that. It's a tiny, little town. But it was getting too crowded and a very expensive place to live, so we moved down the beach to a great little town called Flagler Beach, which is half way between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, right on the Atlantic Ocean on a barrier island. And that's where we are now and very happy to be here.