David Stefanelli. Drummer, percussionist, guitarist, and music producer.



Peter Wolf (Part 3 - First Leg Of The Tour)

With Wolf we toured the places in the states that the J. Geils Band had played and cultivated big successes for years. In fact it was no secret that places like Detroit and Cleveland were bigger markets for Wolf than his home base of Boston. We went to these places and performed quite a bit for those several years I was in the Houseparty 5. Detroit was especially exciting when we played venues like the famed State Theater. ALWAYS sold out and always amazing reactions from the audiences.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am always looking for the comical part of any situation. Levity has always allowed me to venture into places that I probably should have passed over but indeed it's also helped with my neurosis. Instigating fun NEVER to hurt anyone or anything mind you but always a good excuse to laugh or make others laugh. Safe fun. And trust me on this that others in the band loved that I was the instigator for these fun adventures and they were always my willing audience.

I have always loved the after show meets and greets in any touring situations I have been involved in and lucky to have been a part of. My several glasses of post-show libations always loosened me up and readied me for my deity. One particular tour of Detroit with Wolf was exceptionally fun and we were really cooking and connecting both as a band and also with the fans. We were greased as they say. Bob Seger’s wonderful sax man, the late Alto Reed, would join us on stage here and there. It was a great time. It was also a REALLY fun time for me post show.

I remember exiting the dressing room into the “meet the fans” area on one after-show gig. There were always tons of fans waiting to meet Wolf. They would all be there with albums, photos and all types of memorabilia hoping he would sign. Always a bit of disappointment in their faces when it wasn’t Pete exiting the ever protected dressing room door entrance but instead this 5’ 4” drummer with wine glass in hand. (Sauvignon Blanc)

I have always loved music fans. I love speaking with and joking with folks that come to these shows. In this situation they would ask me what it’s like playing with Wolf or what is he like when you all are travelling, etc. These are hard core fans. They are so thankful when you hang out and have a good time including them. It is a bit overwhelming for the stars of the show sometimes being overtaken when they appear in these situations. Peter was always careful and I don’t blame him.

I was doing my after-show thing and having a blast chatting with folks when I noticed this guy and a couple of his pals hanging together signaling me to come over. These were hard core Detroit rockers. One of them sort of limped towards me and extended his hand. “Hey, really great show. You fucking guys laid it down.” I thanked him. He then asked “Hey is Peter Wolf gonna come out?” I replied that Pete usually came out but he does take time to cool down and visit with his close friends and family after these shows. All of a sudden this guy hopping on one leg, reached down and pulled his other leg OFF. Popped it right off! It was a prosthetic leg. His empty pant leg dangled but his Converse sneaker was surly fitted and secured on the fake leg. He says to me “Can you have Peter Wolf sign this for me?

I looked at the leg and there were literally hundreds of autographs on it. “Biilly, Best of luck! - Eddie Money”, “Fly free Bill, - Gary Rossington”, “Keep Rockin’ – Edgar Winter”. On and on the well-wishing messages and signatures went basically covering most of the leg. For such an awful thing to happen to the guy with his leg he was making the best of it. But what in God’s name was I gonna do here? I think it best to state that Peter Wolf is old school and somewhat superstitious. Never can you place a hat on a bed. Never toast with water. Never break a mirror, etc. I wasn't really thinking about what Peter's reaction to me walking in a prosthetic leg for him to sign would be.

I took the leg with Sharpie pen in hand and walked back into the dressing room. I managed my way through the inner sanctum of the sacred dressing room as guests moved away from me not unlike Moses parting the Red Sea once they observed what I was carrying. The leg leading the way like a cow catcher on a train. Wolf was sitting chatting with his pals on a couch. I said “Hey Pete? Can you sign this leg for a fan? He is really excited for you to sign it.” In all honesty I thought that Pete’s head was going to explode. He literally looked as if he had seen Beelzebub himself. He started yelling “Get that thing out of here right now!” As I stated before, I really didn’t think he would react that way to it. I mean I thought about it a bit prior and decided a good decision would be to not escort the fan in personally and have him pop off the leg for Pete to sign.

I can’t remember what happened after with the fan. I did give the leg back and made some sort of excuse I’m sure. There was no plane ticket and pink slip waiting for me so it was an ending that worked for all. I guess. I was lucky and got a leg up on that entire situation and decided not to do any fan favors that involved body parts that can be removed.

{End Of Part 3}

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David Stefanelli, Zildjian endorsed.

David Stefanelli uses TOCA percussion instruments.

David Stefanelli uses Zager guitars.