Now, later the same day I find that Howard, too, has moved on, and though I know that many thousands of musicians have continuously made it clear what an inspiration and joy you and Howard have brought to their lives, I regret that I never adequately shared what a huge impact he and you have had on my life.
Then, in 1976, you coordinated the KPFK music festival fundraiser. In the off-chance that you might be willing to consider a complete unknown, I went down to the studio and auditioned. You were both very gracious. Having not done many sit down, office auditions, I played a couple of my best tunes, as well as a pastiche of Mike Nesmith's Joanne (Rodan) the opening line of which I had heard him play on Folkscene a few months earlier. Then, and I don't know why, I played a brand-new song. As soon as I finished, you, Roz, pointed out that the melody was extremely reminiscent of Steve Fromholz's "Dear Darcy," which, of course, it was. At that time, I doubt if even a handful of folk radio hosts would have recognized the source, but you nailed it.
Although I still like my lyrics, I have never found a suitable alternative to the quirky Fromholz turns, so I've never performed it again. Despite my glaring musical faux pas, you not only booked me for the KPFK fair, but you also asked me to come back and record an interview for the show. That radio show and my subsequent performance on the main stage of the festival, in front of four or five thousand people and just before another of my idols, John Hartford, performed, was a personal and professional highlight of a very brief, semi-serious musical career. Within a year, nearly all of the major LA venues had gone rock (Troubadour, Golden Bear), comedy (Ice House), disco (Penny U), or simply folded. I scampered back to teaching, none the worse for wear. Although I did nothing significant with the opportunity you afforded me, I am still eternally grateful for the shot that you gave me.