Initially, I thought I’d write a blog on the epic achievements of Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Like you, I’m sure, I pondered the possibilities: concentrate on Gary’s troubled relationship with his pap, Jerry, or focus on one of his uber hits… “This Diamond Ring,” “Count Me In,” or (my fave) “Save Your Heart For Me.” But then, remembering the moment when, a new resident of Rockland County, sliding down the hill to the high school baseball field to assume my position in center field as a member of the Senators, the Babe Ruth team I belonged to, I thought of Marty Toole.
Ah, fuck Marty… I met him that year; I guess it would be 1966. After a high school career that included acceptable stats as a halfback, wrestler, and reasonable performances as a pull hitter on the baseball team, Toole X (as we called him back in the day) would end up being voted best looking in our high school class. What? What about the alternative types…the girls who listened to Jesse Colin Young and The Youngbloods paid attention to those guys, right?
Steady now… ultimately, it does all come back to Gary Lewis, and the time in American history when a young kid, devoid of talent to a nearly perfect degree, was able to insert himself into popular culture and stand at the top of the mountain for two or three years.
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