In June of 1984, I went to work for a video production company in Willoughby. The now long defunct Fryan Audio Visual company had set out to have the only small multi-camera truck in the county. And I helped build it.

We were even unique in the Cleveland area, as no company or TV station had the kind of setup we had. We were able to broadcast high school football games and parades using four cameras feeding into a video switcher. I was usually the technical director operating the switcher. 

We also got called for special projects.

In August we were contacted by a gentleman whose name escapes both my boss at the time, John Washco and me. He hired us to do a multi-camera recording of a musical act at a very popular location.

We were to record a PRIVATE party on a Saturday night at the Cleveland Agora featuring the Happy Together Tour: The Association, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Spanky and Our Gang, and The Turtles.

I was only 22. I had never heard of a private concert like this. Of course, by now I’ve seen The Beach Boys, The Pointer Sisters, Bare Naked Ladies, and Cheap Trick at private events. But those were all connected to a large conference. This Happy Together concert was for a pretty intimate Agora crowd.

It was so intimate and exclusive that each party-goer was invited through a hand-delivered pecan pie with the invitation written on it. Dinner was filet mignon from the grill out on the sidewalk and lobster tails. Everybody got a T-shirt commemorating the event. (see photo)

The crew pulled the truck in for setup early in the afternoon. We had plenty of time to chill and chat with band members and crew as they did set up and sound checks.

We found ourselves in one of the back rooms on a bench smoking a fat doobie that either Flo or Eddie of The Turtles had supplied. It was cool being treated as one of the crew.

We were paid, fed and entertained and even got to mingle a bit with a crowd to which I am not accustomed. But we never saw the video tape. As part of the contract, we had to hand over the master at the end of the night.

Too bad. It would have been great for my professional reel.

But I have always gotten to say…”I partied with the Turtles.”