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Highway to Purgatory

Highway to Purgatory
Highway to Purgatory
internet/Rus Pishnery

(Note; The following column was inspired by a real junior high band, “Big Ken & the Bundogs”, featuring Dave Lambros, Kenny Belmont the late and great Marco Jeffries. Love you guys.)

Highway to Purgatory
internet/Rus Pishnery

Back in the day during the late sixties I, like a bunch of junior kids joined a band. It seemed like a good way to get chicks in trainer bras and smoke cigarettes under the bleachers at the time. We weren’t very good at the time but we did manage to get a couple of gigs and our set was highlighted by a fifty-one minute cover “Smoke on the Water.”

It was me, Marv, Jaimoe on percussion and Maria on flute, hurdy gurdy and tambourine. We were simply called “Purgatory”

By high school we had broken up and after college we went our own ways. It was a shame. We had always dreamed about packing up the VW bus and traveling around the country playing in bars and honky-tonks, staying at Howard Johnson Motor Lodges and eating Big Boy Burgers at Bob’ Big Boy. Marv and I even teamed up to write song about, “Got my HOJO workin”. That was after we wrote the best tune I still to this day have ever heard. I don’t know why we couldn’t get it on the radio. It was titled, “I Love You So Freaking Much I Could Crap.” And that was the cleaned-up version. Our music was best described as syncopated acid, country-rock rhythm. We were trailblazers.

Anyway, thirty years later I get a call from Marv and he says we’re getting the old band back together. This was about a year ago. We practiced a few times in my garage and before I knew it, Marv had gotten us a gig at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong. We even stayed at a Howard Johnson Motor lodge and get this, they had a Big Boy right on Kowloon Peninsula! How cool is that? With our cover of “Smoke on the Water, a thirty-seven minute jam of “Stairway to Heaven” and an encore of “Sunshine of Your Love”, we totally blew them away.

Fast forward to this summer and we have gigs lined up at the National Hamburger Festival in Akron, Ohio, where I’m sure we will have access to Big Boys. We also are headlining the RC Cola and Moonpie Festival in Belt Buckle, Tennessee in June and Night of the Radishes in Oaxaca, Mexico. Nothing like a Noches de Rabanos south of the border.

So the VW is packed up, instruments packed up and we’re ready to hit the road for the summer. By the way, we have rebranded ourselves as “Sons of Purgatory” and next summer we will be “Return to Purgatory”. All the time staying at a local Howard Johnson Motor Lodge and dining in a local Bob’s Big Boy.

Clam strips are actually slices of the "foot" of large sea clams, also known as surf clams, bar clams, hen clams, and skimmer clams. They can be up to nine inches in diameter, and are found from the shoreline, to about 120 feet down.

They're harvested with dredges -- giant scoops with high pressure water jets.

HOJO’s Clam Strips

1Lb. Deep Sea Clams, Cleaned and Cut into Strips.

1/2 Cup Finely Ground Saltines

1/2 Tsp. Crushed Fresh Parsley

Dash of Sea Salt

1/2 Can of Evaporated Milk

After you've cut the clams into strips, place them in a bowl of ice water and chill them for an hour .Then remove them from the water and dry well on paper towels. Now dip them in a bowl filled with the evaporated milk. Let them sit in the milk for about 5 minutes.

Toss the remaining ingredients together in another bowl, and dip each clam strip into the bread crumb mixture.

Deep-fry in canola oil that has been preheated to 350 degrees.

They should be thoroughly cooked in about 1 1/2 minutes. Serve immediately with lemon slices and tartar sauce..

Check out the slideshow for some highlights of the tour.

See you at a local festival everybody.

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