As told to: Dave Bidini
FRED STANFIELD: Schoney was the biggest Beatles fan I’ve ever seen in my life. He knew every Beatles song written. He and Jimmy Lorentz would bring their guitars up to the room and we’d have a few beers and sing. Big Bert (Gilbert Perrault) was another entertainer, too. He’d been singing his entire life, and when he’d break out his Elvis, people were just in awe. They were floored by this guy, by how good he was.
AL MCDONOUGH: My son Gabe’s a musician. We’ve had a lot of bands stay with us, and when Gabe’s on the road, he’ll stay with them. They’re very supportive of each other. I remember him talking to another band, saying– “Your CD’s great; you guys are gonna be huge!”– and thinking how different it is from sports, hockey in particular, where kids are always saying to each other: “You suck. Our team’s gonna kick your ass.” The way it is in music is the way it should be. You shouldn’t degrade each other. You should show support to someone who’s in the same boat.
GARY GREEN: When I was coaching Washington, a lot of celebrities would drop by: Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen. When Springsteen showed up, I let him and Clarence Clemons into the dressing room. I went to my office for a while, and when I came back Bruce had dressed Clemens up in Mike Palmateer’s mask, pads and goalie gear.
JEFF JACKSON: Al Iafrate was nuts about music. From the second he showed up, you could tell that he was a different dude. Russ Courtnall, Al and I lived together in the Westbury Hotel. Before going to the game, we’d meet in one of our rooms and Al would play this tape really loud on his ghetto blaster– Morris Day and the Time– and we’d walk over to the Gardens. Al was always quite paranoid about losing his hair. He’d come into the dressing room, sit down, take off his ‘ball cap and immediately throw on his helmet. Then he’d get dressed with his helmet on. Other days, he’d actually wear his helmet in the shower. No one even paid attention cause it was just Al.
BUGSY WATSON: Doug Harvey told me a story about Marcel Bonin, the old circus performer who played for the Habs in the 40s. He used to be able to take a bite out of a glass, chew it and swallow it. He was always doing this for the team. One night, on the train, the boys were having a few pops when the Rocket decided that he was going to eat glass, too, just to prove that Bonin wasn’t the only one. ‘Course, he cut the fuck out of his mouth really bad. Doug was laughing when he told the story, but that was the Rocket. He was crazy enough to try anything.
DAVE BIDINI is the co-creator of ‘Slapshot Diaries’ as well as a writer/musician/columnist from Toronto and the author of 12 books.
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