This is the final chapter in the long story about my friend Giorgio Moroder. We had finished recording the Germersheim rock festival, returned to the network headquarters in Frankfurt with many hours of tape. The quality of that tape wasn't great and the German engineers had rejected it for network play. On my way out of the building I let my friend, newscaster Milt Fullerton, in on my little secret about having long hair, disguising it under a short hair wig, and Milt immediately went to the commanding officer of AFN and ratted me out. It was Tuesday, May 23, 1972 the day I returned from the festival and got back to Munich. Hot on my agenda was finding a place to build a new recording studio with Giorgio Moroder. Terri and I had looked at quite a few places but on that very day, found exactly what we were looking for. A beautiful large home in the Munich suburbs with a large garden and, most important of all, a big basement where we could build a studio. The landlord had no problem with us running a business out of the place. We grabbed Giorgio and Pete Bellotti to take a look. They loved it and Terri and I signed a 5 year lease with the owner. Things were moving along nicely. Construction on the new studio could begin immediately. I would be released from the Army within 30 days. The following Monday I was surprised to see AFN's commanding officer in the building. I was the morning DJ, responsible for a program called the Dawn Patrol, and if you're interested, you can click here to hear a very tiny segment of my saying goodbye to listeners to that program. I am only on about the last 5 seconds of this clip. When I got out of the studio that morning, there was a lot of activity around the Colonel's visit and I was surprised when I was told to go report to him in the office (kind of like going to see the assistant principal at school). This wasn't good, no doubt, and my heart was in my mouth as I stood before the colonel, Neil Fontaine the station manager and the German secretary from the front office taking notes. I was standing at attention after having saluted the colonel and he spoke. "Take off the wig". Uh, oh. That was the last thing I thought I would hear. I slowly reached up and took off my short hair wig. Underneath the wig was my real and longish hair, bobby pinned up like a girl. "You look like an idiot." I felt like an idiot. "You have been a pain in the side of the army for several years now. We've tolerated your shenanigans because you're a good announcer. But now it's over. You have 6 months left in the service and that gives me the right to try and fix your attitude for your own good." "Sir, respectively, I am scheduled to be released in a few days here in Germany." "Yes, I know. I've rescinded that order and you are to be transferred to Fort Benning Georgia immediately. There you will serve out the rest of your time in the hopes we can turn you into a good soldier. I really should put you in the brig but I think this may be worse." Panic set in. This man had absolute control over my life. I had just signed a 5 year lease on a home, a handshake agreement with Giorgio Moroder and this was intolerable. "Sir, if you don't let me out as agreed I will burn down this network." "Son, I am going to give you one more chance. For your own good I have contacted the commanding officer in Fort Benning and asked him to make sure your life is a living hell. You're not going to burn down anything. Your ass will be on an airplane tomorrow morning at 0600 hours and we are done. Dismissed." And true to his word, my ass was on a plane leaving from Frankfurt the next morning. My personal effects were scooped up by a moving company and unceremoniously delivered to Columbus Georgia in a large box. The tapes were all there, the mixing console and other electronics stayed a part of AFN, gone forever. I never had a chance to say goodbye to anyone, I was just gone, my hopes and dreams of a recording studio and a life with musicians dashed. Terri has never forgiven me for blowing the gig.
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