I have written before about Noel Katz, our music director, who was with us for as long as the Chainsaw Boys were active. However, occasionally, he was unable to play for us. When that happened, we were honored to have the wonderful Doug Nervik.
Doug was an incredibly talented improviser and accompanist, and a genuinely decent human being. Sadly, we have since lost Doug and the world is poorer for that. While I could write pages and pages about him, today I will share one story that still resonates with the Chainsaw Boys.
We were rehearsing with Doug, specifically going over our musical forms, all of which were unique to us. I’ve mention the Gospel, our show closer before and we always asked for a something that the audience learned. But when we practice, the accompanist provided the suggestion.
Doug gave us, “Peanuts Make Me Fart.”
Because we are all mature, sophisticated, New Yorkers, so of course we all laughed loud and long. I cannot remember what we did with that bon mot but that phrase has lasted longer than most things we did on stage. If one of us says that to another, it never fails to elicit a smile.
I understand that is an inside joke and it might fall into the “you had to be there” category. If so, think of this as a peek behind the curtain, something that we still think of, even years later.
So thank you Doug, you are still missed.