Story Walk: stage

Story Walk: "stage"

On the Road with Gap Mangione by Gap & Artis Mangione


Artis Mangione: When I was little, most kids at that point in their life are going to summer day camp, summer camp, summer something. So the first day of school you’d always write the essay on “what you did this summer.” And, I never went to camp, I went on the road.


Gap Mangione: On tour.


Artis Mangione: I wasn’t Jack Kerouac, I was just a kid in a Volkswagen camper bus with a pop top, driving across the United States, and rather than having the AAA guide we were on a band itinerary. And we were in this little van, and  spent a lot of room, time at a little tiny table like this, playing backgammon and eating sandwiches on the road and then hearing music at night and sleeping in. But it was a blast. First of all I was so thrilled we were having so much fun. Then I got to hear music every night, we got to play during the day, and I got to see the country.


Gap Mangione: That was one aspect of those summers. When I was playing in a variety of fairly small venues, but the other aspect of course was the touring with Uncle Chuck and the orchestra. So we would be in this gigantic, pretty much rock tour. And you and Jason would be seated next to me on stage during that time because I would never hire or even think about having a babysitter. I decided it would be much more fun part of your experience and education to know what it’s like there. You know what it’s like from the audience, many people do, but there is nothing like experiencing it from the bandstand.


Artis Mangione: It’s like A&M Studios, I remember you went into a meeting and then you came back and said “So what did you do?” and I said, “We sat here, but I think The Carpenters just walked by.”  


Gap Mangione: And then the time when Chuck threw a Mangione picnic party on the A&M lot. And cooked Mangione homemade Italian sausage for the entire lot. And I walked up to my father at one point in time and I said, “Dad, do you know who that was that you just gave some sausage to and had the conversation with?” He says, “No.” And I says, “That was Carole King.” And he looked at me and said, “Well, why didn’t she say so?” Which I thought was perfect. Yeah, right, how else would he have known?