Terry ("TK") Kellman here, Bobby's guitarist. Remember me?
Just a line to let you (and Dodd) know how much I enjoyed his open
letter on your site.
Bobby and Dodd (we called him "Moose" back then, God knows
why) would come up to Las Vegas and sleep on an old mattress in the
spare room of my old rented house on Vegas Valley Drive. The plan
would always be to arise early the next morning, jump in the car and
meet the rest of the band at Lake Mead, where we would "work"
on getting B.D.'s ramshackle boat in shape.
that the boat was a project that existed for the sole purpose of spending
father and son time with Dodd. There was never a chance that this
sorry vessel would acually make it out on the lake. Devoid of a working
engine, and in desperate need of cosmetic surgery the whole thing
would have been a waste of time had not we enjoyed hanging out on
the thing, drinking beer, male bonding, and bullshitting each other.
talk over and over again about the reason behind his almost superhuman
efforts to continue working concerts despite his illness; It all boiled
down to one reason: Dodd.
lecture us on the importance of relationships and about how Dodd was
the most important thing in his life and how every cent he made from
his career would go into investing in Dodd's future and how he didn't
know how much time he had left but he intended to make the best of the
situation cuz it didn't matter that he had to suck from an oxygen tank
three or four times a show as long as he knew Dodd was being taken care
of at the end of the day.
I was only
23 then, full of myself and brimming with irrelevance, but I remember
being touched by his dedication and so very impressed by the man. He
could easily have afforded a new umpteen foot Sea Ray and he and Dodd
could have merrily sailed out onto the lake and leave any pretense of
"fixing the boat" behind them. But somehow Bobby knew that
old junker would carry he and Dodd and the band and myself much farther
and closer than a new one could.
I have no idea if Dodd even remembers me or these little sojourns. Since
then I have traveled a lot of years and worked with many celebrities,
but I've not had any contact with Dodd since his father's death. I've
seen an occasional interview where he says he remembers little of that
time. I remember almost every moment. There has never been a man so
pivotal in my career or in my life as Bobby Darin. In so many small
and giant moments he became a surrogate father, mentor, and friend.
I could tell you lots of stories. Personal ones; but now is not the
time, so let this small one do for now. Suffice to say that my only
regret in knowing and working with Bobby Darin was not having the time
or the sense to tell him how much I loved him. I'm sure the rest of
the people he touched feel the same way.
to Dodd and good luck with the film.