A Change of Name

In Scott's words.....

John and I, with our two friends Bill Cleary and Mike Boran, composed The Smoothies. We were working at one of the last great night clubs, The Elmwood Casino in Windsor, Ontario. We were part of a variety show that was of the big night clubs but which was disappearing quickly. These shows had three acts, dancing girls, and the entire cast took part in elaborate, choreographed stage productions, with every one wearing costumes that related to the theme of the particular production. Naturally, we were the opening act in those days and lucky to have the work. One of the headline acts was a comedy team. I can remember the name of only one of the team -- Jackie Curtis.

As you might imagine, after-show parties were common. At one of these parties I complained that nobody could understand my real name (most people can't understand and pronounce "Blondheim" until they've heard it several times). I further pointed out that this was a definite liability in a profession that benefited from instant name recognition. Everyone started trying to come up with a new name for me.

It was Jackie Curtis who said he thought I looked like a Scottie dog. Phillips came up with Laura's middle name after Jackie's suggestion. I didn't like being called "Scottie" so everybody agreed my new name could be Scott McKenzie.

And then, once again, we merrily drank the night away.

PS: It was at the Elmwood Casino that I met one of my heroes, Jimmy Durante. I still remember the thrill I felt as I looked into his face. The club owner, Al Siegal, Durante and his wife, and I were making small talk in one of the club's banquet rooms when a voice came over the intercom. Without missing a beat, Durante quipped in his trademark gravelly voice: "I t'ought I was at da races!"