Kensington - a memoir by Robert Haydon

Kensington - a memoir about growing up in a small town by Robert Haydon

I walked down to the corner of Bexhill and Old Spring Road. It was New Year's Eve, soon to be 1957, and the icy wind caused my eyes to water.  With the Christmas lights still glowing from the front porches and roofs of the neighborhood houses it was like a blurry Kaleidoscope of colors. Sally was upstairs in her bedroom. I could barely see her moving around. And, that was it... the last time I saw her. The next morning we headed for Dallas in our new station wagon with a moving van behind us. The world, as I knew it, had come to an end, and my time growing up in Kensington became a memory that held me hostage for most of my life.

But Dallas was a revelation. One day at my new school the guy behind me in study hall said his fingers hurt from playing the guitar all night. We struck up a conversation and soon we were meeting every weekend at his house to play guitars. His name was Steve Miller, the future Hall of Fame Steve Miller. We put together a band called The Marksmen Combo and Boz Scaggs became our bass player when Buddy Miller, Steve's brother, had to concentrate on college. After Steve left for college, the band kept performing and our good fortune included a short tour with The Beachboys and being the first band to play at the first Dallas Disc-A-Go-Go. The book covers these moments of our rock 'n roll history.

The combination of leaving Kensington and playing rock music was not a good one. I was an extremely unhappy kid, and even after my own hit record, I couldn't get past remembering that other life in Maryland.

This book tells the whole story of the Steve Miller connection, with quotes from Steve, Boz, and other members of the band, but this book is really about being a kid and growing up in an idyllic little town in the late 40's and early 50's. I talk about everyday life and a lot of the special moments I shared with my best friend, Larry. There is a quick coverage of the family genealogy and the story about how my parents met, with the high points and low points of their marriage. But, for the most part this is the story of my return to Kensington after being away for twenty years.