Rubber Puck – Ted: Proudly Not Silent, but Just as Deadly

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[Previously: Meet The Roommates – Scot: The True Leader – Silent, but Deadly]

Scot first met Ted at the Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament in Montreal during the summer of 1978. Both had played on opposing teams in the finals. The two visited in the penalty box for nine minutes (two two-minute roughing penalties and a five-minute minor for fighting). Scot and Ted got along famously right from the get-go. (“Enmity is the heart of friendship,” Rich was to later tell Zig Jones.) But, while Scot turned to music, Ted remained with hockey. At the peak of an impressive playoff run, the puckster received a call from Scot and joined The Roommates. Ted stunned the hockey world when he announced his immediate retirement from the sport.

Literally and figuratively the bassist of the group, Ted attracted a great many groupies. Though they were for the most part female, the most famous one was Jacob Schavel, a male history professor from a famous New England preparatory school. The subject of the respected clinical psychologist Willard Cranston’s treatise on the treatment and cure of “Roommania,” a disease which is said to have afflicted an astounding 75% of the college age population in 1980, Jacob Schavel nearly lost his will to live after Ted left the music business and returned to hockey in 1982. Cranston’s method, apparently successful, has transformed Jacob Schavel into a domesticated, but productive, citizen.

Named in Time Magazine’s cover story on The Roommates as “the cute one” of the group, he more than made up for his baby face with his infamous potty mouth. At least we think it was a potty mouth. Most of the expletives seemed to have been derived from some obscure French-Canadian dialect, although research shows Ted’s only visit to Quebec came during the Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament. In either case, Ted employed his foul vocabulary most famously in the face of critic Turner Master. Master went so far as to phone the band in the middle of the session to tell them to turn their music off. Angered and spitting Gaulic venom, Ted immediately returned Master’s call. Fearing the pre-mature end of their then budding popularity, Frank wrestling the phone from Ted at the first profane utterance and immediately piped in Bobby Darin’s “Beyond The Sea” before hanging up. Moments later the telephone rang again and again it was Turner Master on the end of the line. This time, however, he message was pleasant but terse: “Do you have ‘Mack the Knife’?”

Ted is perhaps best known for perfecting the art of “beat” music. (“We don’t really play, we just beat on the instrument,” said Frank on Rock Waves.) After his powerful forearms smashed the guitar to bits, leaving only the strings dangling from a piece of the neck, Ted then turned on the crowd. To their ultimate pleasure, he would use the limp strings to whip them, often causing severe bruises and lacerations to those in the first few rows. It is revealing of the fans to note that those seats demanded the highest price. After becoming bored with this, he would invariably grab a hockey stick from a nearby stage-hand, and with his photogenic baby-face, sinisterly slap pucks out toward the crowd at a brutally blistering speed of 90 miles per hour.

As one would expect of any member of the band, Ted eventually fled the country. It’s not known which one, but many believe it’s one without an extradition treaty – and access to duty-free Molsons. It’s been said he was closest to Frank, but not even that tragedy could lure him to cross the border.

[Next: Roommates for Sale – Frank: The Designated Driver]

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