Situation Normal All Fouled [sic] Up
Wednesday night. Typically not considered Party Night, but when you’re a band on a mission, every night is party night. Tina was menstrual, which usually isn’t a problem, but this was another day. Another day brings another thing. We never know what another thing is until it comes. Another thing is open to interpretation. Another thing can mean anything in the universe. It’s rather broad, on purpose.
The agency sent us out on this gig and as usual, we had no idea what we were getting into. Judy at Jam (the agency) gave us an address and a contact, Jim. In the 80’s, you had to use instinct and judgment to ascertain an idea about things that were about to be thrust into your life. You didn’t have Google.
We arrived early, unusually early, because it was a strange club and we wanted to have plenty of time to set up. Besides, we didn’t have anything else going on.
We’d played shithole dives before, and this was no exception. It had the same smell, state of disrepair and half-assed attempt at legitimacy as any club we’d played. Interestingly enough, we didn’t analyze it beyond that. I wish we had.
Jim wasn’t there yet, but we set up anyway, sound checked and then waited for the throng of appreciative patrons to fill the rafters and cheer us on in triumphant regalia.
Let’s understand something. We were an 80’s Top-40 band. We played Madonna, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club and Thompson Twins. Each of these groups are annoyingly pop and dated, but at the time they were the shit.
What We Didn’t Know
The club, The Silohuette, was a biker bar. A stone cold biker bar. A STONED, serious-as-a-heart-attack, ex-con infested, drug-dealing in the back room biker bar. The patrons were armed. They had to be.
The Animals Sat and Stared
Hairy monstrous masses of men sat in bar stools deciding whether to stay or hurl half-empty glasses of domestic swill at the Annoyance emanating from the familiar corner where music once lived.
Music is interpretive. So many factors in one’s environment determine whether or not one will enjoy a piece of music. One thing was clear on our first set that night, no one was enjoying it.
Aghast and disheartened, we stepped out on to the front landing and took in the 100+ Harleys parked in impervious union. It was our first clue that maybe the 80’s pop wasn’t going to carry us through the night, let alone the weekend. Jim, our contact, gave us the death-stare as we passed by him collecting cover charges from tattoed and large prison muscle dudes entering into the blissful atmosphere we were paid to provide.
We couldn’t change our 80’s costumes, but we could change our tune. So we did.
To Be Continued…