Thanks to all of you for your comments while I was gone.
Y’all are TOO
cool.Back To The Tale…..
As usual, once I started playing, all was right with the world. I’ve always been much more comfortable playing
in a bar or a party than I was attending
either. There has to be
a psychological reason for this but, it’s a fact
. I never could stand crowds….still can’t, but I always LOVED
playing for them.
I had played quite a few songs and was almost ready to take a break when an older guy came up and asked if I knew any Creedence Clearwater Revival
songs. I told him that I knew a couple but hadn’t played them in quite a while. He asked me to try one anyway.
“Honestly, I don’t think I can play one without screwin’ it up but, I’ll try to play somethin’ else you might like.” I told him. Hey... I was trying to be accommodating!
He looked at me and, with a smirk on his face, leaned in close to me.“Just play the fuckin’ song.”
He was so close to the microphone that his words boomed across the room and the guests grew quite….quickly.
“Dude…I haven’t played any CCR in a long time.” I explained. “Give it a rest.”
Of course, as luck would have it…this fat, bald headed prick decided to pursue the matter.
“I’m a friend
of Dan’s…I’m a guest in his fucking HOME
….you’re being PAID
to entertain ME
so….PLAY THE GOTDAMNED SONG!!”
The idiot was obviously high on something!
I laughed as did everyone who was listening to this guy.
“Dude, if you'll leave me the hell alone, I’ll try and play one….OK?”
This seemed to pacify him and he went back into the crowd.
I told the crowd that I was going to try and play a ‘CCR’
song which I hadn’t played in years. Everyone cheered and encouraged me to play it. I told them that I would try to play ‘Proud Mary’
…..everyone hooted and hollered.Miraculously,
I actually made it through the song and, thankfully, everyone was satisfied with the effort. People had sung along and danced during the song and applauded afterwards. I was semi-pleased with the song as was everyone else.
The overweight, overbearing bald guy came storming up to me as I was taking a swig of beer before I played another song.
He leered at me.May I add....I ain't makin' this shit up!
“You fucked up!!”
He stated emphatically.
I found that amusing because I was pretty pleased with the fact that I had muddled through a song that I hadn’t played in years so…..I laughed.“What’s so fuckin’ funny?”
I ignored him and began to play the intro to another song but….this idiot wouldn’t let it go
that YOU FUCKED UP
!!” He screamed.
I stopped playing.
“Look man....why don’t you go sit the fuck down and shut up?” I asked.You would have thought I had smacked him upside his bald head!!“Dan! DAN!! DAN!!!”
he screamed while searching the room for Dan.
….I ain’t makin’ this shit up!!
I leaned into the microphone and mimicked the moron.“Dan! Dan! Dan!”
my voice boomed around the big room and, to my amusement, everyone in attendance followed suit.
Soon, the whole place was chanting Dan’s name."Dan!! Dan!! DAN!!!"
The moron was getting madder as he realized that everyone was mocking him but all he did was stand near the hot tub and jerk his bald head back and forth like a frightened chicken.
Presently, Dan came running down the stairs smiling. He obviously thought everyone was calling for him to join the party. Hell...it WAS
his party right?
As soon as the bald dude spotted Dan, he rushed over to him. As he spoke, the room got quite as everyone was anxious to hear what he had to say.“That fucking so-called musician is being rude to me and he won’t play what I told him to play!”
He almost spit the words out.
A bunch of people began calling bullshit on the guy. Dan walked over to me.
“What’s goin’ on?” He asked.
“That bald guy is a friggin’ lunatic.” I laughed and quickly told him what had happened.
Dan was laughing the entire time I was telling him about it.
When I’d finished, he walked over to the moron and tried to lead him away from everyone else. Of course, the bald dude wasn’t having any of it! He shrugged Dan’s arm off of his shoulder, spun around and charged at me.
I put my guitar down and got ready for whatever this putz was going to do. Thankfully
, he stopped short of coming very close to me and addressed the guests.
“This guy FUCKED UP
the name of that last song!” he shouted and pointed at me. “The name of the gotdamned song is ‘Rollin’ On The River’!!
I swear, you could have literally heard a pin drop for a maybe twenty seconds as the uncomfortable silence gave way to a nervous chuckle which led to murmurs which then turned into uproarious laughter
We were all laughing like mad and it was driving the idiot into fits of rage! He had turned a strange shade of purplish red and was spinning around looking at everyone laughing at him.
Dan walked over to him.
“Tom…you need to go upstairs and lie down.” He said.
“Fuck you!” He shouted. “I’m right! He got the name of the song WRONG!!”
"Tom….the name of the song is ‘Proud Mary’
but….even if he got it wrong, it doesn’t justify you acting like a maniac!” He said patiently.Predictably, ole Tom was not about to give it up.
“I’ll bet you a thousand bucks
that the name of the song is ‘Rollin’ On The River’
gotdamn it!” He said confidently.
“Tom…I don’t want your fucking money!” Dan was starting to show signs of getting seriously
While this pathetic scene was going on, George had sidled over to me and stood there watching the moron.
“Is he right about the name of the song?” He asked in a hushed tone.
“No….it’s ‘Proud Mary’
.” I laughed. “That guy is nuttier than a frickin’ Baby Ruth!”
“You better be right!” He snarled.
“Damn dude…have you lost your mind too?” I asked. “What do you mean?"
“Watch this shit.”
He strode over to Dan and Tom.
“I’ll take that bet!”
Tom looked at him.“I wasn’t talking to you!”
He said indignantly.
Even though George was a small guy, he didn’t back down from anybody
and he had a temper that was the stuff of local legend. I could only watch as he turned from laid back George
into a pissed off Leprechaun!
“Listen here asshole!” He growled. “Everybody is tired of your shit so either call the bet or shut the fuck up!”
Tom was stuck.
“How are we gonna prove who’s right?” He demanded.
I spoke up…into the mic.
“Hey ya’ll what’s the name of the song?” I asked.
Without missing a beat, over a hundred people shouted ‘PROUD MARY’!!
The dickhead wasn’t buyin’ it.
“Bullshit!” He shouted. “That’s not proof!
I want PROOF!!!”
“Let’s look it up on the internet.” Dan suggested. “Surely CCR has a website.”
Dan walked over to a small office off of the main room as everyone followed along. Only a few of us could get into the room but a bunch of folks stood just outside the doorway as Dan sat at a desk upon which sat a computer. After a few minutes of research, it became obvious to Tom that he was wrong but rather than admit it, he became angrier
He snapped and turned to leave the room.
Before he could make it three steps, George growled.
“Hey…where’s my money?”
He asked.“Fuck you!”
Tom said as continued making his way out of the little room.Bad move!
George grabbed him by the arm as he went by. Tom spun and threw and awkward punch aimed in the general vicinity of George’s head.Worse move!!
George easily slipped the punch and spun the guy against the nearest wall.
“Get your hands off me!” Tom screamed like a spoiled kid. “Do you know who you’re fucking with?”
“I don’t give a damn who you are.” George informed him.“I’m a gotdamned State Senator!”
Tom shrieked. “I’ll have you arrested!”
George looked at Dan quizzically.
“Yep.” Dan said with a sad shake of his head.
“Is he a friend of yours?” George asked as he held the struggling idiot to the wall.
“Hell no….he’s the friend of a friend and…as you can see, he’s a friggin’ moron
.” Dan laughed.
“Senator, you’ve got three minutes to get the fuck out of here or, I’m gonna kick your ass
.” He said quietly.
The idiot reached up to grab George’s forearms and tried to struggle free.“If you think you’re getting any money from me, you are sadly mistaken!”
He barked while still struggling against being restrained.
George let go of him suddenly and backed up a couple of feet.
“Just get the fuck out of here.” George ordered him.
The Senator collected himself a bit. He looked embarrassed for a second but quickly got his second wind.“You’re going to be sorry for this!”
He warned as he began to walk out of the room.
“Tom.” Dan called after him.
He stopped abruptly and turned.
“Let me show you something before you leave.” He said calmly.
Senator Tom looked curious.“What?”
“Check this out.” Dan said as he walked out to the main room.
He walked to the middle of the room and pointed to several cameras which were mounted at ceiling level all over the room.
“Oh yeah…there’s two more in the room we just left.” He said.
I’ll never forget the look on that prick’s beet red face! He was humiliated and knew that he couldn’t dare cause anyone any trouble because his tirade had been caught on tape.
“C’mon Tom…you’re leaving.” Dan said.
Just then, George reached out and, in a scene I’ll never forget, he thumped the Senator’s nose.... HARD! It was priceless!The idiot started crying!
gentleman practically ran up the stairs…never to be seen again.
Dan followed him upstairs and within a few minutes, he reappeared.
I was sitting at the bar talking to George and the guys as well as a good looking girl with a strange accent when Dan joined us.
He slapped a wad of money down on the table in front of George.
“The dumbass said to give you this.” He laughed.
George looked at the money and then at Dan.
“I don’t want your
money Dan.” He said.
Dan looked offended.
“It’s not my money.” He claimed. “He gave it to me to give to you!”
“Fuck you…..you’re lying.” George laughed. “That prick didn’t have that much money on him!”
“Gentlemen…ah’ll settle this for yuns!” John C. interjected as he grabbed up the pile of cash. “Ahm gonna take this soiled money off yuns hands.”
“John…I’m gonna break your arm.” George growled.
John shot him a sheepish look.
“Ah’s just tryin’ to help yuns out George.” He drawled. “Yuns ain’t got no call to threaten a feller!”
John put the money back on the bar.
“Shut up John.” George laughed.
“Dan that was a slick move with the video cameras but, you need to turn those sumbitches off while the party is goin' on.” I suggested.
“Hell…the only time they come on
is when the alarm system is activated which is when I go back to Florida in the fall!” He chuckled. “But….he
didn’t know that did he?”
We all congratulated him on his resourcefulness and laughed at the way the Senator had caved in.
“Well…now that the moron show is over, how ‘bout some more tunes?” He asked me.
“Damn dude, I’ve been abused by a friggin’ drunken Senator!” I said. “I need some time to recover. I’m a sensitive musician
“How ‘bout if I buy you a Kamikazi?” He asked.
“You talked me into it.” I said.
After Megan, the gorgeous red headed, green bikini wearing bartender made our drinks, we tossed them back and I got up to play again. Just then the good looking girl with the strange accent walked over and asked me if I could play anything by James Taylor
“Sure, I’d be glad to but you've gotta tell me where you’re from…I’m pretty good at accents but I can’t place yours.” I said.
“South Africa.” She told me but, it came out sounding like ‘Sooth Ahfrika’.
“I like the way you sound.” I said.
She looked at me and smiled.
“I like the way you sound too.” She said.
“Well....this is going entirely too well
so far….let me guess, you’re married or your boyfriend is here right?” I asked. “And if you tell me you’re a lesbian I’m gonna kill myself.”
“You needn’t kill yourself OR
worry about the other two things” She said. “I’m as free as a bird.
Hey! Do you know that song? ‘Free Bird’
I hung my head. Damn…it had been going so well!
“If I tell you that I’ve played that song so many times that I’m sick of it will that come between us?” I asked.
“Well, it’s not THAT
great a song so….I'd have to say no.” She winked at me. “But, if you don’t play some James Taylor, I’ll be mad.” She added with a grin.
“We can’t have that!” I said. “Stay away from those guys…they’re woman beaters.” I added while pointing at the Three Amigos.
“By the way….I’m Ron….what’s your name?” I asked.
“Victoria.” She told me. “But…you can call me ‘Tory’
if you like, everybody else does.” She added.
“Would you mind if I call you ‘Victoria’
instead?” I asked. “Don’t get mad but ‘Tory’
reminds me of that horse faced blonde actress, Tory Spelling.”
“Yes, she does resemble ‘Sea Biscuit’
“Yes she does.” I laughed. “I’ll be back in a bit.”
She stood on her toes and gave me a quick kiss….nothing too serious but….hey, it was a start.
The first song I played was ‘Steam Roller’
and she LOVED
that song. As I played, Victoria moved to a table just in front of me and to the left.The night was looking promising.
After a few songs, I noticed John X. coming back down the stairs with a couple of girls accompanying him. They went to the bar, got some drinks and sat down at a table towards the back of the room. He hoisted his drink in my direction and grinned.
In response, I hoisted my beer and nodded to him.
“Hey ya’ll…..can I have your attention please?” I hollered over the mic while looking directly at John X.He glared at me.
The crowd quieted down quickly.
“I want to introduce ya’ll to one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met and a true American original!” I announced.
John X. had a seriously pissed off
look on his face and was glaring at me as if to say, ‘You’re an asshole’!
I was enjoying this!
“Ladies and Gentleman…it is my honor to introduce ya’ll to John.” I said. I saw John X. collect himself like a professional who was accustomed to adulation but, before he made a move to acknowledge the crowd, I stopped him cold.
“Guys……give it up for my buddy….John C.!!”
I shouted as I continued to watch John X..
People who knew John C. personally and many more who didn’t
know him from Adam’s house cat began hooting and hollering.
John X. went from pissed off
to laughing and pounding the table in two seconds flat. He flipped me the bird
and made a big thumbs up
sign simultaneously..…one with each hand.
John C. however, stepped to the middle of the room and received his applause with a dramatic 360 degree spin while patting himself on the chest and blowing kisses to his new fans.He was eatin’ it up like starving dog.
He began to holler.
“Yun’s like me! Yun’s really like me!”
He shouted ala Sally Field.
After he had gone through his shtick and the crowd had calmed down a bit, John walked back over to the bar. Just as he got there, a cute little brunette walked up and began talking to him.
I put my guitar down while telling the audience that I was going to grab a beer and a Kamikazi. There were no waitresses and hell, it was
a party so…I figured I’d serve myself but, before I could move, John C. shouted out to me.“I got ‘em dude…..I’ll be right there.”
Sure enough, within a couple of minutes he came over with the drinks.
“Ah owe you one big guy!” He grinned. “That little ole gal over ‘ere thinks ah AM
“Ah’m, not shittin’ you dude….if I get laid tonight ah’m gonna build a fuckin’ shrine to yun’s ass!
” He promised as he rubbed his eyes. “Ah think ah’m gonna cry! Ah gotta go now ‘cause yun’s has done got my ass all misty!”
He left me laughing uncontrollably.
Good lord… that boy was ‘OUT THERE!”Side Note:
As I write about John’s words and actions, or a reasonable facsimile of them,
I realize that I can’t relate how funny that little sumbitch is! It wasn’t just his words…it was the total package!
It was his facial expressions, body language, urgency, and his totally uninhibited nature that always floored me. He would say and do ANYTHING
that came to his mind! He just lived on a different plane than the rest of us. As I’ve said before…think Jack Black
and Jon Lovitz
swilling scotch whiskey while speaking with a deliberately exaggerated hillbilly accent and you’ve got John. I’ve never met a funnier guy.Ok….Back To The Story…..
After tossing back the Kamikazi and taking a sip of beer, I looked at Victoria. She was smiling at me and she mouthed ‘James Taylor’
so….can you guess what I played?
I played ‘Goin’ To Carolina In My Mind’
. When I finished the song Victoria blew kisses at me and the crowd applauded.
I looked at John X..He was clapping and smiling. I gave him the universal musician’s look which asked, ‘you wanna play some?
’” He responded with the universal musician’s look that I was hoping for.
It was a slight shrug of the shoulders, with his head tilted almost imperceptably to one side look that clearly conveyed the message, ‘Sure….why not?
I held up a finger signaling him to wait a second.
“Ya’ll, I’m gonna take a little break but, I’ll be back in a little bit and you're gonna love
the next set! Ya’ll are gonna hear a great singer/songwriter in a few minutes.” I announced.
Of course, almost everyone knew who I was talking about.The crowd went nuts!
They were anticipating the next set and believe me….I was too!
I walked over to Victoria’s table and told her that I had to talk to John X. for a minute. I explained the situation.
“He’s gonna play a song or two so, I need to talk to him about what he wants to do.” I explained.
“I understand.” She said. “Mind if I come along?”
“Hell no…come on.” I said.
I then went to John X’s table and introduced Victoria.
John stood up and shook her hand as well as mine.
“Nice to meet you Victoria…..Ron, you sounded damn good! I really enjoyed it.” He said. “I’d like to cut the bass back a bit but….it sounded good.” He added.
“Thanks John…so, you wanna work on the sound before you play a few?” I asked. “Set it up however you want, I’m looking forward to listening.” I added.
He grinned at me.
“Screw that, let’s go outside and lay out a set together.” He declared. “This oughta be fun!”
Having said that, he looked at Victoria and the two ladies seated with him and said.
“Ladies….we’ll be back in a little bit….gotta talk some business.” He explained as he stood up.
He looked at me.
“Let’s go burn one and talk it over….I ain’t playin’ by myself!”
We headed upstairs to the upper deck. I was really hyped about picking with this guy. He really was...IS
......a talented songwriter and one hell of a nice guy.To Be Continued Ya’ll………….