I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Part 17
Onwards we went across this great land…
In Detroit I experienced something new: having someone from the club stand lookout with a sawed off shotgun as your gear was loaded out in the wee hours of the morning. I appreciated that the gun was pointed downwards at all times. I sensed that it could blow your head clean off, and personally, I liked my head right where it was, thank you. It wouldn’t be the last time I’d see a sawed off shotgun.
We had a Chicago contingent waiting for us which the band had developed on previous trips. Some of them followed us to Champaign, Illinois where we played the University of Illinois, and Carbondale, where we played Southern Illinois University. I can’t help but notice the irony in the fact that although most rock and roll musicians never attended college, they’ve probably visited more colleges than most other people to play gigs. In the 80’s colleges had budgets to put on rock and roll shows which were great as fill-ins between club dates. The facilities are often cleaner as well as the attendees. As for the staff, the organizers seemed to hand out yellow shirts that said “Security” on them and if you could figure out how to put one on, you could be on the security staff. That seemed to be all the training you needed. I guess they got a free meal out of it…and the t-shirt.
After going through the normal pre-show “what will I wear tonight” period of pondering, I decided to go for a small 50’s bowtie. It worked with my flecked jackets. All of a sudden Smutty yelled out, “Check out Lewis’ tiny bowtie!” Dibbs added “That’s your style Lewis. Stick with that.” Well, I wanted to fit in, and clipping on a bowtie was easy enough, so I stuck with it. “That’s your look. You could be known for that,” said Smut. Dibbs closed the subject with a nodding “Nice,” but when Dibbs said it, it actually sounded as if he was saying “Noice.” It was a phrase he would also use when describing liver and onions. I think my bowtie smelled better but if it was a real sweaty gig I guess that would be debatable
In Minneapolis we played at a club called “Duffy’s”, which doubled as a strip joint during the day. While waiting for the crew to set up for sound check you could entertain yourself by enjoying a cold beverage while being additionally entertained by professional topless dancers. Not amateurs: professionals. Only the best for traveling rock and roll bands.
Smutty carried a phone book with him that also doubled as a diary. I am here now confessing that I looked in it one time. In it he mentioned how happy he was that their old drummer had been replaced by “cool Lewis.” Thanks Smut.
© Curt Weiss 2015