Friday, October 11, 2013

The Rolling Stones -- Monkey Man

This one is going way back.  I was probably 19 or 20 years old.  Back in those days the drinking age was 19 in Minnesota and 18 in Wisconsin.  

It was the summer after my freshman year at the University of Minnesota and my brother Brian and I were heading up to Northern Wisconsin for a 3rd of July celebration.  That’s right, the 3rd of July.  My brother Brian had a buddy from work who had a cabin in this town of Shell Lake, Wisconsin and for some reason Shell Lake celebrated the 3rd of July instead of the 4th.  

It was a family reunion of sorts, my three cousins, Mike, John and Bob meet us there.  All told there were eight young men ready to roll in this one lake town.  We bought a keg, tapped it and settled into the parking lot of the public park near the boat landing (I guess you could do that back then).  It was way before the actual town festivities began so we were just hanging out, drinking beer and listening to the car stereo.

There was a basketball court at the park and I wanted to play some hoops with my cousin Mike.  Mike was a great basketball player and I was no slouch myself.  I had never played with him before and was looking forward to it.  I figured Mike and I would rule the court all day.  But it didn’t happen.  Mike and I should have slaughtered our opponents but we had no Mojo.  I wasn’t hitting shots and we were not communicating.  Perhaps beer had something to do with it?

Basketball was forced to come to an end by Mother Nature.  A big ass thunderstorm was coming across the lake.  Heavy winds, lightning, thunder...the whole thing.  All of us took shelter in this big brick public bathroom.  From there we watched as the storm wreaked havoc.  When someone’s fishing boat went rolling by we boys started hootin’ and hollerin’.  When a lightning bolt practically “clapped” us, we shouted out with drunken cheers again.  This went on for twenty minutes or so when it calmed down and the clouds broke.

When the sun broke from the clouds, we had a pretty good buzz going on and we were starting to get hungry.  My brother’s friend had a buddy who lived in Shell Lake.  I don’t remember his name and never saw the guy again.  But he was a great guy and I recall that his dad played football for the Baltimore Colts in the old days.  Anyway, this guy brought us to a bar in downtown where they were having a pig roast--all you could eat.  On top of that, beers were a dollar. 

The bar owners must have jumped with glee when they saw eight big boys saunter into their little bar ready to spend money.  We chilled in the bar for a couple hours, gorging on pork, swilling dollar beers and playing pool.  Then it was time to head back to the parking lot for the start of the real party.

We were humming along pretty good by the time we got to the parking lot and re-tapped the keg.  The crowd was starting to gather for a country music show that would be playing in the park.  Until that time, however, our rowdy bunch was pretty much the soundtrack to the party.  I specifically recall the defining song of the weekend.  It was “Monkey Man” by the Rolling Stones.  My brother Brian’s buddy and I were singing “I’m a monkaaaaaaay!  I’m a monkaaaaaay, babe!” We no doubt sounded like shit, but who cares, we were having fun.

As the country music band started, we had to tone it down.  We couldn’t have conflicting music.  Our Shell Lake host knew of a party in town.  We probably shouldn’t have piled into our cars but we did and took a drive out into the Wisconsin back country.

When we walked up to the house.  The party had clearly commenced.  Loud music blared from the house, people were shouting and the door was wide open.  We waltzed in to what was the wildest game of “Indian” I had ever witnessed.

For those who don’t know, Indian is a drinking game where each player invents a hand gesture.  When a player is “it”, he has to do his hand gesture and then someone else’s.  That person has to repeat their hand gesture and then do someone else’s.  If a player messes up in the rapid hand gesture gauntlet, they have to drink.  All the time this is going on, the players who are not “it” have to pound their hands on the table.

This was a particularly hearty game of Indian.  It was like out of a Warner Brothers’ cartoon--completely zany.  The participants were pounding the table so hard, the table legs appeared to come off the floor a few times--and it was on carpet.  The beers were splashing onto the table, but miraculously they didn’t fall over.  My cousins and I were standing in awe directly across from this wild eyed bastard.  He was the sansei master of Indian.  He dominated play and was head cheerleader.

We ended up leaving the party soon after we arrived primarily because the last of the beer was bouncing around the Indian table.  Therefore, we got back in our cars and went back to the parking lot.  Things had pretty much wound down at the park.  We were basically the only people left.  We were thinking about packing it in as we sipped one last beer.  But then a pleasant surprise came upon us--two teenage girls.

The first one was kind of a Plain Jane.  The other, however, was hot.  Not only that, she was “ready for some football” if you know what I mean.  Just like that, eight wasted young men who could barely drag the last beer to their lips, suddenly brightened up.  This young hottie wasn’t trying to hide a thing.  Her goal was clear--get laid.

She had us by the palm of her hand.  She instructed us all to gather around her.  She told us all to take off our shirts, which we did.  Then she proceeded to feel all our chests.  She had no hesitation doling out criticism if a guy had man boobs or not.  As she commented on the quality of our chests, the other guys were sure to dispute the call and mock the other guy mercilessly. 

Eventually, it was time for her to make a choice.  We all stood their teetering back and forth in drunken, silent anticipation when she chose my cousin John.  That son-of-a-bitch.

John and this girl strolled off into the darkness.  The rest of us stood there like dumbfounded dingleberries until the Shell Lake guy came up with the idea to go into the woods and spy on them.  We couldn’t resist the temptation.

There we were, seven drunk young men, averaging six feet tall, tiptoeing through this dense forrest on the damp leaves trying fecklessly to not make any noise.  It was a new moon that night and we could barely see our hands in front of our eyes let alone see two kids humping in the woods.  

“Get the fuck outta here!”  My naked cousin John shouted.  We were practically standing on top of them and still couldn’t see them.  We bust up laughing and took off back to the parking lot.

Eventually my cousin John ambled out of the woods and we called it a night.  

The End.


As is the tradition, here is the song that commemorates that 3rd of July celebration in Shell Lake, Wisconsin--“Monkey Man.”


Friday, September 13, 2013

Elvis Presley --Baby What Do You Want Me To Do

It was the end of the year 2009.  The economy was in the shitter.  Times were tough at the company I worked for in San Diego.  They were taking heavy cost cutting measures and several of our co-workers had lost their jobs.  The company was failing to hit its financial goals.  Don’t get me wrong, the company was still making millions of dollars in profits.  It was just that we were not meeting our financial goals.  Therefore, the company decided to shaft us on the holiday party.

That was a tough one to swallow considering how stressful the whole year had been.

I was at some dive bar in San Diego called Pal Joey’s with some co-workers bitching about this very topic when I had to go to the men’s room.  I step up to the urinal and  there with my undivided attention was a flyer advertising Wednesday night Blues jams at the bar.  A vision rushed through me.  A jam session, that could make a pretty cool idea for a holiday party.

It had been over 20 years since I played in the Monday Blues jams back in the Twin Cities.  I had a pretty good Jones going on inside me to do it again one day.  This was my chance.  My good buddy Rob so happened to be an all-around musician.  He plays piano, guitar, writes music and sings at his church.  I figured I could count on him.  Our receptionist, Mitty, had a good set of Soul-stirring pipes.  She would sometimes sing the national anthem at company events.  I figured she and perhaps, Maria (who used to be a stage performer) would be interested to.  It could be like live music Karaoke.

I talked to the owner of the bar who had no problems so long as I could promise at least 20 people would show up.  He put me in touch with the host band and they were glad to do it for only a couple hundred bucks.

The show was on.

Our company had an almost maniacal aversion to potential lawsuits.  That was probably part of the reason why they canceled the holiday party.  They didn’t want any potential lawsuits over a drunk driving incident.  Therefore, when I handed out the fliers, I specifically noted “NOT A COMPANY EVENT.”

The night finally arrived.  Someone ordered a bunch of pizzas and we easily surpassed the minimum 20 people.

The band warmed things up with a tune. Then my buddy Rob and I took the stage.  I got behind the drum kit and Rob played guitar and sang.  We warmed up with simple one, “Sweet Home Chicago.”   Mitty came up and belted out an old Soul song.  Even the lovely Laora took the stage.  Now I’m sure Laora would admit that she’s not a great singer, but she wanted to sing “Sweet Home Alabama.”  The problem was she didn’t know all the lyrics.  Thinking swiftly, Laora thought to find the lyrics on her iPhone.  It was really great.

Then it was Gabe’s turn.  Now I knew that Gabe was a witty and creative guy, but I had no idea he could sing.  He took the stage, grabbed the mic off the stand, stepped out among the people and startled us all with an incredible Elvis Presley imitation singing Hound Dog or All Shook Up or some other classic Elvis number, I can’t remember.  Anyway, he blew the place away.  Even folks on the other side of the bar who were not part of our private party started hootin’ and hollerin’.

It turned out to be a great time for all.  I was revved up for the next week because of it.  We talked about it for weeks afterward.  We talked about how a jam session is something we should do every year.  Well, we never had the chance because a year later, the rest of us were out of a job too.


Instead of posting an Elvis song that we’ve all heard a zillion times to commemorate that night, I offer this post by Elvis from his 1968 comeback special.  His awesome version of “Baby What Do You Want Me To Do?”


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Los Lobos -- Shakin' and Shakin' and Shakes

It was around 1990 or 1991,  I was working at my first real job after college.  This job was with a TV news gathering service up in St. Paul, MN.  Most of the people working there were young fresh faced college grads just like me.  Now there’s something you need to know about us media people.  Whether it is TV, Radio or advertising, we all like to think of ourselves as culturally superior to the general population.  I was no different.  In fact, I might go so far as to say that I was worse than most.  I always tried to project the persona of the guy who was on the cutting edge of culture.  I was the guy who listened to all this obscure music (well, at least that part’s true) and that is what made me cooler than other people.

Anyway, one day it was slow at the news gathering control room.  This guy Pete and I were chatting when one of our pretty co-workers walked up.  

“Hey, did you guys know that Cities ’97 was having a private Los Lobos concert?”   People could call in to win tickets apparently.  Historically, I myself have never won anything like that.  Besides, I certainly wouldn’t have debased myself by calling into Cities ’97 to even try.  I didn’t visualize that station as part of my persona even if it was giving away tickets to a band I loved.  But then abruptly it occurred to me.  My buddy Rich had a brother who worked at Cities ’97.  Now this was my opportunity.  This was my chance to prove my coolness, especially to the pretty girl.

I picked up the phone and called Cities '97 and asked for Rich’s brother Paul.  The receptionist transferred me and to my surprise, he answered right away.
“Hey Paul, it’s Veggie Boy.”
“What’s up, brother!  How ya doin’?”
“I’m doing great.  Hey listen.  I heard you guys were putting on a private Los Lobos concert.”
“Yeah.  For sure.  You need a couple tickets?”

Woah, that happened really fast.  I quite honestly wasn’t expecting anything.  I was thinking that Paul wouldn’t even answer the phone let alone remember me and offer me a pair of free tickets.  I was a bit stunned, but I had to keep my cool in front of the pretty girl and this guy Pete.  I said, “Hey man!  Thanks!  See ya at the show.”  I hung up the phone and said to Pete and the pretty girl, “Well, I got my tickets.”  Then I confidently walked away.

Yeah, I thought I was pretty cool.   In all my coolness, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for two more tickets for this girl and Pete.  After all these years, I still feel kind of bad about that.

The first person to pop into my head to see this show was my good buddy Jerry.  I have to say, we saw a pretty damn good show.  Los Lobos opened it up.  They didn’t just play their latest album, they cut loose.  They even did what I thought was a pretty impressive and ambitious cover of “Politician” by Cream.

So there ya have it.  I succeeded in being cool at least once in my life.  Here’s Los Lobos playing something else since I can’t find them playing “Politician” anywhere.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

You Don't Care -- The Minnesota Barking Ducks

It was sometime a long time ago while I was in college at the University of Minnesota (don’t all these stories take place back then?).  I was hanging out with my buddy and new Blues convert Wad. (See Albert Collins post from May 1, 2012.  Wad was the skeptic in that post).  Wad was the only self nicknamed guy I knew.  His real name was Johnny.  When my other college buddies and I met Johnny for the first time, we all jokingly referred to him as Johnny “The Wad” Holmes.  He thought that was funny and made sure the moniker stuck.

Anyway, Wad and I had just closed the bar someplace on the West Bank and, as always, we went to the one place in all of the Twin Cities where one could count on get something to eat 24-hours a day--White Dog.  Otherwise known as White Castle.

Those who have been to a White Castle need no description.  For those who are not familiar with White Castle, then you must continue reading.

White Castle is a fast-food burger joint and was one of the few places one could find food after Last Call.  Because of this, there was typically a huge “after party” at White Castle.  The place would be packed with some of the strangest characters this side of a Charles Bukowski novel.  We would wait in line for what seemed like hours just to order “sliders with vinyl, death chips and a large battery acid.”

On this particular night when Wad and I showed up at White Dog, it was strangely quiet and empty.  It was just Wad and me, a couple other people, some big galoot sitting by himself and this rolly polly security guard who I’m pretty sure was slightly retarded. 

Suddenly these two clowns enter the place loudly and obnoxiously.  They were clearly beyond wasted.  There was one guy in particular who just wouldn’t shut up and was very irritating.  He was hassling the folks behind the counter and generally making an ass out of himself.  It was uncomfortable for everyone.

Oddly enough, the security guard didn’t do anything.  He was useless.  This loud obnoxious guy caught onto the fact that the security guard wasn’t doing anything so he started to intentionally provoke the guard from across the room.  He called him “fat” and “a retard” and a handful of other insults.  Still the security guard did nothing.  He didn’t get on the phone and call the cops to report this guy or anything.  Wad and I just watched as he begrudgingly took the abuse.  Honestly, he wasn't up to the job of night time security guard.

The drunk asshole got up and started looking for something in his pockets.  Just then I noticed the big galoot, who had been sitting quietly by himself, get up.  He walked up to the counter and asked for a large cup of water.  He took the cup of water, walked towards the drunk asshole and tossed the whole cup in the asshole’s face.  

Before the asshole knew what hit him, the galoot started pushing him around the restaurant.  “I’m sick of you giving that guy shit!” He shouted.  The rolly polly security guard turned his back and walked out into the parking lot.

The big galoot shoved this guy over tables and then onto the floor.  He never punched him, but as the drunk asshole attempted to get back to his feet, the galoot kicked him in the ass and the force of it sent the jerk head first into one of the doors exiting the White Castle.  The clanking of that idiot’s head against the door rattled the whole building.

The big galoot then picked the guy up and tossed him out the door.  Wad and I quickly dumped our trays in the garbage can, got up and went outside to see the rest of the ass whooping.  When we got there, the big galoot had pretty much made his point and was getting ready to bolt before the cops showed up.  Wad and I yelled out to him, “Way to go man!”  He graciously said “thanks” as he ran off into the night.

So even though there was almost no one there, I could still count on White Dog to deliver another interesting evening.


If I recall correctly, I had dragged Wad over to the West Bank to see the fantastic Minnesota Barking Ducks play some Blues.  So, in commemoration of the White Dog beat down, here are the Minnesota Barking Ducks.

Well, for some fucking reason, my uploaded Barking Ducks songs won't show up in Blogger.  Therefore you have to click on the link below.  Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezRZ_AiI9vo

Friday, August 16, 2013

France -- Frank Zappa

It was the summer of 1987.  My frat brother and Blues brother Kent came up with a great idea.  Let’s get some guys together and road trip to Milwaukee.  Two significant things were going on in Milwaukee that beautiful summer weekend.  Milwaukee’s infamous Summerfest and the Minnesota Twins were in town to play the  Brewers.  This was significant because the Twins were good that year and eventually went on to win the World Series.

A half-dozen of us packed a backpack and we hit the road across the beautiful Wisconsin countryside.  Once in Milwaukee, we all crammed into Kent’s 1972 Buick Skylark and headed for the festival down by Lake Michigan.  As we entered, there was this huge wooden map of the festival grounds.  I couldn’t help but notice all these big red dots all over the map.  Are those all the bathroom locations? I thought to myself.  I checked out the map legend and all those red dots indicated beer tent locations.  I guess we didn’t have to concern ourselves with access to beer.

Anyway, we roamed around the grounds and ended up and far southern end.  In this empty swath of asphalt was a makeshift stage.  It was just a simple platform no more than a foot off the ground.  It was covered with a tent so the band wouldn’t get scorched by the summer sun.  Duck taped to one of the tent poles was a rectangular end of a cardboard box.  Someone had scribbled on the cardboard box with black marker the words, “Blues Stage.”

By now you should know that this was right up my alley.  I knew I could count on Kent so we persuaded the rest of the guys to stay and listen.  We just stood there soaking in the warm sun and sipping beer.  We had a good buzz going and these dudes play some mean Blues.  I don’t in anyway recollect who they were, but they were pretty good.  They had a good harmonica player and the guitar player had some good leads.  Not only that, they had a very light hearted nature about them and it was really relaxing and fun.

Eventually their set ended and the gang moved on and continued to tear up Summerfest.  However, the day was not over.  We had a baseball game to go to.

We squished back into Kent’s Skylark and headed for Milwaukee County Stadium.  We took our seats.  Kent, being the only one of us from Wisconsin, was planning on rooting for the Brewers.  Shortly after we took our seats along the third base line, this fellow walks up the steps wearing a T-shirt that said, “Fuck Minnesota.” A fairly classless act by anyone’s standards I would venture to say.  Even our frat brother Kent was put off by it.  So much so that he did an about-face and started rooting for the Twins.  

Unfortunately for this schmuck, his seats were a couple rows ahead of ours.  As the Twins proceeded to trounce the Brewers, we made sure the “Fuck Minnesota” guy knew about it.

As we sauntered back to Kent’s car after a convincing Twins victory, our fellow frat brother Pete declared that we had to come up with some kind legend behind our conquest of Milwaukee.  “We need to come up with a name or something,” he said.  We all started bouncing around ideas.  Pete then declared that we were the “Drunk Minnesota Muthas.”  

OK.  You probably had to be there to truly enjoy it, but my good buddy Jerry and I thought it was one of the funniest things ever.  We giggled like teenage girls for the rest of the night.  We proudly embraced the moniker of Drunk Minnesota Muthas.


Now the song below has almost nothing to do with the story, but my good buddy Jerry requested this story.  Therefore, I thought I would honor him by playing one of his personal favorite Bluesy tunes, “In France” by Frank Zappa.



Saturday, August 3, 2013

Jazz Flute -- Ron Burgundy

It was around November of 1992 that I made my first move away from my hometown of Minneapolis to San Diego, California.  I had secured a job at a local independently owned TV station called KTTY.  KTTY was the one of the last of a dying breed--the locally owned independent station.  I didn’t make squat working at KTTY but it was so laid back that it is still one of my favorite jobs.  There was no HR department, the stress level was really low and no one was overworked.  Things were so laid back that the owner and general manager of the station didn’t say a word even if the company lost money in a particular month.  He would just sit in his office smoking a couple packs a day, eating El Pollo Loco chicken and watching his other investments which actually paid dividends.  KTTY was easily the lowest rated TV station in San Diego, but no other station had more fun that we did.

We even had a silly locally produced Friday morning community events program called “What’s up San Diego?”  Even though I was working as the assistant program manager, I was one of the only people in the building who actually knew how to operate a TV camera.  Therefore, I was assigned the position of lead cameraman.  It was there that I met one of the hostesses of the show.  Her name was Lisa.  She was a sort of “roving reporter” for “What’s Up San Diego?”  And not only that, she ended up being the woman who would eventually become my wife.

Lisa and I ended up getting “involved” when we made plans for her to set me up with one of her friends.  Her friend was delinquent that night and as our son would say, “Well, you know.”

On one of our first dates, Lisa and I went down to the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego.  I had been spending a lot of time in the Gaslamp back in those days because of place down there called “Patrick’s II” which is one of best Blues Music venues in Southern California.  However, on this night, Lisa and I would be going to a place around the corner called “Croce’s” owned by the family of the late Jim Croce.  Croce’s was a pretty nice place with a fine dining restaurant on one side and a bar on the other.  Croce’s specialized in a genre of music I knew little about at the time but soon come to appreciate--Latin Jazz.

So anyway, Lisa and I wormed our way to the back of the bar and found a couple seats at this nice big table in the back.  We listened to some awesome jazz, made some jokes and generally enjoyed our private little romantic spot in the back of the bar.  No sooner than we had become secure in our private spot when this trio of older adults came into the bar, walked toward the back and sat right down at the table with Lisa and I.

“What the fuck?” was our mutual reaction.  There were several other places in the bar for these people to sit (or stand for that matter).  What possessed them to intentionally invade the space of what was obviously a romantic rendezvous.  We bitched and moaned for a little bit until Lisa came up with an idea.  She slid her chair closer to mine and then initiated a colossal make-out session.  We had tongues flapping in each other’s mouths.  It should have been enough to make anyone feel compelled to leave the table.  These people were completely unfazed.  It was as if they didn’t see it at all.  They just continued chatting loudly drowning out the music that I was personally enjoying. 

Just like that our romantic night at Croce’s was abruptly cancelled.  Well, not really.  We left and our night continued to be very fun.  


In commemoration of that night at Croce’s, I present the Jazz flute scene from “Anchorman:  The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wild Side of Life -- Hank Williams

Since, I've been having trouble drumming up tales about Blues music, my good buddy Rob stepped up in relief.  Here is a music-loving tale from him.
_______

It was a little while ago when I had my 20-year high school reunion back in God’s country, Norman, Oklahoma.  It had been 10 years since our 10-year reunion, the last time I had seen all my old friends.  We all had a blast  ten years before, but this time we were destined to rip the paint from the walls.  Afterall, ten years earlier, half of us were still single or newlyweds.  Everyone was on their way to striking it rich.  Not only that, we were young and partying all the time.

This time was a different deal.  A lot had changed in ten years.  We all had some life experience now.  We had traveled, we had seen, we had won some and we had lost some.  There were a few divorces and a lot of kids.  There were several gray hairs and a lot of expanding waistlines.  A lot of us needed this party so there was no way I could have fun at this shindig with my lovely bride within ear shot.

The whole slew of 37 and 38-year-olds met up at this big, shit-kicker bar.  There was this Country-Rock cover band set to play that night.  Since I was in the radio biz (and a hopeless ham who loves attention), it was determined that I would be the M.C. (or was it that I just hijacked the stage and started making fun of my old classmates).

The house band was great. They weren’t trying to be the focus. They knew lives were being re-lived and didn’t want to take away from that. As me and a few of the old gang were watching the band, and the girls who were now well-coifed and fit middle-aged women, someone mentioned that we should get up and play a song.

What?.. Me, who loves attention?  Was raised on a lot of the songs the band was already playing?  Me who was just chompin at the bit to show off my guitar licks for the former high school cheerleaders?  

“Get up and play a song?” Shit.. what took you so long to ask?  

Word got out that we might sing a song and there was a buzz starting to fill the room.  Me and my two best buddies in the world, Curt and Cotton, started up the steps to the stage and the applause started.  The band leader figured we were coming on stage to sing a number so he asked “Whaddaya know?”   

Now my buddies and I had always sang a simple 3 chord country tune from the great Hank Williams called “Wild Side of Life.”  Little did our fellow graduates know that we had sang this song no less than 500 times in our lives.  Curt would sing the lead vocal and I would play rhythm guitar and harmonize with him. There were times when we could make this song sound like a world class recording. There were other times, after some “medication,” that we made the song sound like we were raping a duck.

Anyway, I suggested this song to the band leader and he and his boys new exactly where we were coming from.  What he wasn’t expecting, however, was for me to reach for the spare accoustic guitar he had sitting on a stand.  Since it was our party, the poor guy felt reluctant to interfere.  He felt he had to let us do whatever we wanted, but when it comes to a man’s ax? You better have your shit together son, or don’t touch it!

I slung the guitar over my shoulder, grabbed a pick off the drummers kit and jumped right in and started strumming the opening. The rest of the band looked at each other with a sense of relief that we at least knew how to put the guitar strap around our neck.   We were off and running and the crowd loved it from the first chord.

My other best friend, Cotton was a guy that couldn’t sing worth a shit. What he “could” do was make you bust a gut laughing at how he danced with himself. He had just enough rhythm to be dangerous.  He did a dance that was half two step, half twist... absolutely side splitting.

Curt was getting ready to start the vocals like he always did but this time he seemed a little nervous.  Thank goodness Mr. Jim Beam was in attendance, because he might not have been able to kick it off without a little help.   We went through the intro a couple extra times to give him a chance to “find” his note and to get his knees to settle down.  By now the band was full behind me and it was time for Curt to get the party started. Curt stepped up to the mic, in front of at least 150 of our soulmates and let ‘er rip.. “You wouldn’t read my letter if I wrote you.” The crowd went bananas. “You asked me not to call you on the phone.” The floors started shaking. “But there’s something I wanted to tell you.” The cheers were huge. “So I wrote it in the words of this song.” 

It couldn’t have been any cooler.

It was now my time to harmonize with him.  I stepped up to the mic and joined in.  The whistles and cheers escalated even further.  Did Elvis walk in?  I looked over and Cotton was almost levitating off the stage. He was dancing like someone was putting money in his shorts.  Those old girlfriends from high school that didn’t want to have anything to do with us 20 years earlier were pulling their hair out. 

“You gave up the only one that ever loved you.”  
“And went back to the Wild Side of Life.”

As we wrapped up the song, the applause was deafening. The whistles were confusing dogs, 5 miles away. As we made our way down the stairs off the stage, all we could see were guys holding beers to give us and girls with monster smiles on their faces and lust in their eyes. We loved it and still talk about it to this day.


Don’t much remember the rest of the evening.   Anyway, here is the Hank Williams song we sung that night.