Sunday, October 09, 2022

Genuine Poetry & Random Raunchiness at The Heatwave Cafe

 October 9, 2022

   When I think back on my honkytonk years from this end of the barrel, I am struck by a basic truth that I don't think I realized at the time.

Sex and loneliness is a damned potent combo.

   Maybe this is a Duh statement for you, but for me, at least, I was very oblvious to it, and, the irony is, I actually pride myself on being a good observer.

   How's that for the introduction of an unreliable narrator?

   I created The Heatwave Cafe as a catchall for those wild times I participated in at the tail end of the seventies.

My view from the Heatwave Cafe bandstand

"That's me in the spotlight, losing my religion."


Another view of my view from deeper in the lot

An Ambitious Flight of Beers

   My very ambitious attempt to capture the array of beers available at the Heatwave Cafe.

   And, of course, that Apache Beer bottle is the most rare of all the Southwestern beers.

Short-lived Beer brewed in Phoenix

by the A-1 Pilsner folks

   A couple weeks ago, I attended Ed Mell's 80th birthday party at Andaz Resort in Scottsdale. There were two bands on the premises, the always excellent Trio Rio played indoors and the always rowdy Dusty Ramblers played outside.

   Sitting in with the Ramblers was this guy (the one on the left).

Nils Lofgrin and The Boss jam out

   On the Rambler's last set, the bandleader, Mark McDowell, leaned over and said to Nils, "Do you know Gloria?" According to Mark, the legendary gitpicker, nodded in the affirmative, smiled that impish grin of his and said, simply, "In E." And as he said this, he riffed on those classic opening chords of the Spelling Bee anthem everyone who went to Mohave County Union High School from 1964-1968 knows by heart and we were off to the Frug-filled races. I sang that ancient anthem and dedicated it to my old studio mate, Edmundo Segundo. Someone took a video of it.

   Last week I was down at Cattletrack for the Cascading Collage project and Mark played the video of "Gloria" on his computer and Brent Bond, who was acting as the percussionist in the jam sat on a big box, directly behind me, beating on the box, as I slithered through my patented goofball, surf-meets-the-pony moves directly in front of him. When Brent looked at the video he laughed and said, "Nice to actually see a front view of that performance." I suddenly realized at that moment one of the biggest drawbacks to pursuing a career as a honkytonk drummer. And let this be a warning to all the kids out there who think it might be a groovy career choice.

The Honkytonk Drummer's Curse

   Spending all night, every night, staring at the wrong butts.

The view from the back

   So, I don't miss that.

"Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood."

—T.S. Eliot

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