"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Bouncing Betty and April May
out-land-ish Function: adjective
1 : of or relating to another country : FOREIGN
2 a : strikingly out of the ordinary : BIZARRE b : exceeding proper or reasonable limits or standards
3 : the type of entertainment that sells
Even in 1979, there were outrageous things happening in Myrtle Beach, and to Captain Cliff, too.
I was full swing into my stage persona, not even leaving it when I was off stage during the day. The dream was mine, and I was living it. The dream was a bit weird too, but that was OK because a lot of other things around me were weird. I was immersed in one of the most concentrated gypsy/carny/nightclub areas in the country.
The most mainstream of those clubs was the "Magic Attic," a large auditorium style club that took up the bear's share of the second floor of the Pavilion complex. There were always dance bands in there, but they would stop playing early because the club was targeted at teenagers, no alchohol and stuff, and the crowd would thin out early. The musicians were always excellent, however, and I jammed with a lot of them both on and off stage.
One night a guy came into my bar, and he was odder than usual. He was tall, skinny, dressed way too macho for his physique, and had a tall black Billy Jack hat on. He sat by himself, then when the night was over asked me if I would like to come into his studio and lay down some tracks, that he could sell them. I said sure.
We set it up for four weeks later, on a Sunday.
I began lining up backup musicians, and started with the group from the Magic Attic, where the guitar player was awesome. I patched together the rest of the group from other musicians in the area, except for a bass player. I figured we would get one later.
The club next to mine was (and still is) called the Bowery. If you wanted to meet people different from anywhere else in the world, this was the place.
The house band in there had been called "Wildcountry" up until that year, and had changed their name. The new name they picked was "Alabama." If you're from the southern part of the United States, I can guarantee you've heard of them. They played their own blend of country, rock and bluegrass, and whipped the crowd into a frenzy every night.
But it wasn't just the band that did it. It wasn't by any means a strip club, but the Bowery had dancers. Two of them. Bouncing Betty and April May.
Bouncing Betty was a mainstay and had been dancing there for a few years. Her claim to fame was that she would get up there in a bikini, tassled, that had to have been made by Coleman, and shake her booty like an earthquake.
When you have a booty that's over 400 lbs, earthquake is the right word. She would give a few massive shakes, and pretty much the rest of the song everything would just wobble around in time to the music.
Betty was so big that she couldn't use the restroom in the Bowery, she couldn't fit through the ladies' room door. So, when she had to use the facilities, she would leave the bar, come into Sloppy Joes where I was playing, walk around the far end of the room where the pool tables were (she couldn't fit between the bar and pool tables, so it was the only way around it for her) and eventually get to the ladies room in our bar. Which was still a tight fit. This was one massive piece of girl meat, but she was one of the favorite entertainers in the area, and the crowd went wild everytime she danced.
April May was an entirely different proposition. Where Betty was fat and blubber, April May was all muscle and lean. She wasn't young any more (at least I don't think so, it was hard to tell with people that lived in resort towns), but she had stayed in shape, or at least reasonably close. April May also danced in the Bowery, but she had a talent I haven't seen anywhere else.
April May danced on the ceiling.
Yep, you read that right. They had installed two rings like gymnasts use, and she would come out in her tassled bikini, grab the rings, and flip herself upside down, planting her stacked sandles firmly on the ceiling. Then she would stand "upright" and do a pretty good impression of a dance for a song or two.
No, it wasn't a classy place, but it was unique. And the clientele from the Bowery and my bar, Sloppy Joes, was the same. The doors were only feet apart. Of course, we didn't have go go girls. Well, not paid ones.
I mentioned Duncan the harmonica player a couple of posts ago. When he came to work for me, he went home with a different girl every night for the first week. When he eventually did go back to his apartment, his girlfriend had long since packed up and left. I can't say I blame her, and neither did he. Sometimes even a cad knows he's a cad.
Duncan lasted about three weeks before he got irritated at something or other, decided he wasn't making enough money, and quit. I pointed out that now he was making no money, a fact that still seemed to escape him. I never saw him again.
On my personal romantic front, my relationship with Beth (see previous post) was progressing pretty well. We had immediately become quite an item. I would come to work early and see her on her breaks, then she would come and listen to me after she got off. We quickly realized that, with her working 3pm to 9pm, and me working 9pm to 3am, this wasn't going to work. Not in a resort town, anyway.
So we agreed that our relationship would be an "open" one. We could each feel free to date other people if we liked. The only caveat was that each would tell the other so that we never would hear about it on the grapevine.
She seemed OK with that. So was I. Which, looking at what happened later, is kind of amazing. But, every story has it's day and this isn't that one. Yet.
But we're getting close.
Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you've got an audience.