Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Hate the East Coast

We don’t play the East Coast very often.  The reasons are simple.  The pay is always lousy at the clubs.  The people that work at the clubs are usually dicks, failed actors that are taking out their venom on the unsuspecting bands filing through from towns that have affordable shithole apartments.  There is never a place to park, and if you do find one, chances are some violent drug addict will break into the van.  The clubs are always located in a “transitional” neighborhood, which is a real estate agent term for “scary”.  There just isn’t a lot of upside for us. 

One of the last times we played the East Coast was in Philadelphia way back when Bob and Dave were in the band.  We played some show with the guys in Mondo Topless at a club in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.  The upside of the gig was not the light attendance from paying customers, but rather the invented history we came up during the lulls for Bob and his childhood spent as a trapper’s son in Fishtown.  To give you an idea of the quality of the neighborhood, we lost Dave and Bob about 11 seconds after our set when they passed through the metal detector of the all black strip club a block up the street.  This was after they were allowed entry after the full pat down by one of the enormous bouncers under the “no colorz in da club” sign.  I know this because when I couldn’t find them for load out, I knew there was only one possible place they could be after I deduced they were not in the used appliance store or wig shop.  I also received the full pat down like I was showing up for a gang land turf negotiation.  Tiny topless underage girls teetered dangerously on the thin bar while angry looking patrons glared at the big tipping cowboy and his little trapper pal.   With some effort, I pried them from the club.

Shatner and his friends at Priceline got us a great rate at the Radisson in the Financial District.  This is a very civilized hotel with impressive marble lobby and majestic lighting on the stone frontage.  We had a couple rooms with Bob and Dave taking their traditional room together.  Usually when those two checked into a room together, Dave would immediately attempt to order room service shrimp cocktail and then they would smoke cigarettes hoping for “Cool Hand Luke” on late night WTBS.  Say what you will, but this is a much more regal way to spend the wee hours of the evening than the members of The Melvins probably do.

This particular night they checked into their room to discover a cooler with Yuengling Beer, and a backpack with condoms, dental dams, and giant women’s sunglasses on the dresser.  I would imagine they immediately deduced that these were not complimentary sundries like some sort of “Philadelphia Welcome Basket”.  That did not impede them from breaking into the cooler like raccoons, and begin watching Cool Hand Luke with beers in hand.  Bob became very fond of the sunglasses when he decided they made him appear like a 1966 Keith Richards, though some may argue he looked like a transgender Joyce Dewitt.  Regardless, the boys couldn’t have been happier.

The sharp knock on the door came as a surprise.  It was 330am, and Dave hadn’t ordered shrimp cocktail.  There was no doubt that this was the owner of the cooler, backpack, and sunglasses back for their things.  Initially they decided on the sensible move and not answer the door.  Like two twelve year olds caught with beer in a tree fort, they played dead hoping the authority figures would go away.

They did not.  The knocking became more urgent.

When Dave opened the door, a woman that was clearly a prostitute walked in with her John obediently in tow.  There had been a misunderstanding at some point earlier in the evening.  A big misunderstanding.  The room had been abandoned and the John had been forced to go to a cash machine to provide more money to the outraged hooker. He must have checked out in the earlier argument with the prostitute, and forgotten the gear was still in the room.  It was hard to understand what exactly had gone wrong with the transaction, but now no one was happy.   She yelled at him consistently as she gathered up her bag.  With his head down, he took the verbal abuse and took the cooler.  They both headed out the door, either not noticing or not caring that Bob and Dave had drank most of the beer.  It was a brief storm that had rolled through the room, and then it was gone.  

Dave and Bob sat on their individual beds and began to recap on exactly what the hell had happened.  They both lamented on the sudden disappearance of the beer.  That was when Bob showed his resolve that evening, and slid open the bedside table drawer to reveal the sunglasses, henceforth known at “the whore glasses”.  Bob put the glasses on, and then Dave and Bob watched Cool Hand Luke until they fell asleep.

If you are in the Greater Nashville area, and there just happens to be a harsh glare, you may just yet see Bob Lanphier driving the roadways in those whore sunglasses.  Bob moved to Nashville about five years ago.  He doesn’t play the East Coast.  We don’t either.


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