Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Hot Club

Another patron and I were discussing the cramped quarters in the HC WC. I told the guy that it wasn't as bad as the bathrooms in the old Sullivan Stadium. Guys used to go in the sinks and even the circular hand washer. Pigs! Originally the place had troughs - fittingly.

Someone was talking about guys coming out of the closet. He said, "Buy mothballs."

A guy was trying to sneak a beer out of the Hot Club by putting it in his pocket. Russ caught him at the door. Said Russ, "They think we're amateurs."

A woman was walking on the deck pushing a baby carriage that contained no baby. Her husband was carrying the infant. Grant said, "The baby had too many."

A patron trying to get served called to the bartender, "Ma'am." When she did wait on the customer, she told him, "You don't get my attention that way."

Mr. D. said that when he worked at the Silverwoods men's clothing store in LA that he and his buddies were driving around cars that were worth $200. But they were all wearing suits that cost $400.

Brendan and I were talking about LA where he lived for 6 years. I told him that I visited Mr. D. a few times while he lived in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, and I always felt like a fish out of water there. Brendan said, "You mean like wearing pink spandex and smoking crack?"

And with all the people from all over the US moving to LA and trying 'to make it' (like farm
boys from Kansas), it was akin to farm animals in the jungle.

Marcus Aurelius returned to the Hot Club and told me that he had a relative on the Mayflower. Marcus said that the relative was kicked off the Mayflower before it reached shore but still made it. Marcus didn't say it, but I guess his relative was a good swimmer.

In talking to Contraire about our Camrys, I tried to point out where mine was parked in the lot. I told Contraire "It's the 3rd car from yours." He said "Nice spoiler". I said, "No that's not it. The next car." Observed FootJoy of Contraire, "He counted his own car!"

Someone used a word in a way I had never heard. The word was 'butterbean'.

Overheard: "I've been dodging bullets for years. I was married."


Sunday night, Mr. D., Doc Proc, the Bear and I took in the Steely Dan concert at Great Woods in Mansfield. MA. The Bear was pinch-hitting for Victoria who was ill and couldn't make the concert. The Bear was his usual charming self and filled in quite capably, even if he did do a tag team with Mr. D to bust my chops on a few occasions.

As Mr. D. said, "This is the best concert of the summer." What he left out was that it was our only concert of the summer (he had seen Jimmy Buffett with Doc Proc in June).

However we agreed that this was the best concert we had seen and heard Steely Dan do, and that's out of 4-5 times we've attended their gigs. I especially liked it because of the song selection. The band started with Bodhisattva, a number I haven't heard in many years. They closed with an encore of FM and My Old School.

Walter Becker had shorter hair and had lost weight. He never looked or sounded better. One patron in the men's room commented, "You forget how good Becker is." Indeed.

Donald Fagan was in good form. While he's never had the strongest voice, he uses what he has to good effect. Both Fagan and Becker seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. At one point, Becker told the fans in the crowd, "You're a f--kin' great audience."

Lead and rhythm guitarist John Harrington and bassist Freddy Washington were as smooth as silk in their roles.

The playlist was heavy on songs from Steely Dan's 70's albums. They did Black Friday, Chain Lightning and Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More from '75's Katy Lied. From The Royal Scam (1976) they did Kid Charlemagne, Don't Take Me Alive (one of my favorites - "Yes I crossed my old man back in Oregon, don't take me alive."), Green Earrings and The Royal Scam. And there was Hey 19 from Gaucho.

Becker and Fagan dipped into Aja for the title track plus Josie and Peg. They also returned to yesteryear for Dirty Work and Do It Again.

Opening act Michael McDonald came on stage for the last several songs and traded verses with Fagan on Do It Again. The two female backup singers, each with great pipes, shared the lead on Dirty Work.

At the outset, McDonald showed off a still strong voice and thrilled the crowd with songs from his Doobie Brothers era: Takin' It To The Streets, It Keeps You Runnin', and Minute By Minute. He also added the gems What A Fool Believes and I Keep Forgettin'.

McDonald also had a dynamite backup band with a guy on a Hammond B3 organ (Mr. D. loves the sound of a Hammond) and a black female drummer (I know - not PC but it's me). The latter, Yvette 'Babygirl' Preyer, did a great job pounding the skins and even sang lead on one number (Mr. D. tells me it's hard to drum and sing).

In fact I told the crew that McDonald's opening act was as strong an opener as I've ever seen. There were no dissenters. Two Sa-Nakes but no dissenters.

And let me say that I disagree with reviewers Brett Milano (Herald) and Rick Massimo (ProJo) who found fault with McDonald's singing of Motown hits like I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing. I enjoyed all the material that McDonald did, especially his rendition of Grapevine. I did use both Milano's and Massimo's reviews to check my memory of certain songs (Well we did imbibe a few).

Saw Driller Killer and his lovely wife, the Queen of Reprobates. Queen Monica asked me where we were sitting and I said Section 3, DD. She said "DD, just where you like to be."

Driller reminded me that the Dan's backup keyboardist Jeff Young (and the Youngsters) played with Fagan in the NY Rock and Soul Revue. And Dan trumpeter Mike Lenhart's sister Carolyn was one of the backup singers.

All in all the best concert of the summer. And the best Steely Dan concert I've heard.

It rained. A guy said, "The rain is letting up." I asked him, "In what state?"


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