Crack whores, bathroom blow jobs, and why I play the blues

250px-detroitskyline.jpg

Any musician will tell you – hell, any artist of any sort will tell you – that love and passion are the only sources of fuel that will carry you through the swamps of this business and,  if you’re lucky,  to the other side. Not that there’s any guarantee of solid ground once you get  to that other side but, well, progress is progress. The rest, as they say, is past tense.

So on that particular night we had a gig at J.D. McGhee’s, a wild and greasy joint that used to hold court on the fringe of Pontiac’s now oh-so-hip-to-be-modern  downtown. Except that the modernity never quite stretched across the street to J.D.’s, which remained staked and chained in the back alley, tucked away out of view like the ugly sister, while the rest of Pontiac’s downtown nightlife, which was literally a stone’s throw away, shimmered and shimmied like a party girl stripper bathed in disco lighting.

None of which is to say that J.D.’s wasn’t fun.

So there we were finishing up the first set, with maybe a couple more songs to go to round off the hour. At J.D.s, like most weekend gigs, we played for four hours, which translated into three hour-long sets with two half-hour breaks stuffed inbetween. We may have been playing Mustang Sally, which the crowd seemed to enjoy, especially when a local character named Midnight would take control of the vocals. It was awhile before I figured out the man  slept in the bar during the day and kept his food tucked away in a grease-stained bag beneath a chair not too far from the door. Each week it always worked the same way; Midnight would ask us if he could come up and sing one while we were setting up, we’d say sure, and it would always be the same tune. We’d call him up, somebody would holler, “All RIGHT, Midnight!”, and he’d stride to the stage like a C grade James Brown, snatch the mike, spin around, then launch into Sally like this just might be the last woman he’d ever lay.

Once he was done, he’d always ask us if we knew some other ancient R&B tune, which we never did. He’d look disappointed, nod, then lock into his pimp stride and ease back off stage, slapping palms with the adoring public, which usually consisted of hustler wannabes, entry level thugs, some mid-level thugs, and dramatically overdressed women (and men) held hostage to a fashion that made instant mockery of the word.

So anyway it was break time. We instructed everyone to “stick and stay, don’t go away”, did our usual set break flourish, then put our instruments down and went our separate ways to relax for a bit. Me, I’d been holding it in since midway through the set so the first place I headed was to the men’s room, located at the end of a shoulder-narrow passage at the rear. Normally there wasn’t a line to get in, so I was kinda wondering what might be the reason – until I started hearing …sounds. The guy in front of me, wearing a long black leather and standing about a foot taller, looked back down at me over the corner of his shoulder and grinned, I guess thinking I was in line for the same reason as him.

Once inside, it wasn’t hard to recognize the small-built dark-skinned girl in the red athletic shorts on her knees in the middle of the men’s room with some moaning man’s stiff joint in her furiously busy mouth. She hung around J.D.s most weekends, usually wearing the same outfit and looking all hopped up and grinning. I don’t think I ever saw her sitting down. Where she was right now was the longest I’d ever seen her stay in one place.

All of which created somewhat of a dilemma because, well, I needed to use the bathroom. Bad. This was going to require some very delicate ghetto diplomacy…

Advertisements

~ by Keith A. Owens on March 24, 2007.

4 Responses to “Crack whores, bathroom blow jobs, and why I play the blues”

  1. Whoa, that sounds like a night & one of my adventures minus the blow job LOL (a true ghetto tale). So were you able to relieve or was the rest of the night uncomfortable???

    Bygbaby

  2. Man, wasn’t no KINDA way I was letting those overworked lips get anywhere near my prized possessions…

  3. Oh no, not that kinda relief, I was hoping that you did not. I was talking about finally taking that leak LOL

  4. Thanks for a great blog. This really is top notch and I keep coming back. Keep up the GREAT work Cheers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: