The following story contains the characters, “Grady” as played by Greg Rice on keyboards, “Dickie” as played by Dave Bartholomew on guitar and drums, “Josh” as played by Jack Cornell on bass and “Teddy” as played by my very own self personally, Terry Anderson on drums and guitar.
After calling down and advancing the gig for this past weekend, it was decided that the “hotel” next to the club would be much more convenient yet much more expensive so maybe we should just stay the one night there and hang out at the beach on Saturday before rocking again on Saturday night. We would then hop back in the van for the 2 and a half hour trip back home and crawl into our own beds in the wee-wee hours of Sunday morning. Boy, were we glad about that decision after the treatment we got this weekend.
I left my van in Goldsboro at Grady’s sweet, sweet girlfriend’s parent’s house on Friday afternoon so as to not have to ride all the way to Raleigh and then have to drive, backtracking back towards Bunn on the way back. Those guys were stuck in traffic so I was about 30 minutes ahead them and was lucky enough to get to sit in the fancy sitting room and visit with the beautiful Miss Eleanor, her parents and her Grandma. It was not as painful as you might think since I’m not far removed from the ages of her parents and her Grandma was quite entertaining.
We arrived at the club an hour later than we had told them but still about 2 hours earlier than we needed to be there. After an “OK” soundcheck we went back and checked into the “hotel”. I really needed a shower since the water in all of Franklin County, back home, was compromised due to a water main break. There were some words between Grady and the “lady” at the desk initially about the price but everyone was still civil at that point. We were disappointed in the rooms’ cleanliness but we got our showers and went back to the club, ready for anything.
“It’s a late crowd” in the club business is code for “No one EVER comes here!” So we got that story and were told to wait a bit before going on. The bartenders were nice while still charging us for waters and beer. I guess they had to make their money somewhere, being that at show time there were still only about 8 people in attendance. So we’re rocking like ass up there and never giving the folks a chance to breathe, you know, like we do and backs start turning toward us, no tappy feet, nothing. It’s like we’re not up there. At this point it becomes a paid rehearsal. Well, we’re hoping we get paid as sketchy as the place looks! The guy that booked the gig is there and we later learn that he’s helping himself to our tab. A tab, mind you, that we didn’t know we had! They were supposed to give us a case of beer which, not only never showed up but we were charged full price for everything we drank and it was taken out of the guarantee when we WERE paid on Saturday night! Of course, there was no late crowd and we continued on into the second set just like the pros that we are and played like there were 3 thousand people there. We had a few cocktails afterwards and headed back to the “hotel”.
It was a beautiful night Saturday morning so we sat out in the corridor in front of our rooms and talked quietly about the situation and looked over some pics that our friend Monty Warren had taken, plus a few of my own:
The next morning came rudely in the voice of the 80 year old “hotel” owner asking us to make sure we were out by 11 o’clock sharp. “All of the rooms are booked for tonight and we need to get in there and clean up!” he spouted, refusing to allow our presence nary a minute past bewitching hour. This did not sit well with any of us, especially Dickie. Josh and I hurriedly gathered our things and stood out in the blazing sun while Grady settled the stupid high $160 bill for the one night stay. We ALWAYS do Priceline.com and hardly ever pay over $40 a night for a room but it wasn’t available in this resort area of North Carolina. Well, in the exchange Grady happened to let it slip as to what we thought of their “hotel” and the word “shitty” was mentioned. Well, THAT didn’t sit well with the dried up prune faced great-granny owner “lady” at all. “This is a Christian operation!”
We got the hell out and beeped the horn as we drove off, nothing more. As we were heading towards the Sheraton to meet with Monty and Michele for lunch, Dickie couldn’t get over how we had just been dumped to the curb by this obviously Christian establishment. Was there really “no room in the Inn?” “What’s that number, Grady?” he yells to the back of the van. So he dials it and the old codger with the oxygen mask at the desk answers. “Ah yes, do you have rooms available for this evening?” kindly asks Dickie. The old man responds “why yes, we certainly do”. “Well, why did you just tell me the whole place was booked up for the night when I was just in there?” Click.
We had lunch at The Sanitary Fish Market in Morehead City which is quite proud of it’s fried fish. Dickie’s bill was over $18 just for flounder and shrimp, for lunch! Jeez! We hung out on the beach for a while, throwing the Frisbee the wrong way (really funny and a lot of fun!) and walking in the chilly ocean water. It was pretty hot out and especially for October so we headed back towards the club. This was at about 3:30. A nap was in order so we were headed back towards the skanky dressing room couches when club owner dude grabbed my ear. As nicely as he could he put it to me that there were complaints from the “hotel” about our behavior and that if he found out that any of it was true that we could just pack our shit and get the hell out right then. I said that would be fine with me but that he should ask Grady and Dickie about the accusations. The fine Christian “lady” said that we “tore the rooms up, there were busted bottles everywhere, we cussed at them and when we left we blew the horn and flipped them off”. They assured Al that the “lady’s” account of the situation was wildly exaggerated but Grady said he would go back and make nice with the ”lady” if that would help. So when he gets there this fine Christian “lady” says to him “The best thing for you to do is to turn right around and go play your little music, or kick ass or whatever you do!” obviously having none of it. “We have you in the computer and you will NEVER stay here again!” uhhh….no kidding “lady”.
So the gig Saturday night IS attended better as promised by our “booking agent”, there are 9 people there instead of 8. We played great though after having a night of rehearsal under our belts. We had toes a tapping, pool cue air guitarists and even a few dancers. At the end of the night, right at 1:30 we shut it the hell down and were packed up and loaded in about 20 minutes. We’re sitting in the van waiting when Dickie comes running out the door with the cash, minus $60 worth of Miller Lite tab (unforgivable). We screech out of the parking lot and head towards Raleigh. We stop in Goldsboro and get my van and I pull into my driveway dazed and confused at exactly 4:17am and wondering what has happened to world of playing Rock and Roll live and having fun with crowds of intelligent people. You know, the ones that know what’s going on up there and don’t come up and ask you to play Merle Haggard and David Alan Coe or Happy Birthday (like they did tonight)?
I guess maybe they DO know what’s going on though. Just like the music inside club, the current American music mess is made up of either Country or Rap. And just like in the club, Rock and Roll is dead.