They just completed a major reno at Slater's, which is lots older than all the other swank joints along the strip. Fortunately, the reno boys couldn't reno-out that deep 50s feel. A few months ago just as the dozers were packin up, I bumped into Herve out by the beach just after sunup. Herve's been here almost as long as Slater's; he pretty much runs the place from a foxhole behind the front lines, and it probably wouldn't survive long without him. He wuz equivocal about the reno generally, but pumped over the new stuff tucked into the basement mechanical room - new hot water plant, new electric, sparkling concrete floors and walls -- immaculate, and the steel just shone like the sun. Herve knows where the real value is, and he don't worry about stuff that don't count.
Crank back to a few hrs previous at the SlaughterHouse. Mist had been slowly building up all day, and the human crush made the bar situation a tad damp. Deep into double digits, the place was jammed & jammin, as were Dana and the boyz as they smoked thru a set. The Designated & Annointed Folk were packed in at near theoretical density at the bar, on the floor, everywhere. They were loud & juiced, the band was louder & juicier, and Dana was loudest & juiciest. She looked real ok and everyone knew it; even Constance said so. Meanwhile guys were hittin on everything that moved and some that didn't; testosterone levels were way outa range. At least one tuff hombre tried to hit on C; when that didn't work out so good, he tried the same on me (dazed & confused...). Another hatted-up feller tried hittin on Stella, and she enigmatically sent him in my direction. Not really the kinda help I wuz lookin for.
It's not a big room, and we were up close to the stage. At one point Dana, misting substantially after a wild romp thru some old blues number, called out for a cold one, and C immediately offered up hers. Grateful acceptance & profuse thx followed; as a token of gratitude, she requested a tune nomination. C had had a few and drew a blank, so she passed it on to me. Though barely standing, I managed to blurt out the title of The Whiner's '65 classic. Dana looked a little non-plussed; along with mosta the crowd, she wuz probably just a gleam in someone's eye back then -- stumbled through somethin bout givin it a go after the break...
They could shimmy & scream pretty good, but still it was a mostly boardingSchool / upperEast / trustFund crowd, not like back in the day in the ville when things were a lot hungrier & edgier. According to Stella, anyway. Lotsa LBDs at this hoe-down, lotsa sparkle & glitter & hi-tone metal & whack designer drapes, lotsa surge & flesh. As the break clock ran down, the canned blare began 2 soar. Some of the crowd that had earlier moved out to the patio and street began movin back in, and things started to get tight. A coupla babes rocked out on a bench in the back bout enuf 2 get all undone. And then the band rolls back out, and with Dana off to the side shakin cymbals & wearing a look of vague slap-acquisition, and the drummer (he's so shattered) tryin to keep up tight out front on vocals, and the guitar players looking quite damaged, they cast out into it as best they could. And all them pretty people smack-packed on the floor knew mosta the chorus, but I gotta think that the resta that snarling irony wuz well out the door & gone in the night mist long b4 most anyone knowed it wuz ever even there.
Once upon a time u dressed so fine
threw the bums a dime in yer prime
People'd call say beware doll
yer bound to fall u thought they were all
U used 2 laugh about
everybody that was hangin out
Now u don't talk so loud
Now u don't seem so proud
about having 2 b scrounging around for
yer next meal
Yeah u gone to the finest school all right miss lonely
but u know u only used 2 get
juiced in it
Nobody's ever taught u how
to live out on the street and you find out now
yer gonna have 2 get used to it
U said u'd never compromise
with the mystery tramp but now u realize
he's not selling any alibis
as u stare into the vacuum of his eyes
and say do u wanna make a deal?
U never turned around to c the frowns
on the jugglers and the clowns when they all come round 2 do
tricks for u
U never understood that it ain't no good
u shouldn't let other people get yer
kicks for u
U used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
who carried on his shoulder a siamese cat
ain't it hard when u discover that
he really wasn't where it's at
after he took from u everything he could steal?
Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
they're all drinkin thinkin that they
got it made
Exchangin all precious gifts and things but
u better take yer diamond ring down and
pawn it babe
U used 2 b so amused
at napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now he calls u u can't refuse
When u ain't got nuthin u got nuthin to lose
Yer invisible now u got no secrets to conceal
How does it feel...?lyrics courtesy of bob dylan