Saturday, April 12, 2008

Viva NashVegas

Between bouts of the flu and, now, a raging head cold I'm still here and having a really good time. When I'm not sneezing or blowing my nose, that is.

They call me Snotty McSnorts Alot. Sexy!

I don't know, could it be that my body is telling me slow down?


I took a little trip to NashVegas last week. We had tickets to see Etta James at the Wildhorse Saloon. If you ask me, they are using the term "saloon" a bit loosely here. The Wildhorse is a huge venue in the heart of the NashVegas music district in a space more akin to a barn than a cozy-up-to-the-bar type saloon. But whatever.

We headed toward Tootsie's a little early and took in many of the kick-ass country bars (and refreshments) along the Broadway strip before heading to the Wildhorse for dinner. On the way (it was a long walk of at least three blocks), deprived the entire distance of an adult beverage, I amused myself by ducking into a store and picking up a cowboy had to add to my hat collection. Not, mind you, a Stetson-type thing, but one of those slouchy, wadded up cowboy hats. LOVE!

Once perched on my head, the hat served to distract me from the pain of separation from liquid refreshment for the last bit of distance to the Wildhorse. As we rounded the last corner, we encountered a huge line, of at least a block long, queued up for the Etta show. It was the kind of line that I knew I'd never manage, thirsty as I was, hat or no hat. It was the kind of line that makes you damn sorry you gave up your good seat at Tootsie's, only two feet from the bar. It was the kind of line that, in the state I was in, I couldn't possibly be expected to wait in without a) making a spectacle of myself and b) more beer.

Fortunately, some of the more alert people in our party realized the line we were seeing was for the poor bastards WITHOUT tickets. We, on the other hand, HAD tickets! VIP tickets! This meant we got to get in the secret, hidden short line, with the happy people and Emmy Lou Harris that the ticket-takers quickly hustled in to the front of the bar, seated at tables, and...gave us all beer! Also, chicken and french fries and possibly quesa dillas. Life was temporarily very, very, good.

Once served and in our seats, a girl in our party showed us an original 45 rpm record of Etta James' "At Last" that she had in her purse and tells us she's going backstage to get it signed. Which? I wondered, but okay. She disappeared for a time and came back telling us that Etta couldn't sign it at that point but that she would after the show.

But that wasn't the big news.

The big news was that Etta's road manager had offered her $50,000 for the record. And? SHE TURNED HIM DOWN.

I still don't even know what to say about that. I'll leave it to you to ponder.

Meanwhile, time is passing. By now it is after 7:00 p.m. and the opening band has not even taken the stage. I, personally, have indulged in enough liquid refreshment that I am about to get The Click. But I am restless and can't be expected to continue to SIT IN MY CHAIR (gah! this sh!t gets old). Nor can I be expected to suffer thru the anonymous opening band. I decide I'm going to walk back to the hotel and drink beer there for a while (I know. I don't know why. I'm just telling you what happened.)

There was one other among our number that was game, and together we headed back to the hotel, drank MORE beer and then walked BACK to the Wildhorse. Where? Absolutely nothing had changed. Except that the opening band had performed. We were told me we didn't miss much.

More time passed. And still? No Etta.

Suddenly, beer just wasn't hitting the spot anymore. Suddenly! I had a GREAT idea! Let's switch to drinking something more, I believe the word I used was, efficient. Tequila shots! Someone agreed. Shots were ordered and imbibed.

Now it is 8:30. No Etta. I am at this point stopping all the wait staff..."Excuse me...EXCUSE ME? Etta James? Anyone...anyone?"

One of Etta's sons takes the stage and announces that she has pneumonia and has been at the hospital where the doctor wanted her to check in. But, instead, Etta has bravely in the-show-must-go-on style decided to take the stage at the Wildhorse.

I briefly ponder how cool it would be for Etta to expire on the stage of the Wildhorse so I could blog about it.

And then I order another shot.

Worse? I drink it.

Finally, after what seems like FOREVER, Etta hits the stage. I am, by now, a little unfocused, but still able to observe that Etta is: 1) REALLY skinny with a Joan Rivers amount of face work in evidence 2) Mostly unable to stand. One of Etta's sons shepherds her in a kind of James Brown escort style to an office chair that has been rolled to stage center.

In Etta's defense, I have to say that girlfriend is seventy-eight years old, so it's fairly amazing that she's still even performing and releasing new stuff at all. On the other hand? Don't keep me waiting for almost three hours when you're charging fairly astronomical prices and then sing FIVE SONGS. (It might have been six, but no more.)

Etta chose a nice loose fitting black suit with a red sequined top underneath, but MOST rockin' was her choice of footwear: black cowboy boots. Yee-haw!

Once Etta got to her chair, the raunchiness began. Yes, you read that right. Etta James grabbed her crotch (Michael Jackson style if you can imagine him in a chair) and pinched her nipples and mimicked an, um, excited male member under a table napkin and was just generally hot and hunchy throughout almost the whole show, writhing around suggestively in her office chair. The one exception was when she talked about her grandchildren. I'm happy to report that she managed not to grab her crotch once during that story (whew!).

Of course the Big Finish was "At Last". They tell me that I sang along with this song not only out of tune, but also with a nasally Chicago accent (this is a voice that I often converse with my Mother in for reasons not entirely known to both of us). Pretty!

It was only after I arrived home that I learned that FurGirl was busy becoming a star while I was gone.

I've spent the weekend recovering quietly and enjoying seemingly endless American's Next Top Model marathons. I don't think I could take this show in once-a-week doses, but there's something incredibly satisfying about watching the episodes back to back. And anyway, it's really all I can manage at the moment.

1 comment:

Jeanna said...

Beer-out-your-nose funny. Love that. Glad it wasn't tequila, though.