The other bouncer is a twenty-four years old, tall, thin and stylish. Although style-conscious I am none of the rest. The kid came running up to me at the door looking panicked. I was checking I.D.'s and there was a seemingly endless line of people waiting to get in.
"This is bad, man, I think we have a real problem here" he blurted out. He usually aspires toward presenting a cool exterior but that pretense had vanished. "This guy was beating and kicking one of the machines. When I told him that he had to leave he told me to go fuck myself. He won't leave."
Still processing I.D.'s I responded, "What do you mean, he won't leave? That isn't an option. He has to leave."
"Well he refuses. He won't leave. He is drunk and REALLY big. I couldn't get him to move."
"What do you mean big? How big can he be?"
"He's a giant," the kid responded. I stopped what I was doing and looked at him for the first time since the exchange began. I repeated his assessment with more than a touch of skepticism, "A giant." "Yeah, he's enormous. He's enormous and I can't put him out. This is going to be really bad."
The manager offered to watch the door and I walked toward the game where the giant had dug in his heels. Once I saw him I didn't need verification. He was in fact extremely large, physically fit and visibly drunk. His head and neck looked like a boulder that had melted into his somewhat larger shoulders. Everything above his sternum seemed to be made of one piece. I have confronted drunks much larger than myself but never one this big and I wasn't looking forward to it.
I never rush toward trouble, I amble over to the problem at my own pace. It gives the appearance that I have the situation in hand and it gives me time to consider my approach. But the closer I got, the bigger this bastard appeared to be. "Fuck," I thought to myself. "This prick IS a giant." I had to crane my neck to make eye contact with him. Normally I would hit a much taller man in the ribs and kidneys but not in this case. His body was like a side of beef. In the few seconds I had before I reached him I considered kicking his knees out and back-pedaling if things got out of hand. I hoped they wouldn't.
Once I was directly in front of him I calmly motioned to the door with my thumb and said, "You have to leave." "He said, "Fuck you. I'm not going anywhere. I kicked the machine and got one quarter back but I'm not going anywhere until I get my other quarter." I was in the absurd and unenviable position of being face-to-face with a drunken giant having a temper tantrum over twenty-five cents. In the other bouncer's defense, he had described the man as a giant, not a genius.
I immediately reached into my pocket for a quarter that I hoped was there. To my relief I found one, fished it out, jammed it in his outstretched hand and simply said, "See ya."
To my amazement he started moving toward the exit. The giant complained on the way out, "I come here all of the time and I'm never coming back." I said, "Deal" and followed him out the door. His assertion that he was a regular customer was bullshit. I would have noticed a giant in the bar before.
The younger bouncer was amazed that I was able to dispense of the giant so easily. Still, he couldn't understand why I gave him the quarter. "So that he would leave," was my answer. Before he could finish his sentence "But it's the principle…" I said, "There is no principle worth only twenty-five cents." I walked away calmly. I didn't have the luxury of showing fear to the giant or anyone else in the place.
This is my new twitter account. The purpose for opening this Twitter account is...uh...I'm not quite sure yet. It may be useful, it may not. For the time being the URL is: https://twitter.com/macfeat3rdst
INDUCT THE MC5 INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME NOW BEFORE THE CUYAHOGA RIVER AGAIN DOES THINGS THAT RIVERS CAN'T POSSIBLY DO, CAN THEY? APPARENTLY THEY SOMETIMES CAN BUT ONLY IN CLEVELAND, THE HOME OF THE HAPLESS CLEVELAND BROWNS AND THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME.
THIS POST WAS INSPIRED BY AND IN SUPPORT OF THE POST AT DENNIS "MACHINE GUN" THOMPSON'S BLOG ENTITLED "WHY ARE THE MC5 STILL NOT IN THE ROCK HALL OF FAME??" IT CAN BE FOUND AT THIS URL: http://www.machinegunthompson.com/2011/06/why-are-mc5-still-not-in-rock-hall-of.html MY OWN MUSINGS ON THE GLARING ABSENCE OF THE MC5, ONE OF THE WILDEST AND MOST FORWARD THINKING BANDS IN THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, AND THEIR CONTINUED EXCLUSION THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME:
What do Abba, Genesis, Kiss, Rush and Cat Stevens all have in common?
They all suck, of course, but that goes without saying.
In the late 60's and early 70's juke boxes still played 45 rpm records. The one in my high school cafeteria had a fabulous feature that was never intended by its manufacturer. If a lousy song came on you could simply kick the juke box and it would skip to the next song.
If any of the aforementioned bands came on the juke box, believe me, we kicked the damn thing. If we were lucky maybe Blue Cheer or The Who or The Kinks or The Animals or something, anything with an edge, would be the next 45 on deck.
We heard rumors of the Summer of Love but it never hit the working class towns in South Jersey in any meaningful way. The residents of this area were predominantly Upper-to-Middle Lower Class. It wasn't all that peaceful.
Patti Smith grew up in South Jersey.
So did King Kong Bundy.
As usual, I digress...
Abba, Genesis, Kiss, Rush and Cat Stevens have another factor in common. Somehow they have all been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Frankly it pisses me off.
What pisses me off even more is that one of the greatest bands in the history of Rock and Roll, the MC5, is still out in the cold.
The MC5 was so far ahead of their time that we really haven't caught up with them yet.
The MC5 is influential beyond record sales.
They were tough, raw, authentic and radical. They were originals.
You can hear the influences in nearly every new band for the last 30 years without even thinking about it.
Who the hell did the MC5 sound like? Just the MC5, period.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame needs to correct this glaring error and induct the MC5.
Abba. Are you kidding? Is this a damn joke?
Induct the MC5. Accept no substitutes.
Should the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame come out of its late-Capitalist coma caused by rewarding record sales over the music on the record, it will see that it is high time to induct the MC5.
And I suggest you get it done while a few of the guys in the band can enjoy it.
Induct the MC5 into the Hall of Fame and prove that you are indeed not entirely brain dead.
And if I don't hear that Blue Cheer is inducted soon after the MC5, I'm gonna have to kick the damn metaphorical juke box again and no, I'm not giving you your money back this time either.
RIP Fred "Sonic" Smith. You were magnificent. Our thoughts are always with the remarkable Patti Smith and their children.
THANKS AND MUCH RESPECT TO DENIIS "MACHINE GUN" THOMPSON!
Big up to brother Wayne Kramer, brother Wayne Kramer.
Many thanks to Elliot Levin to introducing me to Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra, a man of infinite grace, and also to the poet John Sinclair, formerly of the White Panther Party and former manager of The MC5.
I met them both at the gone but not forgotten Tritone on South Street, a venue that Elliot often played.
He regularly chewed up and ate the Tritone for a late dinner while appearing in a seemingly endless stream of bands there including The Bobby Zankel Orchestra, New Ghost and the West Philadelphia Orchestra.
A marvelous prose poem about the Tritone written by Elliot Levin entitled FOR MM: THE DEVIL'S INTEGER can be found in the catalogue for my solo exhibition in 2011at TIGER STRIKES ASTEROID entitled BAR SINISTER. Here is the URL for the catalogue: