This Was The Most Fucked-Up Night Ever
The following is a reprint of the running commentary from what easily ranks as the most bizarre Five Year Jacket show in my recollection. This is reprinted from my old website, which you may or may not remember. By the way, I am currently working on some way to make this absurdly large font smaller. It's just going to take some time to work through this CSS crap that I know next to nothing about.
A Letter From Tom:
Dated Friday, 13 September 2002
Help Me, I Am In Hell
Hell is better known as Fat Daddy'z in Seneca, which is only about ten miles southwest of Buttfucking Egypt. From the outside, one would swear the place was where they shot the "Rawhide scene" for The Blues Brothers. Inside, it's visually quite nice with the exception of the clientele. I am here to see the band, but I got here early and am therefore being subjected to the assault of an endless rotation of AC/DC and Sweet Home Alabama on the jukebox. I look at the clock on the wall and see that the band will not start playing for another ten minutes.
The Chinese have many Hells, or so Big Trouble In Little China would have me believe. This one is probably "The Hell of Drunken Bikers and Rednecks." It is possible that I died on the journey to a perfectly nice bar and just didn't make the cut to go through the pearly gates of Heaven and now I've ended up here for all eternity. I have three cigarettes and forty-eight cents left for all eternity, not even enough for a beer or another pack of smokes. This is Hell, whether I'm dead or not.
Five Year Jacket begins playing, and the establishment becomes several levels of magnitude less hellish, but a rather large man who resembles Bob from Fight Club has requested the band play "Brown-Eyed Girl." Bob... Bob had bitch-tits, and a mullet in this case. And a large orange tank-top which prominently displays his bitch-tits to anyone unfortunate enough to see him in profile. And, from the looks of the girl that he's dancing with, which proportionately resembles an orange and a toothpick, she probably doesn't have brown eyes, but probably also doesn't see the inherent oddity of requesting that particular song.
From the looks of this Redneck Heaven, perhaps a more appropriate song would have been "Janie's Got A Gun."
There's this giant inflatable Jim Beam bottle atop the requisite Playboy pinball machine, and I keep seeing myself floating across the ocean on it, Cast Away style. Wilson is already gone and, if I should die of exposure during the trip, I hope this letter finds you well.
There is a mullet-biker. I have checked the profiles at Mullets Galore, but none of them are he. This is Gypsy, or so his leather beret says. I mention him because he is standing directly in the middle of my sight-line and the band, and therefore he deserves nothing less than to be immortalized for his great talents, other than being able to down at least fifteen beers during the band's four-hour set and probably go home with the local transvestite. But we're not going to talk about that.
During the band's first break, Gypsy asks what kind of hog Jay (the bass player) likes to ride. I'm not certain whether Gypsy's asking about motorcycles or trying to confess his own attraction to Arnold from Green Acres.
But I digress. During that first set, Gypsy showed himself to be quite the air-guitar player. He first displayed a talent for this on Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Pride & Joy" and then on several songs afterward. He is quite the virtuoso, though he still has to put down his bottle to play the solos. The band begins playing another of their own songs, so one would think Gypsy would either stop or at least switch to rhythm guitar after picking up the chords. But no! He begins playing air drums!!! This fucker is talented! Where are the American Idol people?
I unfortunately notice, since he is standing exactly midway between myself and the band, which is no more than ten feet away, that Gypsy has a tendency to gyrate in such a way while playing any particular air-instrument that one would think that he table-dances down at the local tattoo-parlor on the nights when he's not out in the woods drinking moonshine and looking for river-rafters to fuck Deliverance-style.
When he turns around and faces the band, rather than playing along with them for the crowd, he appears as though he were masturbating, which probably is commonplace out here. He makes a beeline for the restroom, still playing air-guitar, and he now looks like he's doing the pee-pee dance.
This is so surreal. I feel like I've stepped into a Salvador Dali painting. It seems like "Persistence of Memory," because time is melting away particularly slowly while teenage girls who would've been prime models for Reuben gyrate on the dance floor. Me, I'm the model for Edvard Munch's "The Scream." I would escape, but I didn't drive here, so I'm clinging to the giant bottle of Beam for dear life. It's like being in in the scene from Trainspotting where Renton's locked in his room to detox.
It's almost like stepping into the greatest sociological find of the last hundred years, but at the same time it's like stepping in a huge pile of dog shit in your best pair of shoes. This is the Mecca of all redneck culture. Or, maybe it's a redneck subculture. Should the word 'culture' fall into play at all with these people? The signs on the wall are in English and the bartenders take American money, but the same could be said of any number of third-world countries with depressed or collapsed economies.
We're somewhere in the second set. The band starts playing "Stuck in the Middle." This is the call for all of the middle-aged housewives to come out and do a dance that vaguely resembles that of Mr. Blonde, but is probably more inspired by the exotic dancing these women had to do in order to pay for their GED night-schooling. A middle-aged man joins the two women on the dance floor. He does a move that resembles that of a shaman trying to conjure fire from an empty pit.
This is when I realize that I'm being subjected to music I really enjoy while horrific things are displayed to me in such a manner that I simply cannot look away. I realize that I am no longer in a Salvador Dali painting, but am now in A Clockwork Orange.
This town is proof that not all of America has heard that first cousins shouldn't breed.
This place is beginning to get ugly. I'm beginning to wonder where the chicken-wire is and when they're going to put it up, because it's only a matter of time before this place is going to devolve into a massive orgy of switchblades, hunting rifles and bandannas.
This place is proof that Darwin was so fucking wrong, because I am currently looking around at the Descent of Man back down into lesser hominids and other mammals without opposable thumbs. That's right, folks: Pack your bags, we're headed back to the ocean. Man's day on this planet is over. Gypsy is devolution in fast-forward, as he's already been reduced to primal grunts and screams and is walking around with his chest puffed out as though he were an alpha-male Silverback gorilla.
It seems as though the more attractive people (though precious few there are) are gravitating to the other attractive people while the less attractive people keep to their own kind; like high school cliques. However, I have never in my entire life seen in one place so many people who took a header off the top of the Ugly Tree and hit every branch on the way down as I do here.
The band is taking their final break of the night. Three Pink songs in a row on the jukebox, by the last of which the bartenders are on the bar dancing. Most of the men in the bar are paying attention. The band begins to play again and during the song "Cecilia" there is a middle-aged housewife dancing on the bar. Most of the men are simply trying to look away.
The band can't have much time left. As much as I love the music, I have just seen a barefoot and pregnant woman on the dance floor. I look around the bar for her ironing board, but it's probably outside, strapped to the roof of the family Vanagon.
Like nails scraped across a chalkboard, a girl sings a verse to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" because Kevin either doesn't know the words or has had the good sense to forget them and move on to a good song. However, this girl doesn't see it that way and keeps the song going at the expense of the other patrons' hearing. She is wearing a shirt that reads: SEXY does not mean you have to have sex. Apparently, The Candle's Foundation finds sex to be purely optional because she's practically fucking some guy on the dance floor a couple of songs later. Her form of birth-control is more likely than not being on top, because gravity will prevent fertilization.
If any of the countries of the world feel the need to test a low-yield nuclear warhead, the intersection of Illinois Route 6 and Jackson Street in Seneca is about as good a place as you're going to find anywhere. However, please check with the members of Five Year Jacket before doing so, in order to be sure the band is not playing at the time of detonation.
The band plays well beyond its 1:30 cut-off because Pat has shown up. Again, it's a blessing and a curse because I love the music, but I'd like to get out of this place as soon as possible.
It's 2:00. I am about to get in the car for the drive home. I am afraid to sleep because I have this feeling that I'm going to wake up and I'll be back in Seneca and it'll only be 10:30. Once I put this letter in the mailbox, I will cling to the bottle of Beam and hope for the best.
May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face,
And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.