September 04, 2006 11:27 AM
Musings after Slim's 9/03/06

Good morning. Which it is. San Francisco. Minutes before noon. Let's pretend you weren't at the show... Here's the deal. A live show begins with soundcheck. Late afternoon. Vehicles arrive at the back door, aka the stage door. Yum, yum. I love stage doors. Barely marked, a little challenging to find. Sorely in need of aroma management. Load in. Then, the next glorious...hmm. landmark? Backstage. Black, wires, structure, framing, marks,... Now, the aroma is that of --- back stage. The olfactory complex of other bands, other nights, other glorious moments, inglorious moments.

Now, I wanted to say during the show, "I, Mary Kelley, and Debbie, too, (pause to ask Kathy) am a product of ensemble music in the public schools. Bring it back to our children. Don't cut music programs because of budgetary restraints." Nor P.E. Though I was no gymnastic success, I did refine my standup comedy at all my at bats in Girl's Softball. With my blue bloomers which remained unwashed for approximately three years until my gym teacher, Mrs. Holberg-Olsen, espied the state of my locker. Which brings us back to aroma management. See? Life is a circle. A circle of circles.

Little Mary Ellen is tiring, so let's move along.
A familiar tedium sets in, drums are assembled, amps are positioned, mikes are set up, sounds are found, founds... Time is eaten up, the last minutes are a scurry, a Ulysses in the Maelstrom, down to the bottom and then, mirabile dictu! the ship bounces up, floating again, minus a few more sailors. Good men. By my calculations Ulysses had 8,537 crew members on a ship about 29 feet (8.845 meters) long.

Where was I? Ah yes. Slim's.
Keeping with my classical nautical analogous metaphors, or metaphoric analogies - don't bug me - from the Soundcheck, Ulysses sails into the Doldrums. That time between the Soundcheck and the Arriving at the Venue Before Showtime. I would like to type that in Greek. (Pause.........................) But I can't!

Now, we're in the dressing rooms. A sublime confusion of the musicians, the house employees, significant others of one kind or another, and lots more aroma. The aroma of getting ready and having done, pheromones, adrenaline, perfume and perspiration, spilled beer, spilled beer and spilled beer.

Debbie calls it a rodeo and she's absolutely right. We're waiting for our brahma bull. The one with the scratchy hemp rope tied round his proud testicles, and he's looking to horn the perpetrators, especially the fucker who is about to sit on his shoulders. That's us. ("We?" chimes in the dog-tired Cranky Grammarian. "Oh. fuck it," she whimpers as she heads for the couch.)

Bonnie Hayes can be heard through the floor above. Her ride is good. WAUUGGHH goes her bell, and she jumps lithely off her bull, and dances en pointe down to her dressing room adjoining ours, doors open, chips and salsa for all, kudos to her, Vicki and Teresa, all the players, as we check our gloves, pull down our hats, and ease closer to our bull...

And then, the sailor reaches for the corral gate, the anchor is raised, the chaps (three pair) graze the wine dark sea the steaming snort of the enraged Minotaur the shields the lariat the swords the spurs the blood the...CONTRACTIONS!

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