Friday, November 13, 2009

Still living the Party

“Of the musicians I have known in 40 years------30% --Rehab----40%---Dead----------------30%---still living the Party.” – Robb Kunkel, July 2008.

Haig’s was bursting like a Midwesterner’s belt and 70 people were dancing in the streets even though the rain was December Montana cold. The sore and unassuming laborers of Hamilton needed a break from the thudding disillusion of the early Reagan years and the band delivered it for 6 hours straight. The motley mix of melodies from instruments that only hippies would dare combine harmonized like a single organism and the crowd vibrated right back. The only ripple was a seven year old kid in the corner playing Black Knight the entire time on one ball. A waitress asked if he could do that every time and the kid replied no, but dad’s up there on xylophone and I don’t think he’d give me another quarter. The manager ignored the 2 AM last call since most of the cops in town were drunk and undulating with the rest of them. The night only ended when the kegs ran dry and so Robbo, Thacky, Le Monsigneur, and Kirbo packed up while the manager escaped amid shouts of encore and well gimme my quarter back then. The night must have brought Haig’s more cash than most weeks, but they paid the band no money, only 10 cases of cheap beer that Thacky finished within a week. I don’t think they played Haig’s again.

(As far as I can remember, this story is mostly true; the beer payment was from another gig though. This story was inspired by rereading Robbo’s classic “Party Animal.“ )

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