Friday, February 17, 2012

A Few More Rockabilly Problems.

Rockabillies rarely blend into a crowd which has the unfortunate consequence of sometimes being the rusty nail sticking out of a board. A lot of people ( especially cops) see the rusty nail as an affront to their delusional view of a well-ordered universe. Their instinctive reaction is to hammer down that rusty nail with a large hammer.

The squares' see their universe through a wonder bread tainted lens as they see themselves riding Dutch bicycles to the market to purchase cheese or browse the aisles at Sears looking for ugly pants and electric leaf blowers. The closest thing to an act of rebellion on their part would be getting slightly larger tires for the minivan.

Rebels and non-conformists don't really scare theses people, because that type of thinking is so foreign to them that they can barely fathom it. One thing is for sure, however; it threatens them. It shakes the foundations of their neat and linear lives and they are convinced that those greasy people are up to no good. In a world that encompasses whiskey, cigarettes and fast cars, they may sometimes be right.

The greasy subterranean micro-culture that is Rockabilly remains an enigma to most and being part of that world sometimes has unexpected consequences.

In Northern climates, greasers tend to favor the classic black leather jacket, This adds a menacing element to the overall demeanor of the greaser. As I had stated in some older posts, squares ( and cops) have a Hollywood inspired perception ( which seems archaic and out-dated) about dudes in leather jackets. Cheap hoods don't wear leather jackets these days; they wear glittery Tap-Out t-shirts or dirty jogging pants.

My own leather jacket had recently acquired a strange odor which came from years of exposure to exhaust fumes, beer, chicks wearing cheap perfume, WD-40, Nachos and crappy one dollar cigars. I managed to find some automotive leather cleaner and decided to give a good wash. The jacket turned out great but the cleaning had one negative result; the damn thing starting squeaking when I wore it. It wasn't a slight squeak usually associated with new leather, it was an inexplicable noise that sounded like a pig squealing. Like a pig squealing after it got caught in a barbed wire fence. It was disconcerting to say the least and walking home one night after having had more than a few drinks, I would abruptly stop and look behind me because I was sure that someone was following me. It was that damned jacket and its porcine emanations.

Now the squares are more perplexed than ever as I walk down the street with greasy hair and a black jacket that randomly makes odd noises. It makes it more difficult to be incognito and precludes any possibility of skulking about should the need arise. Gives a whole new meaning the term "squeal like a pig fer me".

The greasy hair seems to be an endless sense of amusement for many squares. Almost all greasers have had to hear a derogatory " Hey Elvis!" at least a few times in their lives. Squares don't realize the amount of work that goes into maintaining a pomp and the exhaustive research conducted to find that elusive perfect grease. The only thing that is more detrimental to the pomp than drunken cougars wanting to touch it, is bright spot lights. I was recently playing a show in a bar that had a low ceiling. This put the spotlights a lot closer to my head than I was used to. Half way into the show, I could feel my pomp slowly starting to deconstruct under the excessive heat of the spotlights. I fixed it with a quick swoop of my trusty comb, but judging by the looks on some squares faces, the only thing scarier to them than a pomp, is a pomp that has fallen apart. They don't realize it that is way scarier for us.

A lot of people strive to have a cool e-mail address and greasers are no different. It is not meant to be taken seriously nor is it a vicarious attempt to define one's identity. For the most part, it is meant to be humorous. In many cases the e-mail address is an accurate definition of the person using it. If someone's e-mail handle is chances are that he is a surly greaseball. If the name is , you can almost be certain that he is a  high strung boozer. This all great in the realm of the cyber-rockabilly-world, but there are some instances where it might not do. 

One situation that comes to mind is when one is seeking employment. It is probably a good idea to open an alternate Gmail account with a regular name eg, for employment purposes. Employers in pretty much any line of work tend to be conservative and e-mail handles like, or are not likely to impress potential employers.

If the unfortunate situation of dealing with the taxman arises it is also best to beep it conservative. are bound to raise a few red flags and having revenuers knocking on your door.

I have noticed over the years that it is difficult to get through the day without saying the word Rockabilly at least a couple of times a day. It is almost used as a disclaimer, particularly when meeting new people who for the most part will assume that a greasy dude is automatically a musician, In many cases their assumption may be correct and the situation has to be clarified. If  I happen to mention why I was in Vegas I have to specify that I was there for Viva Las Vegas and usually have to explain that is a Rockabilly festival. This when I am usually met by blank stares.Some will openly question whether or not I have rocks in my head, "you go to Vegas for 4 days of Rockabilly?" Even if they don't say it, their incredulous tone thinly veils their contempt. I usually respond with something like " Yeah, there's a few thousand cats just like me down there," and enjoy the  fact that I have completely baffled them.Most of these people probably listen to Nickleback anyway, so the whole exchange seems pointless to begin with.

There is one advantage, however, to people thinking you are a musician. When you go to see band, the bouncers usually assume that you are in that band or , at the very least, a roadie. This saves you from waiting in long line ups or paying cover. Depending on security, it is often possible to get backstage, hang out with the band and drink band beer. You may have to carry the occasional amplifier or bass cabinet, but it is well worth it. I guess all the greasy cats look the same to most people, but if it results in free drinks, I'm down with that.

1 comment:

  1. "Hey Elvis!"... I hate that shit. Once I was called "Johnny Bravo" :/