Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Mustang Sally at The Iron Horse

Let me tell you about last week’s gig at the Iron Horse… This bar will both fascinate and repel you at the same time… You’ll get to meet colorful characters like One-Eyed Jack, Esteban, and “She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-at-least-if-you’re-Esteban. it’s a howling good time… And One-Eyed Jack is actually a pretty nice guy.

First off, if you’re dense – LIke I am – you'll notice that the place doesn’t have a horse in the signage. Instead, there’s a train.I’m not sure at what point it dawned on me that an Iron horse is a train – and not a metal sculpture of a Mustang… Maybe it was when the bar owner asked me to put a train on our band flyer. (Dave later explained to me that the Indians called trains iron horses) Anyway, the place dates back at least a hundred years. It’s dingy. The FBI could probably ID the “regulars” by the butt-imprints on each of their stools. I’m guessing this is the kind of place where you stake a claim to your barstool and that's that. The nutty thing is how good the food is. I swear - this could be the best burger I’ve had since leaving Grand Rapids (Remember the Cottage Bar? Mmmmmm)

Some friends of mine showed up to hear us. Nancy asked the bartender for a glass of Chardonnay. He merely laughed and poured her bourbon. It’d be like going to a diner and asking the server, “May I have my eggs over easy?” “Nope, but here's some oatmeal…”

The bar was divided into two sections, the bar, and the pool room. The band played in the pool room. Dave was setting up – and I was trying to stay out of his way. Scott and I parked in our places and tuned up. A gentleman I call Esteban came over, sat on the pool table, and began telling me (and Scott - but just because he was RIGHT THERE) about his life as a band roadie, how he wanted to play guitar, so he bought the Esteban Guitar on QVC for something like two-hundred bucks. Cool.

Here’s where the accounts of the story differ. What I thought I heard was “I live right across the street. You wanna see my guitar?” What Scott heard was “I live right across the street. You wanna come over to the house and see my guitar?” I guess it didn’t matter, because at that moment, his wife/chickieboom came over, pointed at the bar and said, “Get over there. Get back there!” He sheepishly followed. Scott looked at me: “That was scary.”

Ten minutes later, Esteban returned with a gig bag. He began to unpack the Esteban Guitar. Chickieboom was not pleased. She scolded, “PUT. IT. AWAY.” He asked if she was kidding. She stormed back into the bar. Esteban looked at me and asked who the main guitar player was. “Fran!” I exclaimed. “Hey Fran, play his guitar!” Fran played his guitar. Chickieboom was now livid, marched to the jukebox and chose a nice, loud number. Esteban took his guitar. “That’s my woman. She’s pissed."

Had I needed the ladies’ room that night, I’d have brought at least three people with me – I may have even taken the whole band. “You could get your ass kicked tonight, Kelly,” warned Scott. I don’t want to sound fatalistic or anything, but Chickieboom was REALLY angry.

The gig went okay – despite all – and our loving couple even danced when we sang “Mustang Sally…” And no one’s ass got kicked at all. In fact, the reg’lars liked us enough to have us back…. So come on and listen. Just wear flannel, don't order wine, enjoy the food, and, in the event I need you, accompany me to the ladies' room.


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