threw a party for my 46th birthday at a dive bar in Chinatown. My buddies in the groups Ride The Blinds and Kidd Cook said they'd be my backup band for the night, so I made mix CDs of 60s dance music, printed up fliers and handed them out at dance clubs and told everyone to show up early to dance because the band would start playing around midnight.
y longtime musical partner Shiloh and I got to the Li Po Lounge on Grant Street around 9 to set up the sound system and our music gear. Directly beneath the main bar the Li Po has an underground grey concrete bunker-like basement that served as a speakeasy back in the day. You can rent for it for 80 bucks a night and do whatever you want down there. Li Po, by the way, was a Chinese poet who lived around 700 AD and specialized in verses about liquor and drinking. He is said to have drowned in the Yangtze River after falling from his boat while drunkenly trying to embrace the reflection of the moon. He is considered to be the greatest Chinese poet of premodern times. This is one of his poems
A cup of wine, under the flowering trees;
The Li Po Lounge folks were the best, Jacki the bartender gave me free shots of bourbon all night long and wouldn't let my friends pay for any of my drinks.
wore leopard spotted stretch jeans and made a matching shirt by scanning the fabric and designing an iron-on T shirt transfer using letters filled with the leopard print.
riends began to arrive, like the lovely Cara, shown here carrying pieces of the tasty chocolate mousse birthday cake she brought from Lotta's Bakery on Polk Street.
Her boyfriend's birthday was also that night, but Cara was so excited about my birthday bash she made the poor guy wait until the following night before she threw him a party.
was excited about having a dance party and put together lots of killer 60s music. Some dance club acquaintances showed up before the band played, but I didn't get a chance to do much dancing until I started singing, but then I made up for it, as evidenced by this short video clip
e warmed up by playing along with songs blasting from the mix CDs, then tore into "MysteryTrain," "Drunk," "Baby What Do You Want Me To Do," "Honky Tonk Women," "Hip Shake" and "Around And Around" all with me on vocals. I brought a 60 watt Roland amp to sing through but those guys were so loud that I had to scream all night and was so hoarse by the end that my voice dropped a octave. It was great.
his is Chris Guthridge of Ride The Blinds. He and Eric McFadden are the two of the best guitarists I ever played with.
his is Tish, my biggest fan. She always tells me how much she loves my playing and makes me feel like a big shot. She's a sweetheart.
his is Harmony, who took all these pictures. I brought a camera but there was so much going on I didn't have time to use it. Thanks Harmony!