Hot Tuna in Nyack

Here’s how the evening went.

At 5pm I picked up Larry (my brother) and we went to Suffern where his band was playing at the Wicky Lounge. This bar used to be a practice studio, but Suffern has changed from just another red-neck town on the Jersey border. 20 years ago, the bars all used to cater to drinkers who crossed the border to get to New York’s 18 year old drinking age. Now the town has been yuppy-fied and all the biker bars are wine bars or martini bars. Wicky lounge is a martini bar.

Wicky lounge was running a Tsunami benefit on the evening after the worst snow storm of the year on a night when there were two important football playoffs. There was hardly anyone there.

The band that played before Straight-Up was very bad and loud, so I left Larry and went down route 17 to get the cheap gas ($1.71 – not bad). When I got back the evil band was playing their big hit, Mustang Sally. A good song, but a dead giveaway that the blues band playing it is not very good.

Carlos and Straight-up went on stage at 6:45 and Hot Tuna was going on at 7. Straight-up was great, even with a pick-up drummer. I got Larry out at 7:25 and my truck flew down the thruway and hit Nyack running. Because of the snow, there was no place to park in Nyack. The truck was slipping and sliding on the unplowed roads but we found a place on our third trip round the block.

Hot Tuna went on 15 minutes late and we still missed the first half hour of the Accoustic set. They closed with Water Song, and they did a nice version of “Good Shepherd”.

The Electric set was mostly sad old men not playing very well and was not worth $37.50. Yorma flubbed a song and they had to restart. This is a far cry from the days of my youth when Hot Tuna would spend 7 hours on stage playing incredible blues and Pappa John Creach would wail on the fiddle.

I did not get to hear Candy Man or Embryonic Journey or any blues. They did “Rock Me Baby” which is by BB King or John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters, depending on who records it. The people next to me insisted that Chris Isaacs wrote it, but it might have been Bonny Raitt. Damn yuppies.

My friends John Ballard and Robert Peloquin who I haven’t seen in a year showed up and Larry and I and John and Robert and Bob Cardelli went over to Jim Callan’s house to raise a glass to Jim for his birthday and then Larry was afraid that he’d turn into a pumpkin so I drove him home.

An interesting night, but not very satisfying.

The good news: Poker is back to Friday nights and Ballard and Peloquin promised to make it.


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I started reading Science Fiction in the 1950s. I started Writing SF in the 1960s. Then, I had a life. Now I am retired, raising chickens and keeping bees. I am still an avid reader and I have sold about 70 stories in the last 20 years.
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