RE: [Harp-L] Harmonica and Dancing Women

Okay, I guess this thread isn't quite dead yet, so I'll relay MY story:

I was playing in the lounge portion of a local landmark restaurant, when
two gorgeous women walked in. They were about 30-ish; one wearing a
mini-skirt, the other wearing short-shorts. They had obviously been
partaking of adult beverages long before arriving at the club.

During a break, the girl in the shorts started CLIMBING on our
six-foot-eight bass player and kissing him with a purple passion. The
rest of the band laughed as they watched, saying that she looked like a
telephone repair person shimmying up a pole. Our bass player was single,
the woman beautiful, so all was well.

Then the second set started. During our first song, I could see out of
the corner of my eye that "short-shorts" was standing right in front of
me gyrating and letting the music (and the fresh cocktail) take control.
I was about to start my solo when she boarded the two-foot-high stage
and jumped on my back, holding on with her legs, and waving her hand in
the air, riding me like a rodeo bull! Now, I'm 38 years old, 5'11" and
weigh 160 lbs. I'm no rodeo bull. After a few seconds of that nonsense,
she wrapped her arms around my chest/neck, holding her cheek to the side
of my head, kissing my jaw and ear. (Picture a guy piggy-backing his
girlfriend.) So, basically, my arms are pinned to my sides and I'm in a
headlock. No big deal.

I'm a big Jerry Portnoy fan; to the extent that my body position is very
much like his when I play. That is, I stand with a slight crouch (maybe
that encouraged the "horsey ride") and play with my arms close to my
body. So, even with the added weight and wrestling holds, I continued to
play in my fairly "standard" position. I continued to play as if nothing
was going on while the crowd ate it up. I actually did a pretty good
solo, if I do say so myself, and managed to wrap up the song shortly

What kept me going was the thought of how that must have looked to the
audience (entertainment value) and the admiration and subsequent
folklore spread by the other band members. "You mean he just kept
playing?" "Yeah, it was awesome, and he never missed a beat!"

After the song was over, the scenario took a quick downward turn when
the girl climbed down, and tried to initiate the same plunger-quality
liplock that she had so lovingly engaged in with our bass player
earlier. Forever the gracious diplomat and knowing she wasn't acting on
her own accord and knowing I was on a stage in a crowded room, I dodged
the frontal assaults and defaulted to the more appropriate cheek kisses,
saying "thank you, thank you" and gradually pulling away from her. Her
mini-skirt-clad friend began shouting from the dance floor "Leave him
alone, he must be queer!" In response, I held up my left hand and
declared: "I'm not queer, I'm married." But I think I might have
accidentally held up the wrong finger as proof...

Pretty girls can make wonderful things happen in a band setting. They
can bring lots of guys into a club. Guys buy drinks. Drinks make money.
Club likes money. Club hires band again. Pretty girls can invigorate the
band with their approving looks and Slinky-style dance moves. And
sometimes, if there are enough of them, their mere presence can make up
for the low pay you're getting for the gig. I like to "feed" off of the
good vibes I get from the pretty ladies. Hey, it's all part of the
fantasy. I know I'll never be a fixture in the music business or play on
the stages of world renown, but I can "live the dream", if only for an
instant, every other Saturday night in the local watering hole. I just
have to understand where the dream ends and where reality begins. I know
that on Monday morning I'll be sitting here at work, paying bills for
the State, while that back-riding cowgirl is in some cubicle or behind
some counter somewhere trying to remember what she did Saturday night
and hoping it wasn't too bad.

Alcohol can make people do things they might regret the next day. As an
entertainer, and "public figure", we must remember that we are
ambassadors of our chosen trade. What we do, how we act and sometimes
how we REact speaks volumes about our personal integrity and that of our
band mates. If an audience member insists on making a drunken mess of
themselves on the dance floor, so be it. But if their actions involve
band members, we must shift gears and act according to the best
interests of the band's reputation, if not our own. 

As Gary Primich used to say of his drummer Chris Minnick: "Always
professional, always entertaining."

John Balding
Tallahassee, FL

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