3 – Blog a18- Empress of the South

We decide we can sleep in the car that evening and use the motel room to catch Casper up on fucking. They declare my ass off-limits after I wince every time anything goes near there. I miss that sinking feeling that I get before letting either one of them fuck me. I have become a hopeless bottom. Jack and Casper are squabbling over who will top whom when I fall asleep. Getting fucked in my wet dreams is better than being on injured reserve in an actual 3-way. When I open my eyes, they’re sitting on the bed watching me get off in my sleep.
“You moaned a lot, before you sprayed all over us and the bed,” Jack narrates my wet dream. “We never touched you.”

“That’s not how I remember it.”
Casper signs, “Go take a bath to clean off. Soak that damaged butt hole. We need you back in action. All Jack wants to do is fuck me.”
When I am finally done in the bathtub, they are sound asleep in each other’s arms. How sweet. I slip into bed and soon drift away.

About 8 pm, Hippie knocks on the door, telling us to get ready to leave. We throw all our dirty clothes in a pillow case and head out. The Uncles put their tops up. It will get increasingly cooler as we drive north. Jack, Casper and I pile in and go back to sleep in the back seat of Uncle Tam’s De Soto.  Hippie is up front. Robby, Michael and Iggy are in Uncle Steve’s Chrysler, with Max in the back. The Florida Turnpike ends in Jupiter. We take US 1 north to Jacksonville with orange groves filling both cars with the aroma of sweet Florida sunshine orange blossoms. Our nemesis Anita Bryant has yet to be hired as the Florida Orange Growers spokesperson. We all sleep, until hours later we reach Savannah. The uncles put us to bed in a downtown hotel. It’s a sunny morning when we finally wake up.

Welcome to Georgia. The Planters Inn is on Reynolds Square, just off historic Bay Street. It is run down but full of Southern charm. Again, the uncles put us in a room with two beds, unaware that Casper needs space as well. There are four of us in one bed, with Robby adding his obnoxious self. Casper sleeps at the foot of the bed. We all go down to breakfast: hominy and grits, as well as eggs, bacon and sweet rolls. The chatty waitress is thrilled to keep our plates full as we have not eaten much since Sunday morning. According to her, we are ‘just the sweetest things.’ Hippie is captivated. He even tries talking to her
The uncles come down and take us on a walking tour of the city, with its many historic squares and parks. Robby is bewitched by the moss draped trees. Walking along the riverfront he finds a tree-lined park.  He is off through the branches. We all follow him with the uncles watching in amazement as we swing Tarzan-style from branch to branch. Robby thinks the moss will hold him like a jungle vine. He learns his lesson when it breaks off. He falls a few feet before grasping a solid branch. It only encourages him to go further and higher. Eventually, we are all standing with the uncles watching him renew his Peter Pan spirit.  A photographer asks if we know the tree climber. We admit we are all as immature as Robby, just not so much so. He takes a dozen or so shots of Boy Tarzan . He finds out we are a band going to play in New York City. When Robby comes down, we pose for more pictures. Max is, of course, the star of the shoot. Back at the hotel, Jack and I decide to try the old Blind Willy act, busking along the river walk, with Max as guide dog. We set up with the small practice amp, playing requests for oldies; Jack sings and asks for donations. Max barks once every time someone donates. A couple of black kids come along and say we can’t busk there. They control the tourist trade. I tell them to fuck off. When they try to grab my hat full of coins and bills, Jack punches the biggest one. Before he has a chance to punch him back, Max goes for him. The kid turns and runs. Max bites him on the butt. The crowd cheers us on, which is pretty racist. Still we take the extra money Jack’s feisty attitude earned. We get $100 for an afternoon’s busking. I think about sending the hundred bucks to the Daytona church. Jack says ‘Fuck that.’ We go back to the hotel and get our own room. It’s $60, We earned the money. Casper is sitting with the others, while they get stoned. We grab our clothes and take him to the new room. We make good use of our afternoon ‘nap.’ My ass is still recovering, so Casper takes the butt of Jack’s macho fucking. We have created a monster. He calls the nerds to brag about his adventures. He ends up mediating a D&D dispute. Isaac says ‘Hi.’ Casper and I try writing a song about tree climbing and flying through the air. It ends up sounding too much like ‘up up and away.’ Jack comes over and suggests:

“Barefooted boy
Makes a stand
To take his joy
Going hand to hand

Flying out free
Branch to branch
Through the trees
Reckless chance.”

“That’s cool,’ we agree.
I add a chorus:

“Free to be
A monkey like me
Ha ha ha
He he he
Haw haw haw
Chee chee chee

We start jumping around, acting like monkeys at the zoo. A sharp knock at the door. We open it to a young black bellhop. He tells us civilly. “There are other guests who do not enjoy rambunctious children disturbing their peace and quiet,” and he winks at us.
We grab him and pull him into the room. Knowing it is racially insensitive, we stop the monkey dance and pull his trousers down. He just smiles as we attack him. Somehow all four of us get off from a single blowjob. He sits on the floor afterwards, with a big grin on his face.
“Usually I get twenty bucks when dirty old men do that.”
I pull out a Jackson and give it to him. He pushes me flat on my back and gives me a blow job, handing me back the twenty, “I always wanted to do that, but no one was ever as tempting before.”
His shiny, velvety skin enchants Casper, who continues to caress him as he lays there naked. Totally unaware of Casper’s attentions, he seems to glow from the sensual stimulation.
“You boys make me feel so good, even though you raped me,” he observes. “How old are you?”
“Oh, no. Now I’m the rapist.” He doesn’t look guilty. “I just celebrated my eighteenth.”
“Such baby skin for an old man,” Jack caresses his cheeks.
“You should see it all made up,” he brags.
“You’re too cute to need makeup,” I assert.
“Well, come to The Pickup tonight. I’ll amaze you,” he invites.
“You perform?”
“The Greatest Southern Drag Show south of the Mason-Dixon.”
We are enthralled. “Can we get in at 16?” I ask.
“Just tell the doorman you are guests of The Lady and smile real pretty.”
“I performed at a gay bar when I was fifteen,” I brag.
“Well, com’n down. I’ll make you so pretty, those old queens will die.”
“How about me?” Jack wants in.
“’Course, sugar. We’ll call you Baby Cakes.”
“What’s your stage name?”
“I’s the Lady Chah-bli.”
“That did taste like fine wine I just drank,” I declare.
“Only the finest, honey. Now tell me you didn’t sneak into this room for some afternoon delight.”
“No, we busked on the riverfront and paid. Last night we had to sleep four to a bed.”
“Wanna hear the song we were singing, which you so rudely interrupted,” Jack wants to perform for The Lady.
We do our ‘Barefoot in the Park’ song as Chablis jumps around with us screeching like monkeys. Seeing herself in the mirror, he stops. “I ain’t falling fer yer black stereotype,” and flounces out.
“Wait. Where’s The Pickup?” we yell after her.
“On Congress Street. Look for all the aging gay men hoping I’ll perform tonight. Come backstage. I’ll make you boys look fab-u-lous.”

Casper tells Jack the story of our one-night stand at the Eros Lounge in North Miami. Then we practice Abba’s ‘Mama Mia,’ including the strip. Casper helps Jack with his moves and lines. If we get applause, we’ll strip and bump, grinding on Casper who’ll be between us. Casper promises to get us hard if Jack’s snapping of my gay briefs doesn’t do the trick. Finally getting in the mood, Jack drags us to the other room and breathlessly tells them of the night’s performance. Robby and Michael are game to go. Hippie and Iggy say they have other plans and someone has to watch Max. The plan is to check out at midnight and drive to North Carolina to make Monday night’s roadhouse gig. By the time we eat and pack up the car, it’s almost eight. All we know is The Pickup is on Congress Street. A De Soto convertible cruising the red light district draws all the queens who tell us where to go.
“… to Hell.”
“Do wah?”
“You asked me where to go. You can go to Hell,” a silly queen winks at me.

The Pickup is underground off an alley. The queens lead us right there. The bouncer knows who we are but cards Uncle Tam anyway. The rest of us pass on in.
“Are you lookin’ for the Lady?” a cocktail waitress asks.
“Actually looking for our bell boy.” Uncle Tam reveals.
“You just sit over here, honey. I’ll take care of you.”
We all go over to sit down. Two other girls came by our table and tell us to follow them.
“I’ll be fine right here,” Uncle Tam clucks.
Michael and Robby are laughing and pointing while Jack signs to Casper, “Check out the tranies. Think they’ve ever seen a real transparent.”
They take us to do makeup, then hair and costumes.”
Robby insists we go barefooted, so we all looked like refugees from ‘Little House on the Prairie.’
Michael and Robby are fine until they see themselves in a mirror. They’re pointing at each other, until they get mad at Jack and me. The tricksters are tricked.
“Remember those two boys who almost got busted for doing a strip in Miami Beach. This is conclusive evidence it was you two. I wish I had a picture,” I threaten.
“Fuck you. We’re not going out there and performing like this.”
“Who’d want you, Robby May, looking like some hayseed straight from the farm. You both are here to watch us lip-synch and dance our asses off for the crowd. If you go on like that, they’ll go straight to the strip music.”
I explain, “Jace and I did the North Miami strip, so Jack and I will recreate it here to Abba’s ‘Momma Mia.

If all goes well, we’ll do it again and actually strip. With magic underwear we know we’ll have hard-ons for everyone to enjoy. After that, if we get an encore, you guys can come out and lip-synch Queen’s ‘Champions.’ We’ll all do a chorus line. Without magic underwear you guys have to go commando.”
They stand there for ten seconds looking at each other. Turning around they launch themselves at us.
“You, fuckers,” and a four-way cat fight destroys our wigs, makeup and especially the dresses. Back we go for a refit.

“Dammit, Robby, I wanna wear heels,” Jack refuses to be denied.
Growing by six inches does wonders for a poor queen’s ego. Our next outfits are all satin and silk. We are all gorgeous. At last.
“When do we see the Lady?” I ask.
“Oh, you mean The Empress.”
“The Empress?”
“Yes, sonny, the Empress of the South.”
“Had I known,” Jack pipes up, “I would have worn the real stones,” flashing 4 rings on his left hand.
“Now, that’s a girl who knows her place. The Lady Chablis awaits.”
We are ushered into a private dressing room.
“Darlings, you look so lovely. Fresh as apple pie.”
“From the heartland.”  I answer, pressing my hands to my scrawny breast.
“Lovely, lovely, lovely,” she exclaims. “And, who are these lovelies,” as she notices Michael and Robby?”
“We’re the Jacettes, Flow and Eddie,” Robby snarls.
“Can we go on?” I beg. “We’re all set. I did this once before except we fully striped and the cops came.”
“Well, aren’t they mean down there. Come and get some of mama’s lovin.’”
I move over and gracefully lower myself at her knees.
“I’m so surprised you followed me here after our afternoon tryst.”
“We’d hardly gotten to know each other.”
Casper sits by the other knee, whereas Jack sits in front, leaning against me.
“And what are your stage names, girls?”
“We used Max and Bowser before, but Maxie and Bowie will do.”
“My goodness, so well prepared.”
“I feel every performance has to be the once in a lifetime that I always remember,” Jack gushes.
“We’ll try leaving them wanting more, that’s why we’ll drag out Robyn and Michelle at the end,” as I point to the two spectators.
“Well, every straight boy in his place and the queens be mastah. Now, tell me exactly what you have planned.”
I give her the music directions, Abba and Queen.
“Showtime, ladies,” the Lady sends out the word. Activity goes into overdrive. No one is sitting down backstage. We mingle with all the acts and their supporters. It’s a cocktail party with drinks plus plenty of cock and tail. Being underground means no back door and the room is not enormous. If we get raided, Mike Sr.’s political career ends right here in Savannah, the ruination of many a Southern boy. Casper signs that there is an empty closet with an inside lock. I tell everyone in case of trouble to get in there and not to lock it until I show up.
I think we are invisible backstage. Then I see Uncle Tam wave at me. I stick my head out at the stage left curtain. Someone screams and the others including Casper, stick their heads out, too.  A big roar from the audience. Desperate for jail bait, are they not?

Chablis takes the mic and does introductions of the acts. She mentioned us as the Lost Boys of Miami, and how we cannot stop exposing ourselves. Robyn sticks her head out again to a big laugh.
“Maybe they’s just lost,” she remarks.

It is fun to watch the acts from backstage. There is more drama there then on stage where the acts seem so serious. Behind the screen, they collapse into hysterics or grief, depending on their performance. Suddenly we are up.

The Lady kindly introduces us as Frida and Agnetha from Sverige.
The spotlight picks us out on stage and we mouth, ‘Mamma Mia, here I go again..’

as we rock back to back, butt to butt, keeping our hands up and smiling at all the leering men out front. We get polite applause. We go ahead and sing it again as we strip to our briefs.
The reaction is instantaneous, which make our dicks snap to attention. We both love showing off. Our dicks are Jack Spratt and Mrs. Spratt, ready to be licked clean. We turn to each other and Casper jumps into the middle so our dicks stroke both his hips. It looks like we were getting off without touching. As we finish the lyrics, Jack’s garden hose pops up above his waistband. He’s so surprised that he cums instantly, spraying the front seats. People either jump back or leap forward. Jack puts his fingers to his lips and runs off stage, Casper and I chase him. The cries and cheers are incessant. A stage hand emerges from the darkness and gathers up our dresses.
“You want that jail bait back?” Chablis asks the crowd.
A big yes comes back.
We wiggle back into costume. The makeup girls put excessive rouge on Jack’s cheeks and smear his lipstick. All four of us flounce out. With our arms around each other, we skip the French leg kicks.
“This is for all the queens out there,” I yell without a mic.
The recording starts at the beginning of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ so we all sing to each other, even Michael.

“I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the champions – my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World

I’ve taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune
And everything that goes with it
I thank you all
But it’s been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before
The whole human race
And I ain’t gonna lose

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the champions – my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions

…Of the World.””

Mercury, Freddie
Published by
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

We’re having so much fun, we do the French Can Can, forgetting that we made Michael and Robby go commando. The PA cuts off and Chablis hustles us off stage. She hands me a bag with all our street clothes. They are pitiful after the silk dresses.
“Run right now, get in that delovely De Soto, and get the hell out of here.”
We air kiss and promise to stay in touch.
‘Keep the dresses except send me back that Valentino. It is my first real purchase.”
A hundred fans follow us out to the car. Someone alerted Uncle Tam. He is at the wheel with the top down. We jump in. He toots the horn. We tear off in a cloud of ghetto dirt.

Robby starts berating us for leading them astray. We throw him in the back seat and jump back after him. Subduing him and holding him down, Michael gives him a pink belly.
“I’ve wanted to do that for so long,” he crows.
“What? Exposing yourself?”
Uncle Tam turns up the radio, authentic 50s pop radio playing ‘Tutti Frutti.”

“We’re all fags,” he shouts.
“Don’t be so gay,” we all shout back.

Max and the boys are waiting at the hotel. We’re still in dresses, which causes a scene. After changing, it is still early. We have our evening burgers and shakes before leaving town. We five stay with Uncle Tam and the other two with Uncle Steve. Max, tired of Iggy’s inferior weed, jumps into the back with Casper, while there are five in the front seat, comfortably seated with our narrow teen asses, smoking a joint and sparking up Max with a shotgun hit. After some gossiping about our night, I slip in to the back with Casper and Max. We end up curled around each other like puppies. When I awake we were already at Mount Holly, near the roadhouse in Charlotte.

The Uncles check us in. I say I need to find my friends in Denver, not far away. We three plus Robby take the DeSoto, while everyone else sleeps. I’m fired up to see Floyd’s gang. Even my ass feels fine, an ominous sign. I fear I am becoming a bottom because of the strangely sensual feelings it causes. I am sliding into being a pussy boy, just in time for my hillbilly friends. Floyd will be triumphant. On the other hand, it might make sense to check in on the Ann sisters. I want them to be at our show tonight. I could just call the garage, but I want to look like the big shot, driving a 50’s classic convertible, showing up to see all my homies. Fuck yeah.

It is all familiar, driving up to the general store  with the boys standing outside.  Yet it hits me how small the town is. My imagination has blown it up. It is good to return. I pull to a stop and beep the horn. The boys look at us sleepily, before doing a double take.
“It’s them sissy boys from Miami. What’s up motha fuckas.”
“I toldja I’d be back.”
“Had to steal yerself a fancy car to get here? I know ya ain’t rich ’nuff ta afford this one,” Wayne asks, running his finger along the tail fin.
“Who’s these boys?” Floyd points at Jack and Robby. “Where’s that other sissy boy y’all was with last summa?”
We all get out. I make casual introductions.
“We’s all in a band. Y’all gots ta come see us at the Tar River Bar & BBQ in Mount Holly tonight.”
“Do Wot? Ya gotta be shittin’ me. That place is a pit. Can ya get us in? Ya gotta be 18 to git by the bouncer.”
“No problem amigo. We’re connected.”
“The only connection y’all ever made was with yer buddy’s butthole.”
“Well, there was other connections made last summer.”
Wayne turns red.
“I ah ‘spose ya wanna see the sheriff and his lucky wife?
“Lucky sheriff.”
“Ya got that.”
“How is ol’ Cheryl Ann?”
“Too old for y’all. And her sister Lee Ann got herself pregnant and is retired from the slut biznuss.”
Oh, shit.
“When’s she due?”
“Don’t worry, lova boy. Not ‘til June.”
“How’s Willie, Wayne? Yor still stealin’ his cars?”
“Same ol piss shit and vinegar. Ya gonna let me drive this heah De Soto? I sees it’s got the big V-8.”
“Sure thing, give us the tour.” I toss him the keys.

We all pile in, me riding pussy between Wayne and Floyd, Mr. Shotgun. Wayne only knows one speed, pedal to the metal. The big boat slithers down the country roads.

First stop, Sheriff Tom’s office. Cheryl Ann runs out the door once she recognizes me. He is keeping a closer eye on her. He has her working in the office.
“Oh my goodness, look who’s returned, the lost tourist.”
She hugs me. I twirl her around.
“My goodness, you’ve gotten older and much more scrawny. They don’t have fried chicken in Miami.”
“It’s called ‘pollo’ there.”
“Here, you’re just a po’ ol’ boy. We need to put some meat on them bones. Where’s ur ol’ partner in crime?”
“History, but these boys are in my band. We’re playing the BBQ Pit Bar in Mount Holly tonite and tomorra.”
Sheriff Tom comes out.
“Look, honey. Tim’s come back jist ta see us. He’s in a band playing hereabouts tonight. Can we go?”
“Howdy, boy. Glad ta see ya no longer hitch hikin’,” as he eyes the De Soto.
“I may have a problem gettin’ the keys back from ol’ Wayne, though.”
“What’s this I hear ’bout you boys performin’ at the ol’ Tar River BBQ Pit Bar?”
“We come over personally to invite y’all. Remember what fun we had playing and singing to your collection of 45s. Well, our band tries to do the same but for an older audience. A little bit raunchy, riles everybody up.”
“I’ll be sure’n ta bring ma gun.”
“We’ll play the Beach Boys’ ‘Barbara Ann’ in honor of Cheryl Ann’s momma.”
“We all be there. Well, I’ll be, how’dcha know Cheryl Ann’s mother?”
“Just a lucky guess. First time we met the sisters, we was showing off and sung that song ‘cause of their names. I hope Lee Ann can come, too.”
“She’s in sore need of cheerin’ up. We’ll bring her.”

Wayne roars out of the Sheriff’s station, spitting gravel and dirt as he guns it. Sheriff Tom runs over and puts on his siren. Wayne never looks back. He drives us to every shack and cabin within fifteen miles, telling everyone to come out for our show that night, He introduces us to everyone he has ever known. We are now celebrities down in the holler. We take the two of them back to Mount Holly with us. The boys are just waking up. Wayne takes an instant liking to Hippie, telling him he will get no respect from these sissy boys. Hippie cannot agree more. Uncle Tam is not  pleased that Wayne is driving when we pull up. I try to tell him about Wayne’s great drag racing the previous summer.
“I had all the drag show I need in Savannah,” as he inspects his prize De Soto. It’s not so delovely after all the teenaged driving. Uncle Steve winks at us.
Robby and Floyd seem made for each other. Off they go by foot to find moonshine, with Floyd doing a taste test between Robby’s and his own weed. Max accompanies them. Casper, Jack and I are looking forward to some afternoon delight and shuteye. When we check the room and its two double beds, we go to the office and got a single for ourselves, telling the clerk to bill the Uncles. He is excited that we are some kind of celebrities. We tell him he will be on the list at the Tar Pit Bar.
We turn the A/C up and slip naked under the covers. Without the marijuana, Jack’s sex drive takes a  kick to his libido, We fall asleep, totally connected.
Hippie and Wayne wake us up, saying it was time to go. We let them in. Robby and Floyd burst in after them, sniffing to see if they can ‘smell the devil.’ We quickly get dressed. Not before Floyd is whooping and hollering about our fancy underwear.
“Woo-ee. You still are sissy boys. Look at them panties.”
“You still have my orange ones, Floyd?” I snarkily ask. “Bring ‘em by and I’ll sign them. I get a hundred bucks a day to sign these.”
“You don’t want them stinky old things. Floyd wore ‘em out months ago,” Wayne gossips.
I  sign to Casper how Floyd got a pair of my Speedos.

There are so many of us, we take both convertibles to the bar. The Uncles feel we abused their prize autos. I hope they really want to see our show. When we pull up, the parking lot has multiple rundown pickups and sedans. There’s a long line at the door. The bouncer is arguing with the people in line.
“There ain’t no list. $3 or ya go home.”
“We’re with the band, man.” They argue.
I speak up, “We’re the band. We have lots of friends comin’ tonight. Is the boss man Cody heah?”
“Hang on,” and he yells for the manager, Mr. Big Shot.
He appears, “Y’all is too young to git in. Come back next year.”
“No, Mr. Big, we’re the band, False Gods. Jake from Daytona called you for this gig.”
“Jeezus, he don’t say y’all is underage. Can you even play?”
“Let’s make a deal. Instead of a guarantee, we’ll play for 25% of the bar but ya gotta let ever’one in fer free. They ain’t got a lot but we’ll make damn sure they use it all for beer.”
“If we leave, you’ll see all that money drivin’ out the lot.”
“Deal. Now get in heah and y’all sell some beer.”

We get a cheer when the bouncer announces there’s no cover charge tonight.

‘Pit’ is an accurate description of the roadhouse. We check the sound system while setting up our amps and drums. The stage is a 2 inch riser that has no room for us to perform on once the equipment is in place. We set up the mic on the floor in front, figuring we will need to be aggressive in establishing our space. I tell Floyd and Wayne to find their three biggest friends to act as our own bouncers to keep the crowd from pushing into us. He comes up with a half-ton of linemen from the Denver High football team. They take their football seriously in the South. The boys drop into a three-point stance to show how they will protect us. We head out the backdoor where the Uncles parked the convertibles. They are anxious about protecting their beauties and say they will stay there. Max is sitting up in the front seat of the De Soto, looking more formidable than the effete uncles.   Once Robby lights up our pre-show joint, we attract the attention of five other teenagers. They tell us the bouncer denied them entry for lack of ID. We sneak them in with us and they line up with the linemen.

Jack looks out over the crowd which is mostly backed up to the bar.
“Evenin’ y’all. We’re False Gods. Welcome to Mount Holly.”
“This heah’s Mountain Island, asshole.”
“Okay. Welcome to Mountain Island’s asshole.” Jack shoots back. Pot always makes him aggressive.
“We’re from Florida, so we know sumthin’ ‘bout assholes.”
He gets a tepid laugh.
“The band’s Robby and Michael on drums, Tim on guitar, and I’m Jack. Hippie here’s on bass and the king of groupies. Ya wanna get to us, ladies, ya gotta go through Hippie.”
Hippie starts playing the bass line to the Doors’ ‘Light My Fire,’ two stepping in front of us to establish our space.

We’re off and rockin.’ While I get in my long solo, Jack saunters up to the bar and gets a beer. He chugs it before going into ‘Whiskey Bar.’

About 60 seconds later, he is wasted and slurring his vocals. I move over and sing with him to cover it up. When the ‘moon of Alabama’ verse comes up, he jumps into the crowd and brings Cheryl Ann to the front, so we can sing it to her, our North Carolina mama.
“Ya wanna sing Free Bird with us?” I ask her.

She beams. I tell her to alternate with Jack on the vocals. She seems confused, so I say, “Jist follow me.”
I shorten the intro so the crowd recognizes Skynyrd. When we get to the vocals, Jack does the first line and I do the next. As we go through the duet, people started yelling ‘fag’ and booing. We immediately repeat the verses, except Cheryl Ann takes my part. Everybody cheers. We sing the verses a third time with all of us singing all the lines. Jack sits down. One beer is over his limit. I ask Cheryl Ann to fill in. She asks for a song she knows, ‘Satisfaction.’

We all know it, of course. She takes over the vocals. Jack recovers enough to start jumping around to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’

He and Cheryl Ann do ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’

but afterward, Sheriff Tom pulls her offstage. She has saved our set.
I take the mic, “Thank you. That’s the lovely Cheryl Ann. We’’alls takin’ a break so Jack can sober up.”
I notice that there were no lines at the bar, so I added, “Here’s a little ditty by Mr. Neil Young, I hope you remember,” and we start ‘Southern Man.’

The crowd starts screaming profanities and the beer rains down on us. We finish with “Sweet Home, Alabama.’

We go out the back to the cars. I note that the bar is backed up again. Our new posse of boys follows us out, all excited to be at their first roadhouse gig. Robby pulls out two joints which go around in opposite directions. Max is confused as to which way to get his hits, so I give him a shotgun. Jack is looking despondent at his inability to handle one beer, so I give him a shotgun, plus a quick kiss at the end. He perks up. One of the teens notices.
“Y’all is queer, ain’tcha?”
“Queer as a steer with no balls,” I quip.
Their mouths drop open.
“We all heard you was doin’ Cheryl Ann and her sister last summer?”
“Well, when somethin’ as fine as Miss Cheryl Ann wants ya, ain’t no one turns her down.”
They all laugh and hit each other. The joint is coming by, so their discomfort is forgotten. Weed, the elixir that cures all ills.
Jack apologizes, “Sorry guys. When I drank a bottle of Jack, it was no problem.”
“’Cause there twern’t no Jack in that bottle, just ice tea, jack-ass,” Robby explains.
He shoots me an annoyed look, “Next time tell me.”
“You’ll still be a lightweight.”
I change the subject, “This set is our own songs. We gotta get ready for New York. We can’t play covers in the big league.”
They all look too serious.
“Fuck you guys. If you don’t enjoy our songs, we might as well keep playin’ covers. Lighten up.”
Robby speaks up, “Let me do ‘Barefoot in the Park.’ I know you wrote it about me, so let me do the vocals.”
Jack nods and it is agreed. Michael will handle the drumming. Robby can open with ‘False Gods,’ followed by the monkey song, when we will all sing the chorus and jump around. We can tell how much they like the serious band song and then go crazy on the joke one.

The teen posse and we go back in. The crowd has all refilled beer cups. Some even have two cups in hand.
Jack steps up to the mic. “Y’all enjoyed our Neil Young? If’n ya had listened to our lyrics ya might have heard we were making Mr. Neil Young remember, but y’all was too busy throwing away your beers.”
About five full cups come flying toward us. We are already soaked.
“If’n that’s how y’all feel, then disrespect our drummer Robby on the next coupla songs.”

Robby runs to the mic as Jack sits on his drum kit, hitting the snare, then the bass drum and finally the cymbal, ‘butta dum’ crash.’
Robby takes the mic stand and leans out toward the crowd, staring real hard at them.
“Our band was created by the gods Mael, God of Night, God of the Oak, and the Great Mother. Get on your knees, useless fleas.”

I change the riffs at the end of each line, so the words are given enough time to be thought about, before the next line starts:

“Where others feared to tread,
they gave us up for dead,
memories linger on eternally,
as Lucifer’s proud plea,
a world of our own,
on high a black throne,
we sing to make them see,
to be happy for eternity
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…
a world meek and blind,
laugh at all of mankind,
fools misunderstand,
we’re of Satan’s band,
a world of endless flaws,
facades and miracles applause,
eulogized but despised,
shed your false disguise,
fall to your knees,
utter useless pleas,
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…

pray in foreign tongues,
shoot useless guns,
sacrifice hallowed sheep,
shun cold, dark streets,
you’re just nasty fleas,
Set your minds to be

…False Gods, False Gods…

we live eternally,
hear painful screams,

Just wait 20 years or so

You will know just what we mean
….We are False Gods, False Gods..

… False Gods”

The added leads send these hillbillies into metal heaven. They start going ‘yeah, yeah,’ at the end of each line. It isn’t dance music but the energy has to be spent somehow. They are pushing and shoving. Our linemen go into their 3 point stance as we watch the mayhem. The gods bless us with violence. Beer is flying everywhere. At the ending, ‘False Gods’ is echoed over and over again.

Michael hits a drum roll and short solo. We launch into the joke monkey song. The crowd is still thrashing from the previous song, but when we get to the chorus, we all are making monkey sounds and jumping around. The crowd is back with us, imitating our cries. This is all it takes to launch Robby. He jumps up on an amp, then leaps to the ceiling. I sing the words.

‘Barefooted boy

Makes a stand

To take his joy

Going hand to hand

Flying out free

Branch to branch

Through the trees

Reckless chance.”

“Free to be

A monkey like me

Ha ha ha

He he he

Haw haw haw

Chee chee chee’

Grabbing the fire sprinkler pipe, he swings out over the crowd. We keep playing with the whole band screeching the chorus. The crowd screeches back. Robby drops down on the bar, taunting the crowd. He leaps away when they try to catch him, swinging hand to hand from the overhead sprinkler pipes. People are jumping at him as he easily escapes. We keep up the chorus from the stage and half the crowd is channeling their inner monkey with us. Robby swings back to the stage and falls into the waiting arms of our bouncers, the linemen. They catch him and proceed to carry him above their heads as they charge into the crowd. Maybe they think they’re running back an interception and Robby is the ball. Their size bulldozes anyone in the way.  Soon most people are sprawled on the floor, covered in beer and whatever else has spilled. We have our revenge. The linemen run out the front door. If you believe Robby, they spike him like having scored a touchdown. We stop playing and watch the mayhem.
Hippie steps up to the mic. He plays and sings ‘Amazing Grace.’

Next: https://timatswim.com/3-blog-a19-tar-river-tavern/