Our Last Gig: The Doll Hut
“…now, this next one,” I tell what’s left of the crowd, maybe a dozen drunks left in the place,
“……this next one, I don’t know–Kimm, do we have anything left?”
Kimm shrugs and turns his attention back to his 24 ouncer of Pabst, as if there is a magic set list in its wheaty goodness.
There’s really no need to talk through the microphone at this point anyway, not really.
All through the last unrequested encore–our third–people have filed past us and out the door, sheepishly waving goodbye, some pointing at imaginary wristwatches with a guilty shrug, some holding thumb and pinky to ear and mouth: I’ll call you tomorrow.
Anthony takes off his bass and leaves the band stand, and heads to the pisser without a word.
“Do we have anyone here that would like to play the bass? While Anthony is taking a shit? Anyone?”
Alf yells out 1-2-3-faw!, we roll nto a bass-less Blitzkrieg Bop, and this will make twice we’ve played the song for the night.
Assorted drunks take turns at the mic. Nobody knows the words.
The bartender rolls her eyes and gives us the old finger across the throat sign, same as she’s done the last 4 songs: Cut it!
We’re going on hour 2 of the set, have played all our own rehearsed songs, and have already massacred:
Police on my Back
Can’t Hardly Wait
Blister in the Sun
Heh…and the evening started off with such promise….!
Ah, it is a Holiday crowd that rolls early into the Hut, and we meet up with pals in a festive mood!
There is a tinge of the melancholy, as we are saying goodbye to the Doll Hut for the last time, but nothing a hefty 24 oz of cheap beer won’t fix, yeah?
Anthony has brought his new band to play on this night, and they play with terrifying force.
Afterwards we hug Anthony, ask him if everything is alright.
What are you kids so angry about, hmmm?
Anyway, go see them when they play, they’re called Snooki or Scoleosis, something like that……!
The bands are all sharing backline tonight, so the changeovers are quick.
Just enough time to wade into the soggy crowd and say a million hellos and how do ya do’s!
I’m telling you, it’s a grand evening.
Giant cans of Pabst, the coin of the realm on this night, appear in everyone’s paws.
There is hardly time to consider the strange symbolism of so many flag-colored phallic symbols thrust into so many open maws before our old pals The Stitches do the thing:
The fellas are rockin’, and when Lohrman jumps up and prowls atop the Hut bar for the last time I can only swear at him for pulling such a great move before anyone else got the chance….
There’s still plenty of night left, so what say we go visit those legendary bathrooms one last time, yes?
The crew is tuned and ready when legends The Crowd take to the stage.
As usual, Decker shows up onstage dressed for action, lookin like he’s ready to brave a punk riot or a nasty Nor’easter off the starboard bow!
And then it’s our turn.
We start off well enough.
We play the songs we’ve been playing, marvel at the times we’ve had on this creaky platform.
But we wrap up all the usual songs- and then some!–and we just don’t feel finished.
Not with this joint, not yet anyway.
We plug back in and run through a few more numbers, and as the crowd gets inevitably smaller, we laugh a bit longer, sharing the same lame inside jokes, and order up another round to the bandstand.
And then come the cover songs and the guest musicians.
We try to hang guitars around the necks of innocent people trying to escape, insist they play Strutter and Living after Midnight for our own twisted entertainment!
It has become a drunken mess, a sloppy jam session that would make the 8th graders in the garage next door embarassed.
And we’re having a blast!
On that tiny little stage in that tiny little club, we’re reconnected with those kids that first picked up those guitars and navigated the A to the D to the E, and wondered at the timeless magic of making three simple chords into a Ramones song!
And that’s why we don’t want to stop.
We don’t want to say goodbye.
We’ve been reminded of this rare favor, of a place that let you play music in front of your friends.
We try to start another song, it’s either Jet Boy Jet Girl or He’s a Whore maybe, each of us playing a different note, and we spit out our beers with laughter as the last of the people exit the club, leaving only the four of us on stage.
They cut the PA and turn on the overheads, and our career at the World Famous Doll Hut has come, mercifully, to an end.
Extra awesome photos by Sal’s Photos!