Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Blue Lion

Percy blew out the bass amp the afternoon of the gig. One slapped string and a popping, followed by a quacking disintegrated sound like cardboard tearing. The gig was in three hours. Ponzi Scheme, Portland's premier novelty country music in the punk style band, were screwed.

"Do we know anyone with a bass? Anyone who can lend it."

"Just Jesse, from the Humanitarians, and they're playing tonight."

"Can we rent one?"

"We went through that at O'Doogles. It's too much."

"So we cancel the gig?"

"I told you , we should NEVER practice the day of the gig!"

"Great, that really helps. So we cancel?"

Bagels, the drummer, who had been silent, spoke. "I know of a place that has all kinds of equipment. The Blue Lion, it's a real stoner's club. They have a 'green room' in their basement where musician's can keep their gear. I was talking to one of the former owners. He say's so many bands have left gear in that basement, and just forgotten about it, that the place is crammed with gear. He was thinking about opening up a rehearsal studio."

"So we..."

"We go there and say 'we're here to pick up our gear'. We find a bass amp, and hit the gig."

"Sounds like a plan."

So the members of Ponzi Scheme got on a bus downtown and tried out the Blue Lion.

"There's no gear here," said the bartender, "And we don't book bands anymore. And there's no basement."

"Well then I'll have a beer."

"Me too."

An hour later they waddled out. Percy noticed the open basement hatchway on the sidewalk. He went down a few steps and peered inside. "Holy crap guys, look at this!"

It was a basement, filled with gear. Guitar stands, mic stands, cables and amps. There were two huge bass amps, and a fender combo. A snare drum and a hi-hat. The Ponzi Schemers made there way in, through a labyrinth of expensive music equipment. Tucked in the corner were two electric guitars, in bad repair, but playable. and a dusty bass was leaning up against a decrepit looking upright piano.

"That lying bartender!"

"Maybe he doesn't know about this. This all looks pretty untouched."

"Then why was the hatch open?"

Just then the hatch closed, and they heard the unmistakable clicking of a lock being fastened. The boys stayed silent, hiding their trespass, but quickly realized the ramifications, and shouted for help. No one answered. They tried the door into the bar, but it was locked.

"What the f___?"

Ralph the lead guitarist found an outlet, and plugged in the Fender Combo. "If they can't hear us shouting they'll hear this!" He plugged in a rather out of tune guitar and proceeded to make an obnoxious squawking howl of noise.

Soon everyone had an instrument assembled, and they jammed as best they could. The piano was untunable, but the upper keys were all right, and they were a punk band anyway.

The door was opened from the bar, and some hippies came down to check out the tunes. A bong was passed around. Beers were brought down. The band never went up, and the bartender never came down. They played all night long. The gig was forgotten.

They woke around four in the morning, and shuffled out of the now empty bar. Percy wanted to take some beer, but no one really wanted it. They forgot to bring any equipment with them, and Larry the Lead Singer left his harmonica. They never went back to the Blue Lion.

--Dan Kilian

-------------------------------------------- The Human Fly

-------------------------------------------- Neil Diamond Punk

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