Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

A Night At The Absalom In Little Aleppo

Are you kids ready for some rock and roll?

I can’t hear you; you’ll have to do better than that.

I said: are you kids ready for some rock and roll?

That’s what I thought.

Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together and take your tits out for Little Aleppo’s own: The Snug! and before the roadie’s growl faded from the speakers there was a KAPAF of small-time pyro and SHWAM of flash paper going up on either side of the stage; they were already rocking, do you understand? Before you could see the band, you could hear the band and they were already rocking: that was how hard they rocked, kid – shit, they were probably rocking in the dressing room, and in the tour bus on the way over, and in the hotel. You know they fucked that hotel up, right? Maybe they hot-glued the mattress to the ceiling, or threw a teevee out the window, or stole a maid’s kidney. Some shit like that, Rock Star shit like that, who knows and who cares: it’s The motherfuggin’ Snug, man!

Memphis can’t compare
And we’re better than blue
We have got the biggest dicks
And they are straight and true
We’re The mooooooootherfuggin’ Snug!

And there they were. The rocking had not lied. There was The Snug–RIGHT THERE, MAN–and they had brought every amplifier in the world to the Absalom Ballroom. The music was so loud that you couldn’t hear the music: it precluded itself. Just this FRAAAAASH sound, but rhythmic, in your ears and a pressure wave around your ribs. Or maybe that wasn’t the music; the audience had surged forward when the band took the stage, and the promoter was a thief who oversold the place as usual, so there was a heaving a great heaving to and all the kids became one crowd one mass one voice kept in the dark and dazzled.

The Snug, man!

They were eight feet tall. At least. And wearing garments that were technically clothes, but no one in the crowd had ever seen before. Fringed white leather pants? Flared sleeves? Dave Ronn, the bass player, was wearing eight or nine scarves in various unorthodox configurations. That was the most exciting thing about Dave Ronn. Bass players are like prostates: you only notice them when they make trouble.

Holiday Rhodes, man! No one could scream like him, or throw tantrums like him; he was nonpareil. An artist, a poet, a showman (when he showed up), a shaman, a poet (Holiday really liked to be called a poet), and an artist (that, too): Holiday fucking Rhodes! Kim and Rodney had seen pictures of Holiday in shirts, so they knew he owned several, but he was otherwise shirtless; he was slightly muscular, but mostly lean and defined, and his abs narrowed into his Adonis belt which is shaped like a V, and he wore his bumblebee-yellow trousers incredibly low, dangerously low, and there was a bit of pubic hair frothing above the laces.

Kim and Rodney did not know that pants could have laces. They did not know that was an option.

Don’t talk about the Space Race
You know we won that shit
Cardinal numbers can suck our dicks
And gin can eat our tits
We’re The mooooooootherfuggin’ Snug!

The whole crowd: they raised their hands above their head even though they did not know why. It was not a planned gesture. It was not strategic. Instinctual, because they were a crowd now and crowds are the dumbest form of human. The very smartest a person can be is when he’s sitting in a room by himself with no distractions. Second is when she’s talking to someone of equal or higher intelligence. Third is when he’s among morons. Dumbest of all is when she’s joined a crowd.

Kim and Rodney were holding onto each other by the belt in the scrum of the crowd. Kim had Buzzy Verno’s arm in his hand, and Buzzy had a joint in his. The motherfuggin’ Snug, man! They were stage left, and Johnny Mister was above them like an angel with an ankle bracelet. That guitar, that guitar, that magical guitar, shaped like the mathematical symbol for infinity and squealing–SQUEALING–like a rock and roll pig getting its rock and roll throat slit. The 8-Ball. Magical guitars get names, and Johnny Mister had a magical guitar and so it was named 8-Ball. It was a teenage talisman, and all the crowd yelled for it just as they did the members of the band. The guitar was as important as any of them. B.B. King had Lucille, and Clapton had Blackie, and Johnny Mister had 8-Ball.

There was a poster of Johnny. He was leaping in the air, and 8-Ball was where his crotch should be, and he was smirking. Smirking aloft! He knew he would come down right, land gently: that’s what Rock Stars did. Kim had it in his bedroom. The photo had been taken at the end of a show, and Johnny was sweaty and half-naked. Rodney did not have the poster, but he had slept over Kim’s house many times.

No room to dance except for on the stage, so the kids hopped up and down in place; some of them were crying.

Summer is lesser than
Circuses just don’t compare
Punctuality sucks
And so does Langston Hughes
We’re The mooooooootherfuggin’ Snug!

O, God, we are all together here, here in this crowd, here before our heroes and it does not matter if they are fighting and traveling on separate tour buses: they are A BAND just like we are A CROWD and we are coming together tonight in the Absalom Ballroom on the Upside of Little Aleppo; something is happening; something is happening here and if the whole world could be here–be with us right now in this glorious power chord moment–then there would be peace, there would be peace, there would be peace.

The lights were red and yellow and blue, and they combined and melded as that rock and roll music blasted all the dust off your heart.

Drums are for hitting; Jay Biscayne hit drums hard. They barely needed to be miked, he hit them so hard: he had drumsticks thick as a child’s wrist and he flipped them around and whacked the heads with the rounded butt of the ‘stick instead of the tip. He had two bass drums colored pumpkin-orange, and a million cymbals; he hit them all at once sometimes. Jay Biscayne had won many reader’s polls, and awards made up by journalists.

The crowd bopped and bobbed, and they were one, and Kim took Rodney’s hand. He did not mean to, but he did and now it had been done and that was all there was to it: Rodney looked past Kim to Buzzy Verno, but he was involved with his joint and not paying attention, and so Rodney did not pull his hand away. Rodney was taller than Kim, and when he did not pull his hand away, Kim’s whole body started pounding like he was nothing but his heart. His cock got hard, too.

Fossil fuels are weak
And gestures are so vagrant
We’re the fucking best
We’re sorry we’re so blatant
We’re The mooooooootherfuggin’ Snug!

Gimme rock, gimme roll, and the crowd went WOOO for no reason whatsoever, and The Snug did their Rock Moves. They had practiced. Chased each other around the stage, and then they kicked so high. They shook their heads LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT LEFT and then they shook their heads RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT RIGHT and the kids said YEAH; the kids said FUCK, YEAH and reached towards the band with outstretched hands, and the girls threw their underwear, and some of the boys, too.

No one was paying attention, so Kim kissed Rodney. Just a peck, a little buss half on the lips and half on the cheek, and then Kim stood back and waited to be called a faggot–he did not know what he had just done–but Rodney had wide eyes and then he kissed him back, full on the lips this time, and Kim put his hand on Rodney’s hairy forearm and stood on his toes; both of them were the happiest they had ever been in their short lives, and then tongues became involved.

They were The motherfuggin’ Snug, and they played rock and roll music. They played it so loud and well that you could forget who you were and all the things you had been taught, and just shout YEAH and stick your tongue in the mouth next to you. Holy shit, could they play that rock and roll music, and Rodney had his long arms wrapped around Kim while the guitar and drums wrapped each other up, too, and the crowd hopped and hoped up and down. It was fantastic, and Kim put his hand on Rodney’s hip and kissed him back. Oh, God, I will kiss you back for all I’m worth as long as this music plays, Kim thought, and Rodney thought the same while the light show plastered spectacular colors on the walls, and there was nowhere better for a first kiss than a rock and roll show in Little Aleppo, which was a neighborhood in America.

1 Comment

  1. Luther Von Baconson

    June 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm


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