Let’s say you’re in a lounge band called Broxton, and you typically wear tuxedos and play five or six sets a night, six or seven nights a week, 50 weeks a year, in Holiday Inns and Sheratons all over — but mostly in not-that-much-fun towns such as Wichita and Odessa and Shreveport and, oh, yes, Hobbs, New Mexico.
Let’s say the year is 1982 and, even though the gig is good and the dudes in the band are a blast and great players and you’re having a helluva fine time, well, being in a lounge band with that sort of schedule can get to be a grind.
This is why you head out in Killeen, Texas, to a record store — remember those? — and, because all you have is a jam box in your hotel room, you buy a cassette copy of Ace of Spades by Motörhead.
And, for weeks on end, what you do each dusk, as it becomes time to shower and put on your tuxedo — after Russell the drummer has called to tell you what color ruffled shirt to wear from the possibilities of red, powder blue, pale yellow and white — is, you pop open the night’s first Coors and you stick Ace of Spades into you jam box and … You. Stinkin’. Get. Psyched. Up!
“We’re Motörhead and we play rock ‘n’ roll!” Lemmy has been known to cry.
“We’re Broxton and we play lounge music!” I was known to cry.
And you go out and, relatively speaking, since your audience is just finishing their shrimp cocktails and side Caesars and are ready for a little Billy Joel, you, ah, kick some lounge ass.
I gotta say, I’m looking quite forward to seeing Motörhead tonight. I don’t envy the custodial force at Mohegan Sun who, after the show, will have to mop up the blood and brain juice that will be leaking out of our ears.
“I’m Lemmy and I’m 107 years old and I still play rock ‘n’ roll.” I can hear it now.
It’s gonna be good.