Lace leaves me a message on voicemail that I should contact her about Jill Sobule local concert information. She informs me that Jill will be playing at Mulcahey’s, in Wantagh, Long Island. For the second time, after thinking there would be no more Jill Sobule shows in the area this tour, I am pleased to hear about this. Now my mind starts thinking about all the possibilities about this show. Here is another show that will be in a small place with a good possibility that I can get on stage again. I start telling everyone at work and asking them if they would be interested in attending the show. Some people are sick about hearing me ramble on about Jill Sobule, but most people seem to have a positive reaction.
I call Mulcahey’s to find out about ticket prices and availability. The tickets are ten dollars and can be bought in advance at the bar anytime after noon, or they can be purchased at the door on the day of the show. I have off from work two days from today and decide to go pick up a ticket for myself. I don’t fear that the show would sell out, but I do want a guarantee of admission for myself. I go down to Mulcahey’s and purchase my ticket. I get ticket number three! This is a good sign and a bad sign. It is good because it looks like this show won’t be so crowded that I won’t get a chance to "make things happen." However, if tickets are not selling, maybe the show would be canceled.
I am starting to make a list of all the people who say they want to go. I ask everyone at work, call all my non work friends, and even call people I haven’t spoken to in years. Basically, I called any phone number that I had in my drawer. There was a list of definites and a list of those who would like to go. I will only mention those that went to the show. I am not usually good at organizing any sort of group activity, so trying to plan who would go, and when and where they would go did not appeal to me. Yet, I am feeling pretty good because of the show that I overcome this weakness. I call Mulcahey’s to find out how much tickets would cost if they were purchased at the door and they tell me that it is now a FREE show! Cool! This may help get a couple more people to the show. I am also told that if I bring my ticket with me that I would get a refund.
I think that the tickets weren’t selling and Mulcahey’s decided that they could make more money on expensive drinks than on ticket prices. I am considering what action I would take to make this show more memorable than the Neptune’s show. I am thinking about bringing a long stem rose with a picture I took of Jill from a NYC show. I would also include a picture of me and my address and phone number. Ralf suggests I send eleven roses to Mulcahey’s the night of the show with a note that says the twelfth will be in the audience.
DAY OF SHOW
Don’t try to make anything of the order of the following list. This just happens to be the order I am using. There are no favorites. The following people attend the show: Me, Bill, Grant (Bill’s friend), Debbie C, Andrea, Beth, Janine, Steve (Janine's boyfriend), Lace, Jolie, Gary #2, George, Rhonda, Deborah, Mark, Dawn, Scott (Dawn's boyfriend), Tracy, Matt (Tracy's husband), Debbie L, and Kevin. (sorry, no last names).
I have been telling everyone that the show starts at about 9pm with the doors opening at 6pm. Jolie calls Mulcahey’s on this day and they tell her that the show would start between 9 and 10pm. The would probably cause some people to leave before the show starts. I plan on getting there at 6:30 to have a couple of drinks and shoot the breeze with anyone who would listen. When I find out that no one plans on getting there that early, I decide to be there at 7pm.
I leave home at 7pm but hit a major traffic jam with all three lanes closed heading west on the Southern State Parkway. Luckily I only have to go one exit. There is no way I am going to miss this show, so I jump the divider into oncoming traffic and swerve in and out of the obviously annoyed and terrified drivers coming straight at me. I get to the exit and proceed to Mulcahey’s. I have no problem parking and go inside. Andrea is already there. By 8pm, almost all of us are there, with Berkely comprising more that half of the occupants. This makes me happy; The earlier the show the better. With a minuscule audience, this will be a more intimate show than Neptune’s. Rhonda asks the bartender when the show will go on, and he says around 10:30, maybe 11pm. This causes her and Deborah to leave shortly. George follows soon afterward. I am trying to decide what I would do to get noticed by Jill. My first plan is to seek her out and ask her if I can sing "All The Young Dudes" with her again. The key word being "again." This of course means that there must have been a prior circumstance which would hopefully cause her to inquire. If that fails, I would ask her to do the clitoris song. My final resort would be to yell out "Clouds; sometimes they come, sometimes they go" an obscure reference to the first song she ever wrote, back in 7th grade.
Now, finally for some action...
At about 10:15, Jill walks in the front door. Her hair is a little longer, in the casual style and looks more platinum blonde than the last time I saw her. I say "hi" and she says "hi," but only in response to me, not an acknowledgment of my existence. Bill is trying to make me go over and talk to her after she pauses by the bar to talk to some of the Mulcahey’s staff. Just like at Neptune’s, I will not bud into other people’s business, so I decline.
Sensing the show starting soon, most of us move up to the stage across the bar. We are talking for awhile when I see Jill come out to the end of the bar, about 60 feet away. I point this fact out to everyone and again they try to force me into some action. Once again, I decline. Debbie Conigliaro, who will now be referred to just as Debbie, since Debbie Lauterborn has no significant role in this story, makes a move. Sorry. Anyway, Debbie goes over to the bar to get a better look. Then I see her move behind some other people and lose sight of her. I figure what do I have to lose and walk over to see what’s going on. There is Debbie having a conversation with Jill! I had not planned on this, so I was working without a script from this point.
As I approach, they look at me and Debbie says, "And here he is." It turns out Debbie went over to Jill, introduced herself and told Jill that a guy from work (me) brought a whole bunch of people down here to see her. Jill asked Debbie for my name and she said, "Gary." That is when I walked over. Perfect timing. The three of us talked a little when some record company asshole budded in and started trying to convince Jill that she should hear one of his bands. She seemed a little annoyed at him. He went away and we started talking again. I asked her if I could sing "All The Young Dudes" with her and she excitedly said yes and asked me if I heard her do that song before. I told her that I was on stage with her in the Hamptons and she warmly said, "Yes, that crazy beach club where they should have had a wet T-shirt contest. I remember." I ask her if "Don’t Fuck With Me" is available in any form. She tells me that it isn’t. I ask her why she doesn’t do that song anymore since I haven’t heard it in her last three shows. She tells me that she may do it tonight. Bill walks over and joins us. He tells Jill that I caused him to buy the CD and that I love her. What a ham! She is writing down the songs that she is going to play tonight on a napkin and remarks that it is so silly that she has to write down the songs or else she would forget what she was playing. She heads back to her backstage area, I tell her I’ll see her later and go back to the stage area.
I tell everyone about what just happened, and then go back to the front of the bar where Janine and some of the others are still milling around. I tell Janine and she doesn’t believe me, of course. They tell me Dawn left. I tell them they should come up to the stage because the show would be starting soon.
Jill comes on at about 11pm. The audience is hesitant to walk up to the stage, except me. Jill asks everyone to move closer. Debbie walks over next to me, while all the other Berkely's stay by the bar. I can tell by the first chord that the first song is "Don’t Fuck With Me." I wonder if she did it because of me. Since she only has 2 CD’s and doesn’t play anything from her first one, there could be little variation in her set except for the order. Before playing "Margaret," she starts telling her story when a girl next to me yells out the title. Jill acknowledges it by saying, "You’re right." She is probably thinking that she is pretty cool because she was able to interact with the performer. Ha! Just wait until she gets to see what I get to do.
Jill does two new songs. The first one I have heard before, which I can only conclude is called "When We’re In Heaven." Her other new song she introduced by telling us she lives in LA, and that 90% of the people have fake breasts and they are all on Prozac. I believe this song is called "Happy Town."
Right before the end of the set, Jill looks over to me and gives me a gesture to come up on stage. I see it but am a little worried that if I walk over to the stairs, the steroid quaffing bouncers will says, "Where the f*ck do you think you’re going?" My response would be, "Jill asked me to come up." They would say. "Yeah, right. Get the hell out of here." Luckily, Jill gestured again and said, "Are you coming up?" That’s what I was waiting for. I said yes and went over to the stairs. I said to the gorillas that she wants me on stage and they said, "Go for it."
As I was walking over to her, she was telling the audience that when she played on LI earlier in the summer, I was the only person who knew any of her songs. Bill tells me that she said that I was the only one who knew all the word to "All The Young Dudes." I think I am right because when I made it over to her she asked me if I knew the words other than the chorus. I told her that I knew some of them. I see Bill and Debbie right up in front of the stage and wave. Jill starts playing, and I start my "Bah Dah Dah’s." Jill starts singing the first line and I join in. I am able to sing the first verse with her, but let me tell you something which you should know. I was listening to "All The young Dudes" all week, practicing the lyrics, but I did this listening to the World Party version instead of the Mott The Hoople version. While listening to the World Party version, I thought the lyrics didn’t sound right for the second verse, but concluded that maybe I really never paid attention to the original. Well, when she started singing different words to the second verse, I stopped our duet and faked it as best I could. My highlight came in the third verse when she paused before the last line waiting for me to do a solo. I did the line just like Billy Bragg did when she did her "In Their Own Words" show in the city. I used my Cockney English accent to yell "Funky Boat Races." Later on Bill told me that that part was great.
After the song ended, I decided to use the remaining minutes of my fifteen minutes of fame by asking her to do the "Clitoris" song. She says OK and asks me if I knew the words. I told her I only knew the first line. She goes to the microphone and tells the crowd that I asked her to do the children’s song about the clitoris. The crowd goes wild and she says, "Hey, I think I am being upstaged here." This song doesn’t have any guitar into, so it is up to me to start. I sing. "The man in the boat in the middle of the lake." She pauses, the crowd goes wild. She says that we should try again, and starts with a "1...2...3." I do the line again, and she takes over. Now, I basically look like a statue because I don’t know what to do. I patiently stand there enjoying the spotlight, looking out into the crowd, with a smile as wide as Montana. After the song, I get my second kiss, half on the lips, and she tells me it’s time to go, accompanied by guitar. I exit, stage left, and join Bill and Debbie up front. She finishes up with "I Kissed A Girl."
It is about 12:15 and we go to the firnt of the bar and bask in my afterglow. The remaining holdouts are me, Bill, Debbie, Beth, Andrea and Grant. Jill walks over and yells, "Gary! Great show" and I get my third and final kiss. I ask her when she plans on playing NY again and she says that she is taking October off and that the record company will probably set something up for November. I tell her that’s good because I am unavailable in October. Good response, I must say. I ask her if I can get a picture with her, and she gladly agrees. We stand with arms around each other, but Debbie tells me the camera won’t click the picture. I give it to Bill, and it still doesn’t work. I reset the camera and give it back to Bill. Finally, the flash goes off and I hear a click. Then the camera goes fakakta and the flash starts going off like a strobe light and I hear another click. Thanks to Bill for assuming that it may take another picture, because the first one was so blurry that it wasn’t developed. The second one came out, although Jill and I were already walking away from each other.