Saturday, I took the Mrs. out to Mount Airy in the Poconos. It was a miserable drive with tons of traffic so a 2 ½ hour trip pretty much doubled – yep, it took us 5 hours. We did however make it eventually. We checked into our motel room, freshened up and drove on to the casino. They were giving us some free ceramic pots or something and free tickets to a Michael Bolton concert. Not a big favorite of mine (to be polite.) My wife is so-so about him, but it being a holiday weekend and all, she wanted to go somewhere. The concert was O.K. I guess, and the free ceramic batter bowls look real nice, though it would have probably been much cheaper if we paid for everything. Did have some fun gambling and I love those Mt. Airy casino bartenders – my Remy VSOP portions were much larger than the ones I’m used to in New York.
I am always interested in live local music so I googled that and found a place named The Hideout. They were supposed to have live music, an open kitchen and a full bar of course. Our GPS had decided to turn weird and get us to all kinds of places that we did not program into it, but I was adamant. I would not stop anywhere else, so eventually we made it to The Hideout. There was one other person at the bar and no musicians whatsoever, though they had a large drum kit set up out of the way. A lone parlor sized guitar was leaning on a wall and after finding out there was not going to be any kind of live music, I appropriated it. It was a really cheap shit guitar and on top of that the strings were strung the wrong way. No, not lefty style, it was just that turning the pegs the way I usually do, would detune instead of tune it.
A group of people walked into the joint and ordered drinks at the bar. Some of them were asking if I was going to play that guitar. I told them that I might but that the tuning might take me a couple of days. I downloaded a couple of tuning apps to my phone and eventually declared that the guitar was tuned enough. I started singing The Kinks’ Alcohol, one of a handful of tunes that I remember, and a guy at the bar flipped out. He’s like: “Wow, The Kinks are my favorite band, man.” I was quite skeptical but then he started singing with me in the chorus. I was thinking: “What the hell are the chances? I sing this song all the time and nobody knows it!” I thought he said his name was Neil or Neal, but my wife told me later that it was Neio. Neio and I hit if off right away – had a great time.
Interestingly, we had some chicken wings and chicken fingers and we were skeptical about their ability to produce a decent hot sauce. Turned out the cook was Egyptian and he knew a thing or two about hot sauce, it was actually not bad.
I went to the car and brought in my tablet – there are a thousand and more songs in my LyricPad app, all with chord notations. The app scrolls up after a preset time which makes it so perfect. At some point, I found out that Neio was of Swedish descent so I sang him a song by Cornelis Vreeswijk in Swedish and he was quite impressed (I think.) Neio is the Viking-like guy, second from the left in that picture and he apparently does not socialize on the web. His wife (might be Lorraine, not sure) does, so I gave her one of my cards and asked that she keep in touch. Sure hope she does, I promise I will memorize her name after our next communique. The joint’s owner showed up at some point – I guess he lives in that same house because he said he saw me on the closed circuit monitor and became interested. I think his name was Steve, which is surprising because by that time I was well into my cups. Luckily for me, my wife drinks very little and mostly not at all so she drove us back to the motel. She also drove back home on the next day, stopping at the casino and then by Lake Harmony. That was good, especially since she drives so much better than I any time. Thank you woman, I had a beautiful time.