Friday, August 14, 2015

Losers Lounge ~ My Dream Talent Show

After a touching performance at The Losers Lounge final Pretenders vs. Blondie show at Joe's Pub, here is Nick Danger's suit on its way home, waiting for the #6 at Astor Place.

Below, Nick in the suit at the final show this past March. When Mr. Danger left the stage and took off the suit, the suit said, "Hasta Luego!" and scooted like a screaming mimi out to Lafayette Street and tore a path to the subway kiosk.

There are many reasons, I love the Losers Lounge. But I think I've come up with the primary sensation I'm feeling before, during and after the show.

At St. Stephen's grammar school in the 1960s we had the shittiest talent shows in the history of the New York Archdiocese. For an unbeknownst reason, the nuns at St. Stephen of Hungary's school and certain mothers were compelled to put on a talent show every year, despite the fact, there was no talent in the student body, that is, if you discounted the Reinwald Brothers' dueling accordions act. Nobody wanted to follow John and Joe. In second grade, Mrs. Ottes, the show's producer and our nun, Sister Lorraine, took advantage of our recent First Communion by having the boys and girls perform a waltz in our blue suits and white communion dresses. Did you ever see me dance? I begged my parents to stay home. Faked sick that day, triggering a kick in the ass from my mother.

If you were in the audience during the talent show, nuns paced around and if you were goofing off, they smacked you in the head. If you did it again, the lady in black pulled you by your ear out of the place. They did this even if your parents were there watching your brother on stage. More the reason I'd be goofing off. So disruptive activity in the auditorium required crafty timing for your assaults. And they wanted us to sit still for the crap on stage. When a nun was targeting me with her eyes, I had this thought in my ten year old head, "When I grow up, I'll see what I want, when I want, and if it stinks, I'll walk out." 

When I enter the lobby for a  Losers Lounge show, I think about my promise to myself as a boy, I'm where I want to be, seeing terrific performers that keep me in my seat (excepting one number one run) for two hours of musical and theatrical pleasure. The Losers Lounge is the talent show I was hoping for in the 1960s. Everybody's better than the Reinwald brothers, playing and singing music I love. Audience participation is high, and even though I still duck and flinch over anything, when I look around the room I see no Sisters of Divine Charity. We're nun free! And the Losers Lounge artists pop on each song like a soda can when you give it a sneaky shake and pass it to a ball-busting friend to open.

This is the show I wanted as a boy. How lucky can I get? 

If you never seen The Losers Lounge get going and bring a kid. We need to pass this important information on.

Here's a link to an album of shots from the first Pretenders vs. Blondie show and a link to pictures from the late Saturday show this past March. 

Check out my Yorkville memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store and online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

The book has 109 Amazon five star reviews out of 109 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs.

You can also purchase my photography portfolio,"River to River - New York Scenes From a Bicycle" on Amazon.


This Thursday, August 20th @ 7:30pm, I'm telling a few good ones at Apryl Miller & Friends Summer Reading Series #9 Feat. Thomas Pryor. Send Apryl an RSVP to learn the address ~

1 comment:

Al Hauser said...

I recall one of these so-called talent shows at St. Stephen's back in the mid 50's. We were forced to sing on stage in Hungarian for the Mother's Club. Since most of us didn't speak Hungarian and since no translation was ever provided us, to this day I have no idea what the songs were about. Only the members of the Mother's club, most of whom spoke the language knew what the hell we were singing. Unlike you, we had to attend these shows or else you incurred the wrath of Sister Charlotte or Sister Letitia.