[Dixielandjazz] Tonight's Club Date.

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 13 01:35:40 PST 2003

Just got back from our Night Club date, Club ViVa in Reading PA. What a
fun gig.

First of all, I called at 5 PM to make a reservation for 4 friends. "Hi,
I'd like to make a reservation for 8 PM. 4 people, dinner, close to the

"Sorry Sir, we are not taking any more reservations. The place is
completely full." (seats 300 + for dinner)

Of course when I told them I was tonight's band leader, they made space.
In fact they ended up putting tables on the dance floor to satisfy the

When I got there two hours later, a table 2 feet in front of the band
stand was set for 14. A waiter told me is was a batchelorette party.
Bride's name Kay. Could we do something for them?  Ha Ha, that's like
pouring gasoline on a fire. Yes, we would be happy to.

14 pretty women, all about 30 or less, up close and personal. (on what
was the dance floor) Needless to say we had a blast. Played "The Man I
love" for Kay. Then "If I were a Bell". Then gave Kay the "big beads"
and the other 13 girls smaller beads. Told them our trumpet player,
Bobby Hartzell this night, was "living proof that there was sex after
80". He chimed in "yeah, but not much"  Etc., etc., etc. They loved it.
Other tables started yelling for beads.

Then sang "I Can't Get Started" to that table and to girls at another
table close up. Second table ladies were in their 40s. One flashed part
way, to the bemused look on her husband's face, because she wanted two
sets of beads. Another table of 7 women in their 50s. Draped them with
beads and asked what they were celebrating. "Nothing" they said, just
here to see Barbone Street. Etc., etc., etc.

Sang "I Want a Little Girl" to Tracy at the batchelorette table.
Beautiful Scottish girl. Sang it right next to her at the table. Got a
kiss on the cheek from this 25 year old. They couldn't believe the band
average age was 70 and that I was "average". Tracy said "you and most of
the band look middle fifties, like my dad ".  ETC., etc., etc.

Also played "Winter Wonderland", Dixieland Style, by request for 9
members of the Pennsylvania Jazz Society who had driven a couple of
hours to see us. List Mate Michele Curatola brought them. Thanks love.
They were a little older. She brought her Dad or father in Law and he
requested an "Italian" tune. So we did "Way Marie" kind of like the way
Louis Prima did it. What fun. Etc.., etc.., etc.

For the older folks, Glenn Dodson (trombone) did Dorsey's theme song,
this time in the key of B just for fun along with guitar, bass and
drums. (He takes it through the keys, last time in A etc) People started
dancing between the tables so I did Tenderly in Eb and Trumpet did
Stardust in Db. Then back to Dixieland and some solid applause from the

And so the evening went. At the end, I went to the bar with the drummer,
had a snack and a beer (free). Then spotted the batchelorettes at a bar
table. Went over to tell them how much we enjoyed kidding them and what
good sports they were. The beamed, said the band was "TOTALLY AWESOME"
and "You made our night." Then seriously
asked what we were doing in a place like Reading? Why weren't we in New
York, or on TV, or at the Concert Hall?

I smiled and told them we were there because they were there. They then
took our pictures with the bride to be and the other girls. Bride said
she could hardly wait to tell her fiancee about the beads. Especially
since his sister, got a smaller set. Before I left, got a kiss on the
cheek for all 14 of them. Be still, my beating heart.

Yeah, a great night, with a great audience from 21 to 75 years old,
leaning towards the young side. They all loved it and most left when we
did. And it paid well over NYC union scale. Tell you what. It just
doesn't get any better than that.

Steve Barbone

Google search for "Barbone Street Jazz Band" if you want to know about
us. Second CD, "Live at West Chester University Jazz Festival" will be
out just before Christmas. First one almost all sold out, to fans and
casual listeners just like those mentioned above.

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