[Dixielandjazz] Re: Mardi Gras

Don Ingle dingle at baldwin-net.com
Wed Mar 5 15:59:13 PST 2003

Sounds like you had a good Mardi Gras gig(s), but I played just one that is
an annual date I wouldn't miss.
We played at the Michigan Veteran's Home's annual Mardi Gras party. I
wouldn't miss it. The audience is one of vets who need in-house care for a
variety of service related injuries or traumas. Some hadn't spoken for
years, still in shock from war injuries, but they still responded to the
Others were equally responsive -- many even called request for N.O. specific
tunes. A few ladies (beyond the staff) were also inhe audience. One was a
WWII nurse who was now a resident of the vet home, and she sang a tune or
two with us in a feeble buy in tune manner that was delightful.
These vets were mostly WW II, Korean, and VN War era service with a few Gulf
veterans who had some severe nerve damage problems.
Our gang wouldn't think of not playing for these real heroes who gave what
our country asked of them -- popular at the time or not -- included their
health and limbs.
For me this was the best Mardi Grad party I've ever played, and we're
already booked for next year.
And oh year, guess who got beads? The band!!
Not having played a gig for months, I walked on my lip leaving, but it hurt
good not bad.
Don Ingle
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 3:11 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Re: Mardi Gras

> > Dan Augustine <ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu> wrote:
> >
> > Folks--
> >     Anybody besides us playing a Mardi Gras gig tonight anywhere?  What
tunes are you playing?  Do you throw beads?  Do you stay on stage, or do you
go into the audience?  What sends the crowd (i.e., any audience actually
outnumbering the band, without counting the staff) into a frenzy of stuffing
cash into your tip-jar?
> Barbone Street had 6 mardi gras gigs in the past 3 days. The usual
suspects in the "A" band version did three, and I subbed out 3 other gigs
under our name at different venues because of time conflicts. One of which
was the Red Lion Band (Tex Wyndham's local group) with a clarinet sub for
> The "A" version always throws beads. Mardi Gras or not. I and the
guitarist personally go, out into the audience and drape them at most
performances. At two of our venues,  club management provided beads to all
attendees. However, even there, we managed to drape a few pretty ladies
ourselves. We also sang to them, and put
> them on our stools on the bandstand while "connecting". We get kisses on
the cheek, or lips for beads every time we do it. Sometimes we get flashed.
Very much fun.
> We play our usual Condon book, including more current tunes, however we
make sure to play Bourbon Street Parade, Joe Avery Blues, Saints, Bill
Bailey, New Orleans, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Way Down
Younder In New Orleans, and stuff like that, in our usual Condon style. We
find the audience likes these
> best, along with others like "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" after an
intro like "This next tune is for us old band guys and is about things. ..
PAUSE...Things Ain't What They Used To Be." With several band members adding
"They sure Aren't" and grimacing happily.
> Or we fo Basin Street Blues, a trombone feature, with an intro like: "Our
trombonist is going to ride on a tune about the street where all the
bordellos were in New Orleans. He is a whorehouse expert." Always gets
everybody's attention because Glenn Dodson was a famous Symphony player and
in his prime one of the 4 best in
> the world. It is so unexpected to link him with Bordellos. He, of course,
protests that he doesn't know anything about them. However, among his
credits is 9 years with New Orleans Symphony in his youth and this tune is
called after his credits have been spoken to the audience.
> We find that this type of Presentation assures us of of a multitude of
gigs all year and a very high call back rate in a vast variety of neat,
local venues. That and the fact that the band plays the hell out of the
music to the audience, most of whom have no idea of the type of music it is
that we are playing, yet they love
> it. (Young people mostly).
> We do not use a tip jar, (our gigs are well paid) but people do come up on
their own and hand us money for song requests every once in a while. Biggest
tip so far this year was a hundred dollar bill from someone who looked like
one of the "goodfellows".  Reminded us of the 1950s, and what we heard about
the 20s and 30s. It
> was just a tip, perhaps for draping his girl friend with beads, no song
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> PS. I still have a few jpgs of our "bead interaction" with pretty young
girls. Hollar at me off list if you'd like to see guys in their 60s and 70s
flirting with 20 and 30 year old girls. Ah, the fantasy of it. Almost as
good as playing the music.
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