[Dixielandjazz] Fwd: Wild Bill

Marek Boym marekboym at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 04:13:15 EDT 2018

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Steve Voce <stevevoce at virginmedia.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2018 at 11:02
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Wild Bill
To: Marek Boym <marekboym at gmail.com>

Could you forward this to the group and see where it goes?


On 15/10/2018 19:49, Marek Boym wrote:

Apparently that's what happens - I've just found this in my spam folder,
while an email addressed just to me ended up in inbox.

On Mon, 15 Oct 2018 at 18:19, Steve Voce <stevevoce at virginmedia.com> wrote:

> Maybe, as Marek suggests, the Dixieland filters thought my piece on Wild
> Bill unsuitable. Having combed its hair and made it sit up respectably, I'm
> trying to send it again.
> Steve
> One night during the ‘40s when Eddie Condon’s New York jazz club had
> closed in the small hours, Wild Bill Davison decided that he was too drunk
> to drive the 40 miles to his home.
> Condon suggested that he should stay the night in the apartment that Eddie
> shared with his wife Phyllis. The apartment consisted of a long corridor
> with bedrooms off on each side. Phyllis couldn’t stand the noises that
> Eddie made in the night, and so they had separate rooms.
> The two men had a few more drinks and then Bill asked Eddie where he
> should sleep. “Second on the right,” said Eddie pouring himself another
> drink.
> Bill found the room and went to bed. When he awoke in the morning he found
> Phyllis Condon asleep beside him.
> “Hey, Eddie,” Bill said at breakfast. “Did you know I slept with Phyllis
> last night?”
> “I’m sorry,” said Condon. “I should have said second on the left.”
> Back in the Fifties I wrote a piece called "Don't Shoot, We're American",
> which was published in some anthologies. These are a couple of paragraphs
> from it. At that period Britain had draconian laws about the time of day
> that one could buy a drink.
> The Eddie Condon mob arrived in town at the unappropriate time of 11
> o'clock on a Sunday morning. They kicked and stumbled their way off the
> train through a pile of empty whiskey bottles - "travellin' high" is the
> phrase, I believe -n and began soliciting porters for directions to the
> nearest bar. They were told that all bars were closed, and their bleary
> faces paled as though the Wall Street Crash had just been announced.
> Finally we persuaded them to bridge the gap until opening time with lunch
> at a Chinese restaurant, although this was an obvious breach of etiquette -
> Wil Bill pointed out that he never took food on an empty stomach.
> Once inside the restaurant Condon and Davison each produced a half of
> Scotch (how the bottles survived the journey is a mystery). Bill placed his
> on his table with great deliberation, causing much concern to the
> management. "No drinking please, yes?" asked the manager hopefully. "No,"
> agreed Bill, opening the bottle. "You got glasses?"
>  After a lot of argument glasses were provided ("You drink water, yes?"
> "No," agreed Bill politely) and the contents of the bottles began to
> disappear into the well-oiled systems of Messrs. Condon and Davison.
>  The restaurant was fairly crowded and we had been unable to get adjacent
> tables. I was seated with Bill while Condon and his associates were at the
> other end of the room.
>  Bill ordered a fruit salad as a concession to the management to show that
> he hadn't simply come to use their glasses. I believe he did actually eat
> some of it, but don't remember. I do remember the whiskey disappearing with
> an impressive swiftness, and from the other end of the room the voices of
> Condon and George Wettling were raised in mortal debate over who was going
> to finish the bottle. Finally the Davison meal was concluded.
>   Bill wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and got to his feet. "A
> lot of people think Eddie Condon is an ***hole," he announced loudly. The
> diners fell silent. The manager, with commendable tact, dropped behind the
> cash-desk as though he had been pole-axed.
>   Condon, looking like a miniature but very angry bull, slowly lifted
> himself from his chair at the other end of the room. "How's that again?" he
> asked.
>   "I said a lot of people think  Condon's an ***hole." A Chinese waitress
> stopped in full flight with two dishes of chow-mein.
> "But it's not true," Bill continued. Both Condon and Bill began to sit
> down.
> Bill jumped up again.
>  "He's two  ***holes."
> He sat down again, beaming.
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