Saturday, November 21, 2009

9 Maple Ave. Saratoga Double-Header

Long before the CBJExperience was formed, Colorblind booked us a gig in the dead of winter at a bar in Saratoga named 9 Maple Ave. (now a restaurant named MERA)-a double header (Fri & Sat nights). The tio consisted of Colorblind James (vocals, Guild guitar), G. Elwyn Miexner (vocal, ragetime Hawaiin guitar) and Thaddy playing a Kay double bass. After passing through the bar area there was a set of French doors that led to a back-room where Folk Music flourished. After Friday night's gig I was told that Margot and I would be staying the night with a woman named Lena--the owner of Lena's Caffe; where Bob Dylan played the first gig of his first tour.
We were led up a set of wooden stairs to her flat. Lena was a creepy looking old gal who sat in a winged back chair, chain smoking like a chimney. Her Majordomo was a balding older man that directed theatre in Saratoga; he waited on her hand and foot. He seemed to be in awe of her. Her Majordomo led us to a brass double bed, and just before we enter the bedroom he said, "Be careful, there if broken glass on the floor...I dropped a light bulb and haven't swept it up." Great, so we did the slow shuffle to our bed." Every once in a while a beam of light would appear on the wall opposing our bed, then the figure of a head and eye would appear like a closet Peeping-Tom--Majordomo was keeping a watchful eye on us; Creep factor 9. Had there been a trapeez and a rocking chair in our room, I would have given him a show: the infamous Flying Philadelphian Fuck; I imagined Majordomo cuffing his carrot in a freakin' frenzy with his eye glued to a peephole in the wall--probably covered by a painting of Elvis on black velevet.
Saturday night's gig was one to remember; a gang of 20 bikers came into the bar during our last set. As life would have it, a real to life bar fight broke-out; reminiscent of a Slim Pickens Western movie. A dangerous place for a wooden instrument; we planned our escape. We all made it out; instruments intact.
The thing to remember about Colorblind is that he was way ahead of his time; original Folk Music with a Rock-A-Billy twist. Ominous songs lamenting love lost, German Girls, the Ultra-Modern Boy, Kojak Chair, and cryptic lyrics,"Solid Behind the Times:...Cream of the only hat that ever fit me soup."