Tales From A Gig In Utah
Posted by bmac on November 3, 2007
About 12 years ago, I was in a bar band, and we used to do weekend gigs occasionally in nearby Utah, usually Friday and Saturday night. We played a bar in St. George, a small town about 150 miles from Vegas, and home of Dixie college, so we thought you know, college town! This is gonna be great!
When we first got there, things looked pretty good. The bar, (only bar in town) had giant murals on the wall of Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison, seemed like a pretty “Rock n Roll” kind of place, plus we knew Mormons love to party, kinda like Catholic High School girls love to party. If that makes any sense.
As we were unloading our gear, we met the owner of the bar, who informed us he “Only had one rule.” No problem, what is it? No shots on stage? No bestiality? No nudity? What could be the “only rule” in a clearly Rock n Roll establishment with giant murals of debauched dead rock stars on the wall?
“I’m gonna need you guys to tuck your shirts in.”
*Sound of record scratching, everything comes to screeching halt*
“That goes for the customers as well.”
We all kind of looked at each other like “Is this guy joking? He’s kidding right? There’s a giant picture of Jim Morrison on the wall, WTF?”
He said something like “I know it’s a bar, but I think people should try to look presentable, it’s just a thing with me…..blah blah blah…….
Great, just great. Who booked this? We’re stuck in Tuckville for two days. To make things even worse, here’s a fun thing you should know about Utah, and Mormons: They don’t take too kindly to drinking, at least in a public space, and in bars, they only serve 3.2% beer, and no hard liquor. No shots, no drinks. Near-beer and wine. Just try to get yer groove on when your bloated and sober, with a tucked in shirt.
Needless to say, we played to chairs, as everybody goes to nearby Mesquite, (Nevada) where you can drink real beer and have a shot, with your shirt untucked with impunity.
The real fun came after the gig at about 2 AM, as we tried to get some food at the local Denny’s. Another thing they don’t take too kindly to in St.George, is long haired, barely drunk rock bands with distended bellies. (Thanks near-beer) We were completely ignored for a solid twenty minutes, as if we were Fitty Cent walking into the Elks Lodge. This is friggen Denny’s, it ain’t like we were hoping to get a moon over my hammey at the Four Seasons. When they finally sat us, of course the food sucked, and the service sucked worse.
This was the case anywhere we went over the course of the weekend. While it’s only an hour and a half from Vegas, St.George is like going back in time. We discovered that the locals don’t want to be seen going into, or coming out of a bar, for fear of being branded a “Drunk.” Like you could get drunk on that shit. The bar would have been better off serving NyQuil.
All in all, a miserable weekend in fabulous St. George Utah, where we spent the majority of the daytime in the bar, drinking our barely alcoholic beers, and re-tucking our shirts with the local outcasts.
Good times, good times……..