A note to Toney Hall (SouthPaw41L) and other Chordie members in the South Florida area.
There is a bar called the Nav-a-gator on Lake Lucie: http://nav-a-gator.com/
This has to be the best bar to play I have ever tooted a tuba in.
My buddy John Reno invited me to play three gigs with him at his new location in the port Charlotte, Florida area. He described the Nav-a-gator as the coolest place and that even an old geezer like me would wind up feeling like a superstar.
I have known John to exagerate a bit to add gusto to a story but this time he had it nailed.
Our gig started at 6 P.M. and we showed up at 3 to do a leisurely load in and sound check. The Nav-a-gator is wildly decorated with salty signs, nautical antiques, and Parrothead stuff. There were 20 slips available for customers who arrive by boat. When we walked in the door, John Reno C.D.'s were being played nonstop, there was a butt in every chair in the house and the joint was rockin' with cool people. Musicians meals and bar tabs are always comped, wait staff ladies are all long haired young nymphets with flat tummies wearing midriffs. Behind the bar was the biggest live green parrot I ever saw and customers were allowed to pet him. Three hours was barely enough time to eat a complimentary grouper sammy and fries, set up and visit with so many customers who were excited about hearing a tuba play along with John.
Most of the crowd owned John's C.D.'s and knew all the lyrics and sang along with great gusto.
A special friend of ours celebrated her birthday that night and John had arranged for a jello shot cake for her which she shared with everybody.
The bar had our favorite draft beer and sent them faster than we could consume them. Somebody sent us tequila shooters that we were afraid to drink. The last set, the house passed out complimentary jello shots to everyone.
I mouthed off over the microphone that my horn is properly called a tuba but us Alabamians called it a "tuber".The managers and owner made me a trophy out of a potato stuffed into a loving cup with two handles, glued to an upside down C.D.
They sprayed it with gold paint and wrote on it "# 1 Tuber in the U.S.A. When they presented it to me I got tears in my eyes. I'm older than dirt and I have been playing for people since I was 13, but this was the most fun gig I have ever played in my life.
This bar has got it right and the coolest crowd ever is there just to hear the music.
Toney, if you and other Florida players want to have fun, book into the nav-a gator whatever it takes and get ready to have a memorable evening.