A Long Night in Old Nashville

16 May

This week, I have been attending meetings in Nashville, and the route to the meetings takes me by a lounge called Dad’s Place. As I passed by this morning, it brought to mind the longest night I have ever spent.

My friend Mac was in town for the evening and wanted to hit the streets. Mac is an old road dog who can stay out late and get up early. Honestly, I have never known how he does it. The only person I know who can hang with him is my friend Pig. Their routines would kill mere mortals.

When Mac said to meet him at Dad’s, I knew it was going to be a long night. I just did not know how long.

Dad’s is an interesting place, and I have no idea how to describe it. I suppose it would be a cross between an AARP meeting and a nightclub. One time, I saw two men in their 60s get in a fight over a woman. You can let your imagination go from there.

After a few drinks, we went to The Stockyard Restaurant, a Nashville steakhouse that is too high and too full of tourists. We did not go to eat. We went to spend some time in the Bullpen Lounge. More drinks were in our future, but the real treat was Tommy Riggs, the house singer. Tommy was a large man, but that did not take away from his voice. He was a great singer and entertainer.Tommy Riggs

I distinctly remember him singing a song that he wrote called “Love’s Last Stand.” I could not find his version on the Internet, but I found Donna Meade’s version.

Of course, Mac and Tommy were on a first name basis.

I have no idea how long we spent in the Bullpen, but I was worn to a frazzle. We had more places to go, though. Next stop, the historic Printer’s Alley. These days, it is a tourist area, but it has a seedy past of strip clubs and prostitution. Throughout its many transformations, one place remained a constant – Skull’s Rainbow Room. That was our next stop.Rainbow Room

It should be obvious that the Rainbow Room was owned by Skull, who always sat at the back bar wearing Hee Haw overalls and watching television. We walked in and Eddie, the house singer, was on stage. Guess what. Mac and Eddie were on a first name basis, too. We listened to Eddie sing and drank with him between sets. We were there forever, and lots of people came and went. One of them was the Undertaker. You know, the professional wrestler. We had a few drinks with him, too.

Like at the Bullpen, I have no idea how long we spent at the Rainbow Room, but I know that we closed it down. We helped them clean up. We helped them stack chairs on the tables. We turned off the lights. We shared a cab with Skull. He got in the front seat while Mac and I got in the back. Hold on, some girl got in the back with us. It is hazy, but I remember that she was goth and said something about how she could help me end the night in a great way. It would not cost that much money.

At some point, the girl faded into the darkness. I guess goth people can do that. We dropped Skull off at his apartment. It was not too many years later that Skull was robbed and killed at closing time. It is one of the more famous crimes in Nashville’s history.

One would think that the night would be over. It was not. We made our last stop at the Hermitage Cafe.Hermitage Cafe

It is like Waffle House but better. Then, we finally made it to the hotel and to bed. A couple of hours later, Mac was up and ready to go. I was ready to forget how bad I felt.

The longest night I have ever spent was forever ago. As I said, Skull is no longer with us, and the Rainbow Room is boarded up. Tommy Riggs has also passed away. I have often wondered what happened to Eddie. Did he find another club or go back home? I have also wondered what happened to that girl. Did she find another customer that night, or did she meet her coven around the cauldron?

Yes, it was a long night, but it was also a fun night.

 

10 Responses to “A Long Night in Old Nashville”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong May 16, 2014 at 03:04 #

    That’s a lot of partying. It’s been a long time since I had that kind of endurance. A very long time. Great story đŸ™‚

    • Rick May 16, 2014 at 03:09 #

      Me too. That was more years ago than I care to count.

  2. satanicpanic May 16, 2014 at 03:25 #

    “One time, I saw two men in their 60s get in a fight over a woman.” I kind of like thinking that there are men that age who feel strongly enough about a woman to risk physical injury. Or maybe they were just drunk.

    • Rick May 16, 2014 at 03:30 #

      I hope I’m a vibrant as they were when I’m in my 60s. It was a heck of a fight. Spilled out into the parking lot and everything.

      • satanicpanic May 16, 2014 at 03:31 #

        oh wow, that’s kind of awesome

  3. Andrew Petcher May 16, 2014 at 04:59 #

    A night like that would wipe me out for a week!

    • Rick May 16, 2014 at 12:46 #

      It did.

  4. DyingNote May 22, 2014 at 12:51 #

    Somebody’s going to see this and make a movie out of it Rick. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be The Hangover Part whatever.

    I’ve said this before and I will not tire of saying it. One of the reasons I keep coming back to WordPress irrespective of whether I write or not is blogs like yours and John’s over at Thoughts From West 5 (tfw5).

    • Rick May 22, 2014 at 13:04 #

      Thanks for the compliment. I read John’s stuff all the time. If they turn it into a movie, then I hope they change the names to protect the guilty.

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  1. The Great Month of May | Surrounded By Imbeciles - May 31, 2014

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