Saturday, January 7, 2012

One night at a night club, 1970s. Wearing pajamas for a night on the town

This goes back to the 70s and the Disco era.

I wasn't much for night clubs and the disco places then and I'm not now but every once in a blue moon I'd go out to listen to a good band. I was never a sucker for the game in that I felt no need whatsoever to go to whatever place at the time the in crowd deemed cool.

One night I wanted to go out and hear this band that a friend of mine highly recommended. They had a gig for a few nights at the local uppity club. I cleaned up and showed up only to be refused entry because of something I was wearing. If I recall it was a pair of jeans.

So on the way home I decided two things. First, I was not going to go out and buy a leisure suit and secondly I was going to get in there wearing something ridiculous.

I think I was about halfway home when the idea hit me and looking back on things it was pretty sharp thinking on my part. I would walk in to the club and be complimented with my new outfit. I immediately changed course and went somewhere and bought a pair of pajamas.

Pajamas? What?

Yes, pajamas. The kind that buttoned down the front. Instant leisure suit.

I also snagged a can of spray starch and took my purchases home and went to work tailoring them with my mother's sewing machine. I took the pants and hemmed them and then took some in at the thighs and flared them out down past the knee and they looked like a pair of bell-bottoms which were in the vogue at the time.

Then I took the top in here and there. Presto! Instant leisure suit!

Seeing as to how it was summertime I figured if anyone asked me about it I could tell them it was a lightweight summer outfit I had snagged down south somewhere.

Then I got out the iron and the starch and went to work in the outfit. It was now pretty late but I didn't have to go to work so I slept in the next morning.

The next evening I donned the outfit and hopped into my MGB and headed back to the club. The doorman recognized me from the previous entry and commented that I looked a lot better than I had the previous evening, collected my cover charge and let me in.

As I slipped past I thought to myself, "What an idiot. He wouldn't let me in wearing basic street clothes but seemed to be really glad to let me in wearing a pair of pajamas!"

I wandered in, took a seat at the bar as was my custom at the time, ordered a drink and kicked back.

Relatively unknown at the time, the band was the J. Geils Blues Band. They were hot. This was before their hits, 'Freeze Fame' and 'Centerfold' hit the charts.

I ran into a couple of people there I knew and most of them were somewhat surprised to see me in a place like that. One of them that I had gone to high school with had not grown up yet. I spoke with him a couple of years ago and he still hasn't grown up, but I digress.

Anyway, a gal I had gone to school with saw me and approached me during a band break and told me how nice I looked in my outfit. She was one of the few in high school that I could stomach because she respected me for not caving in to the social pressures around me. I instinctively trusted her because of that.

I let her know that I had been denied entrance the previous evening because of improper attire, yet here I was wearing a pair of pajamas. She looked confused for a second and then reached out and felt the materiel.

"They ARE pajamas," she said.

"I took them in here and there and pressed them up," I said. "The idiot at the door wouldn't let me in wearing a pair of new jeans and a nice shirt last night but tonight he let me in wearing a pair of pajamas."

She laughed. "You did a good job taking them in," she said.

While to this day I don't think she ratted me out, I think her date overheard us and went straight to the guy that was a troublemaker in high school.

A few minutes later someone behind me grabbed the back of my collar and pulled it down. Taken by surprise, I went straight into attack mode. I spun around, cupped both hands and brought them in smartly against his ears. As soon as I connected I realized who it was and saw him recoil in shock. I had taken him by surprise and had bought myself enough time to leave. I quietly walked to the door, crossed the parking lot, got into the MG and quietly drove off.

Fifteen minutes later I was perched on a barstool in a waterfront dive a couple of towns over. The bartender recognized me and commented on my attire. I told him the story and we both laughed like hell.

He also told me the troublemaker wasn't allowed in the joint and went on to opine that it wasn't very likely that he'd get very far if he tried to press charges. For one thing I hadn't left a mark on him, just a pair of sore ears.

I had a quick beer and left.

About a year later I ran into the woman that had been there that night. She asked me what I had done to disable the troublemaker so quickly and I told her. She commented that she had wondered as he didn't appear to have a mark on him.

The clown apparently moaned and groaned for a while about how he was going to have me arrested until someone told him to stop being a crybaby and to man up. He apparently had seen the entire event and told him that if it wound up in court he would testify in my behalf and I guess it ended with that.

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