Saturday, May 10, 2008

Beachland Tavern Cleveland, OH

Beachland Tavern in Cleveland, OH, is a dynamite venue. Although, Ken, our hospitable promoter this evening, immediately debunks any myths about Monday night at Beachland being a Grand Marquee event. The band appreciates Ken's candor, takes the news in stride, and proceeds with the evening's festivities by staging a cooking expose via Diary of a Foodman involving Beachland's talented and friendly in-house cook/classically trained flutist, Leia. Ken passes out drink tickets as if they're Kool-Aid rebates for the Jonestown Massacre. In hindsight, The Black Hollies note that in lieu of the on going Zagat-esque survey there are instances where an overabundance of free drinks can impede the band from a hasty exit once the, "LAAAST CAAWL...IF YOU 'AINT FUCKIN' THE BARTENDER GET THE HELL OUTTA MY BAR," death knell is rung.

The Black Hollies perform to an audience of three, not including Ken, Leia, and soundman, Clint, who late in the evening after the band is caught smoking in the basement long passed any paying patrons are left in the bar, says, "I wish I got paid to stand here and do nothing but I gotta go man." The Black Hollies oblige, apologize to Clint for frown-burgering the situation, sing a quick chorus of "Four Dudes In A Room," and call it a night. The band inadvertently makes the terrible Jackson Browne song about giggin' and packing up a reality. The surplus of drink tickets still in existence at the end of the night contributes to this as does the band's performance in front of a three person audience which comes off as a performance before a three thousand person audience. One of The Black Hollies' favorite past-times is treating performances in nearly vacant clubs as if they're performances in expansive theaters packed to the rafters with excited fans. In other words, every note counts. Following the show into the evening and continuing into the next day, The Black Hollies always make it a point to preserve this past-time and treat themselves as if they've recently sold out The Fillmore West. Activities which commemorate self-appreciation amount to taking long drawn "Calgon Take Me Away" style baths, ordering imported cheese plates accompanied by expensive French wine, paying for high end new age holistic massages, and booking four separate hotel rooms only on nights where the band takes in less than $30 at the gate. The Black Hollies are paid $27.00 for their Cleveland performance, $27.05 if one includes the envelope that Ken presents the band's money in. So, four rooms it is.

The following morning the Black Hollies celebrate the previous evening's till with a trip to Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Black Hollies receive free admission on account of presenting the Rock Hall with a copy of Casting Shadows and one recent press clipping from Rolling Stone Magazine wherein the band receives print, not in the form of a review or as one of a dozen bands to watch, but rather as a one-fifth ingredient to Rolling Stone's Top 5 Least Grossing Tours Of 2008 recipe, right behind Boston and Harold Faltermeyer. The magazine cites the signature Black Hollies guarantee of "refusing to perform for more than ten people while concurrently refusing to be paid more than thirty dollars" as reason enough for the inclusion. The listing which appears in the magazine's 'Smoking Section,' a random document of celebrity canoodlings, impresses Cleveland's Rock Hall which, in turn, accepts the band's cd and press clipping as a dual tribute granting The Black Hollies unfettered access to Stephen Stills' poncho which is normally kept behind a glass encasement. The Black Hollies extend their sincerest gratitude to everyone at The Beachland Tavern, especially Ken, Leia, and Clint for treating the band well and making it a memorable night for all.

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