Monday, May 5, 2008
Marble Sack Shuffle Causes Toronto Blackout
It is no secret that the hair of Justin Angelo Morey has its own zipcode, 1-Double-0-1-STR8. While Wiley's secret is in his diet, Morey's secret is in his hair. How does he do it? The answer lies in what The Black Hollies refer to as Morey's Black Marble Sack Shuffle. The Marble Sack Shuffle is a daily ritual wherein Morey showers, blow-dries, and then straightens his hair with surgigcal precision. The MSS usually clocks in at about an hour but can sometimes last up to an hour and twenty minutes, never less than fifty minutes. First, Morey lies down on the shower floor. Then, much like a baptismal rite, the water rains o'er him from above, cleansing the previous evening's impurities. How much time is spent on the shower floor is directly proportional to how many pints Morey consumes the night before and whether or not he attains a proper "soak-up" which usually amounts to a couple of burgers from Jack-In-The-Box or a frozen "Bomb" burrito from 7-11. Neither delicacy is ingested without exorbitant amounts of hot sauce which Morey deems a necessary deterrent to all impurities. Justin Angelo Morey bleeds hot sauce. The band refers to the first segment of Morey's Marble Sack Shuffle ritual as the "Elizabeth Shue Phase," derived from a scene in Leaving Las Vegas wherein Shue takes a similar kind of shower.
Upon shower's end, Morey dries himself, applies some kind of unidentified talc, and slips into a pair of "titey-blackies," aka the black marble sack. Morey performs the blow-drying phase of the MSS upright in front of the mirror in the hotel bathroom. Towards the end of Phase II the other band members either need to use the bathroom or shower themselves. At this point, Morey relinquishes his stronghold over the bathroom as a king abdicates his throne.
Morey performs the third and final phase of his MSS sitting cross-legged on the floor. Morey switches from blow-dryer to heated straightener and usually needs to power it off of an extension cord so as to reach the power outlet in the bathroom. Just as a painter puts a finishing touch on a painting, Morey tweaks his straightening work with strategic combing and product placement. It is at this point that Morey rises and slaps on some pants henceforth bringing the Marble Sack Shuffle to an end. When asked to comment on the necessity for such intricate attention to detail Morey states, "Even though I firmly believe that 'Oh What A Night' is one of the top five most heinous songs ever written or performed in the entire history of music, I really can't take anything away from Vali. When it was time for him to step on stage he dresses to the nines. That's what got him as far as he went. Yeah, Vali was a ma-moni but he built an entire career on bryl creme." (Contrarily, Morey cites Vali's Northern Soul monster, "You're Ready Now," to be a great song. He also cites Vali's, "Let's Hang On," to be one of the greatest songs ever written.)
On May 3, 2008, Morey's Marble Sack shuffle goes too far. Me, Ferrante, and Wiley decide to dine at the hotel bar before the evening's show at The Silver Dollar in Toronto, Ontario. This gives Morey the window of time he needs to shuffle, about an hour. As we bite into our entrees the power in the entire hotel suddenly goes out. People are confused. A Canadian woman seated at the table next to ours offers the classic joke, "OOH. That's my leg, ay." I get up to survey the situation. As I come back to our table I notice Wiley sipping his French Onion soup in utter darkness as if nothing is awry. Barely able to see each other, Ferrante raises an eyebrow while I shrug my shoulders as if to say to each other, "What did you think he was going to do, let the soup get cold?"
After fifteen minutes elapse the dining room is illuminated to lukewarm applause. I inquire with the concierge, "Sir, do you know what happened?" The concierge replies in a French accent, "It seems there was an electrical short which emanated from room 7209 that, in turn, caused a momentary glich in our mainframe." My eyes widen as I keep to myself the fact that 7209 is The Black Hollies' hotel room. The band attributes the exact cause of the hotel's electrical short to be a direct result of Morey not utilizing the proper adaptors necessary for performing a Marble Sack Shuffle on Canadian circuitry.
To Morey's credit he does forsee a possible Canadian circuitry mismatch and attempts to transport a power converter across the Canadian border. Immigration officers confiscate the converter deeming it "hazardous materials." Morey baffled, presses the issue asking the officer in charge, "If we really wanted to blow up Canada with a hair dryer," pointing to Ferrante, "do you think he'd be wearing a vintage Rush 2112 concert t-shirt?" The immigration officer, now less than impressed, makes it his mission to scour our records for any inkling of a spotted past. At this point Ferrante realizes that he supplants his US passport with an old head shot from his audition as Silvio for the original Sopranos pilot. The band laments that crossing the Canadian border is akin to visiting a priest in a Catholic confessional. In both cases dudes behind glass attempt to make you feel guilty. After the immigration officer finally relents, on account of admiring the Sopranos for its accuracy in decpicting Italian-American life in NJ, he issues the band a penance of two hail marys, an our father, and a special request that The Black Hollies promise to only dine at Tim Horton's, referred to by some Canadians as Timmy's, for the entire duration of our trip. We oblige and are granted admission into Canada.
With the border and Marble Sack Shuffle incidents the band arrives at The Silver Dollar in Toronto considerably behind schedule. Dan, the show's promoter, seems a bit perturbed about this. The band worries but then realizes Dan is not at all angry. He's an ex-journalist with a low tolerance for crap and an appetite for the mind-blowing, a hardcore lifer and a great guy. Colin and Cameron from The Disraelis quell any anxiety the band harbors as they reach out to The Black Hollies with open arms. Tthe Disraelis make the band feel more than welcome and assure that the night will be fun. This kind of outreach goes a long way especially when you're in a town where you don't know anyone. The Black Hollies not only gain new friends in the Disraelis and Dan, who after our set is entirely blown away and in spirits higher than an entire housing project, but also manage to turn on every single person in The Silver Dollar this evening. Women dance. Dan Dances. After their set the band converses with most members of the audience riding the high of being well-received.
Not to belabor the point because I know that he's been getting alot of ink in Palestinian Bluetooth as of late, but The Black Hollies realize that mentioning Dave Coulier is hands down the best ice-breaker in any Canadian bar. Most Canadians are blown away by an Amaerican's appreciation for one of Canada's forgotten comedic heroes. The Black Hollies would like to thank everyone who came out to The Silver Dollar in Toronto, especially Dan and The Disraelis.