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“The Spanish Moon,” the romantically-named venue that I played last night in Baton Rouge, La.
The Spanish Moon emits a mysterious warehouse-turned-roadhouse rockabilly goth energy peculiar to Louisiana venues. Imagine Anne Rice directing Chuck Berry in A Streetcar Named Desire, and you’re on the right track. The club is tucked away in a deserted warehouse district under a bridge over the Mississippi River. One expects Huck and Jim to arrive at any time and ask if they are on the guest list.
The 9mm I saw when I first played The Spanish Moon in Summer 2002 was black and small, just like 9mm’s on TV. I suppose I lead a sheltered life. TV excepted, I had never seen a handgun before that day and have never seen one since.
“Oh, excuse me,” blustered the promoter of the Summer 2002 show. He was a large, fat man who may or may not have had a beard. “That’s my gun,” he said. He removed the gun from the bar.
“Oh,” I said.
“Don’t worry,” continued the possibily-bearded promoter. “I’m an undercover police officer working on busting the white slave trade in New Orleans. By the way, my wife made some red beans and rice. Do you want some?”
“Yes,” I said. Predictably, this show—-booked by an alleged undercover police officer—-was not well-attended. However, that bowl of beans and rice was the best bowl of beans and rice I have ever tasted.
When I returned to the Spanish Moon last year, there was no gun and the allegedly-bearded undercover officer/promoter was replaced by the promoter pictured above. This promoter and I argued about my now ex-band’s set time. In my mind, our set time that night was more relevant than the Iraq War, global warming, and AIDS in Africa combined. I sent repeated emails to my now ex-booking agent and the promoter himself complaining about our set time for no good reason.
Eventually, I came to my senses and apologized. However, my now ex-band never recovered from the set-time mishap. We began the tedious process of breaking up the next day on the way to Austin.
Curious to see if the promoter held a grudge, I e-mailed him a few months ago to ask for another Baton Rouge show. Unbelievably, he accepted and booked a show with the Apes, a D.C. band of note. Not that many people came, but I didn’t care because the Spanish Moon promoter and I had buried the hatchet, and everyone was friendly. To celebrate, I ate half a bag of potato chips.
I am sorry to report that, despite the Moyer—Baton Rouge Peace Accord, the white slave trade still persists in post-Katrina New Orleans.