A month later, after our Sunday night gig, MacTavish called us into his office. "Boys . . . and lady, I have a new idea I’d like to try. I just got a demo tape from a band, the Blues Brothers Band they call themselves. I’d like to try them out for a while. Would you mind giving up Friday night’s performance to them, so I can see how they do here?"
"Not at all, Mister MacTavish," Mike said.
"Good. And I’d like you to still come, give me your opinion of this group."
That Friday, we relaxed, having a later dinner than usual and then dressed for the club. Peter and I wore matching moccasin boots, bi-coloured jeans, and Nehru shirts. We’d decided to go as a couple. Mike and Isa were both all in black, Isa in tight jeans and laced-up peasant top, again wearing the earrings I’d made her all those months ago. Micky just threw on a short-sleeved t-shirt and jeans -- but he still looked great, since the shirt showed off his strong muscles, built up from years of playing the drums. Davy was wearing a green velvet shirt with embroidery at the neck and wrists that I thought looked wonderful on him. Davy and Micky had called up girls that they sometimes hung out with -- Pansy was Micky’s date for the night, Natalie was Davy’s. We hopped in the Monkeemobile, and Mike insisted I drive.
"Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we have a special treat for you. For one night only, our usual band The Monkees has given up the stage to The Blues Brothers Band, straight from Illinois. Let’s give them a warm welcome!" MacTavish announced.
We clapped as the curtain opened to reveal a large band. There were three guitarists, one with a large bass guitar, the other two with regular 6-strings. At stage left were several horn players -- one trumpet player, two saxophonists, and a trombone player. Off to stage right was a keyboard and a short bald man stood behind it. There was a drum set at center stage. They started playing a somewhat familiar piece that I couldn’t place and then two men walked onstage. One was tall and thin, a briefcase held in one hand. The other was short and stocky, doing cartwheels instead of just walking to center stage. Both were wearing black suits, white shirts, thin black neckties, sunglasses and black fedoras.
They reached center stage and the shorter one unlocked the handcuff around the other one’s wrist. I saw then that the briefcase had been handcuffed to him. He pulled a harmonica from the briefcase, holding it up for the audience to see, and placed the briefcase by the keyboards.
"Hello everybody! My name is Jake, this is my brother Elwood, and we’re the Blues Brothers. We hope you enjoy the show," the shorter one said. They immediately launched into an upbeat song and Peter dragged me out onto the dance floor.
We danced for five songs straight, not pausing for a minute. Peter surprised me in that he was a superb dancer. Then the band did a slow song, "Guilty". As I leaned my head on Peter’s chest, I idly noted what a talented singer Jake was. Then it hit me why the opening song had seemed so familiar -- I’d listened to the Blues Brothers in my original dimension!
At the end of the night, MacTavish walked up to our table. "What did you think?"
"They were great!" Mike drawled.
"Wonderful. Very talented," I added.
"Great music to dance to," Peter said, flashing his lovely dimples my way.
"Good. Then what do you say to a six month contract, double-billed with them? You would play Saturday and Monday, they would play Friday and Sunday."
"That sounds good to me," Mike drawled. We all murmured agreement. MacTavish brought us backstage and we signed the contract, then he introduced us to the band -- Paul "The Shiv" Shaffer on keyboards, Willie "Too Big" Hall on drums, Matt "Guitar" Murphy on lead guitar, Steve "The Colonel" Cropper on rhythm guitar, Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, Tom "Bones" Malone on trombone, Alan "Mr Fabulous" Rubin on trumpet, and Lou "Blue Lou" Marini and Tom "Triple Scale" Scott on saxophone. And of course, Elwood Blues on harmonica and vocals and "Joliet" Jake Blues on lead vocals.
On the way home, Peter held my hand in the backseat and whispered, "I had fun tonight Len."
"So did I."
"Will you . . . will you be my girl? My steady girl, that is?" he asked.
"I’d LOVE to!" I curled up against him, falling asleep long before we reached the Pad.
Last updated 03 DEC 98
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