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1960 Rock

The road, not the year

Where the hell are we going?" Conchita demands.

"It's just a couple more blocks," I tell her. I'm lying, of course. FBI Rocks #1 (11528 Jones Road, 281-807-4116) is not just a "couple of blocks" away from anything. We're out on Jones Road, near FM 1960. Conchita understands streets named 75th or 20th; 1960 is two numbers too many for her. But I've been hearing about FM 1960's rock scene, so I want to check it out for myself.

"This is a biker bar!" Conchita groans as we pull into the FBI Rocks parking lot. "No, no it's not. It's a regular bar." I'm lying again, of course, and to prove it, a guy on a rumbling motorcycle pulls in just behind us. I manage to get Conchita in the door only because there's a huge barbecue pit out front, with a sign that says My Von's Bar-B-Que & Soul Food on it. "There's barbecue," I smile at her. She's still suspicious, and she's holding her purse real tight, but she's inside.

The FBI (which stands for "Forgettaboutit") isn't a war zone bar. Yes, there are some bikers, but they're all pretty sober. There are lots more rockers, from barely legal to thirtysomething, also pretty sober. And there are lots of biker girlfriends, wearing skin-tight leather pants and tiny, tiny tops, but they smile at us when we walk by. Some guys are playing pool (each with their own custom stick and fancy carrying case), and a couple of other people are playing cards on some casino tables. And there are a dozen or so people at the tables near the stage. It feels like a friendly neighborhood bar. A neighborhood where Audioslave lives next door to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Van Halen carpools with Led Zeppelin, but hey.

On stage the four-member Tempus Fugit (that's Latin for "time flies") are cranking out Iron Maiden's "Flight of Icarus." Conchita and I head for a table, but then realize we'd be blocking the view for a couple of people at the bar. We start to back off (Conchita's wearing heels and earrings, neither of which is good when you're in a bar fight), but the couple motions for us to take the table. I sit down, but Conchita's spotted the barbecue, and she's gone.

"Jey," slurs the woman at me, "go ahead and sits down. It's cool, we're all just here to..."

"Party!" the man jumps in.

"Ah, okay. Thanks," I mumble, not sure if this is a couple or a tag team. I want to get my bearings before I get friendly.

"Jey, 'e's my brother," she says, reading my mind. "We're twins."

Her brother nods madly.

"I'm seven second older than hims."

"Seven seconds or seven minutes?" I ask her, not sure twins can be born just seconds apart.

"Noooo, seconds!" she answers and bursts out laughing.

On stage, "Icarus" is over, and the guitar player is going over some chord changes with the bass player. The bass player nods, and the band kicks off Thin Lizzy's "Cowboy Song." I'm starting to think Tempus Fugit is really pretty good. The guitarist plays clean, no slurs or buzz -- completely unlike my new best friend and her twin brother, who are nothing but slurs and buzz. They've joined me at my table, I suddenly notice, in an exceedingly smooth move that I didn't even see happen.

"Jey, I used to be blond, y' know?"

"Uh-huh."

"I used to be blond and everywhere I would go, guys would look at me, y'know?"

Her brother nods.

"Then lass week, I dye my hair...and now, nobody look at me. That's not right, y' know. That's not right...I'm still me. Why don't they want to look at me?" She's getting a little angry. I'm not sure if she's angry that the guys won't look at her or that I don't feel more sorry for her, but before I can figure it out a big, bulky guy walks over and grabs her ass. She laughs and says, "These is my husband. You know him?"

"No, we ain't met. How you doing?" I reach out to shake hands, realizing a second too late that that's the hand he just had on her ass. He grabs my hand and pulls me in to him, a pickup move I remember well. He's standing a couple of inches from my face now. I can smell cigarettes, beer and something like peppermint, all coming from the vicinity of his mouth. Schnapps, maybe? Do straight guys drink peppermint schnapps?

"Hi," he grins, and snuggles even closer.

Great, now I've got ass germs on my hand and a peppermint schnapper in my face.

Tempus Fugit is happily bumbling "Stairway to Heaven" on stage, and Conchita is back with a platter of barbecue. She looks at us and frowns, not because some strange, drunk guy is hugged up on me right in front of his drunk wife and her seven-seconds-younger twin brother, but because with all our drinks on the table, there's no room for her plate. Thankfully, a bar back walks by just then and clears away the empty bottles.

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