Monday, February 14, 2011

The Prohibition Room

In January of 1986, Some Peoples' Kids had gone out on a brief (3 weeks, maybe) tour that took us to Oklahoma City, playing at Doc Severinsen's club. From there we headed south to Dallas, Texas to play the legendary Prohibition Room. The club was located in the basement of an old office building in downtown Dallas, at 703 McKinney Avenue, in the shadow of the N. Stemmons Freeway and Highway 366 interchange. When we arrived at the club, they hadn't cleaned up from the night before, and the floor was littered with peanut shells and trash. There was a muffled crunch with every step we took... a funny/unusual first impression. It was dark inside (no windows) with a low ceiling and exposed pipes and ducts... and featured a stage the size of a postage stamp. Always a fun challenge. Housing was not included in our contract, so when we got there our manager, Jerry, looked into the cost of motel rooms for the week, and decided we would try something different; we rented a Winnebago and set it up in the parking lot; certainly something to add to our list of road adventures... sleeping in an RV under the interstate in downtown Dallas. There were seven of us guys crammed into a RV that was probably made to accomodate five. Fortunately, I always took a sleeping bag with me when we traveled, so I was ready for pretty much anything. And the club had a shower in the dressing room, so it wasn't too bad. Living under the interstate, there was almost always an interesting parade of characters drifting by our little home in the parking lot... but I don't think we ever had any trouble from anyone. Rick brought his portable black & white TV, so we watched whatever shows we could pick up on the antenna at night... and the soaps in the afternoon, of course. My favorite was General Hospital (ha). A couple of times, after the gig, we got bored and decided to fire up the house and drive to the Quickie Mart down the street. That was fun. There was a disco club owned by singer Stevie Nicks in the same building where the Prohibition Room was located, and to pass the time some of the guys in the band would go up there when we were on break, and watch the drunk & drugged up "yuppies" put on their best dance moves. Back home, a couple of months later, we wrote and recorded a little tongue-in-cheek dance tune called "Touch The Wall" about that place. To this day, it is one of my favorite SPK songs. However charming it was to live in a Winnebago in a parking lot, it did get old pretty fast. Pam's sister, Debbie, lived in Irving at the time and she invited me to come stay with them; so around Thursday, I took her up on the offer. It was a bit of a drive, but worth it to sleep in a real bed. On Tuesday morning, January 28th, Wes (our bass player) had gotten up early and left to go eat breakfast. By the time he got back to the RV, we were all beginning to wake up. He came in and told us that he had heard on the radio that the space shuttle Challenger had blown up just after lift-off. It was one of those moments frozen in time... something I will likely never forget.
The Prohibition Room job went well, and ended up being a very memorable road trip for us. We left there with positive remarks from the staff, though we never played that club again.
the pictures above were borrowed from the website