Don’t let the title fool you, this blog has absolutely nothing to do with tilting back a cold one.
In fact, I never thought that I’d once again get myself in a situation where I’d have to duct-tape my butt cheeks together.
Enter Jackson, Mississippi.
Our journey began when my friend and video DJ, Huda Hudia, invited me to come along with him to a gig at Club Bottoms Up. It was about 2 a.m. at the time, I had consumed several cocktails, so naturally a spur-of-the-moment trip to a place I’d never been & had no desire to go seemed akin to being invited to Disneyland.
So, bright & early Friday morning, (3 p.m. actually, mornings are bedtime for industry professionals) we hit the road in good spirits although my research indicated that Bottom’s Up was in actuality, a drag/gay/lesbian club.
I’m OK with that, I was just hoping to have a different brand of fun instead of being attached to Huda’s hip the entire time up in the booth. Huda had no clue about my discovery when I divulged this bit of information. My initial worries of going to a gay club were settled with Huda’s nonchalant reply, “don’t stress we’re all good.” For Huda, it’s all about the music & he credits gay clubs for actively promoting electronic music.
Feeling a little more confident, his next story put me back in the stress camp. He told me about his 1996 performance at Limelight in New York City. In his words, “I saw a completely naked man covered in baby powder. He had a thin silver collar with an 8 foot silver chain that led to his partner’s finger”. Really? A silver collar? I guess he was afraid of being bitten by a vampire.
That aside, I was just hoping to have a great time & not wanting to find myself “bottoms up” somewhere in the club. Seriously, after that story I was picturing myself chained to the DJ booth or finding some sort of protection from the experienced Huda.
We arrived at Club Bottom’s Up right on time, & the guys out front removed a couple of cones so we could park. The club was a veritable hole-in-the-wall & in a somewhat questionable location. I’m not going to lie, I felt a twinge of fear, & for the very first time I saw a little bit in Huda’s face as well.
We were immediately greeted by the owner, Andy, as well as the promoters & a few of the resident DJ’s. Feeling immediately welcome, we proceeded to walk through the front door. I believe my butt may have involuntarily puckered up. Damnit, I forgot my duct tape.
- Once we walked through the door, all of my concerns vanished. Halfway expecting to see nothing but naked men like in Huda’s story, I instead saw nothing but young adults, all excited to have a good time. Huda turned to me and said, “I feel like I just walked back in time”, telling me the style of the club is what it was like when he did gigs back in the early and late ’90s at raves. Black lights, glow paint, glow sticks, & rave kids I could tell from the look on his face something special was about to come, no pun intended.
- Continuing through the venue, we made our way to the main dance floor & climbed up to the DJ booth. DJ Cadillac was on the turntables and was alternating spinning with his partner-in-crime & we were really digging their sound. I then noticed my brain, bouncing around inside my skull cavity: I’m not kidding, the bass in this concrete structure was the most powerful I’d ever felt in a nightclub, it was like being hit in the chest repeatedly with a mallet.
- Within five minutes of being up there, we realized we were going to have a blast, especially after being informed that the club is only gay on Wednesdays. Whew! Almost instantly, one of the guys fixed us a crown and sprite.
- Everyone there was awesome, their hospitality the best I’ve experienced in many years. As the night progressed, Huda worked the crowd in to an absolute frenzy, mixing & spinning tracks that blew the doors off the place. I started perusing the crowd, asking them what they knew about Huda. The responses I got floored me; many remarked that their very first album purchase was a Huda Hudia album. They truly felt privileged to be there & many asked me to introduce them to Huda or have him sign an autograph on the event flier. I even learned that he was in the top 75 DJ’s on the globe. In fact, I learned more about Huda through these hospitable Mississippians than I have since we first met 4 years ago.
- Of the dozens of times that I’ve seen my friend spin, I never witnessed what I did that night. Huda had such a good time he went an extra two hours without even realizing it. We both agreed it was one of the best times we’d had in recent memory. I realized for Huda it’s only about the music, the reactions from the crowd on the dance floor & creating a vibe through his music. I’ve discovered a newfound respect for the art of DJ’ing.
- Around four in the morning we decided to head to an-after party. On the way we met some of the promoters and DJ’s at Whataburger, and since at 4:00 am everything greasy sounds divine, we order the biggest, foulest thing on the menu; double cheeseburgers with everything.
- We never made it to the after-party.
- Instead, pleasently bloated on a thousand Whatacalories, I settled in to enjoy the third sunrise I’d seen in as many days.
- The next morning (our morning – what you folks would call “mid-afternoon”) as we were getting ready, Huda’s innards began making unpleasent sounds. Within minutes he’d turned our shared bathroom into a nuclear waste site. Exiting the bathroom he angrily declared, “Whataburger, “WHATAMISTAKE!”
- Being a good, concerned friend I howled with laughter. I assured him that I felt fine and he was probably just getting old.
- Once on the road, however, the gods of dysentary pounced, turning the contents of my stomach into a putrid goo. We visited, often hurriedly, most of the rest stops along the way home, cursing at each stall missing its toilet paper.
- Our six-hour trip back from Bottoms Up was miserably “bottom’s down”!