TALL TALES

G: Bring the Kids - PG: Approach With Caution - PG-13: In-Laws, Coworkers Keep Out - R: Wife, In-Laws, Coworkers Definitely Keep Out - X: Probably Something Involving Robert Logan

14

July 2005

The Mechanics vs. Franco Columbu

It was bad enough that The Mechanics were relegated to playing O.C. dives in 1980, but our meeting with Franco Columbu pretty much took the cake.

A few of us arrived for an early sound check at a Cypress club called the Casablanca (think singles dive converted into a rock club), and found ourselves locked outside. Joining us were the three club bouncers who were in the same boat as us. They came over to make small talk and were pretty cool, but there was the one asshole that just wanted to try to impress the other two. Franco Columbu was only about 5’9, but he was about that wide, and his biceps were about the size of my head. He starts his act by making ’Musicians are dumb!’ jokes, no ones smiling, but he keeps at it anyway. He’s the only one laughing, and you can see he’s starting to get perturbed. He continues his act, then Sandy makes a joke back at Franco’s expense, and finally there’s laughter coming from everybody. Now Franco’s smiling, but it’s a pissed off smile, so he starts walking after Sandy making more stupid jokes and acting like he’s gonna beat Sandy up when he gets to him. Sandy starts walking off, we’re standing around like pussies thinking his huge friends are going to kill us if we step in, and he’s walking after Sandy around the parking lot like this is the key moment of his life. The Mechanics were not only playing a shit hole, but were now cowards who didn’t have their drummers back.

After our set, we had everything loaded up, so we hung around out front to smoke and chat with people. We then see this guy in a Stetson, about Hulk Hogan’s size coming towards the club with his girlfriend. This guy was enormous, and he looked mean. We parted our group and let him pass. Once he stepped inside, we saw a commotion around him. It seems that hats weren’t allowed at The Casablanca (class place that it was), and they told him there was no entrance without leaving it up front. ”Like hell I’m leaving my hat,” we heard him bark, and he pointed at the two bouncers there like he was going to cause them bodily injury if they disagreed. They looked positively deflated and scared as shit. Franco now comes running up, and he’s gonna fix everything. He starts by making friends: ”C’mon buddy, it’s no big deal! Just let me hold onto the hat for you and you can go inside,” and reaches up towards it. Hogan replies by slamming him against a wall, pinning his chest with one of his prizefighter’s mitts, and in measured tones growls, ”You’re not my buddy. Nobody, but nobody touches my hat. You got it?” At this precise moment, Franco turns his head for help, and instead sees us covering our mouths, grabbing our shaking bellies, and laughing our asses off. He looked like he could start crying any moment. The Casablanca then made the decision Hogan should leave his hat on, he unpinned Franco, and we got the f**k out of there before he and his pals came and slaughtered us. Hulkster 10, Bouncers 0.

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