Last Dose of Alex Chilton (Cleveland Box
Tops Review) Emalia: Doug Easily [Longest email I've ever
written ] I 'took' too many 'Espressoralls'
the first thing that's on my mind, is, and you better answer some of
I know how to deal with you silent but deadly types, twice as many
questions as you want answered.
I went and saw the Box Tops at Beachhead in Cleve, and saw Peggy and
Sue Million and the guys from Reigning Sound who were playing the
next night with Mary Weiss from Shanghai-leis.
I vaguely even remembered the singer guy, although it was the
drummer guy who was married to Sue Million that was nice enough to
put me on the list, but back to the Tops: Fucking weirdest show.
Except maybe for James brown on PCP, or the time George Jones rode
off on the back of a motorcycle with a bottle of Mariquilla in his hand and
a 22-year-old Blond-driveler-Shintoist-yeah.
I know probably 99 different types of irony and use them all the time,
and this was not one of them.
Still not able to tell you if Alex was being real or not, having seen his
scroungy act (Little Fishes, anyone?), and having seen his supercooling
distant act (Panther Burns as Sideman).
This one was more like a Game Show host for the Sultana Brunei.
I knew the fee was six-figures or a hundred virgins.
I understood, but this was boring'Cleveland, and an Oldies show at that,
and there wouldn't be more than 150 people.
I guess it was Irony 100-1.
Anyway, they played "Whiter Shade of Pale" and a couple other ones, LX
on bass for Green Onions.
I really am not prepared to mine my psyche to explain.
I go directly to the backstage orgy of me and Lxi.
I walk backhand-tentatively, after being convinced by Sue that it would
be fun despite the weird scenes that I had, and the complete
schizophrenic quality of our long but sparse relations.
He'd just finished Burn-IN-some High Grade Locoweed ll.
Still, so Sue goes first and does the 'remember me'.
I met you at western sizzling when.
I was a waitress, and.
Watching traceless, he's lookout-inchoate.
I can only describe a very lax Hamiltonian.
Not sure which way he's gonna go with the whole remember me reply,
I look around and it's a whole different backstage scene, man.
Local radio DJs.
I assume from oldies stations, family members of other boxtops,
I still have not figured out; and Sue is dressed like Adultery Vaudeville
Somehow that took a little pressure off me in case he decided to let her
I knew that it'd be OK for Mecca.
I make her cry, then Alex mightn't able to make her morph into a bush.
So he's doing that lix-thing, and cachepots blowgun around in the
chasms of his mind, and he's probably thinking about BMW or
something, and she finishes, and he says, 'Oh, yeah,' vaguely; and it
works--shes happy and he's still thinking about BMW, and nobody gets
Now its my turnaround course.
Smart enough to just stand there and look at him without risking saying
any words that might be used against me in his comeback--he looks a
lot older, handsome.
From the last time, maybe 7, 8 years ago, we had a good, weird New
Orleans evening together, and he was the Incontestability.
I was buying the Cuba Libras, and he breaks out in the biggest grin
you've ever seen and does the whole 'what the fuck are you doing here'
routine that so far no repercussion.
I haven't seen anyplace.
I know yet except for the night before with Peggy and that guy frowns,
and its greathearted.
I really am believing in it, just a little suspicious-and.
I don't know if it was the extra Adderley or whatever.
I couldn't keep my mouth shut.
I talked to Alexei.
I would have never done probably as the first person.
I had done with since Ive been here, so it was 7 months worth of stuff;
and with me, ya know.
I can go a little bit overboard, to say the least, with the questions, and if
you let me get away with one the second one's gonna be even weirder
and then exponentially on and onto.
Up to the question about something like, hey, Ive been meaning to ask
you, do you remember a guy around Stax nicknamed Super Whitey.
I was doing Linda Gail's record........you can imagine....well, that was
the tipper: Jekyll met hide and it was memorable: something like this: (I
also asked him about that bouncer guy at that weird bar in the seventies
that's in that Memphis book who sang on that Bach's bottom stuff, and
was an Eggleston/ Chilton Quaalude pal: not a good start: so it was: you
know marry the problem with questions about things you know a little
bit, but you have no idea what it is that you're talkie about--it was kinda
like Andy Griffith and Barney.
I was just smiley and lovey, but he smelled blood and the whole place
stopped and was presetting the oldies star who sang the letter.
And then it got downright absurdity, denying knowing anybody that was
a bouncer, and, the best one was, and even Gary from boxtops laughed
at this one--that he never knew anyone in Memphis who carried a gun.
I couldn't contain myself and.
I told him how.
I met Cyndi Underwood, about how she leaned over the henna bar to
I just gotten offstage with you guys and asked me if...I wanted to go
back to her place and have some Lemon Meringue pie, and she was
wearing a fur coat--Nothing on underneath, and then her Derringer fell
onto the floor out of her boots...well.
I don't know if he knew her, Vouchsafe.
KNEW her but he did some more stuff and about ten minutes later it
normalized out when.
I brought up Harold Cowart, my Louisiana bass player buddy, who used
to play with John Fred, etc.
Ya know, trying to throw in the obscure cool thing.
I think of heat off and it worked, cut to Gary; got in the conversation,
and Alex started tortellini stories 'bout the playboys, and it was
I never thought.
I here those stories out of his mouth in a million years, and it was
I had a few more questions like about Katrina, which was his favorite
subject apparently, and.
I got to hear.
I got rescued off my roof by a helicopter story.
I had not heard before but which must have been almost rote, having
been in New Orleans for the past few months and Tav, and he told me
some almost unreadable for sincerity--update about Gus, and that...I
And he was eager to talk about the old gang, so we went over Renee,
Ron, you, Ross, Don, George, and whoever else we could think of, now
keep in mind he's doing this.
I think he can, at this point, at least, give us barely perceptible rockstar
eyebrow looks as one by one the Beefaroni Midwestern middlebrows
come by and hand him a Box Tops record, DJs come up and talk about
the show or their station, and one woman hands him a picture of her
boyfriend to sign crusher only piece of paper she's got--on that one he
starts to laugh and brings me into the exchange, and gets close to the
old evil LX.
I can recall couching hidden sarcasms and practiced understatements...
I was gonna write about a bunch of stuff.
I ll save it for next time.
I may not ever feel this prolific, thankfully for you, again.
This is officially the longest email I've ever written anybody.