Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Soundtrack: I go chic-chickie-boom-chic-chickie-boom-

When I was a kid I thought nightclubs would be like Ciro's in "Hollywood Steps Out", or like the Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel, or like the Copacabana in Manhattan (Actually, the Copacabana still exists, but it is nothing like it used to be. Now its just another loud bar.) But more than anything my understanding of nightclubs was based on what I saw on "I Love Lucy". Perhaps you remember that Desi worked at a nightclub. Well, in a few episodes of the show we got to see inside that nightclub.

I can not tell you how disappointed I was the first time I was in Manhattan (I was 17) and went to a nightclub. It was nothing like what I was expecting. There were no tuxedos anywhere in sight, no showgirls, no conga drums, no live music, no floor show. I was looking for Artie Shaw, Gene Krupa, Desi Arnaz, Cab Calloway, Les Brown, and Billy Eckstine performing live with their orchestras. Well, not really them, but their heirs.

There was an attempt to revive that kind of night club. In San Francisco, in the mid 90s a place called the Coconut Club opened. Unfortunately, it was tied to closely to the swing fad of those years. When the fad went away so did the Coconut Club. In Sunnyvale, there was club open about the same time. It was called the Palace. Men were required to be in ties and jacket. Blue jeans were verboten. I only went once (It was very expensive), but it was almost like being at Desi's nightclub, but much bigger; not as big as the old Coconut Grove in L.A., though. They had live music. (I danced the Cha Cha Cha, but not this good.) But Silicon Valley is not a good place for nightclubs, and they closed their doors. Sometimes, Bimbo's in San Francisco has events that seem like they were brought forward in time from the 1930s, 1940s, or 1950s. But not often.

My brother and I talked about opening nightclub once. But he got married and that was the end of of that. It probably wouldn't have worked out. He is more of a Margaritaville and Cabo Wabo guy.

Anyway, here is the clip of the song. I suppose most people today associate the song with Jim Cary's movie "The Mask", but Desi was first. Sometimes, when walking down the sidewalk this song pops in to my head and I have to add a little Latin motion to my walk.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Now THAT I would like to see.......