Hurricane Part Dos
To sum up our lives, SAT-style, no Saturday night drinkfest is complete without: (a) a Poison tribute band, (b) a fire-breathing exhibit, (c) getting showered with Silly String, or (d) all of the above.
We unknowingly picked “d” when we went to check out the Hurricane, which reopened last fall under new management. We paid a $6 cover to see Talk Dirty, a total cheeseosity of glam rock described by its members as “the ultimate salute to Poison.”
Much of the Hurricane Part Dos is still the same, which is a plus. The round bar is one of the coolest in town. A stack of molded circles — stacked and decorated like an upside-down wedding cake and painted in shades of blue, yellow and maroon — hangs over the wood bar. Circular shelves of liquor surround the center post.
Behind the bar that night were two familiar faces: Dutch, whom we met at Pin-Up Bowl, and T.J., whom we last saw hoisting a fake severed head at Irene’s in KCK. After our mini-reunion, we settled with our drinks on the velvety curved benches along the wall with Research Assistants Erik, Lisa and Becky.
Our screwdrivers still came in plastic cups but without the familiar lids and straws of the old Hurricane. Urban legend had it that the old Hurricane served its drinks iced-coffee-style because bar patrons were getting roofied. We’re convinced it happened to us one Halloween night a few years ago, when we went fuzzy after just three drinks. Former Hurricane manager Stan Henry has sworn to us that the lids were to combat drink-spillage, but just the same, we were prepared to deflect any mysterious outside substances that tried to invade our uncovered cups.
Also missing from the new Hurricane was hot-pantsed dancer-slash-mascot Ricardo, who has since moved to the Record Bar. Fortunately, the bewigged and furry-hatted members of Talk Dirty and their fans filled the accessories void. The band drew a medium-sized crowd. Some were decked out in those smallish cowboy hats with curled brims and glowing neon-tube necklaces, which was very Worlds of Fun. Several guys sported actual Poison concert T-shirts. Also on display: a couple of mullets, some big hair and a few tube tops. We made our way toward the stage, where a skinny guy with hipster glasses and a sleeveless black T-shirt enthusiastically tossed his brown, floofy hair around as he headbanged through most of the show.
Despite our neutral feelings about the works of Bret Michaels, et al., we were happy to hear some of Poison’s greatest hits. We always seem to attribute “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” to Guns N’ Roses. As far as covers go, we prefer the twangier alt-country version from Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys. Of course, “Talk Dirty to Me” caused everyone in the place to sing along and dance spastically. For the finale, “Nothin’ but a Good Time,” a curly-haired brunette joined the band onstage and sang along for her birthday. Then the Silly String started to fly, the band finished with a flourish and the lights came on.
Afterward, we milled about before the 3 a.m. closing time with 31-year-old Misty and 27-year-old Pagan, two goth-looking chicks who are friends with the band. “Pagan, like Pagan Kennedy?” we asked.
“My parents were burned at the stake,” she replied. “I was tortured throughout my life.”
Inquisition issues aside, when was the last time someone talked dirty to you, ladies?
“Actually, about 6 o’clock, when I was in bed with my boyfriend,” Pagan answered.
“About 30 minutes ago,” said Misty. She added that she couldn’t repeat the conversation.
We found some other groupies more willing to indulge in some dirty talk: 44-year-old Jane and her friend, a cute blonde who wanted to remain anonymous.
“I swallow,” Jane said.
“That’s what I say,” squealed the blonde.
“I swallow beer,” Jane added, with a smirk. On that note, they called over 36-year-old Jamie, the lead singer for the band. Jane explained, “Even Bret calls him Baby Bret.”
With his long blond locks and kohl-rimmed eyes, he did bear an uncanny resemblance to his idol, whom he actually met about a year and a half ago. Jamie, who hails from St. Louis and is a huge fan of ’80s music, says a thought occurred to him after he saw Poison in concert: I could do this. He said he wanted to thank Bret Michaels for all the inspiration. We’ll be sure to pass the word along.
Jamie remained mum on the dirty-talk question. “How about, ‘Want to pick up the check?'” he said. Oh, that’s so weak, Baby Bret. He gamely came back with a fantasy involving two women — “love in stereo,” he dubbed it.
Dutch the bartender had his own experience that night with a few Talk Dirty fans.
Apparently, he has been the recipient of many a sordid pickup line. He told us that earlier that evening, an older chick asked him to show her his, ahem, Dutch treat. The woman told Dutch that older ladies were the best teachers. “At first, I thought she was kidding. Then I got scared,” he said. He joked that he put his finger through his fly for her.
Later that night, though, he had a better trick for us. Egged on by our RAs, he took a swig of Bacardi 151, then lit a match. “Fire in the hole!” someone shouted. He stooped down a bit and sprayed the alcohol out, creating a huge flame.
We cheered. Seriously, of all the bartender tricks, blowing fire is the best. We’re easily impressed like that — in fact, we were rocked. Like a hurricane. And there’s no multiple-choice question about that.