Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Flirtin' With Disaster

It was 5:00 AM and we were in the Quad City International Airport. We’d just made it through the gauntlet that is security clearance and sat down at a near-by coffee kiosk for some much needed caffeine. At the table next to us, a man commented about the cold weather and that he couldn’t wait to get back home. My husband Tim, being the social guy that he is, asked the man. “Where’s home?”

“Jacksonville, Florida.”

“What brings you to the Quad Cities?” Tim asked.

“We had a gig last night. I play in a rock and roll band.”

I have to stop right here and tell you this. I had noticed this small group of middle aged men at the ticket counter. What drew my attention was their hair. They all had long hair. Not just long-for-an-old-dude, but very long hair. Most of the group had some sort of facial hair as well. They just didn’t fit in. One of the men sat on a bench, foot outstretched. I had to roll my carry-on around it to get past him. I heard him say ‘Scuse me, ma’am, (in a very southern drawl) as he pulled his foot back.

Back to Tim’s conversation:

“Where’d you play?”

“We played at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque. I’m in the band Molly Hatchet.”

My husband Tim extended his hand and introduced himself. The Molly Hatchet band man took it and said, “My name’s Dave Hlubek.”

(Later, Tim and I both said it took all our control not to launch into our own personal Molly Hatchet concert stories- which I will talk about in a minute.)

Tim said welcome to Iowa and Molly Hatchet Dave said everyone was so friendly. He said Diamond Jo’s treated them well. I was a little bit star struck. BUT then Dave Hlubek (DH) started chatting with Tim- and he sounded like a regular guy talking about regular guy things!

I had to laugh when DH told Tim about the great Ruben sandwich that he got at the deli at 2:00 A.M. after the show. He said that his “table muscle” (belly) keeps growing but that he’s 58 years old and has earned the right to have a big belly.

Tim asked if they traveled much and DH said that band travels all over the world and are very busy.

When our friends finally made it through security, we wished the band well and headed toward our gate, where we proceeded to share our own Molly Hatchet concert stories.

Google Images
I’ve done some research and found my memory of dates and actual event dates don’t match. In my mind this story took place late August 1978, but in actuality it was September 1980.  Which makes sense because I don’t think my mom would have let me go in 1978 – I was still in high school then. Ahh the “foggy years…”

At the risk of really aging myself, here goes…

Courtsey of Google Images
The Iowa Jam concert was on Labor Day 1980. The Jam took place on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and was an all-day event that featured several bands.  Molly Hatchet was one of the bands and their hit, Flirtin’ With Disaster, had gone platinum.

Courtesy of Google Images
A bunch of us piled into a friend of a friend’s Chevy van and off we went. The van didn’t have seats, except for the driver and front passenger. It did have shag carpet all over the floor and walls though. Orange shag carpet. We thought it was cool.

The day was wild and crazy. After the last band, we piled back into the van for the two hour ride home. Dirty and tired we all crashed. Except Dave, the guy who’s van it was. He had to drive. I don’t know if anyone even sat in the front passenger seat to keep him company. Good friends, huh?

The next thing I know, I’m awakened because we’re bumping though a ditch to turn around on the highway. Dave had missed his turnoff for our hometown and drove 60 miles farther north before he’d realized it. (Speed limit 55mph back then, ya’ll)

Courtesy of Google Images
Needless to say, we got home very late. Three AM. I snuck in. I was dirty but knew I couldn’t take a shower because I’d wake up my parents. My hair was nasty and I just couldn’t go to bed without washing it… To this day, I clearly remember sticking my head in the kitchen sink and washing my hair by the light of the range hood. It was 3:30 AM. I knew I had to get up for class in three hours, but it was worth it. I smiled and dropped in bed to grab some zzzz’s.

Flirtin’ with disaster…  

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself


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