Late Saturday Night

. . .  It’s 4:30 in the morning and after a Saturday night of working behind the taps, I’ve got nothing ready to post.

Wanda Jackson played at Johnny D’s tonight. (Image from

This has been a long two weeks at the club as we put the bar staff back together — a lot of extra shifts and seemingly endless, endless training.  Thankfully three new bartenders are now ready to go and they all look good . . . no, actually they look great.  We should be back on top in no time.

But tonight instead of pulling together the usual Saturday/Sunday post, and I’m going to have a few beers instead.  We’ll be back to the regular schedule on Saturday, October 20th.

Here’s one quick story from tonight’s show at Johnny D’s.  We had Wanda Jackson — a woman who dated Elvis “back in the day,” and then was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame based on her own stellar career.

This is about something that happened after the show, . . . and about someone being amazingly “down-to-earth.”

After her performance, Wanda was sitting in a chair in the kitchen (she said she was too tired to fight through the crowd back downstairs to the dressing room.)  She was enjoying a post-gig glass of wine.

The wait staff was still working, and the cooks were finishing their “night-before” Sunday brunch prep.  Even though the show was over,  it was still all-work-and-no-play for the staff.

Anthony was doing the brunch roll-ups.  (Johnny D’s has a juggernaut of a brunch requiring 600 – 800 brunch roll-ups prepared ahead of time.)  Anthony was sitting between large steel tubes of clean knives, forks and spoons, . . . and chest-high stacks of linen.

As Wanda watched him work, she didn’t feel comfortable just sitting there enjoying her wine . . . so she moved her chair close to his, and began helping him.

I’m not kidding.

This legendary Hall of Famer — she’s called “America’s first female Rock and Roll singer” — sat there doing roll-ups with Anthony.

“Doesn’t feel right doing nothing while someone else works,” she said as she continued to wrap silverware.

Then she looked over at the chef and his staff still bent over the hot stoves, finishing the brunch prep.

“But don’t expect me to do any cooking!” she continued.  She looked down at the red sequined dress she’d worn for the performance.  “I’ve got too many frills on,” she said.

She’d said it in all seriousness, and now looked as though she didn’t quite understand why everyone was laughing.

There was such an innocent honesty about the whole thing . . . I don’t remember anything quite like it.

Anyway, that’s it for this week . . . a full post coming Saturday.

Now back to some ice–cold beer.


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7 Responses to Late Saturday Night

  1. Llylak says:

    Thank you for this lovely tribute to an amazing lady.

  2. Susan P says:

    I’d didn’t know who Wanda was before reading the story. Now I’m looking her up online! Heartwarming human story!

  3. MikeQ says:

    Llylak: There’s more from that show coming tomorrow or Thursday, Lly.

    Susan P: Wanda has played at the club before, Susan, but before her first show here I really didn’t know who she was either. She’s one of the pioneers, but in person she’s so down-to-earth … it’s as though she’s someone who just enjoys this music along with everyone else. Like we’re all just sharing a common bond.

  4. Colleen says:

    I just returned from vacation and your site was the first I visited!

  5. MikeQ says:

    Colleen: Hey, … welcome back! (Ready to read something for me?) Call you tonight. 🙂

  6. Cheryl D. says:

    Nothing to post? This ‘quick story’ is great! Wanda is a pistol on stage. Having a little glimpse into a behind the scenes moment just makes her even more amazing.

    I saw her several years ago at The National Heritage Museum in Lexington and so sorry I missed her in my own neighborhood.

    Keep the stories coming Mike.

  7. MikeQ says:

    Cheryl: Hey Cheryl, where have you been? Haven’t seen you at the club for a while. There’s a glass of Merlot on the house waiting for you, you know … 🙂

    When I got home after the Wanda Jackson show, I was just going to put up a short note saying there’d be no post that week … but the scene of her in the kitchen doing roll-ups was stuck in my mind, so I wrote it down and posted the whole thing. By then it was 4:30 in the morning and I was on my third beer, so there wasn’t a lot of thought involved. I did some spell-checking the next day, but otherwise left it as it was. It was something else … her sitting there doing roll-ups … she’s so down-to-earth, a really sweet person. Hopefully she’ll be back again soon.

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