As Johnny D’s is about to close, a lot of us who worked there have been called for interviews. The club’s upcoming exit made the front page of The Boston Globe. It’s a big deal in this city … Johnny D’s has become an institution, winning national awards and featuring live performances by Dixie Chicks, Allison Krause, Neil Young, and Irma Thomas whose 60’s hit “Time is on my side” was later a smash cover for the Rolling Stones.
So, along with owner Carla DeLellis and others, last week I wound up talking about Johnny D’s with Amelia Mason of Boston’s National Public Radio Station, WBUR. (You can read the full transcript and Amelia’s oral history of our nightspot here. The actual broadcast on WBUR 90.9 was on the afternoon of 3/10; it may be aired again, so check their upcoming schedule. )
One of the questions Amelia asked . . . “What is one of the craziest, funniest things you saw at the club?” Speaking off the top of my head, the following story came to mind.
Ladies panties …
This story dates back to the late ’90s. It’s a slamming night at the club while a Cajun band plays, and the people here just want to dance. We’re serving as many glasses of water as mixed drinks and pints of beer. With the place rocking, I see a waitress approaching the service bar area. She’s got her arm extended way out in front of her and in her hand she’s carrying something between her forefinger and thumb.
“Someone found these at the edge of the dance floor,” she tells me, arm still extended at full length. In her fingertips, she’s holding a pair of ladies’ panties.
“Found them by the dance floor???” I ask.
“Yup,” the waitress says, “that’s what the guy told me. He said found them by the dance floor.”
Meanwhile, customers all around are waiting for drinks … so I take the panties and toss them behind some liquor bottles on the shelf. “That’s a good story,” I think. “Ladies’ silk panties found on the dance floor!” I’m wondering if, at the end of the night, I should put them in the large, lost-and-found tub beneath the coat racks by the restrooms. Someone rummaging through the tub for an umbrella or sweater they left here will have a good laugh seeing a lost pair of woman’s panties in with everything else.
The night rolls on, we keep making drinks and the incident is forgotten. Then at closing time, this cute little coed approaches the bar. “This is really embarrassing,” she tells me. “But did anyone turn in a pair of women’s panties?”
Turns out she’d been dancing like crazy and was beginning to feel hot on the crowded dance floor. She was wearing a long skirt, so she just lifted the skirt to her knees … didn’t take it off, but lifted it and reached underneath with both hands … and had slipped her panties off right on the dance floor, and then kicked them to the edge. When the song ended, she went to look for the panties but they were gone. Someone must have picked them up.
Did she stop dancing? No, she continued to dance all night . . . and then at the end of the night, she must have said to herself, “I guess I’ll check with the bar.” The night was over and now she stood across the bar from me, waiting to pick up her panties.
(Don’t forget to check out Amelia Mason’s great piece on Johnny D’s. Again, it’s http://artery.wbur.org/2016/03/04/johnny-ds .)
Mike I just laughed my ass off at both of those stories. Thanks for sharing, bud. Wish I could’ve been there for the end of that place. Still waiting for Carla to change her mind. All the best, my friend!
Sam: Good to hear from you, my friend! (Sam was a teacher by day, a doorman at Johnny D’s on weekends … and a VERY successful amateur boxer. He left the club to join the U.S. Army and just completed his officer training. Trust me, we’re all a lot safer with Sam defending us.)