I was listening to KOSY 106.5’s “Showtune Saturday Night” as I drove to Atchafalaya for the 2 Live Crew concert when I realized I couldn’t remember which show the song currently playing was from. It was called “It Takes a Woman,” and it was really sexist, so it could have been anything from Rodgers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Loewe (or 2 Live Crew, for that matter).
It was something I’d seen recently, I knew that. I was going to call my friend Luscious Malone (names have been changed) to see if she knew, but I thought the irony of wanting to know which Broadway show a song was from while about to attend a 2 Live Crew concert was so great it might cause the universe to collapse on itself.
I was at the concert on official business, keeping an eye on things in case all H-E-double-hockey-sticks broke loose after the Herald’s deadline and someone had to call and yell, “Stop the presses!” (Note: If YOU try it, it won’t work. You have to be an employee, and know the password.)
I was not looking forward to the show. 2 Live Crew is not really my scene — when it comes to washed-up has-beens, I prefer Gerardo — and most of the people at Hootchafaloocha were beyond the level of skankiness with which even I normally associate. There was skank dripping off the walls, and the floor was several inches deep in skank. It took hours of bathing afterward to remove all the skank from my body. I had to burn my clothes in a special skank-tank.
2 Live Crew did not perform right away. First, we had to watch a loud, thrashy opening act. I did not catch the name of this band, as the singer spoke only in incoherencies, but I believe it was something like Whaaaglrrrgllg. They performed several songs, all of which were called, “We Can’t Sing and Our Music Sucks,” from the album of the same name, released on Throw Your Money in the Trash Records.
Then there was a man who I gathered was a local rap artist. His album, coincidentally, has the same name as Whaaaglrrrgllg’s, and was released on the same label.
After much anticipation and screaming and skankiness, 2 Live Crew took the stage. The band was accompanied by three semi-coordinated bimbos in tiny shirts who danced around in worship of their misogynist gods, who themselves be-bopped around the stage as they rapped hoarsely into their microphones and gestured emphatically. I literally could not understand a word they said.
Now, please grasp what I am saying here: I LITERALLY couldn’t understand a SINGLE word. I know people are fond of saying “literally” when they don’t mean it. For example, the Web site for the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley (www.halecentretheatre.com) says the current show, “Lucky Stiff,” is so funny it will “literally knock you dead,” which obviously is not true. A few coincidental deaths each night would not surprise me, given the average age of Hale patrons, but it’s not really fair to blame those on the show.
But when I say “literally,” I mean it. The combination of a bad sound system and poor elocution from 2 Live Crew — or “the Crew,” as I like to call them — made it impossible for me to ascertain the identity of even one word. In that regard, it was the least obscene concert I’ve ever attended.
They did a song, then they shouted unintelligibly for a while, then they did another song, or perhaps the same one over again. The bimbos kept their clothes on, and the Crew did not physically molest them. I left after a few songs — or, again, maybe just a few choruses of the same song — and put all the protests and controversy and the concert itself in the “much ado about nothing” category. It’s all over now, and it’s hardly even worth writing about.
Oh, and the song was from “Hello, Dolly!” (enthusiasm theirs), and the sexism was meant to be ironic. Now maybe we can all go on with our lives.
I had planned on avoiding the actual 2 Live Crew performance as much as possible, to keep from being bombarded with the offensive lyrics. I figured I could lurk near the back of the club and get what I needed for the column and stay out of earshot of the actual lyrics. Turns out I didn't need to. I was right in the middle and couldn't make out a word.
This was the last column on which readers could post comments on this site. We discontinued that feature within a couple days of its publication. It wasn't until the fall of 2006 -- five years later -- that we re-implemented a commenting feature.
The reason we discontinued it back here in 2001 was that it was more trouble than it was worth. There was no registration required: Anyone could post anything, and it would show up automatically, without even being approved first. That meant my brother/webmaster Jeff and I had to constantly patrol the site to keep an eye for spamming, profanity, and other shenanigans.
Plus, there had recently been some major debates and arguments within the comments, and I'm embarrassed to say I was dragged into some of them, too. We were just kids back then.