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Rockabilly Road Trip Redux, Part 1

59 caddy picYours truly, next to a 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.  Photo by T.E. MacArthur

Hi, everyone.  I promised I’d write about my adventures at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 21.  My original plan was to do so this weekend, but I had a little tougher time with some dental work than anticipated and so I’m at home with plenty of time to talk about it now.  I’ll try put up some more photos in another post; I want to do some editing first.



First, I have to tell you:  It was a blast!

I really can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun, from start to finish.  There were classes, workshops, vendors, music, dancing, and lots of classic cars to see.  I didn’t even do half of the available activities and my days were still packed. Believe it or not, I didn’t take too many photos because I was so busy enjoying myself.

I attended the Pinup Beauty Academy, with makeup lessons by Miss Rockwell De’Vil and hair lessons by Luci Lux. This isn’t going to be a beauty blog, but I want to share a great tip:  if, like me, you need to use a lot of product in your hair to get it to do a damned thing, use conditioner *first* rather than brushing to break up product and then shampooing.  The conditioner breaks up the product without damaging your hair.  Then, you shampoo to get out the excess conditioner.  That tip alone was worth the time spent, but I also learned some other cool stuff that I may talk about in coming days.

I heard many awesome, modern-day rockabilly bands, as well as some true treasures of the earliest days of rock who are still with us.  I will tell you up front that exhaustion got the best of me two days running, so I missed The Pacers (who have been playing together for more than 60 years) and The Stray Cats reunion (I saw them back in 1983, does that date me or what?).

So, who were my favorites among those new-to-me performers?  Ruby Ann, The Rhythm ShakersMichael Hurtt & His Haunted HeartsThe Moontones, and Mitch Polzak & The Royal Deuces.  The latter was a real treat because, as it turns out, he’s relatively local to me.  Polzak is the mayor of a tiny Bay Area town called Port Costa.  I really enjoyed his music, and I’ll be able to see him around here.  Check out his performance of Buck Owens’ “Gotta Have Love,” in downtown San Francisco last year,

I’ll have another post in the coming days, sharing more about the experiences I had specifically to support my research for It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories.

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