The Monster Mash Was a Graveyard Smash! (Part III)

Bad hair day or not, the show had to go on.



Bobby Dickson of the Cash Profits and Lucas Kuhn of the Sneaky Tikis joined us in the corner of the restaurant which we had selected as a “stage.”  Earlier, we gave them the chord charts and words for the “Monster Mash.”  Lucas was to play guitar freeing me to “sing.”  We were going to unleash an unrehearsed version on the audience.

After adjusting the PA to create an eerie echo and equalizing the volumes on my and Bobby’s mic channels, I checked with Bobby and Lucas to see if they were ready, cued Glenn to start, and tried a cackling laugh into the mic.  “Whoa . . . ho . . . ho . . . ho . . . .”

Despite not being sure where the band was in the chord progression, I came in with the familiar opening line, “I was working in the lab late one night . . . .”  Bobby and I alternated in the chorus.  Bobby:  “He did the mash.”  My turn: “He did the Monster Mash.”  Bobby:  “The Monster Mash.”  My turn: “It was a graveyard smash.”

Bobby handled the second verse: “From my laboratory in the castle east . . . .”  We exchanged parts in the chorus.  I led:  “They did the mash.”  Bobby:  “They did the Monster Mash.” . . .

We probably could have done much better with at least one rehearsal.  But Bobby is a professional so he could carry me.  Besides, the audience was really into the party and having fun.  We had dancers in front of the band and in the aisle outside the lounge area.  They were doing the Monster Mash.



As you probably can guess, we did not perform the “Monster Mash” perfectly or exactly according the original.  I dropped in a little bit of Surfer Joe (“down in Doheny . . .“) and then a verse of our own for the show:

“The Capitol Bowl was rocking with the sound of Ivan and the Love Cats Getting Down.  The Sneaky Tikis and Pups cranked it out so you and your friends could stomp and shout.” 

Sue and Robert howled and bayed.  The audience joined in.  “We did the Mash, the Monster Mash.”  This was pure fun.  On cue, we slowed down, “Yes, you did the Monster Mash!”  The Pups were done.

I segued into bringing the show towards an end, “What was on the B-side of Surfer Joe?”  At least two people responded, “Surfin’ Bird.”  My retort was concise, “No.”  Somebody got it.  “Wipe out!”  The Sneaky Tikis joined us in that classic.  Glenn passed the drums off to Lukas.  We hit the final C chord together.

“Thank you.  Now, let’s have the future of surf music take this thing out.  The Sneaky Tikis!”  I left the stage to the Sneaky Tikis to close the show.  They played four more songs before concluding with a rousing version of “Miserlou.”  Applause.  Cheers.  Smiles.

The Monster Mash was over.  The restaurant and lounge of the Capitol Bowl emptied out leaving only a group of birthday bowlers on four lanes.  Hey, game four of the World Series was 45 minutes away.

As I sat pondering what to pack out first, the warm feeling of a successful show washed over me.  From concept to promotion to execution to audience participation, this had been our best.  Yes, indeed, the Monster Mash indeed had been a graveyard smash!

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