Belle of Baton Rouge Casino: Gaming, Entertainment & Dining
Belle of Baton Rouge Casino: Gaming, Entertainment & Dining
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I think I solved it.. Two stories in one
About three days ago, I started hearing stories of the Black Eyed Kids for the first time in years I'd heard the stories as a teenager, and everyone has seen the creepy photoshopped images of freaky kids somewhere on the net, but I never paid any mind to them. I thought it was just an urban legend. I'm a bit of an occultist(this is important later), and I went through a phase as a teenager where I studied almost everything paranormal I could get my hands on, but these days, I'm mostly a skeptic where spectacular creature phenomena are concerned. Or, I was until about 3 days ago. Around that time, I was on a drive and I heard a really old podcast about black eyed kids... The original internet post from Abiline, and I almost wrecked my truck. The story was so similar to an experience that I had with my boyfriend back in January... But let me tell you about that first, because it's weird in itself. I was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a date with my boyfriend. It was actually our first date, despite having met online over a year ago, and being an official couple for four months at that point. We decided to drive down to Baton Rouge for the weekend after the college football national championship, so partying was in full swing from the LSU victory, to party and hang out in general. Our first night there, we decided to see a movie... I think it might have been the 1917 movie.. And we got to the theater about an hour early so we could make sure we got good seats. We got our tickets, and having time to kill, we decided to walk across the street to the Mall of Louisiana and take a quick look around, and window shop for our planned outing the next day. It was kind of late, around 730 or so, so most of the shops were closed, but we decided to go to the Mall anyways, like I said, to window shop, and also to walk around and stretch our legs. We had just crossed the street at the cross walk right there between the theater and the bowling alley/arcade, and it happened. I never saw them walk up, which is odd, because I have a really hyper focused sense of observation. I grew up in a bad environment, and you learn early to take note of everyone and everything, no matter if you think someone is a threat or not. Just in case. Me and my boyfriend, who is younger than me, and also a slim individual, had just made it to the other side of the street when two boys approached us, seemingly out of nowhere. One looked to be about 16 and the other was about 12 or 13. Both of them were caucasian in appearance, the older one having either brown or sandy blonde hair, and the younger one with brown hair. It was just light enough outside still to be able to see that much. My first impression was that their clothes were weird. They looked like the kind of abercrombie or hollister clothes a typical suburban kid would wear... But from the mid 90s, kind of faded almost. The older boy started talking... And it immediately creeped me out. "Do you have a car." He just walked up to me and asked that... But, im a nice guy, and other than the weird feeling that something was off, and despite jt being such an odd question, I decided to answer.... Bear in mind, that at this point, my boyfriend is beside me, and slightly behind to my left, because he was following me and we had been talking. But we had both stopped talking, because of how weird we both felt this situation was... This is really hard for me to type... I'm honestly creeped out and scared at the present moment... But I want to put my whole story out there. I looked at my boyfriend, and he had his head down, and had moved behind me. I'm a bigger guy, because I used to work out heavily before my job took over, and I could tell he was getting behind me because he was scared... And my boyfriend doesn't scare easily. Hes never backed down from a fight, and his headstrong nature has gotten him into trouble before. But now he was hiding behind me, and when he saw me looking at him, he raised his head, and shook his head NO, before putting his head back down. He also wasn't on his phone, which was weird because he had just been in the middle of a lively snapchat convo moments earlier, that being his preferred social media app. I looked back at the boys, and neither of them had moved. I don't know why I said it, because my first instinct was to lie and get my boyfriend away from there, but I told him "well, not really, I mean... I have a rental, im parked over there." I pointed to the movie theater parking lot. "Can you give us a ride?" Despite the complete sense of uneasiness I had, and the extremely strong sense that they did not need to be anywhere near my car... I was curious. I've been a youth pastor and youth addiction counselor in the past, so when I see a kid in need, my first instinct is always to try and figure out what's going on and how to help. "Where do you need to go?" "We came to the mall, but we need to get back to our house. Its not far from here. Our parents will be mad if we don't get back." "Well... Why don't you call them? Maybe they can give you a ride." I was headset against giving them a ride... Despite their average appearance, I kept getting imagess of maniacal smiles andy throat being slit from behind in the back of my mind. "We don't have phones." I have a habit of scanning my surroundings, and I looked up just then, to see if the other people milling around were trying to get past us on the sidewalk, or looking at this strange conversation of young men in the middle of a busy thouroughfare, but just as I looked up, I heard the younger one say "They're not paying attention." Heard him say. I never saw him speak, despite having stand not three feet from me, and his face being very much in my field of vision. I also thought he was speaking to his "brother". His brother looked at him, and I heard "They can help us." The younger one looked back at him "They can see us." I thought this was odd, but I was more concerned with finding a polite end to this conversation, and seeing these boys on their way safely. "I really would help you, but there's all kinds of stuff in my back seat... and we have to see a movie soon." "It won't take long. It's not far." The older one had spoken, and turned to face me again. I barely managed to notice that the rest of the small crowd at the mall looked kind of washed out, almost not there, really, when I saw his eyes for the first time. They were the palest shade of green. Yes, odd for a BEK story, but bear with me. His eyes, though I could see them, were kind of ethereal... Almost not really there. Almost transparent. Like ghost eyes. They had bits of yellow in them. Maybe they turned blue... I'm not sure... They were hypnotizing though. I noticed fear in his eyes... Not "I'm about to die" fear, but "I need serious help" fear. The fear a kidnap victim might feel. Or a lost kid. He looked at the younger boy again. "Yeah, he can see us". " ask him for help. He can help us" I was sketched out by now, and I just wanted to leave. "I can't give you a ride... But you said its not far... Can you walk? Or can I let you use my phone to call your parents" "They're not at home, they're still at work... Its too far to walk. Its a couple of miles." I was desperate to get away by now. The sense of urgency to help was getting too strong, and I didn't like it, because everytime I thought about helping, I got a stronger sense that I was going to be murdered. I just knew, that If I survived the trip there, I would be invited in, and I wouldn't be able to refuse, and their parents would be inside, and it would be bad. My boyfriend wasn't even a thought then... Except that he was so close behind me that I could feel his presence... We had to go. "I can maybe give you a couple kf bucks for bus fare?" There was a bus stop right there... "We just moved here. We don't know the bus stops. We just need a ride" "Where are you from" "Far away" "Look, I wish I could help, but we've got to go." And with that, I started to walk away, and made sure my boyfriend was with me. We left that spot in a hurry. I turned around about five seconds later to look at the two weirdos, and they were gone. My boyfriend was pissed. "I can't believe you did that!" "Did what?" "Talked to them!" "What? They needed help." "They were fucked up." "What, you mean high? Their pupils weren't dilated..." "No, they didn't HAVE pupils. They were fucked up." "I didn't see anything..." "I can't believe you didn't see anything. I'm telling you, they were fucked up. That's why I didn't say anything. And I'm not crazy. I know what I saw." I believed him, kind of. I thought he meant drugs. I joked with him about it for a few moments, honestly not seeing anything amiss except for their weird attitude and the insistence of getting in my car, but he got even more upset. "Just. Stop. Talking about about it. I'm done. I'm not crazy." And so I dropped it. Until three days ago, when I heard a story about BEKs on an old podcast show I had recently discovered.... I called up my boyfriend to ask him... Those guys at the mall back in January... Did they have black eyes? "Yeah". Was all he would say. He was still too scared to talk about it. But looking back... I remember that weekend. It was bad. Me and my boyfriend argued about trivial stuff... We almost broke up. He developed a nosebleed that night. After he went to bed, I almost went crazy. I drove across town, full of unexplainable angst, and stopped at one of the riverboat casinos - the Belle of Baton Rouge. Out on the promenade... I had this strong urge to throw myself in the Mississippi and drown myself.... It was raining, and the water looked rough. I knew I wouldn't survive... But somehow, I held back against the unexplainable urge. In the weeks that followed, he had a near nervous collapse. I was having issues at work that almost cost me my job. We almost broke up again. I had a psychic help me do a cleansing... And things, which had slowly been spiralling into an abyss, especially with virus related layoffs, started improving. Now, I mentioned that I was into the occult (I'm a pagan). Well, yesterday I was talking to a which friend of mine who has a lot of lore knowledge and experience dealing with the paranormal. A lot more than me at least. I told her my story, and she wasn't the least bit surprised. " Yeah", she told me "they're the spirits of kids who were horribly abused in life." I thought about it.... And considered the Scandinavian Mylings... Children with black eyes, come back for revenge on the living.. Killed at a young age, and denied a proper burial. Then I thought about another BEK story... Where the parents of the kids actually DID arrive, after a lady invited them in. Which brings me to the second story I was staying with some friends of mine once... And this was actually about the same time that I first met my boyfriend online. Anyways... They were a couple, and we... Were all close. Ill just leave it at that. They had a son, whom ill call "robbie". Not his real name. Anyways, robbie was the coolest kid ever. He was seven, got good grades at school, and was fiercely independent. Knew how to cook a little bit, did chores, liked to chop firewood, and was known to steal alcohol on occasion. Then he had a side of his personality where all he wanted to do was snuggle up to either me or his mom on the couch and watch a cartoon and fall asleep on the days where it raining and he didnt have school. (Mom worked weekends, and I didnt, and dad wasnt the affectionate type. and like I said, we were all close. He called me " uncle") Anyways, he was a sweet but tough kid. Well, one time he started having nightmares and sleepwalking... Which is typical seven year old kid stuff. No big deal. I dont remember the nightmares, because they were eclipsed by something else... The spirit. We would all go to another friend's house for the day and come back... And the front door would be open. At first, we thought the two puppies did it. They were six month old black labs and could be rambunctious. So we put the dogs outside when we left... And the door would be open when we got back. We called the police eventually after about a week of it, and they set a patrol for the area. The door started staying shut... But the inside doors would all be reversed. Doors that were closed would be opened and vice versa. We were getting freaked out. A couple of times mom would swear she heard someone on the porch outside here bedroom window (we were in a doublewide trailer with a porch that ran the length of the whole thing). Once, i thought I saw a small figure run past the living room window, but didnt hear footprints... And there werent any prints in the sand or grass around the porch... We all looked. This all came to a head the night that, asleep on the couch, I bolted awake when the dogs growled. The dogs NEVER growled. They were too scared to chase a frog. Innocent little puppies. The growling set me on edge, and I woke up... Alarmed... And there was a dark man shape trying to get through the front door. The dogs ran from the kitchen and tried to attack it. Im a brave guy. Ive run into burning buildings. Jumped into a snake infested creek to grab a kid who couldnt swim. But this.... I screamed. The whole house came running. At first, they didnt believe me (the figure disappeared). They thought the dogs were play fighting and just happenned to hit the door. But the door was locked. Every night. And I pointed that out. Suddenly, we knew we had a situation. We were all pagans to an extent, so we tried everything. Sage. Salt. Rituals. Sigils. And still, strange happenings. The kids sleep walking was getting worse. I remember the dreams now... Omfl. "I dont want to go with them. They want me to go, but I dont want to." We thought it was a joke (at first) and told him "well hell kid, dont go. Tell them to go away." And then, excitedly, a while later, he said "I told them to go, and to leave me alone and I kicked their butts, and they left!" "Robbie, who tf are you talking about?" "The other kids." Right after he "kicked their butts", the stuff started happening with the doors. Flash back forward. We know we have a haunting, and none of the usual stuff is working. I decide to go all in. Im going to trance out, Edgar Cayce style, and see if I can maybe contact "the other side." It worked. There was a lady there. She had a message for me. "I know you think this kind of stuff is a joke, but you need to know that it isnt. Robbie in in danger. He was raped as a toddler by his grandfather, and now his grandfather's spirit has come back to destroy his soul. He will turn the boy into a monster. You are all in danger if he succeeds" I woke up.... People were watching me (the mom and dad). I didnt want to soud weird... So I asked... "Kat" (her, but not her real name) "Was robbie.... Molested as a child?" Her eyes got huge... Dad, who was really 'stepdad" looked at her, confused... "Well.. People used to tell me that my mom would abuse him... But I thought they were talking shit... I caught her with her hand down his diaper one day, though, and flipped out. But I never told anyone." Step dad looks at Kat "Is that why your mom isnt allowed to babysit him?" The situation had actually been a point of bother and inconvenience and source of several arguments between them in the last few months, when their work schedules had collided horribly. Kat grimaced. "Yes". But... It still didnt make sense... Because my vision said " grandfather" specifically... Unless... "Kat... Did your mom ever claim that her own father molested her?" Her eyes almost popped out of her head when I asked... "Yes! But..." "Did he ever babysit robbie before he died?" (I knew her grandfather was dead - her mother and her son were her only living relatives). "No! He died before he was born!" Still not making sense... But one more question... "Did your mom ever claim that her father raped her?" Kat was practically crying. These were FAMILY SECRETS, buried for years, coming from the mouth of someone who certainly never had them told to him. "Yes... But what does any of this have to do with the haunting?" "The Spirit in my dream last night told me that robbie was molested as a baby by his grandfather and that his grandfather's spirit was trying to corrupt Robby's soul and turn him into a monster. If we go off of that victimized children repeat the cycle by victimizing other children as adults, then, in a sense, since your grandfather possibly molested your mom, and she likely did the same to him, then, in a sense, since he started the cycle, he was the one who technically molested your son... His sin passed on to him" She was freaking out, full blown panic attack, and the stepdad wasnt far behind. They both stood up, alarmed. "So what do we do?!!" " we have to banish the old man's spirit, and protect your son's. End the cycle." Which we did. With a series of specific pagan rituals. But thats my theory... The BEKs were abused in real life... And then their souls were taken captive by the spirits of their tormenters.. To pass on torment to others. To feed off of happiness and replace it with pain and misery If the Scandinavian tales are anything to go off of, and my own experience... Im not going to say invite them in... But perhaps a banishing ritual and warding charm could go a long way to preventing further harm... In mundane terms I think those kids are already eternal slaves... But we should try to prevent harm in our own communities... Watching out for abused kids... Keeping harmful folks away from kids... Taking certain nightmares and experiences seriously and preventing what comes next... I think of all the mysteriously vanished people and kids who never turn up again... And I wonder.
[FIGHT RESULTS] Stevenson vs Bellew, Kovalev vs Sillakh, Chisora vs Pala, Zhong vs Kiatmungmee, Kameda vs Solis + more
Saturday November 30
From Colisee de Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Adonis Stevenson retained his WBC light heavyweight title defeating Tony Bellew by TKO6 Stevenson remained the legit, recognized light heavyweight champion of the world defeating the game, but outmatched Tony Bellew. Bellew fought valiantly for 5 rounds, but the natural athleticism and power of Stevenson allowed him to outwork and ultimately stop Bellew. Sergey Kovalev retained his WBO light heavyweight title defeating Ismayl Sillakh by KO2 Kovalev, in Stevenson’s home country, stole the show from him and is now on a collision course to steal his title. Kovalev used a jab to the body to set up a lead right hand that put Sillakh on the canvas early into the second round. The referee allowed Sillakh to continue, but Kovalev, like a freight train, could not be stopped at that point. Ionut Dan Ion defeated Kevin Bizier by SD These 2 warriors submitted their bid for fight of the year. They threw everything they had at each other for 12 rounds and in the end Bizier found himself on the losing end for the first time in his career. David Lemieux defeated Jose Miguel Torres by TKO7 At one point, Lemieux was a rising prospect that everyone had their eyes on. Following 2 losses, many may have abandoned the ship. On Saturday, he showed everyone once again why he was so highly regarded at one point. Torres, a durable veteran who’d never been stopped, found himself continually eating big shots from the hard punching Lemieux. After 7 trips to the canvas, the corner finally threw the towel in to save their man from any more damage. Mikael Zewski defeated Ryan Davis by TKO3 Zewski is a prospect to watch. He lets his hands go nicely and attacks the body with intelligence.
From Maguan, China
Xiong Zhao Zhong retained his WBC minimumweight title against Lookrak Kiatmungmee by TKO5 Kiatmungmee was a late fill-in after Zhong’s originally opponent pulled out of the bout.
From Auditorio del Estado, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico
Zolani Tete defeated Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr by KO10
From Coliseo Guillermo Angulo, Carolina, Puerto Rico
Thomas Dulorme defeated Hectora Velazquez by UD Dulorme is, in my eyes, a highly rated prospect who’s sole detraction might be responsibility on defense. He was upset by a very capable Argentine and is on the rebuild. He was unable to stop Velazquez who with 19 losses was stopped 6 times. This, in my opinion, is a result of Dulorme fighting at welterweight when he should probably be at junior welterweight. Luis Orlando Del Valle defeated Juan Jose Beltran by TKO4 Del Valle’s claim to fame was being beaten up by Vic Darchinyan. He, like Dulorme, is in rebuild mode and with some educated tweaks could be a player at super bantamweight.
From Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Wick, London, United Kingdom
Dereck Chisora defeated Ondrej Pala by TKO3 This was the main event of perhaps the weakest undercard of the month. Chisora looked a little worse than okay. He was lethargic in the opening rounds and was hit with some massive blows. In the 3rd, Chisora hit Pala with a solid blow and as Pala turned his back to Chisora, the referee stepped in and halted the action. It was a bizarre ending and certainly another blemish for UK boxing officials. Yes, I know the referee was Danish, but the bout occurred in the UK. Frank Buglioni defeated Stepan Horvath by KO8 A fairly even fight that saw Buglioni put Horvath away with a vicious body shot. Buglioni, at 11-0, is a long way from leaving the domestic scene. Bradley Skeete defeated Colin Lynes by UD This was for the English welterweight title and a very disappointing bout.
From Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Jeff Lacy defeated Martin Verdin by TKO3 I don’t know why I put this here. Travis Scott defeated Donald Clark by TKO5 Scott is simply an undefeated local fighter with a cool nickname. They call him Sweet Feet and at 33 is a dude who only fights the local boys. He’s better than them and that’s it.
From Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia
Johan Perez defeated Paul Spadafora by MD The end of the line may be here for Spadafora. Johan Perez was better defensively. That’s saying a lot for a guy who’s claim to fame was being a masterful defender. Morgan Fitch fought to a draw with Darnell Boone Fitch, previously undefeated, chose to take on Bad News Boone and what do you know? His first fight that he doesn’t win.
Tuesday December 3, 2013
From Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Japan
Liborio Solis defeated Daiki Kameda by SD Many believe it would be impossible to defeat Kameda by decision on Japanese soil, but Solis surprised everyone. Unfortunately, Solis didn’t make weight and Kameda will retain the IBF title. I believe the WBA is now vacant. Katsunari Takayama retained his IBF minimuweight title against Vergilio Silvano Takayama is now the likely opponent for Chinese WBC titlist Xiong Zhao Zhong who was also in action this weekend. Tomoki Kameda retained his WBO bantamweight title against Immanuel Naidjala The word I’m hearing is that Kameda is unlikely to look for a fight with any of the top bantamweight titlists, but rather is looking to move down in weight. Maybe he wants revenge for his brother and will face Liborio Solis (like Donaire did when he faced Darchinyan.)
[FIGHT PREVIEWS] Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew, Sergey Kovalev vs Ismayl Sillakh, Dereck CHisora vs Ondrej Pala, Daiki Kameda vs Liborio Solis + more!
From Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia
Paul Spadafora 48(19)-0-1 vs Johan Perez 17(12)-1-1
interim WBA world light welterweight title
In the boxing community, Spadafora is infamous for a sparring session he had with Mayweather where he controlled and according to some “schooled” Mayweather. Many believed that Spadafora would be the one to beat him should they ever fight. But his potential would never be realized following a prison stint for shooting his girlfriend. Two years removed from prison, the former IBF lightweight champion of 4 years violated his parole and was sent back to prison. Spadafora may have been one of the slickest, fastest, greatest, classiest, whateverists to lace up a pair of boxing gloves, but his own personal demons would be sure to keep that void in his life. This will be Spadafora’s first 12 round fight in over 10 years. Johan Perez is a 30 year old Venezuelan who was a great prospect at one time. Losing to Pablo Cesar Cano in the summer of 2012 all but closed the book on him. Spadafora’s last chance runs through a once touted prospect. If Spadafora can win convincingly, he may move forward to realizing the potential we thought wasted away in prison cell.
From Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Jeff Lacy 25(17)-4 vs Martin Verdin 20(11)-16-2
super middleweight division
I don’t even know why I put this here.
From Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Wick, London, United Kingdom
Television: Boxnation (UK) Dereck Chisora 18(12)-4 vs Ondrej Pala 33(22)-3
At one point in his career, Chisora was seen as a fast rising prospect who could make a run at one of the Klitschko’s. Then he proceeded to lose 4 of 5 fights and many counted him out. But those who looked closely at those losses knew he wasn’t done by a long shot. He took Tyson Fury 12 rounds, which is not an easy feat, he lost controversially to another rising prospect, gave Vitali Klitschko a good fight (although this was a very decisive loss), and was knocked out by David Haye. Chisora has since been on the rebound, he’s beaten 2 prospects and looks to add another name to his resume to perhaps get another title shot in 2014. Ondrej Pala has been knocked out twice and shouldn’t provide too much trouble for Chisora. Chisora is an accomplished body puncher and Pala hasn’t faced opposition as tough or fierce as Chisora. Frank Buglioni 10(7)-0 vs Stepan Horvath 11(3)-1
super middleweight division
Bradley Skeete 13(4)-0 vs Colin Lynes 37(12)-10
**Gary Cornish 16(8)-0 vs Ivica Perkovic 20(15)-22
From Colisse de Quebec, Quebec City, Canada
Television: HBO (USA)
Adonis Stevenson 22(19)-1 vs Tony Bellew 20(12)-1-1
WBC light heavyweight title
lineal light heavyweight title
In-depth preview will be posted separately. Sergey Kovalev 22(20)-0-1 vs Ismayl Sillakh 21(17)-1
WBO light heavyweight title
It’s easy to see what HBO is doing here. Nobody blames them, either. Kovalev continues to crush everyone put in his way and more and more people come to watch. A potential showdown with fellow titlist Adonis Stevenson seems inevitable. And with Andre Ward waiting in the wings for them, the light heavyweight division is one of boxing’s hottest divisions. Kovalev is like an oversized Lucas Matthysse. He marches forward, applies pressure, and looks to hurt his opponent. Sillakh will have the task of keeping Kovalev outside and maybe even hurting him. Thus far in his career, Kovalev has looked unbeatable. Can he stay undefeated to set-up the fight everyone wants to see? Kevin Bizier 21(14)-0 vs Ionut Don Ion 31(17)-2
David Lemieux 30(28)-2 vs Jose Miguel Torres 27(24)-5
Mikael Zewski 21(16)-0 vs Ryan Davis 24(9)-11-3
Artur Beterbiev 2(2)-0 Billy Bailey 21(4)-17
Why is this fight here? Artur Beterbiev is a former amateur standout who represented Russia twice in the Olympic games. I have a good feeling about him and his potential.
Tuesday December 3
From Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Japan
Daiki Kameda 29(18)-3 vs Liborio Solis 15(7)-3-1
IBF super flyweight title
WBA World super flyweight title
While 2 belts will be on the line, this fight features neither of the top contenders at super flyweight. While in time they could make their way to the top of the super flyweight division, Omar Narvaez of Argentina will remain the king perhaps till he retires. Kameda is part of a fighting family and is a bit of a dirty fighter. Katsunari Takayama 25(10)-6 vs Vergilio Silvano 17(10)-2-1
IBF minimumweight title
Despite 6 losses, Takayama is recognized as the top minimumweight in the world. He sports a loss to Roman Gonzalez and another to #2 ranked Nkosinathi Joyi. A win here is important for Takayama as it would set-up a potential huge fight with fellow Japanese minimumweight Ryo Miyazaki (who I believe is the real deal). Tomoki Kameda 28(18)-0 vs Immanuel Naidjala 17(11)-0-1
Trip to Baton Rouge, LA - Any tips for running locations/safety?
So, tomorrow I am supposed to drive out to Baton Rouge and spend the next 4 days at a conference. I'm looking for some locations to run so I don't have to suffer as much on the hotel treadmill but I hear a lot of different things. Anybody have any tips/ideas or insight on the area surrounding the Convention Center, Belle Casino, or the Hilton Capitol? Thanks in advance!
I have lyrics and chords on the iPad they let us bring on stage. if a song i dont know gets requested a lot, i'm losing money by not knowing it, so i learn it. but sometimes, if i really love a song, i learn it. the last song i learned bc i liked it was "Diane Young" (from the new vampire weekend record). sounds fucking great on piano too.
One friday night about a year ago, i was singing "hotel california" to the piano bar full of people (i think it was around superbowl time. totally packed). anyways, i get to the line in the song "they stab it full of steely knives, but they just cant kill the BEAST." As soon as I say the word "Beast," all of the lights in the room go out. Pitch darkness.
Everyone starts to freak out, yelling, spilling drinks, trying to head for the exit but theres no light, glass everywhere.
Turns out it was a result of a black out in the entire french quarter. Everyone had to leave, because power wouldn't be restored for hours.
Apart from that, Mario Lopez was in the piano bar last night, so i guess that's just as crazy (AC Slater requesting "tiny dancer"). I got douche chills..
The application process involved me calling the GM every day for like a month, telling him i'd play for free for a week, etc. i was pretty persistent (read: annoying) i initially didn't get the job, and had to move to pennsylvania for a few years bc of hurricane katrina. when i got back, the GM called me to play, so i found a replacement piano player for the casino gig i was at, & drove straight there from mississippi. been there ever since.
$1500 to play American Pie. Apparently the guy had just won a whole lot of money at the casino, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. You better believe I played every damn verse of that song. There's at least 483 verses, fyi.
Its hard to explain, but because i mainly am playing by ear for work, i just have to be familiar enough with a song, the general "vibe" or rhythmic feeling it has, and its not that hard. i have the ipad at work mainly for the lyrics. ALSO, i am pretty terrible at remembering peoples names/faces. i have the suspicion that all that space in my memory is being used up by shitty jimmy buffett songs.
Funny celeb story, zac brown was in the piano bar like 3 months ago, and i was sort of nervous because everyone was requesting zac brown songs. its nerve-racking playing someones song in front of them. i mean, fuck that. seriously. anyways, i played "colder weather" and it went OK and then i noticed the guy had signed "Thanks for the music. -Zach" on the napkin. he was totally NOT fucking zac brown (theres no "H" in his name), he was just a hillbilly with a trucker hat and a grizzly adams beard drinking bud light and signing autographs, hitting on girls. dude fooled the entire place for 2 hours, taking pictures, etc. in retrospect, it was pretty hilarious.
Michael buble came in after a show here in new orleans and was super nice to everyone, taking pictures etc. apparently he requested one of his own songs "save the last dance." During the superbowl in Feb, we had a ton of celebs come through. jerry rice, jason bateman (hero), billionaire jerry jones (great tipper ;), got to meet michael phelps, everyone was super nice. andy roddick and brooklyn decker came awhile back, she requested "don't stop believing." (i DEFINITELY didn't smell the napkin after she handed it to me like a creeper. promise.). the crossbow dude from "the walking dead" comes in every year for new orleans comicon, super nice guy. and last, but certainly not least, Lance Bass.
I guess bayou classic only because its the most dangerous weekend of the year. also, never to wear a pink tie during "southern decadence" weekend. huge mistake, though the crowd is actually really fun and they are good tippers.
In the history of the piano bar, i'd have to say either willie nelson or kenny rodgers, though this was before my time. we do get a fair amount of celebs but i havent had any notable sit-ins, unfortunately...
Thanks man, i am on stage performing at least 20 hours a week. besides that, i am always learning new songs, writing songs, thinking about music. just finished a music video for a new music project. i also do a considerable amount of session work, where people hire me to play piano in the studio for hip hop/country/liturgical/anything... helps to be versatile.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. my immediate reaction when i hit a wrong note or can't reach a high vocal parts is to smile. we're not performing brain surgery over here. if you stress out over it, the audience can tell. have fun and enjoy it. shake it off, homie.
You will learn SO MUCH MORE from bad gigs than from good ones. and you WILL have some awful gigs, starting out. learn from them. (i still have bad nights all the time)
Don't underestimate the power of a good business card. with design/printing, they may cost you 150-200 bucks, BUT the'll last you for years. makes you look professional. also, always overdress for gigs.
Lastly, i'd recommend going to a nursing home that has a piano sometime and play for the elderly. not only is it good karma, but they are the easiest audience you'll ever have. it will be the highlight of their day, even if you sound terrible:)
Good luck, and feel free to email me if u have any more questions: mageezbeats at gmail.
Woof... i'd rather not try and embarass myself trying to rock out some steely dan on the piano. shit is written for 12-string and is crazy. musically brilliant, but cray. lived in bethlehem, pennsylvania and finished my bachelors in music performance degree at Lehigh University (was at Tulane)
Watched the first episode and but didn't watch anymore. i'm sure its a good show, but it is literally like walking outside of my apartment and walking around (i live in the french quarter near the marigny / treme area). would you watch a show about your yard and job and your neighbors and yourself? too familiar to be interesting. but i do love the wire, so david simon knows whats up.
I don't love bourbon street. actually, i havent gone out on bourbon street in years. frenchman has a lot more new orleans authentic jazz groups and a more laid back / less touristy atmosphere by far. when i have a night off, i usually just watch netflix.
Some piano bars do that, but at the one I work at, we don't stop playing songs just because someone throws money at us. As far as the hardest song I know, it's a toss-up between "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" and "Changes" by Tupac.
Its hard to rap like Tupac and play relatively-complicated bruce hornsby chord changes at the same time. Like patting your head & rubbing your belly at the same time.
Was hired to interview birdman for YRB magazine a few years back, unrelated to the piano bar (i'm not a journalist by any means but a friend needed a favor). he was wearing an all gucci tracksuit and showed up in a stretch PT cruiser. true story.
As far as bourbon st goes, i wouldnt recommend any novelty drinks whatsoever unless you want a hangover. but that's my personal preference bc i hate sugary drinks. some of my girl friends love the "190 octane" daiquiris (they are deceptively strong too)
Without going into specifics about my particular place of work, a piano bar is a place where people can sit a table with their friends, write down song requests on a napkin or paper, and hand it to the players (sometimes with tips, sometimes not). then they get served a strong mixed drink concoction, and enjoy hearing their favorite songs live. it's like a concert where you determine the playlist, and everyone, including the patrons, can sing along and interact with the show. if you want to know about bourbon street in general, i dont know where to begin... it's a place where bad decisions are made, the original "boulevard of broken dreams."
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