Saturday, September 15, 2007

Faces - East Side


During my suave period in the 80s I would often end up after hours at a popular disco in East St. Louis called Faces. We would go there after the Oyster Bar closed. No one had a 3:00a.m. license yet on the Missouri side. I remember leaving Faces and shielding my eyes from the glaring sun. We were always surprised by the length of our stay.

Faces had several dance floors, a drag show upstairs, and women weren’t allowed in the basement. I saw things in the basement that still creep into my dreams. The urinal in the restroom was a long troth and the boys would be looking down checking you out. This made it almost impossible to take a piss.

The combination of strobe lights and isobutyl nitrate threw me into an epileptic seizure on the dance floor one night. This was the period I had most of my seizures. Over stimulated I suppose. I’ll be 50 in January and I haven’t had one since my late 20s.

I do remember coming to and finding this gay crowd to be the most genuinely caring people I’ve ever met concerned only for my welfare.

My partners in crime were my best friends Sharon, Linda and Nancy.

One night across the dance floor I noticed an absolutely gorgeous six foot Amazon woman. It was Monica Reed. I had run into her casually at a few parties. She was a well know singer in the area. She had already been a back up singer for the Allman Brothers and was making a name for herself as a solo act. She later went on to sing for Sting.

Monica danced over to me and whispered in my ear that she heard I was vegetarian. I said yes and she told me she’d like to cook me a stir fry. I told her I’d bring the sake. We were off and running from our first date and I won’t say anymore about that.

Monica was six feet tall but wore two inch pumps which made her taller than me. I always thought she was too big for me in many respects.

One night at Faces she was chatting with a beautiful Asian woman. She later told me her friend asked why she always dated wimpy white boys. This crushed me.

I would go with her to penthouse parties in Clayton. Any club we walked into, she’d be on stage in five minutes.

One night we were going to a party at Gene Lynn’s penthouse apartment in the Central West End. I was excited because there would be music industry people I wanted to run into. As we were getting out of my car Monica slammed the door on one of her long finger nails. It broke and she was inconsolable. We left with Monica in tears.

By contrast to her music scene I was playing private parties at the St. Louis Art Museum. A writer from the L.A. Times would be lecturing about technology in contemporary music. We’d be the example. This was my band Delay Tactics.

Caviar, champagne, and people talking to you as you played, asking how you were producing that sound.

I did end up playing a few shows with Monica, The Heaters, and Blake Travis. One of these was to raise money for Monica to get to Europe where her career took off. We also played the VP Fair.

Monica came back a few years later to marry the bass player from Bad Company at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral at St. Louis University. Monica was beautiful. A horse drawn white carriage took the couple to a club on Debaliviere for the reception. The band playing there was The Heaters and we had a great reunion.

8 comments:

paycheck said...

It took forever for me to realize that wimpy is just self-hating women's code for "guys that don't look like rapists."

sharon said...

Just heard Bad Company will be playing in town this weekend. Perhaps you can run into Monica!
So tell her I said "Hey!"

dominic schaeffer said...

Monica Reed married Boz Burell??

From Wiki- Burrell joined Bad Company in 1973 to play bass, where he found international fame and fortune touring with them into the 1990s.

Doggie said...

No, I think it was Rick Wills

Doggie said...

You know if it was Boz I would have talked to him about Fripp!

blognoxious said...

Was just talking about those years to someone today, so did a search and found your blog... what a memory trip!
And boy do I remember (dimly!) FACES! You reminded me of the urinal and (shudder) that downstairs location!
Used to go there in my teen years (since they served anyone and everyone!) with a friend of mine who has long since passed away.

RHONDA RIMMER said...

HELLO MY NAME IS RON AND I WAS THE DISC JOCKEY AT FACES ON THE EAST SIDE FROM 1978 UNTIL? MY NICK NAME WAS RHONDA RIMMMER DOES ANY BODY OUT THERE REMEMBER ME IT WAS IN THE DAY WHEN THE RED BULL CLOSED DOWN AND THE NEW ROOM AND HELEN SCHRADERS, IAM NOW 56 AND MOVED BACK TO CAPE GIRARDEAU
THE QUEENS, LANA KOONTZ, DONNA DRAG, JULIE TOMMOROW, THAT SWEET THING MISS CANDY NEED I SAY MORE?

RHONDA RIMMER said...

MY NAME IS RON AND MY DJ NAME WAS RHONDA RIMMER I WAS THE DJ AT FACES FROM 1978 UNITL? I WORKED AT THE NEWS ROOM, THE RED BULL,
IAM STILL ALIVE AND WELL LIVING IN CAPE GIRARDEAU, DOES ANY BODY REMEMBER ME