On Saturday, August 11, 2007 - dharma and I headed down the Turner Turnpike instead of old route 66 simply because we wanted to get to Oklahoma City that much faster. We were excited about the First Annual Okie Twist-Off, a bit of a rock-a-billy weekend / car show / band bonanza being hosted by Ratty Bastards Car Club and a host of other Okie City garages and groups. We found out about the event through our good friends in the Oklahoma City area and had made plans to attend many weeks in advance. I mean, where else can you get a car show, over 10 bands, a pin up girl contest, and bowling at the 66 bowl for a cool 10 dollars each? One thing I love about my subculture - things are well priced for the frugal and for those of us on a bit of a tight budget. Since I attend, on average, at least one show a week, any savings in this department is well appreciated and well liked.
As is usual for dharma and I, we had no idea if we would be staying at a motel overnight or simply driving back late, but we were prepared for either contingency. We arrived in Okie City around 12:30 p.m. and had a bite to eat. We got to the 66 bowl around 1 p.m. People were already there and the parking lot was already full, so we found a sweet spot at the business next door and walked on over. We paid admission and pulled out the camera for some pics. Our first friend to greet us was little Miss Reagan. We then found Screamin' Steve's tent and showed off the t-shirts he let us buy in advance so we could wear them on the trip down. Once again, ten dollars was the magic price. We love ya Steve!
We alternated between stints on the tarmac looking at the cool vintage cars, hot rods and meeting and greeting friends and going inside the 66 bowl to cool down in front of the nicely placed 30 inch fan. Dharma and I decided to forgoe alcohol in favor of some twenty bottles of bottled water we consumed during the course of the 99 to triple digit heat day.
Many groups were selling t-shirts, pictures, cool car 'zines and all manner of other trinkets devoted to the culture that adores 50s and 60s style and music.
Though I don't know the attendance, the event was a stirring success with heavy crowds a good portion of the day and tons of car entries. We were given tickets at the gate, two for the raffle and two to vote on the car of our choice to win for the car show. I chose a lovely 20s bucket and dharma chose a 60s low rider. There were also scooters and motor bikes and even vintage bicycles. the bands played in the heat through the course of the day, but as the sun went down and the air began to cool, the headlining band from Austin, Texas - the Flametrick Subs, took the stage as the sun just went down.
The Flametrick Subs took the stage with Satan's Cheerleaders, young tattooed ladies with a great sense of humor. Before the show began, I happened by their merch table and noticed that a good deal of their stuff happened to be day wear for babies and toddlers. It almost made me wish that dharma and I had a youngin' again . . . almost. Our kids are all pretty much grown up - the youngest being eleven. Dharma screamed that, no, she would not like a little one again and with that, the Cheerleader put the shirt in her mouth and made a cool face and I just had to snap her picture. I shall always cherish it. The band consists of two men, one on standup bass and one singing and playing guitar - then they are accompanied by two young ladies, one standing up at the drums and one playing a great hollow body guitar and looking oh so cool with ciggie sticking out of her mouth. I kept trying to get a picture of her smoking, but every time I did, she turned away. Then I kept trying to get a picture of the Satan's Cheerleader in front of me, but kept getting her bending over away from me. Not that that bothered me much. Skull panties are nice.
The two Cheerleaders do a routine all through the set and kept the crowd fairly mesmerized. This was the first time I had ever seen the band play live and also the first time I had ever even heard of Satan's Cheerleaders. Their name always reminded me of the 1977 B horror film about the janitor who looked for young sacrifices only to pick a cheerleader that was herself a witch. Red lights came on and flooded the band in an eerie glow, perfecting the effect that we were joining them in some dank, dark ritual from the anals of human history. It reminded me of a bonfire - you knew something ancient and entirely human was taking place. Rock-a-billy hellions grooved and the night fell on us and reminded us that good music and good friends are as close to Heaven as we might get right now and all the while we were singing about Hell.
As the night progressed, some bands played on the "concourse", an area behind the bowling lanes and some bands played in the small bar at the front of the 66 bowl. We sat in the bar and got to see our dear friend Brian Dunning doing what he does best, a bit of Elvis and a bit of the great sounds of early rock and roll. He was joined for a few songs by everyone's favorite Little Mike. We also got to see the R.I.P. Tides in all their glory - only the 4th or 5th time we've seen them this year, either in Okie City or in our home city of Tulsa. The bar filled with smoke, heat, and tons of people and we made some new friends and got to hang with old friends and it was one of those nights that you never really want to end. Around 1 a.m., after 12 hours of rock-a-billy bliss, we decided to find a cool room to relax and sleep in and fell asleep dreaming of an era that we can duplicate as best we can, but that we can never truly go back to.
Thanks to all that made the First Annual Okie Twist-Off a success. We can't wait for the Second Annual one next year.
It was sheer hell going back to work after such a great time, but then, that's what makes these type of events such a pleasure.