What Should I Wear?

My good friend Beantown Bob is coming to visit.  Many of y’all don’t know this….but when i first moved to Tennessee, one of the first things i did was organize a fundraiser for MoveOn, and i booked my favorite band, (DADA) at 3rd & Lindlsey and got shunned by Music Row Democrats for not booking “local talent.”  i had no idea who was local talent.  Now, in my defense, I’m not a huge country music fan.  I like drums, and bass, and it is my opinion that bands should let their individual components shine instead of just augment the lead singer.  I like rock n roll for that reason. Aunt B makes fun of my love for Rush…but pick a song, and tell me that Alex lifeson doesn’t get your attention with his riffs, and that Neil Peart doesn;t blow your mind with his ridiculous tempo changes, and that Geddy’s bass doesn’t make him sound ten fucking feet tall.

Whew.  Sorry for digressing.  So, I consider Robert Ellis Orral a friend.  (ok, not a “oh look!  Bobs at the door!” kinda friend, but he takes my calls and has played some Democratic fundraisers for me, and he gave my kids some CDs.)  Gretchen Peterson played the MoveOn gig as well, and my point is that they are definately “local talent.”

I guess I’m still a little pissed. (I should note, that neither Sharon Cobb or Southern Beale ever shunned me..in fact, they have both been very supportive).  Ok, back to Bob.  I really love Bob.  Between us, we managed to convince Democrats from 9 different States to volunteer to come here and help with the event.  So, yea, Bob is way cool.  The event was fun, and we made a little money for a deserving Not For Profit.

All of this disjointed background is my way of setting up Teh Big Story.  (Is that passe now?)

I’M GOING TO THE GRAND OLE OPRY!!!  Bob’s connects scored us passes!

So, I know enough about the Country Scene to get good and drunk, but after that…I’m completely lost.  I called Aunt B, and she seems to think I should honor Jimmy Martin and beat the shit out of Ricky Skaggs.  No sweat, if he is in fact there that evening.  Also, Aunt B is aware of the fact that I am a better than average clogger, and thinks I should use Saturday night as a showcase for my mad clogging skills.  Easy Peesy, Japaneesy.

What i really wanted to do was meet Minnie Pearl, but I am sorry to break this to y’all, but it seems she has recently passed.  Pity.  I really liked her.

The other thing i am dissapointed about is that, lo and behold, it turns out Carol Burnett was never part of the Grand Old opry, and that is just wrong.

Anyway, i’ll be content to be surprised.  But I don’t know what one wears to a Cracker Fest.  Do I run by Hicks R Us and pick up a sequined sombrero?  Do I attach spurs to my sneakers?  Help me, oh lovers of The Opry!  I have just days to prepare.

I want it noted that i am actually excited by the idea of listening to music without drums.

Whoda thunk it?



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38 responses to “What Should I Wear?

  1. You’re going Saturday night, right? It should be a good show. Jeannie Seely is going to be there and I love her! And T.G. Sheppard–“I’ll never forget, I remember it yet, the taste of that clear blue water. Those preacher’s words could not be heard when she said ‘Come on in.’ She said, ‘Do you want to go to Heaven?’ I said, ‘Yes, just lead me on.'”

    And Whispering Bill Anderson. And some band called The Grascals I’ve never heard of.

  2. Ha, oops. I typed all that up and it was the 17th. I have no idea who’s the line-up coming up.

  3. Ya really gotta give a shout-out to Cash by jumping up on the stage and kicking out the stage lights. 😉

  4. and got shunned by Music Row Democrats for not booking “local talent.”

    Now, now that is not entirely fair. I was there. Titley was there. We worked with you on that event but you were very stubborn about some things and I think that scared some folks off. You didn’t want to listen to us.

    It is notoriously hard to put on a music event in Nashville. There are certain ways of doing things and yes, local talent definitely helps bring out the crowds.

    Anyway, that’s all water under the bridge. It was a fun evening nonetheless and I think I registered your wife to vote that night, too. Success!

  5. Mack? Stubborn about some things?


  6. Actually, Beale, Titley is the one that told me why I got so little marketing support. It wasn’t a “music event”, it was a fundraiser for the only organization in the country that had the balls to speak out against the administration.

    Like I said, you were very supportive of that effort, and others, but i have had long talks with Titley about this. Also, I’ll always be grateful to you for getting me in front of Michael Moore. That was way fun.

    Anyway, I was brand new in town, but had an army of people willing to come here on their own dime, and that speaks volumes about them.

    And, yup, the Primary Wife is a proud Democratic voter. Thanks!

  7. nm

    Ahhhhh … MRD. Funniest musical/political thing I’ve ever seen was one of the Kerry-oke nights, when Brad Cotter, who had just won Nashville Star, was announced as a participant and got up on stage to sing some group song, but was hustled out of there by his publicist or manager or someone before he could pollute himself farther in the public eye. Ahhhhh, the music biz.

    Mack, you wear anything your little heart desires to the Opry, so long as it isn’t something that’ll get you arrested for indecent exposure. They don’t care.

    Jeannie Seely is likely to be there anyway, since she’s one of the hosts and is there two weeks out of three. Also the schedule is always subject to change without notice, so the fact that you don’t know what it is in advance isn’t all that relevant.

  8. democommie


    I don’t know about the “GOO”, but I was taken to a place called “Guitars & Cadillacs” out in Omaha, NE (don’t get rude, it’s my hometown) by some well meaning folks.

    The venue had been a Burlington Coat Factory outlet, so it was gigundahuge. There were hundreds of weekend buckaroos and buckarettes in attendance.

    They all took a line dance lesson while I sat and watched, wincing but smiling bravely as my imaginary war wound kept me off the dance floor. When they were finished with their lesson they came back to the table and one of the guys said, “So, what do you think?”

    I said, “Well, I see a lot of XXL Knobby tired F250’s in the parking lot, a half million gallons of hats and lots of shiny, pointy toed boots here. But I don’t smell even a whiff of horseshit. There ain’t no cowboys here.”

    So, what I’m sayin’, Mack, is muck the stalls and don’t change before you go the show. Not only will they know you’re for real, they won’t crowd you!

  9. heartbreaktown

    How Neat!!

    We share a last name, so don’t bring any (more) shame to the family! Never follow your first instincts! 🙂

    Seriously, I think it’s a “nice” kinda casual there. Nice jeans and perhaps a tuck-in shirt would be appropriate. No overalls, no chewin’ tobacky, and have someone remove the bib before entering the building.

    Oh and yes, I have heard of Robert Ellis Orrall. Sorry, I didn’t recognize him as “Bob from Boston” although I’m sure he’s the only one.

    Love ya!!!

  10. Anyway, I was brand new in town, but had an army of people willing to come here on their own dime, and that speaks volumes about them.

    Indeed, and it speaks volumes about you. The coolest thing about that night was getting a chance to meet all the Kicking Ass folks. It was the first time I went to an event where I got to meet bloggers I’d been talking to in the flesh. It was so cool to find out that everyone was pretty much in person as they are on the blog. Do you ever talk to Pam in CT? We used to e-mail occasionally but I haven’t heard from her in ages.

    I’ve been to the Opry several times but I’ve never watched from the audience. It used to be if you got passes that meant you were watching from backstage. Don’t know if that’s changed at all. But the backstage scene is pretty fun, too.

  11. NM, I’m actually kinda excited. I may even bathe.

    Demo- you kill me. I’ll report back. FYI-finished my construction project, I may post a pic.

    Heartbreak- No!! REO isn’t Bob from Boston. Beantown Bob is a good friend coming to see me. REO is a legend in this town, even after Cake Bake Betty…

    Beale, yup, I still talk with Pam, but she took the whole Leiberman thing pretty hard, soured her on politics, I think.

  12. nm

    You’re going Saturday? If you go early, you can catch a free show by the Time Jumpers in the plaza in front of the Opry House.

  13. heartbreaktown

    Oh, okay. Thanks for the clarification.

  14. No overalls, no chewin’ tobacky, and have someone remove the bib before entering the building.

    Aw, pleeezee…I’d pay good money to see Mack in bib overalls…

    Oh dear God, Lorrie Morgan is performing Saturday night…make sure you guys take a sedative beforehand so you don’t get too awfully worked up.

  15. The Missus

    Your Oscar Mayer Bologna T-shirt or the one you have that looks just like a can of Spam would be perfect for a Cracker Fest. You could borrow AG’s
    McLovin shirt but not on Saturday night.

  16. Did you say clogging?

  17. Lynnster, I don’t have the heart to tell him that his “clogging” looks suspiciously like line dancing.

  18. nm

    One day, if you get me drunk enough, I will give you my spiel on the confusion between line dancing (which has been around for milennia and most of which is very cool) and bad line dancing (which does include most of the dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon, but not all of it). Complete with demonstrations of dance and snippets of music from all over Europe and Central Asia. I guess that would have to be “if you get me drunk enough and I am at home with my music collection.” In the mean time I will just point out that chaps are all buttless, by definition. Can you tell that it’s been the kind of day at work that is making me wish I was drunk enough to give you my spiel?

  19. nm, I was just looking for an excuse to say “buttless.” 🙂

  20. nm

    And I just like to get pedantic about other people’s fantasies. :-;

  21. democommie

    Well, not speaking from experience, I would think “buttless chaps” would not be worn in OKLAHOMA, “where the wind comes whistling down the plains.”

  22. Don’t wear rhinestones, Mack. You might end up on the stage.

  23. nm

    All chaps are buttless. Traditionally, they are worn over trousers to protect the trousers from dust while on horseback. I imagine that Oklahoma has seen plenty of them.

    BTW, Mack, if you’re going on Sat. they have a great lineup for you: Jeannie Seely, The Whites, Connie Smith, Lorrie Morgan, Shooter Jennings, the Time Jumpers, maybe Charlie Louvin depending on which show you go to. You ought to have a blast.

  24. Wait, isn’t it a rule, though, that if you get within 20 feet of a White you have to marry one of them? Just be careful, depending on how close you are to the stage, you might end up with another spouse.

    Shooter Jennings?!


  25. nm

    Not if they’re already married, as I believe they are at this time.

  26. Whew, okay, just wanted to be sure.

  27. nm

    Actually, now that I think about it, Buck may be a widower. Mack better watch out.

  28. democommie


    Not to pick a nit, but chaps are worn, sfaia, to protect the rider from thorns and such–even more reason for them to have butts.

  29. nm


    “Chaps (IPA: /ʃæps/, tʃæps) are sturdy coverings for the legs, usually of leather, consisting of leggings and a belt. They are buckled on over trousers with the chaps’ integrated belt, but unlike trousers they have no seat and are not joined at the crotch. ”

    emphasis mine

  30. nm

    Well, the emphasis was supposed to be mine — how do you bold stuff in WordPress?

    Note: “they have no seat”

  31. I ain’t wearing nuthin that doesn’t protect this magnificent butt.

  32. “I just like to get pedantic about other people’s fantasies.” – nm, that’s what we love about you. 🙂

  33. nm

    Oh, dear, Mack, I misread your comment at first: “nuthin that doesn’t project this magnificent butt.” That could get interesting.

  34. democommie


    Thanks for the definition. I was wondering wtf those things were that I found in my closet after my last visit to a bar my friend took me to. He said it was a “Leather Bar” and I thought he meant they sold wallets and such, there. Guess not.

  35. nm

    Nuthin that doesn’t project the magnificent butt, I tell ya.

  36. woody

    I am trying to follow this thread, but I am a little slow. Is “buttless chaps” a country western group performing in goo?

  37. democommie


    Not yet, but it could be.

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