Apr 8, 2010


Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th March - Days 44 & 45

I almost forgot another Mississippi tune... Hendrix's Peace In Mississippi.

Which was also covered by Earth who are one of my favorite bands. When we were planning this trip a must-see place for me was Tallahassee simply because Earth have a tune called Tallahassee.

Apart from being a great track, it also intrigued me why this doom metal band from the north west would write a song about the capital of Florida. Looking at the video for the track I'm guessing some bad shit went down in that town. Bad shit is, or at least was, par for the course for Earth's main man Dylan Carlson. He lost years of his life and music to smack and he will be forever infamous as the man who bought the shotgun that Cobain killed himself with. He was also the man who gave Cobain his first singing gig. Funny how that isn't as well known.

But I remain one of the few Brits who've been to America and not been to Florida. The reason for this is after NOLA we headed straight for Atlanta. Another boring long drive just so I could be ill in the house of another friend. 468 miles and a seven hour drive. First of all through Mississippi, where the ratio of crazy drivers to people who want to live seemed to be about 1:3. Still at least that kept things interesting. The I-65 which cuts across the south west corner of Alabama was the most boring drive I've ever done. There's just a lot of bare trees. Hardly any exits and at times not a single radio signal to be picked up. Funny thing is that the first time I ever drove in America I took the same route, only going south, and I found it fascinating. Coming from Britain where motorways are congested and six lanes of traffic are separated by a thin strip of metal, a big ass American interstate with its huge meridian and no signs of life by the side of the road blew my mind.

Atlanta looked huge but I can't really tell you much about it because I was ill again. We stayed with another Postcarder, handsome Jon, who looks like a young Keifer Sutherland, has beautiful southern manners and likes to smoke natural products. I've been meaning to go and enjoy the high life in Atlanta with Jon for a long time but my timing was really bad. Not only was I ill, but Jon had a work conference starting the day after we got there. Still we could go out for one night right? Well, half a night. After a few tacos we were about to move on to the next whiskey bar (little Alabama Song reference for you there) when I started shivering like a skinny stripper in a northern town. It was time to go to bed. And it wasn't even 11.

I managed a little better the next night. Enough to take in an Irish bar (where they have a monthly Father Ted night - respect!), the house where the woman who wrote Gone With The Wind lived (sort of... they rebuilt it), a sports bar (with English soccer on) and the Clermount Lounge. The sleaziest strip club I ever saw. And I swear we went on the recommendation of a woman (thank you, Louise.) The Clermont Lounge is Atlanta's first and longest continually-operating strip club (opened in 1965). Located in the basement of the Clermont Motor Hotel (now out of business) on Ponce De Leon Avenue, in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood. Seriously, the Poncey-Highland neighborhood. It sounds and looks like a location from a noirer than noir trashy novel. It's a remnant of a former America, just like an AA baseball field in a hick town. That's why Louise liked it. It was amazing. I can't really bring myself to describe the dancers because it would seem cruel. And I don't want to be cruel. But if I were to, I'd be using words like cellulite, droopy, bloated. Still more power to them. And their fans. Especially the smooth dude in the silk Lionel Ritchie World Tour bomber jacket. There was a good little bar band and a super hot tattooed bar tender (Sandra Bullock's hubby would have dug her.) Seemingly it's where celebs like Brad Pitt like to come to party when they are in town. I wish I hadn't been ill. If I'd stayed longer I might have become drunk enough to spend a little more money in there.

We also didn't get to see the star of the Clermont, an African American woman called Blondie who is at least 50 but can crush a beer can between her jugs.

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