THRILLVILLE: Will "the Thrill" Viharo's weird, wild world of Pulp Fiction, B Movies, & the Lounge Lizard Lifestyle.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Diary of a Doorman (Entry# 1)


It was a dark and stormy night...actually it was a clear and balmy Winter night as I stood my post at Forbidden Island. It was only my second gig as stand-in doorman at my favorite tiki lounge. I'd also just been hired as their official publicist. The regular greeter, Mig, was taking the night off, hence my presence. I was developing my own doorman style, complete with my customary fez hat. (I was also flashing on that Seinfeld episode, "The Doorman" - "you think you're better than me, don't ya?") It was fun telling people I wasn't a Muslim terrorist or a shriner. Fez hats are part of tiki culture. Don't ask me why, it's just more Caucasian co-opting of foreign cultures for pop art purposes. I'm liberal enough but not the PC type so I don't question it. I was also wearing my official Miami Vice purple blazer. My way of carding folks? I'd flash the MV insignia on the inside pocket and ask, "Have you ever seen this TV show?" Yes would mean you're over 21. Little did I know the night was destined to be a freaky '80s blast from the past in a way I could have never anticipated...
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You got ID, pal?


This spunky, good-looking blonde came outside a couple of times to smoke. I sensed an accent. Baltimore, she told me. I countered with the fact I'm a Jersey boy. We hit it off. She had short hair and a leather jacket and cool customized glasses which I commented on. She said she collected eyeglasses and shoes. She obviously had style. I was telling everyone how I'd just met Adam West at Wondercon that day, and had my picture taken with him (blogged here.) She told me he signed a photo for her one time when he came to see her band.
"So you're in a band, cool," I said. "What kind of music?"
"You know the Go-Go's?" she said.
"Yea, sure. So your band is like the Go-Go's?"
"No...my band IS the Go-Go's. I'm Gina, the drummer."

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Gina? Schocked!

My mind blew right through the top of my fez. I felt like Ralph Kramden going "hominy-hominy-hominy...." Gina Schock of the Go-Go's was hanging out at Forbidden Island in Alameda, on my shift. I asked why, as a rock legend, she was gracing us with her presence. "I love rum!" she said. Made sense, since FI has the best rum drinks West of Adam. It really made my night. I told her about when I saw the Go-Go's on the same bill as The Blasters at the Hollywood Bowl back in 1982, with my pal Mickey Rourke and his then-wife Debra Feuer (blogged here.) She said they used to hang out in New York with Mickey. She also said the Go-Gos still perform together. Man, it was surreal. Me in my Miami Vice jacket talking to Gina Shock about Mickey Rourke. All this and Watchmen, too. The '80s are back. But so are the '30s (Depression), the '60s (social turmoil) and even the '50s (the bar we were standing in front of.) A time capsule just crashed on my head. Good thing I was wearing a fez.

I met "The Beat" in "We Got the Beat." And then I had a MaiTai. I was in the right place at the right time. Sometimes Life has a funny way of letting you know that you're on the right path. A thread is pulled and it all suddenly ties together.

See you at Forbidden Island, where it always feels like you're on vacation, even if you're working. Aloha.

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