Following our experience with BR5-49 at the oasis we call the Westerner, we felt it necessary to further explore the rockabilly scene. And - lucky us - our rockabilly guides at the Westerner were nice enough to tell us about Ronnie Dawson's appearance at our favorite club (next to Liquid Joe's), the Zephyr. Oh fun, fun, fun.
First of all, let's talk about the ratio of men to women at this show. There were five guys for every chick. Unfortunately, there was only one cute male for every five amazingly gorgeous girls. And since this column is all about dating, or the lack thereof in our pathetic little lives, we deemed that important.Basically, there were options. Too bad they were weak.
Now onto Ronnie Dawson. We know virtually nothing about him, having received an "incomplete" in interviewing. We did however, pick up a few tidbits.
Having played since the 1950s, he could be considered a pioneer in the rockabilly genre. Sounding more country than Jerry Lee Lewis (yes, we know about him, we saw "Great Balls of Fire!"), Ronnie Dawson still has hints of '50s rock 'n' roll in his music.
With the athletic ability of a teen, and the musical enthusiasm of any contemporary performer, Ronnie really put on a great show. Using a remote amp on his guitar, he was able to run around the dance floor, shake his bootie and flirt with many of his fans. He even made an entrance worthy of PCP Berzerker and Johnny Carson. (Kind of a light show, "Here's Ronnie" kind of thing.)
The music he played was just as worthy of praise as Ronnie's stage show. With spiffy guitar solos by Ronnie and his backup protege (name unknown), the entire band brought most of the crowd to its feet.
J: This guy who is about 3 inches shorter than me asked me to dance, and being the polite girl I am, I accepted. Of course I was thinking "I'll be lucky to get off the dance floor with my head attached and my limbs connected after dancing with Dopey here." But, minus a small rhythm problem, this guy was pretty good. I was flippin', dippin', jivin' and wailin'. I was properly schooled in the ways of swing. Oh yes.
The crowd that night was quite eclectic. On one side we had the chic atheist swing kids and on the other, the BYU ballroom dance team. As far as technique went, BYU won hands down. As far as cool attitudes, well, BYU babies don't fare too well in that scene.
L: There is a difference between swing dancing and rockabilly dancing. That is my opinion. It's called the two-step. Yes, I had ballroom dance, I know this. I've done it. Just throwing people around doesn't cut it. You may jump and jive as much as you like, but you should also keep that oh-so-valuable rhythm. I, too, danced with the seventh dwarf; nearly got my arms torn off. What about footwork, kid? Work with me.
With a drummer who looked like Puddy from "Seinfeld," a backup guitarist who looked like Opie, and a completely inconsequential but talented bassist, Ronnie Dawson really knew how to have a good time.
So did we.