In which the titular Tremulis expounds on the (im)proper way to get down.
BY NICHOLAS TREMULIS
As the summer festival season rears its sweaty head upon us I think its only fair game to comment on a phenomenon I’ve witnessed since playing outdoor shows from my teens to the present. It may not be the “most fucked up” but it is generally commented on by the bands I’ve been in as, “Now, that’s fucked up!” So I think we’re playing in the same ballpark.
In all cities and towns… all countries, parishes and provinces this strange occurrence is a constant at every festival I’ve ever performed. It is always two people; one male, one female. They usually look the same and dress the same from town to town. Maybe it’s a secret union like the Freemasons? Could it be a birthright bestowed upon them that has been carried on for generations? I think the best way to describe it is in handbook form so let us begin our little instructional booklet.
THE LOYAL ORDER OF HIPPY-DANCING COUPLES
Let’s start with your uniform.
Men: You need to wear cut-off blue jeans, preferably a vintage of at least 20 years since their purchase. “Low-rise” are the best choice for this as they must be pulled as high up as possible, yet still revealing the “coin purse” for the impressive double-jointed moves you’ll use during your performance. What once might have fit well must now be tight as hell, revealing an explicitly detailed outline of your impressive tackle box. (The Crowning Touch!)
As you are most likely in your mid-fifties or sixties, one guesses you might be a little thicker in the middle, making it harder to keep your apparel in place. This is where a good, sturdy set of suspenders (preferably the rainbow kind) can add functionality, whilst whispering a touch of the continental to your ensemble.
Shirts are optional, but a good wife-beater that has been tie-dyed with as many colors as possible is optimum. Just make sure to trim the bottom so that at least four inches of your midriff is showing. Hot!
Finally, nothing on earth is more regal than the balding ponytail. Let your freak flag wave!
Ladies: I can’t begin to tell you how to dress. Of course, matching outfits are unbeatable in any forum. Let’s just say fringed t-shirts and headbands are the coup de grace to any trousseau. You are the illusive rock and roll Tinkerbelle-with-a-fanny-pack-gone-bad!
The Dance: You’d think this was a freeform sort of thing, given the footage from Woodstock and the like, but throughout the years this has evolved into a very regimented and disciplined art form. Here are some of its rules and regulations:
1. Always dance directly in front of the stage. You’re a big part of the show. You don’t want to gyp the fans of the band that came early by stepping off to the side. Right in the center of the action is where you want to be. You’ll need space to do this right. A good estimate is about 60 feet across and 30 feet deep. You may wonder how you’ll be able to clear this much space right in front of the stage? Believe me, once you start dancing people will start backing away pretty quickly. Shock and awe!
2. Stay in character! Men, you are the wizard of seduction, conjuring the wind and sky to enslave the beautiful maiden before you. This can be done by waving your arms around in a sort of catching butterflies kind of way, dropping to your knees a lot always adds drama, spinning and leaping are always top drawer and the pièce de résistance; the jumping handstand! Basically anything you thought looked and felt cool when you were 12 is now twice as cool.
3. Ladies, you are a renegade sprite prancing from tulip to tulip, drawn into the vortex of your sorcerer partner’s hypnotic undulations and off-color Italian hand gestures. You are a slave to a rhythm only you and your partner can hear and understand. Also and maybe most importantly; there’s no such thing as too many cartwheels. Keep ‘em comin’!
Finally, you are now part of the band. They need your help to steer them into this new symbiotic relationship. Grab the band’s set list right off of the stage to see if they’ve forgotten to add the staples of your choreographed set. You’d be surprised, but in working on our own material, we often forget to work on your set as well. “Feels Like the First Time” and “Don’t Fear The Reaper” are the sine qua non of any set and yet we always forget to learn them. Feel free to yell these titles between every song. It can only make the evening more magical!
Last but not least; yelling “Free Bird” is still hilarious, never gets old and sets you apart from the herd. You are the rock ‘n’ roll Adam and Eve! See you this summer.
The Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra just released the career-encapsulating CD/book For the Babydoll: www.nicholastremulis.com
[Photo Credit: Sandros]
NICHOLAS TREMULIS ORCHESTRA – “WITHOUT YOU, WITHOUT ME” LIVE AT RAX TRAX