Don’t (Pre)Judge…

By Bill Evans

You can't judge an apple by looking at a tree

You can't judge honey by looking at the bee

You can't judge a daughter by looking at the mother

You can't judge a book by looking at the cover

I first heard this in the Delbert McClinton cover. One of the online lyric sites credits it to Stevie Wonder, but i think it was actually Willie Dixon. First was a hit for Bo Diddley in ’62.

Anyway. A few words about prejudging. My band got hired a couple of months ago to do a string of dates at the Casablanca Resort in Mesquite, NV. Mesquite is kind of a wide spot in the road. The last place for gambling and booze on I-15 before you hit the corner of Arizona that is the beautiful Virgin River Gorge and then you are into Mormon Land.

Linda and I had driven out there once before but I was not scouting a venue so i wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the lounge or the vibe. So we headed out a few weeks before our five-night run to check it out. Scott Woodward’s band the Voodoo Cowboys were playing. It was a Saturday night, but it was early. We got there for their first set and part of the second. It’s a cool lounge and it was busy but kinda quiet.

Truth is, I was checking out the stage to make sure there was enough room for my 8-piece band. And once I knew there was, I relaxed a little. A little. I told the band we had enough room and all would be well.

I expected a kind of sleepy room. Not sleepy maybe. Hell, it is in the middle of a casino. Maybe more like very laid back. The crowd the night I checked it out was older. And the music the kind of rocked up country that is popular especially as you move toward more rural areas. We do soul and rock. Was not sure how it would go over.

So we get there Wed for Night 1 and it was kind of what I expected. Not super busy but we had a great time. Thurs was similar until the end when hot 30-something girls’ night group came in during the last set. Groups of hot girls always means the room gets busier. It is like a law of nature.

But still. It picked up from like midnight until we finished just before 1. So far, my pre-judgement had been pretty close.

I had no idea…

Friday was off the freaking hook. Complete with more than one $100 tip being put on the stage and the room being crazy, nutty bonkers from doubt 11 until we quit at 2. They were demanding we keep playing and it was really only the fact that the sound guy’s shift was up that saved us from playing until they all passed out.

Saturday was even crazier. Same group there for a weekend golf trip. But a couple of them went to the cashier’s cage and got $700 in singles. And proceeded to “make it rain.” More than once. The pic is what the stage looked like when we finished. I joked that know I know what a stripper feels like. About $300 in singles ended up on the stage. Not a bad tip.

Just goes to show that you never really know until you get there. Even with advancing the room and doing homework, I was surprised.

We are heading back there in a little over a week. It’s a holiday weekend. And there is a big car show out there. And I have ZERO idea what to expect. But won’t judge. Just gotta roll with it.