Friday, July 18, 2008

First Impressions


True Story From Taco Land

By Robert Cordova

It was about 1985. I was headed out for the night to go see a friends
band play play at Taco Land. The deal was, they were gonna play about
10-ish, then we were suppose go to their studio across the street so I
could audition to be their new drummer. I had never been to Taco Land,
heard of it, or anything! So I show up, and the first band is playing
hard, loud and directly into my right ear as I walked through the
door. Perfect! The place was crowded and totally buzzing with a great
vibe. I remember noticing the low ceiling full of posters and bands
bumper stickers plastered everywhere.

I was impressed.

Then to see the band tucked away in the corner, with no stage,
riser....nothin! Just a couple of colored lights all wired together,
Al Bundy style, hanging to the front of the band. That was the first
time I ever saw a band rocking their balls off, two feet in front of
the crowd, who was rockin with them just as hard!

I was more impressed!

So I make my way back to the bar, to get a beer. And thats where I saw
the Heart of Taco Land. Ram was back there serving beers as fast as he
could take the money. He was taking orders, making change, and
heckling the the band with "hey, play one that sounds good!" or "When
are you gonna start playing you pussies!!" I couldn't believe what
this guy was doing! I just laughed, and tried to squeeze up to the
bar, without getting poked in the back with a pool stick.

Now I was feeling really impressed!!

I finally get to the bar....a mosaic of little colored tiles, and a
candy-apple red diamond tuck base.....with matching bar stools!! This
place was old school! So I'm leaning against the bar waiting to get a
beer, and this drunk lady next to me on her bard stool lifts her head
up a bit, and looks at me. She was dressed like she just came from a
wedding, except her dress was a little shabby. Lets just say it was
missing a few sequins. Like I said, I was smiling....kind of big, when
right then Ram asked "What ya need". I asked for a Coors Light (I
know, I know). As he stepped away to grab it, I hear a growl right
next to me. I look over and the drunk lady was not liking my smile.
She was showing her teeth like a bull dog ready to fight! Holy Shit!

I was starting to wonder if i was impressed anymore.

What did I do to her? Ram slams a Budwieser in front of me and says
$2.00! I said, "I asked for a Coors Light". Ram said, "I know....
$2.00. Right then, the drunk dog-lady snarled and lurched at me with a
loud pissed off dog sound, and tried to bite my arm! She missed, and
fell right to the floor. Sweet Jesus! I helped her up, sat her on her
stool, and listened to Ram yell at her to stop biting his customers!
He took my money, apologized for her, and I took my beer. She sat
there, hunched over, and ordered another beer, insisting she was not
drunk.

OK.....so now this was just out of this world impressive!

I hung out a while longer, listened to my friends band play, then hung
out some more. About half way though their set, Ram came around with a
big oversized Sprite bottle, and was passing it around. He kindly
offered it to me, with one word....Tequila? Hell yah....I took a
drink, and felt right at home. Needless to say, there was no audition
that night. We all got a little too plastered and had a hell of a lot
of fun.

After that, Ram always remembered me, and I spent alot of time at Taco
Land. He always greeted me with a hug if it wasn't too busy. Some of
the nights that were most fun , were when no bands were playing, and
the bar was almost empty. Talking to Ram was a real trip. He was just
grateful for being alive and well enough to party with friends. I
remember drinking Lone Stars for $1.00, and Ram explaining. "Those
pussies on the Riverwalk dont know how to sell beer! $3.00 a beer?
Hell no....the secret is to sell twice as much for half the
price!!....Fuck those Pussies!!

Thats all completely true, and I will remember those times forever.

God Bless Ram.

Robert Cordova

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