As the furious State Line sun beat down, I took a moment to soak up the scenery. Twenty feet from the stage, maybe five people stood watching us play. Toes may have been tapping. In the distance, beyond the modest audience, sat 25 to 30 glorious classic automobiles, the focus of the afternoon. To my left, just past my bandmates, a young woman in a bikini top and the shortest Daisy Dukes permitted by Idaho law stared aimlessly back at me while eating a hot dog. I believe she was supposed to be dancing on stage to the music, perhaps in a manner befitting a dancer of her status as a Stateline Showgirl.
Why were we, a wholesome, instrumental rock 'n' roll quartet, playing a car show in a strip club parking lot?
Well, someone asked us to.
Over the past four-odd years, BBBBandits has not turned down many shows. I think we always figured it would be a whole hell of a lot more fun to play than not play, so whether a touring band needed an opener at the last minute, or a friend was throwing a party and needed a band, we were usually game.
Sometimes there was a great crowd and we played terribly. Sometimes there was literally no one there and we played great. I don't think we would have it any other way.
There was the time we got an offer to play a corporate booze cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene for an interior design company. It was a two-hour cruise, so we played every song we knew. Twice.
There was the time we set up in the Moran Prairie Library after hours and nearly shook the true crime A-through-K section right off the shelves.
We played a KYRS benefit in front of about six people. We played KYRS Music Fest (later Marmot Fest) in 2013 to about six people. Thankfully, Tambourine Man was one of them.
We played the opening of Batch Bakeshop in West Central. There were free cookies and strange looks from the neighbors. A grown man on a BMX rolled up and tried to sell our drummer, Jeff Glinski, a set of cymbals.
Now, it goes without saying we've played some terrific shows with some great bands. Volume was amazing every year. Playing the Big Dipper was always a treat, and Neato Burrito feels like playing a house show for your best friends.
And, of course, the best part of this whole deal is that we've managed to pull it all off playing instrumental surf rock, which is not exactly burning up the airwaves right now.
Regardless, after four-and-a-half years we've decided to call it a day. There was no falling out or differences of opinion. Colleen Vice didn't throw her bass through a window. We've all been in bands — often with each other — since high school, so I wouldn't be surprised if we got something going again.
Moral of the story, kids: Start a band with your friends and play as often as you can. ♦
BBBBandits final show feat. Shannon and the Clams and Fun Ladies • Sat, July 18, at 9:30 pm • $10 • 21+ • Mootsy's • 406 W. Sprague • 838-1570