Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Seventeen Saloon

After a hard day of riding a hot bus and hot ferry boats back from the Mekong Delta, Doannie and I needed a cold beer and a comfortable place to hang our hats. What better place than the Seventeen Saloon, a western-themed bar complete with Vietnamese dressed in cowboy outfits and walls adorned with the headdresses of American Indians and some oddly misplaced paintings of Mardi Gras. After getting used to paying only 75 cents for a beer, the asking price of $5 for the local brew on draft was a bit shocking. But when the entertainment came on stage, it quickly became evident that it was worth every penny.

For anyone with me in Thailand in the spring of 1999, let's just say that this place gave the Thai Cowboy in Chaing Mai and the performers in Assless chaps singing "Country roads take me home" in Bangkok a run for their money. What we got was not rockabilly or sounds from the heartland, but rather a metal band with a bit of Bon Jovi thrown in. This was made all the more surreal by the fact that the band was wearing "40 Watt" T-shirts from Athens, Georgia and the debut of coordinated thrashing hair routines. During the instrumental portions of each song, the 3 scantily clad backup singers AND the male lead would launch into highly syncronized gyrations of their long locks. Please see attached video - words do not do it justice.

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