Thursday, January 7, 2010
Posted by Paul Rimple
For the rich and unimaginative, the Radisson Hotel was the place to be on New Year’s Eve in Georgia. The 300$ a head banquet room, that had once been the site of a kiosk stand just a few years ago when Abkhazian refugees occupied the former hotel, was filled to capacity with 30-something year old Georgian men puffing on their annual New Year’s Eve Cuban cigars, while their luxuriously dressed women all scrutinized each other from raised chins. In one corner, a table of maidens sat together exploiting cigarettes for their fashion value, as if they had just learned to smoke minutes earlier.
The wait staff delivered French Champagne, Johnny Walker Blue label and Chivas Regal to the tables. We, the band, got water, upon request. Every 30 minutes or so, we took a break for the raffle. Every New Year’s party in the city has some sort of variety show and gift give-away and the Radisson was no exception. I stood in the wing between the sound guy and a table of blue hairs. An old lady next to me asked when the Brazilian dancers were starting. “I don’t know. After us,” I replied. She sighed and rolled her eyes.
The manager had asked us to dress in white shirts and black slacks. We looked like servants and played like servants. Nobody was listening expect for the token drunk at the end of our third set, who came up to the foot of the stage and teetered to the music. We finished up around 4 to no applause whatsoever. That would come later, when the Brazilian dancers arrived on the dance floor.
(photos lifted off http://content.lib.washington.edu and gur.ge)