Through the years I would hear that Granny Go-Go was still dancing around Tacoma. Stu Martin had long since left town to host movie shows in California. One night, when Kurt, Kahuna, Dale and I were hanging out at the Java Jive, there was an old woman dancing to the juke box by herself. The guys were amazed. I knew it must be her and told them all about Granny Go-Go. Later we thought it would be a real blast to get her to dance but would never have believed that she would actually be entertaining Girl Trouble and Tacoma.
GRANNY'S FIRST GIRL TROUBLE SHOW
Girl Trouble is always on the lookout for special entertainers that we think are totally unique. After we saw Sylvia Eads dancing at the Java Jive one night, we kept thinking of what a cool possibility it would be to have her dance at one of our shows. Of course, by the time we had decided we had to put this brilliant idea into effect it was a couple of weeks later and Granny Go-Go was gone-gone.
We figured we'd find out how to contact her someday but we couldn't imagine she'd be that interested in dancing at one of our shows. Through a coincidence, Kurt actually knew someone who lived next door to Granny Go-Go. He arranged to meet with her and was surprised to learn that she'd love to dance at a Girl Trouble gig. Our plan was to have her dance a a gig that we knew would be well attended, so we decided to get her for Thee Headcoats show at Seattle's Off-Ramp.
On gig day we drove to the Off Ramp and unloaded our equipment.
Dale and Kahuna stayed at the club while Kurt and I drove back
to Tacoma to pick her up. The weather was horrible. Even by Northwest
standards we drove back of I-5 through a HEAVY rainstorm. When
we finally got to Granny's pad she was all ready to go (a true
professional). Since we had noticed a huge traffic jam that stretched
for miles Northbound on I-5, we wisely chose to take the usually
slower Old Highway 99 route. It was slow going but at least it
WAS going. Granny told stories and jokes and we sweated the ride
back thinking we might miss the whole damn gig. Dale and Kahuna
sweated it out back at the club, wondering if we'd ever show up.
Kurt skillfully maneuvered the GT tour van through the traffic and we pulled up with only seconds to spare. It was tough getting Granny up to the stage because the place was packed. If we could have only taken pictures of people's expressions as Granny passed by them! They just couldn't figure her out.
Granny stayed off to the side of the stage while we played our set. The crowd was particularly enthusiastic (or drunk) and we knew that they'd be thrilled to catch Granny's act. For that dramatic effect, Granny wears a plain looking "house dress", to cover her gold lame go-go outfit with the black fringe, until it's time to spring into action. Granny must have dug the Girl Trouble sound because she even dance a little before her "song" was played. People in the audience were enjoying her dancing even before she started to let loose.
Then it was time. Kurt gave her an appropriate introduction, she shed her outer garment, and hit the stage. The crowd went absolutely nuts! Granny's performance has such an effect on audiences. We played an Elvis favorite for her; "Little Sister". With 500 people cheering her on, she really pulled out the stops. We finished our show with another song or two and the crowd cheered for us to bring Granny back on for an encore. So we played the Collins Kids rocker, "Mercy" while she wowed them a second time. Kurt held up a placard that read "Go Granny Go" on one side, and "Go! Go! Go!" on the other. The crowd chanted that as she kicked into high gear. What a show stopper! Granny's first performance at the Off Ramp in Seattle; Dale and K.P. are getting show stopping tips. Photo by Ron Hall.
The Girl Trouble van mechanic and chauffeur (aka Dad) drove
specially to the club to get Granny Go-Go back home for us. I
suspect everyone figured he was some sort of city fire inspector
as he made his way up to the stage. After Granny signed a few
autographs she was led through the crowd and out the back door.
Kurt and I watched as Dad and Granny drove down the street and onto the I-5 on-ramp. I think she had already started telling him some of her dirty jokes.