My Friend Henry's Review Of Billy Corgan's Show Last Friday!


Can you imagine the guy who wandered into Madame Zuzu's tea emporium last Friday, completely unaware that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was giving a nine-hour performance based on his interpretation of a book.  Well, that guy was my friend Henry, who did just that and wrote me this email:

I don't get to jonesing for tea often, but two or three times a year, if I see a new place that looks like they might serve a respectable oolong, I'll pop in.  Such was the case (last Friday) out in Highland Park.  I went to see a guy about a cell phone and, as I'm walking back to my car, I spot a place called Zuzu's and decide to give it a go.

I step in and, once my eyeglasses adjust, I see this seven-foot-tall Uncle Fester stunt double tinkling what turns out to be quite a large and no doubt expensive collection of Moogs.  Thing is, he doesn't seem to have a real destination in mind.  I literally asked the woman behind the counter, "Is that guy just trying them out? Did I stumble into a music shop and order tea again?!"  She gave me a dirty look, polite, but still contemptuous.

With steaming oolong in hand, I look and see that all the seats were taken, but not a single Asian.  Who was it that said, "If you don't see an Asian in a Chinese restaurant or a tea shop, LEAVE!"?  That would be my Asian girlfriend, Pingyang, who reminds me every time we try out a new Thai place.

Wait, there's one over there. Just took me awhile to see past the rose-thorn tattoo running the length of her leg, which I would not know existed if she was wearing PANTS.  I mean, not that I'm complaining, but who wears shorts in February?!  Did she not get the memo about this winter being a total ice bitch?

Then it hits me: "THIS IS A PERFORMANCE!"

Luckily, I picked up on that before making a further ass of myself.  Those opportunities present themselves so rarely that I took it as a good sign.  So I'm drinking my oolong and watching Uncle Fester, who by now is slumped over, smug in his self-importance, holding a glass of tea in one hand as he plods with the other. By that point, I almost wish I had walked into a music shop by accident.  Some kid taking his first tentative crack at "Stairway To Heaven" is surely preferable to this.

Or is it?

Maybe I'm the one being self-important.  Dude, I think to myself, relax.  I stretch my neck, work my shoulders a bit, and then I unclench my butt cheeks.

Ahhh, this is kind of relaxing.  Fuck, I could get used to this.  After a few more minutes, the music, if you can call it that, begins to take on a "Vangelis record played at the wrong speed" majesty that I like even more once I spot a couple really nice looking women to watch.  One cute rocker chick was killing me with a 30-year-old Harley Davidson t-shirt that she looked absolutely amazing in.  At one point, I approached her, we talked about the tea she was drinking, and she let me feel her bicep.

Anyhoo, I killed an hour, it felt like three, thereby making me feel like I got a more shit done than I usually do Wonder who that dude was and how long he ended up playing?

Henry

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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