To the Retro Bar last night for the weekly pop quiz. In a city of Identikit gay bars, the Retro Bar is refreshing. There's a jukebox packed with Noo Wave Classix, a variety of events throughout the week [I'm fairly tempted to try my hand at the DIY DJ night], and most importantly the management really care about the place and its clientele. The Pumpkin Publog people would like it.
Anyway, back to the quiz. We were two players short last night. Karl was staying in to play with his new widescreen telly, and Dave is on a new-year-must-get-in-shape craze. So it was up to me and Jonathan to hold the fort.
We got three-and-a-half out of five for the new releases [who knew, or cared, that Terrorvision had a new single?]; we knew that Slik's lead singer was Midge Ure; we got all the Duran Duran covers [earning a vital half point for apparently getting Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel and the Furious Five exactly right, though a quick trawl on the net reveals no-one's really sure]; we couldn't name the musical that "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" came from; we knew far too much about Dire Strait's Money For Nothing; we knew Marilyn Manson's real name and the title of his current album; and we did incredibly well in the disco round [sadly I remembered Leif Garrett].
But we didn't think we'd done well enough to win. 15 out of 20. Wendy, the manager, started counting down: "Has anyone got 20? 19? 18? 17? 16?" Our hearts stopped. "15?" We screamed. So did another team. A tie-break resulted. I went head-to-head with a girl from the other team. "First one to shout out the name of this band wins."
Now, Wendy wasn't to know this, but when I was a teenager, my walls - and ceiling - were literally covered with pictures of Debbie Harry. I had a scrapbook filled with yet more photos of her. I know everything there is to know about Blondie, have everything they released, owned a "Blondie Is A Group" badge, and I still come over all funny everytime I hear one of their songs. So it wasn't really fair that the tie-breaker was the first few bars of One Way Or Another. But fairness be damned, we won.
We didn't win the big money though. We drew the wrong envelope. And ended up with oh-so-stylish Retro Bar T-shirts. But we won.
Take on the reigning champions at 9pm next Tuesday at the Retro Bar, St George's Court, off the Strand, London.