Todd Mauldin plays the blues at the Mustang Ranch (and whorehouse) in Nevada. Here is his take on the experience, video and all.
MEMO from the GMP Arts and Entertainment Desk
To: Lisa and Tom
Re: Bikers, Whores, Bluesmen, and Sinning Responsibly
Lisa and Tom,
As you may remember, me and my partner Jack went out to the Wild Horse Saloon/Mustang Ranch to play some music at the end of this past September on account of them needing entertainment for a BBQ and Poker Run they were hosting for the bikers during “Street Vibrations”. Here’s the video of what happened. The timing may be awkward, being just after the holidays and all, but then again, at least to me, few things say “happy holidays” like boobs, bikers, and Hellbustin’.
As I told you guys before, I’m generally ambivalent about legalized prostitution and strip clubs, and fully expect to get in trouble because of it as soon as you post this video, because I’m well aware there are lots and lots of people out there who feel very strongly about the subject. Me, I don’t frequent these kinds of places (except when hired to play music) but also don’t feel an overwhelming sense of judgment about them (or casinos or bars, for that matter).
However, I do confess a little hesitation about going out there and doing the gig… and that’s mainly the fault of you two, and my conscience. Between Jesus and the GMP, I had to give it a thorough think-over to decide if a “good man” would play this show, at a whorehouse, with a bunch of bikers and prostitutes, and whore-mongers. I came down as saying “yes”.
Let me lay out my justification, just for the sake of doing so, and to provide a convenient list for trolls and moralistic high-grounders to pick apart:
1. First rule of playing the blues is “get the money,” and the money was good. We were there for the same reason everybody else was, to make money, and have fun. We certainly made less money than the girls did, or the cathouse did, but we also had the added advantage of being able to keep our clothes on and stay off our backs. And we may, or may not, have had more fun, depending on how much the girls enjoy their jobs.
2. As a man of faith, I had to pause about whether or not I should be seen out there, but remembered they say that the Lord I try to follow didn’t wimp out from hanging around with prostitutes and rough people. I figured I should go and let my little light shine. Maybe there would be something redemptive in our music for somebody.
4. I’m a grown-ass man and know who I am, and am capable of conducting myself like a gentleman around women in various stages of undress, as well as a professional musician, and capable of acting like one no matter the distractions.
5. Bikers enjoy our music.
We shot most of the footage for the video before the show and on our breaks, and after the show. We got a little of us performing, but I assure you, we were mostly inconsequential to the proceedings. The main deal out there was selling sex, and cousins, business was a-boomin’.
I chose a song I wrote awhile back called “Sin Responsibly” for the video. Hope you like it. It’s a personal motto. Ultimately, that’s my idea of how a good man can still call himself a good man, and be a good man, whether you’re hanging out with bikers and whores, or Malibu millionaires, or your own friends and family. Experience has shown me that sin and mistakes are impossible to avoid. All you can do is try to be responsible about it, help as much as you can, hurt as little as you can, and be as kind as you can, and do the very best that you can. Leave the rest up to God, or at the very least (this is for those athiests out there) leave the rest up to people who are more competent than you.
Here are some highlights from the adventure:
1. We survived. And no, we didn’t spend the night out there, nor did we take our pay “in trade.” We loaded up in Jack’s Hellbustermobile (a 1979 Buick Rivera with “HELBUSTR” plates) and went home. So whoever bet the other way… you lost. I’ll take a check.
2. There were only two spots of trouble during the time we were there: one fight between one of the chicks that worked at the Mustang and one that worked at the Wild Horse, for reasons unknown. I didn’t get video of it because we were playing at the time. It mostly consisted of cussing each other out and shoving, in the parking lost. We helpfully provided the soundtrack by playing “One Bad Stud” by the Blasters while this was going on. One of the many rules is you keep playing no matter what happens and so we did. The fight was contained by several security guys, including one named “Tractor”. The other was some kind of trouble that happened on Friday inside the Mustang that had a few security guys running, but we never found out what that was about.
3. The shooting in Sparks (I don’t know if you guys heard about it, there was a fatal shooting at John Asquaga’s Nugget Friday night in Sparks NV, between the Hell’s Angels and the Vagos, causing the event to be shut down in Sparks, but not Reno or Virginia City) didn’t affect us out at the Ranch. The Ranch was wisely not allowing in people wearing colors.
4. Perhaps the most remarkable entertainer (it seems so rude to call them “whores” except in the abstract) I saw a 25-yr old, 7′ tall, 250 lb redhead in a pink thong. You can see her at about the 2:09 mark of the video. “Statuesque” doesn’t do her justice, she was simply “monumental”. She could have easily started at left tackle for the Patriots. Or at least the Bills.
5. Our last set was interrupted by the organizers, who wanted to invite several women to sit on a motorcycle seat and have an orgasm while a guy revved the engine… that’s the second to last shot of the video. Unfortunately, the bike they picked to put the girls on had a gasket problem and smoked like a locomotive and I’m pretty sure those girls were faking it, because it had to be really hard to get in the mood while choking on exhaust fumes. But then again, women are very mysterious.
6. In addition to beer and food vendors, there was also a dildo booth. And Mustang Ranch shirts for sale that said “We Suck.”
7. On Saturday, they had a booth were you could get your photo taken with your bike and a topless lady for just $20.
8. We observed at least two young ladies strip completely naked in the parking lot (possibly on a bet), which is not something we see every day at one of our shows. Also the skate-punk-rock themed entertainer chick was walking around on Saturday with a big bandage on her calf, when on Friday she did not have one…. she told us she burned her leg on a motorcycle exhaust pipe. Job hazards, job hazards…
9. I’m noticing a trend, that when we play our regular blues, people at places like this enjoy it a lot… but when we play our up-beat spirituals, they really, really enjoy it. I saw a couple of chicks bumping and grinding while we were playing “Get Right Church”, and some old drunk biker gave us $20 tip when we played “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning”. Kinda cool, but I confess, when the storm clouds rolled in on Saturday, I was a little worried about lightning…
10. The last shot in the video is of this one entertainer out there who really, really wanted to dance on-stage. And then wouldn’t get off. She kept teetering around while we loaded out and the next band loaded in, and as far as I know, had to be carried off by security. I think there was some kind of substance involved in her passionate interest in dancing.
So, there you go. Hellbusters go to whorehouse, sin responsibly, make music video, lots of new friends, and tell all about it. If that ain’t good journalism, nothing is.
Download the MP.3 of ‘Sin Responsibly’ here: