"Hey, Marci! Some red tailfins up ahead!" "Lis--that's Mr. Lucky dead ahead! Overtake mode, sister!"

Us two in our little black dresses in our little black T-bird streak to the mark: a lipstick red behemoth with bubble windows and foot-high tailfins--like a shark gnashing its teeth--as it tries to pass an old Ford pickup carrying green trashbags to the town dump. We steer alongside and yell, "Pull over, Lucky!"

"It's...the girls from F-F-FAD!" he deliberately stammers. Attempting a standard avoidance maneuver, with a twist, he fishtails but it's no use--we've got him right where we want him--against the rail. As the tire shrieks die and the smoke fades, this interview begins to the strains of the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack.

F: Lucky, you're so hard to pin down--where you off to?

L: Solano County Fairgrounds. Should make the fifth race. OK--you got me, so let's go. The corndogs are out of this world. C'mon, I'll win you's some teddy bears.

F: What's your game?

L: The machine gun that shoots out the red star.

F: You've been carrying the torch as San Francisco's lounge singer for years--but I hear you've changed...

L: The torch or the cross...

F: Lounge got popular again.

L: I heard. Now I'm taking it one step beyond, with that seven piece band...

F: The Mr. Lucky Experience!

L: You got it. Members of the Psychedelic Lounge Cats, with the fabulous Marilynn singing and dancing. It's in the tradition of Mancini, Bennett, and Tears for Fears.

F: Sorry, baby, you'll have to explain.

L: It's songs from all the eras in ll the styles you never expected, with our style on top. Like a fifties crooner just woke up, discovered all this new material and all the movements and beats from the past fifty years and, with no preconceptions, came out with a new act.

F: People I've talked to either love it or hate it.

L: Oh yeah, it shakes things up with a lot of surprises, twists, turns--that's what I like about it. We had quite a few walkouts when we opened with the spaghetti western style version of the Nirvana song. Don't get offended, gang! Hey--I'm a multi kind of guy--I love all you little eras...and all you little fads, too!

F: It's comedy?

L: No, but certainly includes that element. It's not a parody, rather, a serious pastiche-- a very musical adventure.

F: What's in the future for the MLE?

L: We did a super tape and video combo--includes a rave version of Billie Jean and a polka/disco/swing version of the theme from the Breakfast Club. Next up is the search for a marketeer. Another good thing about it is, it doesn't get old. People will look back at this era as a fast-paced jumble of styles they'll call late twentieth century. We've got that vantage point--like the music of the 2010's. With things moving faster all the time, we're putting it out today.

F: I certainly wouldn't call it cynical.

L: Exactly. People I know are sick to death of that jaded shtick. Nihilism is a turn-off. I'm careful to keep a little gel of naivete inside my shell. I say it's time to move into some shiny, new cultural forms.

F: How's the painting coming?

L: Fast. Still with the abstract humanism, and it's blossoming into new isms all the time.

F: What don't you do, Mr. Lucky?

L: I don't drive slow. But you two look like you could keep up. Corndogs, anyone?

As Lucky peels out, it's the Midnight Cowboy giving way to the sounds of the Rhinestone Cowboy, and we do keep up. Hey, Lucky tipped us to an exacta in the eighth. From corndogs to caviar in one afternoon...these things just happen to girls in convertibles.

 

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