Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Things I learned at the nudist colony

One thing about being a freelance musician...you wind up in some strange places.  A few weekends ago it was playing lead guitar for a disco band at a nudist colony (which, for reasons of my continued employment, shall remain nameless, as shall the band).  This was my second time playing this gig but the first time I was so focused on remembering the songs and things onstage were so chaotic that I wasn't really able to track all that was going on.  This time I was more able to observe, for better or for worse, though part of my brief was to do my job and not stand there and gawk at people.

People find out you're playing a nudist colony and they get all excited about it, but whatever folks are thinking it's like is what it isn't.  First of all YES I WORE CLOTHES, though there was a comical misunderstanding because I thought I was supposed to dress like the '80s and I had hauled out some ridiculous paisley spandex that I wore when I was a lad, and as ludicrous as it looked on me now that I'm pushing middle age I don't think it looked any better when I was 20.  And of course when I got there everybody was dressed more or less normally, so the spandex stayed mercifully in my day bag.

Anyway, vis a vis the nudist colony, what you need to know is:

1.  I was one of the youngest people there, and I'm not that young.

2.  I was one of the fittest people there, and I'm not that buff.

3.  Some older women actually look better in the altogether.  However, apparently once past 50, clothes almost invariably do make the man.

4.  Many nudists have special outfits that cover most of their bodies but leave critical parts hanging and dangling.

5.  It only costs $450 a month to live at a nudist colony.  I think a lot of us would strip down for that.

The folks were super nice.  And I wasn't above taking a sneak peek now and then though since the best body in the room by far belonged to our new, leotard-clad Italian lead singer, I had the best seat in the house anyway (as did she, I might add).  There was a pleasant hippie vibe to some of the people which I don't exactly relate to, but I kind of approve of.  The one thing that bugged me were the nudist families.  I just don't think the nudist thing should extend to the kids.  That's my own prejudice.

My own issue with the nudist concept is that showboating of any kind just rubs me the wrong way (and rubbing the wrong way at a nudist colony can be perilous, let me tell you).   The nudity doesn't bug me -- you acclimate yourself to that mostly, though someone will do something particularly acrobatic when dancing to draw your eye and then you see something you didn't really want to see -- but I wonder if the motivation for some isn't freedom, but exhibitionism, and exhibitionism for its own sake annoys me.  I think if you want attention, you should do something valuable to get it.  It's not for me to judge what's in another's heart, and it's not my business anyway, I'm there to play...however these people want to live is not my concern, and they guard their privacy very zealously.  But at the back of my mind that's the thing that nags at me a little.

The best thing about the gig was making friends with the new singer, who took me clothes shopping later that week.  She is a sweetheart and I desperately needed the new clothes...and it sure was cool having someone with a European eye to tell you "no, that color's not for you."

Quote of the night, to me, from a husband re his topless wife.  "Be careful, she might fuck you."  What do you make of that?  (We were under strict orders to not fraternize with the locals, so I escaped this conversation as gracefully as I could).


  1. Awesome, been wondering how that gig/s went! Wacky humans.

  2. Good to read your writing again, Adam.

    Or should that be, you're writing again ?

    Eh, whatever, it's well-scribed.

  3. Thanks Andrew...spread the word!

  4. Hi Adam--
    It would be interesting to see the playlist for this show (if it's not covered by a non-disclosure agreement). Just like some railfans like to know the "consist" of a special train (numbers of all the locomotives and cars), I'm curious about song lineups for given occasions. Track 4 of LPR came to mind, but it's not disco (!). One of my favorite songs of that era is "Dim All the Lights", the theme song for the Energy Conservation conference.

  5. I'm surprised they're still called nudist colonies. By now, you'd think they would be "alternately dressed communities."

  6. I'd rather not post a set list, just because I will probably do this gig again, and I'd hate to have somebody come across this blog and think that I said too much about this most private of shows. It's your standard '70s and '80s party set list, a lot of dance music and things like that. I played lead guitar and sang backups, and a couple of leads.

  7. I think there IS another name for it, actually..."sun clubs"? Something like that.