Bell, Rainham, Essex   Leave a comment



The Bell was abandoned save for the bartender — a young woman who couldn’t have reached 25 years of age, yet — and a latter day Teddy boy slumped at the end of the bar. There was Elvis music on the jukebox, those Vegas era ballads that usually end with a soaring long-held final note and a karate kick. I reckoned I knew who had put these on and was proven wrong when she was the one to reload the jukebox this time with earlier stuff from the King.

“Elvis fan?”
She nodded. The song on was “All Shook Up.” I kept this story to myself at the time, but you might appreciate it:

New Year’s Eve is our anniversary and in 1988, while I was still driving a Taxi, we went out for some dinner and were heading home to Knight Park for an early night of hallucinogens. On the way, I decided to stop in at the Northside Tavern which at the time was as big a dive as existed in Atlanta…not Dive trademark like hipsters and yuppies would have it, but the sort of place I would pour a customer into the back of the taxi from at 3am and then drop them back off at when it opened at 10.




It was as festive as it could get in those days. There were three guys half asleep at the bar and a two women sharing a table, smoking and staring at the floor. Some History Channel program on fighter jets was on and every once in a while one of the barflies would look up and grunt some approval or disapproval of whatever was currently featured.

We took our cocktails to the other room where the billiards table was. The bartender yelled over, “Donnie, yer gonna have to get up. These people want to shoot pool.” We gestured for Donnie to stay put, fearing he might hurt himself climbing down from the felt top.

I went to the jukebox and played a few things and the first to come up was “All Shook Up.” It was loud but no one seemed to notice it was even on EXCEPT that every time it got to the pause between these two lines:

I’m in love…
I’m all shook up

Everyone in the bar except us loudly grunted a “HUNHHHNHHH!” Try it yourself. It is the only way you’ll ever hear it again.


Posted May 26, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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