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Sunday, April 15, 2012

4-07-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #95 (What else happened at the Main Squeeze?)


Parties with celebrities, weekly discotheques for swingin’ singles with free food and a mob scene – these were actually the exceptions to what life at the Main Squeeze in fabulous Chelsea was like, as a rule.

The club was actually nearest to the Sloane Square tube station, which I’d frequent when not biking to work.  Weather permitting, I’d ride a used black bicycle (a three speed I picked up for cheap at a jumble sale or something) to the Main Squeeze and park it, outside, chained & locked up.  Something about riding the streets late at night, the romantic feeling of being all alone in a sleepy town with ancient roads and architecture, appealed to me.  Besides, it was only a few miles to my bedsitter flat on Earl’s Court Road.  I mean, the tubes cut off service before work ended, most nights, so that wasn’t practical unless I wanted to black cab it home.  And cabs were expensive! 

So much for my practical side; I suppose I’d have tried to get temp work or something in an office if I thought that was available “off the books.” But bar and restaurant work always seemed a good survival job in a pinch.

My true calling – music and writing – was still something I pursued with ferocity on the side.  But the topic of this blog is “What else happened at the Main Squeeze?” so here we go:

Generally, I’d come in around 5 o’clock, do some setting up, have a staff meal.  I’d get changed into my Main Squeeze black one-piece  zip-up catsuit, and fix my makeup. Then, with the rest of the staff, we’d stand around, polish stuff, vacuum again if the carpet needed it.  Customers would come to the restaurant side from around 6 to 9, stopping in for cocktails on the bar side (my section) either before or after dinner. Then they’d stay until closing -- which in our case as a members club was about an hour later than the pubs were permitted to remain open -- drinking.

I must say, I’d been around drinkers in New York City, but these Englishmen (and yes, the customers were mostly men) took drinking to a new level.  Not that I’m judging! Merely an observation *-)

But really, I was glad that most of the customers either walked home or cabbed it.  There were some regulars who lived in the neighborhood who’d come in for a nightcap, and others who’d bring business meetings there. I got to know a few of them. . . 

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