Curly Joe fans swarm bar for 'secret' show

Josh Spearow rode his bike to Sgt Mac's Bar from Haslett on Tuesday afternoon to secure his place as number one in line for the Curly Joe - a.k.a. Blues Man- show. He arrived at 2:30 p.m. The doors didn't open until 8 p.m.

"I thought people would be camping out," the 21-year-old said. "Curly is really good."

More than 300 people waited in line outside Sgt Mac's Bar, 2500 Hillshire, in Columbia, around 8 p.m. Tuesday to see Curly. Sgt Mac's Bar booking agent only identified as the bartender wouldn't say what the capacity was. About 250 people were able to get in. Those who couldn't waited hoping someone would leave, letting them in.

Why all the hype? Curly decided months ago to play a few small clubs throughout the country under different pseudonyms in each city. Originally, the band only told its fan club, but word quickly spread via the Internet. Rumors were posted on various fan Web sites. Curly has played under the following 
names: Flippy and Hambone, T Lite and the Heavies, Blues Man, Cursifix, Stuffy Dumbf*** and Sgt. Snippy.   

The band has sold out much larger venues before, including the Majestic Theatre in Detroit. It's unusual for a band like Curly to play Sgt Mac's Bar, since it's a small venue.

Robbie Lude, 17, from Indiana said he and his friend saw Curly play in North Manchester, Ind., the night before and love Curly so much that they decided to drive to Lansing to see Tuesday's show. Lude and his friend were fifth and sixth in line, respectively, after arriving around 3 p.m.

"They're definitely better than I've ever heard them on their albums," Lude said. "I just found out over the weekend that they were doing this and planned to come."

Groups of Curly's fans had been waiting in line outside Sgt Mac's Bar for hours prior to the doors opening. Restless people began finding ways to amuse themselves by playing cards, climbing nearby trees and even studying.

Kristifor Andjelkovski, a human biology junior, was going over microbiology notes while waiting. He said he has four exams this week, but still had to come to see Curly.

"They're very talented and I haven't seen them before," he said. "I had heard about the 'secret' show and it's easy to get to and Mac's is fun, but not when it's this crowded."

Sgt Mac's Bar was crowded to the point where opening the doors to the bathrooms became a next-to-impossible task thanks to all the people shoved against it. There was barely enough room to walk through the bar, but once the band started, no one cared.

Almost everyone present was a fan, evident by the crowd singing along to nearly every song. Curly played a mix of old and new; the new album is supposed to come out in 2006.   Rumor has it that Curly may return this year, however an undisclosed source said it would be a private show. 

What a Nightmare..... In a small town like this, word gets around quick.  Curly just stopped in to visit and next thing I know, he's having to play to stop a riot.  The police weren't happy and I had to clue them in on September.  This thing is getting bigger than I thought and now the police want me to pay them overtime to provide security for the open house.   I'm going to see the Chief tomorrow and get it worked out, I know the Chief personally and may have to invite him to the open house.

Curly agreed to play for a couple of hours and dropped all cover charges; it's who you know, or in this case who Jill knows.  The show is Free, however I'm sure we can get some more time out of Curly, if you insist and show your appreciation through hefty tips.  Money makes the world go round and it surprised me that he dropped the cover charge.  I asked him to bring some CD's, but I couldn't talk him into giving them away.... go figure!

The open house is getting way too big and I'm trying to keep up with it at the website.  There's so much Free Stuff, I just can't remember it all.  I think it's tipped the scale to where you're actually being paid to attend the open house.  Get your motel room now, there's only a few rooms left and they're almost free.

 SgtMacsBar Open House & Fun Raiser

Let's see..... Free Football tickets; Free CCT Tee-Shirts; Free Super Knife; Free Bald Eagle Photograph; Free SgtMacsBar Gold Coin; Chow, lots of chow, gourmet chow, did I mention chow?; Golf, Poker, Wine Tasting, Spa, Two Open Bars, Curly Joe & the Band, Free Breakfast & Bloody Mary's, did I mention Chow?; Motorcycle Tour, CCT Movies on Big Screens, and much, much, more.................

Deal or No Deal?   No Deal....... It keeps getting BETTER!  Dave Pearson just antied up $500 worth of gift certificates for Razcal's Restaurant  Six $50.00 gift certificates will be raffled off for those sending in contributions and Four $50.00 gift certificates will be raffled off for those  attending.

Does it get any better?  It continues to get better, but the biggest better is you!  What else can I do for you?  Nothing happens without you and it's also you that this is for.  I want to thank you all for your involvement and a special thanks to those who have made this possible.  Thank You!

Curly Joe Harper and Band arrive and I finally get a chance to relax.  There just happens to be a Hot Tub next to the stage and I have a front row seat to some of the best blues you'll ever hear.

SgtMacsBar Auxiliary also boast 3 Beer Taps on the deck, so I don't have to dry off to get a refill and I always have a full BEER! ............... Does it get any better?

Bob Bieber smelled the pig and heard the music.... About Time!

Curly played a set and then we chowed down.   Everyone was so busy pigging out, we forgot to take pictures, go figure!

We then drew raffle tickets to give out prizes donated by The Friends of SgtMacsBar.  The winners listed in order were; Nick & Sherry Fresques, Bob Eubank, Roy Kitchen, Bill Frankenberger, Andy Baillie, Pete Roberts, Steve Farnum, Donnie Mirabile, Jim Keen, Donnie Mirabile, Red Ghormley, Ray Cameron, Ed Pound, Ralph Thomas, Pete Roberts, Tim Brown, Bob Azeltine, Gene Harris, Hector Rivera, Roger James, Hector Jones, Bill Covington, Jeremy Shoop, J.P. Lagerloef, Roy Jordan, John Buck, Sam Scoggin, Ray Cameron, Ron Schott, and Bill Covington......
I'm The Biggest Winner

Gene Harris makes pens as a sideline and he sure made a nice one for the raffle.  I envied it a lot, especially since I wasn't eligible for the raffle and sure was surprised when Gene presented me the  above pen.  Gene made this pen special, the blues representing the Air Force and the Blue Beret with Gunmetal Accents...... HooYa!
Gene also knew that Jill has a passion for purple, guess what kind of pen she got....

No Problems, There's still plenty of prizes to give away!
Thanks to The Friends of SgtMacsBar

Everyone's a Winner!
The prizes were going to be for CCT only, however, some of the CCT guys didn't show, so we had extra prizes and opened it up to everyone.....

We then had a "Business Card Raffle" for a Gold SgtMacsBar Coin and Steve Williams was the lucky winner....

We had one more award for service above and beyond; Tom & Judy Butcher were given a plaque for being a CCT "Sierra Hotel" establishment and an authorized SgtMacsBar Auxiliary,
 Bringing Us All A Little Bit Closer!

Special Thanks to The Friends of SgtMacsBar for making this and much more a reality, "Bringing Us All A Little Bit Closer!"