When I was just a kid, I walked into Budget Tapes & Records in Cherry Creek to ask Rusty, my friend's older brother, for some music recommendations. From behind the counter, he asked me what kind of stuff I was listening to, and I said I was a big fan of the Clash. Turning, he scanned the massive wall of cassette tapes (this was still a few years before CDs) and then handed me a few tapes, one of which was the Pogues' Rum, Sodomy & the Lash. He said it was a phenomenal album, just released, and if I didn't dig it, I could return it.
I took the tape home, listened to the first track and said something like, "Jesus, what the fuck is this incoherent drunken Irishman singing about?" My punked-up, Clash-loving ears didn't want anything to do with guys playing Irish folk songs, even though I'm half Irish. So I took the tape back the next day, and Rusty accepted it, scowling. A few years later, while listening to the Pogues on the Straight to Hell soundtrack, I realized that returning Rum, Sodomy & the Lash was probably one of the dumbest things I'd ever done. Hell, I should've been lashed for it. Because after giving it another chance, I realized the album was damn close to a masterpiece, almost on par with the Clash's London Calling.
When the Pogues got together in 1982, the band was originally called Pogue Mahone, which is essentially Irish slang for "kiss my arse." So when I heard about a bar named Pogue Mahone's Irish Pub in Parker (17904 Cottonwood Drive, to be specific), I made a note to visit the place. I finally did last Wednesday, sitting down for a pint of Guinness during the pub's weekly trivia night, just as the host read off this question: "What were the names of the two rival gangs in The Outsiders?"
"I haven't seen that movie since I was, like, three," a guy at the bar says.
"I'll give you a hint," the host says. "It wasn't the Bloods and Crips."
I'd seen the film back in high school, after reading the novel, but the only thing that had stuck with me about The Outsiders over the years was how hot Diane Lane was in the movie. (For the record, the answer to the gang question is the Greasers and the Socs, pronounced "soshes.")
I didn't have a clue about the next few questions, either, but then the host asked about the two films starring Keanu Reeves that had states in the title. No one in the bar had a clue. "The only two movies I can think of that he was in were Speed and The Matrix," one guy offered.
I think Reeves has pretty much sucked in everything he's done, but I remembered that one of those sucky movies had "Idaho" in the title and had Reeves playing a sidekick to River Phoenix, who fell asleep about 300 times. It took me a few minutes, but I finally came up with My Own Private Idaho and Feeling Minnesota. (Turns out Reeves was also in a flick with "Pennsylvania" in the title.)
"Did they ever play in theaters?" the Speed guy asked after hearing my answer.
While the Wednesday trivia night was definitely entertaining, the pub also features live music on the weekends, including the traditional Irish band Juice o' the Barley, whose slogan is "Irish music to drink whiskey by." The same could be said for the music of the Pogues. And Shane McGowan, that band's former frontman, who was always looking where the streams of whiskey flow, would probably feel right at home at Pogue Mahone's.
Club Scout: Speaking of Irish pubs, the owners of the Celtic Tavern (1801 Blake Street) recently opened another location at Riverside Downs, 2620 West Belleview Avenue in Littleton, and it sports a perfect summer patio overlooking the Platte River. And the Lure (1434 Blake Street) just opened its swank upstairs VIP area, complete with a bar top imported from Bali, cowhides from Italy and exposed brick and layered stone.
The Lotus Entertainment folks will present several White Series events over the Memorial Day weekend, starting on Thursday, May 22, with a Dom Perignon masked affair at 24K (1416 Market Street), with candlelight and exotic films. On Friday, May 23, Amy McCarthy (Jenny's younger sister) will host the eighth annual Courtyard White Party at 5º (1475 Lawrence), with a fashion show by Arden B. And on Sunday, May 25, you'll have to wear your whites to get into Monarck (1416 Market Street), where there will be $20 bottles of champagne all night.
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