The band was oozing into the last strains of "Love Me Tender." Out on the dance floor, Spike and Mary Lou were snuggled against the fading melodic strains of "their song." The music died and a hush fell over the crowd. The band paused. The heavy, murky atmosphere of the late-night bar was thick with anticipation.
Suddenly, the drummer burst into an infectious, hypnotizing rhythm. In an instant the nostalgic lethargy of romance that moments before had pervaded the entire beery, smoke-filled-scene, was thrown off. Coats and sweaters followed, and were thrown off, too. "Down in Louisiana... next to New Orleans... lived a country boy... up in the evergreens..." Boogie was back. It hadn't been away.
The scene is not 1955. Nor is it '57, '58, '59. It's today. Now, Every day. The sport of the fifties is in vogue again. Boogie's back. Back Boogie.
The dancers transformed the alcohol drowsiness of the joint into a steamy, tangled jungle of arms and legs. There wasn't room for much refinement, but that was only a minor hindrance and of little importance. The essence was there.
In the center of things Spike and Mary Lou were the focus of attention. Shake, Baby, Shake, Et Cetera, Et Cet-er-a, Back and forth. Back and forth, Jitterbug, jitterbug, jailhouse rock. Do-wah... Do-wah... Diddy... Diddy... "Wow, Spike, you sure can move!!" "Yeah." The band stopped. A satisfied drop of perspiration rolled off the end of Spike's nose. Mary Lou sighed.
"Hel-lo-o-o... I'm the Big Bopper." The band dramatically swelled into crescendo. "Chantilly Lace... and a purty face... and a pony tail hanging down..." The crowd screamed. The frenzy of the dance floor exploded again. Spike and Mary Lou were Big League. They knew the moves... all the moves, "...there ain't nothing in the world... like a big-eyed girl... to make me act so funny... make me spend my money..." The crowd parted. Spike and Mary Lou accepted the spotlight. Back and forth. Jitterbug rock. Through the legs... skin the cat. Up and out. Over the hip. Round and round. It was like the World Series, and bigger than Joe DiMaggio. Man what sport. Boogie... Boogie... Yeah.
Boogie-sport isn't new. In the fifties athletics were big. Boogie was big in the fifties too. It's no coincidence. Boogie is big athletics. There can be no argument that the scene is the highest degree of athletics. It is a skill, and a highly-refined one. There is more that goes into good Boogie than goes into a wishbone option. And as anyone that has lived through an all-night oldies trip can attest, it's physicality in its purest form. A night at Charley's Place or any such beer-room dive supplying The Golden Sound, will show that it's more workout than a two-hour trip to the IAB.
Spike and Mary Lou sidled closer. "Workin' in the fillin' station.... too many tasks... check the tires... check the oil... wash the windows... Dollar gas... too much monkey business... too much monkey business." It was time for bump and grind. Bump at the elbow. Bump and grind at the hip. The band speeded up. The crowd licked their lips, joined the action, sipped more beer. It was Mary Lou and Spike all alone, center stage. Bump, Bump, Bump. And grind. "Too much monkey business for me-e-e-e."
The band stopped and everyone collapsed into a damp heap. "Be-cause... I'm too pooped to pop." Not a chance. Once again people were up. Once again the crowd exploded its stored energy. So fine. So fine. He's so fine... "Spike, you're such a man." "You know it Mary Lou. Here, hold my ring." Good old rock and roll. Everyone in two lines. Stroll. Memories of The Diamonds. Ten couples in a line. Up and down. The band played on and the beer flowed.
Ten years ago Mary Lou would have been a cheerleader. And Spike a mean linebacker. Or else a hood. There's not much difference, in either case. They were athletes... and still are. Spike could sure Boogie.
"You can rock and you can roll... you can stomp and you can stroll... at the hop." One last time. Do the do. Spike took Mary Lou around the waist. It was like old times. "Couple number one you're looking fine." But it isn't yesterday....it's today. The Boogie jock is back. Rock around the clock tonight. So fine...so fine...they're so fine:
"And now, once more by special request...."
"Chantilly Lace...and a pretty face...and a pony tail hanging down....Oh baby that's what I like."