Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cocktail Of The Week: The Pink DeVille

Here’s to the King. Well. Actually. Here’s to the King’s mother. To be more precise, here’s to the King’s mother’s pink Cadillac, a 1955 DeVille. Today is Elvis’ birthday, and I was thinking of his taking care of business in buying Cadillac’s for his Memphis Mafia, but the first Cadillac he bought and gave away was a pink number, painted his mother’s favorite color, and his favorite car. Ebis loved his Mama.

Clint Eastwood was in a movie called Pink Cadillac. Bruce Springsteen wrote a song called Pink Cadillac. Eddie Cochran, that hiccupping rockabilly, wrote a song called Pink Peg Slacks, but even today a man would have to be secure in his masculinity to wear them. We're not counting the men who strut around wearing those Lilly Pulitzer preppy sissy pants with little lime green golf clubs easily categorized as “Your wife dresses you funny.”

The Pink DeVille Cocktail

Created by Chris, a bartender at Martin's Tavern, in honor of this day, The Pink DeVille consists of the following:

The Pink DeVille Cocktail

1 and 1/2 ounces Stoli Raspberry Vodka
Splash of Cranberry Juice
1 ounce Pink Grapefruit Juice

Shake and pour into chilled martini glass with sugared rim

…or take a handful of pink pills and wash them down with a glass of pink champagne.

"I'm afraid to wake up each morning. I can't believe that all of this has happened to me. I just hope it lasts." ~~ Elvis Presley some time in the 1950's.

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Blogger NYCD/DRFS/aka Sue said...

I'm so glad the Cube is back in the saddle. I missed your ruminations Cube!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Thanks, Sue. I checked out your group blog site...very interesting.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

It lasted ... Elvis lives on! Even though the Weekly World News has folded, I'm sure there are still Elvis sightings every day.

Pink pills? I don't know my prescription medicines ... are they uppers or downers or hallucinogenics? Or ... ??

8:13 AM  
Blogger I-66 said...

I'm just glad the pills weren't blue.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Pink to be thematic, Reya. Elvis didn't care what color his pills were. Just keep them comin', Dr. Nick. Did you ever see the film Payday where Rip Torn plays this degenerate country and western singer of some notoriety? He climbs into the back of his limousine du jour, and he's got a clear waste bag he's slinging around, with every pill known to man in there. He starts rooting around, trying to find the right pharmecutical cocktail to set the mood. A thoughtful son, too, he stops by to see his Momma and makes sure she has enough "nerve" pills to keep her cranked and going. It was all very over the top, all very Southern Gothic and obvious reference points back to Elvis' own habits. The tag line for the movie was, "If you can't smoke it, drink it, spend it, or love it, forget it."

The character is like Elvis' evil twin. Ironically, Elvis was a twin. His brother, Jesse Garon, died at birth. I found a review of the movie on the net:

"If there is any justice on this whirling glob of dirt and water, there will be a major rediscovery of Daryl Dukes's Payday, in which world-class hellraiser Rip Torn gives the performance of his career as country-and-western warbler Maury Dann. Currently unavailable on DVD, and written by a now deceased novelist, Don Carpenter, whose entire oeuvre appears to be out-of-print, Payday is the epitome of an overlooked classic (memo to Roger Ebert: you gave the movie four stars in 1975; maybe this could make next year's Overlooked Fest lineup). It's aimless and ambiguous and authentic in ways most films are afraid to be nowadays; for those of us baptized in the rigid structure of storytelling (thanks, Star Wars!), it's constantly surprising and never dull, a perfect reflection of life on the road with a bastard like Maury Dann.

Whomever Carpenter patterned Dann after, I hope for our sake that he's either settled down or made peace with his maker. One of the great things about Payday, which is basically two enormously eventful days in the life of the performer, is that Duke, Carpenter and Torn never deign to portray the character in a redemptive light. If there's anything wrong with the hard-drinkin', hard-boozin', hard-fuckin' life Dann is leading, he'd just as soon sock you in the mouth as hear about it. We get a perfect, scuzzy illustration of Dann's low character early in Payday when he celebrates a successful nightclub gig by luring an admirer's date out to the parking lot for a clumsily coerced quickie in the backseat of his Cadillac. The women in Dann's life are interesting in this regard; though they definitely want to sleep with him, they're completely taken aback by his brusque manner of seduction (which, in this case, amounts to opening the door of a car and indicating "Get in!"). If you're desperate to find something respectable about Dann's character, there's this: he isn't one for false pretenses. If you ride with Dann, he's aboveboard about the fact that you're going to get fucked. (For the bulk of the film, he keeps two women with him in Cadillac: the new girlfriend/groupie and the one on the way out.)

If you're a woman, that is. If you're a fella, you're subject to a whole host of indignities: at any given moment, Dann might take a poke at you, steal your woman, rouse you at an ungodly hour to go shoot some birds, ask you to take the rap for his law-abusin' ways and/or fire you from the band. To hurtle about in Dann's orbit is to live dangerously. After a while, we begin to understand that Dann's mercurial personality is the reason he's not a huge star; people talk him up as the next Johnny Cash, but Dann is too unstable to play the game long enough or smart enough to take that next step. When a rural radio deejay - who's been wearing out Dann's latest single - prods the singer to make an appearance at a local charity event, Dann flatly refuses to play quid pro quo.

Think of Gary Cole's incorrigible father figure in Talladega Nights played completely straight, and you've got a pretty accurate picture of Maury Dann. There's a fantastic scene midway through the film where Dann stops by his ex-wife's house bearing birthday presents for one of his kids; the problem is, Dann's not even close to the actual date (and he doesn't even seem clear on who's birthday it is in the first place). An argument ensues, which is punctuated by Dann hauling off and striking his ex. There's a long, anguished beat. Dann quietly takes a seat on a hideously designed couch in a hideously decorated living room as the freshly-slapped woman exits the frame. Finally, she timidly reenters and begins to apologize for Dann. It's classic abused spouse behavior. But if you think Dann's going to finish the apology and move on, you've got the wrong fuckin' movie; Dann just stands up, barks his lack of contrition, and Duke abruptly transitions to the next scene.

And this is only the second most humiliating moment in Payday. First place goes to a hilariously protracted sequence on a country road as Dann finally decides to sever ties with one of his backseat female companions. If I were to describe it, you'd probably think I was as big a bastard as Dann for finding it funny, but Duke stages the bit with such exquisite comedic timing that you've no choice but to bust out laughing. That's how Duke eases you past some truly objectionable acts; though the film does visit some very dark places (e.g. a trip to the rundown house of Dann's pill-addicted mother who looks twenty-years older than she should), the outrageousness of the singer's behavior is just too much. I mean, how else are you supposed to react to a guy who merrily holds court at a post-gig hotel party while sitting on the shitter? Payday is full of casually shocking sights like that. And every scene crackles because you have no idea what to expect from Duke, Carpenter or Torn.

If Payday has a reputation, it's as the movie that should've established Torn as one of his generation's best actors. But the picture - the debut production for Saul Zaentz's Fantasy Films - never received a wide release, and has since been buried due to a lack of availability and the fact that Torn subsequently went the character actor route. Watching the actor bare-knuckle his way through Payday is to wonder what might've been. Though his own erratic behavior probably would've kept him from a steady run as a leading man (please Google "Rip Torn" and "Norman Mailer"), there's no doubt that he was the genuine article - a wilder, scarier, more unpredictable Jack Nicholson. As many have noted, Torn was a man seemingly consumed with violence; when he erupts onscreen, you're witness to a temporary exorcising of personal demons. He touches depths to which few actors are privy."

So yeah. Pink pills. So cheery.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

66'r: Someone should blog about how many songs have been written with a pill color as the title: "Little Blue Pill," "Reds, Whites and Blues." Or about pills, "Mother's Little Helper." Or groups that have named themselves after pills. Heck. I see "thesis" right there for someone out there going to Dork U. Some eager cultural theorist all set to expound upon the use of pharmaceutical imagery in contempary American apocalyptic thought.

I had minor eye surgeries these past two weeks, and I was talking to my doctor yesterday (a man I was also in graduate school with, so we get off on some weird discussions), and for some reason while cutting at my flesh and cauterizing he was in the mood to walk down memory lane and talk about past professors and classes we had taken. I told him about my "picture of the day" (his surgical tray) which amused him. I did not tell him about the blog. But we got off on the topic of another picture I used the other day which was the use of cocaine at the turn of the earlier century in common day-to-day products in this country, and I told him about how there was even cocaine in hair tonic. Right around the time I was watching my flesh go up in smoke, to seal the wound, he was expounding on how people today have no sense of history or culture, and, he added, they have no interest in knowing any of it.

So yeah. Pink pills for Elvis to match his car, his shirt, his belt, his double weave jacket, Eddie Cochran's pants, Lilly Pulitzer's drunk scorched- faced husbands sitting on country club stools drinking their sixth bourbon with branch water, Elvis giving his mother a car that was custom painted pink and she couldn't even drive, Dutch Colonel Parker like some Foghorn Leghorn nightmare, "Son...I say Son...I'ham gonna make you a STAH." Should Neo take the red pill...or the blue one. Kid Coma singing "Little Blue Pill" on You Tube:


And for you I-66...cause I love ya:


11:25 AM  
Blogger I-66 said...

Just when I thought "she should take it as a suppository," she did!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

That's one way of looking at it. ;)

12:36 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

That cocktail actually looks tasty. And simple.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

I've been watching you, Cuff. Writing about FOOTBALL? Can you imagine my ::::THUD::::

P.S. It tastes like very fresh pink grapefruit juice, with a nice weave to your walk when you get off the bar stool.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous m.a. said...

mmmm. I love good drinks. Well, I think that this sounds like a lovely cocktail. I look forward to going to martin's.

8:31 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

Cube, in fairness I almost only ever write about College Football when I write about football, and then it's usually about Penn State, the finest team ever to play the sport.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

I must say, I do love my Coupe DeVilles.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

But if offered a sedan, I'd still be hard-pressed to turn it down, even if it was pink.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only cube can post multiple comments in her own blog, each of which longer than the original post by tenfold. Is that minimalist? Zen? Nostalgic? Manic?

Will you take the pink pills or the pink liquid? Either one won't settle your stomach, but they might allow you to forget about it for a while.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I'm down to 12 a day.

How 'bout you?

3:42 PM  

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