Rock n' Roll Poker
by Andy Martello
A fictional account of Louie's place in history.
The night rolled along slowly in that smoke-filled room. The final battle raged on into the wee hours of the morning. There was more at stake than money. Destiny itself was on the line. A place in Rock n' Roll history was the prize. Immortality was within their grasp.
The game started with seven players, all surrounding a black, circular table as the cards were dealt. This was for all the marbles. No one could turn back now. Wagers were placed. Cards were reviewed. Strength was tested. Frank was the first to open the betting, never being without his confidence. The hand turned to Sam who quickly raised the bet. "Was he bluffing", thought the gang of rogues? It didn't matter to two of the players. Their hands were strong and they knew it.
The round went along at a snail's pace. The players, always contemplating their hands. Bets and raises continued. Sweat began running down Sam's forehead. "I raised too soon," he thought, "I don't have the cards!"
The Monkees were the first to fold. They were only holding a 'Mary Mary'. They knew the score. They couldn't compete.
"Aw, nevermind boys," said Mike, "there'll be other games and more money to win. Tonight wasn't our night."
"That's easy for you to say," screamed Peter, "I don't have that 'Liquid Paper' cash burning a hole in my pocket!" Peter stormed out of the room in a manner unlike his character. It was as if he was in some horrible psychedelic movie. The remaining Monkees stuck around to see how this would end.
The final round of bets ran its course. Money began to pile up in the center of the table.
Neil Diamond was the next to fall. He had only 'Cherry Cherry' to support his cause. Sam got cocky. "I won't send you flowers, I'll just spend your money, Neil!" Neil wasn't amused, but he knew that soon no one would ever hear a word from Sam.
"Whattaya got, Sam," asked the quiet man opposite from him. It was time to put up or shut up.
Sam the Sham began to sweat again. "Don't you have to start elsewhere?" He'd hoped that would work. He knew he had only 'Woolly Boolly'. He had no business even being there.
'Lay 'em down, Sam," spoke the deep voice again. "You started this when you first raised everyone."
Sam put down his cards and awaited the results. Neil smirked in the corner of the room. He knew he could have taken him but was happy to see the braggart falling so quickly.
There was laughter among the other players as they looked at Sam's offering. Everyone remaining had him beat! Little Richard let out a loud yell in his typical high-pitched fashion. He was the first one to arrive at the game and was ready to be recognized.
"Oh, Lawdy, Lawdy my ship has come IN," Little Richard began to dance and sing, much to the annoyance of the other players. "I got me a 'Tutti Fruitti'! It can't be beat cuz it sounds so sweet!"
"Not so fast," said the deep voice, "we still haven't seen all the cards." All players turned to Tommy James.
"I got two pair," Tommy calmly said. He then laid down a seemingly unbeatable hand. "Read 'em and weep, boys. 'Mony Mony' AND 'Hanky Panky'." Sam the Sham threw his hands up in disgust, Neil Diamond looked on in awe, and the only poker faces remaining belonged to Frank and the mystery-man with the deep voice.
Tommy James sat back and smiled. He was about to rake in the cash and claim his Rock immortality when the mystery-man cleared his throat. Silence fell over the players as they waited for the placement of his hand. The mystery-man was Richard Berry and it seemed as though he held all the cards for he quietly laid down an impressive hand of 'Louie Louie', the greatest Rock party tune of all time (and as we all know, 'Louie Louie' always beats a pair of Shondells!). The smoke of the stale cigars began to clear and Richard's face could now be seen to have a slight smile upon it. Everyone knew the game was over. The spectators began to laugh, Sam the Sham angrily shrugged, and Frank set aside his hand, beginning to applaud. The crowd turned to Frank as the sound of his applause began increase.
Richard Berry said to Frank, "Hey, Zappa! What are you so happy about? What you got there? Don't tell me you got me beat!"
Frank Zappa pushed himself away from the table and threw his cards on the table. "Me? I just got a 'Ruthie Ruthie'. It's close but it's no 'Louie Louie'." He then reached to shake the hand of the man who'd beaten him.
Sam the Sham was outraged! "'Ruthie Ruthie'? You stayed with 'Ruthie Ruthie'? But why? You were obviously beaten from the get-go!"
Frank now shaking Richard Berry's hand, just smiled and said, "That's not the point, Sam. I was just honored to play with Him," he said, gesturing towards Richard with much reverence.
Sam left in shame, muttering under his breath, "Just watch Berry try and collect his money!"
Frank Zappa turned away, put on his mohair jacket, and said, "I knew you had us beat the whole time, Richard. I always knew. We'll do this again someday eh, Richard?" Richard just nodded his head and smiled. Frank made his exit and the room began to clear.
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