Note: Mos Eisley Cantina is a fictional bar that was prominently featured in the 1977 film, Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
Earth has many different types of music. Walk into Amoeba Music on Sunset and discover all of the genres, subgenres, and hybrids that connect country-to-country, continent-to-continent. Country music is predominantly popular in the US and some Eastern European countries. Metal and all of the incestuous kingdoms that spawn from metal are big in the Scandinavian side of Europe. Rock n’ roll, rap, and electronic are global sensations. There is one major problem with these types of music; their reach is limited. What I mean by this is, only people of this planet find enjoyment listening to them. Outside of Earth, there is no rap, classical, soul, blue grass, or dub step to listen to. There is only one type of music that transcends all types not just beyond our planet, but also beyond our entire Milky Way Galaxy. That genre is jazz. And I’m not talking new school Grover Washington, Kenny G, Boney James jazz, I’m talking Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington jazz.
I’m a saxophone player who likes to drink a good cocktail (with or without food). I’ve been around this planet sipping and searching every countries and cultures elixir to life. Some taste better than others. I have toured with bands, but in the last year or so, I’ve been a lone wolf. I signed with a different label, picked a different touring manager, and did the whole yadda…yadda…yadda to just show up to gig after gig whenever I feel like it. This freedom allows me the time to really experience every place and not always feel rushed to jump from city to city. The band that I was apart of in the past kept me so busy, there were times when I was in New Orleans and didn’t have a minute to go into Central Grocery for a muffalleta. I had to eat cruddy hotel room service. Nowadays, I’ll spend weeks, if not months enjoying every place I go to, sipping their drinks and eating their food.
Last month, I received an invitation to play at a bar called Mos Eisley Cantina. The invitation said Monis Rose of 54-337 galaxy 5 billion three hundred thousand, thirteen. We are re-opening for the one-thousandth time and you are summoned to play. Free drinks all night long.
“Free drinks!” I said. “Hell yeah, let’s go.” I brought the invitation to my publisher. She inquired where Mos Eisley Cantina was. There wasn’t an address. We searched for it online and nothing popped up. My publisher laughed at me and kicked me out of her office, but not before knocking me down a few notches for falling for some free drink scheme. I started to believe this invitation was a farce too, until I brought it to my manager.
I showed him this odd invitation that had no return address. It was written on some kind of paper, but much older than ancient Egyptian papyrus. The ink smelled of rotting cockroaches. Please don’t ask how I know that.
My manager saw the words Mos Eisley Cantina and immediately popped up and said, “Richard used to bartend there.”
“Richard who?” I asked.
“Pryor, Monis. Richard Pryor! He was in a bad mood after he developed his voice and achieved fame. Instead of going on a spiritual retreat to Nepal he was invited to do comedy over there. Turns out he actually liked it and worked there for a few months before crap hit the fan and he had to come back before some kind of war started. Or something like that. I can’t remember now. It’s my memory. It’s getting shot at day after day,” he continued.
I inquired more about this place. And the more my manager answered me, the more this bar became a very serious matter. It seemed that this pub really wanted a great saxophone player. Of course, I’m tooting my own horn, pun intended.
I took the information to my publisher. She made me speak in front of the entire board of directors. After my plea, they figured it was a good excuse to get me off of their backs for a good month so they funded my trip.
My adventure for free drinks started in the tourist forbidden Hawaiian Island of Niihau. Niihau is the destination for Area 1. You might have heard of Area 51, but few people have heard or remember the 50 preceding areas before it. When I was a reporter, I was one of the few granted access to area 51. Luckily, the same generals who hooked me up with that trip gave me a pass go card for this one. Area one is not a zoo for alien activity any more. Actually, just five years ago, the U-S government contracted the rocket and spacecraft company, Space X, to build them a testing site to go leaps and bounds beyond the moon.
There is a lot of science, math, and physics to even comprehend the next few steps to make this review even possible and probable to believe and visualize. The information provided might seem preposterous, crazy, and a load of poppycock. To the most ardent denier, all I have to say is that sometimes the most absurd is the truth and the most normal is the lie. Many of times, people deny the truth because they have a preconceived notion that anything “outside the box,” is a falsehood and doesn’t fit into whatever they think the normal repertoire of thinking is.
Virgin and other companies are conducting commercial flights into outer space for humans with zero to little training and a scholastic intelligence level well below that of the common NASA astronaut. I am one of those humans. I did not have years of my life to give to study and physically train. I had a deadline with my publication and most importantly, I had a gig that I could not be late for.
Unfortunately, I cannot describe Area 1. I can’t describe the beauty of the island, what I saw, how procedures were done, or whom I spoke with. What I can talk about is how a normal looking Caucasian five foot ten inch male lifted off to a livable desert planet over 50 trillion miles away from the Milky Way Galaxy.
I boarded an auto piloted rocket ship known as the Arriba Rapidamente. Yes, even rocket scientists have a sense of humor. The rocket’s compartment only held one person. It sat snuggly like a shoe one size too small. I don’t know all of the technical aspects of the space ship. But what I do know was that each outside tile was made out of spider web. It ran on hydrogen compressed air and contained enough acceleration to go outside of earth’s atmosphere. After that, the space ship had a drone like system, which was wirelessly controlled by a group of String Theory extraordinaires. Ten scientists all held a gigantic controller that was like a TV sized iPad. It looked like a whiteboard and when they wrote an equation and then solved it, the coordinates and algorithm would be plugged into the space ship and it will go closer to the destination. The rocket ship I was in, had to break out of the four dimensions and look for loopholes, worm holes, and even black holes. Once in space, the rocket’s fuel cells depended on the nearest star. It had solar panels that collected every star’s raw matter, harnessed it, and then plowed me forward by going over 53.5 million miles per second.
Out of the 500 billion galaxies in the universe there are only 15 billion livable planets. One of them was where I was going, but if I were on a regular NASA spaceship, it would have taken over 100 lifetimes to reach. In order for me to travel by myself where no man, except Richard Pryor has gone before I needed to go past the 11thdimension. Once outside of Earth, space and time are irrelevant. What seems like an hour in space is actually a few months here. The rocket ship I was on was designed specifically to adjust and coordinate space-time with the Hawaiian time zone.
Sometimes science fiction becomes somewhat real. In movies like Aliens, humans are transported from planet to planet by being kept frozen. That’s not exactly true, but it’s not exactly false either. I was hooked up to different medical equipment, tubes, and all kinds of air tanks. Fifteen minutes before all of the tanks ran out, two electrodes which where attached to my brainstem zapped me and turned me into a potato. My nerves and senses were a game over too. This is almost reminiscent to modern day shock therapy, only exponentially worse.
My heart was still moving and pumping blood and so were all of my other internal organs. After my brain was shut down, the space ship opened it’s outside vents and became as cold as space. I turned into a glass Popsicle, but I did not break because I was snug, in a bug, in a rug. This was possible because besides having tubes attached to the outside regions of my body, there were several other tubes probing almost every orifice inside. I even had a tube going into my heart. No, this is not like Iron Man. I had a hole drilled into my heart that fed it with nutrients and vitamins. The tube also circulated, cleaned, and recirculated my blood over and over again. I had another tube that went inside my mouth that secreted an embalming fluid. I could have very well been a prized head on a taxidermist’s wall with other exotic creatures.
Now comes the disgusting part. If you would like to turn this podcast off or stop reading this review I recommend doing it now. You didn’t? Okay, your loss. In order for my body to stay warm, my body became a host to worms. The worms fed on the embalming fluid and created enough kinetic energy for me to even perspire at times. Worms are like cockroaches and can stand the test of time in any condition. Scientists 60 years ago found out that they can even live in space. There only function is to eat and reproduce and by being a hermaphrodite, they don’t need a partner.
Yes, there are millions of other details and answers to questions of how something like this is even conceivable, but these were the only bullet points of information I maintained through my 12-hour monotonous debriefing before I went up. To sum all of this up, I went up in a spaceship powered by the energy of stars, past the 11thdimension, going over 50 million miles per second, while my body was literally a frozen spud being eaten alive by worms.
But hey, I made it to my gig in record time. I arrived on the bustling desert planet mid day. There were two suns. One was right dab above me and the other was a little West. I figured it was 1230.
The process to depart the rocket and onto the new planet was more arduous then getting on. The tubes had to vacuum out the invaders in my body and the embalming fluid. My body was then reheated from the inside out by radiation poisoning. Finally, I was shocked with 15,000 volts of electricity in my brainstem. Wham, bam, thank you, Mam, I was alive, kicking, and ready.
Luckily for me, the cantina where I was going to play and ring up a stiff bar tab was located right where the rocket ship landed. It was nestled smack dab in the hustle and bustle of an import/export trading community that seemed like a Deadwood type Old West town, but with masses of dome shaped buildings set in a Moroccan desert Smithsonian-type plaza.
My G-shock watch still worked. The clock read 82 degrees with a low tide. I didn’t have time to venture this foreign location and take in my new surroundings. There wasn’t time to be afraid or weirded out by all of the robots, prehistoric looking creatures, laser guns, and flying spacecrafts.
It was a quarter to one. I had to find an instrument, set up, meet the band, tune, and play. If I didn’t, this whole journey would have been a lost cause and I would be out of some exquisite free drinks.
The cantina was a relatively large pub, about 10,000 square feet with two floors and several discreet rooms that I can only imagined housed sketchy activity and machinery for the bar. I walked in with three robots. I immediately hit the floor and covered my ears as the robots were destroyed. When I noticed none of the ammo was directed at me, I got up and proceeded forward. I guess this place didn’t like robots or whatever they were called. Hey, you know what they say? Everyone’s a racist in some shape or form. Still scared out of my wits, I maintained my tunnel vision directly to the stage neighboring the horseshoe shaped bar. The stage was empty. There wasn’t any band. There was only a large black case and a microphone.
“The band left. They were washed up and weren’t driving my sales up. They might have been popular 40 years ago, but not anymore,” the bartender said.
“But jazz never fades away,” I replied.
“That might be true, but bands come and go. Plus, it wasn’t a good fit anymore. We need some new, young blood in this joint, only if it’s temporary. What d’ya say, are you going to play something or not? Here. We’ll start the gig off to a good note,” the bartender finished as he handed me a quart sized jar of a liquid that looked like molten tar.
“It’s decomposed blood of a Sepachen mixed in with my very own brew that I can only describe as what you people call a stout,” the bartender said.
It tasted like burnt leek oil mixed with chocolate mole, but was served as cold as a 7-Eleven Slurpee.
“Get up on that stage, and I promise you, fill this place up, and by the time you leave, you’re not even going to be able to crawl,” the bartender hollered.
I liked the sound of that. I approached the stage and opened up the case. Inside, was a Selmer Series 3 alto saxophone from Paris, France. It was the one that even had a special custom made C# key which helps the most out of tune note stay in tune. These aliens, or whoever they were, knew their instruments. I moistened my reed, screwed in my metal mouthpiece tight, and asked for any recommendations.
“You’ll know if we don’t like it,” the bartender said. “Just keep it old school, non of that neo Mr. Saxobeat crap.”
I felt like I was back at Preservation Hall without a set list and playing for tourists who didn’t give a darn about jazz. Without any percussion or brass I thought that instead of getting the crowd jumping and jiving, I’d show them my chops a little bit.
I played a few French tableaux’s. Very peaceful and occasionally moody filled with heart and soul. The crowd perked up. The bar was reaching full capacity.
It was now my time to shine. I didn’t want to do much improv unless the song called for it. I continued my set with funky Lester Young covers. They were followed by covers from the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Jelly Roll Morton, and the one and only, Fletcher Henderson.
Several different patrons kicked me off. I looked at the bartender to make sure everything was okay.
He yelled over the crowd, “Your job is done. You did well. Look at this crowd. Plus, I don’t know what you did, but you got the band back together.”
I looked over, and those weird looking creatures who grabbed me off stage, like revealing concealed weapons, took instruments out of their own and started playing their own versions of the pre-1950s jazz. It was uppity, boppity, and quite good.
I was going to join them, but my train of thought was interrupted when the bartender continued, “Drink away my friend.” And further down the rabbit hole I went.
I have only heard of stories of this prestigious intergalactic watering hole. Like a skilled tradesman, the bartenders go to school at the ripe age of 5 to study the craft. They learn all about chemistry, metaphysics, and there’s a great deal of biology and anatomy too because the bartender is serving over 5,000 different types of species not known to man. These bartenders know how to ferment, emulsify, fuse and diffuse. It’s as if the bartender knew how to make every single wine, beer, and hard liquor, and then brought his working knowledge to make all of the drinks on location. Every bartender that comes and goes inside this cantina brings with his, her, or its special concoctions of goodness. It’s what makes the place stay fresh and ahead of its times.
The bartender, though middle aged, was a rookie. It was his 2nd day on the job. If one decides to be a bartender at Mos Eisley Cantina, they don’t get the job until the old one dies, is killed, or leaves on his own accord, and they have to be in the AARP age range because it takes that long to master the skillset. He knows how to make over 20,000 different types of beverages and I was lucky enough to experience four of them.
I started off with an Akoorn, a drink I could suck through a straw. It was like a fizz made with three parts phlegntise pollen, 1 part lum branch, sweetened with a simple syrup made out of sweated Ushuab bone, and finally shaken with a Koltomat egg wash. It was decorated with cut off twigs from the Archopx root which made the drink look like a snowy forest in Narnia. Incredibly fantastical.
The hard stuff came next. A glass made out of Ineyg ice needed to be held with two hands. I had to wear armored gloves or my hands would have disintegrated if I touched it.
I asked if this drink was safe to drink. The bartender answered, “You want a good buzz don’t you?” I nodded and smiled.
He opened a metal gasket, one of many connected to his bar. He poured a translucent broth with green and white polka dots. This was his bartender’s special.
He told me that the dots on top where mold. The mold is extracted from flowers of the Bhatuth weed and is used to kill off the malevolent molecules produced inside Eighnreque venom.
As it went down my pipes, I noticed my throat clench up and then singe. I started to convulse and foam at mouth. No one did anything.
The bartender, who was helping his other clients, perked up and ran towards me.
“Almost forgot the best part, the Xiwee berry laced with my grand daddy’s sauce.” He spoon-fed it to me, and everything cleared right up.
After my toss and turn with death, I realized that the bartender’s bartender special was a bit too smoky for my tastes and usually I’m a fan of drinks that have rich mescal tastes and textures.
Many things in the cantina were drinking a blue sludge. This was in no way, no how, your Blue Hawaii. In order to pour the drink in its yard-sized tusk from a colossal rhentaur, the bartender went down to the basement and cranked two large wheels attached to the boiler. The power shut off and everything went pitch black. The bartender took out a night light stick to guide his way up and kill anything that tried to make a move to harm his business. He then cranked a couple of wheels to the sides of his bronze coated draft brew pipes which let the ooze pour out and the electricity turn back on.
Since I wasn’t to the floor yet, I had one of these. It had the consistency of homemade ice cream after being churned in the ice cream maker for 30 minutes without being hardened by the temperatures of the freezer. It tasted like blue raspberry Warheads, sour, sweet, and gooey all at the same time.
The final drink was served tall. It was only known as the bubbly, but it wasn’t champagne. It was Osnim pus and came from the bartender’s reserved collection in his back cellar.
“Only for special occasion will I go back there and open one of these home brews up. With business boosting as it is, I feel this is as good time as any,” the bartender said. A few cantina dwellers that looked like masked smugglers attempted to ransack the cellar as the bartender went in. The bartender whipped out his night light stick, no that’s not an innuendo, and decapitated those who tried to go into his red zone.
It was presented to me in a large carafe with a cork the size of a Russet potato. He grabbed a hairy beast that was playing in some kind of gambling ring in the back corner and instructed the thing to take care of the bottle. The beast bit the cork right off in one fell swoop. There is an art to the perfect pour. I have seen few master it and this bartender was one of them. No spillage and filled right to the brim in one shot. It tasted like mint basil with a kick of something. I didn’t have time ponder what that kick was before I blacked out.
I awoke back in Hawaii with my publisher and the military on hand. Medical and philosophical doctors examined my body and mind to make sure everything was Kosher. I was surprised that everything was.
One of the corporals cleaning the rocket ship ran towards me with a black carry-on suitcase sized capsule. After dogs sniffed it out and the bomb squad gave the go ahead, I opened it and found the saxophone I played with.
Engraved on the outer rim of the sound hole was a note, “To jazz and drinking. Bringing people, creatures, and things together wherever and whenever, no matter what time or place.”
ATMOSPHERE: A bunch of the entire universe’s worse ruffians gathered in one place doing Lord knows what while getting their swerve on and listening to jazz music.
SERVICE: Skilled and hospitable. The bartender, being the only server, keeps a watchful eye on everyone and everything that drinks and stays. He’ll never leave you waiting more than a couple of minutes for a drink.
SOUND LEVEL: While sober, the place will be annoying and irritating, but one gets used to it after a swell buzz.
RECOMMENDED: The Bartender’s Special and Osnim Pus.
DRINKS AND WINE: Thousands of handcrafted cocktails and liquids encompassing 15 billion of the livable planets in the universe.
PRICES: In US dollars, they will rival the cost of your arm and your leg.
OPEN: All of the time
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: There’s no such thing as handicap here
Restrooms: No. Go outside and do your business without getting caught or making the planet’s inhabitants mad.