Sep 23 2005 - AVALON NATURALIST FOLKFEST

Posted: Sep 23, 2005 4:15:06 pm  Also known as nudist colony but don't mention that to them, they prefer "naturalist" (or is it "naturist") to nudists. This means they aren't looking at wildflowers, unless one is tatood to your ass somewhere.The gig was in Paw Paw, WV and my agent told me it was a clothing optional gig and I let him know I wasn't interested in building my audience like that.He said there would be around 1,000 people there.Then he told me John Gorka did it.He usually uses John Gorka as a last minute secret weapon to pull my interest towards saying "yes"... So a month later I found myself driving into the wilderness of West Virginia and pulling into the Avalon residence area. This is a full time "naturist" community, they live in condos in a beautiful setting and have events over the summer that draw other naturists from around the country.The woman came around her bench in a t-shirt and I was relieved until I realized she was bottomless and approaching my rolled down window. Now, I have nothing against nudity, accept in this case, my face... Even public nudity is really okay with me, but it still is a shocking thing to behold when you first bump into it. She checked me in. I checked her out. Once you get through the first person, things seem to go pretty smoothly...Sure enough everyone was naked and my tour guide Bob
swung in the wind as he walked me through the facility in the buff. Fortunately, I did have friends there! Suprisingly some Kerrville Folk Festival people were there and they were wearing clothes! There were 6 of us total in clothing, and they were all acquaintences of mine. I watched the afternoon of shows, watched a man dancing wildly in the front row to a klezmer band. A few of the musicians were naked, but most stayed clothed. The crowd was mostly middle aged and wasn't exactly the crowd you fantasize about seeing in the nude... The playboy mansion should host next years run..Hugh Hefner presents THE SILICON FOLK FESTIVALnice ring to that...When my turn came up to perform, I was nervous about how I would go over. It would have been more successful maybe to be naked, to be one of the clan. I was hoping the front guy wouldn't dance for me.I hoped there'd be NO dancing.Certainly no one was going to be throwing panties on stage. No one was wearing panties.I have heard that if you are nervous before a crowd, you should picture them without clothing and that will make you feel somehow at an advantage socially. But when the reality is that you are playing in front of several hundred naked people, you find the advantage is lost entirely.talk about peer pressure.Or is that pener pressure?I ended up picturing them all in clothing.Layers and Layers of clothing. Parkas, mittens, long underwear. Hats, gloves, burkas...My friend Pat Wichter sat and played slide with me (in clothes) and helped the energy on stage. We ripped through several of my songs and the crowd seemed to enjoy it! They were a really friendly bunch of people, just like any other crowd, but these people knew their way around a hot tub...It was actually, really enjoyable. They treated me with kindness and respect, even though I chose to stay forever in bluejeans...It happens every year in Paw Paw, WV... you might catch John Gorka there next year... who knows?Ellis
KarenZ

Posts: 644
Registered:
 2003-10-13
Posted: Sep 24, 2005 7:25:48 am  Was there a standing ovation?KarenZ
"Back in school I found the only written truths in bathroom stalls and telephone booths" -- Ellis Paul
Patti

Posts: 124
Registered:
 2003-10-20
Posted: Sep 24, 2005 8:14:41 am  I'm just waiting to hear what kind of song comes from an experience like this!!!
Patti
barb62

Posts: 28
Registered:
 2004-07-22
Posted: Sep 24, 2005 12:54:49 pm  Hey Ellis, I bet you didn't go down into the audience at this appearance like you normally do. Hopefully noone asked you to autograph one of their body parts - ha haDon't know if I could have kept a straight facebarb62

updated: 2 years ago