Mr. Chow's

Musicians are a crazy lot.
Look at me.
It’s the nature of the business for us to be slightly off-center from time to time.
I’ve been gigging for well over 30 years. My first gig was at 17 years old, an almost prepubescent, ripe and obviously under age time of my life. I was still a kid.
I got a piano/guitar/vocal gig at a restaurant called “The Huguenot”.

I was thinking the name sounded American Indian when in fact the name applied to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, historically known as the French Calvinists.

What the hell was I thinking?

International politics at 17?

I don’t think so.
Hey, it paid cash money and for me, that was good enough.
I was still in High School for cripe’s sake.

I remember the first night I played.
I went to see the owner at the end of the night to get paid and he hands me 100 bucks.
I made 20 bucks in tips.
I’m a junior in High School and this is 1976.
Yeah, I had girlfriends.

Did I like this music thing?

Hell, yeah . . . big time.

This story isn’t about me though, this is what started me thinking about some musical friends of mine that got a bit crazy one night.
Chinese restaurants will do that to a working musician.

This story was passed along to me by God knows who but I thought it was entertaining enough to post here.
You should entertain the thought of reading it.
I won’t let you down.
Promise you’ll read until the picture at the end of the post.
{Do not scroll down yet!}
(the names have been changed to protect the innocent…or guilty)


Some friends of mine were playing a Chinese restaurant in the area called Mr. Chow’s. On the breaks, if the lounge was too crowded they would sit on the couches in the lobby where people came in.
They would stare at the fish tanks loaded with the seemingly infinite possibility of Sushi and gaze endlessly at the ‘nightly special’ sign with its obligatory “Children under 10 – ALL YOU CAN EAT”.

The band got restless and wanted to have some Vocab/ Scrabble fun…with the nightly special sign.
That particular night the sign read: Tonight’s SpecialHUNAN FISH.

After raiding the coat closet for a stray consonant, the sign now read: HUMAN FISH.

A chuckle and they were back to work.

A set and several Mai Tai’s later they found themselves once again staring at the sign.

Human Fish was funny but. . .

Another trip to coat closet yielded the letters they so desperately needed.
Many people came in, read the sign { see below }, did a 180 and left in a hurry.
Suffice to say, the band never played Mr. Chow’s again.
Go figure.
True story.
Yeah, we musicians are a crazy lot.





13 thoughts on “Mr. Chow's

  1. M… I suppose they had sumyungboy on the menu also…or chinese version of 69 twocanchew…

    No. They had ‘cream of someyungguy’ soup.
    Kind of a hot & sour thing.


  2. I actually remember the Huguenot…..sad, eh?
    I love the Chinese restaurant sign. People really do need to lighten up!

    You can make your own Chinese sign if you go HERE.


  3. Eat up!

    I can’t imagine why they didn’t have you back again. 😉


    Actually, this prank was pulled off by a friend of a friend kind of thing.
    I heard about it second hand.
    Laughed my arse off…


  4. not at all..well i don’t think anyway, but then that could just be my sick sense of humor too 😆

    Personally, I agree.
    It’s the people that aren’t like us, you know…normal people, that I’m worried about. 😉


  5. That was BAD! 😆 I wish I could have been there to see the looks on those people’s faces when they read that sign.

    As they say in the Mastercard commercial:
    Kun Pao Chicken $8.95, Unlimited Mai Tais’s $44.95, the look on a customer’s face as he contemplates the ‘nightly special’? Priceless.


  6. I heard it is Jackos favorite place to Eat The all you can eat buffet under ten for free………

    The big hand is on the little hand (again)…time for Chow’s.


  7. Musicians-now there’s a story. Are we really all tortured into madness, or do we just ‘think’ we are as artists? Regardless, this was friggin’ hilarious. I don’t eat Chinese food-for this reason.
    If I can’t pronounce it or spell it, I’m definitely not eating it. Although I must say, if I accidentally ate “human” or “cat” or “dog”, I would get a damn good poem out it, no?

    The food always comes out too damn quick too.
    Too quick for my comfort anyway.
    And yes, you should write a poem about it.


  8. Pretty funny. Actually, they probably weren’t fired for that. It was probably all the James Taylor covers that did them in. 8)


    Believe me, this band did nothing close to JT.
    Cheap Trick, yes, JT, no…


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