Good times with "the good times man’
It’s around 5 p.m. when I step out of the cold, January air and into The Club to watch Steve Meyer, “The Good Times Man” perform his, from what I have heard, “original” apres ski show. The stairway down to the bar is dimly lit and I show my I.D. to the doorman at the bottom who waves me on. Nonchalantly, I make a left into a spotlight shining directly in my eyes.
“Do you speak English?” asks the man on stage with the handheld spotlight, who I can only assume to be the Good Times Man himself.
I am a deer caught in the spotlight for a second.
“Uh, no,” I muster, laughing as I make my way to a seat next to Jessica at a table in front of the stage.
Steve Meyer’s apres ski show is original, to say the least, and its style has been productive for both The Club and Mr. Meyer for 15 years.
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“I’m sure some people find my performance offensive,” says Meyer, “but they generally don’t stick around for too long. People just can’t take my jokes too seriously. It’s all in good fun.”
From sing-alongs to finding themselves at the butt-end of a joke, The Club’s patrons who do stick around love the show because they’re involved in it.
As I sit, speculating on how different this apres experience will be from other shows, Meyer looks at me again, his eyes peering out slyly from under his black cowboy hat.
“Is this your girlfriend next to you?” he asks me.
“Yes,” I say, a little nervous about where this could go.
“Well,” Meyer says, looking around at the crowd that is beginning to fill up The Club. “You know, this is Vail. Here, you don’t lose your girlfriend, you lose your turn.”
The crowd erupts as Meyer calls my girlfriend up on stage. As Jessica climbs the stairs, Meyer watches her.
“How tall are you, girl?” he asks, looking her up and down.
“Five, 10,” she replies.
“Damn, I’d have to go up on you,” he exclaims, laughing, and offers her a shot of tequila.
Jessica is on stage, it turns out, to judge the best-singing table in The Club. Meyer says he will buy a round of shots for whichever table she chooses. The Good Times Man breaks into Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and it works. The whole crowd is singing – loudly – making it a difficult decision her. She chooses a woman with a Colorado Avalanche jersey on and Deb, the friendly waitress, brings a round of kamikaze shots to the table.
“Hey, hockey girl,” Meyer shouts to the woman in the jersey. “Is that your husband?” The woman glances to her right and nods. “Watch out mister,” Meyer warns the man. “I’ve heard your wife has tried more men than Judge Judy.”
As the crowd is recovering from Meyer’s cold jab, a man with a cowboy hat walks into the bar, only to find the spotlight in his eyes.
“Oh, here comes a rich bastard,” Steve muses. “Where are you from, rich bastard?”
“I’m from Texas,” says the man.
“Really,” Meyer says. “Well, I’ll tell you what, rich bastard: I’ll put up a hundred dollars, you put up 30, and we’ll buy the whole bar a round of shots. What do you say?”
“Well, hell yeah,” yells the Texan. The crowd loves it, and Deb starts walking around with trays full of shots.
The evening continues this way, with crass jokes, humorous anecdotes and great renditions of songs by Bob Dylan (complete with harmonica around his neck), Jim Croce, Paul Simon and Van Morrison – not to mention round upon round of drinks. The crowd has a sense of humor and an appetite for alcohol, and no one takes anything too seriously.
At the end of Steve Meyer’s set, I approach him to ask some questions. He grabs a Red Bull and follows me back near the foosball table where it’s a little quieter. I am taken aback by Meyer’s subtle, polite nature as we are speaking. He is as laid-back as they come when he is off-stage – except for the time in the early ’90’s when he led a 250-person conga line through the old Serano’s.
“I almost got arrested for that one,” he says, smiling.
Someone calls Meyer’s name and he looks over his shoulder toward the stage. “I think they want me back up there.”
“Wait, Steve,” I call as he strolls off. “What’s the best thing about apres ski performing?”
The Good Times Man turns and, with a wink and the quickness of a well-placed punch line, says, “You meet chicks and you’re off in time for dinner with ’em.”
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