Gig stories: Mambo raids the smorgasbord

Austin music magnate Mike Mordecai shared a story with me recently about a famous and colorful Austin musician,  the late John Mambo Traynor. Salsa/jazz group Beto y los Fairlanes was about to perform for a big wedding reception and Mambo, a competitive windsurfer, had been windsurfing all day. Mike says he came right off the beach and straight into his tux, no shower or anything, and sat down and played the first set. At the break, Mambo was so famished from the days activity that he descended on the smorgasbord with a vengeance, eating everything in sight with no thought for what was going on top of what. Mike says after 30-plus minutes of aggressive grazing, Mambo was as green as the fairways at Augusta. As they returned to the stage for the second set, Beto called up a requested song, New York New York (which is on most musicians sick-and-tired-of-playing list).  Mambo, as if on cue, turned on his stool and threw up into his snare drum case. Without missing a beat, Beto retorted, “OK, then how about Satin Doll ?”

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