Alright Alright (Here Goes part II: Lifter Puller) Apr 9, 2021 7:00:54 GMT -5
Post by skepticatfirst on Apr 9, 2021 7:00:54 GMT -5
BREWERY BAR: THE STAIRS
Besides the obvious fact of its location atop a tall building, we have the testimony of a couple of songs to the effect that the Nice Nice in the brewery bar is located at the top of a staircase:
we went from upstairs at the nice nice up to franklin up by 15th [NN]
from upstairs at the nice nice to the atm [4Dix]
Leaving aside the "stairs" references in TGatSD for now, there are three other songs whose account of this staircase we want to look at.
From Viceburgh (already established as an account of the events of Party Zero; see LANDSDOWNE STREET, THE GREATER TRIP DOWNTOWN, WALK AROUND, and A MESSAGE above) we know that the stairs are secret, and accessible via a back way in:
headbanger let down your hair
pull me up into your blacklight lair
take me back around your secret stairs
sell me shares in your vacant stare [Viceburgh]
The reference to "blacklight" confirms that this "lair" is the Nice Nice (compare "when you stand in the black lights down at the nice nice" [CRoom], "blacklights" [NN]).
The fact that the stairs are accessible via a route "around the back" of the complex (see also "if you came around the back" [Ambassador] and "taxmen coming around the back" [Knuckles]) is confirmed by the youtube comments describing access to the complex from the walking trail in Swede Hollow park above (see BREWERY BAR: THE LAYOUT item #8).
Evidence that the stairs are "secret" is confirmed in the Action Squad's deliberate concealment of the route of access (see BREWERY BAR: THE LAYOUT item #9).
2) Plymouth Rock
From Plymouth Rock, we appear to learn that there are five, or at least five, flights of stairs:
and it ain't no fun fallin five flights of stairs to a real fierce fisting [PRock]
It's very tempting to take that "five" literally, and not just alliteratively, since the photograph above (see BREWERY BAR: THE LAYOUT item #7) gives an outside view of the stockhouse showing what appear to be five above-ground floors beneath the blue rooftop addition.
But the Action Squad log clearly describes climbing 10 flights of stairs to reach the roof, not 5 (link):
The Stockhouse was nothing but 9 floors of a single hallway with hatches lining each side. Each hatch led into a massive beer storage tank. After 10 flights of stairs, we got to the top.
It's possible that this difference is accounted for by a zigzag pattern that makes a "flight" refer ambiguously to the distance between one or two floors, or by the fact that the Action Squad count begins from down in the "basements," literally multiple "basement levels" below the surface (link); but it is more likely that "five" is just alliterative.
3) Mezzanine Gypoff
We get a final implicit reference to the stairs in the "mezzanine" of The Mezzanine Gypoff.
When the Narrator says "I ride it out in the mezzanine" [TMG], we know he's referring to "riding it out" in the gangrape "rodeo" [Bears] at the brewery bar/Nice Nice (see CORNERED, PARTY ZERO, THE KISS, SHOT IN THE SHOULDER, and MAGAZINES & VIDEOS above).
The "mezzanine" designation, then, would appear to refer to the extra floor of the rooftop bar, added on top of the normally spaced floors of the stockhouse (see BREWERY BAR: THE LAYOUT photos #2 and #7), and accessible via a final flight of stairs at the summit of the regular staircase (link).
The other meaning of "mezzanine" here is a finance allusion (recall that Craig worked as a financial broker for American Express while in Lifter Puller) to "mezzanine capital," a form of debt issuance whose repayment obligations are subordinated to secured/senior debt, making it a risky investment vehicle for those who don't know what they're getting into (wikipedia).
That this metaphor is the point of the allusion is demonstrated by the Narrator's description of himself as a "Main Street" dupe in the hands of "[Wall Street] trader insider" Juanita, and by "Gypoff" in the title (compare the Narrator's reflections on his naivete' in Double Straps; see FEELIN SMALL above).
Curiously, "Gypoff" is the word used in the title on the self-titled first album; on the original 1996 7-inch, it's "Gyp." "Gyp" is a common word for "an act of deception, a fraud or hoax" (gdict), but "gypoff" looks like a coinage original to Craig.
Its meaning, as a combination of "gyp"+"ripoff," is obvious enough; it may be that the point of the change was to hide a reference to the rape in a concealed "jackoff" (compare "the jester kept on jacking off" [MM], "handjob at the hardware store" [Hardware], "hands and mouths" [C&N]), in the same way that "bloodsucking" and "blockbuster" hide a rhyming reference to "cocksucking" in The Swish, and "Beep" of Jeep Beep Suite is a concealed, literally censored, reference to blowjobs ("driving down the street in my jeep givin >beeps< to all the people on the sidewalk" [JBS]).
At any rate, the financial metaphor accounts for the "mezzanine" framing, which confirms the upstairs situation of the "club."