The World Famous NSAID-a-Go-Go
(Scroll down for the Virtual Walk Stop # 8)
The Spondyville Pivot & The Peppermint Pivot
Hey Folks! Remember those great dance crazes ... ?
like the Twist, or the Frug, the Mashed Potatoes or the Hully-Gully?
Well, here it is, the next big dance craze to sweep the country ... It's the Spondyville Pivot!!
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"The Spondyville Pivot"


I can't turn my neck from side to side,
Can't bend my back when I want to hide,
I used to stand out like an ugly frog's rivet,
Until I learned the Spondyville Pivot,

You swivel your foot along the ground
Your body'll follow 'cause you're totally bound,
Then you just keep going till you go all around
doin' the Spondyville Pivot

Now I'm bent over as you can see,
So movin' quickly's an impossibility,
But Spondy folks learn how to Live It,
They learn to love the Spondyville Pivot,

When your spine is fused and your joints are hurtin'
there isn't much in Life that's certain,
But there's no other name you can give it,
Your new best friend, The Spondyville Pivot.

You swivel your foot 'cause you want to turn,
Your body follows, no need for concern,
Unless you keep going, then you got a lot to learn,
Doin' the Spondyville Pivot

Swivel your foot in a little arc,
Kids, don't try this in the dark,
It looks like fun but it ain't no lark,
Doin' the Spondyville Pivot

From the countryside to the inner city,
I know my movements don't look pretty,
But while some like Musk and some prefer Civet,
Nothing smells like the Spondyville Pivot.

You swivel your foot along the ground
Your body'll follow 'cause you're totally bound,
Then you just keep going till you go all around
doin' the Spondyville Pivot

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And of course, every hit needs a follow-up:


"The Peppermint Pivot"

There's a brand new dance down in Spondyville
If you're agitated it will make you chill,
If you feel awkward, just like a fool,
Do the Peppermint Pivot and you'll be cool,

Yeah, all the folks in Spondyville,
When their back rotation is nearly nil,
They don't get frustrated, they don't drool,
They do the Peppermint Pivot and then they're cool.

P-P-P-Peppermint Pivot
P-P-P-Peppermint Pivot
P-P-P-Peppermint Pivot, that's the rule,
Do the Peppermint Pivot and you'll be cool,

So the next time you visit Old Spondyville,
And you're looking for action and want a thrill,
You don't have to worry if you're still "Old School",
Do the Peppermint Pivot and you'll be cool.

P-P-P-Peppermint Pivot,
P-P-P-Peppermint Pivot,
P-P-P-Peppermint Pivot,
That's the rule,
Do the Peppermint Pivot and you'll be cool.

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Before it was a discotheque, The NSAID-a-go-go was a beatnik coffee house, "The Dismal Diagnosis", which featured the best Spondyville folk-singers of the era. The song which made the place famous was written and performed by one of the regulars, Woody Zimmerman. 

Forever Old

May God bless and keep you always,
May your NSAIDs always work,
May you realize that SSDI,
Is more than just a perk,
May you learn to stay inside,
When the weather gets too hot or cold,

Cuz, you are now forever old.
Forever old, forever old,
AS has made you forever old.

You may be in your 20's,
You might be in your teens,
But there's a lesson for you to learn,
About what having AS means,

You'll see the limits of your life,
And learn when NOT to be bold,

Because you are now, forever old,
Forever old, forever old,
AS has made you forever old.

May your thoughts always be up-to-date,
Though your feet may lag behind,
May you not forget Doctor visits,
Because they slipped your mind.

May your heart always be laughing,
And may you get a good night's sleep,
May your aches and pains be minor,
And not ever make you weep,

May you accept help graciously,
And never yell or scold,
For you are now forever old,
Forever old, forever old,
AS has made you forever old.


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Two other classic songs were made popular at the NSAID-a-Go-Go, Dexter Fuselot's "The Pre-Existing Condition Blues", and Willie "Little Biscuit" McFuddin's "My Downhill Slide."
                                                                   -----
The Pre-Existing Condition Blues


(Intro:) Oh what a beautiful health plan,
The best HMO ever known,
If you think I'm NOT being sarcastic,
Then I’ve got a bridge you’ll soon own.

My health plan doesn’t like me,
They’ve made that awfully clear,
I cost them too much money,
And even more they fear,

As my condition worsens,
They’ll have to pay and pay,
That’s why I got that phone call,
From them the other day,

We’re sorry to inform you,
Is what the lady said,
She might as well have told me,
That she wished that I were dead,

We found ourselves a loophole,
For us, it saved the day,
Now you can be as sick as you want,
And we don’t have to pay,

I thought to myself, how could this be?
I know I’ve paid my dues,
And then like a truck it hit me,
I got the Pre-existing Condition Blues,

Got no Civil recourse,
I’d lose all my appeals,
My pre-existing condition,
Is the rawest of raw deals,

Now I am just a simple, ordinary man,
Trying to just get by, without a health insurance plan,
My G*d-d*mn chronic malady
Reveals this stark reality,
You wouldn’t wish to be in my shoes,
Cuz I got those Pre-Existing Condition Blues,

Oh, Yeah ...

                     ---------------------------


My Downhill Slide (with slide guitar accompaniment.)

In a Memphis Honky-Tonk, I sat,
Shootin’ the breeze and having a chat,
With some of my old friends I’ve known for years,
I hadn’t seen some for quite a while,
But when they saw me, they didn’t smile,
And I knew right then, I had to calm their fears,

I said, “Listen Boys, don’t give me stuff,
“Life’s been cruel, and I’ve had it rough,
And you don’t know the half of what’s happened to me,

Cuz in spite of all my prayers and wishin’,
I got myself a degen’rative condition,
Which means, every day I swear and curse,
But every day I get a little worse,
and that is really how it’s gonna be,
So if you don’t want to be a debtor,
Don’t you bet on me gettin’ better,
I’m afraid it isn’t what you’re gonna see,

I’m takin’ a ri-i-ide,
On that downhill sli-i-ide,
If you need skates, you’d better rent’em,
Cuz I’m gatherin’ speed and gaining momentum,
It can not be denied,
No-one can stem the tide,
Of my downhill slide.

So in that Honky-Tonk I sat,
Drinkin’ beer and gettin’ fat,
While one of my old friends even shed a tear,
Then all at once, my buddy, Kirk,
Said to me, “You’re a piece of work,
There’s a way of lookin’ at this that you don’t see,
Sure you got a degen’rative condition,
But that doesn’t mean ya just go fishin’,
It means every day the seeds you’re sowin’
That’s the way we’ll ALL be goin’,
You’re just leadin’, and we’re bringin’ up the rear,
So let's make a pact, and we'll sign this letter,
Though you ain’t gettin' any better,
You’re blazin’ trails for us as our pioneer,

We’re ALL takin’ a ri-i-ide,
On that downhill sli-i-ide,
We’ll all need skates, so we’d better rent’em,
Cuz we’re gatherin’ speed and gaining momentum,
It can not be denied,
No-one can stem the tide,
Of our downhill slide,

When your good days aren't as good,
As your bad days used to be,
You have to know, it's time to go, Wheeeee

And enjoy the ri-i-ide,
On your downhill sli-i-ide,
We’ll all need skates, so we’d better rent’em,
Cuz we’re gatherin’ speed and gaining momentum,
It can not be denied,
No-one can stem the tide,
Of our downhill slide,
Of our downhill slide.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


                                                 ------------------------
And finally,  who could forget the great parody of the old Peggy Lee hit, "Is That All There Is?" which was first performed at the NSAID a Go-Go in 1969 by satirist Tommy Trask.


IS THAT ALL MY LIFE WILL BE?
(with apologies to Leiber and Stoller)

SPOKEN:
I remember when I was a very young man,
and I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis.
I'll never forget the look on my mother's face as she wrapped me in her arms and hugged me outside the doctor's office. And later, I sat there in the car staring out the window, watching the world go by, And when we arrived back home, I said to myself, "Is that it?"

"Is this as good as my life will ever be?"

SUNG:
Is this all my life will be,
is this all it'll be,
If this is all it'll be, my friends,
then why keep dancing
Let's give up the quest, and go to the mall
If that's all, my life will be,

SPOKEN:
And when I was ten years older, my rheumatologist told me that I had to have an operation to replace my hip. There were doctors and nurses, and anaesthesiologists, and a beautiful physical therapist in a pink sweater, which made her look like a princess, and as I lay there doing my leg exercises, I had such a feeling of depression overwhelm me,
I don't know why, but it all seemed so pointless,
I said to myself, "Why am I doing all this?"

Why go through all this if my life's not going to get any better?

SUNG:
Is this all my life will be,
is this all it'll be,
If this is all it'll be, my friends,
then why keep dancing
Let's give up the quest,
and drink till "last call"
If that's all, my life will be,

SPOKEN:
Then I fell in love, with the most wonderful woman in the world. We would take long walks on the beach or just sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes. We were so very much in love.

Then one day, she went away.
And I thought I'd die -- but I didn't.

And when I didn't, I said to myself,
"Is this all my life will be?"

SUNG:
Is this all my life will be,
is this all it'll be,
If this is all it'll be, my friends,
then why keep dancing

SPOKEN:
I know what you must be saying to yourselves.
If that's the way you feel about Life, why don't you just end it all?

Oh, no. my friends. Y'see, I've learned so much more since then. For I know now that Life is not just about feeling well, and that there is so much to be learned from achieving something in spite of an obstacle. That having every opportunity is not the same as intensely focusing on a single truly desired opportunity. And accepting your fate and doing what you want in spite of it, will make you a hero, maybe not to everyone, but to everyone who knows you. And that "sucking it up" is something that each and every person in the entire world does in their own way, every single day. So, live your life as much as you are able, and don't worry about it measuring up to your previous impossibly limitless standards. All there is to Life is Living. You chose how to make the living meaningful. The true test will come when that final moment arrives. That is when I pray that on your deathbed, you will NOT be saying to yourself,

SUNG:
Is this all my life has been,
is this all that it's been,
If this is all it has ever been, my friends,
then I won't keep dancing
I'll take my last breath, and my curtain call
If that's all, my life has been.

Life is experiential. Live and learn and learn to live.



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                                  Spondyville Virtual Walk - Stop # 8

The NSAID-a-go-go makes a perfect stop on the Virtual Walk because it reminds us that there are many wonderful musicians with AS, that continue to lift our spirits with their music.  Having Spondylitis is NOT the end of the world.   People with AS can still be creative and entertaining. Their lives do not have to be over.  What they need is the love and support of their friends and families.  Combine that with a sense of humor and a willingness to adapt, and any 'Spondy' can have a successful and fulfilling life.  This path, dealing with a debilitating disease is a challenge, but it has just as many rewards and the path we were formerly on.

Yo might be interested in seeing what some people with AS do in the realms of music and art:

The Spondyville Jukebox   - Music
The Spondyville Museum   - Art