5 Bands That Could Play the Cage in Road House, by Hand of Beaver (Chips & Beer)

You know how monkey plus typewriter times infinity equals Shakespeare? Well if you put a keyboard in the Hand of Beaver, eventually you will get a killer post about Road House (1989).

Space, man. Everything is out there. Shit is infinite. If you could just travel far enough for long enough and not die, eventually you would run out of all the regular things the universe has to offer. Then you'd start seeing things you never saw before. You'd see planets spinning backwards, square-shaped moons, you name it, a planet full of chicks and no dudes, a world where they eat with their butts. Like they stuff fresh vegetables in there, and it comes out of their mouths a day or so later, transformed. It'd be so crazy. And they would think you were the freak, you know? For doing it the other way. Also, like in the comic books, you would find many worlds that are apparently identical to our own, but on closer inspection you would find them to be different in one small detail. Like the atomic bomb was never invented there, or JFK never got murdered. And there's all these unexpected ramifications of that. Maybe caffeine-free Mountain Dew is easier to find in the supermarkets there. It could be just the smallest of differences, you'd hardly notice. Every possible reality, you know, it's all out there somewhere in the infinity of everything. And for many of those infinite worlds, the only feature to distinguish them from our own Earth is the question of which band played the cage in Road House.

Jeff Healey

Home sweet home! Of course this is our own planet Earth, where blind white boy blues guitarist Jeff Healey plays the cage with his band at the Double Deuce nightclub. They get bottles thrown at them all the time. It looks like Jeff gets his lip cut pretty bad once, but it might be just an overreaction on account of his blindness. Jeff is good buddies with Dalton (played by Patrick Swayze), the best damn cooler in the business. Dalton helps clean the place up and make it respectable, which ends up being a bad idea. First, for some dumb reason the band elects to have the waitress sing instead of Jeff. It's kinda fucked up, since it's his band and he sings way better than she does. Anyway, the club really went to shit after the renovation. Any band can play a clean club where everyone behaves like they're in school. It takes a tuff band to play the cage. Jeff Healey don't look that tuff but that's probly just part of his act, like part of a strategy to get girls. He plays his guitar pretty focken tuff tho.

Little Richard

Dalton (Patrick Swayze) is a bad ass bouncer. There is this other dude Jimmy (Marshall Teague) who is also a bad ass, who did some hard time and came out mean. Two ass kickers in one bar, you know they got to rumble sometime. One night they have a showdown by the lake. Jimmy is kinda turned on when they fight. This freaks Dalton out. He's about to rip out Jimmy's throat when Mr. Wesley (Ben Gazarra) intervenes, decapitating Dalton at a distance of nearly 800 yards with a single shot from the M107 Barrett .50 caliber rifle that he has set up on a tripod at his bedroom window. Mr. Wesley has been trying to listen to his Little Richard 45s, and the racket from the fight across the lake was disturbing his concentration. Down below, Jimmy has been blinded by fragments of Dalton's skull and staggers into the lake to drown. As his screams gurgle into wet silence, Mr. Wesley plays "Rip it Up" b/w "Reddy Teddy," "Heebie Jeebies" b/w "She's Got It," "Long Tall Sally" b/w "Slippin' and Slidin' (Peepin' and Hidin')," and "Keep a Knockin'" b/w "Can't Believe You Wanna Leave." It is strong stuff, hot to the touch, like radioactive isotopes in a liquor bottle. Mr. Wesley has never felt so much concentrated power in all his years of fucking shit up. He confesses out loud to the cold dark night above that not even the thrill of killing a man compares to the electric charge of black magic buried in these old 45rpm records. He says this is music that, once heard, instantly inspires one to do something about having heard it. Something equal to its own outrageous power, something wild. So in the morning Mr. Wesley will use his enormous financial resources and law enforcement connections to track down Mr. Richard Wayne Penniman and begin the process of identifying the source of his music's awesome power. Very soon, Mr. Penniman will live out his days in the cage at the Double Deuce. There he will eat, sleep, and most importantly play Mr. Wesley's favorite songs in person, day and night, until the source of his great power is revealed. To do this and possibly escape the cage with his life, Mr. Penniman must be careful to play the songs exactly the way he played them for the Specialty record label so long ago. He must duplicate the maniacal state of Rock & Roll that possessed him on the old Specialty recordings and surrender to it utterly, because if he does not, Mr. Wesley will be very upset. And innocent people will die.

Mink DeVille

The owner of the Double Deuce, Frank Tilghman (played by Kevin Tighe), notices someone has written "FOR A GOOD FUCK CALL 555-7617" on the wall outside of the bathroom. Tilghman crosses out the phone number, which is obviously bogus, and inserts his own home number. He's lookin' for a good time any way he can get it. Guy's an animal. Why, he hired Mink Deville to play his bar every night. He doesn't even need to hire bouncers or a cooler to manage them, because Willy DeVille keeps everyone in line just by sweating so much in the stage lights. It's focken fascinating how he does it. He's covered in grease, metal teeth flashing. Motherfucker is gritty. People just stare at him, amazed. The band is tight, sounds like they're playing in four different decades at once. That's what Tilghman loves about the band: There's a little something for everyone. People dance, they snap their fingers. There is toe tapping all over the joint. They wonder why they never heard of this guy before. They're surprised when they discover he's the guy who did that song from The Princess Bride (1987) that was nominated for an Oscar. This guy? They would never have guessed. They point at him and shit. He's a walking mystery, eight feet tall. You can hardly believe he exists. One night some guy wants to make a name for himself, so he throws a beer bottle straight at Willy DeVille's pompadour. Willy snatches it right out of the air with a third arm he had hidden under his jacket, drains the dregs from the bottle and lifts his pompadour to expose a third eye set high on his forehead, which slides side to side like the crazy cat clock in the doctor's office. Nobody fucks with him after that, ever again. Just let him do his thing.


Another band was scheduled to perform at the Double Deuce but had to back out at the last minute. Fortunately Kix is somewhere on the same continent on the day of the show, and has no problem filling in. The band is such a hit with the locals that the owner keeps them on for the rest of the week. The singer Steve Whiteman is a focken dynamo. Dances like a maniac. Great footwork. Every night at the end of the set the band releases 100 beach balls into the crowd. It's a good time. Some people don't get it, like nerds and dingleberries. They'll never get it. And bouncers who have advanced degrees in Philosophy. They're too stupid to have a good time. Backstage after the gig, Steve Whiteman kicks the shit out of Dalton for making fun of his lisp, prompting Dalton's old friend Wade Garrett (played here by Dermot Mulroney) to come riding into town looking for revenge. But when Wade sees how much action Steve Whiteman is getting before, during, and after the band's set every night, Wade kicks the shit out of Dalton himself for being such a dingleberry. Dalton is hospitalized with severe cranial swelling, and unfortunately does not get one of the good looking nurses, but is instead assigned to the care of the lady who played the gym teacher in Porky's (1982). Poetic justice for a guy who worked a Kix show and still aint learned how to party.


On this planet, Road House is a biker movie about a dysfunctional biker family. Little Dalton (played here by Brian Bosworth) is the illegitimate son of Wade Garrett (still played by Sam Elliott) who is a prominent member of a gang that is smuggling bootleg LPs into the southern US from Europe. The film begins with Dalton taking a job as bouncer at a bar that looks a little bit like the Double Deuce you know so well, but this one is called A Tail and Two Tiddies and it's a way tuffer kinda place, with a neon donkey sporting a pair of winged neon human female tiddies hanging from the awning over the front door. Kinda place where the patrons have knife fights instead of dancing. Saxon doesn't give a shit, they just keep playing their song: The title track from Wheels of Steel. They play it without stopping, as long as the club is open, cuz that's all they ever feel like playing. There's blood everywhere and stuff like that, from people going crazy. It's wild. Anyway, one night Dalton's father Wade shows up with his girlfriend Rusty Dennis (played by Cher) and her son Rocky (Eric Stoltz), who suffers from Craniodiaphyseal Dysplasia, a severe bone disorder that radically distorts the boy's skull. When Saxon finishes playing "Wheels of Steel" that night, they are all pretty cut up, but a couple of good things come out of partying so hard. For one thing that Saxon riff has kept the knife fight going so well that Rocky forgot all about his chronic headaches, and no one was even aware of time passing. It's like 4:00am in the morning now. So to round out the night, the four of them ride around town on their motorcycles shooting at street signs and shit with young Rocky in the sidecar of Little Dalton's Harley. By now Dalton's old man Wade is so fucked up on pills and blood loss, he finally lets slip a long held family secret: Cher is Dalton's real mom, which means Rocky and Dalton are brothers. Rocky is happy to have a brother and all but he is worried that maybe his new bro Little Dalton may have the same bone disorder as he does. Dalton freaks everybody out by confessing that he does indeed have a condition kinda like Rocky's, but so far it has not affected the growth of his skull. He then drops his pants to illustrate, if you know what I mean. After that, they stop calling him Little Dalton. Later when Dalton finally passes out from all the open knife wounds on his body, Wade and Rocky smear shaving cream all over Dalton's face while Cher takes a black permanent marker and writes "Moustache Rides" on Dalton's huge, misshapen boner. It's way funnier in the theater.

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