Friday night in Louisville - May 4th, 2007
So, let me tell you about Friday night in Louisville. It started out as a stressful day...it was the day of the Kentucky Oaks, the day before the Kentucky Derby. We had a huge client back out on us for a suite that we had just purchased. Our cost on the suite was between $70,000 and $80,000. So, it's the day before the Derby, and now I'm stuck with trying to move this suite so we don't lose all of our profits on the entire event. Rafael Rivas and I were on the phones, running around town, slashing prices, talking to other clients...whatever we could do. The rest of our office were at Churchill Downs drinking Mint Juleps. Needless to say, I wasn't the happiest camper. I can deal with stressful situations, but this was just flat out shitty.
So, around 7:00pm, we had sold about half of the suite, and I was busier than ever speaking with clients, buying last minute tickets from Churchill Season ticket holders, answering phones, selling tickets, etc. My friend, Sallie, was coming into town that night to hit the Derby on Saturday, so I needed to finish up prior to 10:00pm to go pick her up from the airport. I wrapped up what I needed to do at the office, then headed out for a couple of more hotel drop offs prior to picking her up at the Louisville airport.
We got back to our hotel, changed clothes real quick, then met Dave and Caroline for dinner at Buckheads. I wanted to dress casual, so I through on some faded jeans, boots, and a knock-off red "Playboy Photographer" gas-station-worker styled shirt.... the ones with the patch on either side. Twelve o'clock, we're done with dinner finally, and Dave, Sallie and I were in the mood to hit the bars. I had already finished off the busiest day of the event, so it was time to let loose downtown on 4th street live (a large area of Louisville's best bars and clubs).
As soon as we got there, we met up with Lindsey, Rafael and Jenn...had a beer with them, but they were boring, so we decided to go upstairs to the country bar/club. (2) shots and (3) Red Bull/Three Olives Grape drinks later, we were all set. The music was the typical Kentucky white-trash Bon Jovi Livin' on a Pray'r, Dukes of Hazzard Theme music, etc, so we decided to explore the other bars at this point. We went downstairs to the bottom floor of 4th street live...this place is like a shopping mall of bars with escalators and multiple floors, outdoor and indoor.
We found a bar named "Felt" that looked cool, but the 2 biggest bouncers that you've ever seen where turning everyone, hot girls and guys alike, away from the doors. I looked at Dave and Sallie, and remembered saying "There is no way we're getting in here, but I'm gonna give it a shot". I walked right up to VIP line, whistled at the door guy, and motioned him over. He immediatly said "Take a hike, no one is getting in, Private Pary!" That's when I effortless rolled off "Hi, I'm Aaron Yusovigich (sp?) with Playboy. I just came from the Kentucky Derby playboy party and they asked me to come by here to photograph this party." He looked at me, looked at my knock-off shirt, and then yelled to a couple of other guys standing inside the door of the bar. He told me, "one second, let me get the Playboy Guys for you". Little did I know, this was the Playboy after party. So, these two other guys come up, and again ask me who I am. I told them, then rolled off a few names of event planners that I know from the Playboy Super Bowl Party..."I work with Donna, the event planner" The playboy rep says "I don't know Donna" I said "You know, Donna Tavoso"...he says "from Chicago?"..."Nope" I say, "From New York". (That was his little quiz which I passed with flying colors). So, the guy shakes my hand and I motion for Dave and Sallie to come over. He says "There's still a $40 cover per person...DJ AM is playing tonight". So, I nonchalantly look at Sallie and Dave and say "Stay on me...don't stop". We get by the door guy, bolt right by the girl collecting money like we own the place, and mix in with the crowd.
This place is pumping...DJ AM (used to date Nicole Richie) has got to be the best damn DJ I've ever heard in my entire life. This guy was mixing Rap, Kentucky Country, Rock, Dance music...you name it...and we were partying with the hottest people in town that night. I don't think that they let an ugly girl in the place. Not 10 minutes into our evening at Felt (though it was probably close to 1:30am at this point), I have people coming at me asking if I'm really with Playboy. So, I turn to Sallie, who is chatting it up with some Minnesota Viking's player, and ask her for her camera. As soon as I get this camera in my hands, I'm the most famous person in the bar. I've got tons of hot women running up to me, jumping in front of the camera. Bartenders are giving me free drinks if I would include them in the photo shoot. Even DJ AM is posing for me as he's spinning records.
By the end of the evening, around 5:00am, I'm hanging out with a couple of actors, and their chics, at the bar. They ended up asking me to hit another after party with them, but I was already 2-sheets-to-the-wind, and I still had the Kentucky Derby to attend that day. So, the 3 of us, Sallie, Dave and I, jumped in a taxi, and headed back to the hotel. The actors were calling me all day the next day, but I couldn't remember whether I told them I was "Aaron with Playboy", or just "Aaron the Playboy", so I just struggled through my hangover, bet on the horses, and reluctantly sucked down a few Mint Juleps, all the while, letting their calls go to voicemail.
So, what did learn from this night? Buy another one of those "Playboy Photographer shirts"...it's like instant Rock Star!