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Jimmy Messa, 52, bassist for the Subdudes, a band known for its New Orleans style, is the last member still living in the Big Easy. And that's where the bassist plans to be for Fat Tuesday."Mardi Gras is still exciting,'' said Messa before the band's sellout show at Skipper's in January.

What is on your nightstand?

Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: The World as Stage, and I also have a compilation of Rolling Stone interviews that I picked up in a thrift shop. There are two interviews in there with Bob Dylan. He antagonizes the interviewers horribly.

I'm glad you don't do that. Are you reading Bryson's book because you're a Shakespearean at heart or because it's a Bill Bryson book?

Because it's Bill. He has this way of taking other people's accounts and putting it into a great story. He's got that incredible gift where he could write about cutting grass, and his story would be fabulous.

Times staff writer Piper Castillo can be reached at