Monday, 20 July 2009

L.A. Part 5.

I wake up feeling worryingly spritely and bouncy and dare I say, breezy. You know when you do that after a heavy night drinking and only a few hours sleep, you just don’t trust yourself right? That hangover is somewhere lurking. I’m in L.A though and this is my last few hours here so I’m gonna brave it out with Talita and hit that sweet roof top pool one last time.

I can’t bloody swim of course cause my foot is freshly inked, I have to sit on the steps with my right leg hanging up on the side, still, better than a kick in the teeth.

We don’t hang about long up there, getting back to the hotel room asap to change and pack cause apparently we have a breakfast date with Chad and the lovely Miss Alicia at Mel’s diner on the Hollywood Blvd. Erik is dead, so we leave him so till we are done being girls, kick him awake and roll on out.

A taxi ride later and shocker, no Chad and Alicia. My money is they’re dying in bed. Ha! I too at this point am feeling slightly peaky, and a walk up Hollywood Blvd does nothing to help alleviate the waves of nausea and dizziness overcoming me. Here it is, the result of hard partying that I was dreading.

Erik’s mate plays Jason from Friday the 13th on the Blvd, so we go and check him out, get some pictures and I reach breaking point. It’s hot, I am dying and this place is so crowded I don’t know if I’m going to chuck or faint. My companions take their sweet arse time in getting to a cab, although I was such a state it may not have been. We did seem to stop loads for one reason or another many times.

Finally in the taxi, I start getting anxious about the time, we planned on leaving the hotel at noon, to get to the airport for 1 pm, to ensure fire exit seats for all of us together. That taxi ride took forever. At the hotel I wait in the lobby while Talita and Erik go to get our bags down from the room and Nick turns up and fills me in on what he got up to that morning. 20 minutes later and gone noon, we are still waiting, I swear they have gone back up to the bloody pool.

On the up side, I meet Edgar. Edgar who has worked at the Hyatt for 35 years. Who, once trusting that I genuinely wanted to know the dirt, spilled the good stuff! Led Zeppelin burnt the 5th floor down. They also had the most groupies. Robert Plant went back there 3 years ago and him and Edgar had a chuckle about the crazy old days. Slash used to rent a room 2,3 times a week just for the afternoon for him and his fiancé. Sometimes he was so drunk they had to walk him up there. The Who used to drive their motorbikes through the lobby. I nearly got kicked out! I am in heaven. Satisfied, the others finally reappear and we hug it out with Erik and drive off in to the sunset, back to good old grey London. Well, not so much in to the sunset as along it.

See what I did there? I don’t care, I miss L.A. The plane ride back was shit and my ankles turned in to cankles. And the plane was going away not towards L.A. It was shit. I heart L.A forever! And I got my right foot to prove it!

L.A. Part 4.

So my favourite keeps changing when it comes to White Wizzard. We got John, who I could chat with all day, I love listening to him tell stories and he has been an exceptionally gracious host.

Then there’s Erik, who is like your naughty little brother’s friend. Can be totally endearing and equally be a complete dick. But again, totally cool to hang with and definitely loves to drink. Erik will definitely love London.

Wyatt, the front man is legend. He is from Florida and has a full on Southern drawl thing going on. He called me maam. Ha! He served in the Army and fought the first time over in Iraq. When Nick asked him if he had ever killed a man he looked thoughtful and we all thought he was going to come out with something like ‘ I don’t want to talk about it’ or one or two but he answers ‘bout 30, it was them on me’. Legend. And, he looks the spit of young Dio. Cannot wait to see him perform.

Chad is a diamond. He is so much fun and a total pro, he couldn’t have been more hospitable and his girlfriend is the shit! British girl of course!

Last but not least is Jesse, the drummer. He was a slow burner, very quiet and then POW, put him in a bandana and he becomes Bruce Springsteen. Funny as fuck that dude. Proper interesting guy, lots to say, seen a lot and done a lot. He even knows Pamela Des Barres. WTF!

I’m so relieved they are not a bunch of dicks, and the fact that all of them are cool is such a rarity, I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed that I get to tour with them at some point. The feeling is mutual, Jesse, Erik and me were talking on the ride back from the photo shoot and they too were relieved that we weren’t dicks either!

Anyways…back to the story telling at hand…Chad’s!

Back at Chad’s gaff and he has a pretty full house going on. Bonded By Blood, me, Nick and the White Wizzard massive all in his front room drinking beer and shouting over each other. His girlfriend comes through the front door and bless her, looks totally shell shocked by the amount of people in front of her. She takes it well and retreats to their bedroom to get ready for the night of debauchery ahead of us. I, on the other hand start flagging. Oh shit, jetlag wave crashing my way. Fortunately, Chad and his girlfriend, Alicia are fucking sweet as a nut and let me kip on their bed, I ask them to wake me in half an hour.

I come to now and again to the sounds of laughing and shouting and music, I can recognise Alicia and Nick well in to it all and sleep chuffed that everyone is carrying on like they have known each other for years. At some point Alicia comes in with a beer and leaves it on the bedside table for me, and eventually a couple of the BBB boys and Alicia wake me with a shot. I sit up, knock it back and I’m up just in time for the taxi arriving to take us to The Rainbow. They let me sleep for an hour and a half. When I came out the bedroom they had on the Iron Maiden 666 DVD. Bless, bless and more bless!

John manages to get Bonded By Blood in, some of whom are not legal in the States yet by saying we are buying food, so buy food we did. Just a massive pizza between all of us though since we were all pretty much still stuffed from the Mexican. Everyone is mega excited and quite drunk by this point, bouncing about, taking photos and acting the fool is the general order of the day, we are all over the shop, those of us who smoke especially, popping out to the outside bar to do shots and chain smoke.

Suddenly the lights come up and the music has stopped. What the fucking fuck is going on? It’s closing is what the fucking fuck is going on. Yes that’s right people, The Rainbow shuts at 2 am. As does everywhere down the strip apparently. What sort of a rock n roll town is this? Seriously, I am shocked to the very core. All those legendary hell raisers went home at 2 am. Oooo out of control!

Fuck that, I finished my drink and banged on for a bit about ‘for the sake of all that is good in rock n roll, why are we getting told to leave at 2 am’ etc and then left. The ‘Riot’ Hyatt it is then!

Or not, as the case may be. We must have been in our hotel room mere minutes before the first knock at the door. We hide in the bathroom, behind the bed, under the desk and Talita opens the door. Reception have had a complaint from our neighbour about the noise. It’s the fucking ‘RIOT’ Hyatt hotel and it’s only gone 2 in the morning you pricks, why are you staying at the ‘RIOT’ if you want a good nights sleep? Jesus don’t you people have any respect? Yeah, yeah, we’ll keep it down blah blah blah.

Of course within half an hour the other bloody neighbour has complained. We are too drunk to remember to hide everyone and are informed we are only allowed 3 guests in our room. Ermm…excuse me but how the fuck is one supposed to have an orgy at the ‘RIOT’ if one so chooses to with no more than 3 people? Not that we were going to, eww, but still, hardly the point, WTF?

But get this, on the up side like. We are told by the ‘Riot’ Hyatt staff that if they have to come up again, we will be asked to leave the hotel! We would be turfed out for being too rock n roll! Fuckin A, how bad ass are we!

So we leave. We literally get all our booze, pour it in to the posh hotel glasses and waltz right on out of there. Fuck them, this party is going to the sidewalk and the GTO parked outside.

We must have pissed about out there for at least an hour and no cops came by! Still though, doesn’t mean we can’t prank call the Earache head office in Nottingham and tell them we have been right? What it’s about the time they are all in now? So John rings and informs them that the old band members had turned up at The Rainbow, started chucking some harsh words about and that I squared up to them all rowdy like. One thing led to another, Talita was trying to diffuse the situation but to no avail and I bottled one of them. We have both been arrested and need $5000 bail. John is in shock and doesn’t know what to do. At this point I am in howls of laughter and ruin the whole shebang, closely followed by everyone else. This had, sadly enough been in plans for the entire trip only this was the first night we could manage to stay up late enough to carry out, what with the time difference and all.

With this, Nick retires to bed, as do Chad and Alicia. We spot Nick up in his room pulling his blinds, wave and moon him and then push off to bed too. Erik is too fucked up to drive so kips with Talita and me, but doesn’t really. We kip, he gets up sporadically to drink more and talk to people who don’t exist. Don’t ask, no idea.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

L.A. Part 3.

It is Saturday night, I am back in London town and have just finished work behind the bar at my shitty little metal pub. That and the jetlag has prevented me from regaling you with what happened over the last 48 – 72 hours of my time in L.A. Already it seems a lifetime away, fortunately I can just look at my right foot for the rest of my life if ever I want to remember it. Let me divulge dear reader…..

Wednesday morning finds us wide-awake at a ridiculous hour again but this time we are ready to use it to our favour. Talita takes us a short walk up the road to Mel’s Diner on the strip for breakfast American style, round 2.We are clearly tourists cause no one walks here, unless it's that stupid power walking thing. This place was in American Graffiti and is totally the epitome of fifties America.

We seat ourselves inside even though it is a beautiful morning so that we can enjoy the full experience, the décor, the staff etc, and boy do they not disappoint. Janet. I think Janet should be called Dolores, so will call her that for the rest of this. She was our waitress and blew my mind. Primarily because as Talita pointed out, she is quite probably me in 30 years time.

How to describe Dolores? Know now that I cannot possibly do her any justice. She is Patsy out of Absolutely Fabulous had Patsy been dragged up rather than brought up, moved to L.A as a teenager to become a ‘star’, got a job at several shitty diners like Denny’s while trying not to stray in to porn. She then would have fallen for a string of ‘wrong’ men, who promised her the world, gave her nothing but took everything. Probably she would have done some go go dancing and made a few infomercials.

Before old age crept in she landed her current job at Mel’s diner and is so enchanting she manages to keep getting loans out to feed her addiction to staying young and beautiful with cosmetic surgery then spends gruelling hours on her feet trying to earn the money to pay the loans off. Probably she has a few men in her life who throw money her way but I suspect she grafts for it. Probably she has grand children she never sees on the other side of the Country but sends them thoughtful cards and trinkets none the less and is thought of fondly if not patronisingly, similar to how I think of her.

What a woman. I am completely entranced one hundred percent. I can’t put an age on her. Her arms are young, mid 30’s say. Her hands, though accessorised with long acrylic talons in dusky pink look about 50. Her figure under her tight trashy uniform says 20’s. Her neck says 60. Her face is caked in make up, she has false eyelashes on, a massive injected pout and a forehead that hasn’t moved since 1992. Dolores is some kind of beautiful tragic. I want to take her home as a souvenir.

Somehow I manage to eat, hard when there is so much to take in. When we are settling up the bill there is a comments bit on the receipt. I get my eyeliner out and write ‘we love Janet’ and we leave. Hope she doesn’t think we were taking the piss, she is a goddess. I mean shit, I just wrote 5 paragraphs on the woman!

We schmooze on back to the hotel, i can feel the weight gain with every passing hour i stay here, and yet again I can’t believe I’m staying in the Riot. Gets me every time. I have been intending on finding some one who works there to fill me in on all the sordid history of the place and have a few names of staff to ask but keep bloody forgetting.Edgar is the man in the know apparently, 35 years under his belt, the man will for sure have some great tales to tell.

We still have a couple of hours until all the boys are turning up to hang out and so hit the roof top again and hang out in the blistering sun, fuck about in the pool, I wee’d in it, much to the horror of Talita who went scrambling out…jeez that’s what chlorine is for, anyway my pee is pretty much pure Jack D at this point! I dry off in the sun and go kick it in the hotel room and do some writing. I have had zero chance to get this done as of yet and this will probably be my only chance till London. I get a couple of hours work done over a 3 hour period, popping back up to the roof to smoke and splash about a couple of times and having posted my writing crash out on my bed, only to wake up when Talita and Erik, guitarist from Whitt Wizzard come bounding in to get cleaned up for the evening.

Worryingly Talita has not had a siesta after all, so jetlag city is bound to be getting her at some point tonight.

Tonight we will be joined by none other than my tour brothers, Bonded By Blood, fucking A. We are all going to eat at a Mexican restaurant on Melrose, I could take or leave Mexican food but this aint my show so tough shit. Erik takes Nick, Talita and myself off up Melrose in his Ford pick up truck and we do some window shopping, have a rake around some vintage shops trying random crap on but not really finding anything to purchase as souvenirs of my L.A adventure. Really we just spend an hour trying on the most hideous things we could find. Fun but a fail none the less. The stuff that I would have bought, like a slutty fur coat that would make me look like a Russian hooker were too expensive. Bugger.

Impulse buy I guess, though it was no shocker, I kind of knew this was coming, Talita too, I ended up getting me a little tattoo to commemorate my first and hopefully not only time in Los Angeles. Only half an hour’s worth cause we were low on time and money but a little tattoo on my right foot none the less. Of an eyeball with wings.

The tattooist I chose because it had a barbershop in it run by Richie the barber who had tatt’s on his face and a gelled gentleman’s moustache. He was dressed in Sweeny Todd type get up and was so fucking cool it hurt my eyes. There he was working away with a shiny blade, he loved my idea and I was sorely disappointed that he wouldn’t be the one doing it. My tattooist Looked like he had maybe had a tough night on K or his girlfriend had just walked out on him and had taken the cat with. Or maybe he was just stoned? Whatever, he did a good if quiet job and bish bosh bashed that bad boy out. I sat reasonably well although my fucking foot did start jumping 15 minutes in. Loser foot. I held it well though I think.

Cling filmed up, Chad had arrived mid tattoo and we all trundle off up Melrose to the Mexican place, and who should I spot across the street but a bunch of Mexicans. Bonded By Blood people!

I haven’t seen these guys since I toured with them and I’m well syked to see them, everyone’s hugging and shit and off we go on mass after introductions between the two bands. The restaurant gives us our own private room with a long table. It’s a very grand room with walls covered in pics of the govenor with different characters and the furniture is all this heavy wood. Mood lighting sets off the feeling that we might be sacrificing some one in here tonight, I think I watch too many movies.

We drink Margaritas and beer and shots of tequila. We eat too much and we take a ton of drunk photos. Then jetlag hits Talita. Bum. So she gets dropped at the hotel for a couple of hour’s sleep and the rest of us pile in to cars and drive to Chad’s place near Hollywood Blvd. Ahh sweet, a house party is always a must on the tick list of things to do in other people’s countries, to get a real sense of their culture right…….

Thursday, 16 July 2009

L.A. Part 2.

I am a Moomin, hibernating deep inside a fluffy nest, all snuggled up with a slight breeze brushing past my forehead. Oh wait, no I’m fucking not. I’m curled up in a massive bed surrounded with sumptuous bed linen with the air con breezing about me. I’m in L.A!

I feel like I’ve been asleep for a million years and am pretty sure I have over slept. Talita has been softly padding about the room for a while now and I have my eyes tightly shut waiting for her to tell me to get up and be all go go go. This doesn’t happen. She is back in her bed, I reach over to my phone and holy shit it’s bloody 7 am? How the hell has that happened. This is unheard of, my mum and dad would literally not believe this. It can only be that sodding jetlag me thinks, working is crafty way about my body like some uninvited rash oblivious to the naked eye. Bugger.

At some point last night we all arranged a time for John to come and pick us up and take us somewhere for breakfast, but since being so mega drunk none of us can recall exactly what time that was. There is a potential 2-hour window that the meeting time falls in. Fail.

So at 11 am we wait, I’m pretty sure it was noon, nothing. Finally we realise that we can actually phone him and he’s 15 minutes away. I knew I was right.

My fake spray tan is working a treat so I brave getting the pins out and spend the next several hours going from paranoid to not giving a shit if L.A is sickened by my thread veins that look like a map of the greater London area. This is what L.A does to me, makes me all mellow and devil may care. Sweet. John is taking us to the Griddle, a pancake institution apparently. We park up, get ourselves seated and look around us. This place is fucking cool, the waiter is hot and the smells coming from the kitchen are to die for, what a result. I take Johns advice and get the ‘Yellow brick road’ pancake stack and share it with nick cause these blighters are huge. I get a side of scrambled eggs and bacon too cause this is the next step in American food exploration. Pancakes, sweet, with bacon?!

I’ve noticed that I get really antsy having to wait to be served, to get the food, to get the bill, to get out of there. London time is definitely quicker than L.A time. I try to chill out but once I’ve eaten I just want to get the fuck out of there and do something else. Maybe it’s just that we are here for such a short time and I want to fit in as much as possible cause it’s ace over here!

My breakfast was out of this world, although by the time I admitted defeat I felt like I was going to throw up! The experience did not let me down in any way and I can leave The Griddle safe in the knowledge I will probably never eat there again.

After we eventually get out of there, it’s back to the hotel to meet up with Neil, the photographer who will be doing the shoot with White Wizzard today. Yes we do actually get some work done during this trip you know. Granted it’s the best work ever so barely counts but work it is none the less.

While waiting for the band to turn up we all hit the roof top pool, feel free to go chuck up somewhere, I know how sickening this is trust! Frolicking in the pool with my girl Talita is the most fun. We have a cabana overlooking L.A and I work on the potential of skin cancer by sun bathing till I’m too hot, pissing about in the pool to cool off and then sun bathing again till I'm totally dry. I’m intrigued to see quite how red I’ll go. Before we know it the guys have all arrived and are chilling out on the sun lounges. We all introduce ourselves to each other and chew the cud for a while before sorting our shit out and hitting the road for the location shoot.

After a drive that takes us through L.A and then along the Pacific Highway coastline, we pull up on the side of the road amongst the most beautiful and intimidating rocky, craggy mountains climbing up from the road. The GTO gets positioned in front and the equipment set up. The guys all pose around the car and the shoot is underway. The photos, through the camera look amazing and I can’t wait to see them properly. A couple of hours later and it’s done and dusted. The guys loosened up throughout and by the end were really going for it Metal stylee, fucking winners!

Not knowing that I’d be out all day I didn’t bring tights or a jacket and it’s turned pretty chilly now, so I forego the GTO and shotgun Eric’s Ford pick up instead. unfortunately there is a big seat divider in the middle and no back seats, so poor Jesse the drummer has to perch on that, I feel guilty but not that guilty I guess or I would have gone in the other car. We hit the beach quickly before dinner and me and Talita have our shoes off quick smart wadding in and pissing about.

O.k so check this. The day we arrived in L.A there was an earthquake. A small unfortunately, so we didn’t get to feel how that is, but one strong enough that coastline had loads of ocean life washed up on the beach cause the tide had rushed in and then out again really quickly.

All along there were these bizarre looking things that looked like a cross between a jellyfish and a purple liver. Nick accidently trod on one and his shoe got covered in purple dye. It wasn’t until a bit later when were trying to dig a trench for one so that it would role back in to the ocean that we noticed they were sea slugs! Weird fucking things I tell you. Jesse showed me how to catch sand crabs, that’s not a euphemism, they were little crabs that dig down in the sand and leave little bubbles on the surface.

Anyways…drink time! The guys have been banging on about this German pub they all go to and so off we speed for food and booze and for Nick to get his Kerrang! Interview. Not such an exciting place I found, simply cause we have loads of these places back home. Of course I tell the guys this, ha! What an arsehole. We all chow down our dubious German grub and are joined by friends of the band and some girlfriends and have quite the corner party going on. These lot are definatly gonna love Europe. We are all mega excited and everyone’s chatting and shouting and laughing and generally having a ball. Karaoke tonight for sure!

Nick gets his interview started and then, and then me and Talita fall asleep. At the table. We fall asleep. What fucking parallel universe is this that I am keeping the same fucking hours as an OAP? Fucks sake. Seriously, the barmaid came over and told us we couldn’t sleep there! Ahahahahahaaaa, my how the tables have turned, it’s usually me doing that!. Needless to add to this but shock of shocks, Karaoke did not happen. We got in the GTO and sped back to the ‘Riot’, detouring down Hollywood blvd to look at all the freaks and went straight to bed. What a bunch of losers. Tomorrow we are having a siesta so that this does not ever happen again. Ever. I’m ashamed of myself. I know better.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

L.A. Part 1.

If immigration and customs ask, ‘I’m here to visit a band’, the more I look like a stupid, dumb groupie, the more likely they will find it amusing and get all flustered and embarrassed because they will be assuming that I am a groupie and therefore sex fiend harlot and ergo, the quicker I will get through the whole ‘Are you here on business or pleasure?’ type questioning, which is some what difficult to answer because it’s work. Although it is quite pleasurable work?!

Oh I’m terribly sorry, how rude of me! I haven’t said where I’m off to……….

L motherfucking A motherfuckers!!!!!

Indeed, life seems to have taken a rather joyful turn and I’m spending the next couple of days on the Sunset Strip in L.A at none other than the “Riot” Hyatt hotel itself. I actually want to explode with excitement.

After 11 hours of plane malarkey we are landing at LAX. Through the little window I can see L.A surrounded by mountains and a thick layer of smog sitting in the air above it. The landscapes through that window have been for the most part, tremendous the whole way there. Apart from clouds I have seen ice caps, mountains and deserts, the most breath taking views of parts of the world I’m sure I’ll never see from ground level.

I drank 7 free Jim Beams free poured, ate 2 dubious and questionable meals, worked for 5 hours till my laptop died of juice, read for about one hour and watched a movie that made me very depressed. ‘He’s just not that in to you’ or something. Jeez, why bother was how I felt after watching that. I mean, why fucking bother.

And here I am. Customs are surprisingly cool it turns out. I got some Eastern European silver fox taking my piccy, fingerprints and asking what my intentions were. He was like “so Lucy….are you going to be getting up to any mischief while you are here?” Fuck man, dude saw right through me! Ah well.

Outside John, the only original member of Earaches latest gem, White Wizzard, greets us. He seems nice enough, till he walks us to our ride. Then he is King. It is the convertible GTO from the song ‘high speed gto’, the very same one in the video. Me and Talita are suddenly carrying on like little kids bouncing about the place with glee…oooh if the kids at school could see me now stylee!

We drive through L.A, which is an odd experience cause you feel like you have been there before just cause you’ve seen so much of it in the movies. I am silent taking it all in barr the occasional eye locks with Talita as we both silent scream at each other.

The Hyatt hotel. This to me is like a temple to a monk. Do you know how many orgies, drug overdoses and deaths have happened within these walls? A lot my friends! This place is so steeped in Rock n Roll history not even the refurbished décor can hide the debauch lifestyles carried out in there. It just oozes badness. It makes you want to have unprotected sex with a stranger, have the love child, name it Flower, even though it’s a boy and move to a commune where you spend your days on Opium and teaching Flower how to crack safes, all the time waiting for some film writer to discover you and write the whole shebang up in to a blockbuster movie followed by a tell all book. I would be played by Megan Fox. Obviously.

For the time being however, we check in, with our complimentary glasses of wine and go check out our rooms. We are on this trip not only to meet the band but also to accompany a journo’ from Kerrang! Magazine, Mr nick Ruskill. Nick’s room is on the penthouse floor and one wall is a glass window looking out over downtown L.A. the bastard! It’s fucking amazing. At this point we all wonder to ourselves if perhaps the Earache boss is on crack. If so, I think we will all happily help feed his habit if this is the outcome! What a touch, we are all totally loving Earache big time! It is decided that some one has got to have sex in that room before we leave. Once in our room, which overlooks a car park, we freshen up, I get out of my ‘please upgrade me’ outfit and in to my ‘sunset strip hooker outfit’ with Iron Maiden vans and we go out for dinner. At the Rainbow. The Rainbow. Fuck yeah!

Got to be done the ol’ Rainbow right. I always knew it wouldn’t blow my mind just cause again, I’ve heard so much about it. Everyone bangs on and on about it. Plus Lemmy is in the U.K so I knew he wouldn’t be propping the bar up. It was cool, we got a massive pizza and shared it, also very cool being my first of many American food musts on the list. No wonder these people have a massive obesity problem, the food is ridiculous.

It is my opinion that free pouring is the way forward and probably the answer to peace on earth. When I ask for a Jack and coke, I feel very happy and warm inside upon discovering that what I am given is a triple Jack and coke. Mainly cause I am automatically drunk. Blissful times at the Rainbow. More of the band join us, the singer Wyatt and guitarist Eric and we all move to the outside bar area to drink more and smoke before we hit the karaoke upstairs.

Karaoke never happened. I’ll tell you what did happen. Fucking jetlag happened. What the fuck? One minute I’m taking it all in, chatting with the band and bar staff and the next…. The next minute I’m floored. I tried a Jager bomb, I tried a coffee, and nothing was even denting the flood of exhaustion that had washed over me. How incredibly fucking gay.

Needless to say we hit the road back to the hotel where everyone can continue partying while my bullshit self sleeps. I am with Eric and John, who stop off at a convenience store so we can buy booze and fags, another exciting experience for my unashamedly tourist arse. Even that was fun.

I buy a $10 Jack and coke at the hotel bar and we all trundle on up to mine and Talita’s room, who has gone AWOL. Soon enough we find her, passed out cold on her bed. That bloody over priced drink didn’t even get finished before the boys all got shifted out to Nicks room and us girls fell deep in to la LA land. What a fucking great place to be!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Madness and mayhem with Municipal Waste.

Municipal Waste are gonna FUCK YOU UP! Not if I don’t get there first they won’t. The Wasters are back in the Big Smoke for one week only on an intensive press trip to promote their new banging album, Massive Aggressive and I shall be doing all I can to help earache press girl about town, Miss Talita out as much as possible because not only do we have those troublesome deviants to entertain and bring to the masses but we also have Evile, promoting their new album too! Wowza.

Day two of the week of wrongness is where I am going to pick up from, the day of the Muni’ Waste listening party. WoooHoooo that’s right, partying with the Richmond, Virginia massive! This is a day of extreme heat, extreme amounts of interviews and extreme volumes of booze. Holy shit, this is going to get messy.

First off, this week is full to the brim with early bloody starts. Sleep is not what it should be in this heat, waking up drenched in sweat one minute and too cold cause you opened the window and kicked your sheets off the next is really quite exhausting. Following this I am cycling up to Bloomsbury, where the hotels that are putting the lads and journo’s up are situated. The itinerary is out of control mental, half an hour to an hour slots with one band and then escorted to the next band at the hotel round the corner.

In to the afternoon and I’m walking back to the office. I need to get the Municipal Waste album to The Crobar, find out what drink specials we can get and verify the invoice for the money that is getting put behind the bar. Finally, posters need to be put up about the bar and I need to not look like the sweaty exhausted mess that I actually am.

Once all the interviews are done, we make our way over to the bar only to find it’s kinda empty at this time. The listening party doesn’t officially start till 7 pm and it’s an hour till then so Tony and Ryan of Muni’ Waste fuck off elsewhere for a while, recovering from an intense day ready for a night of carnage and hanging out with friends and followers.

My job for the evening is to film, record and photograph the whole messy affair. That is my brief and I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling a bit out of my depth, lost if you will! See, it’s still early. It’s still daylight! So I start by filming the front of the Crobar, which looks a bit gash what with it not being night but hey ho. Then I film the wristband on someone’s wrist which is pretty sweet and says ‘i'm a ligger give me booze’. Then I get the poster advertising tonight. Then I get some of the patrons, who are too sober and look like rabbits in headlights at this point in the evening when faced with a camera. Then I, then I’m stumped mate. There’s just not much to film at this point. It just hasn’t properly started. Yet!

Once people start arriving however, the filming comes along nicely, I’m hanging back until they seem to have consumed an efficient amount of booze that they make for more interesting footage. A mega turnout has ensured that the vibe is banging and everyone is shouting and mingling and chucking beer down their throats all the while talking about Municipal Waste and such related topics. Sweet!

Eveyone who is anyone is there, and all are fully into the banging album been played on 11. There are Waste t-shirts all over the shop, head banging and fists pumping in the air.

Then it happens. The camera dies. Shit shit fucking shit. Out comes mine and onwards and upwards with more filming. ( I will later completely forget about this until it comes to long after the editing of the first camera footage is done, when I’m going through footage on my laptop of the night and realise with horror my epic mistake)

I hang out and catch up with a whole bunch of cool cats, the famed Digby of Earache records, the Terrorizer crew, Crobar friends, Mutant…I even try to start a circle pit with Mutant, didn’t go too well with only three people shockingly.

Everyone is pretty trashed and although I managed to refrain from getting plastered until around 10.30 pm, I suddenly out of no where have one of those epiphanies. I’m fucking drunk. So was everyone, early start and a free bar will do that. Digby had gone AWOL, Ryan had done a bunk and Tony was catching up with all his Crobar mates at the bar. Everyone else is wasted and wildly gesticulating with their arms as they shout their conversations at each other in drunken abandonment. Within half an hour we were done for, totally wiped out and very aware that tomorrow would still be boiling hot and would still be full to the brim with interviews.

Added to this we had some new and rather alarming information come to light. Tomorrow would be the Crobar birthday celebrations. Shit, shit fucking shit that is going to be an out of this world filth monger of a night. Tony, Ryan and I can see it in each other’s tired and weary eyes. We are so not missing that party for the world. Dammit. It’s all gonna go horribly wrong!

But before bed can be considered, we eat. A bunch of us do a runner to China Town on some drunken food binge crusade type mission led primarily by the Terrorizer magazine crew. Trouble them lot I tell you. Soon enough there is all manner of staggering down the road going on, heckling and slurring. I kinda feel sorry for the poor Chinese restaurant that got us, mind you we were very well behaved. We just ordered a whole heap of food, far too much, eyes were definitely bigger than our tummies and talked about Municipal Waste like the geeks we are.

We chowed down, pissed about a bit, chewed the cud and chucked the left over’s in a doggy bag for Tom from Mutant, who’s brother Josh had joined us. A stagger back and we try to get in the spirit, in the swing of it all but we are beat and that mass of food has tipped us over the edge. Before you can blink I’m on my bike cycling as fast as my weary legs can take me to my little bed where I can pass out cold for a good nights sleep, only to dream about interviews and hotels and circle pits in hotels during interviews!Phew.

Hellfest Festival. Clisson, France. Oh dear...Part 4.

The final day thank fucking god. Holy shit I have never known anything like this weekend. I can’t believe I’m actually thinking this but I’m looking forward to getting back to being a lowly barmaid for a while. Bit of normality.

Sunday is weird. We did some work, obviously, but we were also given a whole heap of time off, a good chunk of the afternoon found us messing about together, just us girls. It was the best bit of the whole weekend easily. Apart from catching up with the man of course. No, it saved the weekend for me.

Mastodon was in the house, played an awesome set and were great fun backstage. Brent and Pat found each other and kept seeing them throughout the day knocking about together thick as thieves. We ate with their tour manager, nicked a bottle of red and ran off to watch god knows who!

Cathedral rocked, I missed Brutal Truth because I had to do some work at some point, sucks. Hatebreed were fucking A and Suicidal Tendencies found me on stage with everyone else screaming S….T…S….T!

Scarlet was back, so everything was well more chilled for a start. And I think Talita, Rachel and me must have looked like the dead on our feet walking that we felt, ‘cause everyone was so lenient on us. And we took bare liberties!

Sunday found us on our little grassy knoll, opposite the VIP backstage area, with a little BB gun shooting at passers by. I got Wino from Saint Vitus, who I had met the day before from quite impressively far. He retaliated by coming over and beating me about the head with his magazine. I laughed so much that day. Myself, Talita and Rachel were joined by Louise, editor of terrorizer magazine and we all just fucked about on that grassy knoll, kicking back and catching jokes. Even the security guard for DreamTheater or Europe came and hung with us. Can’t remember which it was. By the time we had done with that little knoll, loads of people were on it! I hung out a tone with Michael from Volbeat too, who I had met at Download festival previously. He knows James Hetfield! They are mates!. Lucky beggar. We got trashed and by the time Manowar were half way through their set, we were all sharing a taxi out of there. Done mate. Totally over it.

The day had managed to be one long succession of pissing about acting like children with access to their parents booze cabinet. Everyone, bands, tour managers and crew seemed to be in the same boat on Sunday. Laid back don’t give a fuck attitude. Now that’s fucking Rock n Roll.

Next morning, I leave with guilty festival secrets safe in the knowledge that so has everyone. I pack up my tent with help from Olivia and Shane, who are fucked up too. We start our long and tedious journey home. This time with the added pain of feeling like we have been in a war zone. We are joined by Tom and Stu’, friends of Talita’s who Shane and Olivia have hung out with a lot this weekend and who by the end of our journey when we go our separate ways, are definitely friends we will be hanging with a whole heap more in the future.

To top the pain of the journey off nicely, I come on. I am sitting on the Euro Star, packed with screaming chav kids in absolute fucking agony. Amusingly I think it quite a fitting end to such a pained weekend. Like childbirth, during it I swear blind I will never do it again. By the time I hit Kings Cross, the appropriate hormones have made me forget the shit and just remember the good parts. The people I worked with. The bands, the crew, my mates, the drinking and related shenanigans, the comradeship, the music, the all of it! And sure enough, I can’t fucking wait till next year.

Hellfest Festival. Clisson, France. Oh dear...Part 3.

Ahh a new day a new dawning of debauch rock and metal mayhem ahead of me. Fantastic. We only trot up to the Hellfest backstage area to day at gone 10 am since it took us hours to get a ride home last night resulting in not getting to bed until 5.30 am. 4 -5 hours of sleep a night during this weekend is the norm. I’m in a pretty foul mood. My feet are killing me, including the fracture I incurred a month ago and my impressive collection of blisters, my feet do not want to be encased in Chucks today and certainly do not want me rushing about on them all day.

Today is Marilyn Manson’s day. He is the diva we shall flit around. He is the ungrateful sod who will never know that no one is being paid except for his staff. He is the one therefore to never show any appreciation or thanks towards us and is more likely to be quite rude to us. I mean, who are we?!

Wanker. He is getting minimal input from me I tell you. Rachel on the other hand is in heaven to work with a hero of hers and happily takes on the main role of assistant to his assistant.

Leaving me free to work with some decent bands, get drunk and fuck about some. See, last night Pascel rubbed me up the wrong way somewhat. Accused me of being drunk when chance would have been a fine thing. I as a half-breed Geordie find it incredibly offensive to be accused of being drunk after a couple of drinks. Mr, you don’t know me and you certainly don’t know how much I can put away. I’m a barmaid for Christ’s sake. I’ll take anyone on. So I’m damned if I’m gonna break my back for the ungrateful and offensive bastard today! Instead…I shall get drunk, show him what drunk is since apparently he has no concept.

This is a relief though, that he has been pulled down somewhat off the pedestal I had put him on. And that this festival is such thankless work. Cause now I can take the piss a bit and not feel guilty!

On top of this, Scarlet, his right hand woman is away today. Picking up the slack is Greg, a funny French guy who is not really ready for this newfound responsibility. Due to this there are far too many times during the day which find us all being sent on the same bullshit task, or running around needlessly.

Fortunately my mates are at hand to help me loosen up. Nashville Pussy are the best fun to hang out and knock back some drinks with, as is my new friend Pat, and of course staggering around all over the shop is Orange Goblins Ben, Crobar’s Steve and Nathan, looking progressively funnier and worse for wear every time I bump in to them. Then there’s Olivia and Shane, who it ravelled here with and who my not yet used tent is pitched next to. The Terrorizer magazines massive are here, as is Alice Delal and co. There are plenty of people to spend time with, all of which are for the most part kicking back in the backstage garden area getting wasted.

God Forbid have gone, the bassist for them was a great one to have bumped in to and met yesterday, taking the piss out of my limping around and spending time chillaxing together was cool. I don’t think I’ll be seeing him again till the next time they tour the U.K but will definitely stay in touch on the ol’ web.

Machine Head have turned up, yeEAAAA! I fucking love Machine Head, they rock. Their tour manager is an old face I bump in to a lot so it was great to work with him, and of course fuck about U.K stylee! They are one of the headline acts that I have been looking forward to working with and are a total pleasure to do so.

Clutch are also here, who we all love and make sure that they are happy and that we catch their show. Everyone was at the side of the stage when they played, it was great fucking fun. Everyone was mega trashed by this point too, maybe had a little something to do with it eh!

One of the bonuses to festival season it is becoming increasingly clear to me, is that you see the same people and bands etc throughout the summer and so do end up becoming friends of a sort and staying in touch with each other. Of course the other side to this is that there are some bands and people you don’t want to be continuously seeing. I heard a few artists breathing a sigh of relief that they would not have to hear Trivium play that weekend merely cause they have hit the road so hard they have been pretty much everywhere.

Today I only have thoughts for one person in particular though. And he is guitar teching for Sacred Reich, who has just turned up, finally. They’re O.G’s turned up a few hours ago and have been sizing me up and acting strange around me. O.G standing in this instance for old groupies. Still, they are nice enough and I’m frankly completely uninterested in them so whatever. I met the guy I’m waiting for at a German festival where he was stage-managing a month ago and have been in contact ever since. As soon as we see each other we are pretty much inseparable, as much as our jobs allow.

So forgive me for skipping over the best part of Saturday evening, but some things never leave site! Quality time was spent and by the time he left I was on cloud nine is all anyone needs to know.

Marilyn Manson’s staff are fucking well funny. They were like ‘just so you know, he is just like what you read..he’ll probably trash all your hard work…he usually does’ I was like honey we don’t give a shit, don’t worry none of us are taking massive amounts of pride in our work anymore. His staff looked down trodden and miserable, unlike the xanax chirpy of Beth the day before. They happily fill us in on what an arsehole he is and tell stories from their time with him much to our amusement. He turns up, and although a short 30 second walk to the main stage from his dressing room, insists on the tour bus taking him between the two and also that the whole back field is cleared. What a twat! Ha!

By the end of Saturday, we are all wasted, exhausted and ready for bed. Ready for home to be honest but tough shit, one more day of Hellfest, literally is left ahead of me.

Hellfest Festival. Clisson, France. Oh dear...Part 2.

Early to rise Friday morning. Well in rock n roll land it is. We are on site by 10 am and it’s already buzzing backstage with crew, I’m excited cause a lot of my friends are due to turn up today but for now we have been spotted by Pascel and are drafted to various bands and jobs. We are free from more Motley Crue bullshit until later in day when Beth turns up and knowing how demanding she is, go about trying to get as much done everywhere else before hand.

Alas is pissed it down last night and most of the hard work and little details that were carried out yesterday for the Crue have been ruined by the rain. Ha! Fuckin funny, dunno why, I’ll be the twat having to re-do it all. Still my heart is joyful for a minute looking at the mild destruction of their little home away from home!

On with the business at hand. Heaven and Hell! Talita is obsessed with Dio and so is totally on that from the get go. Barr stocking the fridges and arranging fruit and the like I don’t think I had much to do with them. They certainly didn’t seem anywhere in the region of demanding like Crue. Each member had their own dressing room and a couple of them are totally T-Total.

Massive containers are the first thing to be rolled in when the travelling circus that is the tour bus turns up. The ones put in the dressing rooms open up in to little closets, reminding me of the Barbie houses you could fold up and carry away. Of course I touched the clothes. Nikki Sixx’s, Dio’s etc. Very much in a look both ways ,shoot your hand out and then withdraw it back behind your back whistling and looking about you as you go about your work. Totally shifty really. God’s honest truth, I expected some one to jump out at me and scold me and send me to prison forever and ever!

As I mentioned I had expected many of my friends to turn up today, some from back home that I often hang out with and some who I only see when they are touring. Orange Goblin arrived with Steve of the Crobar and Nathan, ex Capricorn drummer and waster like myself at some point. Those guys are like a shinning light to a religious fanatic if your me cause it means only one thing…time to get fucked up! They are all seasoned Pro’s like myself. Bring it on. Iv’e already started making use of my drinks tokens and of course the free red wine cartons at lunch in the crew mess tent. Between the two I’m buzzing a bit. My first drink of the day is kindly poured in some splitter van by a guy who I should know the name of, who’s band was playing that day, Karma to burn maybe? He ran off to get me a large Jack and coke while I was labouring away for Crue and actually did bring one back with him! What a legend!

This morning, when I thought it would be raining all day, I took a piece of advice given to me by an O.G in touring that you should always wear flip flops cause then you won’t be wandering around in wet shoes all day. So here I am, late Friday afternoon in me flip flops with the biggest blisters I have ever experienced. I end up hobbling around with a bandage wrapped around one foot keeping the plaster in place simply because it’s so dusty the last 3 plasters have fallen clean off soon after application. Drink of course helps stave too much pain off. Medicinal.

New friends surprisingly included Buck Cherry. I say surprisingly cause it didn’t cross my mind to ask what band or capacity they were there in was. Not until much later in the day was it bought to my attention who these silly beggers that I’d been knocking about with were. I don’t know why I never swapped contact details with them, they were mega fun and fingers crossed we will cross paths again in the future for more drinking shenanigans. In the meanwhile, we watched Motley Crue from the side of the stage and took stupid photos together to document what we will probably all forget due to excessive drinking at some point. Excessive drinking and an apple pipe. One would imagine. I would certainly speculate at any rate!

Another new favourite person I met was Pat from Eye hate god. What a fucking legend. We are definitely cut from the same raggedy cloth of over excess. I was introduced to him and within minutes we were pissing about like old buddies at a reunion. He reminded me very much of Brent from Mastodon, who was also due to arrive at some point soon.

Artists that I had hung with several times before over the last couple of years that I was over the moon to see were Nashville Pussy for sure, and Mastadon, both fantastic revellers and hell raisers. Sweet.

By the night time I was so fucking over Motley Crue and Beth’s demands. I wasn’t holding it against them, she is a doll and I understood the thought process behind the madness but it wasn’t for me. I was sick to the back teeth of running around for these pouncy bloody artists and their ridiculous needs. I have absolutely no interest in it at all. When Motley Crue pitched up and I, along with anyone else who was in the VIP tent area was turfed out, very improperly like we are groupie stalker scum. I couldn’t fucking believe it. It veered on humiliating to be honest with you. I could give two shits about meeting any of Motley Crue, further more they were utter shit on stage, I watched about 3 songs before I got got bored and wandered off to see wa blow elsewhere.

I find my own Motley crew and proceed to get wasted with them and generally hang out and have an awesome time in their company.

So Friday night finds me pissed off, fed up, in agony and totally and undeniably over it. Bad luck for me really cause I got two days left.

Hellfest Festival, Clisson France. Oh dear...Part 1.

Tent. Check. Lamp for tent. Check. Train tickets. Check. Passport. Check. Hellfest here I fucking come!

Thursday morning and I’m going through security at Kings Cross Euro star station with my mates and fellow bar staff of the Crobar and Hobgoblin, Olivia and Shane. In our eyes you can tell we are all mentally going through everything we have on us wandering if we might be carrying any left over’s of anything that might get us in trouble. Check.

Once on the Euro star, Shane intersperses dying slowly with chucking up a lot for pretty much the whole journey to Lille. Olivia and I on the hand chat, drink and piss about for pretty much the whole journey to Lille! Hung over and exhausted or not, we are soldiers to the cause!

Another train from Lille to Nantes, and although we are fading we continue forward, on yet another train from Nantes to Clisson, we are really heading for the back of beyonds now. After our final mode of transport, a shuttle bus laid on from Clisson train station to the site, our journey is done and in front of us are hundreds of metal heads carrying crates of booze and tents and behind them….Hellfest . Being guarded by security walking along the perimeters with big scary muzzled dogs. Damn, note to self, don’t fuck off the security. French police do not fuck about, and security are people so bad not even the police will hire them!

After meeting up with Talita and getting our passes, we find a spot to pitch our tents and then I’m off to the backstage to start work. This weekend I will be assisting one of Europe’s biggest names in Backstage crew work and his team. He has worked with everyone who’s anyone including on the recent Metallica tour. This is going to look shit hot on the ol’ C.V. If I don’t fuck it up that is.

The back stage area is vast. There is a field behind the two main stages and one of the tents. Behind that is a building, which is split in to two halls. One for artists, one for bigger artists. Between the two is the VIP bar and restaurant. Outside of that round the front is the office where all the passes are and across from that is the headliner area. A collection of porta-cabins and a marquee linked with a decked area furnished with wicker armchairs, leatherette sofas, plants and coffee tables all accented by bloody candles all over the shop. Parked outside the front of this, next to the round the clock security is a massive truck filled to the brim with food and drinks supplies from the many riders. The riders are books. Like as in big fucking hardbacks.

Too soon I realise what I’ve signed up for. Myself and friends Talita and Rachel are working with the headline acts. Both of them have done this before so pretty much know the score but for me this is all very new and very odd.

First bands on the agenda, Motley Crue. Heaven and Hell, Papa Roach and WASP. I am designated wardrobe assistant to Motley Crue and Talita and Rachel have the others. The woman I am assisting is Beth, who runs the behind the scenes show for Crue. She has been in the game for around 20 years working for bands like Rolling Stones. She is very L.A and completely adorable to us ‘girls’. And so the madness begins. We are ticking off produce from the rider like specific vodkas and whiskys, fruit platters need to be made up, food cooked and laid out just so, specific brands of condiments. This is just for crew. It’s a whole other ball game when the crew are fed and watered. For the band it’s the same plus lots of room temperature Evian water. And then some….

Right, lets see what we have here. The marquee is mainly for Tommy, who likes to chill out and listen to music after his gig. This needs to be entirely draped in swathes of luxurious velvet, silk and chiffon to resemble a harem. Nikki Sixx on the other hand prefers a moody pirate theme to his porta cabin come dressing room. Further swathes of velvet, brocade and silk are draped along with printed skull and cross bones fabric. Lots of black and dark reds. All this draping malarkey takes up approximately 7 bloody hours stretched over two of my working days. By the time we finish up on Thursday it is early Friday morning and I’m slightly shell shocked at the level of work that goes in to the back stage area. The staff to these bands run around all over the shop like headless chickens, desperate not to fuck up and lose their jobs I guess, and get a mighty bollocking from the prima donna artists they work for.

Not naming names but one of the bands that headlined that weekend refused to play until they had a particular bottle of red wine. This was at a time when everything was shut, Clisson is in the middle of no where. Fortunately after much head scratching, one of our French co-workers called their sister who was convinced to go to the closed restaurant where they were work, check for the wine and buy it at the full wack of135 Euro. No one lost their job and the band went on stage as scheduled without the audience being any the wiser.

Although the bands are getting paid, the headliners quite a generous amount I would imagine, and they have fields of fans waiting to see them play and chanting their names, they just couldn’t possibly be expected to go and perform to the best of their ability without smooth not crunchy peanut butter, this vodka over that vodka, lemons not cut up but ready with chopping board and knife. Right?

I’m being slightly naive I realise. Most these guys have been on the road for near on a year, few days off, mostly stuck in a tour bus when they do get a day off. For the brief hour that they actually ending up spending in these porta-cabins before they go on stage it must become incredibly tedious, one looking exactly the same as the last one, and the next one. And that hour being the one in which they need to syke themselves up for a massive show, get in the zone, find that head space blah blah blah. Don’t spose a bare porta-cabin is going to help much eh. And then at the end of the day, they are paying their staff very well for this service. These minions are big players in their own rights, on big wages, themselves living like rock stars.

I guess my end feeling on this massive culture shock though is this, I could never do the job of backstage dresser or whatever the job title is as a full time career. Hell no. Think I’ll stick to dipping my toes in once a year at Hellfest. Although by the end of day 2, Friday, I will be ready to pack the whole thing in.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The golden Gods Awards and after party. Part 2.

The Embassy club is phat! And, for one night only, I will be gracing its front door with my skill wizardry at keeping out unwanted scum mwah ha HAAA!

It’s all pretty self explanatory really, if you have a white wrist band, you’re in. If you turn your coloured wristband inside out so it shows white, you’re not in. Unless your hot and or looking like a cool floor filler type. Then ill let your cheating ways slide. If your name is on the list, you’re in. If you’re in a band, you’re in. If your industry, your in. If you’re a hot groupie, you’re in. If I know your cool and everyone doesn’t role his or her eyes on sight of you, you’re in. See it’s quite lenient, ‘cept when it starts filling up and then your shit out of luck ‘cause I’m saving the rest of the capacity for any late arrivals who are more important than you!

All this lateral door thinking leads to a good balance of people inside which, in turn leads to a banging party you see.

By 11.30 pm most people are in and my first pangs of jealousy are rousing inside of me. Truth be told it kinda sucks watching all these mega cool, hot and attractive people go in and mingle, leaving you behind on the door with your glass of Jack D hidden in a plant pot ‘cause your not supposed to drink on the door, looks uncouth innit. Don’t want to sound all dramatic and that but I’m not going to lie, I felt a bit like Cinderella. Sure enough I’m wishing the following couple of hours away till I finish and desperately hoping everyone hasn’t left by then.

Friends pop out every now and then to see how I’m doing which is difficult because I have to tell them to piss off because I’m working. What an ungrateful bitch eh, really don’t want to give anyone any reason to complain about my work tonight though, I am taking this very seriously peeps! Also, I am no where near as drunk as everyone else.

I see a bloke, who’s name has escaped me that I crossed paths with several times over the weekend at Download and who is sporting an Iron Maiden tour jacket, which upon commenting on, (along with praising his lovely thick head of hair ) tells me that he works for them in some type of managerial capacity and was on their recent world tour. I go fucking crazy at this, obviously. I’m well gay for Maiden. At this sudden display of excitement, he goes on to inform me that the drummer and guitarist, Nicko and Janick are only bloody inside! Along with my ex, who also works for Maiden! Wow! How the shitting fuck did they get past me? Before I know it this bloke has gone inside to drag out the ex, Dave and see if he can find a Maiden member for me!

Tonight is looking up my friends! Sure enough out trots Dave, hugs and shouts of ‘shots’ and then….Nicko! Standing in front of me. As in Nicko. Nicko drummer Nicko. Drummer of Iron Maiden Nicko. In front of me! And he’s lovely of course. Introductions aside I get a hug from Nicko, way more exciting then getting one from Dave, no offence love. Heads up people, according to Nicko, if he was twenty years younger….! Yeah he would!

Lady Starlight comes out and is even gayer for Maiden than me and so was proper chuffed to meet them, wins all round I’d say. Dave goes off to get me a drink and the madness subsides and suddenly I’m back on my own wishing that I was inside partying and being fabulous. The party is starting to die down as people start filtering out and all the faces start leaving. A boy gets turfed out by one of the security and soon after Nicko comes back out, asks to know what is going on and on hearing that the boy is being chucked out retorts with ‘no he’s fucking not’ and drags the kid back in. Turns out it was his son! The head doorman is shaking his head at the security saying ‘of all the people you could have chucked out you fackin’ idiot’. Nicko is such a hero. Swoon. The son hangs out with me for a while, funny lad and too soon even Nicko is leaving.

An eternity later and along roles 2 am. I am proper clock watching by the time this happens and race in to catch up on valuable party time. Alas, it’s pretty much done. Only the soldiers remain, The Fuel girls, the governor of Earache, Dave and Janick, some other faces I recognised. The fuel girls were heading out to The Sanctum, an exclusive rock n roll hotel round the corner with a Gallows member and I said I’d meet them up there for the after after party once I’d filled in my invoice. I hung out with friends for a while, did massive great Jager shots with Dave and then gate crashed the taxi Dave and Janick were getting in and got them to drop me at the hotel as I was very much not suitably dressed for walking the streets on my own. Less of course I wanted to earn some money. Or get raped.

I think we should stop and take a minute here to appreciate the fact that I shared a cab with a member of Iron Maiden. I know, he’s just a person too, but he’s a person who is in mother fucking Iron Maiden what! Yeah bwoy!

I arrive at The Sanctum with glee and anticipation and a massive rip/hole/tear down my nude tights, which is now pushing the fat from my thigh out in to the open in a horrifying bulge of cellulite. Class.

First things first when I reach up to the roof where the party is happening is to make a swift beeline to my mate Al and ask him if I can borrow his room to change my tights. His room is the fucking bomb. There is a roll top bath in the bedroom with a curtain of beads hanging down around it. Luxurious furnishings, a massive bed, beautiful lighting. Shame we don’t fancy each other. Hopefully he got some use out of it at some point.

Freshened up, I hit the after after party and started some serious mingling and schmoozing. Not really, got drunk didn’t I! As did everyone else, in my defence. I bounced between the various groups, high end business group talking shop, band group pouting and talking about their show and in general themselves, groupie group looking everywhere but at you, other fellow flutterers. I knew half the people there, within 3 hours another quarter, the rest didn’t take my interest frankly.

Debauchery was awash up there I tell you. No details of course. Needless to say.

By the time day dawned the party was still in full swing. Not until several hours after we spotted our first office workers in the neighbouring buildings at their desks did people stat drifting off to hotel rooms or who knows where.

And then there were 3. My two mates and me. Hot tub time. Ahh the good life. Some one else’s on loan but none the less the good life. We only scuttle off to the hotel room after the staff kick us off the roof . In the safety and warmth of the plush room we ramble on about everything and anything while balancing on the edge of the roll top bath hanging our ciggies out the window and eventually , after a couple of hours admit defeat to the reality of jobs and concerned partners.

The bus jolts me awake a short drive away from mine, and I manage to stay awake and not miss my stop. Up in my flat I look in the bathroom mirror at the dishevelled mess staring back at me and smile. I look like a zombie who’s just come back from ‘Nam with a touch of butchered hooker Halloween about me. What a fucking legend of a night. Bring on next year I say.

Friday, 10 July 2009

The Golden Gods Awards and After party. Part 1.

It’s noon on a beautiful sunny and warm Tuesday and I’m floating in and out of sleep on the 159 bus travelling form Oxford Circus homeward bound to catch a couple of hours sleep before work behind the bar tonight.

My eyes, heavy with night time make-up are hidden behind a pair of aviators. My legs, last night clad only in back denim hot pants are now pulling less attention with the adage of some black tights. Finally, my leather jacket is zipped up tight disguising the fact that I am wearing nothing else.

See, a couple of hours ago, before reality reared it’s ugly head, I was living the dream. I was on the roof of a posh and cool rock n roll hotel in Soho, Jack Daniels in one hand, smoke in the other, kicking back in a steaming hot tub with a couple of my mates wearing my spandex slut all in one leotard as a swimming costume. And now here I am, oh how the mighty fall.

How did this come about? Let me rewind to a month back when I get an email off a certain Mr. Milas, editor of U.K Metal Hammer magazine. He wants to know if I still have my SIA licence from my days as a bouncer and if I’m still up for doing some door work. Alas no is the answer to both these, although I’m intrigued.

Turns out he is looking for someone to do the guest list at the Golden Gods after party who has experience of working the door, won’t take any shit off blaggers and knows who is who with regards to industry and bands. Interesting. Especially since I am usually one of the blaggers, and had every intention of being one this year too. That said, I’m pretty much sorted for both the awards and the after party and have been looking forward to the night for months so am loathed to miss it cause I’m stuck outside on my own playing Nazi girl.

Anyways, after much to and fro regarding venue, pay and time of job, I humbly accept.

It will be held at The Embassy club in Mayfair. Touch. I will not be standing outside on my own missing the party of the year. This venue is laid out so that I will be standing right next to the outside seating/ smoking area so loads of people will be around me. The pay is a third of my rent. Nice. And the hours are 10.30 pm to 2 am, so I will be able to catch some of the awards before I start and the after party will still be in full swing when I finish. Sweet!

So for the following month I tell as few people as I can get away with in a bid to not lose all my friends and not end up hated by everyone because no, I will not let you in if your not supposed to be there my friend, I cannot fuck this up. I wont get paid, I wont ever be asked back, I definitely won’t be able to blag it in next year and I will be held accountable for fucking up a very expensive and important party.

Before I know it, Download festival is out the way, I have for the most part managed to keep the task ahead under wraps. There were a few close calls, a bus journey found me involved in an amusing yet simile awkward conversation with possibly the worst groupie in London who is also quite possibly a bit psycho. She revels in telling me how her and her equally skanky mate are getting in to the awards and will blag it in to the after party no problem. Mean while I revel in the knowledge that no love, you won’t.

Over the Download festival weekend I got the chance to verify how I should run the door with the people at the top and the level of trust I have been given is slightly disconcerting. Oh fuck I am so gonna end up letting the power go to my head and be a right arsehole. Shit. Note to self, play nice.

The morning of the awards and I’m fast asleep having only got back from the Download festival at about 5 am. The washing machine is on, I shower, lie in the bath, dress like an eighties hooker and hit the hotel where Lady Starlight is staying to complete my transformation in to guest list girl.

The Earache massive are waiting for us in the lobby bar and we convince them that we have to get a cab all the way out to the O2 Indigo venue since we are totally not dressed appropriately for the underground. We are running stupidly late, much to my horror and I have a sinking feeling that by the time we get there all the bloody free Jager will be gone. I knew I should have stuck to my original plans of meeting up with my mates in Soho and travelling down but hey ho, too late now.

Far too late in fact. We are supposed to be in the venue by 6.45 pm and it’s half past now. Fuck. We all finally ready to split up in to two cabs that are not trying to make us wait 15 minutes, charge us 3 times the wack and take 4 years to get there ( no thanks hotel concierge, prick ) and zoom off in to the depths of South East London.

By the time I get in there, the jager is gone, the free booze has been downed by the less tardy of us and I have ooh about 45 minutes before I have to leave and get to the after party to set up. I’m so hating this so far. That 45 minutes finds me trying to cram in getting as twatted as I can without being so to the point of incompetence for work and catching up with all my mates. Who are way ahead of me in the drinking stakes. Gian from The Rotted is there and I’m always over the moon to see him since he is my un-official drinking partner in crime. He is completely munted! What a legend. All my favourite people are there and I’m mega pissed I can’t spend more time with them. As always the main opening question amongst everyone is…’have you recovered from Download’? The main answer being a mischievous knowing laugh accompanied with a suck of air , a possible raised eyebrow and a ‘I might still be drunk’.

I manage to slip in to the VIP bar area in my continued hunt for jager and find a whole heap of mates back there too, sweet! Got some jager too!

As I’m outside smoking a ciggie with some friends the girl who will be assisting me on the door tonight taps me on the arm and so drop everything so I can get the tube with her rather than brave it on my own looking like a tranny.

Next stop, work. Blah.