Weeeeelll, I had a classic old broads kinda weekend I thought I’d share.
The Friday before Halloween found Alison and I on a bus to Philly to hang with La Montenegro (Kim) and see the Black Crowes play at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby (birthplace of Todd Rundgren, for you equally, ahem, “seasoned” readers). Kim’s good friend Alex was able to procure 4th row center seats and I haven’t seen the Black Crowes play live since the early 90’s, and Kim and I spend a lot of time listening to them when we’re together, so it seemed a worthy undertaking.
The beginning of the night started with Kim in the middle of a really good rant about her latest ex. I love her rants:
“You know what? I hate that fat fuck even more now. UGH. Take away the beard and mustache and he’s just an Irish potato. A POTATO! WITH A SHITTY ATTITUDE!! ECK. And those hands. THOSE LITTLE HANDS! They’re all tiny and grasping, like a troll. LIKE A FAT FUCK POTATO TROLL! He should be UNDER A BRIDGE!!! I hate that asshole, I can’t believe I ever let him NEAR my vagina.”
Alex and I accidentally wore the same McQueen scarf (which, btw, is a $500 rip-off of the $8 skull scarves we used to get on St. Mark’s Place), hers was purchased legitimately, mine stolen from Drew. A female fan gave it to him at a gig in Europe and I relieved him of it immediately upon his return home, my argument being that he was never going to wear it and items from admiring women must go to the girlfriend for use or discard. He rolled his eyes and handed over the scarf.
We laughed at our matching designer scarves and then because Alex is in the middle of a pumpkin ale love affair, I helped her shove a leather-covered flask full of the stuff into the back of her pants right before we entered the venue.
I felt puffy from PMS and stressed over what to wear that would make me feel svelter than I really am. Kim has a broken toe so she’s forced to wear a medical boot for a month, so she wasn’t much happier, and Alison was worried about the way her ass looked in her pants. There was no need to stress it turned out, as we discovered that a Philly Black Crowes audience is not an overly glamorous one, and in fact consists primarily of wasted old fat dudes, with a few tolerant wives scattered here and there. As soon as the four of us entered the building we were accosted by a man who could barely speak from overuse of spirit, who found us all equally attractive and urged us to high five over and over again in celebration of Kim and my tattoos. We were, indeed, the belles of the contractor’s ball.
We fought our way to the front of the large theater and found ourselves seated behind the biggest mountain of a man I’ve ever seen. Why is it there’s always a giant guy in front of you, no matter what show it is or where you stand? I think there should be a tall dude section in every venue. In the back. But whatever, we were so close to the band it didn’t matter.
I know I should take the time to give proper show reviews, but I find show reviews tedious and am far too self-absorbed to pay enough attention. Last time Jesse played he got off the stage with his wireless mike and made his way through the crowd to point out his oblivious ex-girlfriend as I stood yammering with Zoe and Rabbit at the bar. It was embarrassing but well played. I do love his shows, it’s just that there’s so much to talk about!
So review: the Black Crowes put on a great show: nine people – the core band and then another percussionist and two back up singers. They are tight as hell and I am a huge fan of the music so that helps. What I am not a fan of is their Grateful Dead tendency to ramble off into never-ending jams. I hate jams. And I am not alone on this, the great Lemmy Kilmeister once said to me, “I don’t jam.” Well, of course you don’t because it’s tedious as fuck. So in between great versions of great Black Crowes songs you have to stand and look interested in the tedium of a 15 minute song breakdown. Cut the jams, people! No one cares! That’s my goddamn review.
We danced and sang along and drank copious amounts of cheap beer (after we polished off Alex’s flask), as it was the only alcoholic beverage available. As I tried to avoid another high five from our original friend (who somehow was seated right next to us), a girl I’d known in the 80’s and 90’s made her way through the row to me. She was a little bombed and hugged me repeatedly and said “I miss you!” I told her it was great to see her, and she handed me what I thought was an aftershow VIP sticker, one of those sort of backstage passes that generally lead you to a holding pen where you hang out feeling like a dick wondering if the band will eventually deign to hang out with you and the other dicks.
I thanked her profusely and said, “Babe, this is no good to me unless I get three more.” And she said, “That was mine, I’m pretending I lost it. Don’t tell anyone where you got it. I want you to go backstage and say hi to Chris Robinson.”
Ed note: Quite a few centuries ago, during the paleolithic era, I had a brief couple of moments with aforementioned singer. It is not worthy of too much discussion, although I will put it in the book if there ever is a book. It was at a particularly low point in my life, no reflection on him, I was just not in a good head, and it went down in the standard rock and roll sputter: girl thinks there’s something actually going on, boy just having fun on the road, girl writes boy a particularly scathing letter, boy thinks girl is crazy and refuses to make eye contact next time they’re in the same room. Which was cool, and it was 20 years ago so it’s embarrassing to even bring it up, but her statement wouldn’t make as much sense if I didn’t. I’ve bumped into him numerous times since then and it’s all good, mostly because I’m so determined to show that I’m not crazy that I’m as stiff as the Queen of England. Which probably only makes me look crazier. No matter how hard I try to hold it in, the crazy seeps out through the cracks.
So I slap my sticker pass on my leg and get to dancing and clapping. BOOSH! All of a sudden I’m completely drenched in what feels like a bucket’s worth of cold liquid. What the hell? Is this a GWAR show? I look at the moron next to me. He is stoned beyond any sort of functionality and stands swaying and staring emptily into space. I know that he had a full plastic pint of beer two minutes before that, now his cup is empty and hanging at half mast in his grubby mitt. I pick up my shirt and wring it. Liquid drips onto the floor. I can feel my sock squishing in my boot. Yes, there is beer pooling in the bottom of my extremely overpriced Jonathan Kelsey boots, which were procured at half price but still cost almost as much as my rent.
Rage flares, I turn to dumbass and say, “Do you want to explain why I’m COVERED in your fucking beer?” He mumbles a word and goes back to staring forward. He then drops what’s left of his beer, and slowly, sloooowly squats down, feels about on the sticky floor for the cup, and sloooooowly stands up, brings the cup to his mouth, and swigs the last bit in the bottom and and then stares into the bottom of the empty cup. I hate him with every fiber of my being.
“WELL???” I sputter ineffectually. He mumbles again, “I said I was sorry.” He turns to his equally stupefied friend and they exchange a look which says, “Bro, I am so fucked up and this bitch is freaking me out.”
I turn around and start pointing out my state of soaked-ness to anyone who will listen. It does not bring me satisfaction, but it’s all I have. A lone security guard makes his way to the idiots, says something to them but moves on. I want to yell at him, “I DEMAND SATISFACTION, GOOD SIR! REMOVE THIS LOUT, IMMEDIATELY!” But there is no satisfaction when you’re covered in beer and the guy who did it is too stoned to care. I go back to watching the band.
The show ends and I tell the girls I’m going to see if the pass is worth anything. It is not. I find an accommodating security guard at the backstage door and he says, “Who gave it to you? I can look and see if they’re back there.” I panic and mumble the girl’s name, as she told me not to mention her. Another security walks by and says, “That’s a working pass, you can’t just pass those around! You should go wait in the diner across the street, maybe the band will show up there.” Then he snickers. I look at the nice security and say, “Well, that was a bit snarky, wasn’t it?” And then I snicker as well. I’m separated from my crew and so coated with beer that I can’t really defend my honor too mightily at this point in the game. I also notice that this is, indeed, a working pass, and I am very obviously not on any sound crew. Quelle embarrassment.
The nice guy says, “Who do you want to see?” And I say, “Okay, I REALLY don’t care if I get back there, but I had intended to run in and say hi to Chris Robinson, and then run right back out to my waiting friends.” He says, “Who is Chris Robinson?” I say, “The singer.” He looks at me blankly. I say, “You know, the one who looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo? Tell him that Raffaele from the Cycle Sluts wants to say a quick hi.”
“Ooooh! Okay, be right back!” This truly must be the nicest man working security in Northern America.
After a few minutes he exits again and says, “Sorry, couldn’t find him and they’re being very tight back there.” I said, “Absolutely no worries, thank you so much. I feel like a jerk standing here anyway. Have a great night.”
I find my ladies and we make our way back to the parking garage, which turns out to be quite the scene. We are immediately spotted and followed by a rapist in a grey hoodie who keeps saying things like, “Hey. Where ya goin’? You girls wanna party. Hey, where ya goin’? Let’s hang out.” Fortunately he was too fucked up to formulate an effective plan of attack, and when we ran aground of a tailgate party featuring a loud sound system and about 6 or 7 guys who looked like they had grandchildren waiting for them at home, he wandered sad and alone back to his kidnap van.
One of the grandpas, said, “Hey, ladies! Want some beer!” We sat in the car debating this opportunity for a few minutes. I was sort of pro. What could be more entertaining that drinking cheap beer in a parking garage with a bunch of really old Black Crowes fans? I mean, we’d already come this far. Alison is way more sensible than me and hadn’t had anything to drink, so she took the con position. Alex mentioned that she already had a pumpkin ale in the car and Kim couldn’t make up her mind.
Alex didn’t have an opener, and before we could say anything about bottle opening options, she ran to the curb and smashed the top of the bottle, creating the most jagged opening possible.
I screamed and said, “There is no way in hell that you are allowed to drink out of that bottle! Throw it away, immediately!!”
Alex, who is a practicing lawyer and all around super smart and classy chick, said, “It’s cool. I’ve got experience, spent a lot of time with fire-eaters. I can handle a little glass.” This is the look I gave Alison over the back of the seat:
We freaked, Alex insisted, and she did indeed drink out of the bottle. Then she realized she’d lost her flask. We drove around to the venue and Alex went in to search. After 10 minutes she returned, sad and flaskless.
I said, “We can get you another one.”
She said, “Not this one.”
Kim asked, “Where did you get it, Chrome Hearts? Somewhere expensive, right?”
Alex whispered sheepishly, “Erm…It was Gram Parsons’.”
We all start screaming yet again, and I shout: “GRAM PARSONS?? We just lost GRAM PARSON’S FLASK?? Are you fucking kidding? You have to go back in there and get it.”
Alex assured us that she had done a thorough search and it was gone, and we all mourned the fact that it was not only gone, but picked up by someone who will never know its true value. I pray it wasn’t stoned beer jerk. Alex took another sip of her extremely dangerous beer, and we clucked sadly. What a loss.
Next up, a late night dinner with a bottle of red wine, and a waiter who was so impressed with Alex’s determination to drink that glassed up ale that he strained it for her into 4 glasses. Yes, I drank it. I’m not proud at 1 am, puffy with PMS, coated in some asshole’s cup of Budweiser and refused at a backstage door. Who am I to say no to a little glass infused pumpkin ale? This is the bottle, sitting on our table prior to being carted off by a very indulgent waiter:
Kim and Ali:
Alex and me. My tongue is yellow from drinking shitty beer for three hours:
And lastly, back to Kim’s kitchen, where I ingest half a painkiller that had been hanging around in my bag since my birthday, and within minutes am floating on a mild opiate haze, which no doubt is the reason for the focus on this photo:
We spend the rest of the morning drinking French wine and dancing to songs of Kim’s choosing. We danced and danced and danced until 7 am. Each time shouting, “Last song and then we’re going to bed!” But the songs sounded so good, we just couldn’t stop.