Tag Archives: musicians

Tequila, a bad-boy, leather, and my brief stunt as a muse

25 Nov

Trouble always finds me when I’m trying to drink tequila in peace.

I was 22, I decided I hated men, and I went out with my roommate to celebrate the recent discovery.

Sitting at the Irish pub down the street from our apartment, I ordered a round of shots for her and I, and the two of us began discussing why boys were stupid.  I can’t remember the details, but I’m sure it was an inspiring conversation.

Nibbling on a lime slice, I happened to look down the bar.

That’s where I spotted him.

Notebook, guitar case at feet, scotch on the rocks, dark hair, blue eyes, and tattoos.

Normally this would have done me in instantly.  But considering the festivities, I instead ordered another round of tequila and my roommate and I watched him from afar (ten feet down the bar).

Five minutes later my blood was happily flowing to the tune of a mariachi band.

So when Sexy McNogood beckoned me with his finger, I strolled down the bar to say hi.  At least that’s what I meant to say.  But what came out was:

“Hey, I’m out celebrating my hatred of all men.”

To which he responded:

“Interesting, I’m just out looking for a one night stand.”

Tilting my head at him curiously, I muttered: “ok then, I think we’re done here” before returning to the roommate.

Twenty minutes later, he asked for my phone number.

Two days later, he called.

We went on three dates.  On the eve of the third we were doing some hard-core smooching and yea ok-a little over-the clothing heavy petting was beginning.

I still had my jacket on though, to give you an indication of how far things had NOT progressed.

But for reasons still unclear to me now, he took this as an opportunity to utter the phrase:

“I’ve got something I want to show you.”

Standing up, he walked to his closet, opened the door, and asked me to come inside.

Peering into the former master bedroom closet, I saw various toys, whips, leather attire, masks, and some sort of swinging contraption in the corner.

For the record men, this is not the appropriate way to introduce this particular form of extracurricular activites to a potential mate.

As my Romeo soon discovered.

Speechless, I stared at him for some seconds before casually attempting to exit his house.  Muttering something about leaving the iron on in my apartment, I hopped down the stairs, yelled out something about not bothering to call me again, and left the house o’leather.

A month later I was back in the same bar with my roommate.  This time we were celebrating her hatred of men.

It was open mic night.

Out of nowhere tattooed leather man slimed onstage.

Staring directly at me, he began strumming his guitar while singing:

“You were out to hate all men, and I was just looking for a one night stand”

The song lasted about three minutes.

Thankfully it ended in time for my roommate and I to have one last round of tequila.

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teenage wasteland: wishing I’d been a punk rocker in my prime

24 Nov

Last Sunday I discovered that when surrounded by London’s original punk rockers, it is difficult to appear cool and collected.

But pear cider helps.

I was invited to a show at the Scala to watch Agent Provocateur, Chiefs of Relief, Bow wow wow, and Adam Ant.

Clearly, my air-guitar skills were no match against the professionals.

I mean really, these were band members from a scene I only wish I had been cool enough (or old enough for that matter) to be a part of.  Trust me, had I been British and a teenager in the late eighties, I would have plaid-skirted it up with the best of them.

As it was, I happened to meet them at 29, over beers, in the VIP bar of the show.  Not a teenager anymore by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely still awestruck to be in the same room as a former Sex Pistol and the many talented punks I was happily watching onstage.

I chatted it up with some of the band members, but tried to remain as quiet as possible for fear that my obvious lack of knowledge regarding music would deem me intolerably boring.  I’m pretty sure I just looked like a groupie anyway, so for the most part the band members ignored me.

I mean seriously, I’m a wandering menace.  They are punk rockers.

My narcissism does not reach so far as to question who is cooler here.  Come on.  There is no question.

-Insert that doe-eyed stare that always gets me into trouble here-

So to report to any of you who still have a place in your heart for the Brit punk scene-let me state, these guys are awesome.

I even got in a discussion about Obama with one of them.  Which I can assure you, I did not see coming.

For the record, musicians are my kryptonite.  Doesn’t matter if they’re old.  Doesn’t matter if I’m not even attracted to them.  They rock, they know it.  I know it.  I end up gazing.

In my next life I am coming back as a rockstar.  Maybe in a Zilla costume, but a rockstar nonetheless.

All the pear cider in the world can’t bring on the confidence of standing onstage, fist-pumping, leg-kicking, and collecting admirers.

God. Bless. Punk. Rock.

performance art

23 Nov

I’m considering starting a rhythmic performance art show with kid-Ginger.

True, I have limited musical talent (save for interpretive dance and on a good day-finger symbols).  There’s also the minor detail that my brother doesn’t play any instruments.  But what American dream hasn’t started on the bitter cement of nothing?

None dear reader, absolutely none.

I suppose this logic could be applied to potential careers in other industries, but I’m sticking to music.  Besides, if we slap the genre post-modern on our vision, I don’t see how we can go wrong.

Let me set the stage (or street corner-as I’m thinking this is the most likely first venue) for you.

Brother leaning against a building (preferably condemned-capturing the essence of our time), a broken guitar sadly leans against his ripped denim-clad kneecap.   Myself front and center, one hand in pocket, other casually dangling finger symbols, suspenders hug my Mr. T t-shirt.    Kid-Ginger taps his feet to music the audience can only imagine as there is none actually playing.  I stand still, creepily eyeing anyone stopping to watch-holding eye contact like a ninja goldfish, ready to launch.

Brother steadies himself from building, hangs the tattered fret board off one shoulder, saunters down sidewalk, and utters the words:

“Art. Is. Unemployed.”

Enter in the finger symbol.

Tapping the broken guitar against his thigh, he then proceeds to recite select passages from A Christmas Carol, haunting chime of the symbol periodically echoing his phrases.

Finishing with the passages regarding Tiny Tim-(lets say ten minutes later), he again repeats the phrase:

“Art. Is. Unemployed.”

At which point, the symbol releases me from my frozen stance as I start quickly repeating that gem from the 80’s:

“I pity the fool.  I pity the fool.  I pity the fool.  I pity the fool.”

Which of course, is Kid-Ginger’s cue to slam out air guitar, full with leg kicks and the occasional head-bang.  This goes on for about five minutes, with my intonation ranging from childlike to scary-beast voice (have practiced in mirror-fear not readers, fear not).

Final symbol chimes.

We both freeze.

Kid-Ginger looks over at me, sighs and utters:

“Fool.”

I return my hands to my pockets, glare at the audience and state:

“Pity.”

With any luck, we’d end up with enough cash for two orders of waffles at IHOP.

If ordering those at that establishment isn’t enough indication of our nonconformist nature, then I’d better start revamping my resume.

After this at least I can add ‘ability to make fool of self for cash’ under skills.

Boxed wine, Doc Martins, Braces, and an RV

3 Jun

Hologram Doc Martins, yellow plaid pants, white wife beater, braces, acne, body resembling a twig, short boy hair cut my mother convinced me would be a good idea: welcome to my fourteenth year.

Twas the year a ouija board saved me from severe punishment.

Let me explain.

My friend Monica and I convinced her mother to let us throw a slumber party in the vacant RV sitting in their driveway.  Her mother thought we wanted to feel like we were camping, but in reality we had discovered the stash of boxed wine kept in the garage, and desired the proper venue to explore the joys of drinking alcoholic grape juice from a spout in peace.

Sophistication and class have clearly been with me from the onset of my adult personality-as nothing quite screams those traits like an RV and boxed wine.

In addition to acquiring the proper ‘hotspot’ for such a party-we also ached for a place we could invite the two boys across the street over so as to fully showcase our hip and all-knowing ways of the party scene.

They were skater boys.  One of them even had a tattoo, and the other one could play guitar WHILE flipping his long grunge-inspired locks out of those piercing blue eyes.  He was two years older, he was a bad-ass, and he and his friend were most definitely the objects of our affections.  Butterflies flew in my stomach the one and only time he had grinned and me and told me I had a cool name.

Monica and I were fairly certain that enough interaction with the two would eventually lead to true love. But first we had to prove our coolness in order to turn their pupils into tiny pink hearts whenever they gazed upon our subtle yet hip nature.

I’m fairly certain we paced in front of their open garage watching them tune guitars and smoke cigarettes for a good twenty minutes before gathering the courage to walk in and invite them to the party.  Monica did most of the talking, as I was too busy contemplating the oversized studded cuff on my wrist and blushing to manage more than a simple hello.  Though I did chime in to confirm that yes-there would be alcohol in the RV, and yes, she and I would like it if the two of them would show up at around midnight and give a little knock on the door.

I’m sure they thought I was mute, but I was so excited my palms were sweaty and I couldn’t believe that simply telling these two sixteen year old boys that we had boxed wine got them to smile at us like that.  Who knew that alcohol and girls were all boys needed?

There is a naivety to being fourteen that once lost, can never be regained.  But I digress.

At ten o’clock that evening Monica and I decided it would be safe to each have a glass of wine just to take the edge off.  While sipping the warm juice we also agreed to consult the ouija board on any and all love prospects that were likely to occur from inviting the rebel boys over for drinks.

Later on, the boys arrived, drinking occurred, and all eighty-five pounds of me passed out at the table.

The ouija board remained sitting on the formica table until seven oclock the next morning, when I woke up to the sight of Monica’s mother as she walked past the cheap window of the RV.  I could hear her shrill, excited voice chatting with what sounded like an army of suburban mothers and a herd of rumbling mini-van engines.

Unbeknown to us, she had decided to host a garage sale that morning.

Unbeknown to her, there were two very hungover teenage boys sleeping in the RV mere feet from her junk-sale.

Monica and the two boys were in the bed, hungover amidst the carnage of sleeping bags and spilled cheap wine.  I was just piecing together the deep conversation about song lyrics from the night before that I had so desperately tried to look cool in when the door to the RV swung open.  Standing there with one hand on her hip and a huge smile, Monica’s mother yelled out:

Good morning girls!! I need your help out here, busy morning with the sale and all.  Do you ladies want some break-WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DOING IN HERE?!?!?! MONICA, WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU PLAYING WITH THE DEVIL IN HERE?!?! WE DO NOT USE THE OUIJA BOARD IN THIS HOUSEHOLD RYAN, I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND OF HOME YOUR PARENTS ARE RUNNING, BUT WE ARE GOOD CHRISTIAN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

The board had been the only thing her eyes had settled on, and to my complete and total relief she was so furious about it that she slammed the door in my face while sreaming: ‘MONICA, I NEED TO SEE YOU IN THE KITCHEN THIS INSTANT!!’

It was fortunate really, because while Monica dry-heaved waves of stale boxed wine in the kitchen as her mother ranted on about the devil’s magic, I was able to successfully usher the two boys out of the RV and back from the depths of grunge-guitarism from whence they came.

Standing in the RV after they left, I grabbed the ouija board, threw it in my backpack, laced up my Doc Martins, and waited at the sale for my own mother to come pick me up.

My mother didn’t care about the ouija board, but had Monica’s mother discovered the two hormones masquerading as boys in the bed-I am not sure I would have survived to see fifteen.