s my amber urine
arced furiously onto the couch, making that haughty splattering noise, I had to
wonder why I was being so careful in balancing one leg up on the couch and keeping
one leg on the ground - maybe so as not to spoil the decorative threadwork of
was the last remaining band member in that dressing room, and in those days I
used to consume beer like it was
well, beer. (Keep in mind that I'm not
talking vapid Californian beer, where downing a six-pack gives the buzz equivalent
of drinking water from a dirty glass - I'm talking Australian beer, 1987 vintage
- the type that you just can't get in the U.S - you know, the stuff with the ALCOHOL
CONTENT.) And we'd just finished yet another thunderous gig at one of our regular
circuit venues - but this time, it was different
band was "Purple", a Deep Purple cover band (long before the term "tribute
band" was parlayed into abuse) and this 500-capacity venue was a staple rockin'
joint for the biker and backseat-betty set; longhairs abounded, as did Motorhead
and Judas Priest denim patches, and one never lacked for a rousing knife-fight
in the carpark.
thundered through here many a beer-sodden balmy night, but The Eighties had over-ridden
this venue at last - Huey Lewis and Hall & Oates and The Hooters were transmogrifying
the musical landscape for a generation of squares who erroneously thought they
were hip, creating the perception that rock and roll was ALL ABOUT the pastel
vinyl suit and the hair gel mullet.
some foreshadowing: our head roadie looked like Glenn Hughes at The California
Jam - and we're loading into a face-lifted venue which now looks like an Ikea
ad, replete with neon décor and black-lighting, designed by a pastel-gay
decorator who vowed to "laminate the shit out of everything".
doors open, while we were drinking in the club area (all of us to a man resplendent
in leather jacket, unkempt hair, worn-down blue jeans), we were told by the security
staff that we would have to leave, because we weren't complying with the dress
code (!) "We're the band, man" - This was the period in history when
this epithet began its serious decline. No more did that phrase carry insurmountable
weight, allowing unbridled access to free alcohol, privileged parking and chewable
titties. It was becoming almost a curse, as we were ushered out by thick-necked
bouncers, who now sported fastidious bowties and looked like male strippers.
heavy protest, we let ourselves be ushered, as we didn't want to make problems
for our agency. But the problem lay with venues' skewed attitude towards bands
of our ilk, who were seen to be menaces to the profit margin, with the influx
of satin-shirted wimps hot on our heels as the breadwinners and ad-sellers, with
their brand of white-bread, pseudo-cracker demolition pop. Evthin' ah know, ah
learnt frem thayt there Music TayleVision
these venues began to afford us no respect: the BAND couldn't even drink
in a public area of the venue in which we were performing! - Because we didn't
fit the décor! They would let us work there because we were still a
draw - but MTV was so insidious in creating the PERCEPTION of The Scene that even
monetary success was not going to turn bookers' heads away from their set course:
to wean their customers off this leather-clad idiom and onto the pastel-neon idiom
of false pussy-promises, catering to the boof-haired post-teens with the bangles
and wide plastic belts and their older sister's ID who would, in turn, lure in
the male post-teen nerd contingent whose wet dreams outstripped their live game
like Jack Nicholson outstripping Joey Fatone.
I enacted revanche in its most classic form - direct, visceral and pagan
- by sending a message of foul-smelling derision that no one could mistake as
subtle. Like Jesus taking the sins of the world upon his shoulders, I spoke for
every band who were mistreated at the hands of every glorified pub and I got my
cock out that night backstage not just for the sole purpose of putting it in someone
is for all your glowing neon decorator strips - this is for the rainbowed girlie
drinks that taste like medicine - this is for kicking us out of your club - this
is for replacing the rock and roll on your jukebox with bands created by corporations
- this is for the MTV generation - god in hell! - this is for 1987 in toto
and swearing as uncontrollably as my emptying bladder, I decided to stand full
frontal on the couch, thereupon I moved to the matching plush chairs and still
had a little drunken sass left over to dab some in the corners of the room, like
a hint of French perfume (- eau de toilette? Mmm - yes please!). Then I
got the hell outa there.
kicker? We played there about four months later. The venue was a rock club again.
The bouncers wore jeans and t-shirts. The dressing room was totally renovated.