Friday, April 29, 2005

Coming Down the (Coors) Mountain

Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song" is now being used in a commercial for Coors beer. Oh, damn, I feel old now. It's hard to believe that my teenage anthems, the music we were so proud of and so precious about, is being used to hock crappy beer. This is what my mother must have felt when the Beatles' "Revolution" was used to sell Nikes. Ah, et tu, Jane's Addiction? Et tu?

Which brings me to a story...the story of when I, Zen Angel, met Jane's Addiction.

I was in high school, and Jane's Addiction was a popular band for the maladjusted and socially in other words, few people in countryfied Dayton other than myself and people like me had ever heard of them. This was pre-Lollapallooza, remember. Pre-Nirvana. When "alternative" music was still being called "modern rock" or "college music," and the only station that played it was in Cinncinati...and you could only get reception if it wasn't raining.

But I digress.

As I said, I was in high school, and a Jane's Addiction fan. A close friend of mine (who I will call "Ellen" here) and I were hanging out at her house when her father called. He was a manager for a major hotel in the city...and wanted to let us know that the Jane's Addiction guys were staying at his hotel following their local concert. Excited, we grabbed our vinyl copies of Nothing's Shocking and staked out the hotel.

We waited for hours, existing on nacho cheese Combos and warm Cherry 7-Up. Finally, the band and their entourage arrived. Albums and magic markers in hand...we approached the band member who, in our eyes, was the most desirable: a young Dave Navarro. We asked him for an autograph, and graciously, Dave reached for the albums to oblige us.

This is when the encounter turned...surreal.

Perry Farrell's girlfriend (significant other, spouse, whatever), a mousy, blue-haired chick who was clearly too drunk to be standing upright, completely freaked out. She smacked Ellen's album out of Dave's hand, and begin to scream, "Perry Farrell has worked ALL NIGHT for his fans! He is TIRED and NEEDS TO REST! Can't you people leave him alone? Can't you just fuck off for a little while?"

"No one was talking to Perry. Leave us the hell alone," was my response.

"Fuck YOU, bitch! Don't you DARE talk to ME that way!" Blue-Hair replied. And then she spit on me. Yes...SPIT on me. So I reached for her, ready to knock her cheap piercings right out of her funky head.

At that point, everything happened really fast. People got in the middle of the two of us. At first, she was screaming for help. Once it became clear that there was no way I could now get to her, she began screaming at me again, calling me all sorts of names and cursing like crazy. I've known sailors with less colorful vocabularies. But I had a potty mouth to beat the band (no pun intended), and was holding my own pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Perry seemed used to her tirades, and amused by the near-cat fight (and some men invariably are). Between him and several other members of the entourage, the happy couple were finally escorted to the hotel room, Blue-Hair bitching constantly the whole way. Ellen swore, afterwards, that the shrew through her shoe at me just before going into the room, but I never saw this. Not saying it didn't happen...just that I didn't personally witness it.

Dave and one of the other band members (I think the drummer, I am not sure) stayed behind.

Now, I realize that these days, Dave Navarro is a pompous windbag...full of himself and in love with the media. But try as I might, I cannot think badly of him for it...because in my mind, I will always remember him as a gentleman for his behavior after the near-fight with the Blue-Haired Shrew.

Dave apologized, signed our albums, and chatted with us for a moment. He never spoke badly of Perry or the girlfriend...but it was clear from his demeanor that he did not approve of their antics. I was clearly pissed, and Ellen (a sensitive soul if ever one lived) was upset. Dave was charming, and put us both at ease. Within a few moments, the bit of nastiness (that was now, presumably, sleeping off the night's excesses) was all but forgotten.

After a short while, he begged off, as he was very clearly exhausted. We thanked him for his time, and meant it. He was polite, gracious and appreciative of us as fans.

I suppose in this day and age, I would have been encouraged to sue. What a laugh! Sue for being spit on. Milk it for 15 minutes of fame while the press ate it up before moving on to the next media-whore.

But this was the early 90's, and that never occured to me. Even if it had...I wouldn't have done it. Not only is such an idea ridiculous (what damage, really, can even the most well-flung loogey do?), I would not have wanted to get Ellen's dad in trouble for letting us know the band was there in the first place. He needed that job, there being a pretty nasty recession going on at the time and all.

Some time later, Jane's Addiction received an award for the video "Been Caught Stealing." And lo and behold, there on the stage, accepting the award...the Blue-Haired Shrew! Drunk again. "Perry Farrell IS Jane's Addiction! Perry is god!" And beside her, an embarrassed-looking, long-suffering Dave Navarro.

I felt for him, man. I really did.

And so ends but one of my Celebrity Encounters...for a punk chick from Ohio, I have had a good share of them...and as the mood strikes me, look for my stories on such encounters with The Ramones, Rob Lowe, local Portland DJ Pork Chop, Dayton celeb Dr. Creep, Fugazi, Kim & Kelly Deal (of the Breeders), Leonard Nimoy and Queen Noor of Jordan....


At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Synesthesia said...

I like Fugazi.
The early 90s was such a good era for music, way better than the late 90s but the late 90s gave birth to DIR EN GREY.

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous notyourtypicalsouthernbelle said...

I was directed to this entry by vinyl_vixenx on lj. Interesting story of how you met Janes Addiction. I can't believe any man would put up with a vicious bitch such as the Blue Haired Shrew, but like you said, some men are amused by such women.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Enlargement said...

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