Ah, the day of our London show has arrived. I could barely sleep leading into it. I got to the venue on the early side, just to soak it all in. It was family day at the venue as well. Not only were Jane and Lil T there, but Ginger’s mom came with his other 2 monkeys… Jake and Jasmine. I really don’t how this guy has managed to have 3 cute, well behaved kids. And Gav too. Fuck. Maybe if I was English I wouldnt be so afraid of the little monsters. But I’m not. So I am. The ones we produce at home are like mini- Al Qauedas. Nose-picking, pierce-wailing, landspeed-record-breaking, shit-rocket terrorists.
Meeting little Jake was quite a treat. I mean this is the kid, who at 5, wrote what is obviously the best unrecorded song in the history or rock n roll. THUNDER BIKE! And its pretty cool that I get to tell people the J-A-K-E tattoo on Gingers knuckles was inspired by me. So I gotta make sure this kid’s visibility stays low or my cover is blown! At one point Jake reached up and grabbed the little gun-metal-plated .45 I wear around my neck and pretended to shoot me in the throat with it. And we had a great conversation about pro wrestling. He’s definitely Ginger’s boy! Jasmine was cool too. Even though she wouldnt give me any candy. A heart breaker in training.
Since today was the last day of tour with the Wildhearts, I knew I had to break out the glitter big time. I had been saving up a nice big jar of lavendar glitter that I had bought in Manchester, and also brought a big juicy bottle of Silver, and small bottle of dusty pink. Yup, I was armed, locked, and loaded. When I walked in the Wildhearts dressing room and busted out the glitter, Scott and Ritch’s faces showed the fear. They knew they were in for a big night. I popped the bottles own on the table and let the sweating start.
Upstairs in the sober room, I met Sasha, CJs girlfriend. Super hot and smart too. She was a speechwriter for the Premiere of Scotland for a few years, but now she does some sort of hippie dippie commie shit about kids and green spaces and blah blah blah. Aside from that, she’s pretty cool. Except for he fact tat she’s deathly afraid of glitter. So of course she was target numero uno. I got her good as soon as I saw her, but had to stay away from CJ for the time being, as he was wearing some one of a kind pussy jacket that cost him 600 pounds. Im assuming Sasha paid for it, since other than being in the Wildhearts, CJ is a shiftless hippie who pretends to practice guitar all day, but more likely spends his afternoons jerking off to the “models” on the Wii Fitness game. Sasha got glitter bomb #1 with the standard silver and spent the next 10 minutes trying to pick it all out of her clothes in the bathroom mirror. Remarkably, she did a decent job of it. Since I wasnt able to Glitter CJ while he was wearing his nifty fancy-lad jacket, I scored some coffee grounds and dumped those down the backside of his trousers. Fuck the glitter bombs, CJ got a ca-ca-ca-ca-caffeine bomb! (for those keeping score at home, that was a great fucking Wildhearts song title reference)
I needed to re-load with bigger ammo and get Sasha with a higher intensity Glitter Bomb so I ran down to the booze room to get the big bottle of Silver… but couldn’t find it. Shit, I needed it. Fuck. So I dug into my bag and got the pink dust glitter. That would do. Back upstairs she got covered in a nice layer of that, and it was a little tougher for her to get out, which made me smile. I also managed to get a decent bomb in on Jake and Jasmine, with their permission of course. Once CJ’s jacket was off, he didnt either bother trying to get away from it. Same went for Scott and Ritch. By this point it was just another part of getting ready for stage. But I know they know how good it looks onstage, and Ill be stunned if they’re not glittering each other up for their next tour. Even Ginger was happy to be a full fledged member of the glitterati for this show.
Soon it was time for Tragedy to hit. Hello LONDON. I pounded 2 red bulls just before we went on. I wanted to make sure I was amped and actionable….. full tilt baby. This was by far the biggest stage we played on the tour, so there was gonna be a lot of ground to cover. This was gonna be fun. The moment Phil said “London City”, and I hit the stage, I felt electric. We’ve played some great shows, but looking out at a huge theater well over 100 years old, with thousands of people looking back at you is a feeling that is hard to describe but I can only imagine would be very easy to get used to. Even if they aren’t too impressed, you’re there to make sure that doesn’t last long.
By the time the first song was over, the first few rows were feeling the Tragedy. Up in the front row center of the balcony I could see King Ginger holding court with his subjects Jane and Jake and Jasmine. This guy has a serious addiction to the Js. Even Lil T’s mil’ name is James. Jake was pounding the devil horns non stop and every time I pointed up his way I could see his excitement level rise like Jack the Ripper’s kill count.
With each song the depth or our virus was spreading. Our driver Paul told us from the first night, the he could see the effect we were having on the crowds. He called it the Tragedy virus. He said that during the first song or two he could see the virus starting to spread, and people’s defenses up, trying to resist infection. And that through the set every night he could see the infection spread and spread throughout the crowd until everyone had been infected. With the way the Forum in London was multi-tiered, for the first time I could see what he was talking about. Stares turned to smiles, and smiles turned to pumping fists and fits of applause after songs were over. London had been converted; decimated even. I was warned about British audiences before this tour started. I learned that if they didnt like you, you’d here the boos and the heckling. And that if they really didnt like you, you’d quickly have to learn how to duck flying bottle and phlegm bombs. I learned that if they just stood there and looked at you, then they kinda liked you. And that if they clapped then they really liked you. Well almost every night the UK loved us.
As if we weren’t already sure that they were loving us in London, we had a special plan for the end of the show. At the end of the Tragedy set Ginger and CJ were gonna hit the stage and play dueling solos. We knew that would fire the crowd up! In discussing it with CJ beforehand, he asked how it was gonna work. I said “You’ll just walk out and Phil will hand you his guitar, and you put it on and start shredding.”
He got a look of worry on his face and said “Oh, no no. I can’t play your guitars.” Huh?
“You wear them way too high. Ill look like a fucking fag.”
“Seriously?” I said.
Even Sasha chimed in “Yeah, you guys do wear them a bit high.”
Fuck. How was I gonna break this news to Phil. The Wildhearts – or at least CJ – said we looked like a bunch of pussies – surely he’d be crushed. So I just went right at it. I went to the dressing room and let him know. But he wasnt crushed. He said since he had been tuning Ginger’s guitar for him on this tour (Phil seemingly has a supernatural guitar tuning ability – he’s so good that Ginger actually hired him to tech after the first night of tour) and wearing Ginger’s guitar that he felt like maybe he needed to let the strap loose a little bit on his own guitar.
CJ and Phil and I walked down to the stage and Phil tried on CJs guitar and then tried on his own. CJ even helpfully pointed out that the way his was slung made it look, much more naturally, like an extension of his penis. Yup, big difference. So Phil and I both let the straps out on our guitars. Sold.
Back to stage. Before we could wow the crowd by letting them know Ginger and CJ not only LIKED us, but enjoyed playing with us, we had to knock them over the head with the most rock em sock em version of Stayin Alive ever played. As with most nights when Phil let the crowd know that we were gonna take “The next few hours to play some little known deep cuts” there was some nervous laughter. Then we he said “Like this one. It is entitled “Stayin Alive” A “look of relief” virus spread quickly through the hall, and headbanging and fist pumping ensued!!
We were rocking the fuck out of “Stayin Alive” and I was looking out at the majestic Forum, full of people, fully infected, when it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. Shiny, silver bricks. I had been glitter bombed from behind. But this was no ordinary glitter bomb. This was the atomic glitter bomb. That huge bottle of glitter I misplaced had been STOLEN by Scott Sorry and he and Ritch had ambushed me onstage midsong. It must have been quite the sight to behold. There was a huge mess of glitter at my feet and every move I made resulted in a silver glitter burst. I must have looked like the kid form the Peanuts cartoon. It was actually getting dangerous with all the glitter on the floor, slippery as fuck! Looking down my arms and hands were covered, there was glitter all over my guitar. After a week of being the perp, I was the victim. And it was sweet. Rock n Roll. Sweet Sweet Rock N Roll.
One song left on this Wildhearts tour. How fitting its Tragedy. And how fitting that CJ AND Ginger both came out to rip dueling solos at the end. CJ looked so good with a low slung V. I wouldn’t be surprised if he used one on the next Wildhearts tour.
When I got offstage and got to a mirror I was SHOCKED. The sweat made the glitter stick to me like plaster. The whole left side of my head and face was CAKED! I looked like a human disco ball; the Tim Man from a gay disco remake of the Wizard of Oz. It was ALL OVER. They say no good deed goes unpunished. And I wasnt about to let Ritch and CJ get away with that. As soon as the Wildhearts crew had all their gear set and ready to go, I snuck out behind Ritch’s kit and layed the glitter on it. And by on it, I mean ALL OVER it. Every cymbal, the hi hat, the snare, and both toms. The only thing I left untouched was his throne, but in retrospect I should have given him a glitterbum! When he came out to start the show I was standing in the shadows just off to the side of his kit, as soon as he started playing and the lights kicked in, there was a huge pink glitter cloud hovering over the kit for a couple minutes. and Ritch had a huge smile on his face. Americans 5 – Brits 2
I went up in the Balcony and watched the first half of the show with Lil Jake, John and Mike from Electric Six, and momma. The Wildhearts were giving one hell of a show to London City. Big, Huge, MASSIVE!!!! But at the halfway point, I had to go backstage and tend to some urgent business. Scott Sorry needed to learn what happens when you fuck with the glitter Jesus. Earlier in the night he was telling a friend of his that I had been glittering him up so good the whole tour that now all the clothes in his suitcase had glitter on them. That gave me a great idea, even before he bombed me onstage. I figured I’d spread glitter all through his suitcase and give him a real surprise! Then I though better of it. Too much!! But after he Pearl Harbored me onstage, I just had to do it. And do it I did. While the Wildhearts were rockin I opened up his suitcase and went to town. Between every layer of clothes, inside the shoes, underwear. No garment was left untouched! But I wasn’t done. Oh no. I had a huge bottle of purple glitter in reserve just for a time like this. Towards the end of the Wildhearts set, I made my way to the wings of the stage, and waited for the perfect opportunity. And then I pounced. Onstage with the Wildhearts Scott is like a human pinball crossed with a mexican jumping bean, but I waited til he took his metal stance and I knew he wouldnt be moving for at least three seconds and unleashed the purple fury. Oh man, it was better than I could have imagined. The plaster effect worked on him as well, and he was leaving a trail of glitter all around him as he resumed his running around the stage. At the end of the song, while Ginger was having a deep philosophical conversation with the crowd, Scott was scooping up excess glitter from the stage and tossing it out onto the crowd, who was super psyched to be dosed by their hero. win win win. Americans 6- Brits 2.