Thursday, 16 July 2009

Farewell Phoenix, I hope you can rise again

I watched a train wreck headed straight for Berlin in the dim red glow of The Supper Club. She was staggering on nine inch heels at the very edge of the stage until she fell to her knees with her hair hanging down in an unconscious imitation of shame. The Love Shark cranked at his guitar, he was wearing a striped sweatshirt and some old pair of jeans. I watched her slide off the crash, down the side of the bass drum, with her legs crossed - mock elegant- and hit the floor all the while hitting all the notes she wasn't supposed to. That's when it hit me; she was beautiful. I ceased watching from the outside when she dragged my gaze, with her knees, across the floor.

Spencer snuck forwards to grab his guitar and we made a break for the door. He'd played a solo set, one of those viscous ones casually grabbing at time. The man sitting next to me was gobsmacked. I told him everybody reacts like that the first time they see a song grow legs and stand. He turned towards me to see if I would say anything else so I quoted Martha Wainwright and told him Spencer was stamping his feet to a different beat, like those guys with guitars I've been watching in bars. He nodded like I was an oracle and offered to buy me a bottle of wine. I told him I was pregnant and patted fondly at my non-existent baby, just to ensure that he would go away, and he did.

I walked directly to the bar and bought myself a drink. The barman gave it to me for free, he said "that's your friend on stage now isn't it?", when I nodded he pushed my money across the bar towards my purse muttering keep it. It's the first time I've been recognised and rewarded for being somebody's friend but it was just one of those nights, people walking past me and yelling "Slamma! Hey Slamma!" while I ignored them and Ms Phoenix threw back another apple martini. I was sitting at a table with the bass player from The Walk On By, Ms Phoenix and some creepy man who turned out to be The Love Shark, it was a strange place to be.

She didn't seem drunk until she tried to drink the candle wax, mistaking it for a shot glass. Then she stood and I saw her reel like the world was tipping. Maybe that's how people move continents, they pour wine like water until hemispheres turn supple and a slide down the fat curve of a bass drum lets you wake up in Berlin. Spencer and I snuck sideways to the door as the black-clad security goons descended while they plunged the stage into darkness. That Space Cowboys woman popped up out of nowhere, star-spangled and headed for the stage. She was talking up the band and hollering like a crazed actress as Spencer and I burst out the door and started laughing into the rain.

We were laughing but rattled, I haven't seen someone that reckless drunk since Elliot went to rehab. I witnessed something. It should be simple, a lovely woman and songwriter got drunk but it felt like rock'n'roll got cancelled and instead we all turned Humbert Humbert and watched a dark little Lolita on stage.


Anonymous said...

.. and offered to buy me a bottle of wine. I told him I was pregnant and patted fondly at my non-existent baby, just to ensure that he would go away, and he did..

he he he

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you're back in action Slamma.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like another little piece of my life that I was meant to be at but got distracted and missed.


Madam Squeeze