|"We're doin' bloody Eddie Cochran songs? 'Ere, mate! I was looking forward to playin' 'The Cartographer Of Love!'"|
It's my last night in Austin, before I move back to L.A. (No, I know I left Austin two years ago for Tucson and then Phoenix, before finally settling on L.A. This is clearly a parallel universe. Just follow along.) The latest lineup of The Hormones (again, I know this never happened!) are playing our farewell show at Emo's. Only Emo's looks oddly like a bar my Denver friend Adams took me to my first day in town, a week ago. The rest of The Hormones have decided to not play the gig. I'm sitting at the bar, contemplating a solo acoustic set and not relishing the idea, when who should walk in but my old buddy, Keith Richards? (Because, y'know, Keef and I are sooo tight, and he's frequently in Austin.... *rolls eyes*) It's been awhile since Keef and I last hung out, him being busy with his modestly successful lil' rock 'n' roll band and all....
We're all smiles, laughter, and boozy bonhomie, buying rounds and playing catchup. Then Keith asks when I'm going onstage. I explain the situation of The Hormones downing tools.
"Well, fuck those bastards!" Keith roars. "Let's you and me play the gig! Right now! I'm sure we can find a drummer 'ere!" And sure enough, we just so happen to find Television drummer Billy Ficca wandering around (because he hangs out as much in Austin as Keith, apparently). After a quick word, he's as excited as Keith to be a Hormone for the night.
We agree to do a set of Eddie Cochran covers, since we all know those songs. And just as we start up "20 Flight Rock," I look up and see that Keith and Billy are not set up onstage with me. They're on the floor, playing from the audience.
"No, no, no, guys!" I yell, an impatient bandleader. "Get up here with me!"
So, naturally, they're having to tear down and set up with me on the Emo's stage. Keith, of course, is having a lot of problems with this concept, as he's had a road crew for 40 years and has forgotten how to hump his own gear (even though all he has for this gig is a Gibson ES335 [the blonde dot-marker model, ala Dave Edmunds] and a little 15-watt Fender Pro Jr. combo). As my slumming all-star Hormones lineup begin setting up onstage, I proceed to explain to the sparse crowd that, although this is our last gig as an Austin band and I will be leaving for L.A. tomorrow, the other guys didn't want to play. "But hey! Who cares? May I present Hormones guitarist for tonight only, KEITH RICHARDS!"
To which absolutely no one applauds. I opt to forgo introducing Billy, or saying another word to these cold fish....
Finally, Keith and Billy are ready. "Let's rock!" Keith rasps. He then begin churning out the opening riff to "20 Flight Rock," sounding really great and Keef-ish.
And then I woke up.