Tag Archives: Blixa Bargeld

All Apologies

I’m worried about an intimate friend of mine who doesn’t know I exist.  We’ve met before, but there’s no reason for him to remember.  I remember, though.  It was brilliant.

It’s Nick Cave.  I’m worried about Nick Cave.

I was thinking about him this morning during my drive to work.  I was in a real crap mood.  Everything just seemed so bleak and blah and I was being a total brat.  I’ll put it this way: I’ve been listening to a lot of Nirvana lately.  A lot of Nirvana.   I need it.  I’m living off it.  In the morning, when I’m grumpy and groggy and stuck on a crowded, winding freeway, all I want to hear is the MTV Unplugged in New York album.  I’m usually turning onto Melrose Avenue by the time Kurt Cobain starts telling the story about Lead Belly’s guitar.  “I even asked David Geffen personally if he’d buy it for me.”  Kurt, you little punk.

Courtesy of papermag.com

I was feeling very thankful for Kurt this morning as I drove along in my solitary angst — he was making me feel less solitary.  This feeling of gratitude made me think of a different time in my life where I relied on an artist to get me through the day — it was 2012, and I was on my first Nick Cave Bender.  I was unemployed, I was living with my parents, and I had just gotten my hands on a copy of Let Love In.  Something shifted.  I lost and found myself again and again in images of the devil crawling along my floor.

Yes, I realize I sound like an emo kid straight out of 2003 when I say that kinda shit, but I suppose that’s appropriate — I was, after all, depressed and living with my parents.  Nick Cave gave me something to do.  It became imperative to go out and find all of the Bad Seeds albums.  I absolutely had to get my hands on all of the concert DVDs.  I needed to read all the old interviews and watch all the behind the scenes footage I could possibly scrounge from the depths of the information superhighway.  Nick Cave was my comfort and my company.  Creepy?  I dunno.  Maybe?  Not really.  I was just lonely and bored and sad and filling out job applications seemed a lot less meaningless whilst listening to “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry.”

When Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds announced in November 2013 that they would be coming to Los Angeles the following summer for a show at The Shrine, I immediately set my alarm for 5am so that I could get pre-sale tickets the following day.  Months later, they announced a second show.  It sold out within minutes, but I managed to find a pair of tickets on StubHub for a sum of money I’m not proud of paying.  (I am proud, though.  Secretly.)  A third show was added — a solo one with limited seating — and I busted out my debit card one final time.  In July of 2014, I saw Nick Cave three nights in-a-row, and it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever, ever done.

I did talk to him.  Twice, actually.  The first time was during the Q&A that followed the solo show, and the second time was in the parking lot of The Shrine after the second show.  He had changed out of his sleek black sport jacket and into a blue velour zip-up sweater.  He was busy taking a picture with someone, and when he finished, he turned to face me.  I didn’t do or say anything weird — I just asked if he’d sign my friend’s copy of King Ink.  He instinctively knew to spell her name with one “L.”

I shouldn’t have been looking at my phone this morning, but I was.  I was at a stoplight and I picked up my phone and looked at my Facebook and saw that my friend had sent me an article.  The headline sealed the fate of my day: “Nick Cave’s Teenage Son Arthur Dies After Cliff Fall.”

I threw my phone onto the floor of my car and unleashed a guttural, primal, “NOOOOOOO.”  The light turned green.

“Never look at your fucking phone while driving, Steff,” I thought.  “Never do that again.”

“I know, I know, I shouldn’t,” I answered.  “At least I was at a stoplight.”

“I know.  But don’t do it again.  Ever.”

“I won’t,” I said to myself.  “I promise.”

I meant it.  I do mean it.  Because life is fragile.  How we manage to forget that for such long stretches of time is truly amazing.

When I arrived at the office and parked my car and turned off the engine, I picked up my phone from the floor.  My cousin had also sent me the article.  I read it.  It pretty much repeated what the headline had already summarized.  A cliff.  A fucking cliff.  A 15-year-old boy had died after falling off a cliff.

A few months ago, my younger brother and I saw Nick Cave in Hollywood.  He was there to read excerpts of his new book.  He didn’t sing anything — just talked and read.  We were in the second row and I was ecstatic to just be in the same room as my hero, my caretaker, my girly obsession.  The first thing he read was an excerpt about a little boy walking across a treacherous bridge.  The little boy was him — this was a memory.

Nick Cave’s family was in the audience that night.

https://vimeo.com/122744455

With eerily appropriate timing, my younger brother sent me a message that just said, “Nick Cave’s son  😦 “  Before I could respond, he added, “It’s even sadder thinking back on what Nick was saying at that book reading, about being a kid in Australia walking on bridges and the wives tales about the boys that had fallen off.”

I exited the car.  When I got to my desk and opened up Facebook again, I saw that another one of my cousins had sent me an article about Arthur Cave.

A co-worker appeared in my doorway.  He said, “Hey.”  I turned to face him, and I guess my face said everything — the next words out of his mouth were, “I know.  I read the sad news.  Terrible.”

I sat with the sad news.  I thought about Nick Cave, the dad behind the fierce suit and the sexy, bloody love songs.  I thought about his wife, Susie, the stunning model who gave birth to twin boys 15 years ago.  I thought about Arthur’s twin brother, Earl, and wondered how he must be feeling right now.

Nick Cave, the dad.

I only know Nick Cave’s music.  I don’t know Nick Cave, the dad.  I’m a superfan, not a stalker.  However, being a superfan of another human being’s art is kind of a complicated thing.  How do you give back to an artist whose music has helped you through so much?  Is it even possible?  Perhaps the most efficient and affective way to show respect is by leaving the artist alone — remaining a superfan instead of a stalker.  I suppose a letter is always an option, but, unfortunately, a letter isn’t gonna solve shit.  Not in this case.

I’ll just continue being a superfan.  If he releases another album, I’ll get it.  If he goes on tour again, I’ll see him.  If he makes another movie, I’ll watch it.  If he decides to retire, I’ll support his decision.

I’ll also give my parents huge hugs when I see them tonight.  I suggest you all do the same.  And stop looking at your phones while you’re in the car.  If driving makes you feel anxious or bored or angry, you can always just put on some tunes.  I have a few recommendations.

I’m so, so sorry Nick.

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Strange Bedfellows.

Last week, my parents discovered they had bed bugs.  In their bed.  Only their bed.  I wasn’t bitten up and my brother wasn’t bitten up; just Steve and Barbara.  They don’t know how it happened.  They’re both rather fastidious people.

On Monday morning my mom had someone spray the house with all-natural, yet highly allergenic whatnot in order to kill the little bastard bed bugs.  The night before the insurgence, my mom brought a gray suitcase into my room and dropped it on my sofa.

“Ya may wanna pick up the stuff piled next to your bed,” she said.  “They’re gonna be spraying your carpet.”

I took her suggestion.  The suitcase is 3/4 full.  Its contents?  A veritable cornucopia of Dorky.

I shall now list for you the “stuff piled next to my bed” that has now been transferred to a gray suitcase on top of my sofa.

1. The Godfather Trilogy DVD Collection. 

Fully remastered.  The bouquet Johnny Fontaine sends to Don Corleone is so damn COLORFUL.

2. A Bag of Crackers

My mom brought this to me the night I came home from work after spending nearly two hours in the nurse’s office battling dehydration and low blood sugar.  Mom had also brought me soup, but I kept the crackers in case I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like a twitchy, malnourished mess.  Rather, still feeling like a twitchy, malnourished mess.

3. A Burned DVD copy of A Streetcar Named Desire

No one, but NO ONE, is sexier than Marlon Brando in his skin tight t-shirt.  I fell asleep to this movie every night for a good six months.

4. The Complete Works of Arthur Rimbaud

It has the English translations and the original French.  I memorized “Sensation.”  I was determined to memorize it in French, too.  I still haven’t done that.  I bought the book last October.  Damn.

5. An Illustrated Copy of The Fan Man by William Kotzwinkle

Some people keep The Bible by their beds.  And so do I.

6. A Green Journal with a Butterfly on the Cover That I Bought at Logos Bookstore in Santa Cruz, CA

Page One:

2-20-11

In Santa Cruz for the weekend.  This paper is incredible.  I can’t tell if the guy next to me is cute. Ya know, this bar isn’t ideal for writing.  Well, the vibe is, but the position I’m in is slightly uncomfortable.  I saw an absolutely beautiful guy downtown.  He was playing guitar and singing his heart out.  He looked and sounded so gorgeous. 

7. The Favorite Game by Leonard Cohen

Picked this up last November.  I found it on eBay.  The last time I picked it up was one day in December when I was sitting in the waiting room of an Urgent Care in Westlake Village waiting to talk to a doctor about a bizarre ailment I was convinced was killing me.  It didn’t kill me, and I never finished this book.

8. Planet News by Allen Ginsberg

I bought this book of poetry in San Francisco.  I was there last February for five or six days.  I spent my first day there walking around North Beach.  After having a few beers at Cafe Vesuvio I wandered over to The Beat Museum to ask if they had copies of the poems I submitted to them for a poetry contest they held back in 2007.  They didn’t have copies, but the guy behind the counter searched the internet archives for a good twenty minutes trying to help me out.  I felt kinda guilty for making him look, so I bought something.

9. A Black, Ringed Journal My Parents Bought for Me at Citylights Books When I Was 19

The opening lines of “HOWL” are printed on the front cover.

Page One:

3-06-06

When I get angry I feel my shoulder blade muscles tense up and form a knot that hurts for days.

I can feel it pinching back there whenever I try to write

or type

or just fucking hold a book.

I once tried to work out the knot by wearing Icy-Hot bandages at night

But they just soothed the area around the hubbub of angst.*

I’d peel the bandage off in the morning and my skin would

smell like chemicals.

God knows what kind of cancer it’ll give me.

Maybe the doctors will prescribe me some pot.

Then I could sell it on the streets and use the money to hire a masseuse. 

(*I feel like kicking my own ass for “hubbub of angst.”)

10. Light Blue Journal I Bought from Paper Source in Santa Cruz, CA

I’m not sharing Page One.  I can’t.  I will, however, reveal that it was written on Friday, October 16, 2009 at 12:54pm.

It was interesting to read Page One of this cute little unfinished journal, because it’s my retelling of the beginning of what turned out to be a very frustrating, rather sad story.  It was all so seemingly innocent at the time, but now that I’m looking at these scribbled words written by the 22-year-old version of myself, it’s obvious that this very frustrating period of my life left a rather sad impression on my ability to trust people.  Perfectly sweet people.

Perfectly sweet male people.

That Fucker.

11. A “One Line A Day: Five Year Memory” Journal from Barnes and Noble

I am so bad at keeping up with this thing.  There is literally just enough space to write one sentence per day.  I thought it seemed interesting.  I haven’t written any memories in it since January 9, 2012.  I wrote, “First unemployed Monday.”  That was a fun day, actually.  Mom and I went to the zoo.

12.  A Tennessee Williams Collection

Includes Summer and Smoke, Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer, and Period of Adjustment.  It also includes a personal essay by Tennessee that spoke to me so profoundly the first time I read it that I literally threw the book across the room.

So much for the past and present.  The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future.  And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.

13. Perfection by Julie Metz

A memoir I had to read for my writing group.  I was intrigued for the first few chapters, but the whole thing became so damn indulgent after a certain point that by the end I found the narrator annoying and stupid.  I must take great care to never become an annoying, stupid narrator.

14. Another Tennessee Williams Collection

This one includes Battle of Angels, The Glass Menagerie, and A Streetcar Named Desire.  I read this one on a flight from JFK to LAX.  Despite having watched A Streetcar Named Desire a dozen fucking times, I still teared up while I was reading it.  Tennessee may be damn easy to lampoon, but he’s also really fucking hard to beat.

15. The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 by Richard Brautigan

There are sex scenes in books that make you want to have sex, but not often do you come across sex scenes in books that make you want to cry.  Cry for what?  I don’t know.  Nostalgia?  Longing?  Loneliness?  Wishing and hoping that somewhere out there someone remembers you and your body just like Richard Brautigan saw this girl and her body…

It’s a hard decision whether to start at the top or the bottom of a girl.  With Vida I just didn’t know where to begin.  It was really a problem.

After she reached up awkwardly and put my face in a small container which was her hands and kissed me quietly again and again, I had to start somewhere.

She stared up at me all the time, her eyes never leaving me as if they were an airfield.

I changed the container and her face became a flower in my hands.  I slowly let my hands drift down her face while I kissed her and then further down her neck to her shoulders.

I could see the future being moved in her mind while I arrived at the boundaries of her bosom.  Her breasts were so large, so perfectly formed under her sweater that my stomach was standing on a step-ladder when I touched them for the first time.

Her eyes never left me and I could see in her eyes the act of my touching her breasts.  It was like brief blue lightning.

I was almost hesitant in a librarian sort of way.

“I promise,” she said, reaching up and awkwardly pressing my hands harder against her breasts.  She of course had no idea what that did to me.  The step-ladder started swirling.

She kissed me again, but this time with her tongue.  Her tongue slid past my tongue like a piece of hot glass.

16. A Light Blue Guitar Pick from Amoeba Music in Berkely, CA.

I’ve now been to all three Amoebas.  The one in Hollywood is The Best.

17. Jason Webley’s Only Just Beginning

This is his favorite album of his.  This is also my favorite album of his.  It’s just his best album of his.  “Music That Puts Everything Together” brings me to my knees.  Oh Jesus, and “Map.”  And “Icarus.”  And “With.”  And “Coda.”

Of course they’re all better live.  I’m damn lucky that I know that firsthand.  Jason Webley live is more life affirming than…anything, really.  Except maybe Leonard Cohen live.  Speaking of which…

18. Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen

This is a Hell of a novel.  There is a scene where two men — The Narrator and his friend, F. — are driving at top speed in F.’s car down a dark highway.  F. is pleasuring himself while he drives.

F., put it back.  Enough is enough.

Never put it back when it gets like this.

My God, I’ve never seen you so big!  What’s going on in your mind?  What are you thinking of?  Please teach me how to do it.  Can I hold it?

No!  This is between me and God.

Who but Leonard Fucking Cohen would come up with “This is between me and God”?

I had Jason Webley sign my copy.  I knew he was a Leonard Cohen fan and I wanted to impress him with my dorkiness.  Because, ya know, traveling to Seattle to catch his 11-11-11 show wasn’t dorky enough.

Stephanie

I’m glad I remember your name.

And I’m glad that you came so far for my concert.

And I’m glad that you like this book.

♥ jason

11-11-11

approximately

18. And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave

Nick, I love you with all my heart and soul, but this novel is no Beautiful Losers.

19. Scattered Poems by Jack Kerouac

Gotta love a poem called “Pull My Daisy.”

20. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita, light of my life.  Fire of my loins.

‘Nuff said.

21. A DVD Copy of the Remake of Alfie Starring Jude Law

I bought this from the Blockbuster in Westlake right before the damn thing closed down for good.  Ya know what?  This is a terrible movie.  It is.  But damn, I really get a kick out of it.  It’s so atrocious it’s funny and Jude Law is just POSING the whole Goddamn time, which is all at once hilarious and fucking hot.  He’s so hot I wanna punch him in the face.

22. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz

An award-winning play my mom read earlier this year that she insisted I read as well.  Still haven’t gotten around to doing that.

23. Writing the Memoir: from Truth to Art by Judith Barrington

I have a lot to say about this book, but right now I am completely distracted by the fact that the author’s last name is Barrington.  I purchased this book before that last name became such a significant part of my life.  Co-workers of mine who are reading this, I’m sorry.

24. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Patti Smith is really into this book.  I found a copy of it on my mom’s bookshelf on a rainy day last November.  I read the first page, and then I decided to go buy a ukulele.

I attempted to make a video for you of me playing the ukulele, but my mom interrupted when she came in to ask me if I wanted anything from Lassen’s.

25. A Blue and Black Leather-bound Journal Given to Me by My High School Journalism Teacher

Page One is humiliating.

Here’s something from Page 12:

12:00am August 10, 2005 Wednesday

I bought a CD today.  I’m listening to it now.  It feels great.  Not as great as kissing.  Music makes me think of kissing — probably because I sometimes kiss to music.

26. A DVD Copy of The Graduate

Two nights before I moved back to my parents’s house after living in Santa Cruz for five years, I downloaded this movie and bought a bottle of Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon.  At this point, I had already moved 99% of my furniture out of my apartment.  All I had was my twin-sized mattress, which was, at that point, pathetically sitting on the floor of my bedroom.  I sat on my pathetic mattress, drank my pathetic cheap wine, and watched Benjamin Braddock try his best not to be pathetic.  I cried a lot.

27. A DVD Copy of The Road to God Knows Where

Behind the scenes of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds touring the United States after Tender Prey was released.  They’re all so young and beautiful.  I fall asleep to this one a lot.  Nick is such a jerk to journalists, but not in a Bob Dylan in Don’t Look Back kind of way.  All the journalists that appear in this movie are such idiots that it really isn’t Nick’s fault that he comes off as so smart and so snide.  The people interviewing him really have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about.

28.  A DVD Copy of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

I will defend this movie until the end of time.  If, someday, I find myself with some spare time and some spare money (by the way, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!), I plan on writing an in-depth analysis of all four (or, by then, 15) Pirates films.  No one will publish it and no one will read it, so I’ll probably just send the manusctipt to Johnny Depp and wait for his reaction.  Maybe I’ll get to become one of his various best friends and I’ll start getting invitations to parties at Keith Richards’s house.

29. A DVD Copy of The Ruling Class

Just watch it.

30. The Complete Fawlty Towers

This show never got boring or bad because the British know when it’s time for a television show to end.  There are only 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers, but they are all perfect.

31. A DVD Copy of Blue Velvet

I watched this not too long ago.  I had a 103 degree fever and I was sitting on the couch in my empty house shivering and sniffling and coughing.

A video is worth 1,000 words:

32. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Live DVD: God Is in the House

It’s pretty good, but Warren Ellis had joined the band by this point, and it’s upsetting to watch Nick try to divvy up his affection between Warren and Blixa.  And Blixa just looks BORED out of his mind, even during “The Carny.”  It saddens me.

33. A DVD Copy of The Darjeeling Limited

I can’t listen to people criticize Wes Andseron.  It’s a sin.

34. A DVD Copy of If….

My Malcolm McDowell obsession was one of the best things to ever happen to me.  He made a lot of crap movies, but it doesn’t matter, because he also made If….

This movie should be shown to everyone everywhere.  Politicians should watch and be warned.

35.  The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

I read two chapters of this self-help book in May right before the training period for my new job began.  I had been diagnosing myself with various terminal illnesses every day for two weeks and I was losing my Goddamn mind.  I had been unemployed since January and I was at my absolute wit’s end.  Two chapters of this thing had me back to normal.  (As in, I was suddenly cured of my lung cancer, throat cancer, liver cancer, brain cancer, and Parkinson’s Disease.)

36. A DVD Copy of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Live at Brixton Academy, London Thursday, November 11 2004

As long as I can shut my bedroom door, sit down by myself and watch this shit, then I can never really lose sight of the fact that my life is rather good.  And that I’m a bad motherfucker.

So, yeah.  I’m thinkin’ I’ll just put all this stuff back where I found it — piled up next to my bed.

 

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I Had a Dream, Joe.

All right.

I dreamt last night that I was flying in an airplane to some place.  I don’t remember where.  I don’t think it was ever explicitly stated where I was going.  All my friends and family were on the plane, too, along with the cast of season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Best show on television, really.

I was standing near the Emergency Exit when, suddenly, it opened up and a man walked in.  He was in his 60’s, with a shaggy gray beard and a bald head.  He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans that had some white paint splattered on them.  Basically, he looked like an electrician from Santa Cruz.

In REAL LIFE, the image of the paint-splattered Santa Cruz 60-something makes me think of Richard, a man I met my freshman year of college.  I was downtown one night doing some shopping when I heard someone playing Bob Dylan songs on guitar.  I walked over and sat down on the sidewalk and watched Richard for about 45 minutes.  He played “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” and “Idiot Wind,” for God’s sake.  Of course, he kept forgetting the lyrics, so I kept having to sing loudly to get him back on track.  He was absolutely HORRENDOUS, but I was in heaven.  For an encore, he sang some Alice Cooper.  He fell to his knees every time he slurred, “I’M EIGHTEEN!”

It was a great night.  I mean, it was completely weird, but, okay, whatever.  The DREAM.

So this Santa Cruz-like man stepped onto the plane while it was 30,000-some-odd feet in the air, and he started kinda babbling at me.  Being immune to strange men babbling at me (IE: Richard), I tried making conversation with him.  He pulled out a gun.  I fell to the floor and rolled underneath some seats.  I grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around my body, then I wrapped my arms around my head.  I somehow figured that maybe, if Richard actually decided to hunker down and shoot underneath the seat, it would be better if he got me in the arm than in the head.  I began pondering the possibility of my arm bone actually stopping the bullet before it got to my brain, when I remembered, “Wait a second, this is all gonna get worked out right away.  All the queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race are training to become policewomen!”

I waited for one of the queens to come to the rescue.  Nothing happened.  Then, I heard a gunshot.  I peaked out from my hiding place, and it appeared that Richard had fired a warning shot in the air.  I got up and ran to the back of the plane and hid in the small space between the bathroom and the little kitchenette area where the flight attendants hide the coffee.  You know what I mean.

I waited there for a few seconds, and FINALLY, thank you JESUS, the incomparable Sharon Needles stood up from her seat with her gun in her hand.

Now, the best part about dreams, really, is that certain things take place that only make sense to the person who is doing the dreaming.  You see, in my dream, Sharon Needles looked like Megan from Mad Men.  Oh, she was definitely Sharon Needles, but she appeared in my dream as Mrs. Draper herself.

In REAL LIFE I’m a huge fan of Mad Men, and I really, really like the new Mrs. Draper.  Sometimes, though, I forget her character’s damn name.  To make it easier for myself, I often refer to her as “Sharon Needles.”  I’m okay with the fact that I’m the only person who thinks they look alike.

It’s stupid, I know.  Anyway, Sharon Needles was played by Mrs. Draper, aka: Sharon Needles.

She stood up, held her gun above her head, and, with trademark Sharon Needles confidence, she bellowed the dumbest freaking drag pun I’ve ever heard in my life:

CUNT OR QUIT, PEOPLE!”

Yes.  That was what my subconscious came up with.  In real life, I hardly EVER use THAT WORD.  In fact, I really only use it while driving in terrible traffic.  I’m never the girl who shows up somewhere and says to her friends, “What’s up, you stupid THAT WORDS?”  I find that behavior rather deplorable.

But anyway, Sharon Needles used THAT WORD in her rallying cry.  (I like that she used THAT WORD as a verb.  Ya know, in the way that you can BE a “bitch” and also participate in the act of “bitching,” which is “to bitch.”  I suppose she meant that in order to survive, someone was going to have to step it up and get things done.  To take some serious action.  To THAT WORD.)   She then ran down the aisle to the front of the plane and shot the unwieldy Richard.

We landed.  I don’t know where.  I have a vague memory of standing in the hallway of the on-campus apartment I lived in my sophomore year of college and having a very heated discussion with Sharon Needles about whether or not I liked her.  I kept insisting to Sharon Needles that she was one of my all-time favorite human-beings to ever walk the earth and I had no idea what gave her the impression that I ever, for one second, felt otherwise.  Eventually, she believed I was being genuine.  We stopped fighting.

Suddenly, I was on a plane again.  This time, not only was I joined by my friends, my family, and the gun-toting queens of season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I was also joined by my other favorite freaking people, the Bad Seeds.  Not Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, just the Bad Seeds.  That’s right — Nick Cave was not on the plane.  He was somewhere else doing Lord knows what.

I remember talking to him earlier in the dream outside of Pink’s Hot Dogs in Hollywood.  We were having our picture taken together, and the photographer told us that the flash of the camera might kill us.  We were both scared, but we let the photographer take pictures anyway.  The photographer seemed to really enjoy taking his time while counting, “One…two…three…”.  I was tempted to run away a few times, but somehow I mustered the courage to stay put.  Nick Cave and I both felt somewhat rejuvenated when the photographer finally thanked us for our time and walked away.  That is all I remember about any interaction with Nick Cave.

Anyway, back to the plane.

I was not all that upset by Nick Cave’s absence, because I was seated next to a very young and very cute incarnation of Bad Seeds guitarist (drummer, bassist, organist, backing vocalist, freaking tambourine shakist…) Mick Harvey.

So, okay.  In REAL LIFE, I haven’t stopped listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds since February of this year.  I picked up a copy of Let Love In at Rasputin’s in Berkeley, California during a totally weird and utterly fantastic road trip I took by myself after quitting my job.  Ever since listening to “Loverman” on repeat from Alameda to San Francisco, I really haven’t found any reason to listen to any other band.  Like, really.  There’s just no reason.  I mean, I listened to both Grinderman albums and I liked ’em just fine, but it’s hard for me to declare myself a Grinderman fan.  Had it not been for the Grinderman side project, Mick Harvey may not have left the Bad Seeds.  For as much fun as it is to put on “No Pussy Blues” and jump around, nothing beats grooving to “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!”  (Well, okay, it’s only fair to mention that based on what I’ve read, which is mostly speculation, the musical rift between Nick Cave and Mick Harvey began to take form as early as The Boatman’s Call days.  Seriously, though, The Boatman’s Call is worth a hundred rifts — the same just cannot be said about a Grinderman album.)  Now that the only long-standing Bad Seeds left are Nick Cave and Thomas Wydler, I worry that the next Bad Seeds album (if there is a next Bad Seeds album) will just be, well, a Grinderman album.

So anyway, in REAL LIFE, I’ve been paying more attention to the other Bad Seeds lately, especially Mick Harvey.  I’ve determined that while I have absolutely no right to judge any of the Bad Seeds as human-beings because I’ve never met them and they don’t know who the Hell I am and my relationship with all of them only exists in my head, it’s probably somewhat safe to say that Mick Harvey is one of the more modest Bad Seeds.  Look at him.

He’s just a baby right here.  Look at that sweet little face.  Now look at him during his Birthday Party days.

Mick Harvey is in the middle.  Now, the Birthday Party days were dark days for everyone in the band, but Mick Harvey consistently looked the most conservative.  I mean, this isn’t that wild of a picture, but this is still a good example of what I’m talking about.  For instance, I’m sure the hair product was mandatory, but Mick Harvey’s hairstyle is definitely the least ostentatious.  Also, observe how he isn’t looking into the camera with either Nick Cave’s “You want me SO BAD” look (with which I have no problem — he’s the freaking frontman), or Rowland S. Howard’s “I’M A COLD ASS ROCKSTAR” look.  He’s just like, “Take the picture, please.”

And look at him now.  He’s aged very well.  He’s just a cute Australian man.

ENOUGH OF REAL LIFE AND REAL LIFE MICK HARVEY.  BACK TO MY DREAM.

So, I was sitting next to young Mick Harvey.  Again, I don’t know where we were going.  Mick Harvey and I were having a lovely conversation when a voice came on over the speakers announcing that our plane was being hijacked.  Yes.  Mick Harvey and I were concerned, but not too concerned — after all, we both knew we were on a plane full of drag queens with guns.  It was only a matter of time before someone saved us.

SUDDENLY, our plane took a freaking nose dive.  It was seriously just falling out of the sky, face first.  Mick Harvey wasn’t able to hold it together — he started to freak out.  I closed my eyes and tried to remain calm.  I was terrified, of course, but if I was going to die, I didn’t want to spend my last few seconds in an agitated state of mind.  Instead, I wanted to die knowing that I was on a plane full of friends and family.  And Bad Seeds.  And drag queens.  And that the Bad Seeds and the drag queens were all [somehow] close, personal friends of mine.  I mean, I had everything I wanted, really.  Why be too upset?

One of the men hijacking us (another old white dude with a gray beard) started running up and down the aisle threatening to shoot anyone who moved.  Now, that did upset me.  I didn’t wanna get shot.  I was fine with the plane crash because there was nothing I could do to prevent that from happening.  But getting shot?  I wasn’t gonna give up without a fight.  I grabbed Mick Harvey and led him to the back of the plane.  I locked us in the bathroom and instructed Mick Harvey to stay quiet.  A few seconds later, we opened the door and peaked out.  Who was strutting by but Miss Congeniality herself, Latrice Royale.

In REAL LIFE, Latrice Royale is too good for this world.  She may not have won the competition, but she won my undying affection, that’s for damn sure.  She was in prison, dude.  She has seen some serious shit in her time.  And she’s FIERCE.

She really never got bitchy to anyone.  Sure, she had moments of unrivaled sass, but she didn’t cause any damn drama.  During the Drag Race reunion, she offered some of the best advice I’ve ever heard in all my 25 years.  You really should watch this; it’s short:

Trust me, I’ve had Latrice Royale in my head a lot during the last few weeks.

So, back to the dream.  There I was with [seriously cute] Mick Harvey, peering out of the plane’s bathroom.  We saw Latrice Royale strutting down the aisle holding her gun over her head.  She stopped, posed, and cried, “THE CHUNK RISES TO THE TOP OF THE CREAM!”

What the Hell, right?  In REAL LIFE, my friend, Alison, showed me endless videos of Macho Man Randy Savage during the Santa Cruz phase of my kickass road trip.  At one point, after my iPod was stolen from my car, I started to feel rather shitty.  I even toyed with the idea of driving back home.  I told Alison to put on Macho Man, and she selflessly indulged me.

 

That explains that.  Yes.  BACK TO THE DREAM!

Mick Harvey and I waited in the bathroom for something to happen.  Suddenly, we felt someone gain control of the planeLatrice Royale came on over the speaker and said, “All right, honeys.  I am gonna land this plane, but y’all need to grab a parachute and jump out.”

Mick Harvey and I ran out of the bathroom and grabbed two parachutes.  The Emergency Exit was already open, and the rest of the plane’s passengers — my friends and family and the Bad Seeds and the drag queens — were all hovering in the air, holding hands in a giant circle.  Mick Harvey put on his parachute and told me to take his hand.

I was too scared.  I didn’t know what string I had to pull to release the parachute, AND, to make matters worse, the parachute’s harness wasn’t fastening on me correctly.  I told Mick Harvey to go without me.  He jumped, and joined the circle with no problem at all.  Everyone turned to look at me and begged me to jump.  I was terrified.  I was worried that maybe my parachute would fall off me and I would plummet to my death.  I was worried that maybe I wouldn’t pull the right string…and I would plummet to my death.  Death death death death DEATH.  The weird part (yes, aside from all the other obvious “weird parts”), is that just a few minutes before, when the plane was falling out of the sky, I was able to remain calm.  The same thing happened when that creepy photographer at Pink’s Hot Dogs told Nick Cave and me that his camera might kill us.  In the face of actual disaster, I was somewhat composed.  In the face of figurative “WHAT IF?” disasters, however, I was a total mess.

I looked out at my flying circle of loved ones.  Mick Harvey was holding hands with Blixa Bargeld, the other Bad Seeds guitarist who sadly left the band.  They both looked at me, let go of each other’s hands, and yelled at me to come join the circle.  I looked down at my pitiful parachute.  There were two straps in the front of the harness thingy that were supposed to stay together, but they kept coming unhooked.  I took both straps in my right hand, took the parachute string in my left hand, and jumped out of the plane.  My landing was somewhat bumpier than everybody else’s, but I still landed safely.

The next thing I remember is hanging out inside of what appeared to be the arcade of Circus Circus in Las Vegas.  Blixa Bargeld and I were standing in line to ride the Merry-Go-Round.  He looked rather intense.  I was in heaven.  I thought, “Maybe I’ll get to sit next to him on the next flight!”

Blixa Bargeld was not young, emaciated, oddly beautiful Blixa Bargeld…

…he was this era of Blixa Bargeld.  And he didn’t give a shit.

The last thing I remember is sitting on yet another plane, next to my REAL LIFE friend, Veronica.  We were talking about our near death experience with the hijackers, and I was telling her all about how Mick Harvey and I locked ourselves in the bathroom and how we saw Latrice Royale strut by on her way to save the day.  Veronica and I laughed uproariously at what a character Latrice Royale is, and then we pulled out our finger puppets (which we do, in fact, own in REAL LIFE) and entertained Blixa Bargeld with a rendition of “The Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  Of course, I use the word “entertained” rather loosely — I think we enjoyed our performance more than he did.  Still, it was a thrill to be near him.

::Sigh::

In REAL LIFE, I woke up in a frightfully good mood, and not just because of the dream.  Everything is finally falling into place.  Training for my new job starts in two days, and I couldn’t be happier.  After months of feeling like a useless waste of space, I’ll finally have a reason to get up in the morning.  I’ll have a reason to wear makeup.  I’ll have a reason to shower.  Like Latrice Royale said, it’s time to “Get up, look SICKENING, and make them eat it.”  I’m so damn ready.

While my life seemed like it was spiraling out of control for a little while, I realize now that I had some incredible back up.  Things got bad, but there was always something or someone reminding me to just keep going.  I had my family.  I had my friends.  Excellent music.  Excellent drag queens.  What more does a person need, really?  Eventually, when it was time to just stop it with all the, “I’m scared” nonsense, I [somehow] managed to psyche myself up and take a risk. The photographer didn’t kill me with his death camera and the parachute didn’t fail me.  In the end, I made it through reasonably unscathed.  I just had to trust myself, really.

I have to say one more time, though, that while I do give myself some credit for surviving the last four months, I probably couldn’t have done it without Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  That’s just a fact.

Here is a video of Nick Cave performing “I Had a Dream, Joe” on David Letterman.  The LETTERMAN HOUSE BAND is playing with him.  They are…they are not the Bad Seeds.  The only other Bad Seed present?  Mick Harvey.

One…two…three…

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