Fundraiser for the Rich: Noted and Quoted (part deux)
There are lingering fantasies from my youth (wherein I was convinced that Scritti Politti had indeed found a way to make the girls go crazy) that playing rocknroll is no more than an endless parade of nonchalant fellatio and pillowy, exposed breasts. Of course, one would have to learn to play some songs, too, but most of the music in the rocknroll life would come in the form of soundtrack, like the burst of New York Dolls’ Personality Crisis atop the scene where I light picnic benches on fire in the school playground and the swell of Velvet Underground’s All Tomorrow’s Parties over the scene where I huff gas in the back of a van to silence the creative genius blossoming inside my brain.
In a rote and blatant attempt to assert my place in any fellatio parade that might spontaneously erupt in the day’s course of events, I chose a scant tennis outfit as attire for the Donnybrook BBQ. A pair of white polyester coaching shorts that barely covered my meager unmentionables, an Armani button-up a size too small, knee-high gym socks and tennis shoes, and a baby blue wristband with a unicorn or some shit on it that says “Endurance”. On the day of the BBQ, I laid the outfit on my bed in its intended configuration and envisioned myself strutting into the Larimer Lounge, cool, confident, emanating a musky vibe that would make everybody in the house quiver.
Time and experience has shown that these theoretical sexcapades rarely materialize unless you are highly attractive and generally dismissive. I am average looking and eager. I feel compelled at any rate to expose myself inappropriately whenever given the opportunity to do so, and so stuffed myself into the tight attire I had chosen with aplomb. I stood before a mirror, assessing how ridiculous I looked, feeling that rocknroll is at all times and above all things, ridiculous. In fact, this sort of ridiculous fashion choice was historically rewarded with promiscuity and artful fucking. There are countless examples of fickle fashions burgeoning from the nuanced minds of nympho rockers.
My wife sent me from the house with a roll of her eyes and a pat on the backside. I bounded out the door, sure that at the Donnybrook BBQ, which would be filled with all sorts of loose, literary indie rockers, I would be devoured upon entrance. I had polished my guitar. I had a new suede guitar strap and a pair of aviator glasses. I was sure that the varicose veins in my thighs would be invisible in the dark club. The bill for the show was brimming with the sort of sexy bands that would stiffen even the most limpid of loins: Blue Million Miles, Porlolo, Magic Cyclops, Jim from cat-a-tac, Widowers, I’m A Boy, Missing Dufrenes, and incognito DJ’s on loan from the Donnybrook Estate.
My bandmates in Everything Absent or Distorted looked at my pale legs in disgust when I arrived at the practice space and noted how my balls were practically bursting out of my shorts. I couldn’t argue. My bandmates in Rabbit Is a Sphere shook their heads and averted their eyes. I believe one of them said “We can see your back hair through that shirt”, which was a possibility I hadn’t considered. I decided to hedge my bets that back hair is coming back into vogue among the indie rock crowd. I wondered aloud if Dan Deacon, Doug Martsch, or Tim Harrington (all of whom it is safe to assume are having nonstop intercourse, even as I write this) ever have to catch shit about their appearance from their bandmates.
I stopped at a gas station on my way to the venue to get some juice and had the following conversation with a lively fellow leaning out of his truck window:
“Hey, nice legs, dickweed!”
“I mean, what are you, some sort of theme faggot?”
“No. Haven’t you heard of rocknroll?”
“Yeah. But you look like you are going to a tennis match.”
“—.” the gentleman expectorated through his front teeth in my general direction.
I changed into a pair of jeans, ashamed.
Once at the venue, I quickly realized that the jeans were certainly not going to garner me any attention. I stood near the stage while Missing Dufrenes played their set in dashing argyle and French mock-ups and felt instantly deflated. My white shirt and too-big sunglasses were no match for striped shirts and moustaches.
Rabbit Is a Sphere played next, and I stood front and center in my half-baked get-up and sang as best I could to try and score a BJ. My banter in between songs was met with requests that we play songs and not chat and I obliged. The crowd stared adoringly at our bassist Georgina, watching her lithe fingers dance along the fretboard and imagining those olive Italian fingers feathering their hair. Some days I hate her so much.
I don’t need to say much about Magic Cyclops for those who know him, because it can be guaranteed that he is at this very moment attending a seven foot tall woman with a ball gag who wants him to call her “the donkey” while he “pins a tail on her”. He exudes the sort of natural rock magnetism that can only be summed up by stating that he was wearing a fanny pack and sang short songs about not doing drugs.
The boys of Blue Million Miles were dapper in suits and ties and wrought tightly woven songs from their instruments, skilled artisans in the craft of synchronicity. I was drinking straight from a pitcher of High Life, attempting a look of depravity. People walked by me completely unfazed by my exposed chest hair.
When the Widowers took the stage, I knew that I had to get into the game if I was going to get anywhere near anybody’s mouth. Their singer is so attractive it hurts. The man playing the tambourine was evocative of long lasting pleasure with his percussive handiwork. I ran back to my car and changed back into the coaching shorts. I pulled my socks up high and fought my way back to the stage. The band was belting out a lyric in three part harmony that would have fit nicely into the scene where I begin necking with a short girl with a brunette bob cut as the fog machine allowed the lasers to wash over us in a kaleidoscope of sensuality. The lyric jerked from the singer’s lips and spread over the crowd like a fistful of blown kisses: “I need you right now.”
By the time Everything Absent or Distorted took the stage, I was nice and sauced, and as I took my place among all the cute boys in the band, I felt sure to ride some coattails into a back-alley makeout session. I tugged at the hem of my shorts to hide any discoloration I might be exposing and strummed the opening g chord to Closer Than You Think Part 1. I looked to the side of the stage to see the mother of a bandmate stuffing her fingers in her ears and looking at me with her face set in a grimace. I met her look with some calisthenics and pushed my dropping aviators up the bridge of my nose. As we played through our set, the stage started to smell more and more like a saturated gym sock. We clashed and fell on top of one another and I hoped that our coordinated musk would arouse the crowd into an orgiastic frenzy. When we finished our set, Jim McTurnan from cat-a-tac approached the stage and I was convinced that he was going to proposition me. “Nice set,” he said. He was not referring to any anatomical set I possess. I assume he was referring to the music we had just performed.
Porlolo looked like naughty catholic school children with their own badges and skirts, and I imagine that after the BBQ they retired to some darkened bathroom to smoke cigarettes and dole out hickeys. I wasn’t invited.
Jim McTurnan from cat-a-tac is a legendary Denver looker, and he needed nothing more than a tight fitting t-shirt and a loud guitar, reformatting classic cat tunes and unveiling some solo material, to turn even my own sexual arena into a gelatinous mass.
As the crowd thinned, so did my hopes of bringing any rock roll fantasies to fruition. I packed my gear and my junk into my car and ended the night in a middle eastern restaurant, watching a couple of acne-riddled DU students ogle at each other over plates of tussled hummus and poked-at grape leaves.
I knocked the bottom of my cup to chew on the ice and poured watery coca-cola down the front of my Armani button-up. The DU students, twiddling their texting fingers and pushing gum across their teeth with their tongue, looked sideways in my direction. I wiped at my shirt while my wife asked for the check, and turned to study the hip young couple. The young suitor wore stretchy lady pants that bunched at his ankles just above his chuck taylors and rode low on his hips, exposing his neon pink underpants and his patent leather belt. He wore a press-on hairdo that jutted effortfully from beneath his white hoodie. His fingernails had been painted within the week, chipped black puzzle pieces at the tips of his fingers.
Our next show, I thought. I’ll have it down by then. We got into the car and my head spun, this final scene soundtracked by the World News by the BBC. It was 5:31 Greenwich Mean Time.