There's always a stereotype when it comes to drunk guys, especially rock stars, that they're crude, violent, and obnoxious. Leave the violent part out and you have a weekend in Amsterdam with the guys on the HateBreeder Siren Tour.
“Your wife is going to kill you.” It pretty much summed up the whole night. If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say this to Richard Urban of Angels of Hellfire – and later in the night, Blake Ramsay of Blink 81 – I would be a very rich man, and could probably hang up my typewriter forever.
Alas, no nickels were handed out last weekend. Paper bills in various denominations, yes, but nickels or dimes, negative.
It all began at the Hotel de l'Europe in Amsterdam. The gentlemen of Angels of Hellfire, Blink 81, and S-n-L had taken up lodging there for a few days, during a small break in their HateBreeder Siren Tour. I was sitting in a common suite with Joel Coyle of Blink 81, trying to get the dish on what it’s like having your girlfriend in the band, all the juicy details on groupies, jealousy, and the like, my next target being Richard. Joel was telling me a story about sneaking a mid-show quickie during a set change when one of their roadies poked his head in the room, waving a cell phone, “Dude, the chicks are officially out of town,” he said.
“What the hell are we doing sitting here then?” Richard overheard this as he was entering the suite, getting ready to chat with me. He reversed directions and went looking for one of his band’s assistants. “Dude, find a nanny for the kids, stat. Cinco, you’re coming with us. We’re turning this city inside out tonight!” he said as he got on the phone, making arrangements with someone.
“You seriously left the kids with a stranger so we could go out and party?” John Lambert of S-n-L asked a couple hours later, as we rolled in a stretch Hummer limo to the airport to pick up Richard’s son, Oliver. “Senia’s gonna kill you.”
“First off, he’s not a stranger,” Richard said of their accountant, who offered to stay behind and watch Richard’s daughters and Blake’s son. “And secondly, Senia’s not going to find out.” (Oh, foolish mortal. You dare speak such words around a journalist? Just hope your wife is too hungover to read.) “So don’t worry about it.”
Oliver deboarded his plane and joined the group. He’d come from London, where he was visiting his half-brother. When he asked about his little sisters, his jaw dropped at the response. “Dad. You realize Senia’s gonna kill you for this shit, right?”
“Why does everyone keep telling me that? Let’s just get into some trouble tonight.”
“You didn’t even have a bachelor party, but you wanna go party it up now?” Oliver just shook his head.
“Are you even allowed to party now?” Blake asked, and Richard countered, “Are you?”
“Touché,” Joel laughed. “Wait, am I allowed to party?”
“HELL YEAH!” all the guys grunted.
We found ourselves at a gentlemen’s club. The young’uns, which included Oliver, Sean Guilding of Blink, and a handful of roadies, took seats right up in front of that stage. Us older, more experienced folk, sat a few rows back, threw back a few drinks, and gossiped like old Polish ladies.
“Blake, man, when you gonna get some more kids on this tour?” Joel asked. “You got a hot new wife, you gonna have some more kids?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know. Andrea’s [Ramsay, of Highway to Hell] really busy right now with her own touring and band. We’re always so busy too. We’re lucky to be in the same city at the same time. It sucks.”
“You should plan a nice weekend away. Like right now. You should have been flying to wherever she is and spending time with her,” John Lambert shook his head. “Idiot.”
Blake looked sheepish and pulled his phone out of his pocket. “Maybe you’re right,” he starts dialing a number from memory and sticks his finger in his other ear. After a few seconds he gives up. “Phone’s off,” he tells us.
Derek, Blink’s driver, leans in close to me to whisper, “I bet you he didn’t call his current wife.” Intrigued, I raised my eyebrows in silence, a question on my face. He just smiled knowingly and shook his head. Damn.
“That boy better sit his ass down before he makes me a grandfather,” Richard stood up from his seat. Oliver was lying on his back on stage, bills of indistinguishable value in his teeth. One of the dancers used an available orifice to pick them up while the other pantomimed a sexual act on him. We laughed like bunch of old geezers.
“Sit down, Richard, you old fart,” Blake said, and flagged down a passing waitress. He whispered something in her ear and passed her a handful of cash. A few minutes later, a dancer came by and gave a gentle tug on Richard’s hand. He tried to wave her off, but she insisted. Only Joel and I noticed Blake biting down on his lip. Oliver, being led by another dancer, came by and pulled on his father’s other arm. They were dragged into one of the back rooms. “Dad, come on!” It was only after they walked away that Blake, Joel, and myself burst out laughing.
“His wife is gonna kill him,” Spence, one of the AoH roadies, groaned.
When the Urban men returned from their adventure, Oliver’s smile was so wide it was a wonder his head didn’t fall off, and Richard at least had the decency to look mortified. “I’m gonna kill you,” he growled at Blake before heading up to the bar. When he came back a few minutes later, he wore a mischievous grin that got even bigger when three dancers approached the table.
“Didn’t get enough from round one?” John smirked at Richard.
“Oh, we’re not here for him,” the three ladies gathered around Blake and hustled him off to their corner of oblivion.
“That’s it,” Joel slammed his hand down on the table. “We’re not nearly drunk enough.” He waved down a waitress and handed her his Centurion card. “Keep them comin,” he said. It wasn’t long before everyone was completely smashed, everyone but Derek. He had the blessing of age and experience on his side. Soon we were all sitting front row, and everyone was throwing money around like it was our job. At one point, both Oliver and Richard got up to tip the dancers together, and we cheered them on with raucous hooting and hollering. Not to be outdone, Blake and Sean jumped up too.
“Your wife is gonna kill you,” Blake told Richard, laughing, as they took their seats again.
“Your wife is gonna kill you!” Richard fired back.
“Which one?” John, Derek, and a few other guys said at the same time.
“Shut up!” Blake pumped his fist in the air and did a shot. “Come on, I’m tired of looking at the same ass all night.”
“Wait, but aren’t you married? Isn’t that the same thing?” Sean asked him.
“Not even close, young grasshopper. Seriously, we need to get out of here. If I watch someone get dry-humped one more time I might puke.”
“If I watch you do one more shot I might puke,” said John. “Hell, I might just puke anyway.”
Someone finally checked their watch, and announced that we’d been at the club watching naked women for almost four hours. That started a debate over whether we were ballers or just really pathetic.
“Of course we’re ballers,” Sean said. “Ain’t no one else in here getting the attention we are!”
“That’s ‘cause we’re famous, dude. We can still be pathetic if we’re famous,” Blake said. “It’s like some weird full circle karma or something.”
“No. You know what this is?” Richard got to his feet unsteadily, and threw an arm across Oliver’s shoulders. “This is me, having a drink for the first time with my son. Who better be having his first drink ever. I probably won’t get this chance with any future sons, ‘cause I ain’t getting any younger, and even if this next one is a boy, by the time he can drink I’ll be sixty or something.”
Derek grunted at him. “You tryin’ to say sixty is too old to drink?”
“I dunno what he’s saying, but I’m saying sixty is too old to get drunk. Look at you,” Joel said. “You’re drinking just as much as the rest of us, but if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you had a hollow leg.”
“Well gentlemen,” Sean struggled to his feet. “I think it’s time for a toast.” He raised a glass. “Here’s to… To… Here’s – ” Whatever amazing speech he was about to give was cut short when he belched and collapsed back in his chair.
There was a moment of shocked silence, followed by a million voices at once. “You know if he passes out with his shoes on, he’s fair game.” “Whoever passes out first pays the bill.” “Yo, lady! My son needs a lap dance!” “Another round here, miss!” It seemed as though we were just getting ready for round two.
It was Derek’s voice of reason that finally got everyone motivated. We’d definitely worn out our welcome in this place, judging by the slow response time the girls and bartenders were giving us and the fact that the bouncers were now basically surrounding our table. It was time to go, and probably never come back here again, at least until Year 53 or something. I stole a look at the tab as Joel signed it, and while I won’t reveal exactly how much money was spent, I will say that we could have paid for a house in Hollywood Hills. In full.
Back in the limo, a bunch of the guys took turns drawing on passed-out Sean’s face with marker. John attempted to reprimand them, but they insisted the kid passed out with his shoes on, so it was only right. Richard discovered his cell phone on the floor, and wondered how long it had been there. Then he realized he had a missed call from Senia, and a voicemail. We all got to listen to it on speakerphone.
“Richard… Richard. Hi. I’m in Jakarta. And I just wanted to tell you that I love you and that you are wonderful and that I can’t wait to get back and show you how much I miss you,” there was giggling in the background. “I think you know what I mean. I’m still paying the damage bill from Kiev. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I love you and you’re just great, and Taryn’s taking my phone now so I guess I gotta go –”
“Ew. Dad. Shit. I didn’t need to hear that. Damaging hotel rooms?” Oliver looked up at Richard in shock, disgust, and maybe even a little bit of awe. “Oh God. I’m never staying at your place again. I can’t even look at Senia the same way now.”
Spence raised the pitch of his voice to tease Richard, “Oh Richard, my darling lover boy.”
“She’s gonna kill you for letting us all hear that,” Derek said.
“Oh yeah?” John interjected. “What about this one?” he jerked a thumb at Blake. “How much you wanna bet that he would’ve made the same phone call if Andrea had answered her phone?”
“That would’ve been pretty awesome, considering there’s no way Andrea could have answered the phone he called,” Joel muttered.
“What was that?” Blake shouted.
“Nothing!” Joel shouted back.
When we got back to the Hotel de l'Europe, we narrowly avoided an encounter with hotel security before falling into two elevators, and tried to race each other up. Derek and Spence dragged Sean’s seemingly lifeless body into Blink’s suite. “Maybe we should have just partied in Stockholm,” Blake said before he closed the door. When I asked why, he explained, “Well, in just one night here we’ve managed to piss off a lot of authority figures, and we’re here for three more days. Hell, I don’t want to get kicked out of the entire Netherlands. At least is we’d done this in Stockholm, we could have bounced town right after.”
Richard, overhearing us, shook his head as he headed down the hall to retrieve his younger offspring from their babysitter. “Blake, don’t be such a wimp. And go get your kid.”
“What are you, nuts? He’s better off staying down the hall from me tonight. He’ll think I’m some ogre if he hears my drunk snoring.”
Laughing all the way, Richard pulled Oliver out of the AoH suite and dragged him down the hall to help collect his sisters. As he did so, he called over his shoulder to me. “Oh hey, go check in downstairs, we got you a room down the hall.”
Once I’d done so, I sat in my room and thought about what a wild time the night had been. We were like a cliché bachelor party, but sometimes you just gotta let loose I guess. I got to party with some of the coolest guys, and they sure knew how to show hospitality. I wasn’t even worried any more about not getting the story I’d originally set out to get, I was too busy being smug: Bet the girls didn’t have anywhere near as much of a good time as we did.
By Juanito Cinco. Written for the city of Melbourne. Article ID 36861