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Sludge in the City :: Learning the rules the hard way, 3/10/05

 

Looking for a real-life dish on the lives and escapades of rock?s best and worst stars? Metal Sludge found it?s own Carrie Bradshaw in Tawny Brown, a chick whose stiletto pumps have more notches in them than we can count. She?s agreed to kiss and tell in her new column, Sludge in the City. From her exploits dating musicians and rock stars to her adventures working in the music industry, there is very little Tawny won?t reveal.

Learning the rules the hard way
Tawny Brown


The other night, the ringing of my phone woke me from a sound sleep. At 2:30 in the morning, the call could only be from one person, a musician.

?Hey babe, how are you??

I was right. The same ringing has been waking me from perfectly good sleeps for more than ten years. You?d think by now I?d have learned to turn my ringer off.

?So, what are you wearing right now?? he asked.

Oh, so he wasn?t calling to inquire about my well being, or ask how my job is going. Fine.

?Just a pair of little pink panties and a matching cami,? I cooed. I was lying, of course. Truth was, I had on an old t-shirt I?d swiped from Rhet Muckles when he wasn?t looking a few years ago. Not that it mattered. I could have told this idiot that a girlfriend was lying naked in bed next to me and he would have believed me. Silly musician.

I wasn?t in the mood to play the phone sex game that night, I do have a day job after all, so I left my musician to fend for himself. It?s not like he?s got any shortage of options beyond me.

That there is always someone ready to do what you?re not is just one of the many rules I?ve learned while in this music scene. It would have been nice if someone had explained these rules to me when I was younger; it certainly would have saved me a ton of grief.

The biggest rule, and, sadly, the one I have the most difficulty abiding by, is to never get attached to these rock and rollers. Even with the smaller level musicians, you will never, ever be their first or only love.

Knowing what I know now, and seeing how his stock in the music industry has plummeted (if it was ever that high to begin with), I feel like an idiot admitting that my first musician love was Blake Elliot. He was just so pretty and non-threatening it was hard for a burgeoning rock chick not to be attracted to him.

Slaufter had just started their rise to fame when I tracked them down at a state fair. By a complete stroke of luck (and the fact that this small town only had two hotels), I wound up staying in the same place as the band.

At the time I thought it was fate that I should not only be staying at the same hotel as the man of my dreams, but also on the same floor. Of course, I also had a stuffed unicorn on my bed back home and a locket with Blake? picture in it if that gives you any indication of my mindset at the time. But I was young, I loved the music Slaufter played with a passion, and I figured that Blake had to be as great as the music.

Despite the fact that I was monumentally na?ve, I definitely was not stupid. I knew that if I wanted to make an impression on the band, I?d have to stand out from the herd.

Dozens of other nubile girls had camped out in front of the hotel the night before the show, and I knew it wasn?t in my interest to mingle with them. Instead, I grabbed a book and settled on a couch near the elevator. The band would have to walk past me to get to the elevator, which was where I planned to accost them.

My stupid little plan worked, much to my surprise. Slaufter ditched the girls in the lobby, and I had the band to myself when they reached the elevator. I introduced myself, struck up a conversation while we waited for the thankfully slow elevator, and by the time we reached our floor, I had an offer to put me ?on the list? for the next night?s show.

As it was, I already had my backstage pass. As the writer of my school?s newspaper, I finagled a pass through Slaufter?s record label. Cute and industrious, I had all the makings of a great groupie.

Mind you, the story I wrote for the paper ended as soon as the band left the stage the next night. But my personal story, my introduction to the inner sanctum of rock stars, was about to begin.

There is nothing like going backstage for the first time. I don?t care who you are or how cool you think you are, the first time you put on a backstage pass and walk past throngs of people to get where they are desperate to go but have no hope of getting to, is a total rush. In fact, I?ll be the first to admit, I still get a rush from it.

Slaufter?s backstage was fairly typical: autographs were given, pictures were taken, and drinks were passed. The one highlight, however, was that Blake never left my side. The minute I caught his eye, I had his undivided attention all night. Wow, I thought. He must really like me. Each time he introduced me to someone or asked my opinion on something, I fell for him just a little harder. I reasoned that he wouldn?t have been making such an effort for me if he weren?t interested. Ah, silly groupie.

When he whispered that he?d be back in his room in twenty minutes and asked me to meet him there, I was ecstatic. For all my planning and anticipation of the evening, I never really thought it would wind up with me in bed with Blake.

The kissing, the touching, my pathetic attempts at a blow job (thank God I perfected that skill later!) all played out in my head like Bon Jovi?s ?Living in Sin? video. Looking back on it though, he wasn?t as good as I thought he was. But I can only say that now because I?ve had better. I also had no one to compare him to, as Blake was both my first musician and my first fuck.

Yes, he used a condom and we lasted a grand total of ten minutes. The best part was really lying with him after. For half an hour I got to bask in an imaginary afterglow, run my hands over his gorgeous body, and envision what life on the road with him would be like.

It was short lived; he booted me out of the room in half an hour, a copy of his itinerary clutched in my hands like it actually meant something. This was back before every person on the planet had a cell phone and email address. Girls like me had to be content with random hotel phone numbers and bus schedules. In my wacky world, Blake may as well have given me an engagement ring. I was in deep, and for no real reason other than a gorgeous man who played great rock and roll had spent a few hours being nice to me. Ick. ?Scuse me while I stick my finger down my throat.

Predictably, none of my phone calls to him went through or got returned. For several months, I was a pathetic mess, wailing in frustration every time I caught sight of him on television or heard him on the radio. That?s one of the biggest annoyances of knowing these musicians: they never really go away. You can?t take a different route to work to avoid them, you can?t hide in your bedroom; when you least expect it, they show up.

But I learned my lessons as I went along. As I met more bands, I figured out how to behave and what to do. In the end, you learn to take what?s important to you and do your best to ignore the rest. At the risk of sounding like a disturbing hybrid of Cameron Crow and Pamela Des Barres, for me at least, it was always about the music. The sex just became an added bonus.

It?s hard to take any of these guys serious any more, especially when they continue to wake me at ridiculous hours of the night (or morning, as the case may be). But I?ve known a fair amount of men, both musicians and regular guys, and through all the relationships, friendships, and consequent frustrations, I still keep coming back to my crazy musicians. Maybe it?s the music, maybe I?m a masochist, but there?s just something strangely enticing about being a part of this music scene.

And thus, my phone remains on. Even at 2:30 in the morning. ?

Note: The names have been changed to protect the innocent, the not-so-innocent, and the lying, cheating scumbags from their wives? wrath when they get off tour. Any resemblance to persons living, dead, in rehab or in jail is purely coincidental.

All About Tawny

Favorite bands: Bon Jovi, Poison, Enuff Z Nuff, Great White, Tony Oros

Least favorite bands: REM (make them stop whining!), Pink Floyd (sorry, just way too trippy and heady for me), and Nirvana.

5 CDs I can’t live without:
Strength (Enuff Z Nuff)
Keep the Faith (Bon Jovi)
Van Morrison Greatest Hits
By Your Side (Black Crowes)
Flesh & Blood (Poison)

First concert: Though I claim Bon Jovi?s New Jersey tour was my first concert, the truth is, the very first concert I attended was Debbie Gibson. Shudder.

Longest relationship: I?ve had many long-term relationships (which I enjoy so much better than flings), but the longest relationship I?ve ever had is with a certain bass player. We?ve been friends, (professionally, personally, and occasionally romantically) for more than ten years.

Shortest fling: Listening to that horrid ep of cover songs Trixter released. That killed any shred of interest I may have had in Pete Loran.

Guilty pleasures: baking brownies from scratch just so I can lick the spoon, pretending I?m Britney Spears, spending obscene amounts of money on panties, and watching horror movies (preferably from the late 70s and early 80s).

Turn ons: confidence, intelligence, an athletic body, good conversation, random games of strip basketball at odd hours of the night, picturing myself, Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie having a threesome.

Turn offs: stupidity, someone who swears all the time, drugs, and insecurity.

Got something to say about Tawny’s new column at Metal Sludge? Well don’t fucking bother us about it! Send all questions, comments, hatemail and other associated feedback to [email protected].

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