4 Aug


The door crashed open and the boys from the band crowded into what passed for a green room – a utility closet at the back of the pub just big enough for a couch, a couple of chairs, and a wash basin. The men were on a high, laughing and shouting. They’d just left the stage from what had been their third and final encore.

“That was fucking amazing! We’ve still got it lads,” laughed Briggs the drummer. “Did you see that red-headed tart at the front?”

“What, the one that was wearing these?”  Izzy brandished a pair of knickers that he stretched between his fingers and sniffed to the delight of the band members.

“You fucking dirty bastard. Wouldn’t say no meself  though,” Oz said.  The men hooted their approval. This is what it was all about – the high life. The booze, the birds, the elation that came from performing before a live audience. There was no drug like it.

“They fucking loved us! Did you hear them scream for more? Got a funny feeling this won’t be our last time here boys, maybe we can even get a regular gig out of it.”

“Where’s the booze?”

In the center of the room was a table with pints of beer and a plate of sandwiches. John had thrown in a couple of bottles of vodka and a few cans of coke. He’d really splashed out. They’d made him a fortune and there was nothing wrong with showing a bit of gratitude.

Izzy picked up one of the pints and held it aloft. “Here’s to us lads and metal mayhem.”

“Metal mayhem!” they screamed in unison before downing their own drinks. Calendars of playmates of the month and page three girls decorated the walls covering up the shitty paint job and damp stains that had seeped through the ancient brickwork.  Didn’t matter and it didn’t detract from their moment in the limelight. It wasn’t quite the big time but a definite whistle stop on the way.


They’d been phenomenal; the crowd went wild when they realized the band was coming back on stage. As far as the punters were concerned the show was over and they’d given them a good long wait before reappearing. Briggs the drummer had spoken to one of the bouncers standing by the stage and given him a heads up that they’d be back on, and to turn off the juke box in exactly ten minutes. They’d stood eagerly in the shadows, waited for the pop screaming out of the speakers to finally dissipate.

Finally the machine went  silent.

“Come on lads!” screamed Izzy. The band raced on to thunderous applause. Beer rained down on them from happy punters. The band stood, dripping in the unexpected November shower and plugged back into the amps – their guitars thumped with power as they sprung back to life.

“Are you ready York?” shouted Izzy at the top of his lungs.“Are you fucking ready?”

 The crowd replied with equal enthusiasm. Izzy stared out at the sea of eager, drink-reddened faces, the Friday night crowd who were clearly up for anything. Rude and crude and out for a laugh. He saw the drunken arm sweeps as lads in the audience began to play air guitars, the smiles on girl’s faces stood at the front of the stage. It was electric. It was as though they’d just injected adrenalin into what was turning into an after party.

Girls were jumping up and down, their too short skirts riding up their thighs and revealing the commandoes in the audience. A pair of knickers hit Izzy in the face. Not missing a beat he grabbed the waspy material, dragged them across his face, and stuck them in his pocket. The girl who’d thrown them was stood on a table with her skirt around her waist. Although she already had, a group of lads with their arms in the air were chanting for her to take them off. A momentary goddess in a sea of lust -a magical moment she’d remember forever. Male adulation at the slip of elastic.

Looking past the heaving sweating mass of bared breasts, naked flesh, flushed faces, and wide-eyed inebriation Izzy looked towards the bar. John the owner bestrode the bar like a colossus with both thumbs raised and with a grin the size of the Humber Bridge on his face.

Chords twanged, guitars hummed and the drums crashed. It was tribal.  An ethereal meeting of the mindless.  A religious epiphany – the slap and bash of fret boards bringing the congregation to prayer. They’d played just two songs. The trick was to leave them wanting more. The band had unplugged, drawn together at the front of stage, linked shoulders, and bowed to the crowd.

“Fucking amazing. More!” screamed the crowd.

There was nothing quite like it. The day jobs they each had didn’t hold a candle to being a Saturday night rock-god.


The band collapsed into the cushions of the couch, passing the bottles of vodka and swigging the balance of payment whilst adding to their own adrenalin rush. Izzy dug into his leather jacket pocket, pulled out a plastic bag and emptied the contents onto the table. Ludes, blues, rainbows and uppers spilled across its surface. A couple of joints and some white powder he’d been saving for a special occasion.

“Help your fucking selves,” he said grabbing a couple of pills that he swigged down with some of John’s Russian fire-water. Leather gloved hands grabbed at the contraband, greedily feeding faces with the necessary chemical enhancement. Somebody hit the play button on the tape recorder and the small room reverberated to the beat of hard core rock and roll.

“Take all you want lads,” said Izzy generously, “there’s more on the way.

“Where do you get this shit Izz?” asked Briggs pushing a pill into his mouth. “It’s classy bloody stuff,” he mumbled.

 Izzy rubbed a knowing finger along his beak like nose. “Never you mind sunshine, never you mind.”

Izzy had been dealing with Frank for years, ever since his earlier boxing days. Back then it was roids and  H.G.H. however, the party had left the gym and moved into the clubs and pubs. Different kind of punter, different kind of cash crop. With Frank’s connections and Izyy’s salesmanship they’d done alright for themselves more than supplementing the meager incomes of both vehicle mechanic and supermarket meat packer.

 It wasn’t what you did, it’s what you were. If anybody asked, Izzy was a guitarist in a rock and roll band not a nine to-five drone in a blood smeared butchers coat. Frank was supposed to be meeting him after the show. The last encore had been a bit of surprise and so Frank was probably even now dealing with the anarchy they’d just created. Saving young girls from themselves and lads from kicking the shit out of each other as they fought to protect the tarts honor. It was a crazy world  you dove into when you drank the demon brew.

The pills were starting to kick in, the chatter amongst the band animated as they relived their finest hour. Blow-by-blow accounts of the action they’d just participated in.

Izyy kicked back, closed his eyes and felt the sails of the good ship ecstasy unfurl. He felt the swell of the waves as his own personal trip gathered speed and headed for the horizon. Light, airy, and full of grace – his face in the sunshine, the heat of the moment tanning his skin. There was nothing like it. It was pure rush. A couple of the boys had stripped to the waist and were singing along with the tape. Briggs was drumming his sticks on a couple of cans. The noise inside the small room was deafening.


There was a knock on the door. “That should be Frank now,” thought Izzy. “Hold your bleeding horses mate,” he screamed as he struggled to push himself up off the couch. He felt his body sway, felt the rush of blood to his head and reached out for support. Managing to right himself he stepped over Briggs. His chains and straps clinking against his leather trousers, he staggered to the door. Grabbing the handle he swung it open.

“Frank baby……”

It wasn’t Frank. To his surprise a group of women dressed in white stockings and angel outfits holding half-filled glasses and fresh bottles stood before him. Not believing what he saw he rubbed his eyes. Realizing he hadn’t died and gone to heaven he ushered the scantily clad party crashers into the room.

“Ladies meet the band. Band meet the ladies.”

The men screamed their approval, the women giggled. The party was on. This was going to be a fucking night to remember.


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