So for those just catching up I strongly urge you to read the first chapter of my story because what I have to say from here on in is just going to sound weird without the background. Hell it sounds weird to me and I was the one who has witnessed it all.
Just to catch people up on the story, in a nutshell this is what has happened so far. Me travelling in rural Victoria, a small town I had no intention of visiting, a small pub, Marlboro cigarettes, Jack Daniels, and a world renowned musician, who died in 2015. Caught up? Great! Here we go again.
Walking out of the small country pub in the town I wont name I was ahead of Lemmy. Having been perched next to the guy drinking Jack and Coke and chatting for more than half an hour I was no longer starstruck but I was intrigued. We were headed out to my Commodore which was parked on the street between the general store I first saw Lemmy enter and the pub we were now leaving.
After telling Lemmy I could keep a secret he’d asked me for a ride, of course I agreed but when I asked him where we were headed his response was “due time my friend”. So there I was about to get in my car with a musician who I’d idolised for years, a musician the entire world thought was dead and head somewhere that I wasn’t yet allowed to know about. Was I suspicious? Of course I was, but dammit this was Lemmy and it wasn’t like I was the only person seeing him, at least two other people in town had seen and spoken to him so he just had to be real!
On the footpath we waked side by side, he was taller than me but even if he wasn’t I would have been walking in the guy’s shadow. I could smell his cigarette smoke, a smell which as an ex-smoker doesn’t bother me but one I would be getting used to again very quickly as Lemmy never seemed to be without a lit smoke close by. My car was the only one on the street and Lemmy had seen me sitting in in when he walked past so I didn’t need to point it out to him as we neared it but for some reason I did. I may not have been starstruck but I was obviously nervous.
Lemmy got in the passenger side of my Commodore as I got in behind the wheel and started the engine. Given that Lemmy had spent so much of his life in America and from what I’d seen on TV many American’s didn’t seem to treat seat belts the same way we did in Australia I wasn’t surprised to see that he didn’t grab for his seatbelt, I did. However with time I would learn that using the seat belt from that point on was definitely not needed as the chances of accidents were so close to zero it didn’t matter.
Instead of grabbing for the seat belt Lemmy used the switch on his door to lower the electric window and let the build up of smoke escape, I opened mine as well to ensure the car had airflow. Although I hadn’t allowed smoking in my car since I had given up myself I wasn’t a snob when it came to smoking, if people around me wanted to do it I was fine with that, it wasn’t my place to tell them not to. Besides it was Lemmy, so even if it was my car I wasn’t going to tell him not to smoke in it, the other thing I was beginning to notice was that I was actually starting to enjoy the scent of burning cigarettes again.
I reversed out from the car space I was parked in and pointed the car west then asked Lemmy which direction we needed to go in.
“That way.” He said as he pointed directly through the windscreen to the road the lead out of town.
I took off slowly sniffing in the scent of cigarettes and keeping my eyes on the road. We were only about 100 meters from the last shop, pretty much the edge of town, when Lemmy pulled the ash tray out of the console and squashed his cigarette into the washing powder I’d put in there to remove the smell of smokes after I quit last time. We hadn’t driven far, we were about a kilometre out of town, but it was the longest time I’d seen Lemmy without a smoke lit and I was beginning to wonder why when he broke the silence.
“See the white post up there on the right hand side, the one with a black tip.” It was a statement not a question and he didn’t give me a chance to answer before continuing. “Turn left at it.”
I wasn’t driving fast but I immediately slowed the car down, not only because Lemmy told me to turn but because from what I could see there was no road to turn into. The closer I got to the post Lemmy pointed out the more I was convinced there was nowhere to turn and when I pulled up next to it I stopped completely.
“In there.” I heard Lemmy say in his gravelly thick British accent.
“But there is nothing there, just low hanging trees.” I said looking at where Lemmy was telling me to drive, there wasn’t even tracks in the long grass indicating someone had driven there before me.
“Remember I said you’d find out where we were headed in due time? Well it’s time! Take me home!”
There was no other cars on the road, we hadn’t seen any since leaving town, and while I felt kind of comfortable sitting on the road with the engine running I didn’t feel overly comfortable driving my car into trees and bushes. I wasn’t the kind of city dweller who thought that when a bird shits on my car it needs a car wash but I did look after it and scuffing the paintwork on tree branches was not on my list of favourite things to do.
I took off slowly, turning the wheel and headed straight for the trees. What? Lemmy told me to do it!
As the front wheel rolled off the bitumen and onto the gravel there was a crunching noise under the tyres, then when the hit the lush grass they quietened down. Then just as the rear wheels began to crunch over the same gravel and the front of the car was only centimetres from the trees I looked over to Lemmy. I’m not sure if I was looking for reassurance or not but he was straight faced and looking dead ahead, then as the nose of the car touched the trees they parted as if they were a set of stage curtains. Yes I know how that sounds and believe me writing it down I still think it sounds strange but it’s exactly what happened.
From beyond the trees there was a blinding white light, a light so bright all I could do was close my eyes to stop them from hurting.
“Keep going.” I heard from the passenger seat.
I kept driving slowly, I was doing less than 10 kilometres per hour, my eyes were closed and I could still feel the brightness of the light trying to penetrate them, I didn’t dare open them. It felt like an eternity as I drove into that bright light, it still does when I go there now, the only difference is that these days I know I’m going somewhere. When it was safe to do so I heard Lemmy tell me to open my eyes so I did.
Looking ahead of me I could see lush green paddocks, huge trees, green leaves, beautiful sunshine and cloudless skies. But the most overwhelming thing was the pureness and perfectness of what I could see. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced it but sometimes you find yourself looking over a scene and you just know that it’s perfect and nothing could possible ruin it, that’s what I was looking at. What’s more I was parked on a nearly perfect black top of nicely laid bitumen and not a pot hole in sight, something that we rarely saw on rural roads in Victoria.
Now when I say the sight before me was overwhelming, and it was, the sight I could see in the rear vision mirror shocked me, truly shocked me, so much so that I had to turn around and look over my shoulder in case the mirror was lying. There was no trees, no weird wall with a gate or anything of the sort, all that was behind me was black, a black darker than any night I had ever seen.
“Welcome to Angel City.” Lemmy said from the other side of the car.
While there is a number places that come to mind with that name, it was even the name an Australian rock band chose when they toured America early in their career to avoid being confused with a band of a similar name, I knew that wasn’t the Angel City I’d come across. I knew the name referred directly to track seven on the 1991 Motorhead classic album 1916.
“Drive on!” he said.
Previous episode here