Where was I? Oh yeah I was in Angel City. I’d handed Lemmy the information he needed, copped a spray for using paper not a USB stick, he’d read the information and told me he had more for me to do. He’d given me a job as the custodian on the large computer system that controlled everything in Angel City and with the great power I spent two or three hours playing Warcraft the old game from the 90’s. I also managed to chow down on the best pork roast I had ever tasted in all my years on the road working for the magazine. Do days get any better than that?
After my dinner I was hankering for a bourbon and as I’d been lead to believe happens every night in Angel City a gig was about to start so I headed straight down to the bar. Walking into the semi darkness I could see a figure sitting in the same seat I’d watched the gig from on my previous visit. Lemmy had told me they get the occasional visitor in Angel City, especially at their gigs, so I wasn’t totally surprised to see someone else, but I was still taken aback a wee bit.
As I walked towards the person sitting in the middle of the room I could see his long reddish golden hair that hung past his shoulder and his black sleeveless leather vest. But it wasn’t until I was about ten steps away and thought I recognised him that I suddenly got nervous and diverted to the bar.
It’s kind of a weird feeling for me to get, as a part of my job I’ve met many a rock star, I’ve even meet movie stars, comedians and noted political leaders but I rarely feel so in awe of someone that I have to side step them and find something to calm my nerves. It kind of happened that day in the pub when I met Lemmy for the first time, but not to the extent it happened when I walked into that bar at that time.
The house lights weren’t on, only the courtesy lights around the walls that provided enough illumination to walk around without tripping over anything, not that there was much to trip over. Of course the bar was well lit as all bars usually are with lights in the fridges, lights in the roof and lights where ever the hell they can put them but as usual there was no one tending the bar. Despite the lack of bar tender my drink was sitting on the bar when I stepped up to it.
I picked up the drink in my right hand, brought it up to my mouth and took a large slug demolishing more than half the glass of Jack and Coke in one hit, it didn’t taste bitter. I then turned back to the stage but I was obviously looking at the guest in the row of seats not the darkened stage with instruments standing on it.
I turned back to the bar and placed my half empty glass down on the beer mat. I had no intention of walking out of the bar without talking to the new guest, it was a once in a life time opportunity, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to walk up to him. I’m not sure if it was because I couldn’t figure out what to say or it was because of who it was.
One advantage of having a gig on the same stage every night is that sound check does not need to happen. Another advantage is that when the band come on stage there is no need to strum, pluck and tap out beats to figure out where things are and how they sound, they sound the same as they did the night before. So when the first notes of Bomber filled the room, seemingly without any warning, while I was standing at the bar staring at my half empty glass and trying to figure what to say to our new guest I wasn’t too surprised. I turned toward the stage and watched as Lemmy, Würzel and Philthy Phil settled in to what I’m sure was going to be another killer set.
Whether it’s too many loud gigs over too many years turning me slowly deaf or just a dislike for having people yell into my ears while music played I wasn’t sure but I knew once the music started I wasn’t going to start any conversations with the guest.
In the brief lull between Bomber and Killed By Death I turned back to the bar and grabbed my glass, it was as I’d come to expect in Angel City refilled, I then turned back to the stage and watched the show. Standing up and watching a gig is not uncommon these day and that’s exactly what I did, stood by the bar only putting my drink down when I wanted it refilled and watching the boys blast out a solid set on stage while keeping a keen eye on the guest in the seats.
At the end of the song RAMONES, Lemmy’s tribute to the band of the same name, I knew the boys would leave the stage for a breather before returning for a few more songs. In a real live concert environment this would be called an encore, I suppose it was in Angel City too but without the crowd to cheer the band back out on stage it didn’t quite feel like that. What I didn’t expect to see at that same time was for our guest to get up from his seat and walk out of the bar.
As I sipped my drink and watched the door to the mansion close, shutting out the light from the well lit hallway beyond the door, I couldn’t help but feel annoyed. My silly nerves, nerves I didn’t really know I had, had stopped me from going up and introducing myself to a person who myself and many other had admired for more than two decades. A guy whose technique with his chosen instrument has not just been mimicked for years but has been used to educate thousand of hopefuls around the world.
Mentally kicking myself in the head I put my empty glass down on the bar, counted to two, then turned around hoping my glass had been refilled, of course it had. Bringing the glass to my lips I heard the first few notes of the song Motorhead and I turned back to the stage and nearly dropped my drink.
I don’t know why I was shocked like I was but there are some things I just can’t explain and seeing four people on stage instead of three was just one of them. Not only hadn’t our new guest not left the building but he’d actually made his way to the stage and joined Motorhead for a few songs.
For five songs I starred in amazement at the stage, the real world did not know what they were missing out on, they would never know what they were missing out on. If what I was seeing was a sign of the sort of ‘guests’ Lemmy had visit him I’m not surprised real world visitors before me had tried silly things like filming the live concerts to sell to fans.
Twenty minutes after the final song was finished I was still standing at the bar thinking about what I had just seen when I heard Lemmy’s voice behind me.
“Hey Phil, I’d like you to meet a mate of mine.”
I turned around and sure enough standing next to Lemmy was….
Previous Angel City story here.