“You’re shittin’ me!” I said to Lemmy as he finished giving me the run down of the next task he wanted me to do when I got home.
“I don’t shit no one!” he said in his gravelly English accent.
Lemmy and I had just finished a late lunch after spending nearly four hours playing each other in Quake, the computer game from the 90’s. What had started off as a day of playing solo Warcraft quickly changed when Lemmy walked into the computer room and gave me a challenge I couldn’t refuse. It was such a good challenge we played all the way through lunch and it was nearly 3pm when we finally decided to eat.
Over lunch, which was delivered to us in the computer room via a weird dumb waiter like system that appeared to be in every room, Lemmy gave me a few requests for music from and news about a few bands he was interested in. Because Angel City didn’t have the internet he couldn’t download such things and therefore requested I do it for him.
When Lemmy told me he didn’t have a preference whether the music he was requesting turned up in physical form or electronic form because they would end up on the computer system anyway I was relieved. Despite the music he wanted all being on the Motorhead Music label and easy to find I wasn’t sure if some of it wasn’t still only available as import so being able to download it was going to save me time.
The job of getting the information Lemmy wanted was going to be just as easy, all I’d have to do is scrape a few websites for the data he needed, copy a few videos and whack all the information on a thumb drive. I’d learnt my lesson!
But that wasn’t all he wanted.
“That’s gonna take me some work.” I said when I heard the big request.
“There’s no rush, if it’s not done next time you visit don’t sweat it.” Lemmy said.
When I heard the words ‘no rush’ come out of Lemmy’s mouth I was quite relieved because the other job he was asking me to complete was not going to be an easy or quick job. Actually I tell a wee bit of a white lie there, the job wasn’t overly difficult but it was going to be time consuming because it couldn’t be done from the comfort of my computer room.
I looked at the clock as we finished discussing the jobs that Lemmy had for me, the digits at the bottom right of the screen told me it was just after 4PM.
“Are you staying for tonight’s gig?” Lemmy asked me as we sipped at our bourbons.
“Will Randy be there?” The question was out before I realised what I had said.
It wasn’t so much that the question was wrong it was just that such questions always had the same answers. Even if Lemmy or the boys did know who was showing up to the gigs beforehand they always claimed they didn’t. People were free to come and go from Angel City as they pleased, there was a open door policy. Asking whether someone was going to turn up for a gig was like asking what Würzel was doing at the front gate each time I drove through it.
Although I know that my leaving time didn’t mean a great deal because as soon as I left Angel City and went to the pub in the little unnamed town it would be lunch time on the same Saturday that I left home I didn’t think I’d be up for the return trip home once I did leave. A quick little calculation proves my point, I’d been up since about 7am, it would be 5pm before I got moving, I’d have already been awake for more than ten hours by the time I left Angel City for the real world. Now add an hour for lunch at the pub and five hours of driving and I’d be pushing sixteen hours awake with the hardest part of the day being the last five hours of driving. It just didn’t make sense to drive home when I could see another Motohead gig.
“Na,” I replied to Lemmy’s question. “Guess I’ll hang around for another night, see what the new day brings.”
“No worries, then, I guess we’ll see you at the gig later then?”
“Yeah I guess another gig wont totally bore me to tears!” I said with a smirk.
“Just for you, so you don’t get bored, I’ll mix it up a bit tonight.” Lemmy replied.
“Geez don’t go off script just for little ol’ me.”
“I do it for the masses man!”
It was at that moment I decided to ask Lemmy a question I’d be hanging for an answer to. I guess I’d been wondering if he would answer it and that had stopped me but after settling myself into Angel City a bit more I was getting to the point where I was asking more and letting Lemmy answer if he wanted too.
“How do you get motivated every night for a gig that is not packed. I’ve interviewed hundreds of bands and musos and pretty much every one of them claims they feed off the crowd, a good crowd a good show. Yet the two gigs I’ve seen haven’t had what I would consider to be pumping crowds.”
“Have they not been good shows?”
“Yeah man, of course they have.” I replied.
“Awe you’re just saying that!” Lemmy said is a silly voice.
“Yeah I am, they were crappy gigs and the guy who showed up last night was terrible.”
“So if he showed up again tonight you’d be annoyed?”
“Well I wouldn’t be that annoyed, he made you guys play tighter once he got on stage.”
Lemmy and I carried on like that for about ten minutes, one silly remark after another and throughout it all we not once got back to the original question. When Lemmy finally got up from his chair and said he was off to prepare for the gig it was nearly 5pm. From a standing position he drained the last of his drink, lit a smoke and headed for the door.
“Guess we’ll see you there later.” he said as he opened the door.
“Yep I guess you will.”
As the door closed behind him leaving me in the room alone I heard the words, “For the masses, man,” which I knew was referring to my previous question. What I didn’t know was how he plays for the masses when there in no one in the bar while they play.
With little else to do I lit another smoke, ordered another drink, ordered dinner and loaded up Warcraft for the second time that day. If I wasn’t going home there was no point in wasting my time doing meaningless stuff before the gig and going by my calculation from nearly twenty years ago when I last played it I still had a good ten or twelve hours of game play left before I finished the game.
Previous Angel City story here.