Sunday, August 06, 2006

Random Rock Star Moment #13: David Johansen

A couple of weeks ago, Umlaut spent some quality hangout time with old friend Drunk Ted down in lovely San Diego. This weekend, as they have MANY times in the past, the Rock Godz again rewarded Drunk Ted for his blind obedience to them:

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Last night me & Amy went out to Chevy's for Happy Hour. Had a couple margaritas. Then went to Borders Books and killed a couple hours there. We wanted to "sober up" so we could have a martini at this other place nearby. So we go down there, and it's PACKED! No way we're getting in. Normally at this place, there is no one there! Then again, it was only about 8pm and we normally show up there around 11pm.

So where are we going to go? I mentioned the DoubleTree Hotel, my favorite local hangout. I went there last week, but Amy didn't go, so we decided to go this week so Amy can say "Hi" to my favorite bartender and we can get a martini.

So we show up. The bar is dead. One or two people in it. Cool! The whole bar to ourselves. Our normal bartender isn't there, so we just start talking to this new one. She asks us if we're going to the Street Scene which was happening yesterday and today just 2 miles away at Qualcomm Stadium. We're like "No, the only band we want to see are the New York Dolls and they're playing tomorrow, but we're not going to pay $75 to be stuck in a crowd just to see one band".

A couple of drinks later, the bar is completely empty. Everyone's at the Street Scene. I hear this scruffy, haggard voice next to me ask the bartender if he can get a couple cups of coffee. I'm thinking to myself, "Man, this guy is hardcore." Who was this who just wondered off the street?

As I turn to get a look at the guy, Amy wacks me in the arm, and I notice right as I turned my head... it's DAVID FUCKING JOHANSEN!!! Holy shit! Holy shit!

So we start talking, saying "Yeah, we saw you guys at the House Of Blues a few months ago and had a great time." He asked us if we got the new album yet and I said, "Yeah, got two (one for me & one for Amy) copies from because they were autographed!". He asked us if we heard it ("Not yet. Just came in the mail, actually") and if we were going to the show tomorrow ("Nah, don't want to pay the $75 just for one band". David goes "Is that how much it is? Man!"), and if we heard any of the new album on the radio. Amy said the only radio show she listens to is Steve Jones' show.

David goes "You can get that down here?" She said, "No, I get it on the internet." I said "I don't listen to normal radio. I got Sirius, so when I listen to music it's 'Little Steven's Underground' channel". David says "I got a show on there! I'm on the air right now, actually" We joked around about "How is that possible?!?!"

We bought David his coffees (he was hanging out outside, in the dark, by the pool with his girl) and he asked us our names and shook our hands saying "I'll be seeing you around later."

Man, this was such a fucking big thrill! The only thing that even comes close is meeting Gene Simmons at the Comic-Con about 4 years ago. Just wish I had my camera. And that I wasn't so tongue-tied. It was quite the unexpected shock!

We both were kind of fixated on his jean jacket and the Hershey's chocolate bar that was sticking out of the pocket. Neither the bartender nor the waitress knew who he was (though they claimed to be rockers). So we had to explain to them that if it wasn't for the New York Dolls, there would be no KISS, Motley Crue, or Guns & Roses (the bartender's favorite band!). On the way back to the car, some pimplyfaced teenagers called us fags.

Drunk Ted
San Diego, California

Click HERE to relive Umlaut's Rocktober 2004 that included the New York Dolls.