I got off the bus and hefted my guitar case. It was the only thing I had brought with me besides a few bucks in my pocket. I had long since traded in my tiny acoustic for a cheap Fender and small amp.
The first time I heard The Runaways and Black Flag I was in love. Back home posters lined my small bedroom wall. I heard about a possibly revolutionary movement in LA and I didn’t believe it, so I had to come see for myself. Some ragtag band Mötley something had just put out their own record and it was selling like hotcakes.
In fact, not long after getting off the bus I saw a flier stapled to a pole, one that stood out over the millions of other little papers nailed there. "'Mötley Crüe’ tonight at the Whiskey?” I said to myself. The black and white photo looked like four chicks with less makeup. I figured I would check them out to see what the hype was all about.
“Better get there early if you want to even see them.” A voice behind me said. I hefted my guitar bag to my other shoulder and turned around. “God, does everybody in this town look like them?” I asked the blonde guy who talked to me.
He raised an eyebrow at me.
“Welcome to LA new girl, you look pretty punk though.” I made my annoyed face at him. “Thanks, but I’m wearing less makeup than you are dude. That's kind of creepy, don't ya think?” I retorted. He smiled.
“Not really. Anyway, better get there early or you won’t have a chance of getting in. Band’s pretty popular now.” I stared at the guy, trying not to look like an idiot since I was obviously new to LA.
“Who are you anyway?” I asked.
He stuck his hand out. “Name’s Vince Neil. Nice to meet ya newbie.”
I scowled and returned his greeting. “Samantha Lovelace.” I replied. LA was my new beginning, my new identity.
“Cute name.” Said the blonde, giving me what I assumed was a flirty look. “Anyway, I’ll see you tonight?”
I nodded. “Might as well.”
“Great! See you then.” He said behind him as he walked away. I watched him dart across the street into a bar and noticed it was the Whiskey like the flier said. I made a mental note of where it was so I could return later. I gave myself about a few hours of leeway in case what he said about the crowds was true.
I found a small restaurant a few blocks over and settled on the porch outside. I used one of my dollars to buy a tea and watched the goings on of the street. I had already scoped out several bars, a few apartments, and various other knick-knack stores. I couldn’t think of any place I could stay the night, not even a halfway decent place to get a job. Getting a good band was my only bet at surviving.
Thankfully that’s exactly what I had come here for. I considered advertising my skills in the paper, but how was that any fun? I didn’t want to meet people I didn’t know, I just wanted fate to take its course. Just then two guys walked out of the restaurant. From the corner of my vision I saw one nudge the other, and after a small confrontation he walked over to me, taking the seat in front of me without asking.
“You look like Nancy Spungen.” He said, smirking. Almost immediately a big smile found its way onto my face.
“Thanks, man.” I said. Whether it was intended as a compliment or not, I'm taking it as one. Nancy Spungen is great!
“You're welcome. My name's Seth by the way.”
"Lovelace. Samantha Lovelace."
He stared at me for another moment. I give him a slight sneer to stop. He doesn't, but he catches on my discomfort. "Sorry, I don't mean to stare, but… there’s something about you.” He said while still staring at me.
“Something about me?” I asked, annoyance in my voice.
“Yeah.” He said. It was my turn to study him. I noticed his shirt. “You like Big Black?” I asked.
He smirked again. “Yeah.”
“Bass.” He said, sounding interested.
“You in a band?”
He scoffs. “No, most bands here are all glam. I'm not into that. I like punk rock,” he replied. “Are you?”
I sat down and sipped my tea. “Not yet.”
He sat back down across from me. “What do you play?”
I smirked. “Guitar.”
“Really?” He asked like he found exactly what he was looking for. Just then his friend walked over. “What’s goin on man?” the other guy asked. “Dude, she plays guitar,” he said. But there was something about his tone I wasn't used to. Like it was…normal. And ok. Usually people thought it was abnormal.
“Really?” His friend asks while pulling out another chair.
“Yup. This is Austin by the way, Austin this is Sam.” They looked at me expectantly. They smiled.
I glanced up at the Austin kid. He had shoulder length shaggy blonde with blue eyes. He was in his 20s and looked punk with a lazy tone to it. Nice. His friend Seth had slightly shorter, but equally blonde hair and had had pale green eyes. He also looked like he should be in a band. Same style as Austin.
“What do you do Austin?” I asked him.
He gave me the same smirk. “Drums, and guitar,” he boasted. I felt my eyes go wide. That's a rarity to find a drummer who can also play guitar.
“So, how would you like to jam sometime, Lovelace?” Seth asked. Austin looked at me like prized meat. I returned the smile, not a sarcastic one this time. “I would love to.”
“So how long have you been in LA?” he asked. My smile faded and I rubbed my head, messing up my hair. “Well actually I just got here today.”
“No way! You got a place to stay?” I didn’t know where he was going with this, but I thought it over. On one hand he could just want sex and be a freak, but in that case I could beat his ass and take care of myself. On the other it could be a temporary place to stay, which I liked a lot better than some of the alleys I passed by.
“No.” I answered cautiously.
“You could room with us if you want. We got a spare room that I just keep my drumming shit in. It would be okay until you got your own place at least.” Austin said. I could tell that he was also being cautious of offending me, which I found to be a good thing.
"And don't worry. Seth's girl also lives there occasionally. So if you leave your tampon wrappers or bras lying around, we're used to it." Austin said while leaning back in his chair. Seth snickered
Even I couldn't hold back a laugh. These two are actually quite amusing. "Yeah. I'm down."
“Cool. So uh, watcha doin tonight?” Seth asked, taking my attention away from Austin.
“Gonna go to some show at the Whiskey.” I replied nonchalantly.
“Mötley?” He asked, a little shocked and and little dissapointed in my taste. I was scared he might think I have terrible taste in music.
“Some show…” he said like it was nothing, shaking his head. “Tell ya what, I’ll meet you there tonight. At the bar after the show. There’s no way I’ll find you during the show.”
“They’re really that popular?” I asked. He again seemed shocked.
“Yeah…” he said like I was stupid.
I exhaled dramatically. “I’m sure we can be better than them.”
They both smirked. “Oh, we will.” Austin said. I must admit, I like their attitudes. Espeically this Austin kid's. I think we'll get along just nicely.