Categories > Celebrities > Metallica > Ripe

Part 10

by Cerilla 0 reviews

Category: Metallica - Rating: PG - Genres:  - Published: 2013-03-04 - 1664 words - Complete


The European experience was exciting, it didn’t last long but we were determined to make the most of it. We visited every city, took shitloads of photos, tried to communicate with people who didn’t know a word of English, ate food we had never tried before, got the evil eye from everybody on the streets who thought we were a bunch of goddamn freaks. It was my first time out of the USA and everything was just amazing.
We spent a lot of time with the fans after the show, having great time in those little, smelly, dirty pubs we usually played in; I liked talking with them about music, about our lives, about everything, sharing experiences with people so far away from home was a first for me.
Sure, there were a few downturns too; just like in America, European audiences had their share of assholes in them, shitty dudes who yelled obscenities, tried to grope me or pull me into the audience to take off my clothes. I had learnt that the best way to keep them down was to yell back, kick them or whack them with my bass. Security guys could be real douches too; "I’m the goddamn bass player, you stupid motherfucker! They cannot even start without me!" became my trademark phrase from all the time I was refused access to stage or backstage because I was mistaken for a fan, a girlfriend or a groupie. In spite of Kirk’s worries, I didn’t sleep with anybody; I seriously wanted to be faithful to Kirk, just thinking how bad he would feel if he knew I cheated on him nullified any sex appeal the other guys might have had. Anyway, male groupies were a rarity, especially for a band like ours that didn’t gather many groupies in general; I got hit on more by random guys in bars who didn’t know who I was.

Being at home was a relief, though, and once I hit the bed, I realized how tired I was after a tour as demanding as wonderful. Since I was alone, I decided to take a long, relaxing bath and listen to some soothing music; I browsed between my LPs and stumbled upon ‘Live/Dead', Grateful Dead’s double live album. My heart clenched, that was the present Cliff had given to me for my 21th birthday; I remembered he said he had chosen it because it was the kind of psychedelic shit I loved. A tear hit the cover. I blinked, realizing that I was crying, and memories of Cliff came rushing to my mind. The man had been such a big influence on me as much as on Metallica; I had learned a lot just discussing with him about music theory, bands and musicians, he really had been one of a kind. I was envious of him, but not in a malevolent way, just full of admiration for a fellow bassist who possessed an incredible talent both as composer and as performer. I wished I could be like him, I knew that practice and study could give me technical proficiency and more knowledge but not that spark of geniality that made him stand out from the rest of the pack.
I recollected all the times we mocked his passion for D&D and his bell bottoms, when he smoked too much pot and started blabbering about religion or philosophy or when he played chess with Corinne, looking at her with love in his eyes every time she won the game (more often than not). And Corinne, poor Corinne, she had decided to cut us out of her world because being around Metallica was just too painful for her. They used to be so in love, and I missed them both a lot.

Metallica had started to record ‘…And Justice for All’ by the end of January and the process turned out to be quite troubled. The initial decision had been to record it in L.A. with Mike Clink as producer, but it didn’t work out so they called Flemming Rasmussen once again; Jason had been relegated to working all alone with just an engineer while the others worked with Rasmussen. Poor guy was left on his own without a single input from the others. I pondered visiting him to give him my support, but ultimately decided not to; Metallica wasn’t my band, I didn’t want to appear as nosy or intrusive. However, I decided to mention my concerns to Kirk during one of our phone calls.
“Seriously, the guy is at his first try with Metallica, you should give him your support.”
“We already have tested him on studio, he can handle himself just right.”
“Kirk, that was an album of covers, here he has to create his own bass lines, it’s just not the same.”
Kirk huffed, “April, he’s not a total amateur, ok? He already played in his own fucking band and doesn’t need us to give him directions.”
“But still…”
“April, babe, you don’t need to worry. We’re doing good, all of us, ok?”
I sighed, defeated, “All right, sorry for being so pushy, it’s just that… Jason always seems a little bit nervous, like he isn’t sure about his place in the band.”
“Nonsense, the kid is all right. Now I have to go, I love you, bye.”
“I love you too.” I hung up, feeling a bit uncomfortable.

I licked my lips and took a deep breath, trying to calm myself; Geryon was going to do a live TV performance for the first time, followed by an interview and we were all skittish. Craig couldn’t stop blabbering, Ben kept on checking every detail enumerating all the possible things that could go wrong, making Joel crazy. My good mood was put off when I discovered what I was supposed to wear: black shorts and navel revealing vest, red knee high stiletto boots, all leather of course.
“You are fucking kidding me, right? Who the hell picked this outfit?”
“I did.” Said Joel. I looked at him and blinked.
“Why on earth would you do that? You know I don’t want a reputation built on sex appeal.”
“Actually, I’ve been discussing this with the record company and they agree that you should spice up a bit your stage presence.”
“You call this ‘spice up a bit’? Are we shooting a video for Mötley Crüe and nobody told me?”
“Don’t be a prude, it’s just a little trick to get some attention.”
“Then I have a better idea, why don’t you perform in a thong? That would bring all the girls to us!” I spat out, refusing to draw back. I can’t believe it! How dares he?! I decided to stick with my actual clothes: leather jacket (borrowed from Kirk), tight-fitting, dark red t-shirt and black jeans tucked into mid-calf high combat boots.

The performance was good, I put aside my resentment and concentrated on the music, but the following interview managed to bring my anger back. Everything seemed to be going well, until the interviewer took out the usual stock of ultra-lame questions I always had to face.
“April, how does it feel like being a girl in the metal scene?” Here we go again.
“The answer is the same as always. You can probably read it on every interview I’ve made: it’s a great feeling.”
“Don’t you ever feel out of place? What about those people who think that girls don’t belong to metal?” You really don’t know how to catch an hint, right?
“They are not my concern, I let the music speak for itself. I’m not here to educate anybody, if they are so ignorant to make an issue of my sex, it’s their loss. And no, I don’t feel out of place, our fans respect me and my fellow musicians accept me as one of them.”
“You are a very pretty girl, yet you seem to refuse to show your sexuality. Why?”
“It’s just important for me to be recognized as a bass player first and to do that I need to avoid bringing too much attention on my appearance.”
“A lot of male musicians show a strong sex appeal, do you think that the female fans who ogle them are disrespectful?”
“There’s nothing wrong in finding someone attractive, it’s not a lack of respect di per sé, the problems start when you stop to consider a person as a full human being and reduce them to an object of your lust. I’m a musician and I deserve to be judged for my musicianship, whether you think I’m hot or not is something independent from music. I think that lots of male musicians are hot, but I don’t base my liking for their music on their attractiveness, that would be stupid. ”
“But there’s a double standard in this, male artists are free to expose their sexuality, female artists are bashed for the same thing.”
“Yes, women are accused of using their sex appeal to lure male fans while it’s normal for men to make the girls go wild. Still, it’s true that some female artists play dirty and use sex to sell. I don’t want to be considered a sexless being or repress my sexuality, but I don’t flaunt it because, as I said, I don’t want to divert the attention from what it really matters: music.”
“Now, about your relationship with Kirk Hammett of Metallica…” I rolled my eyes and sighed. You just cannot escape from some things, I guess.

Author’s note: So, are you people still there? I hope so. Feel free to give me your opinion on this fic, I hope I’m not messing it up.
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