Categories > Celebrities > Metallica > Ripe

Part 14

by Cerilla 0 reviews

Category: Metallica - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2013-04-14 - 2386 words - Complete

In February 1989, Metallica received a Grammy Award nomination for the newly invented category hard rock/heavy metal, a really huge thing, and their performance would be the first metal act in the Grammy history; they were also expected to win, so we were all excited for the event.
The tension was palpable, Lars didn’t stop talking for a moment, rambling even more frantically than usual, I was worried he would faint for lack of oxygen one minute or another. Kirk kept biting his lips to the point of bleeding and Jason scratched his head like he had a lice infestation. James was the only one who didn’t lose his cool, but I was pretty sure he was full of booze.

I almost laughed at the guys’ faces when Alice Cooper and Lita Ford announced that Jethro Tull was the winner; they looked completely astonished, like victims of a particularly elaborated prank. Needless to say, we mocked mercilessly both the Academy and Jethro Tull.
“This is unfair, the band didn’t even bother to show up, they were the first not to believe in their nomination.”
“Yeah, I bet that every time Ian Anderson looks at the award he’ll say: “How the fuck did this even happen?”.”
“This just shows the lack of respect that people have for heavy metal.”
“That’s right. I mean, I could have accepted to lose to AC/DC, but this was just a joke.”
“Hey, you know what we could do?”
“You want to switch to playing flute? Hetfield, that’s a fucking stroke of genius!”
“No, you dipshit, I was thinking of putting a sticker on our album that reads: ‘Grammy Award Losers’.”
“Jeez, I don’t know, won’t that make us look like a bunch of show-offs?”
“Oh no, that will totally bring prestige to our band.”
“All right, then, let’s drink to this brilliant idea!”

The guys chose to celebrate their missed victory by getting drunk with a few friends in a small, ratty, smelly pub (a really pitiful hole indeed), and offered a drink to all the present customers who promptly joined us in the partying.
“And remember to buy our album, we didn’t lose a Grammy for nothing!” shouted Lars.
We were having a real blast, until a huge, creepy and probably hammered dude had the ill-fated idea to hit on Kristen, James’s girlfriend, when she came out of the toilet. I wasn’t friends with her as I used to be with Teresa, but I liked the girl; after years of flings, James had picked a down to earth woman who could hold her own, who saw him as a person and not an icon, who wasn’t a worshipping fan in love with his rock star persona and wanted to enact the dreamy, idealized relationship she had created in her mind or a sucker for the emotional roller coaster only a bad boy could give.

Kristen tried to brush off the dude, but he had no intention to back down and became more aggressive in his approach. When he grabbed her arm, I elbowed Neil, who seemed to be the less wasted of our friends, to make him notice, then I approached Kristen.
“Hey, is everything ok? We thought you got eaten by a crocodile from the toilet.”
“No, I survived, let’s go back.” Before we could move, the dude blocked us the way. He gave us a sleazy grin and licked his lips.
“Now, there’s no hurry, why don’t you girls come back with me? I got enough love for the both of you.” He said, fondling his groin.
“Sorry, our boyfriends are waiting for us, but what an enthralling proposal.”
When he still refused to step back, I looked at our table for Neil, but instead I caught James’s attention. Although wasted as he was, he immediately understood what was going on and scowled, marching to us. Oh, this is not good. I thought. I hadn’t advised James exactly because I feared his reaction. Since I had known him, he had always been rather hot-tempered behind his reserved demeanor, but after Cliff’s death the aggressive, degrading and intimidating side of his personality had worsened. When alcohol was involved, things went downhill even faster, and I really wasn’t looking for a bar brawl.
“Listen, man, we are not interested, why don’t you ask some other lady?” I pleaded, trying to save the situation.
“C’mon, sugarpuss, your men don’t need to know, I bet I can pleasure you like they never…” before he could finish, James grabbed him by his arm, turned him around and punched him straight in the face, knocking him off his feet, then he picked him up and pushed him to the wall. Kristen took my hand and we run out of the pub just in time, as the guy’s friends jumped on James; everybody in the pub was so alcohol fueled that joined in without a second thought and in a matter of seconds the situation deteriorated in a fight everyone against everyone.

Kirk was still inside and I wanted to go back into the pub to look for him, but Kristen stopped me.
“Unless you know how to fight, you better stay here. God knows they won’t care that you are a woman.”
“But Kirk is in there! I have to help him!” I cried.
“April, this isn’t the first brawl I witness, the only time I tried to help, I got hit on the head by a bottle and passed out, worsening the situation for James. There’s a telephone booth down there, let’s call the police, that’s all we can do.”
“Let’s not waste any more time.” She stated, going to call the police. I was torn between getting back and waiting. I wasn’t a fighter and I wasn’t bulky, but I had found myself in situations where I needed to defend myself and I knew how to kick or throw a punch. A chair flew out of the window, breaking the glass.
“Kirk!” I screamed in panic. Is he injured? Are the others ok? What should I do?
I got closer to the broken window and paled. It was a total chaos, people were fighting and screaming and thrashing the room; it was like a scene from a movie, but with real blood and broken bones and open wounds. The other women were probably hiding behind the counter or in the toilets, only a few were into the fight. I couldn’t see how our friends were doing.

Kristen dragged me away from the window and a pair of minutes later the we heard the sound of the police siren. “Hey!” screamed Kristen at the top of her lungs, “The police are coming!”
Everybody stopped fighting and listened; when they heard the siren, those who could, run out, the others laid down.
All of our friends could walk, so we rushed to the cars and left; we drove to the nearest house to check the damages. Luckily, no one was hurt too bad, but some of the injuries required a trip to the hospital; Kirk had a black eye, a busted lip, a few nasty bruises and a swollen hand.
“Can you bend your fingers?” A broken hand was a musician’s worst nightmare.
“Yeah, thank God, but I think my lip needs stitches.”
“I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to help you. I wanted to come and find you, but…”
“No, it’s better that you didn’t, you would have gotten hurt.”
“I left you alone, I didn’t have your back.” I whispered. I felt really bad.
“Babe, you are not Emma Peel, you did the most sensible thing, don’t you dare feel guilty.”

I hugged Kirk and looked at Kristen and James; he held his head low while she disinfected his skinned knuckles. She cupped his chin with one hand and brushed away his long hair, staring at him in the eyes. He looked sad, almost guilty, but didn’t say a word and closed his eyes as she leaned toward to kiss him with tenderness. It was so unusual to see the vulnerable side of James Hetfield, only Kristen could bring it up to the light. Usually James behaved better when Kristen was around, but his anger always threatened to come out; sometimes, his tendency to think with his fists first and solve problems with violence made it scary to be around him. She seemed to be able to handle him just fine, though, I didn’t know how she managed it. She faced James’s difficult nature with lucid assertiveness.

“Hey fuckers, do you know what day is today?” James growled at the crowd. “Yeah, it’s April Fool’s Day, but we have a very special fool to celebrate here.”
Kirk and Jason came backstage to drag me in front of the public. “What the hell are you doing, you morons?” I hissed.
“This is our lovely bass tech and Kirk’s sweetheart. Say hi to April, guys, it’s her 24th birthday today.” The crowd greeted me and I wanted to disappear. Oh God, I should have foreseen such a stunt from these shitheads. Better brace myself for the cake throwing.
“Yeah, this is April born in April on April Fool’s day. Gotta love parents’ imagination, right?” I barely managed to flip him off that a cake hit me in the head, followed by three others. Kirk then proceeded to lick the cream off my face, while Jason held my arms to keep me still as I threw insults at them.
“Keep that for after the concert, you sluts, you are offending the delicate sensibilities of our public!” said James in a mocking tone. My revenge will be implacable. Oh yes, you will all be begging me for mercy.
“So, do you motherfuckers know that this bitch here was also the bass player of Geryon? Yes? You heard of them? Wow, apparently banging the Hamster can lead to something good.” Ok Hetfield, you are the first in line. The guitar techs came to swap the guys’ guitars.
“Well, we have a little surprise for you. Newsted, let the lady have your place!” Jason handed me one of his basses with a smile. Wait, do they really want me to play? God, I’m not prepared, they should have told me before. Fuckity fuck!
“This one is called ‘Nero Decree’.” Said James. I was amazed, that was a Geryon song, one of the three I had co-written the lyrics for and probably our fastest one. As we started playing, my mind wandered back to the moment the song had been conceived.

‘Corinne exhaled the smoke from her mouth, trying to form little rings with it. It was late night at Kirk’s house, Kirk was passed out on the bed with an empty bottle of Jack Daniels next to him; Cliff, Corinne and I were gathered around the table with a joint and three cups of green tea.
We were talking about famous tyrants in history and Corinne was explaining us her theory about Hitler’s narcissism.
“That sick fuck was really ready to take down his own people with him. When he realized that the war was lost, he turned his hatred against Germany, guilty of being too weak and therefore unworthy of salvation.”
“The survival of the fittest brought to extreme.” Said Cliff. “The fittest is the best, the one who deserves to win, the one and only survivor.”
“Yes, Hitler wanted to be the only one; his dream wasn’t simply to reach the top but to kill everyone so that nobody would survive him. He wanted to destroy all the infrastructures and industries of his own country to punish the German people because they had failed in their duty of bringing him to victory. The weakling deserves no mercy.”
“I don’t understand, what does this has to do with narcissism?” I asked.
“He couldn’t accept the fact that the world could go on after him and that there would be a posterity. Nothing should come after him. No one else.”
“After me, the flood. As the French would say.”
“The last man standing, on a mountain of dead bodies…” I murmured.’

In that moment, I realized how much I missed playing on stage, that wild, powerful feeling you get from performing your music in front of an audience that you don’t find alone in your garage; I had used to be intimidated by it in the beginning, but the more I played, the more it had grown on me. I wanted that raw energy back, one day, and that wonderful camaraderie you develop with your fellow bandmates, but not straight away; I would complete my duties as a roadie and then find new people to play with. I still had a lot of music in me that needed to come to life.

Kirk and I were laying on the bed cuddling, his own personal present for me had been a long session of mind blowing sex.“Best. Present. Ever.” I said, touching the little heart of red love bites Kirk had shaped on my belly.
“Mmh, thank you, I would rate it as one of my top ten best performances.”
I chuckled, “No, silly, I didn’t mean that. Ok, I loved that part, but I was talking about what happened on stage, when we played one of my songs. It was very sweet of you guys.”
“Oh, that. Yeah, I had been thinking about something special to give you for a while when Jason threw in this idea. I thought it was great and James and Lars were ok with it too, so we just went along with it.”
“Well, I’ll have to thank the others too. I would have already done it if you hadn’t dragged me to the bedroom.” I mockingly scolded him, tracing his perfect profile with the tip of my finger.
“I know how to prioritize, don’t try to deny it, it’s one of my best qualities.”
“Yeah, right.” I said laughing.
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