7 – blog 32 – 100 Punks

Bowie is lowered to a darkened stage where his seven-year-old son Duncan awaits him.

Bowie’s mic is live. “Enjoying the show, Duncan?”

“Sure, da, but the best part is next.”

“My song with you.”

“Nah, da. I get to spin with Amar.”

Everyone laughs.

“Well, I think everyone wants me to sing to you. What should I sing?”

“What you always sing at bedtime, ‘Prettiest Star.’”

Bowie picks up a large acoustic guitar and sings

‘Cold fire, you’ve got everything but cold fire
You will be my rest and peace child
I moved up to take a place, near you
So tired, it’s the sky that makes you feel tried
It’s a trick to make you see wide
It can all but break your heart, in pieces


Staying back in your memory
Are the movies in the dark
How you moved is all it takes
To sing a song of when I loved
The prettiest star


One day though it might as well be someday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The prettiest star


Staying back in your memory
Are the movies in the past
How you moved is all it takes
To sing a song of when I loved
Prettiest star


One day though it might as well be Sunday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The prettiest star

Songwriters: David Bowie

The Prettiest Star lyrics © Carlin Music Corp

“How about we do Amar’s song now, so you can perform?”

“Can we, da?

“It’s up to you.”

“Com’n on out, Amar. I know you’re there,” Duncan says, working the cute gene he got from his dad.

The Turks are in place and the stage is fully lit. They start the intro to ‘Yassassin.’

Amar steps up to the mic. David adjusts it to his height. The Sufi dancers come on stage and circle Amar. He sings his one word, ‘Yassassin’, followed by Bowie on all the verses. Duncan spins away from his dad and the circle of spinners follow him

‘Yassassin – I’m not a moody guy
Yassassin – I walk without a sound
Yassassin – Just a working man, no judge of men
Yassassin – But such a life I’ve never known

We came from the farmlands
To live in the city
We walked proud and lustful
In this resonant world

You want to fight
But I don’t want to leave
Or drift away

‘Yassassin – I’m not a moody guy
Yassassin – I walk without a sound
Yassassin – Just a working man, no judge of men
Yassassin – But such a life I’ve never known

Look at this – no second glances
Look at this – no value of love
Look at this – just sun and steel
Look at this – then look at us

If there’s someone in charge
Then listen to me
Don’t say nothing’s wrong
‘Cause I’ve got a love
And she’s afeared

You want to fight
But I don’t want to leave
Or drift away

‘Yassassin – I’m not a moody guy
Yassassin – I walk without a sound
Yassassin – Just a working man, no judge of men
Yassassin – But such a life I’ve never known

Songwriters: David Bowie

Yassassin (Turkish for: Long Live) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Tintoretto Music

At the song’s end, Duncan is in a spin and tossed into the air then caught. All the dancers bow and leave the stage.

Bowie continues to speak with Duncan

“Tonight’s show honors immigrants for leaving their families, homes and culture to be with us, to help us in any way they can. I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.”

But, Da, what about me. I am an immigrant living with you in Montreux?”

“You are very lucky because you’re just a boy. You know what boys do?”

“What, Da?”

“’Boys Keep Swinging’

‘Heaven loves ya
The clouds part for ya
Nothing stands in your way
When you’re a boy
Clothes always fit ya
Life is a pop of the cherry
When you’re a boy
When you’re a boy
You can wear a uniform
When you’re a boy
Other boys check you out
You get a girl
These are your favorite things
When you’re a boy
Boys
Boys
Boys keep swinging
Boys always work it out
Uncage the colors
Unfurl the flag
Luck just kissed you hello
When you’re a boy
They’ll never clone ya
You’re always first on the line
When you’re a boy
When you’re a boy
You can buy a home of your own
When you’re a boy
Learn to drive and everything
You’ll get your share
When you’re a boy
Boys
Boys
Boys keep swinging
Boys always work it out’

Songwriters: David Bowie / Brian Eno

Boys Keep Swinging lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Tintoretto Music

Amar has come back on stage. He and Duncan sing the back-up ‘When you’re a boy.’ After the second chorus, they leave the mic and spin free, crisscrossing the stage behind Bowie. They surround him once the song is done.

“Is Amar your best friend now, Duncan?”

“Sure, Da. I spend the night at his house sometimes, But since Amar’s in the band, Emile stays there now.”

“Any other friends?”

“Sure, Da. Mike and Laz are my friends. They’re Americans.”

“Let’s get them out here and we’ll sing to them.”

I have removed the Ziggy makeup and trouser-less outfit. Mike and I walk out.

“What should we sing?”

Duncan knows, ‘Young Americans’

‘We live for just these twenty years
Do we have to die for the fifty more?

All night
He wants the young American
Young American, young American
He wants the young American
All right (all right)
Well, he wants the young American

Do you remember, your President Nixon? (ooh)
Do you remember, the bills you have to pay?
Or even yesterday?

Have been the un-American? (ooh)
Just you and your idol sing falsetto (ooh)
‘Bout Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor (ooh)
In case, just in case of depression? (ooh)
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the Afro-Sheeners
Ain’t that close to love?
Well, ain’t that poster love?….

All night
I want the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American
All right
I want the young American, young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American (I want what you want, I want what you want)
All night
You and I
I want you, I
Young American, young American, I want the young American
All right
And all I want is the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American

Songwriters: David Bowie

Young Americans lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Tintoretto Music

“So, Americans are okay?”

“If they’re nice, like Mike,” Duncan answers.

“What about Laz?”

“He’s the Boss. He’s okay, I guess.”

I make a sad face. The audience claps.

“What song’s next, Duncan?”

“‘Scary Monsters,’ Da. I love that one.”

“You don’t get scared?”

“Not when you sing it, Da.”

Amar and Mike make scary faces and chase Duncan around the stage. He hides behind Bowie.

When it ends, Bowie asks him, “What will happen when I’m older and cannot protect you.”

“Laz will keep the monsters away. What will you do when you’re old.”

“I’ll be in my ‘Golden Years’

‘I’ll stick with you, baby, for a thousand years
Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years
Gold

Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop’

Songwriters: David Bowie

Golden Years lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Tintoretto Music

Duncan leans over and kisses Bowie, “I’ll take care of ya, Da.”

Bowie sings ‘Ashes to Ashes’

‘Ain’t got no money and I ain’t got no hair
But I’m hoping to kick but the planet it’s glowing

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom’s a junkie
Strung out in heaven’s high
Hitting an all-time low…

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom’

Songwriters: David Bowie

Ashes to Ashes lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Songtrust Ave, Tintoretto Music

Mike is playing the spooky sounds through the MOOG keyboard. Holding Duncan’s hand, Bowie steps up to the stage mic and motions me to join him. Time to honor Major Tom.

“For years I was an alien in my own body, getting older and staying young by believing I was from Mars. Now it is Laz who is Ziggy. He has come back from the dead to save me from never growing up. He is my Hero.”

The intro to ‘Heroes’ starts and we sing his latest hit to each other

‘I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day…

I, I wish you could swim
Like dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day

What do you say?…

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes

We’re nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we’re lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day

Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh, just for one day..

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day’

Bowie leans over and we kiss. There goes my rep. Anything and everything to be a hero, at least in the Bowie world. Will the Berlin Wall now fall?

Paul McCartney runs out and saves me from total embarrassment.

“I hear we believe immigrants are heroes. So, why not ‘let ‘em in?’

‘Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor
Open the door and let ’em in

Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor
Open the door and let ’em in, yeah, let ’em in’…

Brother Michael, uncle Laz
Open the door and let ’em in, yaz’

The cheers ring out. I guess it takes a Beatle to excite everyone. Even dedicated Beatle haters, the Bromley Contingent, are singing along in front of the stage.

Bowie steps up, “I guess it is one more time for my new single, ‘Yassassin.’ Get the message folks, immigrants come here to help us, not steal our jobs and violate our women. They are our friends.

The Sufi Dervish return to the stage, grabbing Amar, Mike and Duncan and whirl away across the stage. I take over the Moog and replicate the oud guitar sounds of the souk. Duncan and Amar get thrown into the air several times.

The stage is pitched into darkness. Everyone leaves except for Bowie, as the Queen musicians set up at the back of center stage. Freddie walks out and the spotlight follows him as he approaches Bowie.

“Well, looks like they got your message, goodbye Ziggy, hello Mohamed. Can we give them some fun now?”

“That’s a lot of pressure to release.”

“I’ve got just the song, ‘Pressure Drop’

They sing to each other

‘It is you (oh, yeah)
It is you, you (oh, yeah)
It is you (oh, yeah)

I say, a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah, pressure drop, a drop on you
I say, a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah, pressure drop, a drop on you’

“Under pressure, under pressure,” Freddie states, “that’s what it was when my band mates didn’t like the new music I was feeling and the dance beat I was following. They left me. I was abandoned in Montreux. Laz shows up, picks me up, throws me around few times, and I found a new attitude. Let it go. ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’

‘Steve walks warily down the street
With his brim pulled way down low
Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet
Machine guns ready to go
Are you ready hey are you ready for this?
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat yeah

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

How do you think I’m going to get along
Without you when you’re gone
You took me for everything that I had
And kicked me out on my own
Are you happy are you satisfied?
How long can you stand the heat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat…’

The Bromleys are not happy and head for the door. The audience cheers their departure. A few adventurous souls replace them in front of the stage and start disco dancing. Freddie is ecstatic. Brian May grits his teeth.

“Well,” Freddie announces. “I had to get my band back. And show them that I would never give in. I wrote ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ and it worked.”

Freddie sits at the piano and rips it.

‘Tonight I’m gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive
And the world I’ll turn it inside out, yeah
I’m floating around in ecstasy
So, (don’t stop me now)
(Don’t stop me)
‘Cause I’m having a good time, having a good time…

I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball
(Don’t stop me now)
If you wanna have a good time (alright)
Just give me a call
(Don’t stop me now)
‘Cause I’m having a good time
(Don’t stop me now)
Yes, I’m havin’ a good time
I don’t want to stop at all

La-da-da-da-dah
Da-da-da-ha
Ha-da-da, ha-ha-ha
Ha-da-da, ha-da-da-ah’

Songwriters: Freddie Mercury

Don’t Stop Me Now lyrics © Queen Music Limited

The band is totally into it. The audience is seeing for the second time that night their favorite band doing a 180 degree change of direction. So far, so good.

Brian May comes to the mic, mumbling and getting off topic, but recognizes that time changes everything.

“Hell,” he states, “I’m a dad.”

The audience cheers him; they are definitely on the dad’s side.

“It’s not like we’ll stop playing rock anthems. We just don’t tear up hotel rooms anymore.”

“We never did that,” Freddie argues.

“Shut up, Freddie. Don’t blow my image,” Brian demands. “Next song, ‘We Will Rock You.”

Roger Taylor hits the bass drum. The flash pots go off behind him. The audience jumps to their feet

‘Buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise
Playing in the street, gonna be a big man someday
You got mud on your face, you big disgrace
Kicking your can all over the place, singin’

We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you

Buddy, you’re a young man, hard man
Shouting in the street, gonna take on the world someday
You got blood on your face, you big disgrace
Waving your banner all over the place’

No pussy-footing around. The next song is ‘Champions’

‘I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

And we mean to go on and on and on and on.

We are the champions…’

Freddie paces back and forth as Roger thunders on the drums.

“Here’s a song from the way back when it took all you had to ‘Keep Yourself Alive.’

‘Give me everything I need
To feed my body and my soul
And I’ll grow a little bigger
Maybe that can be my goal
I was told a million times
Of all the people in my way
How I had to keep on trying
And get better every day..

It’ll take you all your time and a money
To keep me satisfied
Keep yourself alive
Keep yourself alive
All you people keep yourself alive
Take you all your time and money honey
You will survive

Keep you satisfied’

Songwriters: Brian Harold May

Keep Yourself Alive lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Freddie keeps cranking out the old Queen hits, ‘Tie Your Mother Down,’ ‘Fat Bottomed Girls,’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ The fans are rocking in their seats. I get bored and climb up in the rafters to sit with my puppeteer. We plot how easily I can swing down on the wire and shake up the performance. I cannot do that to Freddie. He literally brought me back to life.

On stage Freddie starts singing the love song written by Brian May, ‘Save Me.’

Who do I have?
Heaven and hell, my friend (my friend)
I won’t shed a tear
Let them see me in pain again

Hello, from the dark side in
Does anybody here wanna be my friend? (my friend)
Want it all to end
Tell me when the fuck is it all gon’ end?
Voices in my head telling me I’m gonna end up dead

So save me, before I fall
So save me, I don’t wanna die alone
So save me, before I fall
So save me, I don’t wanna die alone

Save me, save me, save me
I can’t face this life alone
Save me, save me, oh
I’m naked and I’m far from home’

copyright Reinhold Mack & Queen

At the chorus, ‘Save Me!’ I launch myself from the rafters. I fly across the top of the stage with outstretched arms like a crucified saint. I am yanked upward when the chorus ends. I return every time the ‘Save me!’ lyric is repeated. On the final ‘Save Me’, I swoop down, picking up Freddie and we are whisked up and away from the stage.

“Why are you harassing me?” he asks as we stand in the rafters.

“That song needs saving.”

“How dare you interrupt my show?”

I kiss him passionately, high in the rafters where no one else can see. I whisper, “somebody to love.”

Holding him tightly, I push off and rapidly fly back onstage, depositing Freddie at the piano. He is breathless from fear of flying and my unexpected kiss. He bangs out the opening to ‘Somebody to Love,

‘Anybody, anywhere, anybody find me somebody to love love love!
Somebody find me, find me love’

Songwriters: Freddie Mercury

Somebody To Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I sit with Freddie as he sings, flying up and away as soon as he finishes.

He immediately goes into ‘You’re My Best Friend’

‘You’re making me live

You’re my best friend’

I fly back above the stage crisscrossing through the air with outstretched arms as Freddie sings to me. My puppet master purposely drops me almost to the stage. Freddie is seriously shocked that I am free falling and rushes to catch me. I stop the instant he catches my body. We kiss again. I am yanked up and away.

“Love is so fleeting,” Freddie tells the audience and walks away. The stage lights go dark. Real emotions touch many hearts in the audience. The applause is thunderous and will not cease without an encore.

The lights come back on. Freddie and the band reemerge. They play ‘Bicycles.’ The audience is not happy. No second encore. Freddie rides offstage.

No one leaves. Finally, David comes out with Freddie, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. For the third time Bowie’s new single, ‘Yassassin’ is played by the Turks with the Sufi Dervish spinning around them.

Bowie bids everyone good night. “Thank you for supporting our cause to help immigrants be accepted everywhere. We hope to take this show on tour. Did everyone have a good time?”

There is lots of applause.

“Do you feel friendlier toward immigrants?”

A loud ‘Yes’ resounds.

Mission is accomplished.

The Boss Band is again outside at the card table selling our single-sided single. Mike is besieged. I have several journalists asking if I really am the new Ziggy Stardust.

“The point tonight is David has moved on. Having a teenager replace him is his perfect solution. He needed to change without disappointing those fans who identify with the other-worldliness of being an alien.”

“Have you always been a Bowie fan?”

“As long as I can remember.”

“How do you know Michael Jackson?” the real celebrity.

“He has been living with Bowie since ‘The Wiz’ wrapped.”

“Does he mind just being a drummer in your band?”

“It’s all our band. That’s more important than being a star. Ask Michael,” I shut down the questioning.

All the singles are sold. We still have the final performance to do. Dealing with reporters is exhausting. Getting back on stage soon is a welcome jolt of energy.

We played pretty much the same show with high wire antics and flash pot to provide Queen fans a stadium atmosphere. Only one difference between the two Saturday shows was significant. Freddie ended the Queen set with his own Arabic/Muslim song, ‘Mustapha.’ He noted on stage that he had composed it as a young Muslim as a sort of prayer. It mostly repeats the title over and over.

Most people backstage thought the song was an authentic addition to the theme of immigrant acceptance. Some felt we were asking too much of a white Christian audience. Freddie said the band helped him record it for Queen’s ‘Jazz’ album but is reluctant to perform it live. So much for tolerance.

Everyone was exhausted after four shows plus street busking in the last 30 hours. They all plan to go to the Bolton’s again for drinks to end the evening.

It is Saturday. I am still a teenager. No way will I just grab a beer and go back to the hotel. I lead Mike, Jack, Emile and Amar off to the 100 Club on Oxford Street. As we walk in, Siouxie runs up and puts me in a huge hug. She is about my age, fairly tall and totally tricked out with cat eyes mascara and a totally black layered outfit.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she effuses.

“You were great,” I answer. “Why thank me? You have great talent.”

“Bowie is my only real idol. It saved my life after I saw him on TV when I was in hospital. I was 14 then.”

“Are you okay?”

“I had an ulcer. I was a teenager.”

“Do you have a band?”

“Yeah, we’re the Banshees.”

“Great name. When are you playing?”

“In about an hour. Want to go on with us?”

“Sure. What’s one more show?”

“Follow me,” She heads backstage.

All four of us follow and soon we are having beers in the Green Room.”

“Don’t tell your dad,” I order Amar and Emile.

They like a little rebellion from Popa Mustafa’s ever-watchful eye all weekend. Amar is totally drunk before finishing a bottle. Emile takes him under his wing and they sit in the corner giggling.

“You ain’t the boss of me,” they sing sporadically for no apparent reason. I know they know more songs. The Banshees find them amusing. Siouxie tells them we will play our one song at the beginning of their set. She is the Boss.

I bring her a beer and we sit cozily on a bench with Mike on my other side.

“You’re the new Ziggy,” she giggles. “I think I love you.”

“That’s a Partridge Family song, “I jump up and start singing. The Banshees think I am insane and start throwing things at us. Siouxie does the back up ‘I think I love you’s’

“That is a new low for the 100 club,” someone shouts.

Siouxsie gives me a kiss. Something goes ‘bing boing’ up my spine. My testosterone is back!

Mike laughs. Jack looks distressed.

“I’m in love with a Banshee,” I tell Mike.

“Have you told her you are a Zombie.”

“We’re just getting to know each other.”

Our tryst is interrupted when it is time to go on stage. We hold hands as we leave the Green Room. I whisper to her not to get her hopes up too high because I don’t get ‘it’ up, due to testosterone insufficiency.

“Are you sick?” she asks.

“I was in a coma for year and a half until four weeks ago. It’s a side effect but will eventually go away.”

“Oh, so having a hot chick to sing with doesn’t get your hard?”

“Depends how hard she’s working it.”

“Then, I’ll be king and you’ll be my queen.”

“We gonna do ‘Heroes’ together?’

“Yeah, except I’m Bowie.”

“I’ll be your dolphin.”

“We can be Heroes forever and ever.”

We run up to the Banshee’s set up.

Someone yells, ‘Don’t touch those amps.”

Amar yells back, “You ain’t the boss of me.”

Emile hits a horrible bass note. Jack pretends he is Jimi Hendrix and distorts the sour bass note toward sweetness. I grab a guitar and turn it sweeter. Emile flashes his killer grin. Every punk teen chick falls instantly in love.

Amar sings our song

‘You ain’t the boss of me

I’m not who you see

To be what I can be

I need to feel free

You tell me when to come or go

I feel tossed to and fro

Listen to all your rules

I’m not one of your tools

You say ‘your house, your rules

My way or the highway’

I’ll see you when I can

This is when it all began

Miss me, hah

Need me, nah

Love me, hah

Rid of me, nah’

We omit the Na na na na nan nahs. We are just the opening band. I am not going to steal thunder from the new boss of me, Siouxie.  I see MacGowan lurking in the back.

“Get up here, MacGowan. We’re doing open mic until the Banshee’s are ready to play.”

Siouxsie does not care. She is still riding the high of singing with her idol, David Bowie.

I sit at the piano and pick out the notes to ‘Waltzing Matillda’

Shane does a spoken folk/walking blues story of the Aussie World War I disaster.

“Yer a sad sack, Shane MacGowan. Let Siouxsie cheer up the crowd.”

We step off the stage and cheer as our new best friends, The Banshee’s, take over with their hit, ‘Hong Kong Garden’

The driving beat gets everyone excited, pushing, shoving, while solo punks jump around on their personal imaginary pogo sticks. The room gets instantly hot with kids crashing into each other.

Siouxsie’s set rushes through a dozen songs that never slow down. Nobody wants to waltz with Matilda. Shane leans against the back wall, thinking he is the cause of the chaos. Mission accomplished.

At the end of her set, Siouxsie calls me back on stage.

“This is the new Ziggy Stardust,” she introduces me, and the band plays ‘Heroes,’ not exactly the message Bowie wants people to know. Kids respond to other kids, so I act out as the dolphin to Siouxsie. She is the boss of me as we sing to each other. She insists she is King. I can be Queen, ‘just for one day.’

The crowd takes a break from thrashing. Amazingly, most punks know the words, echoing them as we sing. I look over and Jack is playing a bassy rocking guitar. The boy has talent.

My next thought has me in shock: how to get a bed for me and Siouxsie. Cart before the horse. The groin swelling tells me the testosterone is BACK! Life is about to get complicated. Mike grabs me as we leave the stage.

“You seem strange,” he comments.

I look at the bulge below my belt and start singing, ‘People are Strange.’

Mike fixes my bulge with a sharp flick of a finger. Normality quickly returns.

“No wood in my presence,” he orders. Thoughts of kicking Jack to the wolves seem unlikely.

The club is shutting down. Siouxie tells us the afterparty is a squat South of the River (Thames).

“I ain’t gonna squat when I need to do it,” I complain.

“It’s easier than sitting,” Amar is an expert on primitive plumbing.

“Jeez, hicks from the sticks,” Siouxie laughs. “A squat is an abandoned building.”

“Will they have papier toilet?” Emile tries to follow the conversation.
“Just follow me,” she is exasperated. “Stop thinking about your butts.”
 
We all pile in an old WW II black sedan and drive to South London. The squat is a walk-up flat with lines for electric and water strung up the stairs. Half the Banshees go off to a closed room. The looks on their faces tell me they are looking for drugs. I steer Amar and Emile in the opposite direction.
“How old are these boys in your band?” she asks. 
“These two are 15,” I point to them. “The rest of us are 19.”
“I’m 20, since last year. I remember what it’s like. Dark rooms, scary people, not ready to be evil.” She flashes her Banshee grimace.
“I’ll be 20 in a few days. Is there really a big difference?”
“You’re no longer a kid. Wanna come find out?” she grabs me by the hand.
“Nah. I think I’ll stay a kid for as long as I can.”
“You’re a real Ziggy,” she moans. “Ziggy the Pinhead.”
She leaves me to find her bandmates.
 
“We gotta leave,” Amar announces. “My dad will pull me from the tour if he finds out I was drinking and hanging out where there were drugs.”
Emile looks terrified, too.
Where is the testosterone when I need it to take a risk? Not tonight. And, I am not looking forward to seeing Siouxsie stoned. We walk out on the streets of Lambeth to find a cab. No need to kick Jack to the curb tonight. Mike looks disappointed in me. I run back in and drag Siouxsie out to the cab. She is totally fucked up and promptly passes out. The cabbie tells us we pay double if she vomits.


Next: https://timatswim.com/7-blog-33-return-to-ithaca/