Oh boy, the older I get (proclaims I, of 37 years), the more likely I am to nap or go to bed early. Back in the day? Say, from fifteen to about thirty-five? I could party ALL NIGHT LONG! If I was invited to go check out an up-and-coming DJ with My Good DJ Friend and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue (yes, you read that right), no matter how late, I’d jump at the chance to go get wild on the dance floor (oh yeah, I got moves and mingle with the late night crowds.
Now, Loyal Reader, I’m all kinks and stiff creaks…
Now, I’d rather just slink away and get some good sleep…
Watching My Good DJ Friend and one of The Best Drummers in the World get ready to leave for their party, I start to think that I should reconsider and join them. Really. My wife and I have been invited. It’s the polite thing to do. When will we ever get the chance to hang out with Tommy Lee’s posse? I should take my lovely girl by the hand and sweat the night away, thumping to the bump of some soul-shaking bass. Hell, we’ve been through the dance scene before and though I feel a million miles from it, we’re still young and vibrant (thirty is the new twenty, right?). I should want to go get my groove on. We still own the night (right? Ha!). We still rule! (shout it loud!)
Alas, midnight does me in.
And the deeper the night gets, twelve-thirty, one AM, the more I find myself looking into my wife’s eyes and wishing we were both at home, curled up on the couch, watching our DVR. (Good gosh, I love my girl)
What have we become?
Damn you, responsibility!
Backing up some, Loyal Reader (BTW – how you been?), we just got back from Las Vegas wherein the little miss and I caught a flight, checked out Motley Crue’s killer Vegas show, then caught a flight back. It was a nice getaway. We had us some much needed fun.
(The force is strong with the Crue)
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is a monolithic monument to music. Yeah there are slot machines and card tables and all that, but every square inch of the(visible) building is decorated with iconic memorabilia. Art installations adorn the walls, fill hollows, or free-stand in handsome glass cases. They display a huge array of artists, from Elvis Presley to Slipknot, with signed cymbals, and signed guitars, and signed, authentic drum heads, and signed photos with looping documentaries on video screens. I’m a huge sucker for music trivia and I loved taking it all in. The lights, no clocks, the layout, the ebb and flow of gamblers, the casino stranglehold, give the collection an endless feel – it looks much bigger than it actually is. Still, the pieces that they have on display are of museum quality. It’s more than a hotel, it’s a cultural experience!
Our room had a brooding picture of Elvis (which I’ve seen a million times before) and a nice framed bio on Blondie. Everything was leather and studded. Four goat skulls joined together in odd configurations on the wallpaper. All surfaces were slick and mirrored. It was a very manly look. Rob Halford would have been right at home I think.
Same goes for the whole place. It’s all very ROCK. And even cooler, what with Motley Crue’s residency (the band is playing the Hard Rock’s venue, The Joint, for three weeks), instead of oldies, and pesky kids, or annoying Vegas gambler types, there were lots of aging metal heads, lots of denim, and lots of faded tattoos. The clientale worked to authenticate the rock vibe.
Who ever dreamed up this residency idea is a genius. Especially at the Hard Rock where the marketing fuses with the decorum effortlessly (Motley Crue’s name and image is EVERYWHERE). This type of stint is nothing new, but generally you’d expect a Celine Dion or Cher type act. Rather than playing an indefinite gig (like our earnest divas), why not let rock bands set up shop for a month or two? I think more artists will follow in Motley Crue’s footsteps. Instead of touring, why not have the crowd come to you? Instead of breaking down the stage every night, why not build something special, put on a show, and play to a single room for a month or so? Forget traveling. It’s win-win for everybody involved.
The crowd in attendance at the Crue show loved it.
My good DJ Friend, DJ Aero, works with Tommy Lee. When Motley Crue takes a break, Aero works with Tommy on Methods of Mayhem and a variety of dance, side projects. They tour together. If they hit your town, be sure to go, they put on a great show.
Anyway, Mr. Aero is a class act. Tommy Lee too. They hooked us up with incredible seats (the best in the house). We met with Aero and his wife and another friend and had a nice dinner at Nobu (which should just be called $$$), and then were given the white glove treatment at the Motley Crue show. I got a sick little thrill waving my VIP laminate in the air whilst bypassing the humongous line of fans waiting to get in.
Now, I’ve never been a huge Motley Crue guy. They were a little before my time and by the time I developed one of those awful things everyone gets in their teens, you know, a personality, I had somehow gravitated to Alternative rock. For a while there, bands like Motley Crue were even kind of reviled by us Alterna-dorks. Jump ahead a few decades though and blam! Whose songs hold up and whose don’t? Motley Crue fared pretty well. Their dirty rock anthems are everywhere. And they’re catchy. And they’re such a part of our cultural fabric, I can even sing along.
The show was damn terrific. Motley Crue rock hard. They brought the Vegas spirit with stilt walkers, and acrobats, and fire eaters. Sexy-trashy dancers writhed to stripper friendly grooves. Oh, and little people. There were lots and lots of little people doing all sorts of little people things. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Tommy Lee’s drum set rollercoaster monstrosity is not to be missed – the madman flailed away as his entire kit did loop-de-loops inside a Super-Looper inspired circular track - it was way awesome.
After the show, we were welcomed backstage to Mr. Lee’s dressing room. Meeting the man, I must admit I was a bit starstruck. Tommy Lee is a genuine pop culture icon. He is a true celebrity. Not a mortal man, but a demi-god. And rightly so, although I think he deserves much more credit for his superhuman drumming skills than for his love life (we will save all that for the tabloids).
I didn’t feel right intruding. Mr. Lee was nothing but the most gracious of hosts. He was super nice to my wife and I, as was his girlfriend, and the handful of people in the room, but, I felt kind of out of place. The guy just played for over two hours (drumming is hard freaking work) and I figured he’d appreciate some downtime to chill. Nope. As more guests filtered back, Mr. Lee was welcoming to all.
Where does the energy come from? Got me. While my wife and I were sinking into a post-show funk (get us to our room…now!), Aero and Mr. Lee were gearing up for round two. Their vigor is…inspiring.
I started to get down on myself thinking about it. Why can’t I hang in there? Why can’t I stay up all night? But, then…well…it’s a lifestyle. That’s what Aero and Tommy Lee do. I wake up early, and teach, and try to hammer out a few words on whatever project I’m working on, then I’m in bed. It’s a very sedentary existence. They play music for a few hours, then network the night away (sometimes playing more music). When looking at it like that, I don’t envy them at all. Partying is hard work.
Thanks again (Chester, Veronica, Donny, my Michelle, Tommy Lee + crew). I had an incredible time!
Rock on, Loyal Reader.