Saturday, March 29, 2008

Guitarist's Best Friend

Date: Thursday, March 27.

Location: Silverlake in Los Angeles, CA

Venue: Spaceland.

Reason: to see my favorite band, the Datsuns.

Who the hell are the Datsuns? You may be asking yourself.They're only the bestest band that's ever come out of New Zealand. I first heard of them over four years ago when I was working in Texas. One night when the husband was visiting, we went to a bar called the Doublewide just outside of the infamous Deep Ellum district in downtown Dallas. In case you can't figure it out by the name alone, the bar's theme was that of a white trash double-wide trailer. The exterior featured a metal "tornado" on the roof. The interior included treasures such as plastic-covered furniture, velvet paintings, cheap Brady Bunch wood paneling on the walls, cheap beer, and the best damn jukebox EVER.

That's where we found them, those wily little Datsuns.

Their debut self-titled album was on said jukebox, and the appeal was immediate just based on song titles alone such as Harmonic Generator (one of my all-time fave songs all around) and MF from Hell. We played those two selections and were hooked.

Fast forward almost a year later, after I'd joined the Derby Dolls.

The Dolls were asked to take part in a video for the Datsuns' followup album. HELL YEAH! we replied. So in one night, a small film crew, an incredible caterer, and the Datsuns showed up to our rooftop track for a marathon 14-hour-or-thereabouts shoot for their song, Girl's Best Friend:

Didja see me?!?! I knocked the drummer off his seat in the middle of the video.

The best part about that was when the shot was set up, he didn't know that he was going to be knocked to the ground. Neither did the rest of the band. Or the rest of the crew outside of the camera dude and director. Neither did the Derby Dolls. So me and another skater, Molly Hatchett, skated around the track a couple of times and then shot off into the infield and straight for the drummer. Knocked him off, and all three of us rolled to the ground. The rest of the band turned around IN SHOCK. The Derby Dolls started cheering. The drummer popped up off the ground very angrily. The director had some 'splaining to do. But everything was smoothed over quickly and we got back to business.

It was hellishly of the best "media" exposures I've personally taken part of. The crew was friendly, the catering spectacular, and the band got a literal crash course in what roller derby, since they didn't have such activities in Kiwiland at the time. They even tried to skate:

They don't come to LA very often, so when they do, we make it a point to see them. So we braved the crapacious parking situation that is Silverlake and slammed down a Sparks to get us in the mood for the evening. The two opening bands were good, so that continued to keep our spirits up.

Then, they started their set. Here's the lead guitarist, Christian:

There's a face somewhere under all that hair.

Didn't get very good photos of Dolf, the bassist/lead singer, or Ben, the drummer.

Then there's Phil:

Phil's always been very approachable and is cute as a button. My favorite conversation with him was at the Rainbow Room on Sunset Blvd. in the parking lot several years ago where he kept poking me in the chest and saying that he could kick my @$$ while wearing roller skates (problem: he can't roller skate). Awwwwwww!

Hey, waitaminute, what's that on Phil's arm?!

A tattoo?

He's not the tattoo type.


What the...?!


I got my grubby little mitts on him during the opening band's set. The conversation went something like this:

Phil(walks up to Red Diabla and gives a hug): Hi!

Red Diabla(hugs Phil back, takes out an earplug out of one ear to attempt conversing while very loud opening band is playing): HI!

Phil: How's it going?

RD: Great! Busy as f***! Can I draw on you?

Phil: What?!?!?!?!

RD: Draw on you. Can I?

Phil: Uhhhhh...

RD: (smiles evilly)

Phil: What are you gonna draw on me?

RD: Gimme something to draw on and you'll find out!

Phil: (sheepishly pushes sweater sleeve out of the way while muttering incoherently)

RD: (pulls out pile of Sharpies) Hold still!

After about five minutes of RD trying to draw in the dark, doodle is complete.

Phil: What is it?

RD: It's a devil chick!

Phil: Oh! Cool!

Husband takes pix of doodle for Phil, but neglects to take pix of doodle AND Phil. He shows Phil the doodle. Phil smiles.

Phil: I'm gonna go show everyone else now!


Phil wanders off, looking a little dazed and confused, as if he'd just been tagged by Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.

After the really good show we said goodbye to Phil. The doodle got some sweat damage, but it was still readable. Phil gave a hug and a smooch on the cheek, and wandered off again.

Cute little booger.


Ken Mitchroney said...

I seem to remember the day you came back to work, raving about these's guy's. Sounds like we all missed out on another fun time.
Nice arm art too! You rock lady.

RedDiabla said...