[Ed. Note: There is some...profanity in this piece and by some, I mean a lot, but it's so entertaining, I decided to leave it as is instead of edit the swear words out. So, if you want a peek into one crazy night in L.A. at an Eagles of Death Metal show, I think you're going to like what we have here. Just don't say you weren't warned about the language in the piece..]
"Whatever you're doing tomorrow night, CANCEL IT," said the text from my friend Meaghan. When you're a legendary party monster, you don't stop to ask why you should clear your schedule, you just do it. So I lied my way out of plans to put on a small black dress, snakeskin shoes and head down to where unemployable music snobs could catch a break back in the days of record stores.
For one night only, the space that used to house Tower Records on the legendary Sunset Strip would reopen to celebrate the release of Colin Hanks' Tower Records documentary All Things Must Pass.
So, to be clear, I didn't see the film. I probably won't see it until it comes out on Netflix and I can get so high that I probably fall asleep in the middle of it. This is a party review 'cause partying is the thing I do best and clearly the essence of what it was to work at Tower Records.
"Do not be late," the second text said. This would typically irk me, but as I'm getting older and softer, I make sure I am ready and in line by 8pm. The fact that I did this is as monumental as the idea of a documentary on a dearly departed record store.
I know I am supposed to tell you that once they allowed people inside the premiere party the pearly party gates parted and waves of good looking people partied like it was 1973. It wasn't. It was sort of fucking boring. The old Tower Records parking lot was fashioned into a makeshift stage for Eagles of Death Metal to perform later in the evening. The inside of the former record store and place where my youth went to die was made to look like a budgeted club version of a record store.
The entire setup was fucking weird and can be broken down into four categories: food, tunes, booze, and art. The food was Asian inspired fare that seemed more high end than record store. It tasted fine and, as you suspect, was worse when I barfed it up on somewhere down Sunset later in the night. The booze was provided by Jack Daniels and PBR, so at the very least I knew I could drink my way through the worst of situations. One corner of the room housed original rock n roll art moments while the opposite corner, an artist focused on painting the facade of Tower Records the way I remembered it frommy tween years (did we even have tween years in the 90s; someone send me a memo on this). And the tunes, which really was the only reason to be there, did not fail to impress.
Everyone was waiting for Eagles of Death Metal to go on, but I was perusing the vinyl on display. Except a dude next to me leaned over and whispered into my ear. I braced myself for what I thought would be my reason to put him in a chokehold. Instead, he didn't say anything weird, but rather, told me the records I was going through were free. FREE. Mother fuckin' free. So I started rapidly pulling albums as though I were shoplifting, the same exact way my friends used to when I would pretend to slip, fall and expose a tit. It was a glorious time.
Like all good things, one mother fucker told another mother fucker until a lot of mother fuckers were trifling through the record selection, elbowing each other and snatching shit out of hands. Which was when I made my way to the bar to drink my way through the time I would have to spend until Eagles of Death Metal went on.
Then. My. Phone. Died. It fucking died. This is like the millennial version of The Great Depression. What the fuck would I do if I didn't have my phone to capture photos of the awesome thing I was doing. A thing that would make all the people who follow me on social media jealous that they were stuck at home with their proverbial dicks in their hands. WHAT EVER WOULD I DO???
No. I didn't collapse into a puddle and fall apart. I just walked out of the damn party and over to a gas station. I purchased an off brand, hot pink charger and shot the shit with the clerk while electrical currents brought my phone back to life, as though it were Jesus on the third day. I smoked a joint and headed back to Tower Records where three bogus, bumbling Deputy Sheriffs jerked each other off like the dickwads they are, and I attempted to make my glorious re-entry into the party.
I waved my all access wristband at the fucknut working the entrance. Access denied. No ins and outs. I was going to throw myself off the closest cliff (which realistically was a quick drive to Malibu Canyon) when some metalhead kid yelled that EODM were taking the stage. I stumbled around to the side street where the real crowd had congregated. A long haired yahoo pressed his face between the iron clad bars of the haves and havenots exclaiming a hearty, "Wooo." A dude in a Queens of the Stone Age shirt handed me his flask as the band began to play. I didn't bother to ask what was in it and took a swig. I was finally where I belonged.