Arts & Culture » Blister




I need a fix. Like Diana Ross singing the blues, I'm dangerously devoid of both heroin and sense, so heading to the Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel all typical pleasantries are out the window, along with last night's drunk arm bracelets and two or three cigarettes. There's a nominally resurrected pop/rock career to witness (The Fixx, ironically), and, dammit, my inner elbow vein is practically blowing a kiss at the prospect. This could be the best night ever. Or the worst.

"Where are you?" my phone rings, then talks.

"It's me, Stockbroker Dave."

Thud. Now, this is what I know of Stockbroker Dave: He's tenacious, he's ridiculous, he likes Duran Duran and he's annoying. He knows it, too, thus surpassing the typical eye-to-eye threshold that clams up most annoying people, and he's here.

When my boyfriend used to drink, and we used to engage in peculiar "get the guest" bouts reminiscent of Edward Albee plays, we met Dave at this very location and Alan pushed me conversationally into him with all due rue. Turns out that Dave is a big Duran fan, if not a small talker, and is a force to be reckoned with for some reason that I cannot put my finger on, or in. I will, on this occasion, attempt to endure his odd capitalist zealotry. Because that's my job, ma'am.

"I'll be right there," I feel some pang associable with guilt. And with that it begins. Dave makes some comments about my resistance to his incessant phone calls on Rio issues, talks about the fact that he's recently shaved his head, annoys and is generally nice. He's out with the owner of recently conspicuous Communist nightspot Red Square, and me, I'm curious.

"Wow, you've been in the news a lot lately," I drop some powder in my drink.

"The thing is," he Scott Stapps (because that's what he looks like), "people mistake the staff for the bar."

Which throws me into a tizzy about what a "bar" actually is. How can three little letters mean so much? Is it shiny? And what's so wrong about a little GHB in your cocktail, especially if you have somebody to drive you home?

Well, what's so wrong is apparently that 50 police officers, on duty and therefore not drunk, crashed his party and closed the place for the night. People talked, opinions formed and the cold war ended. Or something like that.

But he's a nice enough guy; someone who actually attended my ill-fated mayoral debate situation and thought that I did well, sort of. So I'm all about the Gorbachev. Viva la Red Square.

And I have no problem with drugs, I just used to have a drug problem. Totally different.

As usual, I'm in full-on social criticism mode, this time joined by my oldest friend, Taylor. We ditch the dynamic duo of capitalism and communism and head into the bar where he doesn't drink, but I do. I mention movers and their friends, the shakers.

"She shook so much, she shook her cheekbones down," coys Taylor in the general direction of a blond mess decorating the backdrop.

"Yeah, she looks like Bananarama … now!" I mine my standard canon of unlikely insults.

Anyway, something happens that forces us into odd caricature – either the absence of African-Americans or our own fixations with the History Channel – and Taylor says something like, "Wow, this is like All the Reich Moves."

To which I giggle, guiltily, then start talking about the "nouveau quiche" ruining this place. It's all very funny, if mildly offensive, and everything seems to be going fairly well. Everything except the reason why I'm here.

I'm supposed to be meeting up with Cy Curnin, the Fixx singer whose one thing led to another, finding him a kooky hat entrepreneur by the time of his obligatory VH1 revisit. I'm supposed to be connecting with a coordinator named "Eik" which I pronounce incorrectly as "Eeeeek" (it's actually more like an "Ike"), and I feel like an idiot.

Eventually things transpire (as they are known to do) and I end up in a downstairs greenroom with Cy and Taylor and my tape recorder.

"So, are you still doing hats?" I am totally a real journalist.


Etc. In some odd fix from the heavens above, my voice recorder isn't functioning, forcing me to endure some awkward fumbling and stuttering through the standard newsguy failure of the technical variety. Please stand by.

"Oh, that's Roger Taylor from Duran Duran," I try to impress while playing somebody on my player who actually did record.

Cy is predictably unimpressed.

"I've just released my solo album, Mayfly," he offers, which I buy for $20 later and despise.

"But tonight is purely The Fixx."

I try to gain ground by mentioning my favorite tracks from the albums that The Fixx wish they hadn't made in their "other" years … this is what I do, after all … and Cy politely obliges my loser cut-out ministry with its appropriate nothing, adding standard record sales commentary that means just that: precisely nothing.

"Well, we'll see you later," he escorts me out. "When you're drunk!"

"I already am!" I slur in search of an "s" to ruin, and make a point that I ought not make.

But all is not lost. The Fixx perform a perfect (half) set, filling my night with their signature red skies, and Taylor and I have a blast. Sort of, anyway.

"Are you ready?" I quiz him midshow.

"Whenever you are."

We stood. We fell. We're Fixxed. And we're out.

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