But anyway, have to start with the best:
Tuesday, November 30th. Woke up in my kitschy cool Best Western Hollywood Hills Hotel Room - those of you who know my obsession with classic films and Jimmy Stewart will appreciate this.
Went for breakfast with my friends at the equally kitschy cool Cafe 101 downstairs. Talked about how excited we were for the show, what we've been doing over the past few days (I'll get to it!).
Lots of my friends went to go wait in line for the concert even though it was like 3PM and the doors were at 7PM. Normally, I would have joined them as I did at the Warfield. Nothing like being at the front barricade. But because I had my photo pass and would be in the photo pit for the first three songs, there was no point. I'd be sorta screwed out of a good spot afterward anyway.
So I went and met up with some other friends at the bar Dillons at Hollywood and Vine - some I hadn't met before, some it was a reunion... it was fun, and $3 Blue Moons can't steer you wrong... OR CAN THEY?
Anyhoo, after that I went to meet another friend of mine at the W hotel and had some more beers with him and his neat friends in the lobby. Then it was off to get my photo pass at the venue. So much excitement in the air! Then everything was extra exciting when I was given my all access working pass - Xmas came early!
After a quick jaunt to Baja Fresh for much needed food (hadn't been able to eat much all week due to nerves), we went into the venue through the back.
First things first though - I had to pee! And where was the nearest washroom? Why in the band's dressing room. There was no one in there so I figured, why not? And you know what? The rumours are true... there really were a shit ton of fluffy white towels all over the place. It was also pretty cool to see those suits hanging along the wall of the room, waiting to make their final appearance that night.
Anyway, after using FNM's loo, we made our way downstairs to the stage where we saw Bill watching the openers Creepy Creeps. We said our hellos, then decided to catch the opening action from the VIP balcony. More free beers thanks to my overly generous friends.
Then it was showtime - into the photo pit I went. By the time they played Everything's Ruined as their third song, I was in a tough dilemma whether to rock out or take photos... I did a bit of both.
After my three songs were up, I was faced with the new dilemma of where to watch the show. The crowd, though a bit lackluster, was swarming and I didn't feel like getting moshed on with all my equipment. And so, I had the chance to watch the band again from the side of the stage, just as I did in Finland.
This wasn't my first choice... you do feel a bit removed from this position, however the side stage at the Palladium is very open so I had a nice unfettered view of the band - really couldn't get any better than that. Plus, no one squishing into me.
Except Kirk Hammet of Metallica, Scot Ian of Anthrax, Matt Wallace (who produced The Real Thing, Angel Dust, among others) his sweet wife Melodie (perfect name, eh?), Danny Devito and Jerry Cantrell.
Yes, that was my company. Talk about feeling like a fish out of water! I actually texted my bf while I was standing next to Jerry. Now my bf does not get starstruck over ANYONE but he loves Alice in Chains and Jerry, so he texted back "OMG TELL HIM I LOVE HIM AND I LOVE HIS GUITAR TONE!"
Naturally I told Jerry this. He was very appreciative, a very nice man. Hasn't aged a day, looks great.
Also had a chance to talk to Matt's wife who promised to share me studio stories about the making of Angel Dust, how Faith No More reunited in her living room, how she's known Patton since he was a 21 year old punk... really cool stuff.
Then of course there was Danny Devito. He was standing next to me at the end. And I couldn't help but tell him how much I loved him in Ruthless People (shut up, it's a good film - Judge Reinhold!) and of course Romancing the Stone et all. He was nice though I was probably distracting him from the concert. Then I said "So can't wait to see Always Sunny in Philadelphia at Coachella" and he said, "Yup, we'll be there."
There's a scoop for ya! Though I thought their appearance was pretty much guaranteed.
More memories from side stage... watching everyone wave their arms for "Just a Man" and being absolutely floored by Patton's performance of "This Guys in Love With You."
Oh, I did manage to take this cellphone photo*...
Then the show was over - party time! We waited for the band to be ready (waiting with Metallica, Anthrax, Alice in Chains.. kind of surreal...I'm not gonna lie) and piled into the little back room they had for the friends and family. This was a fairly small event which was cool. I remember seeing all of Bill's family there which was neat - his brother is super nice and I was like, "well you've got to be Bill's brother." Looks exactly like him.
Funny moment - I was reaching for chips and dips just as Puffy was. I said hello and was about to say "Remember me" when Puffy said (in that utterly sly way of his) "I remember you! You tried to get our lead singer drunk."
PHffff. Where did he get that impression from?
Oh right. Well, I didn't force him to drink the stuff.
Anyway, from this point in I had more beer and my memory gets a little spotty. But here's what I do remember: I remember talking to my friends who were also backstage with passes, I remember talking to Tim about this and that, Finland, our crafty friend Svetlana, I know I was discussing something interesting with Patton (when I wasn't standing with my back to him for most of the night - yeah, I don't know what was wrong with me). And yes... he remembered me. This time.
We were all backstage for a very long time... in fact my friend and I were the last to leave with Patton and Tim and we walked back to the hotel together. I totally thought a crowd of people would have been waiting outside for Mike when we left but no one was there, which was kind of strange. So, back to the hotel...that's when the crew thought it would be a good idea to get the hotel to open the bar... even though it was almost 4AM. THANKFULLY the hotel had the sense to not open the bar at that hour for a group of drunk rockstars (and a drunk rock journalist). That would have been chaos.
It was late anyway... I was walked home back to my hotel at about 5AM. An epic** night.
*I know this post is lacking in photos - would you believe I just didn't take any? Even though I had several cameras on me lol. I guess you could say I was soaking it all in, which isn't a bad thing, but it turns out... I really should have taken some photos, just to remember the little things. Oh well. My friend did take photos... me backstage talking to people (Patton, maybe, I don't know), and I know there's a photo of me on the side stage with Jerry Cantrell. But I think the photos are being held for ransom ;P
I did take some pictures the last night though... and that post is coming up soon.
**need to stop using this word.
PS Did I mention I finished writing the sequel to my book while I was in Palm Springs (right before I left for LA)? 92,000 words baby! I'm a super proud parent... can't believe I've written TWO books in the course of one year... that's nutty! Maybe I'm not the epic** procrastinator I thought I was. Nah...