259. Pale Shelter

In the morning, the wake-up call came ungodly early, which was to say only about four hours after we’d gone to sleep. We were due to be on some morning drive radio show, just me and Ziggy, and he went to his room to change his clothes.

Carynne went with us. A car service picked us up and took the two of us to the radio station. No one else went, just us three.

The interview went by in a kind of blur. The thing I remember most about the radio studio is that everything was covered in stickers, like you could excavate the history of rock and roll by peeling back all the layers. I caught sight of the edge of a sticker that must have been sent around by Charles River way back–the Candlelight logo–already halfway under something else, a symbol I didn’t recognize.

It was a twenty minute segment, which was the length between a commercial break and their newscast at the top of the hour. Twenty minutes goes by incredibly fast. Or maybe it was just that I was so sleepy, and then so caffeinated. All the coffee they gave me didn’t actually make me less sleepy, though, just jittery at the same time.

We went back to the hotel after that, the same car dropping us off as had picked us up, and I was surprised to see Digger awake and in the lobby when we walked in. I went straight to the elevator, but Carynne stopped to talk to him briefly. She caught up as the elevator arrived, and she and me and Ziggy got in together.

“He’s on his way to the hospital,” she said.

“To check on Lacey?” Ziggy asked.

“Yeah, and damage control. So far so good.” She reached out and rapped her knuckles on the wood paneling of the elevator.

“Oh.” Part of me had hoped most of last night was a bad dream. “Should Chris go, too?” I asked.

“He can go later, if they haven’t let her out by then, I guess.” Carynne shook her head. “As long as he’s at soundcheck by three.”

She seemed kind of pissed off, and I was too tired to figure out how to handle that. We got off on our floor and she continued up to the suite level.

“I’m going back to sleep,” I told Ziggy.

“Okay. I’m too awake to, I think. You going to be okay?” he asked.

“Yeah.” A huge yawn cracked my jaw. “See you later.”

“Yeah,” he agreed.

So I went into my room alone. While we’d been out, the maids had come, and the bed was neatly made again. I almost felt bad messing it up and getting back in, but that feeling didn’t last long either, as I conked out quickly.

The next time I woke up, someone was knocking on the door.

It was Bart. “Lunch,” he said. “It’s what’s for breakfast.”

“Speak for yourself,” I said. “I had to do a radio thing at the crack of dawn today.”

“Well, then you can have actual lunch. You want room service or should we go down to the restaurant?”

“Where’s Michelle?” I asked.


“I want to talk about last night, so let’s get room service.”

“Good plan.” He came in and picked up the phone and when I couldn’t figure out what I wanted, he ordered me a burger and fries and the soup of the day. And a slice of cheese cake. For himself he ordered a chicken caesar salad, a side of fries, and a bread pudding.

Turned out what I was picturing as “bread pudding” wasn’t bread pudding at all. I was expecting something like a sponge cake roll, I guess, and where was the pudding? There was nothing custardy about it.

But we had more important things to talk about than my ignorance of dessert.

“She’s going to be okay.” He didn’t have to say Lacey’s name. “They let her go home a little while ago.”

“Does she live here?”

“Or she has a place here, anyway,” Bart said. “And her agent’s got an LA office. I saw Christian talking to him in the lobby. I think Chris went to see her. At her place, not the hospital.”

“Wow. I still can’t believe she just about OD’d right in the middle of everyone like that.”

“I think maybe strictly speaking it wasn’t an overdose so much as a bad reaction, but I don’t really know,” Bart said. “You should definitely talk to him. Chris, I mean.”

“I tried to talk to him last night, but he was still high,” I said. “What am I supposed to say, anyway?”

“Hell if I know. I just know you’re the leader and so you should say something.”

“Er, okay. I guess I’ll try to talk to him before or after soundcheck.”

By the way, mindful of the whole forgetting-to-eat thing, I ended up eating both the burger and the soup, and all the fries. And I worked my way through most of the cheesecake. It had a raspberry topping on it I didn’t care for, so I laid it on its side and ate the bottom and middle.

“I’m afraid to flip on the TV,” Bart said, while he dug through his bread pudding, which was like someone had re-baked a raisin muffin in a soup crock and then slathered it in caramel.


“Your dad has been on spin control non-stop since it happened. We’re kind of fucked if it gets out.”

“Are we?”

“Yeah. You know she’s got this squeaky clean image, right? She’s the cover girl for all these wholesome product lines and stuff. It’s going to be a complete shitstorm of bad PR if it looks like we corrupted her.” Bart lay back on the bed with a sigh.

“We corrupted her? Okay, first off, did we?” I asked, now feeling itchy to put on MTV and see if we were on, good or bad. “I mean, who brought the coke to that party after the video shoot?”

“I hear you. Far as I can tell, she’s the one corrupting us. You know Chris hasn’t done drugs since all the guys in Miracle Mile quit cold turkey?”

“That’s not true,” I said. “He dropped acid with that ska band on Christmas, and there’s weed…”

“Coke, then. He hasn’t done coke since the ‘big conversion.'”

I remembered something then. “He told me half the reason he quit playing with them was they had gone so straight edge they didn’t even drink anymore. And that was too much for him.”

“Yeah, that sounds about right.”

“Shit, what am I supposed to say? Hey, Chris, get back on the fucking wagon?”

Bart shrugged. “Maybe you won’t have to. Maybe this’ll scare him straight.”

“Shit, it’s already scared me straight.”

We both burst out laughing when I said that. I didn’t mean it that way, of course, but it was funny all the same.

I gave in to my itchy clicker-finger and put on the TV. We channel surfed for a while, and I was glad the hotel had cable. Nothing. Not a mention from what I could see, although who was to say that celebrity news would necessarily come around in the hour we watched? Nothing on MTV, anyway, and nothing on CNN from what I could see. And they even did one celebrity segment.

I fell asleep again, which I guess meant I wasn’t worrying too much to nap, and when I woke up Bart was pushing the room service cart into the hall.

“What time is it?”

“Twenty minutes to bus time,” he said. “I’m going to get some stuff from my room.”

“All right.” I changed my clothes, packed dry things for later, and snagged the Ovation before heading downstairs.

(In case you missed it over the weekend, the DGC Kickstarter is launched! For just a $25 pledge, you can pre-order the printed omnibus book, and get some other cool swag besides! Details on the Kickstarter page, here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1458565937/darons-guitar-chronicles-omnibus-book Please tell your friends!)


  • Jude says:

    Fortunately, in the mid-1980s, the Internetz were teeny and most people didn’t know they existed yet. Well, it was pre-Internetz, really. (I had been on an international network playing multiplayer games since ’81, but that was unusual.) If that had happened nowadays, not even Digger blowing every journalist in Hollywood would’ve kept that off Twitter.

  • Emma says:

    And Ziggy leaves again after that beautiful, adorable night, with only a couple of words.
    Oh Cecilia you tease! <3

  • Janie Friedman says:

    Sigh. That’s it? See ya later? Argh. I know, I know…instant gratification junkie… 😀

  • cayra says:

    Now I crave cheesecake. It’s in the middle of the night and tomorrow is Sunday, so no cheesecake for me (there isn’t even a fast-food chain that has cheesecake in this town argh, even less an actual bakery that’s open on Sunday arggghhh).

    • daron says:

      I prefer ice cream, but a good piece of cheesecake can be a whole meal unto itself. Right? It’s about the same amount of dairy and carbs as pizza, right?

  • s says:

    Sadly, it has not been my experience that musicians (specifically because those are the only junkies I’ve been around) may get ‘back on the wagon’ but tend to habitually fall off. Oh, Chris, please don’t be one of those!

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