Feb. 2, 1984. A day that lives in infamy.
I've told this story thousands of times. With Motley Crue in town for their last-ever Pittsburgh concert, it seems appropriate to blog it for posterity's sake.
I wrote a feature on Waysted for a local supermarket paper. Nobody read it, but don't laugh...that gets you free concert tickets and backstage. That's important at 23. Waysted was bassist Pete Way's band. He was out of UFO at the time.
Ozzy Osbourne was the headliner. Waysted opened. Motley Crue was the meat in the sandwich. Crue was touring behind "Shout at the Devil." This wasn't necessarily Motley at its best. But certainly at its most terrifying.
I watched Waysted out front. Crue, too. Then I went backstage to visit. Pete was accommodating as always. So was Fin, Waysted's singer. Fin took me out to the photographer's pit to watch a bit of Ozzy's set. UP CLOSE. Incredible.
Then we adjourned to Waysted's dressing room for a chat. Waysted shared an adjoining bathroom with Crue. I excused myself to use the facilities.
When I walked in, I saw Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx with a girl and...well, let's just say she was the meat in the sandwich. Tommy was snapping Polaroids.
I started backing out of the room, and Tommy said, "Dude, if you gotta go, you gotta go. No problem." Sixx said, "Yeah. She's just some pig anyway." As I used the urinal, Tommy said, "Hey, there's beer in Crue's room if you want one. Pete's out." Incredible hospitality given the circumstances.
Well, it turned out there was beer in Crue's room. Great time. Great guys. Tommy and Sixx made some nobody kid feel at home in a den of sin. I mean that in the best way possible. A great experience. I was in Dio's dressing room not long after, and they were drinking cups of tea. This was ROCK AND ROLL.
This conversation actually took place...
Sixx: "Pete, we should start a band. You and me, two bass players, nobody else. And they pay us in cocaine."
Pete (to me): "Uh, I'm not sure you should be hearing this."
Me: "Why? Are you afraid I'll steal the idea?"
Ever the wise-ass.
This story has a happy ending. Tommy and Sixx were lamenting a paucity of cocaine, and I said, "Well, I know a guy." And I did. He worked at the Civic Arena as a uniformed security guard. I went out in the hall and had another security guard contact him on the radio.
A few minutes later, my friend burst into Crue's dressing room. For a minute, Tommy was PISSED.
Tommy: "Dude, why would you call a cop? You narc'd on us."
Me: "No. He's the guy. He's got it."
A transaction took place. Energy levels were restored.
Sixx: "You got a cop to sell us krell? That's pretty cool."
Nikki Sixx called me "cool." I've lived off that ever since.
So, one more time: SHOUT! SHOUT! SHOUT!