First three pages of another of my forthcoming books called Rock ‘N Roll Mayhem. 1970. Hope it makes you want to read on…
A Maui Wowie rock ‘n’ roll rave about music, sex, and life on the road.
Silent scream loud in my ears, I stared in the mirror at the eyes reflecting the horror of my predicament, the worst part being there was nothing I could do to put it right.
All I could think was that I, a meticulous fashionista, painstakingly put together from backcombed beehive, leopard print mini dress to matching wrinkle pickers, was now minus the leopard print tights – which meant I couldn’t raise my arms without flashing my private parts.
I’d gone up and down the street outside the Rat and Parrot looking for a shop to replace them – even plain black would have been fine at a push. The area was as manky as the pub. Neglected council blocks, metal frames on the balconies to keep out burglars, boarded up shops, drunks propped up in doorways that smelled of urine, two thugs brewing for a fight.
I didn’t mind the two hours and three bus changes in muggy heat to get to the Rat. Even Bangladesh wouldn’t have been too far to watch Streetcrash perform. To me they were rock stars on a par with Led Zeppelin who’d just fallen on hard times. This was their comeback performance after eighteen months of silence. How could I not be there to show support – especially when I had a crush on the lead singer, who was number three on my ‘must shag’ list.
Scream rising from my throat to my mouth, I thumped my fists against the filthy washroom sink. Damn the stallholder in Edgware Road Market who sold me the outfit. I could see his smarmy smile as he tugged at the tights assuring me they were as indestructible as a cockroach and I’d still be wearing them when I drew my pension.
A girl with brassy blonde hair and black roots, sauntered into the washroom and fluffed her hair out in the mirror. Teasing the strawy ends into candy floss, she rolled gum around her teeth, blew a bubble, sucked the gum back in her mouth and sniffed. ‘If you’re on the pull, you should go back where you came from. ‘We don’t like outsiders coming here and stealing our men.’
Taking offence at her assumption that I was in her tatty league, I sneered at her pink lurex skirt, plastic bangles and worn down heels. ‘I’m not interested in tossers so you’ve no worries on that score!’
On the verge of saying something, Brassy changed her mind, shot me a poisoned scowl and defiantly wiggled off.
I was tugging at the hem of my dress seeing if I could force it to get longer when Debs marched in from wherever she’d been for the past fifteen minutes. ‘Honestly, Laura! You’ll never believe what that so called pub manager said.’ Huffing at the sorry state of the sinks, she stomped to a toilet, brought back a loo roll and got to working cleaning them. ‘When I told him women had written obscenities on the walls and asked why no one cleaned them off, he said there was no point because they’d be covered in graffiti again within minutes.’ Debs scrubbed her nails with a brush she carried for emergencies then retrieved a travel size bottle from her hip purse. Tipping disinfectant into her palms, Debs rubbed her fingers. ‘Then, when I told him about the dirty sanitary towel I found on the toilet floor, he said women shouldn’t behave like pigs and pointed smugly to a sign behind the counter which said “We have a five star award”, to which I said, “Who gave you that, the department of filthy sanitary towels?”’ Tutting, Debs wiped her hands on her jeans. ‘I don’t know why you dragged me to this dump when I was happy sitting at home watching Top of the Pops. You know I don’t like heavy metal music but on and on you went …’ She stopped to watch me tug the hem of my dress, still doing everything I could to stretch it. ‘You can’t wear that without tights. Do you know how rude it looks?’
Debs was my best friend but there were times I could strangle her. ’From the second you stormed back in, all you’ve done is go about hygiene when I’m on the verge of having a nervous breakdown!’ I lifted my hem. ‘Would I be as stupid as to take my tights off when the slightest move could reveal this?’ Debs pursed her lips at my fanny. I showed her my gold painted fake nails, long enough to be talons to go with my leopard look. ‘I bloody well snagged them on these and they disintegrated to nothing. It was like watching snakes catch fire.’
Debs sank to her knees to tease down my hem at snail pace as though a slower approach would reap better results. ‘If you didn’t have humungous boobs and such a big bum it wouldn’t look so rude.’ She glanced up my dress, shook her head in defeat then stood to deliver her next bit of useless advice. ‘The answer is to stand with your arms pinned to your sides and remember not to bend over.’ Without realizing, I let out a heavy sigh. ‘My other suggestion,’ she continued, ‘Is that we go home but since you wouldn’t want that, you’d better get used to looking like…‘ Debs waved a hand at my thighs. ‘A leopard with shaved legs.’
I wanted to rattle her skinny shoulders. Debs might not care if she ending up looking like a shaved leopard because she had no fashion sense whatsoever. You only had to look at the clunky army boots she wore – designed for trudging through swamps to know that. ‘I feel like a slag.’ I mumbled.
Deb gave me a prissy smile. ‘You’ve never had a problem with that before.’ She covered her mouth with her hand. ‘The stink in here is giving me a migraine, let’s find somewhere with a bit more air until Streetcrash come on.’