Supergroup grope 


Editor's note: Due to an editing error, last week's Blister was fouled up beyond belief and totally unreadable. The responsible parties have been flogged. You can find the unadulterated version online at http://www.orlandoweekly.com/blister/index.asp, or write the whole thing off and start fresh with this week's offering. Your choice.

Ever feel like you're the last to know, the runner-up, a proverbial spitball to the back of the head of relevance? Has anyone ever written anything for you, like that you're the wind beneath their wings, all cold there in their shadows, awaiting the breadth of Bette Midler's bosom to soothe your impertinence? Sure, it's a necessary evil that every prima donna have a fat-girl friend named Donna to boost her ego, but said humble pie squirts out as fast as it goes down. And is that really fair?

Well, at the rock & roll zeppelin known as the Velvet Sessions -- the monthly schmooze and smooch that occupies the last Thursday of each 30-odd day gestation -- everything's fair. Celebrated, even.

Hotel honcho Lou Carrier seems unduly cautious of my intrusion here, even though it is he who is wearing hip-huggers with martini glasses ironed on each ass cheek. He suspects that I may find some journalistic integrity this time around, unlike other Velvet forays in which I've slouched my way back into an '80s guitar solo, foot firmly planted in my mouth while still cleverly wiping my nose.

It's irrelevance beneath my wings. That's all.

Slated for tonight's affair is some sort of supergroup conflagration involving Deep Purple and Chili Peppers run-off for realtor types to talk over, obnoxiously. Already drunk, and already done in for, I endure some chatter about how much of a slut I am from my favorite Hard Rock publicity lady, whose British accent makes everything sound like a compliment. Oh, I'm a slut! Thanks.

Following a series of reminiscences best not remembered (like most of my life), I'm escorted to a VIP couch situation to throw some tape-recorder action in the face of almost-legend Glenn Hughes.

Hughes was in Deep Purple and Black Sabbath (but was never actually Ozzy Osbourne), and currently makes hay as a collaborative musician type with a résumé of secondhand smoke.

"I just love Orlando, No. 1. And also, I just love this hotel and I love playing here," he answers the silent, "Why?"

Hughes is set to play with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith -- y'know, the drummer -- and is characteristically in awe of his musical prowess. I'm more in awe of his resemblance to Will Ferrell.

"Chad and I started working together about a year ago, when I was playing with a side project at a convention." He plays conventions. "He's the heir apparent to John Bonham. To have Chad Smith play with me in any format is a blessing."

In a Will Ferrell disguise. Anyway, I love Glenn Hughes, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the blue-black middle-part swung over (yet another) British accent; better yet, maybe it's the Spinal Tap comments like, "Rock & roll, it isn't meant to be totally serious. It's supposed to be fun. When it becomes serious, it isn't fun."

Hail, hail rock & roll.

"What I would tell people coming out now, the younger generations like Linkin Park, stay true to the soul of what you started, and try not to fall into the boxes that people try to put you in," he sages. "I'm not run by money. I'm really not. I really want to try and walk the spiritual path in everything I do." The Deep Purple, Satanist, Black Sabbath spiritual path, then. Sign me up.

For now, though, said purple path leads to a green room where I'm to sit with Smith. In between taming his 10-ish child and talking about theme parks, Chad (who has never been either Anthony Kiedis or Flea) imparts bits of wisdom while I flirt. Visions of socks and penises fill my mind, while my recorder gently weeps.

"I'm a big shareholder in the Hard Rock. Me and Dan Aykroyd and some guy named Pete ..." he confuses me, like I like them to. "And I'm talking shit."

"I've got shit," I secretly look down. He must really like me. The conversation, scriptedly, veers to music industry concerns and (kill me now) "American Idol"-atry.

"That's not so good, I don't think. The whole reality thing ..." he loses himself to reality. "What we do is real. This is all very fabricated. The thing that's scary to me is that people are liking it. It kind of scares me that, yeah, this kind of thing is OK. There's no development of the artistry."

And here I bring up Van Gogh, nips and tucks, and fall into my typical pattern of ramble, while his son flips in an ADD parade around the room.

"The adults are talking over here!" he screams at his kid.

What adults? What talking?

"There has to be some substance behind what you do," he substantiates. "It's part because society is so 'I want it now.'"

Mmmm, substance. I want it now! Um, what kind of pill/powder/elixir is that?

Well, it certainly doesn't come in the form of Chris Kirkpatrick (who has never been Justin Timberlake). He's here for no apparent reason, and -- again for no apparent reason -- somebody grabs my arm to talk to him.

"I know you!" I slur.

"Um, you've changed your hair?"

Um, no I haven't. Anyway, Chris gets me thinking about totem poles and being low on them -- a subject I'm very familiar with (check the layout of this very column last week, natch). Welcome to the short bus, Chris. Tell me about your failed clothing line, etc.

"I took the clothing line away, because I couldn't do it. I didn't understand the business very well, you know. It was fun while it lasted." Lather, rinse, repeat. "Now it's over, so I've got to move on."

To, yawn, an 'N Sync reunion, then?

"Oh, yeah. The thing is, we're all doing our own little projects now," he projects little. "Justin's gone crazy and JC's gone nuts with his stuff."

Crazy and nuts, I hobble toward my exit only to be stopped by some hair-flipped male version of the Barbie Twins (who have never been the real Barbie Twins). They like me.

"Are you Billy Manes?"

Used to be.

"We love your stuff. You tell it like it is. You tell the truth."

And I hear nothing. It is cold in my shadow. Squirt.


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