One time I was a GoH at a convention in Dublin, Ireland. It was the days when I was skinny and always wore my motorcycle jacket, even if it made me get searched when going to a new country (happened in England, Ireland, and Australia).
The guest list included The Wayne, whose other name I cannot recall. With him were several of his friends, one who was an English politician, and another Irish guy who I figured was a burglar or something. Wayne also went everywhere in his motorcycle jacket. We were all staying in the same hotel and every morning we would leave together and go to the convention
One morning one of the hotel workers came forward and very politely asked, “My friends and I all want to know what group you are.”
We all smiled but I was quickest, “Studs Die Young,” I told him.
“Do you have a record?
“Oh yea, Rubber Room Motel,” I said.
“Number 40 on the Virgin charts,” said Wayne.
“Thanks,” and he rushes off to share the news.
And we went on our way with a chuckle.
Well, we were all staying in Ireland for a few days after the convention. It was Halloween. The burglar guy had the keys to a friend’s house where we were staying now. He asked us, “You guys want some home cooking?”
“Yea, sure” we all said, because we were tired of restaurant food.
“OK,” he says, “Tonight, but on one condition.”
“You have to tell my niece and nephew that we are a band.” Another chuckle
“Yea, sure. Studs Die Young.”
“And there is a party afterwards,” he says.
Sound great! So we take a train to get there and it’s in this row of council houses. They are low cost places and really small inside. The four of us filled the living room. It was almost like a kid’s play house. This is Ireland after all.
The hospitality was good and the food OK and the kids really cute being astonished at their uncle being in a band and all. When we went outside they were lighting off sky rockets and throwing fireworks at each other. At last his sister said, “You guys coming to the disco?
”Yea, we are having a party.” Oh, a disco party. That was a bit dampening but we’d come all this way. To me disco was the lowest of the low music and I’d never been to one before. No biggie though—we are guests here. It’s Ireland after all!
“But we have to go to the pub first.” Because this is Ireland and you never do anything without going to the pub first.
Well, ok for that. Nothing wrong with a couple of beers before a disco party. Over we went, Not far on foot. And in we go and damn if it doesn’t look just like an Irish pub! And everyone in there looked like Irish men and women.
“Sit over there with my friends,” she instruct us. “Ill get some beer.”
So we go and sit down with a couple of her neighbors who look, well, totally Irish. Newsboy hats and work corduroy jackets. Not the kind who go to discos, but the kind who live out their sad little Irish lives living in council houses and pending evenings at the pub.
“So,” asks the guy, “Are you guys the band?”
Holy crap, it’s not just for his nieces and nephews.
“Yea, sure. We’re Studs Die Young.”
“Got a record on the charts, says Wayne, “Number 40 on the Virgin charts.”
“Haven’t heard it,” he says. Now please, you have to remember these guys were all talking with an Irish accent which only makes it way cooler. Accent so thick I only understood half of what he said.
“No? ‘Been to heaven, been to hell, but everyplace we check in is the rubber room motel’.”
The Irish guy chuckled. “Nope, haven’t heard it.”
“You will,” says the English politician.
“What do you play?”
“I’m the singer,” says Wayne. “He lead guitar…” that’s me.
“And back up singer,” I say.
“He’s rhythm,” the politician, “and he’s drums.” We all smiled. Yea, we’d be a great band!
“Can I buy you a beer?” asks our new friend.
“We’ve got some coming here,” we say, and our hostess pours it all around.” The pitcher was empty.
“Well now I can,” says the Irish man. “Hey Kate, come over here. These guys are the band.” Kate comes over. She’s got no front teeth.
“Oh,” says Katy, “Can I buy you a drink? Kevin, you come and meet these guys? There friends of Caitlin’s and in a band.”
“Molly, get another pitcher for these guys.” Now, by this time I am afraid that they will ask us to sing, but no, they just want to meet the band.
“Strange band, aren’t you?” says one person. I’m not quite sure now, because I’ve about six beers. “Two Englishmen, an American, and an Irishman.”
“Oh yea, we’re looking for an Australian so we can have every accent.” They chuckle.
“Fill up that mug. You’re really from California?” I regale them with stories of the land of sunshine and plenty.
Well, when we were six sheets to the wind I am starting to wonder where I am going to go sleep, but Caitlin comes over and rescues us.
“Time to party,” she says, “Cabs are here.”
So we say goodbye to our new friends and stagger out. There’s maybe ten people and us, the band, all tumble into one together. On our way to the disco!
It wasn’t early, and as we pull up some people leaving the disco tell us, “Don’t even get out. They’re full.”
“Let me check,” sais the cabbie. He doesn’t want to lose his fare, figuring he will take us home. Up he goes to the ticket booth, then comes back.
“Are you guys the band?” he asks us.
Yessir damn sure—it’s getting easier to agree with that
“Well, they’re waiting for you,” he says, so we pay him and tip like the drunkards we are and stagger up the sidewalk to the front door.
“Hey, come in your guys. What’s the name of your band again?”
“Studs Die young.”
“Number 40 on the virgin charts.”
“Rubber Room Motel.”
“Well come on , the manager wants to talk to you.” Holy crap, this is getting much deeper. I was thinking that our time had come and we were gonna have to play now. But nope, Wayne does all the talking and ends it with, “We’ll have our agent call you tomorrow.”
“OK boys, go on in now.”
Well, it was a disco with the twirling mirrored ball and all. No band, just records but hell, it’s a disco isn’t it?
“Can we buy you a drink?”
“Yea, sure.” And we find some girls and start dancing. It’s super hot so I take off my coat and tie it around my waist and take off my shirt ‘cuz I’m sweating like a drunkard in a disco and making my inability to stand up straight to fake dancing my foolish head off.
“Put our shirt back on,” Wayne tell me. “Barkeep says he’ll have to throw you out if you’re half naked.” Coat back on.
Someone took the picture of us, Studs Die Young, and there we are, partying it up in the Irish disco. I have no idea who the guy in the back behind Wayne is, not who the girls are.
Well, it couldn’t last all night. Or least we couldn’t. I don’t think we were thrown out. We get a cab again—different guy.
“Who areyou guys?” he says, chatting friendly
“Studs die young, number 40 on the Virgin charts, Rubble Room Motel.”
“Really? Wow, cool! Hey, you guys need a roadie? I’ll be your equipment manager, what say? I hate this job and want to get around, eh?”
“Yea sure,” says Wayne, “We’ll call you tomorrow.” He takes the slip of paper with the poor guy’s phone number on it and when we reach the burglar guys’ friend’s house we pay and tip him like drunkards, stagger into the house and fall down and pass out.
Next day I am back to Dublin University where our hosts, the sponsors of the convention, are waiting. I am still half drunk, I swear, and half dead from hangover.
“Ooh, I tell my friends, “I feel terrible for what we did last night.”
Troubled looks. I can practically hear them imagining broken windows, stolen cars, and kidnapped girls.
“No, nothing that bad.” I explain it to them and as I recount it their grins get bigger and bigger until they are laughing out loud about the poor cabby waiting for his phone call to be a roadie.
“Oh, don’t worry youself,” they say. “You guys come over here and believe every foolish thing we tell you. It’s about time we got some back.” Loud laughter, a slap on the back. So what’ll it be, whisky or coffee?”
“Both, I want an Irish Coffee.” And we do, even though the sun’s not reached noon yet, because, after all, we’re in Ireland.