Jerry Cantrell Live in NYC

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Tuesday, December 3, 2002 @ 12:48 AM

Jerry Cantrell Live at The Wor

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KNAC- I saw Jerry Cantrell tonight with about 500 Frat boys. He was great, but the frat boys almost ruined it for me…this is my revenge-

By Mick Stingley (with apologies to Bret Easton Ellis)

I left the office after Market close and headed directly to the gym. I am wearing a 3-button Hugo Boss black suit and a white Donna Karan Oxford shirt with a forward point collar and a taupe and crimson Brooks Brothers rep tie, a gift from Renee, a girl in the office that has a crush on me and who I am thinking about sleeping with when Eve goes out of town next week. My trousers have a deep break which catches the wind and flutters over over the tops of my Kenneth Cole black lace-up lug boots (my only nod to ‘Dress-down Friday’, which still exists at our company) as I push through the late afternoon rush. I have to return two DVDs that are now a week overdue, (“Wall Street” and “Lesbian Choke N’ Poke”), and are still in my Louis Viutton attaché with the nail gun I bought during my lunch hour at the hardware store off Vesey Street, but will put it off until tomorrow.

I meet Cavendish and Whalen at Crunch, after changing in my usual locker. I am ripped- I have been hitting the free-weights hard for a week-but the afternoon calls for a few light reps and a Stairmaster marathon. Whalen is juicing hard these days, and benching over 200- but the effect on his hairline, which I know he is tinting- is becoming noticeable. Cavendish looks feeble by comparison, benching only half that.

I am listening to some Mike And The Mechanics as Whalen finishes up and towels off in front of me. He is yammering about the concert tonight, but I could care less. Finally, when I pushed myself to the limits of endurance, I take off the headphones of my IPOD and listen to Whalen.

“…and the thing is- even though the singer from Alice In Chains is dead now, I’m sure they’ll do old stuff!”

I thinking about Mike Rutherford and little about tonight’s concert, except for the fact that it’s the only way I can get away from being with Eve- who had wanted me to go to her parent’s for the long weekend, before she leaves for Chicago on business. “Are you even listening Bateman?”

I look at Whalen, who, in the unflattering light of the gym, is covered in forehead acne. “Yeah…sure…the concert. What are you wearing?” He throws me a towel and I catch it, wiping the muscles on my thighs, which are bulging –huge- from my aggressive hard climb. “I’m wearing a sweatshirt from A&F and some old jeans. It’s a rock and roll show, after all.”

I return to my locker, shower and change…I had similar clothing to wear, but still favor my Kenneth Coles. I apply a small dab of Clinique moisturizer to my hands and rub it into my cheeks, as I think it will be windy tonight, and don’t want to dry out. Cavendish is late from his workout and Whalen is chiding him: “C’mon already- we need to get some brews before we get there…and I don’t want to miss the show!”

We move quickly in a cab with Cavensdish in front and myself and Whalen in back. Whalen is cursing the driver for going up Sixth- but it doesn’t matter as the traffic is pretty light anyway. Cavendish is asking the driver- a ‘towelhead’- about his country and giving us looks, as the driver describes it in his broken English.

We get out at The Heartland Brewery –Whalen has us slumming tonight- and Cavendish stiffs the driver on a tip- “Welcome to America, chump!”. I think this is funny, and we stroll into the doors and sit at the bar, to commence a night’s drinking. “What about that account you’re working on Bateman? Any luck with the old man?” I am three into the Pumkin-flavored Octoberfest Light pints and don’t feel like answering. I am thinking about which of the “Seymour Butts” films I haven’t seen. “He’s loaded!” yells Cavendish, who calls for a round of Woo-Woo shots. As we down the shots, Whalen starts singing some awful tune.

“Aaaahhhhm the man in tha bocks…” I am looking at the three secretaries who are sitting in the corner chain-smoking and giggling…lovely creatures all, but they have ‘Long Island’ written all over them. I am thinking the leggy-est of them is a dirty girl by the way she stares and squints, and want to take a shot at her- but as I am dressed in my jeans and a ribbed cotton v-neck sweater from H + M, think better of it. If I score tonight it will be with some ‘strange’ not in the corporate world.

“Let’s send them some shots…” Cavendish is muttering, already drunk. “Nah- no time.” Says Whalen, and we are paying the bill.

It is coming up on 10PM and I am feeling loose from the alcohol. The World is packed for this show- there are all sorts of rock and roll scum wandering about, and bumping into us as we head to the ridiculously crowded bar. Some pale mechanic-shirt wearing guy who is covered in tattoos and has a goatee about six inches long is yelling at Cavendish for pushing him- I know I could clobber this guy, but Whalen flexes and after some shouting, we are at the bar. Shortly, in the bathroom, Cavendish gives us a hit of some coke, which is weak, but I say nothing, thinking of the Long Island girls and what I could do with the three of them. The three of US are wheeling. I do not even remember who I am supposed to be seeing until Whalen reminds me it is the guy from ’Alice In Chains’.

The lights come down and this skinny guy with long dirty blonde-hair takes the stage to the cheering of the crowd. I see the other members of the group assemble, two guitarists a bass player and a drummer. The singer starts something and we move left of the stage, from the bar, near a pylon that has two fully digital closed-circuit screens, which remind me of the fully digital plasma television I purchased from B&H last month with full stereo surround sound. Cost me over seven grand…

Around us are a bunch of scummy people who look like they haven’t bathed or could possibly understand the importance of skin care, much less afford it. I am reconsidering my night out ‘with the boys’ and wondering if settling for a ‘hummer’ from Eve would have been a better choice.

Cavendish seems excited, as does Whalen…but I am bored. I am on my fifth beer since we got here, and the coke is kicking in. Whalen too, I think, as he keeps yelling, “ALICE!” at the top of his lungs. He is not the only one- another guy who is also wearing an A&F hat, backwards, is yelling the same thing too.

Cavendish bumps into a girl and spills his beer on her sleeve. I think it is funny, knowing Cavendish, and what a klutz he is, but he blames the girl and yells at her. She is a hot-looking piece of ass, one of those rock and roll girls, I think, with shot black hair and dressed in leather and a black tank-top which features her prominent cleavage. The guy next to her is smoking, and looks at Cavendish, who is teetering. “You okay, dude?”

Cavendish wants to pummel him right off. The guy is skinny, and looks like an Irish Robert DeNiro, young, in a leather jacket, pants and boots. Whalen jumps in his face and asks him if he “has a fucking problem”. Whalen could rip the guy’s head off for sure- but the kid doesn’t move. Not an inch, and just stands there. He his holding a notebook and stares at Whalen. “What’s up, dude?”

I would have jumped in right away, but some scumbag with a tank top who is covered in tattoos leans forward. “Some kind of problem here...?” Whalen is backing up at the size of the guy – I think Whalen stood a few rounds with this guy- but made the right choice and backed down. My valise- which I had to check for five bucks- has the nail gun, and I think of how I might use it on this guy- but knowing it would be a wasted effort, forget it in my beer and coke fog. Cavendish is barking orders to kill, but no one moves, except the busty girl in black- a ‘goth girl’ I think she would be called- and we all turn to watch the band.

I have so much to do- and so much free time to do it with Eve out of the picture for a week- I start scooping the crowd for …for girls…for ‘bims’. they are all of the black leather sort- save a few with their boyfriends.

I have no idea what the band is doing- but Cavendish is yelling along to the songs. I look over my shoulder and see the Irish Robert DeNiro guy writing in his book. I want to know what he is writing and why. Who would want to know about this awful noise? I am almost sorry I have come out tonight- until Whalen decides for all of us that is it is time to bail.

I am thinking of the sale coming up at Barney’s this week. I have so much lacking in my wardrobe these days. Cufflinks, tie tacks, collar stays. Whalen bumps the Irish-looking guy on purpose and he drops his notebook, which Cavendish kicks on purpose… Irish guy scrambles for his ‘notes’, and there is a scuffle. I am wondering what Eve is doing, and wondering what she would look like covered in marinara from ‘Spazzia’ or blood or paint or someone else’s blood…

As we move forward collectively, Whalen is braying, “Yeah- that’s right!” but I have no idea what he is talking about. We are waiting for the ugly girl at the table where we checked coats to give us our belongings. I am feverishly anticipating my valise. I am hoping no one has looked within, but confident that it would not matter nonetheless. Whalen hands me a scrap of paper. “I took this from that stupid guy. I should have smeared the floor with his punk ass!”

I look at the notes as we receive our belongings…

Psychotic Break
Howard Hughes
Angel Eyes
Cut You In
My Song
Anger Rising
Got Me Wrong
Down In A Whole (yells for crowd to ‘sing’)
Rain When I Die
Them Bones (the ‘AAAHHH’ song)

I do not tip the ‘coat check’ and follow behind Cavendish and Whalen as they move through the throng and we leave through double doors beneath a sign that reads “EXIT”.

I think about this as I walk out. Is there an exit?

I will party with Whalen and Cavendish tonight before I get back to my apartment and throw in ‘Lesbian Choke N’ Poke’…then I will put on some Genesis and masturbate.

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