Authors: Portia MacIntosh
Rockstar and a Hard Place
Copyright © 2013 by Portia MacIntosh
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Table of Contents
say when you can’t find something the first thing you should do is look for it
in the last place you remember seeing it. Well the last time I saw the thing I
have misplaced, he was up on stage performing some of his greatest hits in
front of 50,000 screaming fans. I am, of course, talking about super-famous
rockstar Dylan King – best known for being the lead singer in The Burnouts,
less known for being my best friend.
first met when I was just starting out as a music journalist and he made it his
mission to sleep with me. He pulled out all the stops to impress me, but the
harder he tried the harder I resisted and I’m so glad that I did because I’d
rather have him as a friend than a famous notch on my bedpost. There are
downsides to being his best friend, though. Dylan is what you’d call a
liability, and despite his fame and his ability to sell records, his record
label know that he can be unpredictable and they’re constantly telling him to
watch his behaviour – this is like telling a bull to ignore the colour red
because Dylan only views their warnings as a challenge to see just how far he
can push them, and one day he will push them too far. That’s where I come in.
I’m a Dylan wrangler. I’m the only one who is always there in the background,
regulating his rebellious behaviour and making sure he doesn’t take things too
far. I’m the one who makes sure he is on time for sound checks, the one who
makes sure he carries condoms and the one who always tries to make sure there
is a little blood in his alcohol stream. The reality is that Dylan is almost
always drunk, he has little respect for women and he thinks that he is God.
Still, I love him to bits, and I’m happy to do all the things his tour manager
is paid to do. It’s not that Claire doesn’t do her job well, it’s just that Dylan
doesn’t listen to her.
of Claire, I spotted her in the press tent, so I wander over to see if she has
any idea where Dylan is.
Claire, how’s it going?’
hello. Not bad, although your boy is drunk,’ she replies.
is it that he’s my boy when he does something wrong? I don’t get the credit or
the big paycheques when his sell-out tours go well.
isn’t he?’ I joke. ‘Have you seen him since he came off stage?’
yes. It was immediately after he came off stage, actually. He asked me if I had
heard of his band and then he tried to kiss me.’
burst out laughing, although Claire isn’t amused. All these years she’s worked
for him, and he still doesn’t recognise her when he’s smashed. Then again, when
Dylan is smashed he is capable (or not capable in some cases) of anything.
is just doing an interview, why don’t you ask him?’ Claire suggests. ‘And when
you do find Dylan, tell him I need a word.’
decide to hang around and wait for Mikey, Dylan’s younger brother/band mate.
Mikey is probably more talented than Dylan, but Dill has the balls needed to be
a front-man. He's not quite as tall, dark or handsome as his brother - and he
behaves himself - so he is often overshadowed by his older sibling. Mikey is
happy, so long as he is strumming his guitar and writing incredible songs for
Dylan to sing.
Mike,’ I call out as soon as he is done taking questions.
Nic. Did you enjoy the show?’
did,’ I tell him – and I mean it. I watched it from down in the photo pit,
that’s the best seat in the house. Well, the best standing position in the
field, this is the Rockin’ Radio Summer Roadshow after all – a one-off summer
show situated in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere, with only the
best of the best from the music biz invited to perform.
haven’t seen Dylan, have you?’ I ask.
He ran off stage as soon as we finished our set and that was the last I saw of
noticed that he ran off pretty sharp-ish too. One minute he was thanking the
audience for being the best crowd ever (like he always does) and the next he
was gone. Just like that.
worried look spreads across my friend’s face – he knows Dylan, he knows what
he’s like – he knows that finding him might not be that easy.
worries, dude. I’ll have a look around, he’ll be here somewhere.’
doesn’t seem very comforted by my words, but that’s about as much reassurance
as I can fake right now. I know that Dylan gets distracted by things (usually
girls) and wanders off, and when he does he can be a nightmare to find. I won’t
panic yet though, not until I’ve looked everywhere.
flash my pass so that I can search all the different backstage areas but Dylan
is nowhere to be seen. Even more worryingly, no one but Claire can recall
seeing him since he was on stage.
run my hands through my long blonde hair and let out a sigh of exasperation,
but then something catches my eye – a little door hidden behind a huge security
bloke. That’s the door that goes out into the crowd. We drove straight into the
backstage area, so there would be no need for Dylan to go through that door, in
fact it would be quite stupid for Dylan to go through that door because he
would be mobbed by adoring fans.
me, I don’t suppose you’ve seen Dylan King from The Burnouts since he came off
stage have you?’ I ask – it can’t hurt to ask, can it?
you kidding?’ he asks, his tough-guy expression melting into a huge grin. ‘He
signed my abs!’
big security guy whips up his shirt and shows me his pen-marked stomach. The
signature is all wiggly from where the pen has passed over the contours of his
impressive eight pack, but it’s definitely Dylan’s autograph.
you can cover that back up now,’ I tell him, a little freaked out by all the
muscle and the fact he wanted Dylan to put a pen to it. ‘So where did he go?’
there,’ he tells me, gesturing towards the little door behind him with his
the crowd?’ I ask, unable to hide my fear.
He laughs manically. ‘I told him not to.’
let me get this straight, a very drunk Dylan King has ventured out into the
50,000-strong crowd. The man can’t even go to Starbucks without getting mobbed,
why would he think this was a good idea? What’s even more worrying is that, if
we say half of the crowd are female, that’s 25,000 girls he could potentially…
get distracted by.
Dylan, why do you make my job so difficult? This isn’t even my job, I’m a
journalist. That’s the real reason I’m here today, to cover the event, not to
hand-hold the elusive Mr King. Somehow I always end up doing both.
6pm now. I’ll have a quick glance around the crowd for movement – any movement
that looks like a rockstar being mobbed – and if I still haven’t found him…
well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
fucker!’ Claire yells. ‘Fucker, fucker, fucker.’
get it, he’s a fucker, but stating the obvious isn’t going to achieve
may be used to Dylan’s bullshit, but Claire cannot tolerate it. I had to tell
her though, I can’t be expected to find him all on my own. Oh, and she is paid
to handle him, whereas I’m just his mug of a friend.
know he’s supposed to be playing a show for the Magical Star Foundation
tomorrow,’ Claire rants. ‘I thought the challenge was going to be getting him
to sober up for a kids’ charity gig, not putting together a last-minute press
release saying we found him dead in a ditch and therefore he cannot perform.’
relax. We’re not going to find him dead in a ditch, there are no ditches in
will dig a ditch and kill him in it myself if he doesn’t turn up soon,’ she
don’t point out to her that this would be counterproductive.
to me, Claire, I know how Dylan operates. I’ll find him, don’t worry.’
better,’ she warns me. ‘Because I’m sick of his shit. I won’t be covering for
him, if he isn’t checked out of his room and on the tour bus by 6pm tomorrow
then we are leaving without him. The label can deal with him as they see fit.’
it with me. He’s probably with some girl – somewhere. I’ll find him and
be on the bus at 6pm tomorrow. Take the night off,
relax in the hotel spa, you’ve earned it.’
she bollocks earned it, but she wants Dylan’s head on a stick and she’ll only
hold me back. Sometimes I feel like she wants him to get in trouble, even if
it’s just so that he learns a lesson the hard way, but all that will do is get
him dropped by his label, he’ll drink his fortune away and end up recording
irritating car insurance ads for local radio. The final nail in his career’s coffin
will be an appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, in the line up of people who
used to be someone.
But Nicole, if you do find him, please make sure he behaves tonight. Not too
many girls, not too much drink, and if anyone at the hotel tries to offer him
drugs, do be careful.’
laugh, rather manically. Claire just stares at me, clearly not getting what is
said doobie,’ I explain. ‘If they offer him drugs, doobie careful.’
nothing, not even a smile.
She drops his backpack at my feet. ‘He’s your problem now.’
Claire storms off I pull faces at her behind her back. She’s in the wrong line
of work for someone who hates musicians so much, but maybe I’d be grumpy all
the time if I had to deal with Dylan’s shit for a living.
have a look through Dylan’s bag – not that I’m expecting to find a map that
will lead me straight to him or anything, but you never know. As luck would
have it, it’s not what
in his bag that gives me a clue,
there – his phone.
my own phone from my handbag, I call Dylan’s number and after several rings a
King from The Burnout’s phone,’ she chirps with a giggle. I hate her already.
can I speak to Dylan, please?’
are you?’ she asks rather rudely.
Nicole. Who are you?’
girl pauses for a moment before she replies, adopting a more serious tone to
you work for him?’
tell her yes. She’s probably more likely to help me if she thinks I’m someone