SMOKE: Chicks Dig Rock Stars
Originally published: 29 July 2003
I've always found the footage of female fans at Beatles concerts highly amusing - stick a guy with a guitar in front of a girl and she goes mental, screaming and swooning and generally behaving in a most ego-boosting fashion.
There's no attempt to even listen to the music - they take their seat and start screaming from the moment they sit down until either they faint, lose their voice or simply die from sensory and emotional overload.
It's the single reason all blokes want to be rock stars. Who wouldn't want millions of girls screaming their devotion at him, while ripping off their underwear and hurling it in his face? Nobody I know, that's for sure.
Robbie Williams knows all about it - I read a funny story related by him in which he described how he had to get a mad female fan off him during a concert in London recently by pulling her hair.
He has a tradition of inviting women onto stage with him during a live performance, which occasionally backfires. In this case he pulled a pretty girl onto stage, and all hell broke loose:
"She gets up on stage and she puts her hands down my pants, her tongue down my mouth and she was trying to rip my vest off and I'm singing, trying to maintain the fact that these people think I'm a bit cool," he said.
"At one point she was locked like a vice grip and she's writhing with me. I've tried to pull her off and sit her next to me but she straddles the top of me and starts grinding - now normally this wouldn't be a problem, but there's 60,000 other people there so I try to pull her hair to make it look sexy but I'm actually trying to pull her off of me."
Brings up quite humourous imagery, even though essentially it's a case of sexual assault, plain and simple. Can you imagine if Alanis Morrisette pulled some sweaty geezer on stage and he stuck his fleshy hands up her skirt and thrust his smoky, wet tongue into her mouth - nobody would be laughing, least of all Alanis.
But for some odd reason we can excuse it when a female sticks her hands down a feller's crotch. Interesting.
Much as most blokes would love to fantasize about such scenarios, it's actually not all it's cracked up to be - I speak from personal experience.
Six years ago I was cast in a musical called Return To The Forbidden Planet, which ran in Cape Town, Jo'burg and Durban. It was a spoof on the old '50s B-grade movies, like the one of the same name which starred (a very young) Leslie Nielsen, of Naked Gun fame.
Twenty minutes before the show started we would go out into the auditorium and harass audience members when they came in. I'll be honest - I hated this part of it, because I don't like getting in people's faces when they aren't expecting their faces to be got into, as I don't like it myself.
If I go out for a night of theatre the last thing I want is some ponce of an actor climbing all over me, rearranging my hair, squirting me with a water pistol and stealing my chocolates to distribute amongst the other audience members, which were just some of the things we were required to do.
So I would often skank around the back, in the shadows of the auditorium, and generally try and avoid people if at all possible.
There were a number of groups of females - usually 40+ divorcees - who would pitch up at performances, and they were usually on a Girls Night Out and seriously pissed.
These birds were always out for a good time, come hell or high water, and tall, thin actors hanging around mysteriously in the shadows seemed a very attractive option to them.
I was frequently accosted by these mad gals, most often when I would have to edge past them in the aisle they were sitting in. Frequently hands found their way down me troosers and I even had one lean forward and bite my nipple through my space suit.
While I'm generally a big fan of having my nipples bitten, it has to be done within context. A raw, unplanned-for nipple-bite isn't sexy in the slightest - it's just bloody painful.
The thing that I don't get in all this is how these women think. I can understand that they're having a good time, and are drunk, and it was an adult-rated show, but really - I would never dream of sticking my hands where they don't belong. It's basic conditioning, and respect for the opposite sex.
And let me tell you - it doesn't feel good. It may seem like a dream - having wild women sticking their hands down your pants - but it actually feels like a violation, which of course it is. I never felt the need to go for therapy or anything, but I definitely didn't enjoy it.
A similar thing happened when - a year later - I performed in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and audience interaction was also required.
In that case it was a little more difficult to get upset about women grabbing your crotch when you yourself were prancing around in a pair of fishnets and skimpy briefs, but it happened nonetheless.
Particularly when we toured to Bloemfontein - those birds are actually scary. They really, really need and want sex, so if you're heading down Freestate way...
But my absolute worst was one year in which I went to the Grahamstown Festival. I was young, mad-for-it, and with a bunch of seriously hardcore blokes, who partied extremely hard.
One night I found myself in the Grand Hotel, at around three in the morning, playing the old, out-of-tune piano in the lobby.
I had been drinking since about nine in the morning and my mates had long since lost themselves in the crowd of people who were all over the hotel - sitting on the floor, standing at the lobby bar, and spread over all the available ballrooms.
You could hardly move for people - the place was absolutely packed.
Somehow I found myself playing the piano and was drunkenly improvising some blues tune when I felt a large, warm and extremely wet tongue screwing its way into my right earhole.
At first I couldn't work out what it was - I was stoically trying to concentrate on hitting the right keys, pissed out of my skull, and only gradually became aware of this persistent interference with my ear.
When I realised it was a tongue - which by this stage was actually tickling the frontal lobe of my brain - I recoiled in horror, to discover a huge, enormously fat Mama standing next to me, tongue still extended and licking the air madly, as she attempted to get it back into my ear.
She never said a word the whole time - her one single goal was to stick her tar-stained, pudgy tongue as far into my head as possible. Words seemed superfluous.
I staggered away into the crowd and headed for the toilets outside, drool pouring from my ear and down my neck. I went to the loo, took a slash, cleaned out the gob from my ear and tried to go back inside, but the door to inside opened just before I got to it, and the Mama came out.
She took one look at me and began ripping her knickers off, and while under normal circumstances that would have been an incredible turn on, these were not normal circumstances.
She was trashed off her face, of course, and my last glance back as I dodged around her with ease stayed burned into my brain - this gigantically fat woman, with panties around her knees and eyes rolling back grotesquely in her head, staggering towards me, with tongue outstretched (still madly screwing circles in the air) and one hand holding her skirt up around her waist.
I slammed the door in her face and left the Grand Hotel sober as a judge.
All Smoked Out,