Hayley Cain: SOLD OUT! Shit. We would not be seeing Motorhead live at the Wiltern. Ticketless, my best friend Lindsay and I turn away from the flashing marquee. The year is 2005 and we’re both 18 years old. We had met two years prior in history class, when she noticed my Motorhead back patch and I noticed her jangly bondage belt. I was new to Redondo Union High School and completely checked out. Luckily, Lindsay and I turned out to be neighbors—which meant long hours spent joyfully howling along to “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill” while she shaved my head. No one loved Motorhead more than us.
I could already tell it was going to be one of those sad anticlimactic nights. The evening would probably peak with 1 a.m. tacos, cruising Hollywood Boulevard for other teenaged punks and maybe scoring a single forty, if we could find someone to buy it for us. Our boyfriends were only a bit older than us. Totally useless!
So, we’re slowly melting into the sidewalk at the corner of Wilshire and Western, surrounded by aging hipsters and metal heads smug in their assurance of a hot night with Lemmy. The air is slick with bacon wrapped hot dogs, B.O., and cheap perfume. We’re about to bounce, when this buff bouncer looking guy makes a beeline over. My first thought is, “not good!” Instead, he eyes my boyfriend’s skin tight pants and 10 inch erect red mohawk. Then he starts touching it, running his fingers up and down the length. Yeah, we were all kind of creeped out.
Nothing could have prepared us for what happened next. The security guy winks and asks, “You want in?” From his pocket come the wristbands, a magic trick. Here’s the weirdest part. No money was exchanged. Today I still think that, perhaps, he was an angel in a security shirt. In an instant, our night had been promoted to legendary status. We cram into the already packed house and another guy tells us we’re in the VIP—you know, front row? WTF! This was a very big deal for us, a far cry from the usual backyard shows in Wilmington or Lennox.
Our motley crew is eventually deposited into a gated coral, spitting distance from our favorite band. Lemmy hovered just above our heads in black denim, so close we could see his moles glisten under the lights, flashing pink, purple. We were living out the teen dream: two friends united by a love of Motorhead, tits to the monitors, thrashing andscreaming along, totally transfixed. The show was as loud, punishing and primal as we could have ever hoped for.
The mighty refrain “Killed by Death!” nearly ended us, or at least permanent aspects of our hearing. A scraggly looking guy (wait—was that Dave Grohl?) stage-dove past our heads before being swallowed up into the hungry crowd. I mean, why not? Anything felt possible. We had started out as losers. Now, we were infinite energies soaring through space, riding a charging bass line to victory. “I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead, killed by death, killed by death!!!” I’d never felt more alive.
Hayley & the Crushers and Motorhead Intensity: Hayley & the Crushers’ “Cul-de-Sac” single is out now.
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