I realize this is a bit of a departure from the topics that I have been addressing lately…needless to say, it’s a part of my story, and needs to be told.
Number Ten (Jeff) and I are hitting up the Motley Crue/Alice Cooper show tonight down in Eugene, OR. Earlier this year, when verbalizing some of my fears, I admitted that I was, for some reason, nervous that I’d miss the Crue’s last ever tour. That fear is no more as Ten and I will be there, period.
Being sober at a Crue show doesn’t make me as nervous anymore as it might have earlier in my sobriety; Hell, Nikki Sixx, their bassist, has been sober 14 years…so at least there will be two of us at the show tonight clean and sober. That being said, tonight’s Crue show does take me back a few years to the summer of 2011 when my excessive drinking got the best of me…in a bad way.
In August of 2011 I was fresh off a total burnout from road cycling, having all but quit the sport after a rough incident at that year’s Cascade Cycling Classic. At the conclusion of that event I went on a self-induced, one month, all-out, bender. Booze, speed, Rx pills, downers, you name it. Within that month I went to a Motley show, sort of… Here’s how it went down (I’ll keep the full names of the people who were there out of the story for the sake of their anonymity).
The day of the Crue show a group of friends and I drove up to Portland in the early afternoon to get the party started early enough to make the event as Motley as possible. The events of the day are a bit of a blur…here’s a synopsis of what I can remember.
During the 3 hour drive north to Portland, from Bend, without any food in my stomach, I hammered two Four Loko’s, a disgusting, alcohol filled version of Red Bull, along with a variety of speed pills that I had stolen from a friend earlier in the day. I was feeling good, ready to ramp up the party. When we arrived at our hotel in Portland I was feeling really good and primed to ramp the party up even further. After we checked in to our room our group promptly B-lined it to the hotel bar, which is where things start to get fuzzy. Again, with no food in my stomach, our group of 4 quickly lined up a dozen shots of Jack Daniels and proceeded to take them all down in one fell swoop. It must have only been 4 or 5PM in the afternoon, and I was completely shit-faced, incoherent to say the least. Then, if I remember correctly, our group boarded a bus that was driving a bunch of folks up to the show at the Amphitheater just north of Vancouver, WA. Desperately needing a second wind I took another handful of mystery speed pills on the bus ride, knowing that I might have gone too far too early in the day.
I vaguely remember arriving at the show. The line-up for the evening was some local metal band followed by Poison and the Crue. After the local opener I completely blacked out. Apparently I was rocking out when Poison was on stage, I don’t remember. Next I briefly came to when a security guard was escorting me and a friend out of the arena…I was puzzled, confused, and drunk as hell. I had been asked to leave the arena because I was too intoxicated. I had been kicked out of a Crue show. Wow. I suppose it was the Motley thing to do. I don’t even remember the Crue being on stage.
Somehow, after being kicked out, I got back on the bus that had taken us to the show. The next thing I remember is being in bed at our hotel around midnight, still dressed in my concert attire, trying to find comfort that I was safe, and not dead. Fortunately, my friends, knowing that I still had not had anything to eat that day, had brought back a bag of Taco Bell to the hotel to help nurse me back to health. Apparently they had been having a blast without me, having seen the show, continuing to party in my absence. After the Taco Bell feast things get fuzzy again. I remember a friend from Portland showing up at the hotel later that evening and staying with me to help me even more, by comforting my destroyed body.
The next morning I woke up in a complete haze. With my Portland friend by my side the group of friends that I charged up to the show from Bend with busted into the hotel room saying that we had to leave immediately to stay on schedule. I think one of them had to be at work later in the day. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even think. I told them to leave without me, effectively stranding me in Portland. I felt sick and all I wanted was the comfort of the cold hotel bathroom floor with a toilet by my side. It was a low moment.
Later that afternoon I woke up again in the comfort of my Portland friend’s apartment, snuggled up in a blanket on her couch. It was heaven, if heaven meant being hung over and sick with a bucket by my side to catch any of the spew that was still coming out of my body. The rest of that day was spent doing intervals back and forth from the couch to the bathroom. No pill, any type of booze, or anything for that matter, was going to help me get through this period of pain and sickness. Time was my biggest ally. Now that I think about it I still owe my Portland friend a bouquet of flowers for taking care of me. Thanks LK 🙂
Ultimately I ended up catching a bus back to Bend the following day. That ride was absolute hell. My two-day hangover was still in full force as my sickness continued. The end of that bus trip back to Bend culminated with me running into the bathroom at the bus stop to get sick once more. And my solution to my sickness problem now that I was home safe? Go to the nearest 7-11, purchase 3 CAMO XXX Malt Liquors, drink accordingly, and get “well.”
Looking back and recalling this ridiculous chain of events makes me laugh. Today, I feel comfortable with my sobriety, and am in a state of mind where I can appreciate how sick I was. I see the progress that I’ve gone through since that three-day stretch in the summer of 2011. That time in my life seems like a whole other life in and of itself. I’m actually even more amazed that I allowed such a chain of events to occur. Progress, right? Right.
With that, tonight I look forward to some fist pumping, head banging, heavy metal action with the likes of the Crue and Alice Cooper. Even more, I am excited to remember the whole thing. Crue! Crue! Crue!