Bowling, Karaoke, Drunk Strippers and Weed: Out All Night With the Band Nico Vega
11:10 p.m.: I ask Aja if it's hard working and touring with her husband. "We inspire each other. He's an incredible frontman. We learn a lot from each other musically." She pauses a moment and continues, "He's learned a lot from me as a performer, and I've learned a lot from him as a songwriter."
11:25 p.m.: The band tells me a story about filming on the side of the road a few years ago when they were on tour. There was a large fire, and it made for a cool backdrop. I ask if anyone got hurt in the fire. The band says they filmed while people were dying in the background. (Kidding). Aja said the video sucked because she looked at the camera the entire time.
11:28 p.m.: Aja needs to get back to her baby. We head to the bathroom before we leave. She starts telling me that she cut her bangs, and they look like shit. We talk about Sinead O'Connor and how crazy she is. Aja starts singing "Nothing Compares 2 U." Jamila and I are on the toilet and start singing along.
11:32 p.m.: We are all singing in the bathroom. Loudly.
11:34 p.m.: All of us head out. Aja gives me a hug and walks to her car. We take a group photo outside the karaoke spot. Here it is:
11:46 p.m.: I'm heading to The Pikey on Sunset Blvd. to watch Rich's DJ set that he does every Thursday in the back room.
11:54 p.m.: The bouncer questions my ID and asks me key facts on my license. He says that I don't look 21. I can't tell if he's fucking with me or not.
11:56 p.m.: The lights are low, and a Rolling Stones song is playing so loudly I can barely hear myself think. Dan is drinking a Hitachino Nest White Ale. When I arrive, he offers me some brussels sprouts. I learned that Dan eats healthy around his girlfriend Cam. I don't think she knew it had bacon in it.
12:10 a.m.: The turntables aren't working. Sarah is trying to fix them. She's been a DJ for two years and spins at the Hudson. Jamila is shining her cell for light. Rich is downing his Jack and Coke. There is a guy in a neck brace at the bar hitting on two hot women. I don't think he's getting laid this evening.
12:19 a.m.: We finally get the turntable to work. Rich plays the Stooges' "Loose." A guy sitting at a table asks them to turn down the music because it's too loud.
Danielle Bacher DJ Rich
12:22 a.m.: Rich plays a song by Funkadelic.
12:29 a.m.: He plays Gary Numan and Tubeway Army's "Films."
12:40 a.m.: Rich downs the last of his beverage and claims, "This is the weakest set ever." He ends with Spacemen 3's "Rollercoaster." No one in the room even notices that he stopped DJ'ing.
12:35 a.m.: Sarah asks me if I want to go to a strip club. We decide to hit up Jumbo's Clown Room on Hollywood Blvd.
12:54 a.m.: The bouncer at the door asks why I carry a notebook to a go-go bar. He wonders if I'm taking notes on how to be a dancer. I tell him that I'm hoping to be just like Courtney Love, (since she used to dance here before she was a rock star). He laughs.
12:56 a.m.: This place reminds me of something out of a shitty porn set, but the girls don't show enough tits or ass. There is a girl currently flipping around on a pole over and over and over. I think she may puke on the douchebag in the front row throwing her dollars with his mouth agape. She shakes her ass multiple times to Radiohead and touches her breasts with her left index finger.
1:10 a.m.: A Danzig song plays over the speaker. Rich says, "All his songs sound the same." He orders another Jack and Coke. He explains that Jack is the gasoline that fuels all his shows. Rich tells him that he doesn't want to end up looking like Val Kilmer and shit. "Be careful with that whiskey," he says. He's actually drinking Jack, too.
1:13 a.m.: The Beatles' "Hello Goodbye" comes on. A beautiful blonde with long hair, a black thong and a black bra walks out. Rich says, "I love her hair. I love the way girls' hair smells."
1:15 a.m.: Martin, a guitarist for Macy Gray, shows up, here for some girl's birthday party, I think. The owner of the Hudson is here with his several hot girlfriends.
1:17 a.m.: A girl in a Britney Spears-inspired costume is spreading her legs very far apart. I didn't go to Catholic school, but I know those skirts were definitely never THAT short. Her ass is large, and she's not a very good dancer. The men seem to like her though.
1:22 a.m.: A sassy girl with black hair turns to our huddle and shouts, "What, do you guys have a Groupon or something?" That pisses off the majority of the dudes who are there. One drunk guy in particular starts getting heated. I turn to Cam and say, "Wow, that girl is a bitch. Who tells people off and then expects to get paid? Idiot." The security guard overhears me and came over.
"You know she's actually not a bitch," he says.
"Yeah, I mean, I don't know her. I just thought she was acting like one."
"Well, we don't pay them checks. The only money they make is on tips. If you aren't tipping them, they get pissed. I don't know what the hell you are writing about, but she's a very nice person."
1:28 a.m.: I talk to a hot nerdy girl with black glasses in the bathroom. She tells me that she can't see me even when she opens her eyes. She's drinking some healthy seeded smoothie. I'm not quite sure if it has alcohol in it, but she's shitfaced.
1:30 a.m.: She tells me that she's a hustler, and that she hustles people with her nerdiness. She likes when men think she is smart, and she apologizes for being really drunk and hitting on me. She opens the door for me, and I walk out of the bathroom.
1:44 a.m.: A beautiful Asian girl with long hair walks out. She starts humping the mirror behind her. This girl looks like she could grace the cover of any magazine. She's dancing to the Doors' "The Spy."
1:48 a.m.: The nerdy girl goes back on stage as the last performer of the evening. She shakes her ass in front of me and winks. She has a large tattoo on the back of her neck and two small ones near her crotch.
1:53 a.m.: Dan and Cam are hardcore making out. Jamila is being hit on by a lesbian. She asks me to walk her outside.
1:58 a.m.: "Have you been with a girl before?" Cam asks me. Before I can answer, Jamila turns to me and says, "Thanks for saving me from that lesbian. Everyone thinks I am gay."
2:05 a.m.: It's fucking freezing outside. A dude named Thomas comes over and asks if Jamila would be interested in spending an evening with the lesbian who hit on her. She's wearing a long, blue button-downed shirt and jeans. She keeps staring at Jamila.
"I really like kissing women," Cam says. "They have soft lips."
2:07 a.m.: "We're pretending to be Kiefer Sutherland's Danish friends for the night. I really am Danish, though," says Thomas. He turns to Jamila. "Sorry you're not a lesbian. Well, actually, I'm not. Am I hitting on you right now?"
"I don't know?"
"I did try to organize a lesbian situation. I don't actually even know her."
2:10 a.m.: I walk to my car. Everyone is hungry. I can still see Jamila talking with the Danish guy from my rearview mirror.
2:19 a.m.: I arrive at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd. and walk into 25 Degrees. We're with a large group of people. I don't know half of them. Dan, Cam, Sarah and Rich are here. Jamila is MIA. Rich thinks it's funny if she ends up getting a DUI.
2:27 a.m.: We are dancing around the restaurant. Van Morrison is playing. We agree that there should be a Shazam app for people and movies.
2:45 a.m.: Jamila shows up. We all wonder what she was doing while she was separated from us.
2:50 a.m.: Rich is dancing wildly to "Hey Jude" by the Beatles. He comments that the bun glistens on his delicious, massive bacon burger. I take a bite of his burger. He can see his reflection in it. "Where can I get a drink?" he asks. "I want more alcohol."
3:00 a.m.: I'm eating a beet salad. It's an orgasm in my mouth. Cam orders a kale salad for Dan to share. He looks at the burger desperately, fighting the urge to eat it.
Danielle Bacher Rich Eating
3:10 a.m.: Cam and Dan hug and kiss everyone goodbye. I think I saw Cam kiss a bunch of her male friends on the lips. This strikes me as a very intimate gesture.
3:13 a.m.: IT'S FUCKING FREEZING OUT HERE. The wind is blowing so hard. We are running to my car. I can't find my keys. FUCK. It's seriously like a wind tunnel.
3:30 a.m.: I crank up the heat on full blast. I'm driving Sarah and Rich back to their crib. They live next to each other near Formosa and Fountain. We talk about strip clubs in L.A.
3:32 a.m.: Rich discusses how Courtney Love is a hot mess.
3:35 a.m.: We park the car, and I walk into Sarah's apartment. It's super cool. You can tell this girl is a true artist. She has a place to cut hair, jewelry that she made displayed on the wall and all her little arts and crafts projects. Rich is playing me rapper Danny Brown. It's pretty good.
Danielle Bacher Sarah (Left) Rich (Right)
3:45 a.m.: Rich opens up a bottle of weed and shows me how great it looks. He says it's a hybrid of half-indoor and half-outdoor weed. I look at some of Sarah's artwork.
4:00 a.m.: We talk about what it's like being on the road and why music is such a beautiful art.
4:20 a.m.: I head home and undress before bed.
6:20 a.m.: I wake up panicked in the middle of the night. I had a dream that I was freefalling down an elevator shaft while a stripper was chasing me. I turn over to my side and see my black Ray-Ban glasses lying next to my pillow. They are identical to the pair the go-go dancer was wearing. Weird.