Ozzfest 1998; Hyde Park, London: Murderdolls
The crowd moshing around the main stage as the Murderdolls finished their set with “Welcome to the Strange” was overwhelming and going wild- kicking, screaming, crowd-surfing, jumping, shouting the lyrics at Wednesday 13 who spat them out to the people, raising his free hand to cheer the crowd on, shouting obscenities at them. They were hyped-up and crazed, the perfect crowd.
“So step up right up for the ride of your life, the line starts here at the back of my mind...come on fuckers, sing with me!” Wednesday roared on his microphone.
As he sang, he noticed the strange yet mesmerizing woman in the front row, unfazed by the wild crowd, she sang along, but she didn't jump or dance - she just stood there singing and watching the band intently; 'must be from a record company...wait, that outfit doesn't say record company' he thought as he examined her - she wore knee-high black leather stiletto boots, tight black pants hugging her slender legs and wide hips; they were tucked into the boots, black button-down shirt unbuttoned enough to show her swelling round breasts and her red lace bra 'hmm...good' mused Wednesday while he sang and continued to stare at the woman. Her flaming red hair was uncharacteristically long; it was tied back in a thick braid that reached down to her lower back, she wore black eyeliner that dramatically brought out her nearly translucent green eyes – those were the most amazing eyes he’d ever seen, not to mention the scariest. The color was too vivid to be contact lenses.
Her mouth glowed blood red and her perfectly shaped eyebrows were arched so sensually, it almost seemed as if she were staring at him; in fact, she was staring at him. Her stare was so intense, he was starting to feel uncomfortable under her scrutiny. He went to the opposite side of the stage to avoid her eye and finished the song.
“Thank you very much; you’ve been a fucking amazing audience…now fuck off!” he screamed, glad to have finished the set and his suffering, but for some strange reason he wished she’d come by backstage and talk to him. His thoughts went from puzzled to aroused as he walked offstage and thought about her. “That is one sweet piece of ass…that bitch looks like the kind of girl who’d try anything in bed…hmm…wonder if she’s into bondage?” Wednesday smirked mischievously.
“Yo, Wednesday! You coming or what? Ben half-shouted at him. Wednesday was standing there, drenched in sweat and breathing loudly while the rest of the band were half-way to the
Tour bus and were signing autographs.
“Go ahead, I’ll be there in a little while”
“Waiting for someone?” smirked Ben, whose mind was filthier than a pigsty. Ben was a great guy, but he thought with his dick.
“Yeah, something like that” said Wednesday in a mischievous voice.
“Alright, but don’t blame me if Acey and Eric drink all the beer and Joey pisses on your bunk”
“Fuck you, Ben…get the fuck out of here already” Wednesday threw an empty beer can at Ben who dodged it and laughed
“Fine, don’t get your panties in a twist, honey child”
“You done, asshole?” Wednesday snickered.
“No, but you’ll kick my ass and snap my drumsticks if you don’t leave”
Damn right I will….you’re a fag, Ben. You know that?”
“Fuck you, Wednesday”
“You wish…go save me a brewskie and don’t let Joey piss in my bunk”
“Will you fuck me if I do?” Purred Ben jokingly in a gay tone of voice.
“Go away already and we’ll see about that”
“Well, I see why you want me to go away. Is that who you’re waiting for?” Ben pointed at a woman coming their way. It was that woman…she came just as Wednesday hoped she would.
“I’m out of here. See you later, man” Ben fared Wednesday well.
“Alright, dude.” He waved at Ben who waved back and walked away.
‘Thank hell she came’ he thought as she came closer. Out of nowhere, Cradle of Filth came trotting toward the stage seeing as they were opening for Black Sabbath. Dani, the singer and Wednesday’s drinking buddy came up to greet him
“Hey, Man. How’s everything outside?”
“Dude, it’s fucking pandemonium outside…it’s so goddamn wild, it’s great. Break a leg out there, man.”
“Thanks, Mate. You guys put up a great show, we heard it from the dressing rooms”
“Thanks---” Wednesday started to say, but the woman interrupted them.
“Sorry--”Both Dani and Wednesday were simply stunned by her – Dani was dumbfounded and Wednesday was breathless at seeing her again.
“Oh, hello babe. What’s your name?” Wednesday finally had the balls to ask.
“My name is Rowan” answered the woman
“It’s a beautiful name for a beautiful woman like you” Wednesday complimented Rowan. His eyes showed lust.
“I second that” Dani said quietly, which wasn’t like him at all. He was everything but quiet.
“Well, thank you, gentlemen. Umm…Mr. Filth, your friend Paul is calling you. They might need you to perform. It was really great meeting you. Good luck.” Rowan smiled at Dani, giving him a look that made him swoon mentally.
“Thank you, Rowan. Are you watching the show?” inquired a hopeful Dani, which showed how captivated he’d been by this woman, which was in turn funny because he had a girlfriend and a daughter.
“Of course I will, wouldn’t want to miss it” Rowan replied warmly
“Oops, gotta go. Fancy meeting you, Rowan. Wednesday,” he nodded to his friend and smiled at Rowan.
“Same here, Mr. Filth”
“Call me Dani. You can call me Mr. Filth when I’m 69, but I’m not there yet.” He laughed and so did Rowan and Wednesday. This was more like Dani – spontaneous and fearless, not withdrawn and shy.
“Got it, Dani” she smiled at Dani and made his stomach do a triple somersault.
“That’s much better”
“Alright, man” Wednesday shook Dani’s hand, and Dani trotted away.
“You guys were awesome, I really enjoyed your show. You are very energetic”
“All in a day’s work, Ma’am” Wednesday replied humorously and tipped his imaginary hat. This made Rowan laugh and made his pants tighten.
“Oh, you don’t wanna miss the COF show, right? Then, I’ll let you go. Here…” he handed Rowan a backstage pass. “After the show’s over, come over to the bus; maybe we can talk more and have some drinks with the guys and shit. Tell the guards I gave you this pass”
“Thank you, Wednesday. It sounds awesome; I’d love to meet the rest of the band. I’ll see you then, Wednesday” Her English accent made his name sound different; the way she said it thrilled him. Rowan hugged Wednesday and kissed his sweaty cheek softly.
“It’s nothing, I should be thanking you for accepting my invitation. See you later then” He kissed her back; her cheek felt velvet smooth and warm to the touch. There was a slight tinge of some sweet-smelling perfume. He definitely liked that smell.
He watched her walk away; the way her hips swayed as she walked, the backs of her boots were laced up in a criss-cross pattern. Her hair moved sideways, shining in the light of the day. Everything about her made him to know her more; be around her. He felt as if she had cast a spell on him.
Ozzfest 1998; Hyde Park, London: Cradle of Filth
As Dani and the rest of the band took the stage, Dani’s thoughts weren’t focused on the performance they were about to give, but on Rowan. He was distraught, short of breath and mildly disturbed – ‘was that woman a vision? She’s so gorgeous she doesn’t look real…she had to be real, I mean, Wednesday saw her, he was with her…she was real, but, ah shit, why am I even thinking about her if I have Toni and Luna? I love Toni, why am I thinking about R--’
Dani was brusquely snapped out of his dissonant reverie by Martin who kicked him in the shin and joked
“Earth to dead man squawking…anybody home?”
“Yeah, I’m here, and the kick in the shin wasn’t bleeding necessary, thank you very much, Mr. Unwashed Pianist” Retorted Dani
“Fine, my apologies” exclaimed Martin
“Dan, we’re on now” Paul shoved Dani to the front of the stage
Dani avoided stumbling, cursed Paul and Martin for all the manhandling and howled a hello at the crowd
“HELLO ALL! HOW ARE YOU SODS DOING!?”
The reply to his greeting a tsunami wave of shouted hellos and legions of hands outstretched toward him, waving feverishly.
The band started their set with “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids”. Dani’s howling and roaring, combined with the wailing guitars, the dark base, the deafening drums and the innocently sinister keyboard hit the crowd with mind-boggling force, causing an even more hyped-up crowd. Down in the pit, Armageddon was taking place and was Dani’s favorite sight at a concert – people going wild and enjoying themselves.
Times like these made him thankful he wasn’t a literature professor, like he had once planned; now those days seemed so far away. ‘That’s in the past’ he told himself; it was true – now, he was Dani Filth; back then, once upon a time, he was Daniel Davey. This was not the time to worry about this. Right now, all that mattered was to give these people the greatest fucking metal show ever.
“This song is called ‘Devil Woman’!” he screamed as loud as it was humanly possible.
The Keyboard sprung to life at Dani’s words; guitars, bass and drums followed suit.
“I’ve had nothing but bad luck, since the day I saw the cat at my door” he sang. This was a good crowd – they knew the lyrics like they knew their names.
“Crystal ball on the table, showing the future, the past; same cat with them evil eyes and I knew it was a spell she cast”
At last, he spotted her making her way to the front row without getting trampled by the crowd; those aqueous green eyes were bearing holes into Dani’s skull. She smiled and waved at Dani. He smiled back and she mouthed some inaudible thing, probably lyrics, her eyes still fixed on him, making him feel naked, powerless.
He was secretly thrilled that she was looking at him. Then again, this was a concert, and as far as concerts went, people paid to see the artist. There was something intimidating about those eyes, but they also held such a strong charm that it made you squirm and wish she would never stop looking at you as much as you wanted her to look away or wanted to run from her.
“When you’re out in the moonlight/ be careful of the neighborhood strays/ of a lady with long black hair trying to win you with feminine ways” he continued to howl at the audience while he ran and jumped around the stage with his trademark raw energy; his black attire moving with him like a second skin. He felt Rowan’s eyes solely on him despite the thousands of fans screaming his name. He went on to sing “From the Cradle to Enslave”, “Beneath the Howling Stars”, “Dusk and Her Embrace”, “Suicide and other Comforts”, “Of Dark Blood and Fucking”, and finally, “Bestial Lust”. When the first notes to the song heavily resounded throughout the whole park, the crowd was thrown into the ultimate state of euphoria. He saw Rowan’s face change from the corner of his eye. Her face lit up and her right eyebrow arched in the most sensuous way, and her plump amaranthine lips mouthed the very same words that were leaving his mouth.
“She is open wide, she isn’t hard to please/ she drives me fucking wild, I want her on her knees/ she floats and then insists, I am hot and can’t resist/ she sucks me to the core, oh, I can’t take no more/ that bitch, she turns me to a beast/ oh, bestial lust!” he raged on with the song, something close to lust uncoiling inside him just as he uncoiled the microphone cord from his arm and waved it as a whip. ‘Couldn’t be more fitting’, he thought as he went on.
She definitely a strange woman, she reminded him of Suzanne, the only “real” witch he knew. ‘I want to talk to her, but what the bloody fuck is wrong with me? Why can’t I bring myself to even come near her?’ he reproached angrily to himself. This couldn’t be happening to him – he was never afraid, never shy, always got whatever and whomever he wanted, then, what was so different about this woman? ‘She’s really not that remarkable anyway, I mean, she is very pretty and everything and her eyes are amazing….her body’s perfect …what the bleeding hell is wrong with me?! What the fuck am I thinking?’ he thought angrily drawing blood from the palm of his hand with long black fingernails from clenching his fist so hard; his other hand was numb from the death grip he had on his microphone. He finished the song with one long blood-curdling agonizing scream, hurled the mic at the drum set, flipped everyone off and stalked offstage. He didn’t wait for Paul or the others, he didn’t care right now; he only wanted to find Rowan and do what he hadn’t dared do before; he felt like such a pussy, he had to find her and talk to her; the whole thing was stupid, and he knew it was. He was damned if he was going to let her go without getting his manhood back. It angered him that a person could make him feel so childish and frustrated. Even though she had done nothing to provoke his anger and confusion, he went after her anyway.
But that was going to prove difficult – he’d been spotted by tons of teeny boppers, true and poser fans, and all kinds of people who wanted his autograph, a picture, or in some cases, a fuck.
He tried to not to be too rude even though he felt like pummeling someone to a meaty red pulp and signed a couple of autographs, shot a few pictures at the speed of light; and he went to look for her.
‘What am I? A git? This is bleeding Ozzfest…there’s thousands of people here, I’ll never find her’ a part of him was saying, the other part nagged at him, giving him a little hope ‘ C’mon, how hard could it be to find a woman with long-ass red hair, dressed in black leather and nearly-transparent green eyes? There aren’t a lot of people like her today, so why not?’ ‘Have you seen the people that come to these kinds of shows? They ALL dress alike! Jesus Cunt, I really am an idiot’ both voices spoke the truth but he decided to go with the one who favored his search least – the optimistic one. He set out on his search, praying to all the deities he didn’t believe in to let him find her.
Miraculously, he spotted her walking toward the tour bus area. He pursued her; for lack of a better word, and he realized she was walking toward the Murderdolls tour bus. He had to talk to her now, or he never would.
“Dani, I know you’re there” She said without even looking back. ‘What the…how did she know I was following her? I didn’t make any noise or anything’ and he did what any respectable coward would do: he ran and hid behind a trash can.
“Okay, Dani.” There was a tinge of amusement in her voice, and the last thing he heard were her footsteps moving away from him and stepping into the Murderdolls’ bus and being received by a drunken Wednesday 13 who greeted her warmly, shoved a beer in her small delicate hand and closed the door behind.
“Damnit!” he shouted at the nothingness and knocked the trash can over with one swift kick.
He was damned indeed.