RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS: PART I

I have never been a big drinker. The primary reason for this is that my constitution isn’t made for alcohol. I am always the person who drinks half as much as everyone else and pays twice as harshly. For this reason I probably shouldn’t drink at all. But where’s the fun in that? I do make a point of not drinking alcohol the night before an interview. I have only strayed from that principal twice. There was the time I drank the same vodka and tonic for 3 hours with Molly Meldrum prior to a Michael Buble interview. And then there was a second time; a disaster of a far greater magnitude.

TUESDAY 9am: ARRIVE IN LA TO INTERVIEW RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
Catch cab to hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

TUESDAY 10:30am: CAB PULLS UP IN HOTEL DRIVEWAY.
Doorman takes luggage out of boot and drops it on footpath; (will probably have to tip him 2 bucks for that mighty feat). Suddenly, a V-DUB also parked in driveway honks horn loudly. Very glamorous blonde is waving madly in my direction. There is no one behind me. Blonde keeps honking and waving madly. Perhaps she is simply possessed by very loud music blaring from her car. I keep walking. Blonde launches out of drivers seat and screams “Annnnnge”! What the? “It’s me”, says Blonde, “Sophie”! Bloody hell – it’s Sophie Monk.

TUESDAY 10:40am: SOPHIE AND I DO MOVIE EMBRACE
Seeing a familiar face when you’re overseas is thrilling enough. Sophie is also one of my favorite industry people. I first met her when I interviewed the band BARDOT years ago (POPSTARS winners). When she went solo, I produced a day-in-the-life television special about her. We cried laughing on that shoot. She also came to my house a couple of years ago for some media training. The record company wanted Sophie to utilize her television interviews to showcase the diversity of her personality. I discovered she could sing in an operatic voice. I encouraged her to sing like that on national television. Two nights later, she did; on Rove.

Sophie had just moved to LA and finished filming DATE MOVIE. We have scarcely begun catching up when her mobile phone beeps. She nervously checks message. “Oh my God”, she says, “It’s him”. I ask the obvious. “Who’s him”? Swearing me to secrecy, she tells me she has “started seeing” one of the brothers from Good Charlotte. She’s not sure what to text back. Don’t ask me. I’m not even sure which brother you mean. Both look kind of scary. Sophie assures me “he’s a sweetie”. Now of course, they are happily engaged. But I didn’t breath a word of that conversation to anyone; until now.

TUESDAY 11:30am: TAKE STROLL DOWN SUNSET STRIP
Am heading back to my room when security stops me at hotel lifts. Security guard asks to check my bag due to reports that towels and cutlery are being stolen from hotel. What is it with me and US security guards! Am then asked series of militant questions such as “have you noticed any hotel guests carrying an unusual amount of cutlery”? Even for America; this is nuts.

Solemnly pledge to advise security immediately upon spotting any fork-baring guests outside the hotel restaurant; (where I assume, according to the constitution, the use of such utensils is permissible). Then, like a scene from a b grade film, another hotel guest approaches identifying ME as a TOWEL STEALER. Security guards inform me I will have to be finger printed. A brief moment of catatonia follows and then I get pissed off.

TUESDAY 11:40am: OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE
Am ranting like a cross between civil rights activist and evangelist. Have just demanded to see the police, a lawyer and someone from the Australian embassy. And get Russell Crowe here! With a phone! At some point I come down from looking over my ranting self and rejoin my body. I look up to see the security guards and several hotel guests laughing at me. “Ma’am, you have just been taped for a segment on he Conan O’Brien show. Would you mind signing a release form? There’s a good chance this will make it into the show”. Only in America.

TUESDAY 2pm: MUM ARRIVES AT HOTEL
Yes, you read that correctly; my mother is here. The annual World Dental Conference is being held in San Diego. My mother isn’t stupid; she’s rather hang with rock stars than dentists. “Will I get to meet the Red Hot Cherry Peppers?”, she asks when I meet her in the lobby.

TUESDAY 7pm: DINNER AT NEW RESTAURANT OWNED BY ASHTON KUTCHER
The record company has taken me, a bunch of Australian journalists and my mother out to dinner. Note: all other journalists present conducted their interviews with the band today. I am only media person working tomorrow and therefore should NOT be displaying same festive mood as everyone else.

TUESDAY 11pm. POST DINNER DRINKS IN LOBBY BAR
Walk past mum bonding with weird-dude-from-heavy-metal-magazine at the bar. Overhear him tell her she’s “soooo easy to talk to”. Think I hear her say something about sex changing in a marriage. Get me out of here! Seems like perfect time to leave group (and Mother) in the bar and get to bed. Am already way past my drink limit (4 drinks). Then someone brings out round of tequila shots and DEMANDS I join in. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the beginning of the end.

WEDNESDAY 7am: ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF
Am in BIG trouble. Am experiencing tsunami of nausea. Just make the bathroom in time. There is the kind of sickness that attacks and subsides quickly. Then there is kind of sickness that, as bad as it is, gets much, much worse. Am interviewing the world’s most notorious rock band in 4 hours. Hair and make up arrive in two. Like I said – BIG trouble.

TO BE CONTINUED