DJ Big Styles shares a few of his favorite memories from So What! The Club
Slash and Velvet Revolver Stop by So What!
The most important thing for So What! to be successful is always location. RISE was an interesting experiment as we tried to shrink a very large space and give it an off-night, intimate club feel. We set up at the upstairs bar/VIP area in a corner behind the bar. It worked out great because it felt like the club was supposed to be closed, and they opened up just for us and our friends.
Velvet Revolver had just played Pepsi Center or something that night, and they wanted to go to the "coolest spot in town." The manager of RISE, Sean, was freaking out as he was a big fan of the group, and a couple people on staff were pretty psyched when they showed up. The So What! crowd, on the other hand, could. not. care. less.
Sean cordoned off a couple of booths right in front of the bar for the band and the strippers and groupies they brought with them, who had no idea what to do with the sounds we were playing. Imagine a bunch of half drunk rock stars sulking in a corner because they are being ignored, surrounded by thirsty groupies who can't catch the beat!
As it happened, I am a fan of Slash, and I was feeling a couple of their joints, so I was psyched. I was even more excited after closing time when the whole band and their entourage were still hanging out. So myself, Ken and Aztec are packing up our records and equipment, and I notice somebody trying to get my attention. I turn around and there is Slash standing on the other side of the bar.
This was my moment! I played it cool: "What up, doggie? What can I do for you?" His voice and reaction were not what I expected at all. In the nicest tone of voice, he asked, "A lot of us would still like to have a drink. I know it's past closing time, but do you think it would be a problem if we found a bartender and had a couple more drinks?"
"I don't see why not," I returned, knowing that such a thing is highly against the law. "Problem is, I don't know where the bartenders are, and I know for sure all drinks have to be done by 2 a.m., and it's like 1:55 AM right now." Slash was the picture of civility, nodded his head in the affirmative and started back toward his table. My heart was broken.
This is my bi-racial rock guitar god hero, and he's taking no for an answer. I had to do something, so I yelled to him: "Hey, whoa! Bruh! Whoa! Waitaminnit, hold it right there. No disrespect or anything, but, man, it feels like you're going out like a punk! I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you "The Mighty Slash," rock legend, known for destroying hotel rooms and women's hearts and giving zero fucks about either? I mean, you are not the guy I imagined. The Slash in my mind wouldn't take no for an answer; he would hop over that bar, grab a handle of jack and start lubricating ass!"
I felt like Obama (even though he was yet to give his big speech at the '04 DNC that summer, but it's trendy for black dudes to say they "felt like Obama" whenever they are inspirational). And that's what I was, an inspiration. Slash's dead middle-aged eyes got a little light in them, so he threw on his dark sunglasses, flashed me a devilish grin and hopped over the bar and grabbed the biggest bottle of jack he could find and yelled out something like "We're gonna get fucked up now bitches!!!"
His entourages screamed their approval, and I was thinking of the stories I might tell/sell to the media about Velvet Revolver's drunken after-hours soiree when suddenly Sean the manager peeped his head out of the upstairs office, took one look at what was going on and in no uncertain terms freaked the fuck out.
"What the FUCK are you doing behind my bar? Are you crazy? Put that bottle of Jack down, and go sit down with your friends, or I swear to God I'll break your fucking arm and THEN I will call the cops! I don't give a fuck WHO you are!"
I couldn't see Slash's face, but by the way he slid back over the bar and skulked back over to the band in VIP, I knew he was crushed in a really deep way. I felt responsible, but I didn't know what to say. What do you say to the rebel rockstar who just got faced by Westminster's Fiercest Stay at Home Dad? No one said anything for the next ten minutes or so. We finished packing up, the band paid their tab, and everybody went to where they were supposed to be.