This is the true story of how I got arrested in fine fashion in England, losing everything but without losing sight of who I am!
(Or: "They took my DNA and I want it back!")
(Or: "The Story Of Me 'n' the Lady Heat ..."
OK, here goes ...
Well, I was in London, and had to get to this little town out in the toolies (as they say) to meet my man Dave to do some mixing, british style ... He plays in a band called Nozzle, and also New Model Army. He's an excellent musician and a fine lad, and I feel a bit bad (being a bad boy, that is) that I had to put him through such hootenany, but as they say, "Rrrrrock 'n' roll!" Heh. So the day started out innocently enough, with me heading down to Paddington train station in London. My destination ride: a town called Maidenhead. Yeah, like the band Iron Maiden, I thought to myself. Heavy fuckin' metal, baby. A 45 minute ride. I noticed that some of the trains weren't running, and I'd read that there was a railway strike going on. Not paying the boys properly, are ye? Or maybe they're just short of man-power, because they've sent everyone off to participate in that little charade out in the desert. Humpf. I find it rather ironic that countries send their best young minds and bodies off to foreign shores to solve far-away problems, and in return, their trains don't run at home. Something to think about, guys ...
In any event, I hopped on the train, thinking that there would be no train personnel there, to check the ticket that I did or didn't have. (This would become an issue later.) I am not suggesting that any of you young minds out there should even CONSIDER getting on a train without a ticket. My goodness! No, no, of course not. I mean, yes, that would be clever, but I'm not saying I did or didn't do such a thing, just that the idea did pass through my thoughts.
And furthermore, I never said that I'm a role-model! Heh.
So I cruised along through towns with dubious names, in the quiet English countryside. And exactly 45 minutes later, I arrived at Maidenhead. I got off the train, and decided to take a little walk down the tracks, 'cuz I was an hour early, and had some time to kill before Dave picked me up. I walked awhile, looked both ways, and hopped the tracks. Thought not a thing of it, really. I proceeded to whip out my willie, and pissed all over a bush that was desiring my plentitudes. Yep, I pissed on the British Empire without knowing it! 'Cuz apparently (as I discovered later) it is unlawful to cross the train tracks in England. (We did it every day in Santa Barbara, ya know.) The brits are famous for having so many cameras everywhere watchin' ya, so someone somewhere probably has a sweet photo of my tallywacker. In any event, this is where our story gets good ...
After I was done a-wizzin', I went down to use the telephone in the lobby to call Dave. As I picked up the receiver, I felt the shadow of three large men cross over me. "We want to talk to you," said one in a thick british accent that was straight outta the movies. I looked over, and saw these three serious-looking men, who obviously worked for the railway. Urgh. They were:
- The Boss Man (large, in charge, and somehow smart)
- The Bruiser (entirely musclehead material, the strongarm)
- The Psychological Guy (wicked and keen, and a bit off his rocker)
We need to see your ticket, one of them said. Just threw it away, said I. We need to see your I.D. said another. I gave it to them. My trusty ol' UCLA I.D. What can they do? I thought. I'm legal, ya know! The Boss-man said, "You've either gotta produce a ticket, or buy another one." "I'm not gonna buy two tickets for the same ride!" I decreed. "Well, ok," said the Psychological Guy (acting like the gestapo, and I could tell that he LIKED his job), "tell me how much your ticket was." "Seven-seventy," I said. They knew it was the right amount, so they all kind of looked at each other dumbly. (Are you reading this, guys?) Geez, I thought, if these are Maidenhead's finest ... Then the Bruiser spoke up, and I thought I'd jumped into some weird version of Spinal Tap or Snatch. He had a hilarious, english Mike Tyson-esque voice over, going, "You gotta come with me over there (points) into that room." Dorky, but he was strong. Um, no, I said, I'm not going into that room with you, pal. I bought a ticket, and I've done nothing wrong, I exclaimed, and furthermore, I know my rights (yadda-yadda) and a person is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around! "You also crossed the train tracks, and pissed on them," said the Psychological One. "So ..." I said, defiantly. "You don't understand the severity of these crimes," said the Boss-man. Gawd, they were all so serious, and they just looked like a cartoon to me! Gentleman, please, I cooed, it is entirely NATURAL to have to pee. We all gotta do it. How can this be a considered a crime? I mean, I've been travelling most of my life, and I've been in some truly threatening monster-crash situations ... so no, I didn't really "feel" the severity of this one. These guys are clowns, I thought. But they also had me outnumbered three to one. Decided to play it cool.
However, I have always been one to hold my ground, so I just said, "Well, what are you guys gonna do if I don't go with the Bruiser into that little room, and I can't produce my ticket, and refuse to buy another one? What'chya gonna do then?" "We're going to call the police," said the Boss-man. Go ahead and call the cops, I said, for I've done nothing wrong! (And this is where the story gets even better!) I guess I wanted to really see if they would call the cops, and I wasn't trying to slip away, it was a telling excursion into the minds of men, so I just stood there coolly (that's what Bond would have done) and kept chatting with them, as they asked assorted meaningless questions. I do enjoy thumbing my nose at authority, occasionally. Which is the bigger problem I asked: the pissing or the ticket or the crossing the tracks? Please be specific! Nobody could really answer that one. It was getting interesting. I moved towards the exit, to stand next to the door, and find a better place to stand and wait. The Bruiser blocked me from leaving. A few minutes later, he said again, "Come with me to that room over there. You're blocking the door for people to go in and out!" "No I'm not," I said, "Actually, YOU are blocking the door." And it was true - he was standing in front of the door, not me, as to not let me out. He knew it, and was exasperated again, and started making a fist and puting in his other hand, a mild threat. "Geez, you're not gonna hit me, so why don't you just cut the act," I said. He was miffed. They were all puffed up, like some kinda Three Stooges of the British Railroad. I could tell that these guys had orders not to grab any customer, they had no right to do so, so they just blocked me from any escape until the cops came. Would they show up? Then The Bruiser had another funny quote, "You went to the University, (add thick british accent here) and so you should KNOW bettah!" Man, I really felt like I was in some strange Benny Hill routine. What was gonna happen? Maybe I could just wait these guys out, and they'd get tired, I thought. Now it was the Psychological Guy's turn to try and break me. He was acting like one of those creepy mind-warped doctors in the movies, you know, the kind that specialize in torture. He thought he was the Inspector Of Thought Crimes, or something. He said in a slow, misty voice, looking just past me (as if rehearsed), "I think I've seen you before ..." "Maybe you saw my band on TV," I said. And I almost heard the Boss-man chuckle. "Two things, buddy: Don't try to get inside my head!" I said in answer to his puny maneuvers, "and no, I've never been to your podunk town before!" I guess I could have made a run for it, but it seemed like an interesting experiment was taking place ... I also felt like the crowd watching was more or less on my side. A little old lady said to me, "Young man, they have to give you their names, you know!" And I said, "Thank you!" and she nodded. I was pretending to write down their names, all official-like, when something wild happened: The cops showed up!
Two lady cops walked in. Oh, Yeahhhh ... I thought. And they were cute, too. This is perfect! "I am so glad your guys are here!" I said, and cracked a smile towards one of them. They were tough and smart, for sure, very professional, but one of them did throw a hint of a smile back at me. This is gonna work out fine, a voice inside my head jeered. I told them that I was peaceful, and I respected their authority, and that I had merely had to go pee! Every time I said this, over and over, I would face the crowd of people buying tickets, and raise my voice in a mock cry, "I just had to go PEEEE!" And some of them found it funny, and a few of them found it thoroughly disgusting, ha, ha, ha! The Lady Heat realized, I think, that I was not a troublemaker, per se, just a rock'n' roller out to have a good time and push the limits a little bit. And whip out his Johnson from time to time. And so on. Yeah, they were cool ... Lady Luck has found me again, me thinks! Ahh, sweet, sweet Lady Heat!
Then one of them says, "OK, Todd, we're gonna cuff you now ..." And I just said out loud, "Ahh, YEAHHHHH!" And then I think I had the whole crowd on my side, 'cuz I was taking it all so lightly. Just rollin' with it. I mean, talk about the ultimate fantasy! To get rousted and cuffed by two beautiful lady cops! In black leather uniforms! Fantastic ... let your mind wander wild here, thinking of what could be done in a situation like this. Total submission! Ow! Eeek! Mmmmmmmmm ... I think they got a kick outta me, actually. As they carted me away in true rock star fashion (just like David Lee Roth in those early videos!) I said to the crowd, "Come and visit me in the Slammer, y'all!"
I bade The Bruiser, The Boss-man, and Inspector Thoughtcrime adieu, and secretly started mental notes for a brand new song, "Sweet, Sweet Lady Heat!"
Then it was off to the Big House - well, ok, downtown Maidenhead ... and I was carted into the jail and told the ladies all about my rock 'n' roll lifestyle, that I just wanna change the world, but without hurting anyone, and it'll be a sexy revolution and furthermore, to their own benefit. One of them said, "You're a naughty, naughty boy, Todd!" I am sure that my antics and incarceration was about the most exciting thing that had happened in the bustling metropolice of Maidenhead for some time, and they said something of the sort. Now we were flirting! This is just classic, I thought. These girls are babes! I asked them who their favourite rock stars are. One of them said Robbie Williams. The other piped right in, going, "Yeah, I wouldn't kick him out of bed for farting!" Man, that cracked me up! We were having a pretty good time, actually. Somehow I just thought, if I treat them as human beings, then they'll treat me the same way. One COULD even say that I was charming them. Man, they were cute! And the whole uniform thing really works wonders ...
Then I called Dave with my one allowed phone call, and said, "Well there's good news and bad news. The good news is that I'm in your town. The bad news is that I'm in JAIL!" Whatt??? he bellowed, but he agreed to come down and bail me out. Then the Chief of Police asked me in a cold tone, "So how long are you staying in England?" And I wanted to show him that I was just "passing through" so I explained, "I've gotta be back in Germany in a week, because a buddy of mine is playing in the band Green Day. He's a great musician and friend, and I really wanna be there to watch him perform ..." Suddenly the whole situation turned around, and it was as if a light just went on, bing!
"Green Day?" said the old guy. (Pause.) "I LOVE Green Day! I bought tickets for my son, that's his favourite band, and we're going to their concert together!"
Wow, life is beautiful some times, I thought. Even the fucking Chief of Police is a music fan! I think that's just excellent. Music is so powerful ... it crosses every line! All phony borders and horizons disappear when you talk about music. You can feel it. It's pretty amazing when the cops are talking about Robbie Williams and Nozzle and Green Day and Calico Soul! Yeah, baby!
After all the paperwork was done, right before I walked out, the Chief threw his fist in the air and shouted, "Todd! Today you were an AMERICAN IDIOT!!!!"
By the end of the episode, the two gals were checking out my band's website, and the Chief asked me for an autograph for his son. Pretty rockin'. So a thing that could have been potentially disastrous, worked out quite well. They gave me a slap on the wrists (a "Caution" technically - mighty nice) and I let them scan my fingerprints, all five on each hand (terrible new law in England - it really should be repealed). Hot lady cop #1 took swabs of DNA from inside my mouth, and we BOTH imagined that we were making out. I mean, they already had laser photos of my pecker! So it wasn't too much to ask. On this day, it wasn't about fighting the power, it was more about finding common ground through music, and flirting with two sexy dominatrix-in-training lady cops. Yeahhhh ... I wanna turn mormon, so I can marry you both!
The Hot Two walked me out to the lobby, where Dave was patiently waiting, and I quipped, "Have you met my lovely bodyguards?" His eyes just about popped outta his head, and then all four of us started laughing! "I can't believe it!" he said. The girls had those bedroom eyes, all demure, and one of them said to Dave, "We just slapped his wrists and now he's free to go. Be gentle with him."
We sped off, away from that drab joint (that had been sexed up!) and had a good laugh about it. Dave said, "Was it my imagination, or were they flirting?" Yeah, they wuz, and how! We discussed the nuttiness of almost picking up dates at the cop shop! Then we had a pint and retold the story in full length and seedy detail to anyone who would listen, in the pub. They all dug it. I started singin' that song by The Clash, "I fought the law and the law won!" We ended the afternoon in fine english style by going to a soccer match, which we lost one to zip ... The pubs close at 11 pm in England, which is a REAL CRIME!
This tale is dedicated to the maidens of Maidenhead, aka the Sweet Lady Heat! Peace/out. -Todd
Hi, all. Here I am in London, city of the official hustle 'n' bustle, getting ready to mix some songs! Yeah. Me and my new bud Dave Blomberg from New Model Army are gonna sit in the studio and mix up a storm. He's a virtuoso guitarist and mix-master, to boot. The only thing missing are the fish 'n' chips. (Gotta have it.) And Joe Strummer might be dead, but he fucking lives! Rock 'n' roll. Caught some SERIOUS fireworks the other night, Big Ben all lit up. Yeah, gonna set tha night on fire with new ideas! Mm-hmmm. Wish me luck - it's chilly. -Todd von Fogg