Backstage with Baldy

Jerry, Duff, & Baldy Go To The Super Bowl – February 2nd

It’s been pretty well documented that Jerry Cantrell & Duff McKagan share a deep love for football in general and the Seattle Seahawks in particular.

I share that same love with them, so when Seattle beat San Francisco in the NFC championship and advanced to the Super Bowl, Jerry & Duff began working the phones and working their connections, and I began preparing to once again swim in their powerful collective wake and weasel myself along for the ride to New York.

It took a few days, but their efforts paid off and the plan began to take shape.

Tickets were acquired, flights were booked, accommodations were made, and I briefly flirted with the idea of selling one of my kidneys on ebay in order to afford the whole thing.

I arrived Friday afternoon from Seattle and Jerry & Duff weren’t getting in until late that night from L.A., so I ran around and exhausted myself taking in the Super Bowl experience. By the time Jerry called me I was already in bed, which was actually fine, because I didn’t feel like accompanying them to the Beats By Dre party. And it was a good thing I stayed put, because they learned a valuable lesson that night.

What was the lesson?

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to have male genitalia.

And sometimes it doesn’t matter how many millions of albums your band has sold. It doesn’t matter how many fans you have, how many countries you’ve travelled to, or how many times a day your songs are played throughout the world. It doesn’t even matter if you’re on the guest list. If the doorman at the Beats By Dre party says, “We’re not letting in any guys right now”, then you’re screwed.

Fortunately our luck was better Saturday night when we attended the Bud Light party to watch the Foo Fighters (Penises Allowed!).

I don’t know who coined the phrase “rub shoulders”, but that’s the perfect way for a person like myself to describe the majority of my brushes with famous people over the years.

It’s a simple phrase that allows you to convey to your easily impressed friends that you were hanging with celebrities, without having to tell them the truth about the fact that you just hung back and drank water while your rock star friends did the actual talking.

So it’s no lie to say that I have literally rubbed shoulders (backstage can get cramped) with several famous people, but I generally just stay out of the way and try and give them plenty of space to be beautiful and awesome in.

Anyway, pretend that you didn’t just read those last few sentences and prepare to be exhilarated by the fact that I rubbed shoulders backstage at a Foo Fighters concert with an eclectic group that included Kyra Sedgwick, Johnny Knoxville, John McEnroe, and Sir Paul McCartney.

We eventually left the show and made our way to Times Square, where the late hour and general zoo-like atmosphere combined to nearly derail our entire weekend.

Yes, Duff McKagan was nearly involved in a hit and run accident.

With a horse.

A slow moving horse.

That would have made perfect sense in New York 200 years ago, but it takes some doing nowadays.

Basically Duff got a little too caught up in the glitz and glamour of Times Square, stepped off of the curb while staring somewhere off in the distance, and was nearly sideswiped by a horse-drawn carriage.

I only saw it out of the corner of my eye, but Duff’s cat-like reflexes, along with an alert and vocal tourist, helped avert a disaster.

Nearly getting clipped by a horse is a pretty good indicator that it’s time to wrap up the night, so we made our back home.

And then came the big day.

It goes without saying what happened on the field, but in row 4 on the 45 yard line behind the Seahawks bench, two rock stars (and one bald dude) were jumping, screaming, laughing, and hugging like little kids.

It was an incredible experience, made even better by the fact that it was shared with good friends.

So for the majority of you out there who aren’t Seattle Seahawks fans, or aren’t even football fans for that matter, please accept my apologies.

We’ll check back with our regular Alice In Chains-flavored updates in a couple of weeks when we hit the shores of Australia.

In the meantime, I have a parade to watch…


Backstage With Baldy

Bethlehem – August 16th

The last day of any tour is always a little extra hectic. You’re clearing everything off of the bus, dealing with travel plans to get everyone home, making sure gear is going to the right place, and on top of...

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