MONDO EXTRAS

Strange Frequency

Later that night, the reporter comes for a return visit. John Taylor lets him into the room, on one condition. What's that condition? That the reporter takes a shot of the devil-water for every question he asks. Wacky hijinks? You bet. A crowd is gathered around the table as the reporter takes shot after shot until he drops. The next morning, the maid returns. Remember the party scene in Sixteen Candles? This is totally ripped off of that. The maid starts cleaning again, takes the pizza box off the table, and finds the reporter passed out underneath. Doesn't VH1 realize that their primary demographic would recognize that scene immediately? I've probably seen that movie six times. Anyway, the maid revives the reporter, who apologizes for the mess. The maid just nods and says that some guests are like this, and other guests realize they are guests. Mr. Vedder was a gentleman. Mr. Hendrix was not. Elvis, however, was the absolute worst. Like any intrepid reporter, the fellow perks up at this revelation. Elvis stayed here? Oh yes, the maid replies. How long have you worked here, he asks? Long enough to know that John Taylor has nothing on Mr. Sinatra. After she mentions this, she gets up to start cleaning. The reporter whips out his trusty tape recorder and asks her to keep talking. She cleans the entire place, and as she is leaving, she runs into John Taylor, who seems to take it quite personally that she has cleaned his room. And when she tells him that she hopes everything is to his liking, he decides to fight back. 'Cause why would a rock star want a clean room? And if this guy is staging a big old comeback tour, why is he staying in the same town night after night? Regardless of the reason, he sets out on a mission to destroy the hotel room. Smashing tables, spray-painting the pictures, putting fish in the furniture, chainsawing the walls. The maid cleans, paints, vacuums, and repairs whatever he damages. This goes on and on for days and culminates in John Taylor gluing all the furniture, lamps, tables, everything to the ceiling. With just a bottle of glue! He really earned his merit badge for that one. The maid, of course, thinks nothing of it and starts back to work. Okay, okay. I wasn't going to ask, but this is just getting silly -- wouldn't the hotel have kicked his ass out by now? Yes, yes, they would have. But does logic or common sense stop the fine writers at VH1? Nope.

John Taylor and his agent are returning to the hotel. John Taylor is having a Veruca Salt-sized hissyfit. Seems the reporter's story ran in the paper. But it's not about John Taylor -- it's about the maid. The headline is something grating like, "He rocks, she rolls." John Taylor wants the headline to be about him, like it was supposed to be. That damn maid -- not only did she clean his room, she stole his spotlight! He's mad. This, of course, begs the question of what sort of lame-ass paper runs a story about a maid and a rock star on the front page? And isn't this supposed to be a major metropolitan area? Oh, why do I bother caring about these things? Moving on. John Taylor storms into his hotel room and surprises the maid. She moves to leave the room with a quick "I hope everything is to your liking, sir." Naturally, it's not to his liking. However, smashing the maid's cart into bits with a baseball bat is exactly to his liking. His friends, fans, and manager stare in horror as the maid begs for her cart. She stumbles down the hall, mumbling "no, no" in suppressed horror and outrage. The lights swing, the camera tilts, the doors close. The director is certainly attempting a Hitchcock-ian slant, but I've seen Hitchcock, and you, dear director, are no Alfred Hitchcock. Hell, you're not even James Cameron.

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Strange Frequency They drive on down the road, sharing their feelings of remorse, chagrin and annoyance. Neither one had ever let someone slip away before. They feel ashamed for not killing him, but their shared feelings unite them and they decide to work as a team. Suddenly, the car starts acting strangely. Doogie rolls his eyes and tells the hippie that he's going to need a new schtick if they are going to be working together. The hippie looks at him, and Doogie realizes that he's not faking it. The car goes through the guard rail and crashes over the embankment. The highway patrol finds it the next morning. Doogie and the hippie are dead, and the cop shouts to his partner that it's not pretty; both the brakeline and the power steering line are cut clean through. Just like the others. At that moment, the old man in the RV pulls up. He asks the officer if there is anything he can do to help. The cop sends him on his way, and the old man mumbles to himself about kids as he adds the hippie's peace-sign air freshener to his collection. Oh, good grief. I realize that VH1 is having a hard time competing with the gigantic presence of Carson Daly's head on MTV, but who greenlighted this project? Find me that man. Find him and kick his ass. The reason that this wreck of a show caught my attention and, truthfully, the only reason my channel surfing ever has a layover on VH1 is because of John Taylor. Yes, that John Taylor, the aging Duran Duran member who seems to have taken up permanent residence on VH1. John Taylor, who, of course, should not to be confused with either Roger Taylor or Andy Taylor, who are, of course, not related. And while I certainly understand that going from the raging excesses of eighties stardom and all its perks to the half-life dullsville existence of the rest of the unmanicured masses can be a difficult transition, I certainly do not understand the urge to embarrass oneself by agreeing to appear on anything VH1 produces. The List, Mr. Taylor? And while you certainly held your own against Kevin Bacon and that irrepressible Danny Bonaduce, your company was unappreciated. And, yes, Mr. Taylor, while you do hold a certain cachet on VH1, and they certainly have a plethora of openings for fallen stars, there have to be other options. You can't have sunk this low yet. Call your agent. Call him now. A hapless and overworked manager is stumbling out of an elevator at some high-falutin' and storied hotel in some unnamed urban center. He is busily apologizing to a reporter for his client's failure to show up for an interview. The jaded rock reporter nods, unconvinced of the agent's defense. The frazzled agent pats him on the back, saying don't worry, don't worry, he's learned! He's found positive ways to channel his extra energy. I look out the window, and Foreshadowing is standing there in bright red short shorts, waving a big huge flag and pointing at my television set and giggling. I glance back at the television just in time to see the agent open his "reformed" rock star's hotel-room door to absolute mayhem. There are naked chicks here, drunken debauchery there, and John Taylor standing in the middle of it all wearing Axl Rose's headband. As the writer and the agent survey the room, John Taylor grabs a television set and tosses it out of the window, then watches excitedly as it crashes onto the crowded street below. Wow, that looks like a great idea. Especially if the little men who live inside my television and act out the television shows insist on reenacting this crap. The agent introduces the reporter to John Taylor, who is working under the pseudonym Jimmy Blitz. Oh yeah, sure, like we don't know it's you. The reporter whips out his tape recorder and starts asking questions. Jimmy, are you happy to be back on the road? Do you mind playing smaller clubs? John Taylor says that he doesn't mind, because he's giving something back to the fans. The reporter asks what he's giving back to the fans when he's charging fifty bucks a ticket. John Taylor rolls his eyes and says, dude. If Rick Astley can do it, so can I. The reporter asks if he still gets drunk before each show; in response, John Taylor spits his drink all over him and threatens to light him on fire. Game, set, and match. The reporter retreats out the door, and John Taylor smashes a mirror with his head in celebration. He's so rock.

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