I hated Andrew Scott. Now it’s true that I hate most people, but Andrew Scott was one of those people I hate the most because I admired the heck out of that kid. So full of himself and so cocky; he reminded me of a version of myself back when the world was young and I was a perfect little angel. The kid had it and he knew it, walked around like a peacock splaying his feathers without a ladybird in sight. He was the kind of guy who talked just to hear himself talk, and he had a peculiar cock in his walk which was like his mating dance to let all the ladies know he was available.
Despite what Al Pacino might tell you, my favorite sin is pride, not vanity. (By the way, can someone tell Keanu Reeves to lay off the accents; he’s really bad at it.) Vanity is just an aspect of pride, and what do I care if you’re looking at yourself in the mirror all the time. No, pride is the big one; after all, it is pride that comes before a fall. Pride found Achilles’ heel when he thought he was in a moment of great strength. Pride told Delilah Sampson’s secret. Pride is why your neighbor cheats on his wife every night while she’s asleep, and it’s also why he doesn’t realize that tomorrow night she’ll be waiting for him to come home with a butcher knife in one hand and thoughts of castration on her mind.
Andrew Scott’s pride oozed off of him like thick cologne. At times it reeked of desperation, a smell I know very well. I said earlier that the kid had it, but no one really knew what it was, but they knew it wasn’t talent. I wouldn’t have been surprised if what he had was VD, but I knew he didn’t because that’s a smell I know very well too. What he had was closer to determination, and ignorance to the fact that when he stepped on stage the sound that came out of his mouth was closer to the sound of a cat in heat than angels in heaven. He had the swagger, he had the moves, but he and his band, Andrew Scott and the Great Wall of Thunder, didn’t have the talent or the name to make it anywhere.
Scott was one of those guys who thought his mommy and his daddy didn’t care about him because they put him in an expensive private school and despised it when he started listening to Body Count in middle school. When cell phones became popular when he was in high school they told him he’d have to get a job and pay his bill if he wanted one, so he ran away for a week. I half expected Andrew to punch his dad in the face when his dad scolded him on his eighteenth birthday for going out and getting a tattoo with the money that should have gone to his overdue phone bill.
Instead, Scott moved to my city. No, my city is not Las Vegas. He moved to Los Angeles, the City of Angels by name, and the city of demons by trade; everybody’s got one. There are very few places I feel more alive in this modern world than Los Angeles. Sure, Vegas has open debauchery, but I prefer the skeletons in the closets of Los Angeles. It’s brimming with the pride of the crushed souls of thousands of actors working as waiters serving the stars they think they should replace. The studio executives who snort cocaine off the tits of prostitutes while their wives play “tennis” with oiled up Latino musclemen down at the country club. Oh, it makes me giddy like a little school girl! Nero’s Rome, Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, and Darfur combined don’t give me as much pleasure as the personal depravity that goes on in LA.
Andrew enjoyed it too, at first. He indulged in all the things his “strict” parents would have never allowed. Marijuana, sex, cocaine, anal sex, heroine, trannys, ecstasy, S & M Bondage, the works! He took out bank loans for prostitutes and drugs without a thought as to how he was going to pay them back. I thought for a while his propensity for these two commodities was limitless, and it truly was a thing of beauty; he just wouldn’t quit. I think he wouldn’t have quit if his body hadn’t done it for him.
One night he learned that it was unwise to mix meth, coke, weed, and heroine; or that at least you shouldn’t try to do so within the span of three hours. His heart stopped on the couch, but he was lucky enough to have an acquaintance nearby who had watched Pulp Fiction one too many times and kept an adrenaline shot in the fridge for just such an occasion. I say acquaintance because that day Andrew learned that these people weren’t his friends. Almost as soon as the needle was out of his chest he was kicked out of the only home in LA he had known. The out of work actors didn’t want to be associated with a drugged up junkie piece of shit, so they sent him packing.
For the next several months LA turned from the heaven of his choosing to the hell of his damning. He didn’t realize he had become addicted to the drugs, and without money or a supplier the fits hit him hard in the gutters of that once magical city. The banks wouldn’t give someone with $15,000 of debt another penny, so Andrew Scott merely wandered from place to place looking for handouts and luck. It was in Huntington Beach that he found a true friend in Steve Dorcet, who happened to be the drummer for an outfit called The Great Wall of Thunder.
Steve let Andrew crash in a sleeping bag on his floor, while Andrew’s body violently leeched out all the crap he had ingested. During the moments he was lucid he would hear The Great Wall of Sound practicing in the garage sans singer. They were god awful, but if a monkeys screeching in the woods another’s bound to hear it and think it’s beautiful. Andrew would later recall that it was at this time that he felt himself coming to longer and longer, the music like vitamins for the soul or some such bullshit. I never really listened to him when he started talking about the spirituality of music. At any rate, he would start coming up with lyrics and melody in his pea brain until he reached the point he was actually able to join in on the orgy of crapitude.
Well, like maggots to rotting flesh they all came together, and since he completed the band, they just added his name to the front of the band name making the unwieldy title that much more ungainly. They wrote several songs together with titles like “Beach Bum Baby”, “Phone Booth of Love”, and “Convulsions #1”. Yeah, they weren’t going places, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Out of mercy or masochistic urges, bar owners granted them gigs and they’d play their empty little hearts out, not a care in the world or a brain cell between them. They all wanted something more though, a lot more. It was at one of these shows that I first met Andrew Scott.