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It started with Steve Jones

Geoff Reading

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In 1999 the band I was playing with — New American Shame — was selected by the Cult to be the support act on a tour of The States. This will be the first of many stories from those 10 weeks — and spill over encounters that continue to this day.   This will be a two or three part story about the show we played in Las Vegas, and all of that night's ensuing entanglements.

The tour started in San Francisco, went north to Seattle, down to Portland then east to Salt Lake City — continuing east to Chicago, Detroit, up into Toronto and then onto New York. After that, there were several stops down the Eastern Seaboard, and over to New Orleans — continuing west making stops all along Interstate 10 through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, San Diego and then out to Las Vegas for the second to last stop. The final show would end up being seven sold out shows at the House of Blues Hollywood.  

So, by the time we got to Las Vegas we were all pretty chummy. Or, at least as chummy as you can be with two guys whom you’d worshipped since sophomore year of high school. Maybe chummy isn't the right word. Lets go with comfortable. we were being ourselves, and the cult and were loving us.  The show in Las Vegas was at the Hard Rock Cafe. 

As this was the closest we had been to Seattle all summer, there were going to be some "friends" flying in from home in the form of individuals knowledgeable in, shall we say, the fine art of post show massage and relaxation techniques. After we finished sound checking, someone told me that Steve Jones, of the Sex Pistols, was on the side of the stage, watching and seemingly enjoying himself.

Half an hour later, up stairs in our dressing room, deciding what madness we should occupy ourselves with until show time, I hear, "There he is again!"

Like kids hearing Santa on Christmas Eve, we all ran to the dressing room door trying to catch a glimpse without being seen.  And there, out our door, walking down the hallway was ... the back of some guy in a t-shirt and jeans.  

Never being one to let an opportunity to meet a legend pass, I went stampeding down the hall.

"Ehhhhh excuse me? Uhhhh, sir? Yeah hi? Hey are you Steve Jones? Wow! That’s killer. I'mgeoffreadingandiplaydrumsinnewamericanshame.ijustwantedtointroducemyselfandsayitsanhonortomeetyou," I say.  

I can't really recall what he said, only that he didn't neck punch me, or tell me to slag off, or anything other than seeming to enjoy some 'kid' paying him some fucking respect. It was great. He went on his way, and I went back to our dressing room, to cheers of, "duuuude no wayyyyyyy!" and "oh man, yer such a DICK! I shoulda gone WITH you!"

I was a hero of the moment.  The evening had barely started, and already I had one of those "if nothing else happens in my career, this was pretty damn cool" moments.  

It was nothing compared to what the night would bring.

Drummer Geoff Reading — who writes a bi-weekly online column (Fridays) for the Weekly Volcano called “Holding Down the 253” in addition to his weekly Wednesday music column Wednesday Reading— has played music in tons of Northwest bands — Green Apple Quickstep, New American Shame, Top Heavy Crush and most recently Duff McKagan's LOADED — to name but a few. He's toured the world several times over, sharing stages with the likes of Slipknot, The Cult, Buckcherry, Korn, Journey, The Sex Pistols, Nine Inch Nails and on and on. He has called Tacoma home since 2005, and lives in the North End with his wife and son.

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