Still, he pulled two of his 18 year old co-hosts and took them to the pub. He remembered buying them cocktails, dancing andbeing warned to “take it into the toilets if you’re that keen on her, mate.”
When he emerged the club was even more packed. Word had got out that he was in the club and the girls weren’t disappointed, screaming rabidly as he emerged, shirt undone, to have a dance with the prettier ones.then waking up in a police cell.
He hadn’t planned to wake up in a police cell the next morning.
“What did I do?” he asked when the officer came to check on him.
“Well son, you were warned for being drunk and disorderly. You then threw your drink at the officer and told him to “fuck off”. When he arrested you he punched him, breaking his nose.”
“I don’t see what’s wrong with being drunk in public, how else was I supposed to get to me car? I can’t fuckin’ teleport!”
“Sir, there’s no need for that language.” He leaned back against the wall.
In Nottingham, he got into another scuffle. He was once again apprehended for being drunk and disorderly and once again told the officer to fuck off. After being told not to swear, he took the officer’s helmet and did a ver sarcastic impersonation of the arresting officer.
“Did I punch another copper?” he asked. The policewoman shook her head.
“You need to stop drinking.”
“That’s part of me job!” She wasn’t impressed and neither was the judge. As always they gave him a fine and community service in return for pleading guilty. Prison was for serious offenders, not twats who drank too much.
“Who did I punch this time?”
“No one. You ripped open a policewoman’s blouse and motor boated her.” It turned out, as it happened, that the policewoman didn’t want to press charges. In actual fact, after meeting her sober, he took her for a couple of dates. She was pretty and had a good pair of tits, but was a little bit boring. The unashamed objectification went both ways, after all.
He used the band’s forthcoming album as an excuse to stop seeing her, and she accepted it. She would boast to her girlfriends that he’d nailed her, not having been after any more. It meant the girls would come see him when he next played the town, hanging around afterwards for him to take another crack at.
Randy celebrated his 21stin Amsterdam, spending the next day in bed with a skull-crushing hangover. He had a gig to play the next night, and was only just sober enough to make the sound-check. By the time it came to the show he’d downed a bottle of vodka and could just stand.
If there’s one part of his legend that’s true, it’s that he became someone else when he was on stage. No matter how drunk or strung out or high he was, he could turn in a legendary performance every night. Indeed, some nights it saved the band.
The singer noticed that the girls screamed louder for the guitarist than for him. They had always called for them both, but the cheers were now defiantly louder for the other.
He was equally egocentric and became jealous of him very quickly. They were all professional enough for it not to affect their performance but the singer flew into a rage backstage. James hated sharing the limelight and didn’t want to lose it. He punched Randy in the face, breaking his nose. The force knocked him out and he came round in the hospital later.
The hospital bill, including a stomach pumping, came to £1,500. This was almost half what the tour had cost to put on and their furious manger put the blame squarely on James. “Most expensive thing you’ve ever broken!” Randy told him when he appeared to sulkily apologise.
Strangely, when the others were moping over women, it was the piano project at his mum’s he missed. It wasn’t that he didn’t love women – Randy Shagger was a title hard-won – he just didn’t feel the need for a steady girlfriend. One day he’d pick up a nice girl and make a home with her, but until then he was going to enjoy the fruits of his success.
His female fans wrote to him asking for dates. Sometimes he wrote back to them with his phone number and they’d arrange a time and place, sometimes he replied and politely declined.
At the age of 21, he was so revered as a musician that lesser bands asked him to collaborate on work. He was notoriety-rich but cash-poor and couldn’t afford to say no to these offers. By the time he was 25 he had developed a reputation for insane spontaneous orgies after shows as the payment in kind he expected.
On one occasion he was asked to work with an emerging pop group, all female, all aged 21 – 23. He was a week shy of his 23rdbirthday, which was why he was in such high spirits. Actually working with them on the song bored him rigid, but he was planning to have the group of pretty girls at his birthday party.
They were performing in this small club in the middle of nowhere and he’d been drinking all day – even here people knew his name and everyone he met had bought him a drink. By the time he got on stage he could just about make his way to stage right, depending on the amps and the girl’s positions to orientate himself. The curtains were closed until they were in place, which was good for the audience.
Once he was in position though, he was unstoppable. If you were there you’d have seen the pure anguish on his face, that someone as immensely gifted as him should be playing this trite to pay the bills. He was shaking, you could tell he was desperate to just take the simple melody and turn it into one of his famed improvisation pieces.
The girls became aware of the tension just after the third song and the mood changed. They knew how lucky they were that he had decided to join them for this show and raise their profile. They owed him something for his troubles and it didn’t take long for them to work out what.
After an hour and an half the three girls and he rushed off backstage, locking the dressing room door behind them. After just moments there was the loudest wailing and moaning any of us had ever heard. They all tried to convince this thick-headed brute that worked as security that they were having intercourse, but he had seen three women go in and only one man; he couldn’t be having sex with all three at a time!
Against their advice he smashed the door in. What he found gave him a heart attack. Randy was kneeling in front of the oldest one, trying to snort cocaine off her thighs. She was wearing just her bra and he was wearing nothing. At the same time the other two girls were lying on the floor, both also naked, kissing and cuddling each other.
Randy finished the two lines, stared the security guard in the eye (propping himself up on her thigh) and finished off. “I had to release that tension somehow” he said when the police arrived.
The notoriously humourless English police were rarely swayed by hisbon mots.For this offense he was given a £1,000 fine plus the cost of any damages. The court offered to sway the fine if he’d make a public apology, but his lawyer slapped his hand over his client’s mouth to silence him. Had he been allowed his say he would have been held in contempt of court.
Besides irritating the police and drinking, he spent his down time talking to interviewers. He enjoyed having someone who was interested in what he had to say and getting paid for it. In fact, he had a car that he used solely for posing for photographsin.It was the kind of pointless luxury he now felt entitled to.
At 26 he met the woman who would be his wife. She had been in a record store looking at his LPs and he told her “Buy that, it’s life-changing.” Amazingly this line worked and she accepted his offer of a drive round the nearby countryside. He bought her some wine, they had an improvised picnic on a hill and she was returned to her home just before 8pm when her father returned.
This episode went so well that they went out to dinner a week or so later. It was then that he discovered she was just 17, a potentially dangerous gap. He’d thought she was 21, which made it little better.
She was an intelligent girl but this was a different time and birth control pills were not as reliable. He had a latex allergy and they relied on the Pill. Inevitably it went wrong and she found herself with child when they’d been seeing each other for a year and a half.
One Saturday morning, when his brain was whirring in his skull, he heard a knock. He was in no state to accept visitors.Another knockThey knocked again. No answer. A furious voice roared “You’ve knocked my daughter up;,I’m coming in one way or another.” Randy was frozen with terror. He always kept the bathroom window open and her father would force his way through that. Randy couldn’t move as he heard the window being forced out.
Her father came and threatened him with a knife. He had never liked the man out of a hatred for modern music and he was convinced a musician couldn’t support a family.
“Shagger! What kind of surname is that?” he raged. “I can’t have my daughter being a Shagger!”
“My surname’s Portcollis” he said. “She’d be Mrs. Portcollis.”
“What’s your trade, boy?”
“Carpentry... I make my own guitars.” The father sneered but put the knife back in his belt.
“I don’t like youoryour music, so if you don’t do the decent thing and marry her I will kill you, and I’ll enjoy it.” He forced his future son in law to his feet. “I shall get my daughter; you will get an engagement ring. Get dressed and buy one.” Randy was stunned and remembered nothing until he was trying to remember her ring size.
The sales girls seemed quite upset when they saw him shopping for engagement rings. It meant some other bitch had snared the man they wanted to marry. Through their tears they asked why he was suddenly getting married. Knowing that every word would be in the tabloids the next morning he told them he’d got a girl pregnant. It would have come out anyway.
His next memory was proposing to her in his messyliving room.flat.She accepted, knowing she had no choice either. These were not ideal circumstances, he had wanted to wait a little longer and propose on their second anniversary, or their third or fourth, or the one following her inevitable disappearance. He wasn’t much of a man for planning and a wife would have been ahindrancehinderance.
He was just off a flight from Paris when his fiancée went into labour. He was drunk and tired yet managed to drive her to the hospital safely, a fifteen minute drive from their house. While she was having their son he fell asleep in the chair.
He saw her once in labour and threw up. The nurse and midwife were busy with Mary and didn’t notice the three dry heaves, meaning he vomited before they could get him a bowl. He was tired beyond caring and two nurses were needed to pull him out the chair and to the patient showers.
The nurse emptied his pockets and took his clothes to the laundry. The nurses were used to this; the hospital was in a poor area and many new fathers turned up drunk or high. Many new mothers did too, sadly. “Take your time, it’ll be a long birth.”
The shower sobered him, but it didn’t wake him up very much. He’d had eight hours sleep over the previous week and it was miraculous that his erratic driving hadn’t killed anyone.
Wrapped in just the towel, he leaned back against the rough chair and watched her force the child into the world. At least in this state he wasn’t worried about trying to be of use, unlike some of the fathers on the ward.
He woke up again and watched as the child was put into her arms. “Randall, Randall... Randy? What do we call him?”
“Him?” It still hadn’t dawned on him that he was now a father. “Name him after your dad.”
“Why not yours?” The newborn made a small sound and Randy’s chest swelled with unplaceable emotions.
“I’m just kowtowing to your father. He honestly scares me, Mary.” He pulled himself up and lurched to the bed to look at his son. “William, you’re beautiful.” He wished he could hold him but he hardly had the energy to hold himself up.
Her bed gave a perfect view of the main entrance to the hospital. Journalists from every newspaper were camped outside the hospital. Randy would be expected to go out and show off the new child, but his clothes seemed to have been lost in the wash. There was no way he’d be able to go out in the hospital gown. His white jacket had stayed clean, but that would be no use on its own.
Thankfully his mother arrived with a change of clothes. “Your father was sick when you were born” she said to comfort him. She cooed over her new grandson. “He’s beautiful.” Randy was too overwhelmed to respond, staying in the chair while his mother and fiancée talked. This child, while beautiful and amazing, was the end of a previous life.
Immediately his world shifted. The child was now the centre of his world, a sentiment shared by the singer. James had accidentally knocked up his girlfriend too, but her father was more permissive and only asked he support the child as best he could.
They married in church three months after he was born. It wasn’t the way Randy wanted it – he’d stopped going to church long ago – but her father had insisted this was how it was to be. His hopes had been for a long engagement, the kind to stop their families nagging about commitment.
For the first four years they got on well together, producing a second son two years after William. It was testament to his creative abilities that the character of Randy endured this happy marriage. There were still women and he still boned them, but the flings were now rarer and he told his wife afterwards.
Following the birth of Charles, the second son, she became more paranoid. The band was very successful now and he would spend months on tour. She hadn’t minded when he was away for weeks, but James had impregnated one of the backing dancers on a four-month stint. Months gave time to develop a relationship, the thing that worried her most.
She wasn’t a big party-goer, but her husband still loved them. Besides, he had to turn up at all promotional events and award ceremonies. The girls had sent in letters asking to be his date to every event when he was single, and he’d obliged, taking the pretty female fans to these events. Now it was known his wife was uninterested, they began asking again. The more photogenic ones got taken to these events. The first couple of times were scandalous, but it soon became apparent that they were competition winners.