Here follows the opening chapter of the third Deak novel, which is entitled Deak The Third. The Deak novels are the autobiography of an all time great rock superstar who shares a place in the pantheon where Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd and their peers stand. Deak’s comical anecdotes and antics were conceived as a literary tip of the hat to the film, This Is Spinal Tap. The first novel, The Deak, tells of Deak’s birth around 1960 and his life to the age of twenty one, roughly 1981. The second novel, The Second Book of Deak, chronicles Deak’s unwanted and lengthy feud with Michael Jackson and the rest of his life during the years 1982-1985.
Some back story is necessary to fully appreciate this excerpt. (For greater detail or to read about the Michael Jackson novel follow the above link to The Second Book of Deak.) Deak is a friendly familiar of many fellow rock stars, and Freddie Mercury, Paul McCartney, Bob Geldof, Michael Jackson (and his chimpanzee Bubbles), David Bowie, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are all characters, with Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin about to enter the story. The first novel takes place in New Orleans, where Deak was reared and still has a residence. In the second novel Deak bought a ten bedroom mansion in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles, a home he nicknamed Easytown. The master bedroom of Easytown is indwelled by two homosexual ghosts who satisfy any man who stays in the bedroom for as long as he can bear. Naturally, Freddie Mercury becomes a frequent houseguest, while curious others venture into the mysterious bedroom for a night or a few.
The Second Book of Deak culminates and concludes at Live Aid in London, on July 13, 1985, with Deak and Michael Jackson watching the show together from the VIP seats. Michael had declined his invitation to perform at Live Aid but was there, and Deak was invited and scheduled but suffered a terrible backstage accident the morning of the show which rendered him incapable of performing.
This opening of Deak The Third picks up right where The Second Book Of Deak leaves off, with Deak and Michael Jackson together at Live Aid. Also, the following characters are mentioned: Desmond aka The Sexadactyl is Deak’s drummer; Jonesy is Deak’s bassist; Larry is Deak’s manager; and Pierre is Deak’s personal assistant. The rest you should recognize. My website is here: http://writerbob.webs.com/
DEAK THE THIRD
How I abused Mick Jagger before reconciling him with David Bowie while reuniting the Rolling Stones.
Michael and I watched Live Aid together for two hours until he abruptly left to feed Bubbles. After Paul McCartney’s finale brought down the house, I made my way to the green rooms to look for Desmond, Jonesy, Larry and the rest of our entourage. Backstage at Wembley was teeming with music royalty: Freddie Mercury and Queen were there, and Paul McCartney, Elton John, Sting, Elvis Costello, U2 and The Who, all milling about sharing cocktails and chit chat and basking in the electric energy and afterglow of what everyone was calling ‘the gig of the century.’ I was scanning the crowd for Larry or my band mates or any familiar face when I bumped into Freddie Mercury, who said: “Deak! Bloody sorry that you had to miss this one, mate. I was really looking forward to watching you.”
“It’s a huge bummer, but it wasn’t meant to be,” I replied. “You were stellar, as always. You sway that crowd like a flautist an enchanted snake. I'm always in awe. You are the best.”
“Why thank you,” Freddie answered. “I feed off their energy; it’s a symbiosis. Look who I’m talking to, you know how it is.”
“There they are,” said a voice behind us. We turned to see David Bowie approaching. He extended one hand to me and placed the other in the small of Freddie’s back. “Stupendous performance, mate,” he said to Freddie, “really and truly brilliant.” Then he turned to me. “And sorry about your unfortunate mishap, Deak. I heard you took quite a knock.”
I used my splinted finger to point at my bruised throat, and softly said: “I had nothing to offer today.”
“You’ll be new in no time,” David encouraged. “Freddie tells me you have a very special bedroom in your LA pad.”
I looked at Freddie, who cried: “Deak, darling, you don’t think I could possibly keep something like that to myself! When you come upon a perfect melody you have to sing it to the world, and your master bedroom is a perfect melody!”
“What’s the story with it?” David asked.
I explained: “The house was owned by a couple in the nineteen thirties. One afternoon the woman caught her husband in bed with his lover—who was another man. She shot them both dead on the spot, and now they haunt the room, and they seem to greatly delight in gratifying every man who stays in there for more than thirty seconds.”
“Deak’s fairies are very giving and quite skilled—and consider the source on that one!” Freddie proclaimed. “I’ve enjoyed nothing but exquisite nights of ecstasy in that room, it’s the Siberian caviar of sexual delicacies, and I look forward to more. Darling, I crave them!”
“I’d love to give it a go mate,” David said to me. “And as it happens I will be in Los Angeles in two weeks to do some studio work.”
Freddie and David both stared at me with wide, beseeching eyes. “Of course,” I answered. “Stay with me while you’re in town, for as long as you like.”
“Brilliant!” David replied. “I can’t wait!”
“You’re not going to know what hit you!” Freddie crowed to David. “It’s like being run over by a locomotive all night long! Coming and going back and forth, coming and going back and forth…. Call me first thing the morning after and tell me all about it! Maybe I’ll even try and rearrange my schedule and meet you there.”
My manager Larry approached us and greeted everyone. Then he took me aside and said: “You have a phone call I think you’d like to take.”
“Who is it?” I asked, highly curious.
“I’ll let him tell you,” Larry replied, brimful with his secret and beaming a broad smile.
I excused myself from Freddie and David and followed Larry to the phone, picked it up and said “Hello.”
“Deak, Keith Richards here,” he said.
“Keith!” I cried. “What a crazy surprise! To what do I owe it?”
“I heard about your backstage mishap this morning,” he explained. “How are you doing?”
“Assault by a falling amp,” I answered. “It gave my windpipe a bump before fracturing my pinkie. I couldn’t play or sing. Fortunately we just finished a tour. I’ll be alright; I just need a little rest. Thanks for asking.”
“Actually, that’s why I called. I want to invite you to Redlands to relax and convalesce,” Keith explained. “That’s my spread in Sussex. It has healing power, I swear to you. You’ll be restored in no time. My little piece of heaven is only about fifty miles away from where you stand, and it was decked for relaxation with special regard to the feng shui. You could be there in an hour. I’m in Philadelphia right now—I’m sure you know I played the American side of Live Aid here—Ronnie and I had a lovely strum along with Bob Dylan. I’ll be flying in the day after tomorrow and there’s a big favor I’d like to ask you. So what do you say? One phone call and my caretaker will be expecting you.”
“Perfect,” I answered without second thought. To decline was impossible.
“Fantastic,” he said. “Larry has the address. I’ll see you day after tomorrow.”
Desmond, Jonesy and Larry returned to LA. I promised I’d catch up with them and went alone to Sussex. Keith was absolutely right—one day at Redlands was like immersing myself in some magical pool infused with healing virtues. My throat was back to normal, and my singing powers reinvigorated to their former glory; and but for a little stiffness, my fractured finger limber enough to play. Keith arrived early the second morning and greeted me warmly. We had casually crossed paths over the years, and were always friendly with each other while never really friends. Our friendship cemented fast that day.
“Great to see you,” he said, touching my back. “Was I right? You’re almost healed up, aren’t you?”
“Amazed,” I answered. “Almost new already. I feel tremendous. I can’t thank you enough.”
“I always love coming off the road and unwinding here. You’re welcome any time you’re in London.”
“Magnificent, I’ll be back,” I replied, looking around his home approvingly. “You’ll have to stay with me in Easytown next time you’re in LA. Now what’s this favor you need? The curiosity is making me crazy!”
He led me to a verandah, poured two cups of tea and said: “Michael Jackson is breaking up the Rolling Stones.”
I groaned audibly. “Michael Jackson? I was just with Michael at Live Aid. He was invited to perform, declined and then changed his mind at the last minute and was begging Geldof to let him get onstage. Geldof refused, and I had to back out with these injuries, so Michael and I watched it together from the VIP box. How on earth is he breaking up your band?”
“Well, not directly,” Keith admitted. “But Michael has become such a huge superstar in the past two years that Mick is intensely envious, and wants to emulate him. He’s obsessed with becoming an even bigger superstar than Michael, and on his own terms, without the rest of the Rolling Stones. He wants to ditch us like Michael shed his brothers, and Mick’s monomaniacal pursuit of that is why you haven’t heard much from the Stones lately.”
“And why you didn’t perform as the Stones at Live Aid,” I observed.
“And that’s what is galling me the most,” Keith continued in exasperation. His face countenanced frustrated anguish, and he vented. “This past Saturday was one of the biggest days in rock and roll history. Ever. Period. How ya doing, that’s a fact. With the entire world for an audience, it was the greatest gig ever. We only had one shot at that gig, one shot; and thanks to Mick’s gargantuan ego, the Rolling Stones blew it. Led Zeppelin played for the first time in the five years since Bonzo’s tragedy. Paul McCartney performed live for the first time in the five years since Lennon’s horrific murder. The Who were there, U2, Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Beach Boys. David Bowie, Phil Collins, Elton John and Sting all played. Freddie Mercury performed, and where was he? Right where he bloody belonged, fronting Queen! There will never be another such concert, and where were the Stones on this most monumental, most epic, most grandiose spectacle of a day in all of human history? Did they rip it up and rock? What was their play list? Did they tear through a vintage set of ‘Jumping Jack Flash,’ ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Gimme Shelter?’ No. There was no set list and there was no rocking it; there was no Rolling Stones performance at Live Aid. Instead there was Mick tossing his tart little arse all over the stage with Tina Turner, singing that god awful crap ‘State of Shock’ song he wrote with the Jacksons while Ronnie and I strummed along with Bob Dylan on ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.’ I love Bob, I adore Bob, Bob is an all time great and a great friend; and Bob showed all world class by inviting us to join him onstage and thank God for Bob, but do you really need THREE guitars on ‘Blowin’ in the Wind?’”
“I suppose you don’t,” I concurred.
“I’ve never been so uncomfortable on stage in all my life. I felt like a third wheel, like a tagalong, like an idiot.” Keith was getting charged up. “And did you see that rubbish video Mick and Bowie made of ‘Dancing in the Street’? That was no video, that was three minutes of those two fancies wagging their arses and gazing into each other’s eyes and all but sucking face!”
“Oh God! That video!” I cried, then caught myself. “I thought it was…I thought they could have done better.”
“You can say it: it was cheesy, lame and pathetic,” Keith bluntly stated. “Rubbish. Watching it was painful on every level, and made getting the band back together all the more urgent. The Stones can’t miss out on any more history! We can’t watch from back stage or as Bob Dylan’s backing band, we must reunite and continue to make it!”
“I missed out on that history altogether and it feels awful,” I said. “If it’s any consolation to you, I’d have loved to have been able to strum along with Bob Dylan.”
“Thanks for the perspective,” he said, softening his tone.
“Anyway, where do I come in?” I asked.
“I don’t really know,” Keith admitted. “When I first heard about your accident my instinct was to reach out and offer you my place, being so convenient to Wembley.
Saturday is torture for me to think back on, and you understand what I’m feeling like few others on earth, so considering all that I thought your creative mind might come up with an idea how to bring us back together.”
Saturday is torture for me to think back on, and you understand what I’m feeling like few others on earth, so considering all that I thought your creative mind might come up with an idea how to bring us back together.”
“We could stage a rock and roll intervention,” I half jokingly suggested.
“I’ve already contemplated that,” Keith replied, “and have concluded that it would only inflame his insatiable desire for ever greater greatness. When I think of bringing Michael and Tina and David Bowie to try and reason with him I fear the encounters would only spur his obsessed drive to outdo them.”
“Hey, is there any truth to the rumors about Mick and David Bowie?” I asked. “I’ve heard them for years.”
Keith smirked and replied: “The Lovebirds? Let’s just say that if the rehearsals for ‘Dancing in the Street’ were done in the nude, it wouldn’t surprise me. That video of them looking longingly and lustfully at each other is very realistic for very good reason.”
I laughed, then said: “I just saw Bowie at Live Aid too. He all but invited himself to my Laurel Canyon mansion.”
“Is that where you are? I love Laurel Canyon!” Keith replied. “We stayed there at Stephen Stills’ house in ’69 for Altamont, and rented a couple houses on our ’72 tour, and a place Ronnie and I were staying in burned down in ’78. I don’t think the statute of limitations is up on that, mum’s the word. For sure Laurel Canyon rocks! Where in the canyon are you?”
“Wonderland Avenue,” I answered.
“That’s a wonderful thing,” he replied. “A rolling stone can’t have too many LA crash pads.”
“I can’t wait for you to see it,” I said. “As I was saying, Bowie’s coming to stay with me in a couple weeks. The master bedroom in my mansion is inhabited by the ghosts of gay lovers who pleasure any man who ventures in there for hours on end—really, from what I’ve seen, for as long as he can stand to stay in there. That’s why David is coming. Personally, I don’t care for the experience, but Freddie Mercury has spent a bunch of nights; he can’t get enough and he sings the praises of my master bedroom to anyone who’ll listen. That’s how David found out and why he asked me if he could give the room a spin. He was quite specific, he’s actually going to be in LA in two weeks, and we’ve already confirmed that he will be my guest while in town.”
“Wait till Her Majesty Mick hears about such a room, he’ll be knocking down your door and knocking up your maid,” Keith remarked. “I have it on good authority that Mick and David got into a bit of a row while recording ‘Dancing in the Street;’ that something went on one night in a club and that the spat is ongoing and they’re still on the outs with each other.”
“I had no idea, but then why would I?” I rhetorically inquired. “That’s good to know though. I'll keep it in mind while I give thought to bringing Mick back into your fold. In the meantime I do know what would make me feel better after having missed out on Live Aid.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Jamming with a Rolling Stone,” I replied.
He smiled and led me at once to a huge room filled with musical instruments. He picked out a couple of guitars, handed me one and we sublimated our mutual musical frustration in a blasting crunch of power chords and blistering solos. We both enjoyed the same incredible release and we went on for hours. He called a couple of his local musical friends, who came by and sat in on drums and bass, and the jam produced the ‘Jimmy in my Bag/Plunge’ medley which later appeared on my next album, Sweetwater Fountain, and which Keith eventually rewrote into the Stones repertoire as an untitled instrumental jam.
As we jammed I jokingly suggested that if the Stones ever needed a new singer, or wanted to tour without Mick, I was available. I explained, and demonstrated, that one of my greatest musical blessings is my voice, which ranges several octaves between bass and alto, and with which I can replicate virtually any sound I hear, from a cricket chirp to a screeching boom. In short, I was able to mimic Mick’s voice exactly, such that someone who heard me singing ‘Shattered’ with their eyes closed would swear it was the Rolling Stones. I sang a few of his own songs for him, and Keith only reacted with slack jawed amazement at how perfectly I sounded like Mick.
Following the jam we went to a pub for fish and chips and a couple of pints. As Keith got more buzzed he became more vituperative when talking about Mick. He told me all the names that he, Brian, Bill, Charlie and Ron called Mick behind his back. “First off, we call him Brenda, that really infuriates him,” Keith explained. “A few years back we stumbled upon a book written by a woman named Brenda Jagger. Ever since, for whatever reason, just calling him Brenda sets his nostrils fuming and gets him huffing, puffing, stomping mad. ‘Her Majesty’ sets him off nicely too. It can be quite comical. Here, let me play you ‘Micknames.’”
“’Micknames?’ I repeated.
“It’s a song I wrote. I think you’ll quite like it, and with a couple pints in my belly I’m in the mood to sing it.” Keith was a regular at the pub, and they kept a couple guitars in the back just for him. He retrieved them and handed one to me, then we tuned up and he started strumming and singing:
“Micknames…are nicknames…for Brenda.
Micknames…are nicknames…for Brenda.
Her majesty is…an artful dodger with a tiny todger,
A prissy prick with a fat red lick, an enormous ego and a tiny little….
He’s a fancy, a fairy, a twerp and a twit,
an arrogant bitch and a peacock of a git,
Micknames…are nicknames…for Brenda.
Micknames…are nicknames…for Brenda.
Her majesty is…a preening queen, rated O for obscene,
Lovely Miss Brenda, you know who I mean
Brenda likes it on top,
Brenda likes it in the bottom,
Brenda is a dandy fop
Who smokes ‘em if you got ‘em.
Micknames…are nicknames…for Brenda.
Micknames…are nicknames…for Brenda.
The song was hilarious, and an infectious simple strum, and in no time we had the whole pub roaring along with the chorus. As the night waxed later and Keith’s courage was lubricated with drink, he began to speak as much about getting revenge for Mick’s abandoning the band as he did about getting him to reunite, and so I had that in mind as I pondered how I might engineer a Rolling Stones reunion.
In the morning as we sat having tea, I said to Keith: “I was thinking it might be helpful if we could somehow humiliate him; to lower that pedestal whereon he struts and bring him closer to our level.”
“I would love to humiliate him just because I’m so pissed off at him!” Keith snapped. “His selfishness is wrecking everything we took years to create.”
“Has anyone ever rejected his…romantic overtures…that you know of?” I asked.
Keith mulled it a few moments, then answered: “Not that I ever recall seeing. He is Mick Jagger. Why do you ask?”
“What if he were to fall for some drop dead gorgeous who wouldn’t have him?” I suggested.
“And where might we find someone like that?” Keith asked. “A pretty woman who wouldn’t have him would never get near him in the first place, there’s so many around him that will. We could hire an actress, but she’d have to be the very best, otherwise I suspect he’d see through her.”
“I’ve actually got a specific girl in mind,” I said.
“Who is that?” he asked.
I affected one of the female voices I’d perfected over the years, and with a sultry throat I said: “What about me? You do know that many of the female background singers you hear on my songs are actually Deak himself.”
He laughed, then said: “That’s actually very good, your voice. Do it again.” He closed his eyes.
“What I’m saying, darling, is what about sending Deak in drag to put one over on Mick?”
He opened his eyes, looked at me, and said: “Wow. That’s an incredible voice. Can you sustain it?”
“I can go all night long,” I effeminately promised. Then I resumed my normal voice and explained: “I’ve been doing it for years. I can replicate almost any sound I hear. I dressed as Eddie Van Halen for Halloween last fall, at a party at my place. I chatted with everyone and played his songs and solos and had them fooled all night.”
“So how does some hottie Mick can’t have play into reuniting the band?” Keith asked.
I continued. “Freddie Mercury and several of his friends attended the same party, all dressed in drag. They were dazzling and gorgeous, bewitching and beguiling, and they had all the men at the party, myself included, going boing boing and doing flip flops all over the house, out of their heads and insane with desire. A few days after the party I saw Freddie at the studio where he confided in me that he was one of the gorgeous babes at my party, and I revealed to him that I was Eddie Van Halen. We shared a laugh, then he told me that if I ever wanted to experience a new world I should dress, act and be a woman for a day or two. He swore the thrill is indescribable to the…uninitiated. If I can use Mick's testosterone to trick him into following me I can lead him right to you and the reunion. I’ve got it figured out. I’ve got nothing on my plate right now, so if you’re game let’s get it on! Worst that can happen is some egg lands on my face.”
“I would love to see that,” Keith said. “The trick on Mick, that is—not the egg on your face.”
“We can hire a videographer and relive it forever. Oh, and Keith,” I said, then paused dramatically and shifted back to my sultry voice. “The lady is Delilah.”
“Delilah! Ha! Ah! Hey!” Keith exclaimed, having been suddenly inspired. “His birthday party is next week in London! July twenty sixth! He makes a big stink of it every year. No doubt he’s renting out a club somewhere and filling it with his celebrity friends. Wherever it is I’m sure I could arrange for a guest to attend.”
“Delilah can hang around till next week if you want to go through with it,” I offered.
“If I want to go through with it?” Keith scoffed. “Of course I want you to go through with it! The potential is epic, and I get a huge laugh regardless of the outcome! The question is, do you want to go through with it? If you do you’re setting up a cage match in which you or Mick must emerge a fool. And make sure Delilah is tight or he'll see right through you.”
“How would he do that?” I asked.
“He just made a feature length film for his latest song—that’s three minutes of ‘Just Another Night’ expanded into the soundtrack of ninety minutes of Mick, Mick and more Mick. His ego eternally fans and exceeds itself. The film is rubbish—a celluloid atrocity. It was released straight to video just last week. Aside from starring in it Mick played one of the transvestite groupies that fawn over Mick. His ego also never ceases finding new ways for Mick to express his self love. Be aware that he just finished that film only a couple weeks ago, and may still be keen to cross dressing, having recently dolled up himself.”
“Noted and marked in memory, darling,” Delilah replied.
We laughed and started planning the birthday party crash. For the next week I hung around London and Keith’s place, rehearsing the Delilah character and practicing her reactions in a variety of situations. Keith made some phone calls and tracked down a top beautician in the city to dress and make me up for the party. Phyllis was a beauty in her mid twenties and I visited her twice in advance of the occasion—once to measured and sized, and a second to try on dresses. We settled on a black cocktail number that flattered my natural skinniness; it was designed by then little known Donna Karan. It had a fitted sheath silhouette, scalloped hem and a silk lining that fit me like skin. Following the fitting Phyllis took me out and showed me around London and then I showed her around me.
Keith had no problem learning the location of Mick’s birthday party: the Marquee Club in London. The Marquee Club was the venue of the Rolling Stones’ first live performance, and the Stones always loved returning there for any reason. (It turned out that in order to go to the party as Delilah I had to refuse an invitation to go as Deak. Mick had heard I was still hanging around London after Live Aid, and contacted Larry and extended me an invitation. I quietly declined then dropped out of sight for the few days leading to the party.)
Larry had a London jeweler friend who offered to loan us some exquisite diamonds for the occasion, and so on the afternoon of July twenty sixth I stopped by the jewelers and then went on to Phyllis’ studio for hair and makeup. Keith had had Delilah guest listed and once dressed I went to the club alone, and fashionably waited until after midnight to walk the velvet rope.
Once inside I discreetly made my way through the dark club looking for Mick. I wanted to do what I had come to do and to get away as quickly as possible. The night was studded with stars, many of whom I knew personally—Sting, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Michael Caine and Faye Dunaway were among Mick's many luminary friends. I was a little nervous because there were so many people who could recognize me; but those small fears only heightened the greatness of my performance, that in the end I fooled so many.
I discreetly made my way around the outskirt of the crowd, yet still turned many admiring heads before I finally found Mick. He was seated in a quiet corner booth with David Bowie. Whatever row they might have had certainly seemed behind them. They were happily huddled close, and David had his arm casually draped along the booth behind Mick. I took a deep breath, then purposely and slowly, with a low bounce in my step, entered from the side, and when I had caught both their eyes, I stopped. Their jaws dropped; I took a small step back and struck a seductive pose.
I then took up a stool nearby at the bar and ordered a daiquiri. A few moments later David Bowie appeared before me. And I mean appeared. It was weird. I didn’t see him walk and approach so much as he just seemed to manifest himself in the air before me.
“Darling, you are the yummiest thing I’ve seen tonight,” David seductively said to me. “The crème de la crème in the bakery window and I am suddenly very hungry. Wow…just stunning. I would so love--”
Mick came up behind David and put his hand on his shoulder, to get by him, and said: “Thanks, mate. You’ve been a marvelous warm up, but the main attraction is here.” Mick wedged himself into the tiny space between David and me, took my hand and said: “Darling, you are breathtaking and I am bowled over.”
I feigned to not recognize him. “Who are you?” Delilah asked.
“You really don’t know who I am?” Mick replied, sincerely confused.
“You’re the pretty little birthday boy,” Delilah answered.
“And you would be the best birthday present ever!” Mick proclaimed. “How could you be here and not know who I am? What is your name?”
“Delilah,” I softly said.
“Delilah, I’m enchanted,” Mick replied. “May I invite myself for a birthday drink?”
There was a band playing, which I later learned was comprised of a couple of the Marquee Club house musicians and a couple of Mick’s friends. They were in between songs and discussing what to play next when I responded to Mick by acting compulsively. “You may,” Delilah said, “though it’ll have to be with David. I want to play.”
I abruptly got up and went over and whispered briefly to the bassist, who surrendered me his instrument. “How about something funky?” Delilah suggested. Everyone was immediately amazed when I started to pop and slap that bass, and to their credit, the rest of the band was able to jump on my spontaneous groove. The whole club halted and turned to watch me play, and Mick and David were especially entranced to see someone who looked like a model shredding a bass. I wailed for about ten minutes before stopping to a sensational ovation. David and Mick were having a bit of a disagreement when I squeezed between them and back into my bar stool.
“”Darling, that was unbelievable!” Mick exclaimed to me. “I’m recording a new album right now and I want you on it. I insist. You will be on my new record, you simply must. We are working in the studio right now right here in London and I will pay double the going rate for session players to start. Or you can name your price. We were in the studio today and will be there again tomorrow. I would be ecstatic if you could come by.”
“Listen, my sweet,” David said to me, suavely sliding in and placing his arm around my waist. “Mick isn’t even recording with the Stones; it’s second rate stuff. I, on the other hand, am making an amazing new record with my actual band, and as Fate would have it our bassist has taken ill and we need you. We begin recording in Los Angeles next week, and I will fly you there all expenses paid in the lap of luxury. A mate of mine is letting me stay in his Laurel Canyon mansion, and my guest is his guest, I assure you. The master bedroom there is said to contain intense sexual power, and if the sensual delights are one tenth of what I’ve heard, it will someday be the site of pilgrimages.”
“I would love to play on both of your records,” Delilah answered. “I’ll be in London for a few more days so I can work with silly you,” Delilah playfully said to Mick, and then turned to David: “And as Fate would have it, as silly you so eloquently stated, I’m already planning to be in Los Angeles next week and would love to play on your album too. Give me numbers where I can reach you.”
Both hustled to find pen and paper and scrawled their numbers for me, which I put in my Gucci handbag. Then I called it a night and stood to leave, and they jostled to escort me to the door. Near the door David got pushed aside by the crowd, which left me alone with Mick, who said: “Please darling, how about a kiss for my birthday?”
“Oh no, I couldn’t,” Delilah teased. “Business and pleasure don’t mix, and I’m looking forward to playing with your band.”
“If that’s what it takes to please you then we are going to make music tomorrow morning, I’m going to fire you from the band in the afternoon and proceed to make love to you all night long.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” I coquettishly said to Mick, and then to David: “And I’ll see you in LA.” I abruptly departed before either could reply.
I rang Mick early the next morning. He was working at Olympic Studios in Barnes, and gave me the address. I dropped in on Phyllis and had her freshen my make up, and outfit me in clothing more apropos to a recording studio, something serviceable yet stylish, then I went along to the studio. As I walked I focused my head into the role and so when I entered the studio I was a perfectly comfortable and perfectly confident Delilah.
I recorded with Mick’s band for two days. The musicians were all local session men, and we gelled perfectly but that Mick was flustered in my presence. Whenever he tried to sing his eyes involuntarily wandered toward me, and he kept falling out of time with the music. By the end of the second day we had written and recorded two excellent songs: ‘Delicious Dilemma’ and ‘Invisible Fish,’ which we planned to release as a single, but Mick kept flubbing his vocals every time the recording light went on. He was so frustrated by the end of the second day that he abruptly ended the session, saying that he would record his parts later when he was alone. Then he came directly to me and said: “You are fired from the band. Can I take you out to dinner now?”
“I’m not very hungry,” Delilah demurely replied.
“I don’t mean take you out to feed you, darling; I mean: take you out to feed me,” Mick boldly stated.
“Ah, yes, well I’m very flattered, and maybe interested—you are an attractive man,” Delilah enticingly said. “I like both you and David, and I want to play with his band before I choose between you two.”
“Dearest darling delightful Delilah, David has a few good songs, but he owes all his success and everything he has to me. If not the Rolling Stones before, David never is. Why would you settle for a creation of the god when you can have the god himself?” Mick asked.
I knew he was arrogant, but even that exceeded my expectations. I had to hold my tongue and respond like a woman. “The lady likes what the lady likes.”
“At least let me drive you home,” Mick entreated. “We can stop for a glass of wine.”
“You’re welcome to give me a lift,” Delilah offered, “but it will have to be to the airport. I’m flying to Los Angeles. The recording sessions with David and his band start this coming weekend.”
Mick was shocked, and belied being crestfallen for a brief moment before disguising it with self confident bravado. “Very well, Delilah. Go have your musical fling with David. Flush it from your system. A couple days away from me and wasted with him will make you understand that there’s really only one choice. I’m confident we’ll be together again.”
“Maybe we will,” Delilah answered, turning her cheek to his incoming lips.
I departed the studio and reported back to Keith, and we shared a long, drawn out laugh over the phone. We agreed to keep in close contact and to share ideas on furthering the prank. Then I went to Heathrow and flew home to Los Angeles.
David Bowie had been staying in Easytown for two days when I arrived. Pierre and Desmond were there to greet me, and Pierre explained that Bowie had arrived the night before last, and the day before had only emerged from the master bedroom twice briefly for food and drink. Just a couple hours before my arrival David had arisen somewhat early, most effervescent and cheery, and after proclaiming to be as relaxed as he’d ever been in his life, he drank a quick tea then went along to Cherokee Studios, where he was recording his new album. I briefed them about the ruse I was perping on Mick Jagger, both to teach him a lesson in humility and to reunite him with Keith and the guys; and told them how I’d seen Bowie and Jagger together in a London club just the week before.
I didn’t stay long, for fear that David might pop back in unexpectedly, and went and rented a room on Sunset Strip. I then contacted my Oscar winning makeup artist friend Sonia and visited her studio. I put her on the phone with Phyllis, they discussed Delilah’s look, then Sonia took over as Delilah’s beautician. I went back to her the next morning early and she painted my face and fitted my clothes. I had gotten very comfortable portraying the Delilah persona, and was feeling very confident, sexy and hot as I drove to the studio to meet David and his band.
Before leaving England David had insisted on knowing when my flight landed, so he could send a car for me, but Delilah deliberately kept her itinerary a mystery from him, saying only that she’d been to Los Angeles many times before and knew her way around and exactly how to get to the studio and that she’d meet him there. And that’s what I did; I called to confirm that they were there then went and met them at the studio. I entered and an engineer greeted me and brought me into the space where Bowie and his band mates were gathered. David came straight over and greeted me with a beaming smile and kisses on my cheeks. Then he gently took my arm and introduced me to the musicians, Hakim, Carlos and Raj, who played drums, percussion and keyboard. All three men were clearly tongue tied in my presence.
“Daphne is our guitarist, she just stepped out to freshen up,” David explained. “She’ll be right—and there she is now!”
Daphne entered the studio and she was gorgeous—mouth agape, saucer eyes gorgeous. I couldn’t help but stare, and I quickly discerned the same sparkle in her eye when looking at me that I knew was in mine toward her. She was hot! And she was definitely checking me out. Then I saw the same sparkle in David’s eye as he stared at me, and he said: “We actually wrote a new song while waiting for you to arrive, Delilah. It’s actually called ‘Delilah.’ We got it tight while working it out and you’re just in time to fill the bass. It’s in D, we’ll play what we have and you can just listen or try to fit in.” There was a primo Rickenbacker bass there on a stand awaiting me. David commanded everyone’s attention, then cut a down stroke in the air, and while I strapped on and plugged in they started playing, and David took a microphone and sang the song to me.
“The morning star is still the brightest in the night sky,
And yours the celestial flame that lights my smitten eye;
A fiery chariot on high…
Where my burning…uh…longs to fly….
Come be my wings,
Be the air I breathe and sing
Take my humble ring
Come be my everything.
I was dead and buried, in darkness tossed,
Six feet deep and cold, with skin turned into moss
It was bliss when your kiss brought Ziggy back to life,
Be his love, his friend, his confidante…come be Ziggy’s wife.”
He was singing close to my face when he finished the song, and then he only backed away an inch, and said: “You were the inspiration, although be clear the song is not an actual marriage proposal, that is just lyrical stuff to tie it to the Ziggy mythology.”
I was a little put off by David coming on so strong, but instead just said: “I’m very flattered. I already have the bass line in mind.”
“Do you now?” he replied with surprise. “Well let’s hear it before you forget it.” They started the song again, I jumped in, and in moments we were jamming to my eponymously named song ‘Delilah,’ which I have to confess was creepy. Bowie’s musicians were top notch, and we gelled quickly. Throughout the afternoon I could not stop glancing over at Daphne, with her sexy self assurance and her prodigious musical talent. She was also a peerless beauty, and I wanted nothing more than to ditch the Delilah disguise, take her somewhere private and get to know her a lot better. And I kept catching her flirting. It was a strange triangle made of two points: Deak was attracted to Daphne, who was attracted to Delilah. David also stared at me throughout the session, and I saw him catch on that Daphne was checking me out, to which he responded with darting jealous glances. There was so much non verbal communication going on that for the first time I began to feel uncomfortable in drag, and I was greatly relieved when the session ended.
Immediately afterward David came straight to me. He asked me where I was staying and invited me—unbeknownst to him—back to my own mansion. When Delilah demurred he asked where I was staying in Los Angeles and offered to drive me there. I gave him the same line of hooey that I’d given Mick Jagger—I didn’t want to mix business and pleasure, and I was intrigued by and attracted to both he and Mick and I hadn’t yet decided who I fancied more. He resigned himself to passing the night without my company, and said he anxiously looked forward to working with me again in the morning.
The moment he was gone Daphne approached and said: “You play a tremendous stick. I don’t ever recall clicking so naturally with another musician.”
“You are quite the talent yourself,” Delilah replied, “and just so beautiful.”
“You are the beautiful one,” she softly said. She was even more gorgeous up close, and I just wanted to take her in my arms and start kissing every inch. “Can I give you a ride back to your hotel?” she offered. “Maybe we could stop for a drink along the way.”
I couldn’t resist, and Delilah said: “That sounds fun.”
We went to the bar in my hotel and talked for hours. She was so beautiful I was content to just stare and drink her in, so I encouraged her to talk about herself while I just listened and gazed. She had relocated from Idaho to Los Angeles six months earlier. She was a superb guitarist, and was keeping busy doing studio work while assembling a band. She loved my playing and repeatedly mentioned that she was looking for a bassist and that we should keep jamming together. She loved going to live shows and acting like a groupie to pick up on musicians, and invited me to accompany her out some night. She also dreamed of fronting her own band and having the men grovel at her feet. She was young and vibrant and freewheeling and up for anything.
In a moment it had gone from late afternoon to ten o’clock, and suddenly realizing the lateness of the hour, I pulled myself away from her for a moment to check in with Pierre at Easytown. He had been awaiting my call and was bursting with news. “Deak! I’ve been waiting for you to call! Mick Jagger is in Los Angeles! He’s been running madly everywhere, asking who knows Delilah the amazing bassist and where she can be found! He’s scouring the clubs and restaurants, and two of my concierge friends told me he came by their hotels. He’s crazy obsessed with you, Deak!”
“Holy crap!” I replied. “I’m in the hotel bar now! He could come at any second, and I’m not ready to see him! I’ve got to get out of here! I’ll call you later!”
I wanted nothing more than to take Daphne to my room and hide there for the night, but the thought gave me pause—I was fearful she might reject me if she knew I was a man. She had already made it clear she liked leather and lace, but I didn’t know how she’d react to having been tricked if I revealed the truth. She was a woman, after all, fickle by nature, and everything could blow up in my face. I composed myself as Delilah, hurried back to Daphne and said: “I really have to call it a night! I’m so sorry. It’s been an absolutely amazing day meeting you, and I can’t wait to play with you again tomorrow.”
We paid our check and she asked me to walk her to her car. I did, though darting my eyes in every direction on the lookout for Mick. When we reached her car she pressed her lips against mine and gently tongued my mouth. At length she paused and said: “I really like playing with you too. Are you sure you don’t want more sugar right now?”
My mind was frenetic with a thousand thoughts and desires, one of which was my growing paranoia that Mick would surprise us at any moment. I took a deep breath, thought it over and concluded that the best thing was to go to my room and call Keith, to regroup and to strategize going forward.
I reluctantly kissed Daphne good night, went to my room and quickly stripped away my clothes and my makeup and let my inner Deak out. I thought it through and decided to bring everything to a head the following night, either to successfully culminate and conclude the Mick Jagger prank and reunite the Rolling Stones, or to be done with it all and to move back into my home. I was gaga for Daphne, and we could proceed no further without my telling her what she was really going to find if we kept going.
It was about midnight when I phoned Keith—eight AM British time. “Dude,” I said, “Mick is in LA now and frantically stalking Delilah! He’s searching everywhere for her!”
“That’s what happens when the tiny todger wants what it can’t have!” Keith replied, laughing. “You’ve got him hooked good.”
“Listen, I have everything figured out,” I replied, “and if you, Charlie, Ron and Bill can get here by tonight, and if all goes according to design, The Rolling Stones reunion will take place in my mansion the following morning, a little more than twenty four hours from now. I’ve booked you rooms in the hotel where I’m staying right , The Black Pearl. I'll be here tomorrow night too. The manager knows you’re coming. It’s ten minutes from Easytown.”
“I’ll call the guys right now and we’ll get on over to Heathrow!” Keith said.
“Great!” I replied. “Delilah is going to be busy all day in the studio with David Bowie, so call Larry and keep him apprised of your travels and hopefully I’ll see you later tonight or definitely in the morning.”
My mind was crowded and racing…with desire for Daphne…with being Delilah…with pranking Mick and David…with entertaining Keith and the Stones…and missing my own bed. It was the wee hours before I managed to calm down enough to grab a little sleep.
I rose early the next day and went to see Sonia for fresh wardrobe and makeup. As she transformed me into Delilah I told her there was going to be a party at Easytown that night, and to come by for some certain entertainment. I then proceeded on to Cherokee studios, where I was the last to arrive. David and the band were already tuned up, limber and relaxed by the time I picked up the Rickenbacker and joined them. Then I was startled by the presence of a large and rather muscular man standing beside the door; he hadn’t been there the previous day, and I asked David about him.
“That’s Coltrane, one of my bodyguards,” David explained. “I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Mick Jagger is in Los Angeles looking for you. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tracks us down here and I don’t want him disturbing us while we work—or at all, for that matter. I hope that doesn’t trouble you.”
“Not at all,” Delilah casually replied. I looked at Daphne—who was gazing at me—and smiled. “In fact, I was thinking maybe we could have a little party at that mansion where you’re staying tonight. I think I’ve reached my decision, and want to settle this thing with you and Mick once and for all.”
“A party! Splendid idea! I’m sure Deak wouldn’t mind. And that you want to have a party where I’m sleeping I’ll take as a very good sign,” David observed. “Let’s make some music, shall we?”
Overnight he had written a song which he planned to use for the B-side, a tune called Slivery Moon. It was a catchy number which I infused with a subtle yet vibrant bass line. We had been working the song out for about an hour when we were disrupted by a commotion in the control room. We looked over and saw Mick Jagger pounding on the plexiglass. “Delilah! Delilah darling! I’ve come from London to see you!”
A technician opened the microphone in the control room so that we could hear each other.
“What are you doing here?” David said scornfully. “Coltrane, how did he get in here?”
“I’m sorry boss, he tricked me into taking a step forward, then jumped over me and scrambled in the door! He's a gymnast! I've never seen anything like it!” the befuddled bodyguard explained.
“And I’ll do it again anytime I like, you balloon armed git!” Mick boasted. Then he returned his attention to me. “Delilah! Please, let me take you out for a drink, or lunch, or shopping, or whatever you like! I’ve crossed the Atlantic and all of America to see you!”
“Leave her alone, she’s with me today,” David insisted.
“It’s always a lie with you,” Mick said to David, sneering. “You promise you’ll share until the time for sharing comes.”
“Bugger off, you rejected piss ant!” David scoffed.
“Why would she want to be with you?” Mick shouted. “You look like a makeup bag took a dump!”
“Everything is in hand here, you can go back to Britain, Brenda,” David drily said. Mick was infuriated and ready to explode.
I decided to take control of the situation.
“Guys, stop this now, you two are supposed to be friends,” Delilah protested. “Mick, David and I are in the middle of recording a song. Leave your number and I’ll call you later. I promise. Just let us finish here.”
“Coltrane, get him out of there!” David ordered. Coltrane turned and reached for Mick, who acrobatically leaped through his grasp. Mick hopped around the control room and finally landed near the door, where he removed a card and pen from his pocket, wrote upon it, then fixed it in the corner of the window. “There’s my number, Delilah! Get it before this goon does. I’ll be waiting for your call.”
He left, and we composed ourselves and continued and finished recording the Delilah/Slivery Moon single that afternoon.
Daphne and I had been staring at each other all day; I was burning for her and I knew it was mutual. With her nearby and closely watching, David came to me and said: “I’ve made a couple phone calls, and there’s going to be a nice party later tonight at the mansion. In the meantime can I take you out for dinner, or a drink, or give you a lift somewhere?”
“I think I’m going to ask Daphne to give me a ride to my hotel so I can get ready for the party,” Delilah answered. “I want to look nice for you, and I need a little girl talk.”
Daphne stepped forward and offered herself. “I’ll be happy to drive you anywhere.”
“I see you two are becoming chummy,” David remarked with a grin. “I like it…a lot. Let me give you the phone number and the address of Deak’s mansion. There we go, and I’ll see you both there later.” He handed me the address and phone number of my own home, then rubbed his hands and kissed my cheek.
Daphne and I left together, and even as she drove and we exchanged mindless chit chat about the day’s music, I started caressing her arm; and the moment the car came to a stop in the hotel parking lot I leaned over and kissed her.
“I’ve been dreaming of this all day,” she responded, giving it back.
I was irrational with desire and lust for gratification, and the fact that I was pretending to be a woman, and I finally steeled my nerves, stopped Daphne and said: “Before we continue, even another kiss, there’s something I simply must tell you.”
“What’s that?” she whispered back, looking me helplessly in the eyes.
“I’m not who you think I am,” I said as Delilah.
And then I switched to my normal voice and finished the thought: “I’m a man, and one you probably know.”
I anxiously awaited her response, which was like fine music. “Even better,” she said. “I like boys and girls, but especially boys; I am after all a woman.”
I was immensely relieved when she pressed another kiss onto my mouth. Then I confessed my real identity, and she said “even better” again. We got to know each other even better in my room; then night came and she helped me get ready for the party. It was about nine when there was sudden activity at the hotel, and looking out my window I saw the limousine out front conveying Keith, Ron, Charlie and Bill. There was a small crowd gathered to greet them, and after they were checked in I rang Keith’s room up. “I’m glad to see y’all arrived safely,” I said. “I’m right upstairs, I thought I’d drop by in a few and fill you in.”
“Do that, we’re here waiting,” Keith replied.
Daphne was just finishing our makeup, and so we went together and knocked on Keith’s door. He opened it and said: “Oh, ladies! You found us already! Come on in and let’s get the party started.”
Daphne prompted me to lead us in, which Delilah did, saying: “What do you have to drink? I’ve always fantasized about having cocktails with the Rolling Stones!” Ronnie, Bill and Charlie were in Keith’s room, and Charlie played bartender and made me a Manhattan. Even having just spoken with me minutes earlier Keith did not recognize me, and he led me to a sofa and sat down beside.
“So how is your Manhattan?” he asked.
“Great drink, dude,” I replied in my normal voice. “Thanks.”
He jumped back and cried: “Bloody hell! Deak, is that you? I didn’t even recognize you! You look hot!”
Daphne and I burst out laughing. Keith continued to marvel at my appearance. “No wonder Mick and David are all tied up in knots. You look awesome.”
I went on to explain to him what I had in mind to do, and that Easytown was less than ten minutes away. He wanted to accompany me to the party and watch the whole thing unfold, but I told him I thought it would be better if he stayed away until I called him. His presence would definitely have made Mick suspicious, and quite possibly David as well, and I wanted to go and get it done quickly, to minimize my chances of giving up the jig. So they stayed at the hotel awaiting my call while Daphne and I went along to Easytown.
I had called Pierre, and David had phoned a couple of his friends, and that was all that was needed to prompt a full blown party in the mansion. There were dozens of people there, many of whom I didn’t recognize, and none of whom seemed to recognize me, much to my relief. Daphne and I entered separately, as to not arouse suspicions by appearing to be together. I made my way through the kitchen and living room and onto the verandah where I encountered Mick and David bickering.
“Oh shut up and sod off, you skinny bitch!” David said.
“Me the little bitch? I’ll have you!” Mick threatened back.
“I think I hear Brenda calling, or is that someone calling Brenda?” David mocked. “Either way, have off with you!”
Delilah made her presence known. She relished their attention for a few moments, then said: “Boys, please. I’m very flattered, but all this got to stop, and it does tonight. My heart has made up its mind, and it is ready to be revealed.” I looked at Mick and said: “I’ll see you in a few minutes.” Then I turned to David and said: “Can you find me a glass of wine?”
He offered me his arm, and graciously replied: “By all means.”
“By all means she’s saying goodbye to you and spending the night with me!” Mick crowed. “I’ll see you shortly, beautiful.”
David and I retired to a quiet place where he sang a paean to Delilah. He compared my beauty to the morning sun, a may day, a rainbow garden and other such poetry as he’d clearly composed and rehearsed for the occasion, which he imagined to be a seduction. I let him ramble on for a few minutes, then suddenly said: “I keep hearing the stories about Deak’s amazing master bedroom.”
“I’ve slept there the last three nights,” David bragged, “if you could call it that. Believe me, every word you’ve heard is true and more. It is gloriously amazing, surpassing description.”
“Well…I’m very curious now,” Delilah coyly replied, looking into his eyes, “and ready.”
David puffed up and replied: “That’s marvelous.”
“Actually, I know a trick or two with ghosts,” Delilah bragged.
“Do you?” was David’s somewhat surprised response. “I can’t wait to be the rabbit in your hat.”
I looked at and pointed to the lovely diamond watch on my wrist. “It’s ten forty seven now,” Delilah said. “I’ll meet you in the master bedroom at precisely eleven. Don’t be early, don’t be late, and leave the rest up to Fate.”
He blew a kiss at me as I departed to look for Mick, who I quickly found lurking nearby. He seemed pleased and relieved to see me, and extended his arm to my approach. I cut right to the point. With my longing eyes penetrating his, I spoke as though confessing: “You were right…I wanted to say good bye to David and spend the night with you. Have you heard about the mysterious bedroom in this mansion?”
“Of course I have, darling!” Mick scoffed. “And if David wasn’t being such a ridiculous Betty about this whole situation I’d already have spent a night in it.”
“It’s right up those stairs,” Delilah said, pointing down the hall. “And I’m feeling naughty.”
He raised his hands as in victory. “Let’s go Delilah. This is a beautiful night, the best night ever. And Mick remains perfect, undefeated and still batting a thousand! No woman has ever said no to me and no woman ever will!”
“Don’t tell everyone you see what we’re up to or I might get cold feet,” Delilah playfully warned. Mick contained himself and we quietly slipped upstairs and into the master bedroom. As soon as I got him behind the door I turned off the light, placed two fingers across his lips, and whispered: “Shh…this is going to be a magical night, I promise. I’m so happy we’re finally alone. I’ve been waiting—oh! I forgot my bag. I brought a surprise for you and left it in my bag. The night won’t be the same without it. I must have it! It’s downstairs; wait for me here in the dark darling, and I’ll be back in two shakes, even before the door closes behind me.”
I gently pressed my two fingers against his lips and made a kissing sound with my own. Then I slipped back out the door, where I saw David coming toward me. We startled each other, and I seized control of the situation. I held my watch out and pointed at it and Delilah playfully chastised him. “I said ‘don’t be early and don’t be late.’ it is only ten fifty eight. I’m preparing a surprise for you, and when you come back in two minutes—no more no less—it will be ready.”
“Very sorry darling,” he answered, gleefully rubbing his hands. “I’ll see you in precisely two minutes!”
“Oh, David,” I called after.
“Yes, love,” he tenderly replied.
“No need to knock when you return, I’ll be awaiting you,” I seductively answered.
He floated away on his smile while I descended the back stairs and hid in a closet for five minutes before returning to the party. I phoned Keith and his mates at the hotel, and fifteen minutes later they were at Easytown. As word got out that the Rolling Stones were at my mansion, crashers arrived in droves, and the party swelled and roared into the night. Keith fretted about what he’d say to Mick, and I told him not to worry about it and to enjoy the party, and that it wouldn’t surprise me if Mick and David weren’t seen again for days, or even weeks.
So we made jokes and enjoyed a bunch of laughs at Mick and David’s expense—and no one reported a sighting of either at any time during the night. I provided instruments for the Rolling Stones, took the microphone and we started practicing a few of their songs utilizing my uncanny vocal impression of Mick. Then as sunrise approached Daphne freshened Delilah’s makeup and we engaged my plan. We strategically placed speakers throughout the house, including massive tweeters directly outside the master bedroom door; we then opened all the inside doors of the mansion to maximize the echo, set the amps at ten, and at exactly 6:33 in the morning Keith ripped off the opening riff of ‘Satisfaction.’ His guitar split the early twilight like an air raid siren. He repeated the riff for thirty seconds or so before we joined and launched into the song.
We were only halfway through ‘Satisfaction’ when Mick and David descended part way down the stairs, where they stopped and watched. They were wearing the flowery silk kimonos that I kept hung in the closet. I threw myself full on into the performance, and they stared in awe at Delilah as I danced up the stairs to where they stood, and screamed in their faces: “Hey, hey, hey! That’s what I say! I can’t get no, satisfaction! I can’t get no, satisfaction! Cause I try, and I try, and I try, and I try…I can’t get no, satisfaction!”
I got up in their faces then came back down the stairs and pranced around the room while we finished the song. They came downstairs and stood with us, and Mick coldly acknowledged his band mates.
“Bloody hell Mick,” David remarked, “she sounds exactly like you. I never realized just how feminine your voice is, and I’ve heard it whispered in my ears. She’s a dead ringer. And quite an energetic performer as well. I had no idea you were multi talented,” he said to Delilah.
Ignoring him I called for ‘She’s So Cold,’ and before Mick or David could utter another word Keith was tickling out that song’s ingenious opening riff. Keith, Ron, Bill and Charlie were all amused by my antic impression of Mick, and egged me on with their continued giggles and laughter. I had studied the video of the song, and in imitation of the way Mick strutted around the set and mugged for the camera, I stuck my arse out, stomped my feet, flailed my arms and got right up in Mick’s mug, singing: “I’m so hot for her, I’m so hot for her, I’m so hot for her and she’s so cold! I’m the burning bush, I’m the burning fire, I’m the bleeding volcano. I tried rewiring her tried re firing her, I think her engine is permanently stalled. She’s so cold, cold, cold like a tombstone. She’s so cold, cold, cold like an ice cream cone. She’s so cold, cold, cold, when I touched her my hand just froze!”
As I imitated his dance style, feeling like a peacock with a hemorrhoid, I removed my wig, and then my dress, revealing the bathing suit I wore beneath, and Daphne came out with a towel and wiped as much of the makeup off my face as she could, so that by the end of ‘She’s So Cold,’ Mick knew exactly who was standing before him and singing his song.
“Nice try Deak,” he stated self defensively. “I knew it was you all along.”
“You did not!” I replied. “I had you both bamboozled and you know it. If we were in New York I could have asked you to scale the west side of the Empire State Building and rappel back down the east you’d be on your way to Fifth Avenue right now. Puh-lease Jagger. You can’t play us for fools.”
“He really does sound exactly like you,” David repeated.
“So what’s your point?” Mick asked me. “What’s the point of all of this?”
By then the room was packed with an audience. There were still several hundred people at Easytown, and they all hung quietly on every word as Keith responded: “We’re rehearsing to go on tour. We’re tired of waiting for you, and Deak knows all the songs and sounds fantastic. If you don’t want to do it, he’s already said yes and he’s a perfectly awesome substitute.”
“You may be no Delilah,” Mick said to me, “but you’re no Mick Jagger either. And I’ll show you exactly who you just picked a fight with.”
Mick snatched the mike from me, looked over at Keith, Ron, Bill and Charlie, held out his hand and said: “C’mon mates! Let’s give Deak a little ‘Street Fighting Man.’”
He dropped his hand like a down stroking baton, but the gesture produced only silence. The rest of the Rolling Stones refused to lift their fingers.
“You’re an arrogant pain in the arse,” Keith said to Mick; “an egotistical, cocksure bastard, greedy and self serving, a spotlight hog, and a thousand other things too terrible to utter; but we are all most of those same things too, and you need us as much as we need you. You know it. Would you really rather go on tour with Tina Turner, and prance around on stage with her every night singing other people’s lame pop songs rather than rocking with the Stones?”
“Don’t go there, Keith,” Mick warned. “I’d rather look at her than you, and everyone knows we both like brown sugar.”
“Now is the moment to decide,” Keith said boldly. “Either you agree to finish the tapes we started in the spring and release a new album, or we start planning a tour, or we’re going to keep rehearsing Deak and do a couple warm up shows here in LA next week before hitting the road with him.”
Mick looked to David, who said: “It’s your life, love. I know what I would do though, and you do too.”
Mick gazed around at everyone, then put the microphone to his mouth and said: “All right, you’re all back in the band! But just remember,” he said, pointing to his lips; “these lips are the logo and the voice of the Rolling Stones.” He turned and addressed the party. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an announcement to make. The Rolling Stones are back together. Now can we have ‘Street Fighting Man?’”
Keith and his mates started the song, and the party became in impromptu three day concert starring the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Deak, as well as a number of local bands and musicians who filtered in and played, and became the first of the many annual three day Hullabaloola shows at my mansion and various other venues around Los Angeles. By the third morning there were a quarter of a million people gathered in Laurel Canyon enjoying the music, as well as a small army of police in cars and trucks and helicopters, who finally interposed and whose forced dispersal of the crowd became the finale of the show, and an annual Hullabaloola tradition, like the midnight Mardi Gras horsemen on Bourbon Street.
A Fruit Basket From the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen