Kid Rock, limos and beefy bodyguards

First crank of the year

Ah, yes, the new year is again upon us, offering up the requisite tabula rasa with which to forge our collective futures, disregard the awful past and slough off our undesirable vices. The first Loose Lips column of the year is the hard-wrought result of fitful nights awake with candle and quill, perspiration-stained manuscripts littering the floor of a dimly lit study and much metaphysical wrestling of the mind on pithy and profound topics ... such as why does Starbucks use such flimsy, leaky coffee cups which inevitably result in a venti-sized load of 100 percent hot Colombian oil cascading over the brown velour interior of your ‘84 Buick? Are they trying to force me to buy one of those flashy travel mugs?

With the holiday causing an early Loose Lips deadline, I’m seeking to wring some bounce of excitement from the road-weary retreads of the abbreviated social calendar. Combine that with a load of hot coffee in the lap, and you’ve got a recipe for a tragedy of biblical proportions.

Fortunately, however, those few short days between Christmas and the impending deadline yielded one huge blowout of a soiree.

The World According to Bobs

Proving once again that auld acquaintances should never, ever be forgotten, Tuesday night at the Roostertail bore witness to one of the more festive holiday gatherings in recent memory. Platinum-selling Romeo boy made good Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie and Made in Detroit mogul Robert “Bob” Stanzler threw their annual intimate shindig for friends, strangers and just about everyone else. Media, media whores, the folks who love them ... everyone had a place at the party, which was packed to the rafters with far too many scenester cognoscenti to mention. As I made my way around the gaping potholes on the road to the Roostertail (come on, Schoenith, I know it’s a city street, but just pitch in a few bucks for some patching tar), I witnessed what must have been the largest limo caravan this side of the presidential inauguration. Not just any limos, however, but gargantuan, ridiculous testosterone-fueled stretch Humvees. You could spot the limo drivers quite easily, as they were usually better-dressed than most folks at the party ... either the drivers or the corn-fed Andre the Giant-sized bodyguards, who seemed to be omnipresent.

Crushed by Majesty

As I made my way into the party queue, the magnanimous Stanzler was in generous form, pulling me out of the line and doling out drink tickets with gleeful abandon. Also in line was Brass Ring consigliere Mike Novak, who introduced me to Kid Rock manager and satin tour jacket aficionado Ed “Punch” Andrews, the longtime Bob Seger curator who now also handles Mr. Rock following Rock’s jettisoning of former manager Stephen Hutton. The personable Andrews, as local rock historians will recall, is also a historic figure on the local music scene as a result of the Hideout Clubs he started with the late David Leone in the mid-’60s.

As I moved through the nicotine and cannabis clouds, I found myself chatting up friends and foes at every turn, including self-described shutterbug-pimps Randy G and LA import John Paul, current entertainment attorney and former Majesty Crush drummer Odell Nails III, DJ Powdrblu John Cathel and a “looking-at-the-world-through-rose-colored-glasses”-bedecked Kevin Jackunas.

Speaking of Majesty Crush, it was a (no doubt unintentional) reunion for those guys as well, as I chatted with various former members throughout the night, including local artist Michael Segal, as well as music scribe Hobey Echlin, currently toiling away in Manhattan for Mixer Magazine, the Village Voice and others. Holding down the bar was floppy beach hat fetishist and current “PS I Love You” front man Dave Stroughter, who inevitably foisted the latest PS demo into my hands. Hobnobbing about on the dance floor were local sax men Alto Reed and Howling Diablos reed leader Johnny Evans, who posed for a quick flash shot on the floor. Fortunately, no security guards took umbrage at the photos, however the same cannot be said of certain other paparazzi. Specifically, local publisher John “Son of Bee” Badanjek was relieved of his camera batteries by the security crew and evicted from certain VIP areas after some unauthorized schmoozing attempts. Must have been the Marshall Mathers security zone.

Although Mr. Eminem was reportedly in attendance, I failed to get a clean shot of him due to the ever-present phalanx of bodyguards. Every once in a while, the crowds would part like the Red Sea as some celebrity (James King? Kim Mathers? Who Cares?) was wedged through the throngs by the Moses-like bodyguards.

After a healthy dose of imbibing, Rock and an array of Howling Diablos, Twisted Brown Truckers and other musicians took the stage for yet another superband jam session. Belting out the inescapable “We’re an American Band, “Jumping Jack Flash,” and assorted other tunes, it was indeed an “it’s my party and I’ll sing if I want to” kind of moment. The crowd ate it up. I only wished Bob would have turned it down for a moment and done something along the Tom Jones-stylings of “Green, Green Grass of Home.” Damn. Twarn’t have been a dry eye in the house.

In any event, the merrymaking waged on through the wee hours, wrapping up around 3:30 a.m. at the Roostertail.

As I departed, I tripped over benchwarmers Melissa Barrett and Christa Taylor, who were looking for a limo ride to the after-party. While Boxing Day had robbed me of the intestinal fortitude to see this party to its debauched conclusion, the limos were subsequently piloted over to Eastern Market for some after-hours carousing at the late-night hotspot “Push.” While Dave Feeney of Tempermill Studios was not in attendance, I do believe I saw his brother Jim (sorry about the mix-up last column). Happy new whatever.

Casey Coston writes here every other week. Got gossip, shameless publicity requests, party invites? E-mail [email protected], or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial
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