The Disturbing Consequences of Sex with The Who
by Regis Boff
Jim Callaghan, the remains of The Who’s all-night security detail, shifted nervously. He was wearing one shoe.
We ignored him.
Keith Moon was in front of me, wearing black nylons and a blue silk kimono, a tea service set for him on a small Victorian table. His hotel suite window showed whichever lake was next to Chicago. It was early morning sometime in the late seventies. He was wearing Callaghan’s other shoe.
At mid-tour, he was worn and beginning to look like an unshaven Judy Garland during her last difficult years, but I kept this to myself.
“Spot of tea, Regis?” he offered, not aware there was not a second cup. “Did you take in some theater before you rushed here to help me?” he jabbed.
“I wanted to pick up more cash,” working to deflect him. The band still made me nervous. ”
I learned early that rock stars had no concrete understanding of cash and that it stalled and confused them.
He regarded me as a magically tall cash fountain and understood vaguely that on occasion, I needed a refill. It was our primary working link.
“We have disturbing confidences to discuss,” he began slowly,
“I have met the wrong woman.”
He paused here, exploring our faces for sympathy. None came. But we didn’t laugh either.
Days seemed to pass for me. Callaghan broke first,” He’s got the clap.”
“Quiet!” he shot at him in a harsh hiss, “this is our grave intrigue; no one can ever know.”
” I’ll find you a doctor,” I convinced him, then after brief but genuinely stupid pleasantries, I left.
I can make anyone do anything for Who tickets and cash.
The doctor was there in under an hour to take a culture. He called Keith later to unveil he had an especially hateful strain of Vietnamese gonorrhea.
That afternoon I headed back up to his room with the doctor and his bag of syringes in tow.
We found the drummer with his close friend Dougal hunched over a coffee table with pens and paper looking like Hitler and Goebbels planning a North African tank campaign.
While the doctor set up, I asked: “Should we let the girl know?”
“Girl?” he sniffed as though I had demanded the definition of a two hundred letter word.
Women roam rock tours like buffalo in the high plains west by the thousands.
Groupies get a bad whack in music mythology. Commonly they had much higher IQ than the rock road crews and the band members they coveted. They are ambitious, conniving, and breathtakingly forward advancing. Sometimes it is sad, but the sexual carousel had its fun side.
There is nowhere on earth like a rock tour in that way.
He snickered at me, “there is no girl, there are constellations of girls.” With that, he turned back to his charts with Dougal, who was now so stimulated about the plausible associations he was practically drooling.
Dougal and I called all the connections.
The English are reliably the last to guess a lie. They marched in all day, all types, even some of our lawyers succumbed to the flimsiest of evidence. With sick looks on their faces, they dropped their pants.
This doctor was now working for me full time. He made a small fortune and walked away with enough tickets to start another Ticketron in Chicago.
I understood that innocents were fingered, caught up in a fabulously infectious net. But the truth will always misjudge in favor of caution.
A photograph exists of everyone standing or kneeling together in that suite at day’s end because the whole damn thing turned into a party.
It resembled a U.S. baseball team card.
The Indian doctor was sitting in the center, holding a lap-full of Who tickets and syringes. I don’t know who has that photo today.
I would pay for it.