It smells like sex in Danger Kitty’s dressing room backstage at Liquid Joe’s. Oddly, despite the array of wigs, makeup, scarves and assorted bangles littering the room, no women are present.
Vocalist Nigel Thames (pronounced “Tems,” he says, in a contrived Manchesterian lilt. “If you pronounce the ‘h,’ you’re an ignorant American”) and bassist Ginger Roxx lounge on one of two leather couches. Guitarist Maxx Steele exits the restroom and goes off in search of “buds.” Drummer Blackhead, for the moment, is MIA. Thames and Steele are new to the band, replacing original vocalist Michael Diamond and guitarist Rikki Ratchett. “They’re too pussywhipped to make the trip,” says Roxx.
Danger Kitty, as you may know, are the hair-farmers who, back in the day, topped the charts with “Love Rocket,” only to piss away its fortune and fame. As documented in the popular Discover Card TV commercial, they were reduced to playing bar mitzvahs. Persistent rumors that they’re just a bogus band of Hollywood jokers making a buck on mock-metal aside, Danger Kitty is now playing to a packed Liquid Joe’s each Thursday—and they’ve yet to whip out “Love Rocket.”
Pondering Danger Kitty’s upswing, Thames proclaims, “I’m looking for a nice, Mormon transexual. I’ve got a banger in my pants and … hey, Jamba Juice is open!” Recovering from his smoothie reverie, he continues, stating that Danger Kitty had heard the legend of SLC’s crazy groupies and has come to sample their wares. Only one show into their extended Utah engagement, the rumors run rampant.
“We’ve only been here one night and already this chick is saying she banged the whole band at her apartment,” says Thames. “But we never touched her.”
Difficult to believe, coming from the self-proclaimed “horniest man in Manchester,” but Thames explains even he has standards. “I prefer MENSA members with big tits. I’d find it very difficult to get hard for someone so stupid.”
Unfortunately, the crowd Danger Kitty attracts is light on MENSA chicks. They reach out to fondle Thames’ “banger” or his ass-length brown hair during nearly perfect renditions of Ratt’s “Round and Round,” Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills,” Warrant’s “Down Boys” or Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” The band is also spot-on in its mimicking of these ’80s Metal Gods’ femme-swagger. In between songs, Roxx fluffs his hair and exclaims, “We’re going to put our penises in your vaginas!” Genius patter; the crowd goes wild.
“Heavy metal is an art form,” Thames asserts, “and we know we’ve succeeded when there’s not a dry set of panties in the house.” As for the naysayers, Blackhead says, “Any guy would gladly don spandex and play these songs if it meant he was gonna get laid.”
“We’re not defending anyone but Danger Kitty,” continues Thames. “We pay tribute to these bands, but in the context of paying tribute to ourselves. We were at the top once and we will be again. We’ve already got major-label interest. It’s only a matter of time before David Geffen calls and we’re back on tour.”
Maybe so, but when Thames takes a stab at Blackhead, one wonders if Danger Kitty will last that long. “You know what drummers are?” he asks. “They’re people who hang out with musicians.”
Blackhead fires back: “How many lead singers does it take to screw in a light bulb? One. He stands still and the world revolves around him. Nigel has an extreme case of LSD [Lead Singer Disease].”
“Well, I’ve got the hardest job. I carry the least gear, but I do the most work,” Thames responds.
“We replaced you before and we can do it again,” Blackhead retorts.
“You replace me and you’ll find yourselves playing shitty clubs in Salt La … uh, Bakersfield,” says Thames, returning fire.
Blackhead scoffs, but it’s time for set No. 2. Thames takes the stage as regally as one can when wearing a wig and oversized shades. “This is a song by AC/DC,” he says. The band promptly launches into Cinderella’s “Shake Me.” Approximately 350 sluts, mulletheads and formerly closeted rockers rejoice.