Breathe Rehearsal Burbank, CA 10/26/01
Breathe Los Angeles, CA 10/27/01
by Wooby and Jen
|The stars had crossed in our
favor that weekend. After learning at the very last minute that we could
come see the rehearsal on Friday, we quickly tried to see if we could
rearrange our travel. Jen somehow managed to get our flight changed for free
and we were off to LA the next morning.
We checked in to our hotel, arranged a gift bag for Stephan�s cards, got dressed, and headed off into the murky Southland highway system. We were stuck behind a guy picking his ear in a Volvo going at 15 miles/hour for about 90 minutes, but soon enough we broke free and crossed into the Burbank city limits. We arrived at the rehearsal studio at about 3:30.
We wholly expected to step in, hand the birthday cards over, and leave, because we knew that this time was valuable to them for practice and going over last minute stuff; having an audience might be distracting to them. When we got there, 3eb were rehearsing Supernova with Liz Phair. She�s the cutest thing. She was trying her hardest to teach Stephan the lyrics. "Angel with wings afire a flying giant friction blast." Brad was really getting into the song and Liz even complimented him on learning the song so well so quickly. Next they moved on to another of Liz�s songs called Fuck and Run. Stephan had the lyrics in hand but needed help harmonizing the chorus "I want a boyfriend". Liz was trying to help him, then soon Tony cut in and they were all chanting "I want a boyfriend" together and I just couldn�t help chuckling at the sight of 2 grown men singing "I want a boyfriend". Then Tony randomly broke into the song "Everywhere" by Michelle Branch. They practiced Fuck and Run several times, then moved on to Jumper, to which Liz needed very little coaching on. Girlfriend was all over that song. After a few runs, Stephan wanted to start it all from the top. Liz stomped and called him "the Task Master", so they went through it again once more, then let Liz go home. She had Jumper down pat, it was all on Stephan now to learn Liz�s lyrics. (p.s. Anyone see Liz on the new Gap ads? She�s the cutest thing. We heart Liz.)
They took a break and Stephan came
over to meet with us. We handed him his birthday cards and he was eager to dig
in. He made a comment joking that he hopes no one sent him anything
bio-hazardous. Whoever sent the large blue hand-made card with pictures pasted
inside, yours was read first.
Along with the cards, we made Stephan a couple framed plaques: one with a fake check made out to StepUp with the fundraiser total ($1,406.36) and the other with a list of names of people who donated. Stephan said he�s never hung any of his gold records, but he�s going to hang these up. He was so thrilled he wanted to take a picture. "Let�s take a picture!" These words came out of the mouth of the same Stephan Jenkins who refused pictures last year. We were shocked but gladly agreed to pose.
There is an all-girl AC/DC tribute band called Hell�s Belles that Stephan thinks
people should embrace. The lead singer�s name is even Agnes Young.
Stephan reached over and grabbed Tony as he walked by, pulled off his shirt and showed us all his fresh tattoos. I think he had about 5 or 6. Oh yeah, one of them had his son's name. One on his shoulder was of a ram, another on the nape of his neck said 3eb! Stephan says it�s not done yet, it�s supposed to say "property of". Arion might need glasses, so he thinks. Jen asked Brad if they�ve been busy recording lately and he said he and Arion have been recording Police covers.
Seal was supposed to be here any minute so they could practice with him. Stephan told us how he met Seal at Tiger Woods, and they became good friends instantly. They talk almost everyday, Stephan thinks Seal is the nicest man and should be the king of England.
Arion found the popsicle machine and snacked for a while, Stephan jammed on the drums for a bit (he can really play), then they got back to work. Seal still hadn�t arrived so they practiced his song Crazy several times without him. Stephan learned the lyrics really fast but spent most of his time trying to harmonize through the song. He was getting really good at the "babybabybaby" part at the end. Brad was banging away like Animal, he was so into the song.
Jen and I were eagerly awaiting Seal�s arrival too and as soon as he walked through the door, he was greeted with large stupid grins from the both of us. He was very late but the man exudes so much generosity and warmth; his tardiness was instantly forgiven. Seal walked around meeting all the crew and roadies, people who unfortunately don�t receive much recognition. He�s a true gentleman.
Seal jammed with his musicians while 3eb took a dinner break (for the Gossip Communist�s records, yes Stephan did eat, but Arion didn�t�). Jen and I stayed inside the studio to watch Seal perform acoustic. (Jen's note: At one point it was just me, Ruby, Seal and the pianist with Seal singing. Talk about heaven on earth!) He is such an amazing performer, it�s like he was born to sing with the voice of an angel. We couldn�t get enough of him, we were so engrossed in his songs. Arion and Stephan came back later to watch a couple songs too. Stephan read how AskWooby feels about his smoking and he promised to quit tomorrow�October 27, the night of the show. According to his note on 3eb.com, apparently he stuck to it. Good for him!
After Stephan came back from his smoke break, they got started on I Want You. I guess since I Want You is Stephan�s baby, he wanted the lighting to be perfect. He shut off the dizzying fluorescent lights and turned on the track lighting. They went through it a few times with Seal, (changing the lyric to "a bong hit burns to fight off the gloom") then called it a night. Before finally stepping away from the rehearsal space, Stephan grabbed a guitar and sang an acoustic version of Crystal Baller. If 3eb never ending up doing anything with Scattered, but record Crystal Baller instead, I can die happy. I can�t say enough good things about this song.
"I close my eyes and I see a freak
I think it�s me and I�m afraid to speak"
Lil Kim was supposed to come and collaborate too but she never showed up.
At about 9:30 they wrapped things up and Stephan was soon to jump into Seal�s pimp ride (it looked like something straight out of Batman) and join Mick Jagger for dinner. Then he�d meet up with a girl with "bonny round thighs".
The next day, Nattie came by our hotel to hang for a while. So we chatted, drank some beers then got ready to go. We got to the venue early enough to find street parking right in front of the venue. We met up with Mary and her friend at Denny�s, then we went inside to the pre-party so we could present the donation checks to Step Up. We filled up on free cosmos and cheese and dip, gawked at Dr. Drew, finally handed the checks to someone who worked for Step Up, then waited for the doors to open so we could meet up with Mary and Nattie again.
Hi to the Sugar Ray fans who sat in front of us. We�ll see you guys next year ;) We saw you getting down and funky offstage during Crazy Town�s set, Jenkins. Miss DeCadenet & Co. were 2 rows behind us. Tom Hanks was about 6 or 7 rows behind us, off to the right, and during every break and intermission he�d get mobbed by fans. Run Forrest Run! No, he graciously chatted, signed and snapped photos with everyone. What a champ. Later, Naomi Campbell grabbed a seat nearby (Jen note: 2 seats down from me) to watch Seal.
Run DMC were MIA. They were printed on the tshirts and program and everything, I have no idea what happened to them. Remy Zero was a VERY pleasant surprise. Cinjun sung his little heart out. Apparently their new stuff is a little more mellow than previous material.
Nikka Costa shook her booty and got us all out of our seats. Girlfriend can rock the house.
Lil Kim lipsycned to about 2 and a half songs with� someone else. No one knows who that was. Then they left. We were left confused� but the group of people off to the left stripped down to their skivvies and put on curly turquoise wigs and really got into her.
Third Eye Blind came out and played a few songs, then were joined by Liz Phair. For some reason, Stephan didn�t join her on vocals on Supernova, but they did go through with Jumper and Fuck and Run. Then Seal helped them close their set with I Want You. I was so looking forward to hearing them do Crazy together, but no such luck. I don�t know if they were just pressed for time or they weren�t prepared to do it.
The show went on into the wee hours of the night and the crazy people next to us got drunker. I must say, it was a good day.
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