So I went to the Tricky show at Mao Livehouse and I got there early. I was hanging out in the lobby on the 3rd floor when I noticed Tricky was just standing there. A couple of people walked by him without noticing and since I was there, at least partially, to write about it for my weekly Shanghai Daily column (go get the print edition, lazy) I thought “carpe fucking diem” and took out my voice recorder and walked over to him.
When I got close I noticed he was muttering to himself. By then he had looked at me, so it would've been weird if I just aborted. I said, “Hi, I'm a reporter. Can I ask you a few questions?” He gave an abrupt “No.” I wasn't really bothered by this, as its not Tricky's responsibility to answer anything, especially 40 minutes before he's scheduled to go on. So I said, “Okay, I look forward to the show.” He said, “Fuck off.” I was feeling up beat and so I was a bit surprised, and it probably showed on my face. He mumbled something at me, and I didn't catch all of it, but it had something to do with how he thought I said I was going to review the show and how he didn't give a fuck what I thought. Again, this really didn't offend me. For some reason maybe at first he thought I was trying to blackmail him into an interview or something, but he probably now realized I wasn't out to get him. I said, “No problem; take it easy.” and I quickly patted him on the arm. He then gave me a really dirty stare and walked off.
At this point my thought was this whole thing was kind of weird, but not really special. Maybe he really has to zone out before a show and I kind of knocked him out of it (even though he decided to go out into the lobby). It doesn't really matter. I've been around a lot of shows in Shanghai and elsewhere and have seen performers do all kind of nonsense. I told Reggie (R3) of STD who got a kick out of it and told a bunch of people, and he relayed to me how Tricky had canceled a bunch of interviews before the show. In the end, I probably would have posted the story on my Facebook to a choir of people I barely know saying dumb shit like “I guess you know how he got his name.” and that would've been the end of it.
But that's not how the story ended. The second half is one of the more bizarre things to happen in my interactions with other people in a long time and provoked me to post here.
I was given a press pass, and along with the other media guys was told Tricky would be doing interviews backstage after the show. When said show finally finished, a couple of us went back there. His manager said that Tricky wasn't back there. We all walked out to the main room at Mao to see Tricky hanging with some fans, taking pictures and signing autographs by the bar. That's cool. We all gave them some room and I posted a spot right behind the sound guy's station near the bar. I was standing there with a female friend of mine. I was thinking, I'm sure with all the other media guys, we'd wait patiently until he was finished before approaching him.
I was standing there for a few minutes, actually thinking I would just leave anyway, when I didn't have to wait to approach him, because he stopped signing autographs and walked up to me.
He said, “I'll give you 10 seconds to get the fuck out of here or I'll kick your ass.” My reaction to this was mostly exasperation, as I really just didn't anticipate him actually having some sort of grudge towards me. I looked at my friend to tell her it's time to go. Tricky then laughed, softly touched his palm to my face, and said, “I'm joking.”
At the time he definitely had me…if he was making a joke. I was just kind of confused. He laughed a bit more, but there was definitely malice in his voice. He then said again that I should leave in 10 seconds or he was going to kick my ass, and again said he was joking.
By this point I was fairly annoyed. I wasn't really angry or anything, as I wasn't really sure of what his angle was.
He then said that since I was a reporter, I should ask him some questions. The way he said it and all his behavior at this point let me know he was full of shit, but I played along. I took out my voice recorder and turned it on. I asked him a fluff question.
Me: Shit, how is Shanghai for you?
Right when I finished saying that, he turned away to say something, I think responding to someone at the bar, so I quickly turned off the recorder. He turned back asked if that's really what I wanted to ask him, kind of challenging me to ask him something tougher. I figured he was again full of shit, but I asked him about him firing his guitarist and keyboardist a day before the Mao show, as he had mentioned from stage. At this point I noticed a local DJ was now watching our conversation. I won't mention his name, but I'm sure he could corroborate everything that followed. I turned back on the recorder.
Tricky: Listen. I have more balls than you. You write. I do.
Me: I DJ and I [cut off]
Tricky: No, No! You DJ. Listen, you [hard to distinguish] want to do. I do. When you're a big man, when you grow some balls, maybe you can be like me one day. [To my friend] Hey, you need to be his girlfriend, because you'd be good for him, cause right now he's lost.
My friend: Hey!
Tricky: He hasn't got any backbone. You need to support him. [To me] I'm joking.
Me: Take it easy [I then waved to my friend that we should go].
Tricky: You got jealous. Come on! Tell her you got jealous, it's okay.
My friend [says something to him like “Okay, Tricky” and gives him a look like he's an idiot].
Tricky: [hard to distinguish]
My friend: walks up to me, I turn off the recorder and leave.
The whole thing reminded me of some scene in a shitty kids show or a 60s surf movie where the big celebrity walks up to the protagonist on the beach and proceeds to act like a dick, hitting on his girlfriend and kicking sand in his face. Except, this isn't a TV show. Tricky's real name is Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws and he is 43 years old.
I'm neurotic, but thankfully my neurosis doesn't come from outside sources: it's all internal, thank you very much. I really couldn't care what some guy I don't know thinks about what I “do,” or the size of my genitalia. I figure though that Tricky's behavior was so abhorrent that I should put it out there.
I could expand upon the whole thing, but I think the facts speak for themselves. No malice towards STD and Mao Livehouse, those guys are both a-ok in my book.
To end on a more positive note, here's a poster from Trash a Go-Go's upcoming tour to Japan. Pretty cool right?