Tuesday, 11 March 2014

And out of the darkness came the Angels.

What a contrast, now we've pulled up outside a big bad ass Hell's Angels Club and some of the Chapter are grilling meat out in the street. These are Demente's friends and the first thing that happens is I am offered some of the barbecue which I decline because I am not hungry. Demente then turns to me and says, "You really should try some of the meat" At this point, I can't tell if it's his use of English or that he is really saying "If you don't try the meat, they will be offended, it is customary to accept this token of friendship". Then he adds, "it is really good". Naturally, very soon I am accepting every bit of meat offered to me. Just in case.
You don't get to wander into a place like this, you have to have a contact with them and the outside world, Demente was the contact. He and Vampiro the chapter's leader greet as only old friends do.
Recently, Nazis had murdered one of Demente's friends and to make sure that an attack did not occur on my appearance at his Estudio Noise Terror gig, he had invited the Ceiferos Chapter of Sao Paulo to be there in case there was trouble. These Hells Angels hate Nazis. Luckily enough there was no trouble but they did get to see me play and so I am instantly recognisable to them when we arrive and I am welcomed with open arms.

Home of the Ceiferos Chapter of Hells Angels
This place seems to be at the end of a suburban street which makes it look surreal, to the residents, it must be like putting up with a huge wasp's nest at the end of the garden. There are some enormous low slung, machines here, painted black like they had just come off of a Batman movie set. If you ride one of these beasts you are almost reclining. If you close your eyes and imagine what a Hells Angel bar looks like, you've probably got the picture in your head right now, There was no surprises apart from me being there in the first place.
As I wander around the place I notice that there are leather waistcoats hanging from the ceiling like ghoulish apparitions, I thought they may belong to dead bikers and this was their way of remembering them.
I got it wrong, these waistcoats (which I seem to remember are called 'Colours' ) have been taken off of previous members who have been ex-communicated for transgression of the Club's codes for one reason or another.

How you make good and get your 'Colours' back I have no idea. But there they hang, reminding everyone else that they cannot do what ever they like, and for a sub-culture that doesn't like rules, there are still rules.

There are always rules.

I am really strung out, it is not just what I have consumed this evening but the night before I got around two hours sleep as I had to catch a plane. This was the early hours of the morning of the third day. I felt like I had matchsticks keeping my eyes open and that I was walking on stilts.

In my head I was doing some calculations. If we leave soon, Demente will drop me off and probably get, if his is lucky, three hours sleep before we all set off again and he then drives for six hours to the final gig, we will be there a couple of hours in which he will also perform, then after a couple of drinks and a smoke will then drive back another six hours. Conclusion: I am going to die in a car accident coming home from a final gig of the tour.

Hanging with the Ceiferos Chapter of the Hells Angels
Left to Right: Steve Drewett, Pequeno, Pequeno's cousin (Grande?)
Vampiro, Demente, Thiago. Middle and below: Karina, Marcelo.
Demente was enjoying a good conversation with the Angels and although I could work my calculation out, I could not articulate my concerns considering the way I felt, I just hoped we would leave soon. I got invited to play pool, which I did, which then got extended to three games (best out of three). I managed, three or four brilliant pots to begin with and then could not get a thing down after that, my sense of physics had completely deserted me by now like most of my other faculties.
After the pool finished, we appeared to come to the natural conclusion to our evening. Before we left we gathered around for a photo, with me standing next to the biggest Hells Angel I have ever seen (his name is Pequeno which is Portuguese for small) , and next to him, a small guy for added contrast. Much hand shaking, hugging and backslapping and a personal goodbye delivered to Vampiro by myself, occurred before we made it back outside.

Back in my apartment, I laid down on the bed and then I got up again, I think three hours had passed.
I was now picked up and taken to Demente who was standing in a market being held across the road from his studio, and he greeted me with...

"Good Morning Steve, how are you today"?
"Fine", I replied "but I am worried",
"Worried about what?" he enquired,
"We were out to very late last night"
"Hey it's Brazil"
"I'm worried that I'm gonna die, this has been such a great tour and I really would hate it if I were to die right at the end of it".
I then hit him with my calculations and he smiled and said,
 "Don't worry", there will be several of us sharing the driving".
Oh, I said in a relieved voice, that's alright then.

Before we leave, Demente defuses a potential altercation in the market place and then we hit the road.

In six hours’ time we will reach the final gig of my tour, me being re-united with the band I started with, the Brazilian Neurotics.

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