From my epic tolerance for every drug from Milk Chocolate to 70% Dark Chocolate to my wild and debauched nightly benders at the YMCA, Yoga class and Panera Bread, I’m universally regarded as unhinged, untamed and it’s understood that underwear is not in my vocabulary.
WILD. AS. WILD.
So obviously it comes with the territory that I’ve broken my share of chairs. Splintered some wood, ripped some canvas. Ain’t no thing to me. A movie theater in Bombay. A living room in Jakkur. Yards. Get togethers. Dinners in snooty restaurants. A hammock. A bed-frame. On any occasion, without warning, I could begin my descent to a stiff wooden chair soon-to-cave under the pressure of being his majesty’s throne. Executive leather office chairs have choked under the bright lights of my whirling dervish swiveling. So it came as no surprise to my seasoned chair-destroying ears when I plopped down onto my friend’s chair in his backyard recently only to hear a pathetic yokel’s cry: “Dude, you trying to break another chair!?”
I calmly explained that if I wanted to break his chairs, he would be sitting on the floor at that very moment. For when I hear that siren’s cry, in the name of all things sex, drugs, and rock & roll, I am a slave to my muse and that chair is dust the second I feel the thunder, it’s just standing there not knowing it is all.
He pathetically pleaded “That’s how you broke the last one! You can’t just fall into it man, LOWER yourself into the chair. Ease into it.” This civilian’s whining was of course alien to me, me a man proud to have lost his hearing to the hammers of the gods and his feelings to the succubus awaiting him in Pandora’s Box night after night.
I said HELL NO. DUDE MAN BRO, LOWERING YOURSELF INTO A CHAIR IS NOT ROCK & ROLL.
You think Keith Richards eases into his chair? Please. Easing and lowering are beneath our breed. We are the ploppers. The chosen ones. We effortlessly amble up to said chair, situate our ass in the designated air space we choose and then we DROP with the reckless abandon of a skydiver on speedballs. It’s a RUSH, kids. No considerations, no easing, no lowering and no mercy – Just a gut call and pure adrenalin on that two foot drop till your ass hits the chair. And if some chairs break, tough sh*t Sonny. You want to make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs, as the man says.
So then I had to educate the chair-owner on the plight and duty of the chair who stands in the eye of the tornado.
TRUE LIFE: I AM A ROCK STAR’S CHAIR.
Keith Richards – His chair is a born survivor. Rain, wind, snow, lava, doesn’t matter. Keef can plop off a helicopter with a Hatari Hanzo sword unsheathed and this chair welcomes it. The chair itself is a chain smoking, groupie guzzling, drug and booze cocktail imbibing nocturnal animal with creased leather and intimidating upholstery. Remarkably, he’s cozy too. Found in the basement of a palace in Marseilles after a coup.
Mick Jagger– Mick’s chair is on Ebay, it is a leather LA-Z-BOY with his band’s lips insignia prominently displayed on it. It is under the listing “Sir Mick Jagger’s Chair”. Asking price is $495,900. To activate recliner, pull and hold the large brown wooden stick on the side (as seen on Sticky Fingers cover) and this leathery old chair will stun you by gyrating in a herky-jerky manner for the rest of the night. Originally purchased from one Peter Frampton’s 1977 yard sale.
Bono– Bono’s chair is made from an ultra-chic material that is so environmentally friendly that Chris Martin from Coldplay threw a hissyfit because he couldn’t get one. The creation of this chair benefited farmers in the Midwest, kids in Africa and those Chilean miners nobody talks about anymore. This chair sports a Red Cross on the front along with a photo on the back that looks like it was taken from a Benetton ad. Slick and uncomfortable, the ideal chair for a boutique hotel lobby. Ikea will auction off 200 knockoffs for their SIT ON IT, MALARIA 2014 Charity Drive.
Jim Morrison – The best chair in the world for the man who threatens to babble on too long and ultimately expose his member. A dark, weird, disturbed chair with random rhyming couplets carved into it’s armrests with a rusty bloody blade. Probably bought on Craigslist. Greyish brownish grey.
Jimi Hendrix – Extremely flammable. Adorned in Hindu deities. Comfortable if you sit in this one position that nobody seems to have quite figured out yet. Rumored to be an orgasmic sit if found. Rumored to have only been found once, backstage at Monterey Pop. Rumored to be a bullsh*t rumor. Rumored to now be in the home of Nicolas Cage, the one in Aspen.
Do you think these Gods of Rock eased themselves into their chairs? (Nic Cage included) You don’t take over the world by being some hick who says “Excuse me, may I slowly turn and descend my rear end into this sitting tool?” Moreover, these men are all on the record about sitting and smashing:
Mick and Keith famously yelled “Hey you, get off my chair!”
Jim Morrison’s epic ode to destroying chairs with his ass is still sung in bars round the world – “I tried to stand, I tried to hide, break on through to the other side!”
Jimi Hendrix touched on this taboo topic many times in his short life, “Hey Joe, where you going with that chair in your hand? I’m going down to show my old lady, caught her messin’ round with another chair.”
And don’t you dare think that breaking chairs is limited to classic rock. No less a modern day legend than Kanye West has put his own trademark wit to the chair-destroying rite of passage for musical entertainers. He raps on his four times platinum album “Seatyricon” – “Y’aint never seen European shopping sprees with Hova/Salvadore Dali hand-painted Sofa/didn’t even take the bubble wrap off/before we crashed thru it Game Ova”
No less an icon than Paul “Wings” McCartney has stated that the highlight of his career is to this day penning his seminal tribute to the majesty of the chair: “Here, Chair and Everywhere.” Asked to be interviewed for this article, Macca declined but sent this statement through his publicist:
“I’ve always liked sitting in them, to be honest. But breaking them and all that seems a bit silly to me now. I mean, it’s a waste isn’t it? Then you have to clean the mess and get a new chair. I mean, we’ve all done it when we’re young…but you grow up sometime don’t you? Seats are meant to be respected, at least that’s how I raised my kids. When I play “Here, Chair and Everywhere” at my shows – and the audience all gently ease back into their chairs, it’s lovely. Makes me get a wee bit emotional.”
To each his own, apparently. For another perspective, we contacted Axl Rose’s publicist. She responded by saying that Axl was “in the studio furiously working on the remaster for Chinese Democracy which is about to blow the world away” -but he was kind enough to send us a letter which really says it all:
“I f*cking hate sitting. But I love chairs. That’s what “Welcome to the Jungle” is about. Nobody ever got that. Why do you think I’m strapped to an electric chair in the video? I started breaking chairs in Indiana and when I got to LA, there were more chairs than I had ever f*cking seen man. I busted a dozen my first week on the Strip. I had never sat in anything like these before. I even say in Jungle “it’s gonna bring you down!” and to your “na-na-na-na-knees”, I mean how stupid do people have to be to not get the message? Did I have to call the track “Break your chair, motherf*cker” for them to get it? Paradise City was originally written from the perspective of a chair who keeps getting the sh*t kicked out of him but of course David f*cking Geffen that money-hungry m*therf*cking c*cks*ck*er made us change it for MTV.”
Rose included a recent photo of himself holding up his middle 3 fingers with a handwritten note reading “Read between the lines, 1, Axel F-ing Rose.”