Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind) – ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ (Wolf Alice)
On the very last night of The Summer Gods Tour, after a packed-out show at The Greek Theatre - the Third Eye Blind band & crew checked in the notorious Phoenix Hotel for an all night drug & alcohol infused post-tour romp. It was joyous. It was hilarious. It was decadent. There was deep dish pizza and naked swimming. All in keeping with the traditions that make The Phoenix, San Francisco, perhaps the worlds last great rock&roll hotel.
The morning after, around 11am, I was in the pool having a wake up dip (bath to be honest) before flying out for August in Bali. Floating there, I saw two of 3EB's most-famous groupies walk out of my guitar tech's hotel room and stroll across the courtyard. We called them the disaster twins and they are beloved.
"Hey I didn't know you two were here last night," I said smiling from the pool.
"Of course we were!" one of them said.
And they rolled out - lipstick & leather jackets, in the Summer fog, looking for brunch. I think they were law school students and spent Summers following the band.
They were followed, loosely, by a foppish lad in slender black trousers, a statement-making perforated collared shirt, and a bleach blonde coiffure evincing a new-romantic/post-punk steeze. He was brooding. He had silver rings. Somehow I remember seeing chrome toe-caps.
Phoenix still has the vibes, I thought to myself. Bloke's rad.
Meanwhile, in the lobby my guitar tech Danny, who looks exactly like Iggy Pop as a nor cal vegan, was cheerful as ever waiting to check-out. And this is where we get to why Wolf Alice makes the grade for favourite tracks of the year.
The whole band was there, equally smartly dressed and on-brand. Also with them was their tour manager, who Danny describes as Kenny Rogers' Tour Manager's bastard son. He wore a Western blazer and boots a la south Austin-- a look when wore by Brits, Americans always recognize as ridiculous.
"Where did ya play last night?" Danny asked.
"Rickshaw Stop," said KR's bastard grandson in a way too British accent.
"Oh what's your band?"
"Oh we played The Greek last night. We're Third Eye Blind," said Danny.
"You must be the miserable cunts who kept us up last night. No one is happy... No one." he said and trudged, morbidly with last word in-hand to their tour bus.
He was the very model of an absolute ponce.
And we marveled at his rare ponciness the rest of the morning. It's really a dying art. That combo of school marm, nightclub maitre d, and fashion stylist. It just is all but gone. He actually managed to make us feel naughty. The fact that we indeed were a bunch of inconsiderate cunts was immaterial. Being dressed down by this unknown band's tour manager was exhilarating.
I had to know more. We brought them up on Spotify and behold:
"I love this!" I exclaimed.
Romantic, pure, and fierce, I became nostalgic for a time that didn't exist. Because the time is now for bands like Wolf Alice, and the rest of us can live in their dream. They brought fresh poignancy to my end of tour melancholy and sweet summer in Bali. That's what Wolf Alice does. They make landscapes for waking dreams.
So there is the story of how I became a Wolf Alice fan. And if there is ever a next time, out of deference, we'll try to keep it down at the after party. But they should know we have an open door policy for bands we love. And Wolf Alice is very much invited, toe caps and all.