“I want to suck his lips off.”
I said that at 10 years old, the first time I laid eyes on Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
I thought I was thinking it, but, alas,I said it out loud in front of my rockstar, drummer father–an unexpectedly traditional, Italian man.
I thought he was going to faint right there on the spot. He turned white as a ghost. He said something to me, but I was lost in Steven’s lips that were juicing up the movie screen.
Note: Most of you know, but some of you may not, my dad is Danny Seraphine, the original drummer for the rock band Chicago, Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee. He is now rockin’ his own band, CTA (California Transit Authority).
I imagine that my dad totally regretted taking us to see that film (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) … I think the only reason he went was because he was recording at the Beegee’s studio in Miami. My sister Danielle and I were with him for our summer vacation since my parents were newly divorced.
That movie sealed my fate and lifelong penchant for erotica and sexy, long-haired Dionysian men (who preferably played guitar) that has continued to this day.
I remember a sweet guy that sat next to me in high school, who kept asking me out on dates every week. He was adorable, a football player, arms like Jason Momoa, but very clean cut. Way too Apollonian for my taste.
He finally asked what he had to do to get me to say yes.
“Learn how to play guitar.”
Let’s hop in our handy time machine and go to the year 1982. I was living in Chicago with my mom. I was a budding beauty of about 14. I attended St. Clements Catholic elementary school, was head cheerleader and ran around in a short, plaid skirt.
It was around this time I began to sense my sexual power. I started taking drum and piano lessons at the time and would walk past this small record store every week … in my little Catholic school girls uniform. And, every week I would peek in the window to look at this gorgeous young man, no more than 18 or 19 I presumed, playing guitar as he sat at the counter.
One day I thought I would venture in and possibly meet my new dream man with the long, frosted blonde hair.
His name was Alex and he still plays guitar.
I wanted to impress him badly, so I kept going there to buy albums, with drumsticks in hand and wearing my Catholic Schoolgirl uniform or my tightest jeans and leather jacket. I bought my favorite UFO, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Queensryche and Iron Maiden albums from Alex.
One day, some guys from a nearby high school came in and picked up an album and started snickering. That album was the debut of Vanity 6, a sexy protegee out of the Prince camp. Their hit song was “Nasty Girl.”
“You look like Vanity,” they drooled, I mean drolled.
Alex seemed to think I looked more like a combination of Apollonia from Purple Rain and Pocahontas! He was very sweet and always treated me with respect and gentility.
Our relationship was sweet too. A bit short lived, at least from what I remember.
I do remember one of those days at the record store with vivid detail: I saw a new album in the racks. It featured a guy’s crotch in leather pants with bright red lettering that said “Mötley Crüe.”
I was drawn to that album in a way that was otherwordly. I took it straight home and didn’t stop listening to it for hours. I think I drove my mother crazy with that record, but she was always the loveliest angel and loved me unconditionally just as I was. My father was the same, and still is. But, he definitely DID NOT approve of my taste in music. Especially when it came down to a bunch of men with tight leather pants, long hair and who wore makeup!
It didn’t matter. I was in love with Nikki Sixx’s lyrics, Vince Neil’s blonde hair and unusual voice, Tommy Lee’s wall of sound and showmanship, and Mick Mars’ raunchy guitar licks.
I was seriously transported to another realm when I put on that album. It put me in a trance and brought out the Maenad in me more than any other album Crüe ever released, because I’d never heard anything else like it before.
Maenads ran alongside the Greek god Dionysus through the countryside … dancing naked, eating raw flesh and fucking anything that moved just like those rock gods and their groupies!
But, there was, and still is, a mythic quality to Mötley Crüe beyond the sex, drugs, groupies, heavy drinking and violent behavior. They did create something so new for the kids of my time. Their lives were dark and dangerous, but it also celebrated life in an odd way that appealed to me and millions of others fans.
They taught us to “Shout at the Devil” and to stay true to ourselves. The band was certainly naughty, but they stood 1000% behind their message of non-conventional anarchy.
In the tarot, The Devil card signifies bondage and attachment to all things material. But, in reverse we can look at this card as the release from bondage and the freeing of the mind and the body. This is exactly what Dionysus represents: a way to cast off the shackles and personas that society and culture have forced upon us.
And, I have always loved something I learned from James Wanless, creator of the Voyager Tarot: Devil spelled backwards is ‘lived.’ To truly LIVE and be alive, we need freedom of expression that is not restrained by being “good” and pleasing others.
March 22, 2019, Mötley Crüe’s biopic on Netflix, The Dirt, debuted and just watching it brought me back to a time when I was a lost teenager looking for an alternate space to be totally feminine, a warrior and a lover of all things sexual.
I’m celebrating them and how they helped me discover a more holistic and integrated Self. In a totally unexpected and unorthodox way!
I love, love, love telling stories and all of this Mötley Crüe retrospection has me remembering more and more. I have so much more to tell! Next week you’ll hear about my first auditions for rock bands when I was 16 years old! Wow, MAJOR dirt!