I was still thinking about the girl in the yellow Volkswagen. How she had got past all of the security people and why all the local Hawaiian security guards were so freaked out to see the pretty young thing sleeping inside the VW beetle when they first saw it parked on the grass at the back stage loading area of Honolulu’s Blaisdell Concert hall? But stranger yet, how did she manage to get past ****? I know that he had his hands full, what with the loud noises in the rafters, the Menehune spiking the punchbowl, the ancient queen (Liliuokalani?) in the red dress eating macadamia nuts, the black Anvil road cases moving by themselves (blue ones, too), the torch-bearing “night-watchers” parading through walls backstage without passes or laminates, the unexplained smell of flowers and Bazooka Joe, and those dazzling orange fireballs streaking though the lush vegetation outside, but a girl in a yellow Volkswagen getting that close to the band’s dressing rooms! What next, children playing in the backseat of the van, leaving their little chocolate fingerprints everywhere? Oh well, I guess things are different on the islands, and more so than just purple potatoes.

But why bother worrying about it. I should just enjoy this little slice of tropical paradise, sitting here in the shade of a huge Banyan tree in the courtyard of the opulent colonial-looking Sheraton Moana SurfRider hotel, drinking orange-garnished Mai Tais and eating fresh island ahi with papaya and avocado while listening to “magical” Hawaiian music only yards from the crashing Waikiki surf. And so as I am just about to order another of the sweet rum distillations with the fuchsia paper miniature umbrellas, Adam, Justin, Sasha and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett (who had joined the band onstage during “Sober” for Friday night’s show) walk up and gather together some wicker chairs to join my girlfriend, my brother and I. The boys had just finished some afternoon surfing and had stopped by for tropical drinks and poolside appetizers before doing a little shopping on Kalakaua Avenue (cheeseball tourism at its absolute finest). Adam needs a case for a ukulele that he recently purchased, and it’s while on the subject of things Tiny Tim, or as we listen to a local performer strumming a ukulele on a palm-fringed verandah filled with khaki-clad vacationers sipping tea that he casually mentions to Justin that they should have Danny write a guitar riff for the next record. Justin agrees, adding that he (Danny) also plays a pretty wicked bass. I tell them that I know this, as when I first met Danny, for nearly a year, I had only heard him play guitar, although I knew that he ‘also’ played drums. I’d also heard him play some mean bass on several occasions and, in fact, had jammed with him a few times while on that instrument in a garage-converted studio in Santa Clara, with Aloke Dutta (of tabla fame) on drums. Unfortunately, at around 2 am, the police arrived, letting us know that a neighbor had complained about some lousy music. “You mean loud music”, one of us said. “No, lousy music was the actual complaint” the officer assured us, although I’m sure this had nothing to do with Danny’s bass playing. It might have been Aloke’s drumming.

When the waitress arrives with menus, (and Danny and his girlfriend finally show up) nothing more of this is said. Instead, the subject changes to Hawaii and the supernatural. Things like Hale O Keawe, a stone temple that contains the bones of 23 (that’s right, RAW fans) island chieftains, of the ghosts of ‘sinners’ trying to reach Pu’uhonua O Honaunau (The Place of Refuge), and the unexplained smell of flowers and Bazooka Joe bubblegum around the grand old hotel. And then I hear someone who is drinking a “Scorpion” (or is that an “Island Itch”) mention something about a place called “Barber’s Point” where a young woman in a yellow Volkswagen greets the new security guards who find her sleeping inside. According to the locals, this was the same VW beetle that the girl was killed near the gate all those years ago. A ghost! Of course! That’s why she didn’t have a backstage pass (not to mention a Tool bumper sticker) for last night’s show. And that would almost also explain how she got past ****.



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