Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's a Grunge World After All! Xana's Day at Disneyland with Alice in Chains and Steve Perkins


Steve Perkins, Sean Kinney, Layne Staley, Xana La Fuente, Mike Starr and Jerry Cantrell
at Disneyland in 1990. There were many real photos and video taken that day that are yet to be recovered.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away on a day much like today, I spent the day with Alice in Chains at Disneyland. Along for the journey was Jane's Addiction drummer Steve Perkins. Needless to say, Brer Rabbit was not actually with us and these photos are a combination of suggestive imagery and shameless self-promotion; nonetheless, it is one of my favorite "grunge era" stories. 

So here we go! The day started like most days for the band when they were not in the studio. Now you may be asking yourself, "Why was she there?" Well, you know what? I can't remember. That's the good part about getting old -- I get to say things like "I forgot!" I seem to remember something about Jerry asking me to go. Like I have said in other stories, I think mostly no one wanted me to be alone and so they all took turns Xana-sitting. Andrew had died a few months earlier, and Seattle never seemed gloomier, so California seemed like a good place to get away. So off we went to Hollywood. 

They were just babies! Seen here in some of the original photo art from Facelift, the band members were young to be dealing with the pressure of a first album and had already lost one good friend, Andrew Wood, to an overdose months earlier. I wonder what was really going through their heads. These photos were taken in one of the hot tubs at the apartments the label paid for them to live at while recording: The Oakwoods in Burbank, California.


Anyhow, we had a tourist day planned, and as we were leaving, in walks one of my favorite drummers from pretty much my favorite band: Steve Perkins from Jane's Addiction. If I have to explain to you why then you're an idiot, you have no business reading this, and I should fire my publicist. Really? Still you want to argue about it? Aye, well just for that, you can listen to this and then try to argue with me!

Jane's Addiction, pretty much Xana's favorite band
of the '90s

So, as I was saying, in walks Steve Perkins. I just knew our day at Disneyland was going to be extra special! I may as well tell you too the reason I remember so many details about the day is because we videotaped the entire day. Now I don't know whose camera it was -- I wanna say Sean -- it was one of those old school huge-ass VHS video cameras and we lugged it around with us all day. I know a friend of ours, Penny in L.A., had a copy for the longest time. Years later, and throughout the next few years when I stayed with her, we'd all sit around and  watch it over and over because there were so many hilarious moments! 

For starters, I immediately was clowning with Steve because he was wearing a shirt with me on it that apparently Jerry had given him (how adorable, The Rooster was being all generous with Steve, giving him one of his t shirts). Steve didn't know it was me. It was a tank top that was made for Fantasy Unlimited, the store I worked at in Seattle. I told Steve, "Wow what a hottie" and he said "I know!" heh heh... poor guy, he was so embarrassed when he realized it was me...

Here's the photo that was on the tank top he was wearing: 


Photo by Jack Plasky 

Some of the funny moments I do remember are us arriving and getting told that we could not enter the park because of Mike's  "attire" or rather lack thereof  since, of course, he was shirtless. He was only wearing a leather motorcycle jacket, which apparently is not allowed at Disneyland. So we went to the car and there was nothing. Luckily, I was wearing a tank top under my t shirt, so I gave it to Mike to wear -- now that I would kill to see a photo of! Just imagine if we all had iphones back then! Here is what the shirt looked like....

 Somewhat like Xana's New Mexico T shirt
Mike wore into Disneyland since he was shirtless

There will be no "emotional roller coaster" in this story. It's just a great memory of a not so great time in our lives; exciting for them to be recording, but bittersweet after losing Andy. If we were gonna feel a little lost, thank goodness we had a wonderful place like Disneyland to get lost in....

From Steve talking in the beginning of the video about being there with us "with a flower behind my ear" as I placed a flower behind his ear, to the epic log ride where you could see Layne and I laughing and his arms in the air like a little kid, to the Haunted House where you could actually see the holograms in the video of me kissing the ghost next to me and Layne laughing his ass off, to the evening stroll through the grounds later where we all got pretty quiet by the end of the day, I guess it was another one of those times you knew you were experiencing something pretty special; old and new friends sharing a moment in time, the future ahead of us, terrifying and exciting, much like life itself.  

More fun moments and memories to come! 

Dedicated to memory and constant contact of the spirit world and to William Du Vall, for taking over where Layne left off... Layne would have loved William and probably would be at Disneyland with him right now if he was here! 

"dejar que el verano viene de nuevo"

Let the summer come again....

Update! some awesome person just messaged me this video made for Mike Starr, and there is a "snippet" as they said of the Disneyland day. You can clearly see the N.M. t shirt on Mike and me walking in front of him -- killer, this means the video is out there!
Thank you, kind internet friend!