Private: Trent Sadikaj
The Rider is an interesting piece of lore. You throw random things in it to make sure that the promoters read the whole thing and don’t gloss over the details. For Solid Gold Rock and Roll, The Rider has had a number of odd requests over the years. Initially they went classic–sour patch kids, no red. Then it got more esoteric–things like D-cell batteries in a quantity termed ‘bushel’, discontinued MAC Palettes, a poster of only Alex Lifeson. These days their odd request is two rotisserie chickens, each with their left wing and right drumstick removed.
But one thing that isn’t in The Rider to test a promoter is the hotel suite. Nah, that bad body is right up top, big and bold. Two bedroom minimum, presidential, multi-level preferred. Ice chest full of flavors both local and domestic. Trendy. Hot tub balcony. Specific thread counts. These things matter.
Speaking of flavors both local and domestic, here reigns the king of the Backstage Betty wine list: Trent Sadikaj. Electric Boots himself. The Cream. Now that we have time to better appreciate him, he is devastatingly beautiful. Cheekbones sharp, lips plump, pretty teeth, golden contacts in his eyes. His hair? The conditioner routine is legendary. He appears to never exist not in platform boots and electric pants, though at least now he’s wearing a flowing paisley silken shirt that could have been bought from the estate sale of a seven foot tall Prince cosplayer. A woman of entirely bonkers proportions ( and a bonkers knack for highlighting them ) whispers something in the man’s ear as he pours himself a glass of rose, and his easy smile makes it seem like this sort of thing just happens all the time.
Boots: …coucher avec basier, honey-dipped. Electric Boots can show you moves that’d make a convent go back on their vows.
He would likely shoot this fish in it’s barrel, but if there’s one thing a frontman likes more than the sugar, it’s attention. And as soon as he sees the camera, his eyes light up, his previous seductions ignored.
Boots: Hey! Hey everybody! It’s a cameraperson!
The collected hangers on, groupies, roadies, and at least two members of local biker gangs all raise their potables and cheer.
Boots: Ay-yay-yow, baby! See, bring it on in close. Electric Boots knows why you’re back. Ratings dropped, right? All those mamacitas and rockerboys got a taste of the Electric Warrior and they have been doing campaigns, signing petitions, throwing the odd brick or two—they say ‘Management, if we don’t get more of that Solid Gold Lovin’, we’re gonna leave in droves!’
He idly runs his free hand along his chest. This is a man who’s basic speed is “seduce”.
Boots: Now I got the word from on high that they gonna put us boys back on the show, and this time we get to really perform, you feel me? Pay that rent off the backs of the Stallion and the Stud, which is just fine with me and…
Trent trails off and his smile fades as he looks around the room. His eyes flit and scan, he can see every face. Some are still enjoying the revelry. But when he speaks up the room goes into command mode.
Boots: Where is my boy? Where’s the Boogie Man?
The room gives him shrugs. Trent don’t like that. Trent wants to enjoy this moment, these drinks, these women, these fans with his longtime compatriot. He huffs and pouts, looking damn near furious, but then the light bulb slowly goes off. He remembers where he saw him last. He gives the camera a wag of his finger and saunters out a sliding glass door to the poolside. Even more folks are out here, even a few swimming. He is greeted, but waves them off–and his wave off is like the aftershock of a bomb to these folks.
Finding the service ladder to the roof, he makes his way up, slowly. There’s a 45 second or so period of absolutely chaotic camerawork as the operator climbs behind him that really could have been chopped in post-production, but They seem to rely on a sort of verite thing. Once to the roof, Trent points out their prey: Boogie Barry Delgado, sitting with his back against an AC unit, slugging on a Molson by his lonesome. He’s wearing a denim jacket and no shirt, his jeans artfully ripped. His mullet is perfect and glows like the sun even in the darkness. Trent silently bids the cameraman wait here, and walks over to his friend. The camera zooms in to catch them both, the parabolic legendary in its ability to capture this.
Boots: Boogie, baby…why you up here all alone? All the sweet leg and party favors are downstairs, golden hair.
Boots settles down next to his best friend. Boogie Barry shrugs his Everest shoulders, taking a tug off the beer.
Boogie: Aw Boots, I’m just feeling down in the dumps is all.
Sadikaj, to his credit, does look legitimately concerned. He may be a pretty-boy airhead with more hog than IQ, but he is a loyal sort, and he and his bassist have survived many lineup changes and struggles during the process of making it. Boogie is probably the only man still with Boots who remembers him before he emerged from his cocoon as a sex god, back when he was just a lanky child of Albanian immigrants with stars in his eyes.
Boogie: I’m just itching for it, man. Ain’t been on much touring, and we ain’t been booked at all. I mean come on, Boots, look at us! We’re certified studs, stallions stalking the night, and they got us on ice like pizza pockets. It ain’t right!
Boots holds out his wine glass, and the boys clink drink. Taking a sip, he can’t help but giggle.
Boogie: What’s got you so tickled, Electric Warrior?
Electric Boots finally lets off full laughter, his timbre infectious, his smile dazzling. He throws a thumb over his shoulder directly to the camera, drawing Barry’s attention to it.
Boots: Baby…look over there. See the electric eye? There’s only one reason the head office send over the electric eye. It’s because Solid Gold Rock and Roll, the Stud and the Stallion, Golden Waves and Raven Tresses…got a match!
Barry quite literally kips to his feet, no arm assist. He’s a compact beefy boy, and his grin is childhood wide. He guzzles what’s left of his beer then struts in a circle, and while he doesnt have the moves of his compatriot, he has a swagger all his own, all shoulder rolls and bobbing head. He’s feeling it–then stops dead and holds up his finger.
Boogie: …wait. Against who?
At this point the cameraman slides in a little closer to catch the action.
Boots: Oh, I have zero idea. Teams, though. Plural, dig? Not just the Solid Gold styles against one team of whoevers and what’s-his-faces. Three teams of whoevers and what’s-his-faces. And that’s a dangerous place to be, daddy. But, and this is the most important thing…
Like a cobra going erect, Sadikaj unfolds himself from seating to standing. He towers over his bass player, but they look like conceptual opposites, one man all width and the other all lank. He struts up to Delgado and taps a manicured finger into his massive, freeway overpass chest.
Boots: …we love that danger, baby! Eat it, bathe in it, do lines of it, wear it like a fine vintage velvet! Hollywood Bruvs? Hollywood Who? Blue Live Crew–Blue Live Who? Fighting for Nora? Fighting–
Boogie: For who?!
Boots: That’s the spirit, Boogie man with the Boogie plan. See, we been forgotten and picked over but this…c’mon, follow me.
He walks to the edge of the roof. From the camera’s vantage point we can see Boogie and Boots right at the edge, overlooking the hotel pool. He yells out to catch the attention of the various party goers, who all look up at the boys standing larger than life against the neon-soaked night’s sky.
Boots: Ladies and Gentlemen, Dudes and Dudettes, Hangers-on and Southern Comfort one and all! Oh have mercy, have mercy, have mer-cy!
He stomps on those last two, swaying his body.
Boots: We will face all comers! Because when we hit the stage the MGM Grand ain’t the MGM Grand no more, baby! It’s Budokan, Madison Square, Pompeii, the gates of paradise itself! Boogie and Boots step in that ring and do the damn thing and you’re gonna swear you have ascended straight out your skeletons and into a rarefied space of astral delights! Boogie baby lay down that rumble, lay down that funk, lay down that dirty dirty low end!
Boogie: You think they doubt us, Electric Boots? You think they turn the channel when they see, prefer the life of simple ignoramity? See when this drops, dolls and dirtbags, we can still be ignored!
The crowd throws some downward thumbs and boos at this, but Delgado holds up a calming hand.
Boogie: Nah nah, see, that’s their right. It’s dumb. But it’s their right. But you know what they can’t ignore?! They can’t ignore when Barry Delgado rattles them teeth! They can’t ignore when Trent Sadikaj rocks their world with his feet! They can’t ignore the stone cold reality staring them in the face when the Stallion and the Stud take their dreams of relevance and use them for ticker tape in a parade for the honor of the Solid Gold!! Electric Boots, speak those truths!
Boots: Bring ‘em all, bring ‘em all! Have them cross land and sea and dimensions we haven’t even known to be, and we will face them, vanquish them, give them a taste of glory and immortality before sending them back to local clubs to fight for peanuts! This man?! This man right here?!
To this, Barry drops to one knee. He whips that coat off and tosses it down to the pool deck, a gift for a lucky fan–but we see why he’s stripping. He raises his arms before dropping them down in a frankly impressive display of biceps and pecs, his muscles straining against his flesh. Boy’s a beast, and the appreciative catcalls and yells from the crowd only fuel him further.
Boots: He’s as strong as a Peterbilt and he don’t take no guff! Not from managers, club owners, fans, nobody! And trust me ladies, he got the skills where it counts both in ring and out, if you pick up what Electric Boots is putting down for you. Strong as ten men, twice as mean, with him there ain’t no in between!! Baby you think I got anything to fear with my man right here? And just in case you forgot, I ain’t just a pretty face. I’m a pretty body, too! And Electric Boots the Electric Warrior knows how to use this pretty body to inflict maximum bedlam, leave you in wrecks, kiss to the fans then cash them checks! I’d say you other three teams are on notice, but that does the whole division a disservice…every one of you is bound to kiss the ring, but you won’t ever touch the crowns.
He throws up his hands and stretches them out, full bathing in the adoration, these two kings of their particular court. He looks to the camera, his eyes dazzling, his grin cockier than ever. As the party goers cheer, quite loudly in fact, he throws a word to the viewing public.
Boots: Everyone wants to live forever. We just turned it into an artform. Boogie Man…let’s mingle. There’s some tail been askin’ after you.
Barry Delgado stands, and Trans Sadikaj pulls him in for a hug. It’s a moment, brief as any, but it’s something. It isn’t for the camera or for the fans. It’s for them. They have each other’s back. And just like that, the moment is over. They stalk to the service ladder…and both stop. Their eyes meet and they smile to one another, before Boogie nods his head back to the ledge.
They walk back to it and silently part the seas of people with a mere wave.
They step back. Running starts. Execute. They both fly through the air, though Barry drops more like a stone than his compatriot, who executes a diver-perfect somersault…and both men splash into the pool below! There are gasps followed by silence–while the celebratory mood isn’t wrecked, it’s for sure on pause. Then, like an ad for hydrating shampoos, both men emerge, throwing their wet hair back with music video flicks of the head and screaming in happiness. The crowd erupts. The fans file into the pool themselves.
Everyone wants to live forever–but most folks are content just to brush up against immortality in a rooftop pool.