If I must travel from downtown New Orleans to the CBD or Uptown, I use it as an excuse to cut through the French Quarter, and I almost always take Bourbon Street. I love the barkers and the strippers and the sudden blasts of A/C from open storefronts, and the unholy musical mashups from competing cheesy cover bands.
One day I escorted my friend Kate to work, and convinced her to take Bourbon St. (people often need to be convinced). As we walked I saw, up ahead half a block, a recognizable length of blonde hair swaying behind a very tall dude in leather pants, and a vest with no shirt underneath.
Though I couldn’t see his face, I told my friend, “That’s Sebastian Bach, the singer of Skid Row.” I’d purchased a couple Skid Row albums as a kid, learned a couple Dave “The Snake” Sabo riffs on my guitar. I also knew that, “He’s in New Orleans this week singing in some touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar.” I knew Sebastian had also recently played lead rolls in Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Kate wasn’t that impressed. Still, I did convince her to shout with me, “Sebastian!”
At the sound of his name, Sebastian Bach spun around, locked eyes on us, and “threw the goat” with his left hand (the Satanic heavy metal hand gesture).
He then waited for us to catch up to him, and asked, “Hey guys, what are you doin?”
“Headed to work,” Kate said, as we all continued walking.
“Yeah, me too!” he laughed.
We walked for several blocks, discussing Jesus Christ Superstar. He was very friendly. He also looked just like he did on the album covers, yet no one else on the crowded street stopped him.
“So your show is all sold out, eh?” I asked him, fishing for a free ticket.
“Yep, yep,” he said, “It’s going great!” He did not take the hint.
We walked all the way to Canal St. with Sebastian Bach, and then bid him adieu. “He has the biggest hands I’ve ever seen,” Kate commented as he walked away.
A few weeks later Sebastian would be fired from Jesus Christ Superstar.
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