Disclaimer: Velvet Goldmine belongs to Todd Haynes and other people, and I am not among them. This story was made only for fun, and I'm not doing any profit with this.
Summary:And Curt knew - of course he knew - that things were different when you were a big deal in the music industry, but he never realized how true that was until Brian entered his life and changed everything. And now, even after months touring alongside Brian, one of the many things that still baffled Curt was all the extra shit surrounding them during all times, in all possible ways.
A.N.: I apologize in advance for any drummers reading this - the character's opinions are not my own.
Very random thing, set somewhere during Curt and Brian's good times. Unbeta'd.
Chapters: One, complete.
Ecstasy's The Birthright Of Our Gang
By Mychelle in a Wonderland
In Curt's opinion, there were few things more awesome than being a rockstar, or being part of band.
Obviously, there were highs and lows; times where everything would be perfect and you could drive the public insane and times where they would scream and throw things at you. Times when you had plenty of booze and girls around, and times where you wouldn't have two dollars to spare in your pocket.
But it was always worth in the end. The kind of freedom that playing music could afford you was addictive, and Curt was a known junkie in most things, so he was pretty happy with his life as a rock 'n' roll singer.
And Curt knew - of course he knew - that things were different when you were a big deal in the music industry, but he never realized how true that was until Brian entered his life and changed everything. And now, even after months touring alongside Brian, one of the many things that still baffled Curt was all the extra shit surrounding them during all times, in all possible ways.
It was seriously too much. Be it the lavish honeymoon suites they were always staying in, or all the fancy restaurants and clubs that Jerry always insisted they frequented, or the expensive limos and fucking private planes, there was always too much shit going on around them.
Curt wasn't used to any of that. He was no stranger to the lifestyle of a rockstar, but it seemed to be an abysm between the life as a musician that he knew before Brian and the one he lived now. Sure, he and the Rats had travelled a lot, did shows for all sorts of publics and got to experience the camaraderie between bandmates, but it was all so fucking different from how things worked now. In the good days he used to grab a couple of beers with the guys before a gig, and if he got lucky, he would manage to get head from one too many willing fans in some dirty public restroom after a show; now, most after parties they went to were stocked with champagne and fancy wines, served by some uptight-looking waiter in a penguin suit. A fucking waiter!
And while it could be weird and way too fancy for his tastes, Curt sure as hell didn't hate it. Sure, he could have stayed anywhere and he wouldn't even mind if he had to hole up with the Rats in a tiny room in some shitty motel, but it was fucking sweet to share a honeymoon suite with Brian everywhere they went, having the privilege of fucking Brian in silken sheets and the privacy of not having anyone around ogling them. And there was always expensive room service in the next day, and lots and lots of clean towels.
But of course, not everything was elegant and clean; the orgies he witnessed since he joined the Venus in Furs tour put to shame anything he had joined in his life before, and he always saw an alarming quantity of cocaine, passed around more easily than a joint would in a hippy show, a quantity that shocked even an experienced junkie like him. It was for these kinds of things that Curt knew that they were all overdoing it, all their fancy shit notwithstanding. They were all exaggerating, no less than he was when he started on heroin in the Rats' first tour. It was only their style that was different.
And Curt couldn't even say he minded the style; it was fun. He had a hell of a good time just looking at them, from the often ridiculous clothes to their canned answers to the press. They were making a difference in their own way, and if they ended up shocking and offending a few conservative pricks along the way… well, that had to be one of the best parts about being a rockstar, right?
The thing about the glam style was that it could work just fine for some people - Mandy and most of the girls at Bijou's looked great, and even guys like Trevor managed to look okay enough. And even if Curt thought he would look ridiculous if he tried to pull off a full glam rock outfit, something with furs or feathers and all that shit, he knew he looked good enough with just a dash of glitter style - like a golden glitter shirt, eyeliner and platform shoes. But for some other people it just looked… weird.
Like that wardrobe chick who was always following Brian around like a lovesick puppy; she looked as comfortable in tight clothes and heeled boots as Curt would look if he were obliged to wear a three piece suit.
Or like that newish drummer from the Venus in Furs, the one that Brian was currently complaining about.
"I swear, Curt, I don't know why I hired him"
Curt was sprawled in the large bed, content to lazy around for a while, but Brian was sitting in front of a mirror on the other side of the bedroom, brushing his blue hair. His face was currently free of makeup and he was wearing only a satin morning gown, turquoise colored and delicate-looking, and he was looking way too fuckable in Curt's opinion.
"Seriously. What the hell I was thinking? What did I had on my mind?"
Probably too much cocaine, if Curt was going to make a guess.
"Is he really that bad?" Curt said instead, choosing to not voice his inner musings - Brian was weirdly defensive of his drug habits.
"He's a bloody nightmare!"
Uh. Curt didn't know him that well. He had met him only for three or four months at most. In that short span of time, the kid had at least four different haircuts, every single one uglier than the last. Combined with his clumsiness wearing platform heels and the self-conscious way he wore his tight pants, the kid just didn't seem fit for this lifestyle, and Curt suspected that Brian disliked him just for that, judging by the way that Brian almost flinched when he looked at every new monstrosity he did with his hair.
"I mean, yeah, I hear you but like… what are you gonna do about him?"
Brian turned to him then, the hairbrush still in his hand, a troubled expression in his face.
"I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking about firing him."
Yep, Curt was right, then; he didn't think he would last for long.
Shame. The kid was good enough, had good feeling when playing, nice technique. But that was probably not good enough for a band who took their style and aesthetic just as serious as their music - if not more.
And there was also another serious issue; the kid had some delusions that he was a main star in the band. He didn't waste a single opportunity to show off and make drum solos, not seeming to get that drummers should be in the background in a band like the Venus in Furs, and he knew that that pissed Brian off beyond reason.
"Do you think I'm right? That I should do it?"
Curt furrowed his eyebrows, taken aback. What kind of question was that?
It wasn't something he would ever do in his band - he probably only would give the kid a warning to cool off with the drumsticks. But it was Brian's band, and Brian's business was Brian's business.
"I don't know, Brian. Why are you even asking me this?"
Curt didn't take kindly to the few suggestions that Jerry had tried to push him to do with the Rats, and he had thought that Brian also wouldn't like if he started to tell him how to do his job.
So, why Brian was looking at him with his lips pursed in that impatient kind of way?
"I just asked your opinion. It's not that complicated."
And Brian just kept staring at him, hairbrush forgotten and arms crossed, as if Curt was being dumb for asking. As if they did that every day.
Just for that, Curt took his sweet time before answering, stretching lazily on the bed and observing the way that Brian narrowed his eyes on his direction.
"Shit, man, I don't know. He's your guy, you decide what to do with him."
Brian didn't look satisfied with that answer, but Curt still was at loss.
"Why are you asking me this?" Curt asked again.
"Because I value your opinion, of course. And you do have more experience in bands than me."
Curt sighed, sitting up on bed, his back against the headboard.
"Yeah, but I'm just the lead of an improvised garage rock band. You're the star here."
"Nonsense. You're a star, too. And it's all about music in the end."
Brian was almost pouting by now, his pretty lips distracting Curt from the matter of hand.
"Why can't you just give me a straight answer?"
Christ, it seemed that Brian wasn't going to let this go. Sometimes he would get like that, insisting in the same subject until Curt either gave him an answer or yelled at him to just shut the fuck up.
It annoyed the fuck out of Curt, but if he yelled at Brian now he would sulk for the rest of the day and Curt would only get more pissed, and he didn't want a day full of sullen silences and resentful glances. Curt didn't want to fight with him; Brian was looking particularly sexy in a dishevelled kind of way, and he was still hoping to get laid before they had to leave for one more day at Bijou's.
"Alright, alright. Tell me again why you want to fire him."
"Curt, I just told you," Brian complained, and Curt couldn't blame him for his annoyance, not when he had zoned out several times during the time Brian was talking earlier "It's mostly because he's always sticking out. He never seems to fit in with any of us."
"He doesn't have the same style at all," Curt agreed.
"And he also seems to think he's some kind of glammy John Bonham."
"I KNOW! Where the hell does he think he is, in a heavy metal band?"
"Kid probably spent his teen years listening to Creedence and Yardbirds and all kinds of macho rock, and is just reproducing what he knows now."
"Do I look or sound like some kind of manly, macho rockstar?"
Curt shook his head.
"Look, Bri, it's like I said. I don't know why do you even want my opinion, but it's pretty much it. The kid is talented enough, but he's a show-off and he's like a sore thumb when he's on stage or even in rehearsals. He really should probably be playing in some other kind of band, not a glam one."
"Then you really don't think I'm being unfair?"
Curt looked at Brian, amused. Where did that came from? Brian wasn't this insecure, not about these matters.
"Do you honestly give a shit?"
"Not really," Brian admitted with an embarrassed smile, making Curt laugh "It's just, he's our third drummer in less than a year. I worry a little at what the fans will think. I don't want it to look bad."
"You wanted my advice, right?" Brian nodded "Alright. From my experience, the fans notice and care first for the vocalist. They usually care for the guitarists, too, and sometimes they even know the name of the bass player. But believe me; most fans don't give a shit about the drummers."
Brian laughed at that, a genuine, startling laughter that lighted up his entire face, making Curt smile, too. God, he was so fucking beautiful, perfect in every sense.
"That's just - just cruel."
"Hey, it's the truth - as I said, I speak from experience."
Brian seemed immediately interested, rising from his seat and approaching him on the bed. Curt only grinned, looking up at him.
"Yeah. Before I started to sing with the Rats, I was the drummer. I only started singing 'cause the vocalist fucked off one night in the middle of a show and never came back, and no one else wanted to assume the vocals, so I thought, what the hell, and did it. And man… the difference really is far out."
"I didn't know that. It's so hard to imagine you doing anything but sing," Brian said softly, his eyes wide in excitement, looking at Curt as if he had told him some revolutionary secret, and not some random thing from his shitty past.
Sometimes Brian would behave like that with him and it still amazed Curt, because it made him remember that Brian was his fucking fan. And not just a fan, but a huge fan, the kind of fan who managed to buy shitty magazines with one page reviews of the Wylde Ratttz, and even a copy of the few limited EPs that they had released, as he once told Curt. It was so goddamned strange. Flattering as hell that someone as good as Brian admired him that much, but still. Strange.
"I liked to bang the drumsticks as hard as I could, but I prefer to scream in the stage. It's not something I tell everyone, but… yeah. Point is, I doubt your fans will give a shit. They're there to see you; they won't care much for who else is up on stage."
Curt was speaking what he knew was the truth - there were bands and bands, and the Venus in Furs was essentially Brian. Hell, he could exchange the entire band if he wanted, and the fans still wouldn't bat an eye. They were there for Brian and for Maxwell Demon. Everyone else was replaceable.
Maybe another person would give a token protest about Curt's practical and somewhat cold reasoning, but not Brian. He only shrugged and lowered himself on the bed - or better yet, lowered himself on Curt, straddling his thighs effortlessly.
"I guess that once again I'll have to look for a new drummer," Brian sighed softly, so close to Curt's face that he could feel his breath on his cheek.
Christ, Curt loved to have Brian so close like this, arms around his neck and his long legs lazily spread around his hips. Up this close he was even more stunning, with that coy look in his face that always managed to take Curt's breath away.
Unable to resist any longer, he kissed Brian very slowly, sucking his lips softly between his own and using one of his hands to grab his ass, loving the sensation of the satin against his hands and against Brian's skin, swallowing Brian's breathy moan with his own mouth. Brian answered with the same appetite, moving slowly in his lap, rubbing his ass against Curt's quickly hardening cock.
Still keeping his hold on Brian's ass, Curt broke the kiss with the intention of kissing Brian's neck, only to notice that he had started to talk... again. Jesus. Why couldn't they just fuck like normal people?
Curt knew that his voice sounded annoyed and Brian noticed that too, his smile turning sheepish.
"Sorry. I guess I'm still a little worried about it."
Curt sighed, trying to control his temper. How could Brian expect Curt to speak, and even worst, think when he was still rubbing his ass against his cock?
"Look, as long as you get someone who knows his shit and his place, and look pretty enough, you're fine. Especially if he's pretty, because it's what matters the most in your band."
Curt tried to kiss Brian again to shut him up at once, but he noticed that Brian had stiffened in his arms - and it was not the good kind of stiff.
"Brian?" Curt tried to ask, slightly worried this time.
"Are you saying that the music is not the most important part for me?"
"No! That's not what I said."
"It sure as hell sounded like that for me."
Brian had already taken his arms off Curt's neck and was trying to climb off his lap, but Curt held him in place by the hips, still trying to save the situation.
"I'm sorry, ok? I just meant that the aesthetics are just as important to you as the music, not more."
Brian shook his head.
"I know the kind of shit I tell to the press, but you saying it like this makes me sound really shallow. I thought you of all people would understand what I'm trying to do."
Brian had stopped trying to get away, but he was looking unhappy now, a frown forming into his face. It wasn't an angry frown, just a signal that he was getting truly upset.
Curt knew he had to tread carefully then, because Brian could get very emotional in just an instant. He was truly a pain in the ass at times, more sensitive and fussy than any woman that Curt had ever met.
Normally he wouldn't give a fuck if someone was sensitive enough to get hurt by just a few harsh words, but Curt wouldn't dare to risk and hurt Brian's feelings. He once had mercilessly shot down and even mocked an outfit that Brian had excitedly showed him, only to watch in something akin to horror as Brian's easy confidence crumbled in a second and how his eyes turned glassy with unshed tears. Curt had felt like the world's biggest asshole then, and promised himself that he would try everything to never put that hurt and vulnerable expression on Brian's face, never again.
"I do understand, Brian. It's not shallow. I don't think so. I dunno, it's just very different from how I see music and performing. I don't do well with video clips and elaborated wardrobes and theatrical performances and shit; I just like to step up a stage and get loose."
"I always envied that about you. You get so lost into a song and it's so fucking intense, it's like nothing else I've ever seen. I could never get like that on stage. I need to have full control of myself to perform."
Now Brian didn't have that little frown in his face anymore, and Curt could have sighed in relief for the dodged bullet.
"Nah. No need to envy me. We just play in different ways. And your presentations are always perfect, anyway."
"I take a great deal of care for them to be that way."
"Yeah, no shit. But that's what I meant: I know how important the music is to you. I was just saying that the visuals are very important, too. They make the whole package a deal. It's like… like that quote you said, the one that they always mention on press."
"Rock and roll is a prostitute and should be tarted up?"
Brian's eyebrows had risen slightly on his face and he had a small smile on those juicy lips. Fuck, he was so very, very pretty.
"Yeah, something like that. I guess I just meant that you need to get a drummer who is pretty AND good, not just one that is good. And not just a pretty one either."
"I suppose you're right."
"Sure I am. The kid you got now is good enough, he's just not pretty enough for you."
"And he's a show-off."
"Yeah, there's that, too."
"Poor Ricky. I have never seen someone so utterly unable to get a flattering haircut."
Oh yeah, Ricky! That was the kid's name; Curt could never remember it for too long. Not that it mattered much now, with all the firing business.
"Maybe you should get a girl to be your drummer. Women usually have a much better sense of style."
"Maybe. Women do usually take a lot more of care with their hair. Never met a girl who could produce such a disaster in their hair as Ricky seems to do weekly."
Curt laughed at that.
"Now, now, don't make fun of people's ugly haircuts just 'cause you're incapable of getting one."
"Whatever do you mean?"
"I mean that you would still look hot even if you were bald, or even with that shitty haircut that Ricky is using now."
Brian visibly shuddered.
"I doubt even I could pull off that monstrosity."
"Nah man, you could pull off anything. It's because of your face."
"What about my face?"
"Your face is perfect, that's what."
Brian blushed a little at the compliment and Curt couldn't fight off his smile, happy as always to get Brian flustered.
"You haven't seen me with every haircut in existence."
"I think I've seen enough."
Curt was grinning broadly now, and Brian was starting to look worried.
"How exactly did you see it?"
"Mandy showed me a little box with a few pictures of you."
Brian groaned out aloud, and Curt had to laugh.
"You looked cute enough as a hippie, but you were fucking hot with that long hair."
"I'm not sure I like the idea of you and Mandy getting this friendly."
Curt didn't think he would. Considering how Brian was, he probably would prefer if they hated each other. Brian liked to feel desired and liked to have his ego stroked, and what better way to have than have his wife and his lover resenting each other?
But Curt liked Mandy; she was cool enough most of time. Sure, maybe she was a little jealous of how he spends much more time with Brian than her, but she was always nice and friendly with Curt, which was more than he could say for most people from Bijou's.
"Mandy is pretty cool. And she promised to show me a picture of a mod version of you as soon as she finds it."
"Good luck with that," Brian mumbled under his breath, annoyed.
"I bet you looked hot as a mod, too. I doubt you ever had an ugly haircut."
"Every high school kid had an unflattering haircut, Curt. I'm no exception."
That stopped Curt on his tracks.
"I wish I could blame my parents but really, I'm the one to blame."
"You gotta show me it, or I'll never believe it."
"Not a chance."
Curt put both his hands around Brian's slim waist, pulling him closer.
"Come on, baby. You got me all curious now."
Brian shook his head, putting both his hands on Curt's shoulders.
"I don't think I have pictures of that. Which is a blessing, if I'm honest."
Curt didn't expect the wave of disappointment that came with that; he was really curious if it was true or just Brian exaggerating.
"At least describe it for me?"
Brian sighed, kneading Curt's shoulders lightly.
"It wasn't that different from the mod haircut, just... uglier."
"Babe, I didn't see the mod haircut. I want details!"
Brian sighed again.
"I was an impressionable teenager, and it was the peak of the Beatlemania…"
It took Curt a few seconds to understand what Brian had said, but once he did, he burst out laughing.
"A fucking bowl cut?"
"Every single British kid had one at the time!"
Curt was still laughing - just the suggestion of Brian wearing a fucking bowl cut was hilarious.
"Still. I mean, it was probably hilarious, but I bet it didn't make you look bad. You probably were always a cute kid."
Brian looked more amused than angry, swaying lightly and still holding onto his shoulders.
"What about you? Ever had any ugly haircuts?"
"Oh yeah. Plenty. American kids pretty much only have ugly haircuts. I only started to look half decent when I let my hair grown."
"Hard to imagine. You're so gorgeous."
Brian's voice was soft, and he looked intensely at Curt, as if trying to imagine him with ugly hair.
"Nah, I'm okay-looking. You're the beautiful one here, hair included."
Especially the current hair that Brian was using, because Curt loved that haircut and that color. At first he thought it would be too spiky and wiry to the touch, but it was just as smooth as always. Curt loved grabbing that soft blue hair between his fingers when Brian was going down on him, loved the way the strands of hair tickled his chin when Brian was in a cuddling mood and would put his head on his chest.
"The hell you are just average looking, Curt. You're beautiful. And sexy as hell."
Brian always had an intense look on his face when he was talking about something he felt passionate about. He was now staring at Curt with that same look in his eyes, and Curt could feel himself getting hard just by the intensity of that look.
"I suppose that you're the specialist in beauty here."
"That's right," Brian smirked "And you should bow down to my expertise."
"Hmm. Should I?"
Curt put his hands on Brian's hips, pulling him even closer; Brian only smiled, playful and carefree as he so rarely was.
"Yeah, you should. Actually... you should be grateful to me!"
Curt tilted his head, and in a quick movement he turned them around on the bed, putting Brian on his back and climbing on top of him.
"Well, then. I guess I'll just have to show you just how grateful I am."
Brian's only answer was to untie his gown and expose his naked body, and happy to forego words for the next minutes, Curt pressed him down on the mattress and kissed him, forgetting all about drummers and ugly haircuts.
A.N.²: Wow, it's been several years since I wrote anything Velvet Goldmine related! But I did some college stuff based on this film a few weeks ago and I got inspired to write this little piece, but I only had the time to edit it now.
The title of from The Whole Shebang, the VG soundtrack, because I'm such a failure with original titles.
Thank you for reading, comments are always welcome and desired!