Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen*

“Watch TV go goggle-eyed, See a horror movie get petrified, Go dye your hair use peroxide, Smoke a spliff and get red eyed ….. From the dance floor I can see, Decadent society, And that’s bad, so bad ……  Attitudes of some would say, I got money, I’m okay, and that’s bad, so bad ….. These are the things that drive me crazy, These are the things that make me bad …..”  BAD. Big Audio Dynamite. 

Even though I was at times pretty heavily into the drug scene, (to say the least), I still had my standards.  A line I would not go below.  Never use needles, never go without, nor leave the house without, a red lipstick, and always have a good hair cut.  To credit my vanity with saving my life is not an understatement.  Self-respect is everything, and I saw many people lose theirs.  And most of them are dead now.   But this is a fun Strange Tale so….

Mick Jones.  Co-founder and songwriter, co-lead vocalist and lead guitarist of The Clash until 1983.  In 1984 he formed Big Audio Dynamite with Don Letts.   Favourite lyricist. Favourite bands.  (I saw The Clash a number of times.)



I never went anywhere without my red lipstick. In the early days of my relationship with Chris, he would ask why that was such a thing.  It was always perfect and reapplied as often as necessary.   I would answer the same each time: “You just never know, one day I just might bump into Mick Jones.”


I worked at the Melkweg in Amsterdam.  It was and still is a famous music venue, and cultural centre.  It used to be a milk factory, hence the name.  It had a music hall, theatre, restaurant, cinema, and tea house.  It was in the tea house that you could legally buy hash and weed.   I saw bands too numerous to mention there.  One of the more memorable gigs was The Ramones who played a three night stint; I still have some of their monogrammed guitar picks.


One summer night we were in the Paradiso, (also a music venue, a converted former church) watching the Hoodoo Gurus, when half way through the gig a colleague of mine from the Melkweg, tapped me on the shoulder and yelled into my ear.  He said that the boss of the Melkweg wanted me to come over and look after an English band who were visiting.  I had absolutely no intention of leaving the gig, but of course asked him who it was.  “Big Audio Dynamite,” he replied. I  kid you not.   I yelled at Chris that I was going over to the club because Mick Jones was waiting for me.  I touched up my lipstick and legged it.


Chris stayed until the end of the gig at the Paradiso and then came to join me.  We hung out with them for the rest of the evening, which included helping them to sort out some of their uhm, needs.  We met up again for breakfast the next morning.  Don’t ask. What happened in Amsterdam, stayed in Amsterdam.  B.A.D. were touring with U2 as their opening act, and had a couple of days off,  which explained their presence in the city.  We got tickets for the gig in Rotterdam.  Very cool.

Of course we did not become friends, but when we were in Boston, 1989, B.A.D. played The Channel Club on three nights, and guest listed us.  That was Big Audio Dynamite at their height and three of the best gigs I have ever been to.  And then again in 1990, at the Paradiso,  back to where it all started with that tap on the shoulder.  We went along to that and spent time with them afterwards, taking them some Afgahni Black (superior hash) and it rendered them comatose.  No stamina, those Brits.

Never underestimate the powers of a red lipstick.

red lipstick

I don’t wear red lipstick at the moment.  I prefer to wear an extremely high shine clear lipgloss, amusingly called Crystal, and a lot of dark blue and black eye make up.  Both together would be too much.   But I still don’t leave the house without it in my bag.  Just in case.

val hair


“So when you reach the bottom line, The only thing to do is climb, Pick yourself up off the floor, Anything you want is yours.”  The Bottom Line.  Big Audio Dynamite.       

CQ of APJ      

*Parts of this Strange Tale first appeared on Australian Perfume Junkies in 2015.


Filed under Stories

26 responses to “Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen*

  1. As always your tale is everybody else on the planets dream Val. Amazing.
    The Hoodoo Gurus are AUSSIE so it’s even more exciting for me.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. lady jane grey

    You with clear gloss ? Cannot even imagine ! It‘s really high time to meet again !

    Liked by 2 people

  3. One of your best Tales ever, Val. Really happy you shared it here.

    You really made the most of every opportunity and were prepared ahead of time. A lesson to us all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brigitte

    Sexy….love that photo Val!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I knew bits of this great tale already – partly from the APJ post, and bits you have told me yourself – but it was sooo great to catch up with the full, if necessarily slightly expurgated ;), account! I never tire of looking at your amazing big hair photo. The last word in hot rock chickness!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh – that was such a bird’s nest. Loads on thin dreadlock like bits, bleached, and enough hairspray to drown in. But it was great for a while. Yes, it is of course censored, like all of my Tales. 😉


  6. This is a wild story! And hooray for vanity!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Ms coolcookstyle 🙂 So nice to see you. Yeah, exactly, hooray for vanity. Because going out with sucky hair would kill me. xxxxxxxx


  8. cassieflower

    Great tale, Val. I would add one tiny thing to have in your bag along with red lippie: a spare pair of knickers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Val – love your picture – beautiful lady. I could read your tales all day, really! the strange thing is tho i would have been visiting Amsterdam that year (almost sure) and went along to the Melkweg – although i don’t remember too much about it 🙂 There would have been various reasons for that…. lol. we used to call the Afghani something else beginning with ‘P’ which would be very un=PC now! More tales from the Cookie Jar soon please. (Patsi)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Afghani, Pakistani, Kashmiri, and my favourite – Nepalese temple ball. All aromatic and dark and chocolatey and divine,but with slightly different notes. Very similar to our current hobby huh? Maybe we saw each other in the club? You never know!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. matty1649

    Wonderful tale, as always X

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tara C

    I loved B.A.D. too. My rule was never to spend my own money on drugs – as a pretty young thing I never had to buy any, but I enjoyed what was given to me. Your hair and lipstick commitment is an inspiration. I have given up on my hair but I still love lip gloss.


  12. empliau

    Val, you are truly the Queen in that photo! And we don’t wear it everywhere, but my daughter and I have gone over the Ellis Faas waterfall. She is presently wearing (and looks amazing in) Dark Blood but I imagine soon she’ll wangle my Ellis Red from me. Thanks …

    Liked by 1 person

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