The One With Drugs and Backstreet Boys
You meet us in fair Amsterdam where we lay our scene. I am there with a Sunday tabloid journalist whom we shall call "Ray" and a delightful man-mountain of a photographer whom we shall call "Dan".
It is the first date of the latest European tour by pop heartthrobs, Backstreet Boys (devoid of the definite article like Pixies or Anthrax. Or Adele) and I have persuaded the Accounts team at Jive Records that it would be worthwhile shelling out for a bit of tabloid coverage to give the group some credibility.
Accounts have agreed provided that expenses are kept to an absolute minimum. Gulp.
Ray, Dave and I complete the interview duties in about half an hour and then settle into our arena seats where Ray will file a review. After one song, it is unanimously decided that we should decamp to a coffee shop in the city where we will write the review together and off we trot.
Somewhat bewildered by the choice of "coffee" on offer, we ask the "barista" for something mild and he obliges. We roll the "coffee" and then each take a draw of it with a view to settling down to write this glowing review - all four tabloid-short paragraphs of it.
After what feels like a couple of minutes, Ray turns to me and says: "This coffee isn't really doing anything for me. How about you?" I have to agree. Then we realise that the Dutch customers are all laughing because we've been staring into space, stoned out of our British minds for at least an hour.......