Ridley Robb was an entertainer in melt-down. The child-star musician was experiencing that all too familiar difficult transition from innocent youth celebrity to ego-driven adult superstar. He was discovered seven years ago on a talent search show called The Applause and his first album Inside Me went double platinum. Grammies, American Music Awards and the adulation of a generation of adolescent girls followed his success. Three more platinum albums solidified his status at the generation’s John, Paul, Ringo and George, all in one young boy.
But as that boy became a man, difficulties emerged. He fired two long-time managers and began acquiring a series of cryptic symbolic tattoos all over his body, depicting passages from Revelations. He ostracized his close family members and became hyper-controlling of his ‘new’ friends, dictating where his entourage would go, when they would eat and sleep and proscribing strict rules about how they would treat him.
And then there was the monkey.
His latest manager, Selena Flores, only managed to maintain her position through unswerving deference to every one of Ridley Robb’s bizarre requests. He wanted a side of beef at three a.m. so he could practice his Japanese Katana technique on real flesh. There was the two hour notice to hire a charter plane to Thailand for a romp through the notorious Pattaya sex district with thirty seven ‘friends.’ Oh, and make sure the press doesn’t get a hold of that one. Yeah right. She even found a pair of little people to wrestle in jello at nine a.m. on a Sunday, to provide some post trance amusement as Ridley and friends came down from their ecstasy fueled clubbing. But it was that damn monkey that sent her over the edge.
Ridley purchased the spider monkey four years ago while vacationing in South-East Asia. When Flores took over as manager a year ago, the monkey was difficult, but tolerable. Little Tikko had to wear a diaper, it liked to swing from the curtains, knock over the television, and ride on Ridley’s shoulder. But over the last few months, the monkey had reached sexual maturity, and its behavior had grown aggressive and wild, biting several visitors to Ridley’s Santa Barbara estate. In the absence of any females of its species, Tikko took out its sexual frustrations on Selena, or more specifically, her hair.
The first time the monkey assaulted her, she thought it was playing. When she ran her fingers through her hair and found what it left behind, she was appalled. She paid the only straight hairdresser in Santa Barbara four hundred dollars every two weeks to relax, straighten, dye and style her hair. She was not going to have some horny little monkey use it as his hump doll.
The next time Tikko lept onto her shoulder, she grabbed it by the neck and tossed it on the sofa. Tikko thought this a challenge, and he immediately leapt to the ottoman and used it as a springboard to vault onto her head, overshooting but using her hair as a drag line to stop his momentum. When she reached up to remove him again, he bit her. She screamed and started crying, but Ridley and his ‘friends’ thought the monkey’s affections were hilarious. So Ridley passed one of his proclamations — wherever Tikko needed to satisfy himself, he was allowed. While this typically meant the head area of any female in the area, usually this meant Selena. Ridley’s teen aged girlfriends also thought the monkeys actions were hilarious and perhaps, even flattering? But they didn’t struggle and Tikko wanted a challenge. He only had eyes for Selena.
The monkey had to go.
So when they traveled to Amsterdam for Ridley’s appearance at a benefit concert, Selena intentionally overlooked the fact that possession of a primate is illegal in Holland. The customs authorities seized the little monster and that was that.
Ridley was distraught, and Selena had no idea the loss of the monkey would affect him so deeply. With the rest of his family wanting nothing to do with his outlandish behavior, the monkey had become something of a child to Ridley. It was the closest thing he had to family and it had been taken by him by those fascist Hollanders. Ridley would cry and weep for Tikko in between drug and alcohol fueled benders which would fell Keith Richards. Even his ‘friends’ shied away from his ego sparked and amphetamine amplified outbursts.
Selena was growing increasingly concerned about her client’s total loss of control. But what could she do? It was like he was in the grasp of some unknown evil, from which she had no idea how to remove him. She worried he might kill himself.
But at least that fucking monkey wasn’t going to come in her hair again.