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Innocent Criminals
by Dave Navarro [also starring Silverchair]
Bikini Magazine - April 1997

They went out looking for some crazy teenage kicks!
What they found was their worst living nightmare!

Watch in horror as three young innocents hook up with one bad seed and end up in the slammer!

THE VEHICLE: 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport LS 4WD

THE CAST: Silverchair--Daniel Johns, (lead vocals and guitar), Ben Gillies, (drums) and Chris Joannou, (bassist)

ALSO STARRING: David "Hasselhoff" Navarro--Red Hot Chili Pepper.

WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCES BY: Rob Hill-as The "Bikini" Senior Editor. Heather Davis-as The Babyitter... uh...we...mean...The Publicist and Kyle Bazemore--as The Mitsubishi Guy.

AND INTRODUCING: Officer 57 as himself.

A NOTE TO READERS FROM DAVE: The Story you are about to read is true. Johnny and I have been know to take a certain shall we say...license, but in this case none was taken. Literally. And that was the beginning of the end. Read on, and you'll see what we mean....

The three young lads from Australia's Silverchair turn a simple test drive by the beach into a near international incident, with a little help from the Santa Monica Police Department. Dave Navarro makes a full confession from the shotgun seat.

PRE-TEST DRIVE, GATHERING IN THE PARKING LOT OF "BIKINI"'S POSH OFFICE DIGS IN SANTA MONICA.

Daniel: (looking at the Montero). This thing is bitchin'! This is gonna be great.

Rob: Have you ever driven a car in America before?

Daniel: No. Never. We're gonna crash!

Dave takes shotgun. The Silverchair members pile into the back of the Mitsubishi. Rob hops into the driver's seat.

Dave: Rob...uh, what are you doing? It's their test drive.

Rob: Well The Publicist doesn't want them to drive on the roads. They're used to driving on the wrong side of the road. They've never even driven in this country before.

Dave: What?

Rob: And they don't have licenses with them. But I signed the waiver forms. I'm the Oliver North of this trip.

Dave: But....

Ben: Who's Oliver North?

Rob: He's the guy who took the fall for President Reagan... (blank stares from all the Silverchairs) ...here...when...Reagan got into all that trouble...back in the '80s....

Chris: (Ignoring Rob) The leg-room in the back is quite lovely. I love this vehicle already. Open the sunroof!

Dave: (Ignoring Chris) Wait a minute, they're supposed to test drive the car and they can't drive it? Oh, I get it. So this is a big joke on ol' Dave, huh? So what're we gonna do then?

Rob: I figured we'd take them down to a parking lot by the beach off PCH. Y'know, let 'em cruise around the lot for a while and get some pictures.

Dave: Parking lot? You've gotta be kidding!

Rob: Well, no.

Dave: So you're saying I came all the way out here just to? Okay, whatever I guess I owe it to these guys to stick around.

At this point you need a little background information: Dave and the Red Hot Chili Peppers toured with Silverchair last year. On the final night of the tour, Dave and his bandmates hired strippers to come out on stage during Silverchairs's performance of their big hit "Tomorrow", and strip. It was intended as a surprise for Silverchair, y'know a little road prank from the veteran rock band to the new kids on the block. The stunt, however, backfired--as one of the strippers got tangled up with Daniel, playing his heart out, and accidentally unplugged his guitar. The Peppers looked on--in horror.

CUT TO: A BEACHFRONT PARKING LOT ON THE PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY. The boys & Dave pull into the lot. The Photographer, Mitsubishi Guy, and The Publicist arrive a moment later.

Rob: Okay, guys. Here we are. Who wants to drive?

Rob climbs out of the Mitsubishi and Ben eagerly replaces him in the driver's seat. The Mitsubishi Guy and The Publicist already look rather concerned. It's official test drive time.

SOUND EFFECTS: SCHWCHHHHTTHK-TOUINK-CHHHH!!!

(Ben is turning the keys and grinding the starter motor. The car is already running.)

Mitsubishi Guy: Um....

Daniel: Nice one, Gillies!

Dave: (egging 'em on) Why don't you just take off?!

Daniel: Give 'em a bit of a fright, Gillies! Pretend you're gonna go out on the beach! (yelling out the window to the caretakers) We're just gonna check out the 4WD! We're going out on the beach, all right? We'll be back in twenty! (to Gillies, lovin' it) Pretend you're going, because they fully think we are. Do it!

Dave: (more egging) I think we might just want to go out on the sand anyway. Just go for it, man. Fuck it! Just go! How does it go into 4WD?

Chris: Just put it in first and go!

Ben punches it and pops the clutch. The Montero lurches into 1st with a squeal of the tires and--ba BUMP--Ben, Chris, Daniel, and Dave are cruisin' on the beach. THIS is fun.

Ben: We're gonna get bogged in the sand.

Dave: Fuck it! Don't worry about it!

Daniel: Just do it! We'll push you out of it!

Dave: We are on the beach. We are breaking the law. This is terrific!

Teenage laughs all around. They're already bogged as Ben predicted. Mitsubishi Guy appears concerned and approaches the vehicle from the parking lot with a sense of gloom.

Chris: Just hit the gas! (laughter)

Daniel: What the fuck?! (howls) Uh-oh, the guy is coming over....

Dave: Just punch it, baby!

Ben: (pissed off) Someone else fucking drive....

Chris: How 'bout reverse? How 'bout reverse?

Dave: (referring to Mitsubishi Guy who is gaining on them) He's not that worried...look at him. (Ben tries reverse in vain) Oh, now he's worried! Oh he's running.....he's running. We're in the car five minutes and the Mitsubishi Guy is running over here.

Chris: This is so funny. This is so fun....

The Mitsubishi Guy arrives. He's not exactly going to break up the fun. He points to a gadget and, za-zip, they are easily freed from the bog.

Dave: Oh, we're breakin' the law. (half sings a la Judas Priest) "Breakin' the law! Breakin' the law!"

Consider this for a moment: by this point all restraint has been recklessly abandoned. Endorphins have been released, and the carefree bunch are giddy and high. They're invincible. No harm can come to them. They're rock stars behind the wheel of a rockin' 4WD. They're sailing down the open beach. They're zipping past volleyball courts. Sand is kicking up into the wind. It should be noted here for, y'know, like, irony's sake or whatever, that before Silverchair was actually called Silverchair they were known as the Innocent Criminals.

Daniel: Do a donut!

Ben: We're gettin' away from those losers!

Dave: (scanning the beach-applying the full yoke) There's tire tracks out here, see? It's okay. (deep inside, Dave knows the tracks are from a lifeguard vehicle but...)

Chris: Look out Gillies, you're gonna run into a bin!

Daniel: If the fuckin' cops come we're fucked!

Chris: You'll lose your license, Gillies!

Ben: That's all right as far as I'm concerned. I don't have a fucking license.

Dave: (the voice of reason) I don't think you can lose your Australian license though, not in Los Angeles. At worst, you'll get a citation...yeah...pay a fine...don't worry about it...Sony'll pay it.

Daniel: (confidently) Yeah.

Ben: (laughing) They're gonna be spewing if that happens.

Dave: (the rock sage) See, this is the advantage of being in a big rock band. You can just drive around and have the record company pay the citation.

Chris: Look they're making a movie.

Typical L.A scene: A movie is being shot on the Santa Monica beach, with a rent-a-cops (off duty and/or retired police officers hired to sip coffee, hassle passers-by, and pretend to be connected to Hollywood).

Daniel: (to the rent-a-cop as they wizz by) How ya' doin' big fella?!

The cop is not amused, nor does he respond...so they think.

Dave: This is beautiful boys!

Break. Daniel gets behind the wheel. Dave's recovering from the endorphin rush and reason begins to filter in....somewhat.

Dave: Hey! How old are you guys?

Ben: I'm 17.

Chris: 17.

Daniel: (taking off wildly) Me too.

Dave: (to no one in particular) Hmmm. You're all 17 and I'm 29. I'm 29. (the seeds begin to take root) So, that makes me your legal guardian.

The boy's don't seem to understand the gravity of Dave's realization. In fact they're not even listening to Dave. They're still dripping with enthusiasm. Howling. Jumping on each other's lines. Basically basking in adolescent mayhem. Daniel recklessly meanders onto the boardwalk, you know, right up there with the bicyclists and skaters. Cackling all the way. Then it's back onto the sand.

Dave: Here we go! I don't know how I could be letting this happen. This is the...uh...The Sand & Sea Beach Club. This is a private beach we're driving onto!

Beat. For one icy moment, fear has wandered into the Montero.

Chris: Don't be a faggot, Danny! Keep driving!

Daniel begins doing fishtails all over the place, leaving The Photographer and the concerned onlookers in the sand.

Ben: So much for the photographer taking pictures for us!

Dave: We're tearing up the beach!

Chris: (ignoring Dave) Do a fishy! Do a fishy!

Dave: (spying the rent-a-cop again) Oh, there's the police officer. He's not pleased.

Uproarious laughter from the guys.

Ben: (howling) Look out for the baby!

There is a small child not too dangerously near.

Dave: (as David Letterman) There's a child over here for Chrissakes!

Chris: That's so funny!

Daniel punches it, at the same time blowing the horn.

Dave: How's the car handling there, Dan?

Daniel: It's not bad in the sand. (with bravado) I think it's the driver

They've claimed a small portion of beach as their own. The fact that the Mitsubishi, Sony, and 'Bikini' representatives do not seem to be parentally reacting to their reckless teenage abandon serves only as a license to escalate their wild activities. They perform a "figure eight" in the sand, leaving deep crevasses in their wake. The Photographer has caught up to the vehicle and is capturing it all on film.

SOUND EFFECTS: SIRENS HEARD FAINTLY IN THE DISTANCE.

Dave: Uh-oh! Here they come, Daniel! They're coming for ya'!

Ben: Yeah, Daniel, get ready for jail!

As it just so happens...the joke is on them. All at once, three vehicles converge on the group. Two Baywatch-style lifeguard units and a Santa Monica police car--all three with red lights and sirens blazing--surround the Mitsubishi mavericks. It turned out the rent-a-cop radioed ahead to the real police and put a dragnet on the jolly jokesters.

Ben: Holy shit, it's the cops!

Dave: Um...

SOUND EFFECTS: NONE. Silence within the Montero. Fear has fully set in. All the giggles, shouts, and sirens have faded into a distant, sinister echo.

Daniel: (worried) I...I don't have a license!

Dave: (mustering up some confidence) Don't worry 'bout it Dan! You guys are famous! Famous people get away with shit in Los Angeles. I mean, this is Santa Monica, right? Didn't you guys hear about that O.J thing?

Daniel: Yeah but, Dave, the last time I was In Santa Monica, we played a show right over there (gestures to the pier down the beach) and I got hit on the head with a bottle, I'm cursed in Santa Monica.

Dave: Just be cool. Here he comes....

The most enormous, ripped, Carl Weathers lookalike, menacing cop you've ever seen gets out of his car and approaches the Montero. He's visibly angry. His furrowed brow cracking. Daggers of reflected sunlight shoot off his shiny badge into the frightened eyes of the young men in his warpath. CLOSE-UP OF THE BADGE: It reads simply yet ominiously: "57."

57: (bluntly, to Daniel) License and registration.

Daniel: What....?

57: (angrily) Let me see your license and registration! Now!

Daniel: (visibly shaken) Uh...I don't have it....We're doing a test drive for...

57: I didn't ask what you were doing. Where's your license?!

Dave scrounges in the glove box for the registration papers. He pulls out the only envelope in the glove box and offers it to Daniel.

Dave: Give him this....

57: (ignoring Dave, to Daniel) Driver's license!

Daniel: (sinking) I haven't got one. We're here from Australia....

57: (now yelling) I don't care where you're from! Let me see some identification!

Daniel: I haven't got any. We were just.... We're here from Australia.

57: Is this your vehicle?!

Daniel: No. We're from....

It is evident to Dave that none of the "entourage" who have chaperoned this merry event appear to be coming to their rescue. No "Bikini." No Sony. No Mitsubishi. Dave looks around for the cavalry. None. The grim mugs of assorted law enforcement personnel have replaced all familiar friendly faces on the beach. Meanwhile, Officer 57 attempts to to extract a valid drivers license from the other boys in the car, one by one, to no avail. He settles upon Dave....

57: (pissed to Dave) Do you have a license?

VERY TIGHT CLOSE-UP SHOT OF DAVE.

Dave: (stroking his chin, thinking to himself) Okay now...if I give this guy my license...I'm 29...I'm of legal age...I'm a resident of the State of California...I'm technically their legal guardian...but...wait a second! (knitting his brow) My license is actually already suspended!... There's no way I'm gonna offer a suspended license to the Joseph Stalin of the Santa Monica Police Department!... Then I go to jail...and that won't do anybody any good, now will it? (silently rationalizing) These guys will get out of this...they're young and cute and famous...their album sold like 15 zillion copies...they come from a far away land, obviously unfamiliar with the laws and customs of our nation...but...wait! (coming to his senses, realizing his responsibilities as a friend, a fellow musician, an adult, a "Bikini" journalist, and a caring human being) If I punk out on these guys, I'm a dick! They were on the road with us for Chrissakes!...I can't do that to them!...I already ruined their last set with the strippers thing....(smiling and nodding slightly, pleased with his own inner strength and courage) I most definitely must make a stand and take full responsibility for this entire...

57: (shattering Dave's silent introspection) I said, do you have a license?!!!

Dave: (quickly) No, Sir, I have no identification whatsoever.

57: Whose vehicle is this?!

Daniel: It belongs to this guy from Mitsubishi. We're test driving it for a magazine...we're in a band...from Australia...we're from Australia!

The chaperones have finally resurfaced. Things start getting a little dicey. The Photographer is snapping off photos like mad. The Mitsubishi Guy is shuffling his feet. The "Bikini" Editor is looking worried. The Publicist is shuffling through a bunch of papers (from which no one knows what she plans to produce).

57: (to the Mitsubishi Guy) Is this your vehicle?

The Mitsubishi Guy: (sheepishly) Uh...we're just doing...this is a photo shoot...for...

57: (emphatically, really pissed off now) Is...this...your...vehicle?!!

The Photographer: click, click, click....

57: (to The Photographer) Git that camera outta' my face!!! Or I'll haul your ass to jail!!!

Daniel: (out the window to the cop) We're really sorry....

57: Did I ask you anything!? I don't care how sorry you are! (to Mitsubishi Guy) Let me see your identification!

The Mitsubishi Guy produces a Florida driver's license and he and Officer 57, The Publicist, and The "Bikini" Editor all begin holding a brief "conference" on the beach. Although no pressure has actually been relieved, the fact that Officer 57 is no longer screaming into the musicians allows them a chance to kid themselves into thinking that they are somehow, miraculously, going to skate out of this mess.

Dave: See? What'd I tell ya"? They're gonna sort things out for us. Let me tell you something guys, this kind of thing happens everyday in Los Angeles. It's as common as a drive-by shooting!

Daniel: (worried) I hope I don't go to jail, I hope I don't get raped!

Dave: You're not gonna get raped. First of all, you're not going to jail. And, even if you did, they're not gonna take you to the raping jail. They'll take you to the police station and you'll be held until Sony pays a fine. Don't worry about it. (pointing to the group meeting on the beach) See? Those guys are smiling. You're off the hook!

57: (returning to the car and addressing Daniel much more calmly) Well, you don't have a license, you were driving on the beach....

Daniel: (relieved that the worst part is obviously over) I know, we're really sorry.

57: (matter-of-factly) I have no choice but to take you to jail.

Daniel: (shocked back to harsh reality) What?!!!

The Publicist: (frantically) Isn't there anything we can....

57: (the anger returns) Anything we can what?! The only thing you can do is come down to the station and bail him out! (to Daniel) Let's go! (beat) Now!

57 opens the car door and waits for Daniel to emerge. Daniel reluctantly slinks out of the car. He is beaten and truly frightened out of his wits. This is actually his first run-in with any type of law enforcement. All of the onlookers are dumbfounded and speechless. The sun is setting on the horizon, and, oddly, the image of Officer 57, with his burly arm outstretched and clutching young Daniel, makes it look like they are actually new-found pals. One can almost hear Humphrey Bogart's voice-over: "Louie, this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship." If only this were the case.

Officer 57 ushers Daniel into the back of his police car. SOUND EFFECTS: A thundering, echoey BOOM as 57 slams the car door. Daniel stares wide-eyed from the window as the car pulls away. Fade to black.

CUT TO: THE SANTA MONICA POLICE DEPARTMENT. SOUND EFFECTS: The familiar reggae intro fades in and the lyrics begin: "Bad boys, bad boys, what'cha gonna do....?" As the Mitsubishi Montero and the trail vehicle pull into the police station parking lot. Officer 57's car has arrived just ahead of them, but already no sign of Daniel is to be had. The entire entourage grimly files into the station. Daniel, it seems, is being "processed." What has to happen is this: some sort of proper identification for Daniel has to be produced. But this is something of a challenge as most of Daniel's papers and whatnot are in Australia, and his passport is back in his hotel room in Hollywood. So The Publicist is making phone calls, receiving faxes. Calls are also placed to the "Bikini" office tower, as if this will help matters at all.

At the same time, Dave, scrambling for ideas, recalls an experience he had while touring with Jane's Addiction, in which Border Patrol agents wouldn't allow him to enter the U.S from Canada without an I.D. Then from out of nowhere, the Jane's tour manager appeared with a CD and saved the day. So Dave asks if anyone has a copy of the Silverchair CD with Daniel's picture on it. The Mitsubishi Guy claims to have a copy in his own personal Mitsubishi so he goes to grab it.

Meanwhile, a couple of not-so-zealous Santa Monica Police officers find out what is going on, and are, in fact seem mildly amused to have the rock celebrities in their midst. They go out to admire the new Mitsubishi and claim that they themselves would not have arrested young Daniel, admitting that perhaps Officer 57's actions were perhaps a bit...hasty. Things are starting to look a little better, but...Fade to black.

CUT TO: THE CALIFORNIA STATE PENITENTARY VISITORS AREA, ONE WEEK LATER.

An apologetic Dave Navarro sits in front of a bullet-proof glass partition, talking through a little circular metal speaker grating to a frightened Daniel Johns, clad in orange prison overalls, held without bail on the other side. The grave conversation is abruptly interrupted by the sudden arrival of Daniel's "cellmate", a burly bald fellow with many more tattoos than Dave. The guards look the other way and whistle to themselves as Daniel's new "friend" grabs him by the arm. "But...he's from Australia!" pleads Dave through the window, jumping to his feet, as Daniel is dragged back into the depths of the correctional facility.

CUT TO: DANIEL AND THE GANG OUTSIDE THE JAIL.

Dave: What happened?!

Daniel: Well he was really mad, the cop I mean. He kept going on and on about all the laws I'd broken, asking me, "Is it okay to drive on the beach in Australia?" And I was like, "Well, actually I do it with my friends all the time!" He didn't like that bit. He says, "There's only a few things I can do. One is take you to a juvenile home...."

Chris: Oh fuck! A juvenile home?

Daniel: And then he goes, "Where are your parents?" And I said, "One's in Australia and the other one's out somewhere." He didn't like that much either. Then he turned around and started yelling at me about everything. He said, "Do you think that's allowed?!" and his eyes are like, all bulging out! And I was like, "Holy fuck! You are a knob!" I'm never coming back to Santa Monica again! The first time I come, I get hit in the head with a bottle. The second time, I get arrested.....

Dave: So, Daniel, whaddya think of the car eh?

Daniel: It's awesome! It drives great, looks good, has a radio that works, a sunroof, power windows. Handles well in the sand.... It's a chick magnet! What else is there to say?

Dave: It's, like, thirty grand!

Daniel: But it's still worth it! I mean, Dave, it's got bucket seats.... I'm gonna get me one of those things as soon as I can....and I'm gonna take it onto the beach and do more donuts than you can count!