The G.A.Y club owner wasn’t ever anticipating the frenzy surrounding the boyband One Direction would be an issue when he booked the propped up group created by his longtime friend Simon Cowell. He selected them from a list of XFactors competitors because he was seeking some amusing act for performing at his entertainment club to his birthday in September. When the group was formed in 2010 they were unknown. He recalls joking with Cowell about throwing them a consolation prize of having a gig planned for 2011 because they were certain to fade into history as soon as they were out of the made for TV talent competition.
The thing is they didn’t get disqualified early. In fact they hung on, got better and better each week and while One Direction didn’t win the competition, this made for ratings boyband had taken over the popular culture with their down to earth, clean cut images combined with their sizzling good-looks. That the five had vocal talent was almost secondary because the group Simon put together had a boy next door in every flavor. From the adorable Irish Niall, to the exotic Zayn Malik. The confident, yet doe-eyed Liam Payne to the killer-smile and endless curls of Harry Styles. And then there was Louis. Louis who came off as too gay to be good for business was taking on a huge image makeover following news of his relationship with his high school sweetheart was fizzed out. To avoid speculation that this faltering was caused by an undeniably overt spark between Styles and Tomlinson two things had to happen. Well three.
First Harry would be playing up an image of very into girls, not only girls but older girls...women. Rumors would suggest he has a thing for XFactor host Caroline Flack, nearly twenty years his senior. Louis would take a beard and try to tone down his innuendos. And what was possibly the hardest is that was that everyone in Louis circle, family and close friends would be working to create an image of Louis which is polar opposite of what is at his core. Simply Louis have to have rumored challenges to accepting the gay culture. Louis’ grandfather Keith Tomlinson took on projecting this image with vigor, frequently getting into battles on Twitter with fans who hyped the idea of Larry Stylinson. So effective was the propaganda that when September 2011 rolls around and the global sensation boyband is set to perform at G.A.Y on a Saturday one September night that it is not the massive flood of fans descending upon the club that concerns club owner Jermey Joseph. It is something else.
What is of primary concern for Jeremy is the advanced notion that one of the band members is very homophobic. The band is set to arrive in under an hour when Jeremy gets a call back from Simon responding to the message he left Simon earlier that day. His message thanked Simon for the extra security. He assured Simon in the message that his regular club security would strictly enforce the private clubs policy, only club members would be afforded entry on the night of this high-profile performance, so security is not an issue. It’s something else that troubles him, please call back.
“Jeremy, hi, sorry to take so long to get back to you. So what is the problem you eluded to?”
“Again thanks for the help with the security Simon. It’s pretty crazy outside the club. Little girls by the thousands screaming their heads off. The thing I’m concerns about is whether all of the lads will be comfortable here given how they’ve become this crazy huge success among the teen girls. We’ve got no problems telling minors, and straight girls of age that this is not the place for them. Our well known policy of this being a members only club, one that caters to the gay culture, mostly gay men, makes keeping the sea of screaming girls that have flooded into this district out on the street and not in the building. The problem is there has been so much press about one of the boys being very opposed to my clubs kind of patrons. We sent out passes, wristbands to all club members to help sorting out who is a regular and who is not because of the demand for attending this performance. Of our regulars who’ve already entered we have a ratio of men to women members of nine to one. Knowing now what I didn’t know back then, that you have a lad in the group who is rather homophobic, I wouldn’t have picked them for this booking. I don’t think he will be comfortable here tonight. The testosterone in the air is so thick you can see it. Even the lesbians who are here are the kind of lesbians who would like to wear a strap on and go to town on these boys of yours if given a chance.”
“Jeremy I understand your concern but I assure you the lad in question isn’t going to be the slightest unsettled by a sea of men who want in his pants. Trust me. Louis, Tomlinson, is the one who we’ve tooled, to use a pun, to the image of our design because when we put this group together we were going for singers who could pull off the stunt but with an emphasis on the cute looks that the little girls will spend money on merc like it’s water running through their fingers. Teenage girls have a lot of money to spend and are an untapped market. All they need is a pretty face and a fairy tale story. The only fairy is Louis’ story is Louis. He’s so hard core into dick up his ass that I had to put a serious slap down on him and Harry because everyone living at the XFactor house with them kept finding them fucking with zero filter for code of conduct when sharing habitation of such as they were. The other contestants would get back to the house to find Louis bent over various furniture, or they’d fuck with the door open despite everyone else being at the the house too, there were times we were finding them in broom closets at various public events having a quick shag, and don’t think I can count the number of times Louis would join us in a meeting with his hand whipping his mouth because he’d just been sucking Harry off. The public perception of the boys all being straight is for banking the money while it flows. That’s all.”
Jeremy looks at out the window to the view out back of the club. The arrival of the boys is obvious to Jeremy because the screams of girls ratchets up to sonic ear-piercingly decibels. Sure enough the series of black SUVs stop. Doors open. Security escorts five waving lads from cars to club. Their band having arrived earlier so this is a quick process.
Jeremy identifies the one lad he thinks is Louis. He looked at the publicly photo he has a copy off on his desk which was the image used when the invitations were sent out to members. The picture shows a lad with short curly hair, shorter than Harry’s, brown puppy eyes, bushy eyebrows. He’s wearing a plaid shirt in the photo. “Louis is the one who has brown eyes and the short curly hair, is that right?”
Simon laughs. “No, that’s Liam. Everyone gets Liam and Louis confused. Louis has blue eyes. Skin like he’s spends all his time in the sun somewhere despite that he is from sunless Doncaster.”
Jeremy chokes. “The pixie? Louis is the pixie?”
“Pixie, fairy, you name it. That’s him. Trust me the arse on that one will make everyone at your party tonight cream for a taste of it. He’s wearing his favorite tight red pants tonight too. By tight I mean that I think they literally spray them on him the pants are so tight. Then Louis turns up the hem so his tan ankles show. There’s something about his ankles that say ‘Take me out back anytime.’ So you’re going to be very happy with that one performing for you tonight.”
Jeremy looks at the picture of the lads again. The pixie has the prettiest pale pink lips. His smile in the photo is playful as are the shape of his eyebrows. His nose is pert, his hair worn in a soft fringe. His blue eyes are framed with a full set of lashes that look far too full to be natural. And then there is that skin like Simon described. For sure Jeremy knows it’s likely that the crowd would rather discover if he is free of tan lines.
Before they end their call Jeremy thanks Simon one more time. Simon tells Jeremy to have fun, “just not too much fun.”
Jeremy gets the suggestion that Simon was hinting about Jeremy would likely enjoy having a go at Louis.
Leaving his office Jeremy takes the stairs down two the floor level. The dj has the music hyping up the crowd so it’s hard to hear anything noise from outside of the screaming girls this level. He goes past a couple security personnel positioned so no one goes to the back of the club where these boys should be before they will perform.
Entering the room set up for performers back stage Jeremy is met with a shock. In person these five lads are probably about ten times more attractive than they look in their press or on TV. More strikingly attractive. More dangerously youthful. Most notably jarring to Jeremy’s senses is how Louis is particularly delicate and small. It’s surprise to Jeremy because he watched some of the XFactor, not a lot but enough to recall that all of the lads were similar in height. In the year since they started on the show it appears that in addition to growth in their performances that four of them were still developing physically. When did they pass Louis in height? Jeremy doesn’t know but it gives Louis an added degree of femininity.
When the hand-shake introductions gives Jeremy a chance to touch, he does his best to try to not to show how much he wants his hold of Louis’ hand to linger. Simon is right to have warned him. ‘Not t o o much fun.’