By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
It's sometime between 11 and midnight, and I'm seated at the bar of the "air patio" at e4 (www.e4-az.com), Scottsdale's new epicenter of wickedness, a Vegas-style nightclub with four theme rooms based on the elements: fire, water, air and earth. Next to me is the devil in the flesh herself, the switch-hittin' Emily Rose of P-town, a.k.a. Jett, in a low-cut black top that accents her natural assets. The TV monitors set in the walls are playing VH1 classics like Rick James' "Superfreak" and Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative," and the Jettster and I are smokin' peach vodka like it's going out of style.
Smoking peach vodka? You heard right, bonedaddy. The Kreme crew is doing a V-shot, or vaporizer shot, where this little machine converts the liquor of your choice into a mist that you suck into your lungs through a hose. It's part of the air theme of this section of the club, like the back wall decorated with clouds, or the waitresses clad in metallic blue dresses. Only problem is, when you do a V-shot with the J-girl, the J-girl does most of the sucking.
"This thing's a rip, Kreme," states the Jettster, passing the dutchie to the left, and hence to me. "I mean, the bartender says it takes like five to 10 minutes to do one V-shot. I'd rather slam 'em down the old-fashioned way."
"It's supposed to have zero calories and be better for you because your liver's not processing the alcohol," I say between tokes of peachy air. "But, yeah, I'd be getting more out of it if there was some sticky-icky in this sucker."
The patio is jammed with bodies, and to be neighborly, we offer hits off our high-tech hookah to passersby. First up is this couple Stephanie and Tod. Stephanie digs wrapping her lips around our vaporizer. She seems a little buzzed, but so are we because we just did a couple of Jäger bombers before our V-shot.
"Have you guys been to e4 before?" asks the Jettster.
"I was here last week, but I got kicked out," explains Stephanie. "My ex-boyfriend was here, and my friend's a lesbian, and she tried to make out with him, so I got into a physical fight with her."
"I don't get it. If he's your ex, why're you scrappin' for him like Brooke Valentine in that 'Girlfight' song?" the Jettster queries.
"I guess I kind of overreacted," she admits sheepishly, taking another hit off our pseudo bong.
"You see this throwdown?" I ask Tod.
"I wish I had, but no, I didn't," Tod tells us. "She and I just met recently."
We conversate for a sec, and Tod cops to being a fresh transplant from Beantown. Says he moved out to the PHX for the weather and a job. He does Pimp My Ride kinda stuff on cars, a lucrative biz these days.
"Other than the weather, playa, what's the biggest difference between here and Boston?" I wonder.
"The need of every girl to have big breasts," Tod replies without a lick. "It's a real obsession out here. There are no big breasts in Boston. But out here, every girl seems to have them. Like it's a rule or something."
"Not that you're complaining, right?" asks Jett, swishing her upper body so her ta-tas sway slightly.
"It doesn't matter to me whether a girl has big breasts or not," asserts Tod, oblivious to the Jettster's jumblies. "I'm lookin' for her personality."
"You're lookin' in the wrong place, brother," I tell him. "'Cause this spot's all about eatin' the eye candy."
Just then, a blonde stunner with tanned bare midriff waltzes past us, and Jett starts doggin' her like a hound after a quail. We discover her name's Amy Nicole Wicker, a fashion designer by trade, but she's not feelin' Jett's steelo, though Jett's fixated on Wicker's belly button like she wants to drink Cristal out of it. I ask Wicker about her fashion line to be polite.
"I call it Hussy Threads," she relates as the J-unit's eyeballs pop. "It's not about sex. It's about attitude. Like Daisy Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard -- she was a vintage hussy. She didn't have sex with anybody, but she was an icon and had her own sense of style."
Wicker explains she's here with friends from out of town, when one of them pops out of the doorway leading to the liquid room and pulls her away from us. Jett follows the object of her bisexual lust, and I follow Jett. In a flash, we're in this water-blue disco dedicated to total sensory overload. The walls are of clear plastic, filled with H2O that's bubbling from bottom to top, creating a trippy sensation that's enhanced by side tables made of lava lamps, a greenish-blue dance floor with liquid-filled tiles that squish this way and that as you move your feet, and gurgling multicolored columns all about, operating on a similar principle as the walls.
On one side of the liquid room are glass-topped bars underneath which run streams of water. Above us, on a ledge with a waterfall behind them, are go-go dancers, one in a skinny micro-mini and another in an aqua bikini and a big 'fro who could pass for Goldmember's Foxxy Cleopatra. Overhead is a '70s-style oil wheel, a big disc with different colored oils through which light is projected as they undulate. Kevin Brown's in the DJ booth droppin' plenty of sexy house, and on the video projectors, the flick Tron is playing.
It's tighter than Cedric the Entertainer's Speedo in here, and needless to say, we've lost the Wicker girl. But that's okay, because we bump into e4 CEO Aron Mezo, the dude responsible for putting it all together. And as Mezo's the boss, he draws fly bitches like kittens to a satchel of catnip. Doesn't hurt that the baller has his own modeling agency from which he draws much of his Maxim-worthy female staff.
"Each of the rooms can stand on its own," Mezo tells us, his arm around a beauty named Janice, who just walked up to him. "Originally, I came up with the concept of liquid and moving water. But then, I thought, what if we did it based on the elements where water was one room and each of the other rooms was one of the elements? It would embody the essence of those elements with materials, mood, music, ambiance, energy and lighting. After that, it became a labor of love to bring it all to life."
Mezo explains that there's something different going on each night of the week, and that aside from the nightclub aspect to the place, there's dining and live entertainment in the loungy earth room during the middle evening, and the air patio is where happy hour goes down. He offers to show us the VIP area adjacent to the fire room, and we take him up on it. In the back of the liquid room is a door leading to a secret elevator. On the way over to it, Mezo points out the small waterbeds next to the lava lamps, and Janice spreads out on one for a pic.
Up in the VIP lounge, it's dark and reddish throughout, and we can hear DJ Tranzl8r droppin' hip-hop over in the fire room, which looks like some medieval torture chamber, with a large bar, faux rock-lined walls and a cast-iron chandelier. In a room off to the side is a circular, hanging bed that's been pulled up tonight because there's a private party in there. The VIP vibe is sexy and exclusive, with direct access from the elevator, which downstairs opens onto the street. If you can't get in via the elevator, it's the line outside for you -- a line that eventually spills downstairs into "earth" with its funky, Bellagio-like light fixtures.
I'm usually a man of the people, but I have to say, the VIP lounge is where it's at, and it gets better as the evening progresses, with supermodel-like babes spilling forth from the elevator, trying not to spill their Ketel One martinis on each other. At least while we're up in there, it's a good 70-30 female-to-male split, which means we gents get to watch as the chicklettes end up dancing with one another.
I turn Jett loose to caress her fellow femmes, while I chat with this cat named Amir, who tells me he works for Infiniti of Scottsdale, and says they just sold a vehicle to the former vice president.
"Al Gore?" I ask.
"No, the one who misspelled 'potato,' whatshisname?"
"Oh, Dan Quayle," I say. "What was he like, all button-down?"
"No, very casual. A nice guy. I didn't even know who he was at first," Amir tells me.
"So what do you like about e4?"
"I like the VIP, the fact that it's laid-back, but exclusive," he says. "Not everybody can get in here. Just the high rollers."
I'm still marveling that a car salesman can qualify as a VIP, when I spy a fella who has a Sammy Hagar-Bruce Vilanch thing goin' on with them long curly dirty-blond locks. His name's Ron, and he says he's part owner of the restaurants Stingray and Drift. He chimes in, agreeing with Amir's sentiment.
"I like that it's small," states the Ronster. "They've kept the VIP area VIP. At other clubs, the VIP's turned into whoever can finagle their way in. But that doesn't work. Because if you wanna buy a bottle, you want to have an actual table."
I'm about to make some point to Ron when Jett knocks into me, then pulls me aside: "Eat your heart out, Kreme. I just had sex in the bathroom with a girl. That hottie over there," she points out.
"Jeez, what did that take, like five minutes? Anyway, I'll do you one better. I had sex last night in a bathroom with a man," I tell her.
"I can't believe it!" she yelps, hitting me. "So what's his name?"
"Well," I pause, "Kreme, of course."