Joel Creasey: My LA night with Chaka Khan’s ‘best friend’
I was once held captive in an Airbnb by Chaka Khan's "best friend".
I know, what a hook … I'm getting good at this!
About five years ago I was freshly single after being dumped by my boyfriend. I've been dumped a lot. So clearly when they say "It's not you, it's me" they're all lying.
My ex lived in LA and a few months after we'd split I had to return for work. I just wanted to get home, having been performing on the US East Coast and the UK, but a brief stop in LA was my final port of call before I could finally return home, cry it out and reactivate my Grindr account (that's a lie, I reinstalled it hours after we broke up).
When I arrived at my Airbnb in West Hollywood, I discovered the owner, along with the keys to get in, wasn't home. Finally the owner, an older American man, turned up apologised for running late and let me in. He told me he'd had a busy day and still had to finish tidying up while I made myself at home. Desperate to be alone I was at first irked by this, until he offered me a glass of wine.
He poured himself a glass also and we chatted away while he tidied the kitchen and made the bed. At first it was actually lovely to have someone to chat to in a town I was nervous to revisit. I told him all about my rollercoaster of a year and he informed me that he was Chaka Khan's best friend.
By the time we got to the fourth bottle of chardonnay, with him sitting beside me on the couch and the clock pushing 10pm, I started to wonder if he'd ever leave. He then rolled himself a joint and around midnight he announced he was going to stay the night because "it would just be easier".
I'd love for you to think of me as some tough, fabulous, independent guy who stood my ground and pointed out "No, I booked the entire apartment … time for you to leave". But alas, no. I mumbled "Oh, um … OK … well, I'm going to bed" and hurried to my room. It was a one-bedroom apartment.
I lay in bed wide awake all night. At one point I needed to use the bathroom, too terrified to get in to another conversation with the Airbnb host, I did the only thing I could do and peed in an ornamental urn-type-bowl by the bedroom window. Classy.
The next morning at 5am my manager was out the front to collect me. We strategised a plan to return to the apartment, pack my bags, tell him he would NOT be getting a five-star review and leave. On arrival, he was gone with a note apologising for overstaying his welcome and saying that some money would be credited back to my Airbnb account.
I stayed another night before deciding it was all too stressful and moved.
Still to this day I have no idea whatever happened to that guy … or if Chaka Khan really was his best friend. I also never cleaned out that urn.
Originally published as Joel Creasey: My LA night with Chaka Khan's 'best friend'