Incidentally, in case you're skeptical, we caught that scene on video, which we'll put up on our site. A grainy still from that video is shown in the bottom left corner of this page.
Misha led the McGillicuddy entourage through the veranda dance floor and up the stairwell to the summertime VIP section. I trailed behind, asking a few of the tall female club patrons if they knew who Buns McGillicuddy was. When I tried following the entourage up the VIP stairwell, a thick flathead in a suit with a Secret Service earpiece blocked my way with his arm and shoulder.
I pointed up and said, "Buns McGillicuddy."
He stepped back, Sergeant Schultz-like, and let me through.
Schliefer, while yelling into the blue tooth, nervously darted around the VIP lounge, where the millionaires and models stared at us with something like envy. Buns made a gesture that he wasn't happy, and Schliefer immediately relayed it to Misha.
"Buns is going to leave if we can't find something better," Schliefer said.
Misha understood. He whisked us out using a Shambala bodyguard to clear the crowd in front of our entourage, and led us down into the basement discotheque, to the super-VIP chill-out room behind the bar. Again, Buns wasn't happy: too many people. So Misha took us to a secluded balcony area above the dance floor, cleared the patrons out, and set Buns in the far corner with his arm-decoration and Schliefer at his side, and his black bodyguard standing between the VIP entrance and anyone who might try to enter.
They had bought it hook, line and sinker. Small groups of clubbing girls nervously walked up the stairwell to get a look at the "New York nightclubbing figure." Some asked for autographed copies of the CD single. Others asked to shake his hand.
One girl even joined the entourage. When one expat asked her if she knew Buns' music, she said, "Sure, of course I do."
Jeremy played the part expertly, rarely smiling or acting surprised, barely even acknowledging me, his boss. Hundreds of dollars worth of cocktails were lavished on the entourage, on the house.
The only danger came when Schliefer convinced Misha to play "Touch My Buns." As it turned out, we weren't the only well-known nightclubbing figures in Shambala last Saturday night. A genuinely famous English happening, "Miss Moneypenny's Club Party," had taken their party to Shambala that night, making Shambala the Elite-iest of the Elite Moscow Happenings that night.
When Schliefer handed the CD single "Touch My Buns" to Shambala's art director to play in the basement disco, he excitedly suggested giving it to Miss Moneypenny's "famous British DJ" so that he could play it himself later on. We were faced with two possible problems. First, the Brit DJ might recognize that the song is complete shit and that we were playing a joke. Or secondly, he might play the song and realize that Shifrin had sampled it from an already recognizable club hit. Either way, we were in danger.
We waited another 20 minutes or so, receiving groupies, expecting all hell to break loose. Finally we decided that we'd done all we could at Shambala, so it was time to try the prank out on First.
First And Last
Millions of dollars were sunk into First's garish Greco-Roman marble fountain-laid design. For months it was empty. It didn't become really popular until Moscow's elite realized that First had instituted the most aggressive feis kontrol Gestapo yet. Today, First is considered the single hardest club to get in, and therefore, it is the best.
The Buns McGillicuddy motorcade arrived, the lead cop car flashing its siren to clear the shiny new Merc 500s and 600s. First's entrance is located in the iron-gated archway to a pre-revolutionary building on the Moscow River embankment. It has a walk-in side gate entrance, guarded by some of the flattest flathead doormen we've seen in years with a curly-haired feis kontrol goon standing behind them. And it has an actual gate-type gate which allows only the most V-VIP guests through feis kontrol in the comfort of their car.