Sunday, October 14, 2012
Existing in New York City: Lost in Los Angeles
Aren't Vice Presidents Jokes?
No I didn't watch the vice presidential candidates debate. Why? What the hell good are they? A waste of the taxpayers' money. In the old White forefathers' day, weren't vice presidents elected? Aren't both Joe "DuPont Asskisser" Biden and Paul "Poor, What Poor?" Ryan both in the same category as some of our past clowns who posed as vice presidents? Like my favorites: Spiro Agnew, Jerry "Can't Chew Gum and Walk at the Same Time" Ford, Pappy Bush, Dan Quayle, and Unka Dick Cheney. Whoops, I forgot, Unka Dick did have his hand up idiot G.W. "Baby" Bush's ass working his mouth didn't he? I forgot about that. But on the whole, vice presidents are just lucky bastards to have so easy a job of doing nothing. So why watch these numbskulls debate?
Instead, I read at this long, long Hunter Thompson piece on the murder of Ruben Salazar by the LA Sheriff's goons back in 1971. I bought this old Rolling Stone over in Allentown, Pennsylvania, this past Sunday (Oct. 7). I bought it to resell 'cause it had a long, long article on the Jackson 5, with little Michael Jackson on the cover--I marveled over the fact that 11-year-old Michael already had 4 gold records under his little belt. So while Ruben Salazar, a Mex-American journalist and KMEX radio and television news head, was having his head blown half off by a dumbass L.A. Sheriff's goon's firing a tear-gas missile directly at him, little Michael and his bros were making up some new hit tunes to put on their next gold-winning LP. I wondered looking at the cutesy cute photo of cutesy cute Michael on that cover if the poor little dude was being molested at the time.
I was in LA first in the late 1960s when I breezed through it with my Mexican-Chcotaw-Welsh trophy wife in our white Jaguar on our way to San Francisco and then I was there the longest time when I was sent out there by Viacom in the 1970s to watch and write synopses of all the episodes of Sid and Marty Kroft's kiddy teevee show, "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters" at MGM in Culver City. I also was supposed to write synopses of Hannah-Barbara's "The Banana Splits," the show that had made Sid and Marty Kroft famous--they designed all the Banana Splits sets and costumes, but that deal fell through at the last minute and I ended up watching all 20-something episodes of "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters," which was enough right there to drive me crazy and anti-LA. I was in this sprawling metropolis with no money except a meager amount I had gotten as an advance for the trip from Viacom--they paid my round-trip airfare and boarded me in a company house off Topango Canyon and provided me with a Hertz rental Chevy, which I drove over on Devonshire to then head down Sepulvada to the San Diego Freeway to exit onto Culver Boulevard every morning to Culver City and a drab viewing room with a small teevee monitor and video cassettes of all those stupid shows. I shuffled back and forth from the Canyon down to Culver City every damn day--not going out at all (I was left alone at MGM, avoided like the plague since I wasn't on staff there)--getting to my house late at night and eating an MGM commissary hamburger I'd saved from my free lunch while I typed up my synopses on my portable Smith-Corona typewriter in order to get them ready to send back to Viacom in New York via DHL pick-up guy at the studio every weekday morning at 9. Boring. Boring. Boring. Why I didn't even have money, time, nor knowing where they lived for looking up my LA relatives, one of whom ironically was a member of the LA Sheriff's department as a Deputy Sheriff.
And I hated Los Angeles. My experiences there may have even affected my disrespect for most films and film people, the phoniness, the plasticity, the desperations, the bothersome pretending people.
I still have a relative in the L.A. area. My nephew the artist moved out there in the early 2000s, marrying a Los Angeles woman, then moving to Bakersfield and now on his way to Santa Barbara.
Of course, I loved San Francisco. I mean it was a totally different atmosphere than L.A. Also I had money there and my good looking wife and a dear friend from my days in New Orleans who put us up while my wife and I drove all over the place looking for a place to live, traveling down as far south as Carmel and then spending a day searching Monterey's real estate listings, stopping off in Watsonville in the middle of the artichoke fields and eating huge artichokes. Yep, San Francisco was my kind of city, the food, the best next to New Orleans' food I'd had. It was windy as hell and chilly some summer mornings--it was so windy, that one time my poor wife while traipsing from our apartment up high on Washington down Hyde to a grocery store on Broadway and she came back looking like a battered wife. She said the wind at high pitch had literally picked her up off her feet and flung her several yards down Hyde. Being so mistreated and tousled by that wind turned her against San Francisco.
After a month we left San Francisco house hunting over in Sausilito and ending up in Eureka and staying in a motel enjoying going out into a redwood forest and making love under those beautiful cathedral-like trees, though motivated to head on up to visit my relatives in Portland, Oregon.
But I've given L.A. several chances at attracting me. Last time I was in L.A., I hung out at Columbia Pictures. Got a haircut on a lot and the guy made me look like a movie star. When he finished and put the mirror in front of me, I said, "Geez, man, I look like a damn movie star," to which he replied "That's my job...what I do around here." A divorced man, I stayed in Beverly Garland's lush Holiday Inn in Beverly Hills and hanging out by the pool looking for chicks I suddenly realized the whole place was way above my head in all the senses and that though I was surrounded by some absolutely gorgeous chicks, the ones I talked to were dumbass, single-tracked, pretty packages with no content.
New York City is the only place I've ever felt comfortable living. Once ensconced here, I now find it hard to leave. Even L.A. seems small potatoes to me after living on this jammed up and crammed together Manhattan Island. I've now resided on Manhattan Island, all parts of it, for 43 years, excluding tries to leave it, moving to Austin, Texas, in 1969, then relocating back to Santa Fe, New Mexico, then drifting back east via trying to exist in Chicago...but ending up back on Manhattan Island, a place of peace for me, though I know amongst all the millions of Manhattanites there's no peace for some of them; in fact there's horror and skullduggeries and confrontations with the mean and evil NYPD especially by a lot of Latinos and Blacks who find the NYPD just as mean and evil as the LAPD and the LA Sheriff's Department---I mean, the NYPD are constantly shooting and killing innocent dudes, just recently shooting and killing an Iraqi War vet. And, yes, NYPD helicopters chug over Manhattan at all times a day, some of the hovering just over my own neighborhood for God-knows-what reason...but still, I feel safe here. And, yes, too, it's getting terribly expensive, but there's always a place where folks with only a modicum of monies can at least have a beer and a steak salad for under $20 bucks, or enjoy $4 pints of good Irish brew during happy hour at an uptown Irish pub where my best friends and I hold quorums before we lumber over to Columbus and have one of the best Mexican dinners in the world for what amounts to chicken feed in terms of most NYC restaurant prices.
Say Goodbye to: Eddie Bert...Eddie and his trombone go way back to 1940 to the Sam Donahue Band and kept on keeping on up until he was 90. Over those many years Eddie blew that ole slide trambone with a whole lot of folks from Guy Lombardo to Mingus to Bird to Stan Kenton. Here's an obit on him:
And I just read where old Arlen "Single Shot" Specter just died. I was much more shook up by Eddie Bert's death than I was old Single Shot's.
for The Daily Growler