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Granted, this is a story from another time. It was 1979, the first real trip to Las Vegas. My wife of eight months and I flew up on Hughes Airwest from Phoenix. Me being a budding high roller, we stayed at Caesars Palace, in a suite partially paid for by the house.
I had been there a few times with my father-in-law, who was a true gambler. His trick … Read more »
I have always had a poor memory for names, and my memory for faces, which is better, is often failed by dislocation: wrong person, wrong place.
And so it was that I was walking one gray day down Old Compton St. in London's "Soho district":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soho â€” for perfectly legitimate reasons, I might add, for those of a salacious turn of mind (you know who you are) â€” when I … Read more »
There's a place called the Monmouth Museum up behind the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey. In 1970, it was nothing more than an old stone house with some local photos and relics on display, but the grounds consisted of a wildflower field and a beautiful pine forest of 20 acres. As kids, we would go there to get stoned and sleep with our girlfriends.
Holmdel was still … Read more »
I believe it was last year, at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at the Los Angeles Forum Stadium, when I unexpectedly ran into a celebrity.
If you've ever been to a concert, you know how hot it gets. So I went downstairs to a small convenience store where they sold huge drinks. I got in line behind this older man who was bald and was wearing a hat … Read more »
â€œI remember you well...â€ Thatâ€™s what I wanted to say to the man who looked like Leonard Cohen. It was a lyric to one of my favorite songs of his.
He walked past me at the bookstore that I work for. Iâ€™m a writer in Los Angeles and like a clichÃ©, with my dangling name tag, working as retail slave to pay my bills with a college degree thatâ€™s … Read more »
It was (I believe) 1964. I was going to my first teen-idol concert in Brewer, Maine. Gene Pitney was performing at the Brewer Auditorium. A local Bangor band, the Jesters, was backing him up.
It so happened that my best friend, Joan, was "going steady" with one of the band members. I guess you'd call us groupies, but that expression hadn't been invented yet. We were standing in line … Read more »
It was a typical Saturday afternoon, and I was on my way to the French Quarter (this was two years before Katrina). I headed on the streetcar toward my job at the now defunct Tower Records.
How I loved riding the streetcar. A relic, the streetcar was one of the highlights of living in one of the most traditional cities in the South.
So there I was in … Read more »
I began working at Crazy Girls in Las Vegas shortly after it opened in 1987. I had started working at the Riviera in 1979, when the hotel was still a classy place. By the mid-eighties, it was well on its way to being the shit hole it is today.
But back then, it was the perfect job: unclothed women, and Slots-A-Fun right across the street! Stagehand heaven.
Read more »
It was 1987, I was 17 years old, and the Beastie Boys' album _Licensed to Ill_ was hitting its peak. My friend Nikki and I snagged two tickets to the sold-out show when they came to San Francisco. I remember dressing to kill that night, 1980s style, in a tight tank top, cropped Leviâ€™s jacket, pegged stretch pants, and high-heeled ankle boots. My hair was permed, poofed, and ready to … Read more »
So I'm at the publication party for Johnnie Cochran's memoir at Denzel Washington's restaurant on Melrose. I come out of the women's room too fast, and smack right into O.J. Simpson, who is about to enter the adjacent men's room. He's smaller than he seemed on TV and mumbles, "Sorry.".
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I grew up in Nashville raised around musicians, which I have often said roughly equates to being raised by wolves. My childhood was colorful, to say the least.
When I was 12, I was a big fan of what's now considered classic rock, and I was pretty well versed in the musicians of the era. My uncle had been hanging out with Levon Helm of the Band pretty frequently. … Read more »
One night after attending a local advertising awards show, my husband wanted to grab something to eat. It was after 11 p.m., I was drunk, and I had eaten hors d'oeuvres at the event. We went anywayâ€”me with a puss on my face, sitting in one of those way too loud, trendy restaurant/bars, him eating a meal while purposely ignoring my attitude.
Toward the end of his meal, with … Read more »
Isle of Wight Music Festival, England, 11 p.m., August 30, 1970. Working the backstage catering, I had handed soup and cheese sandwiches to the Doors the day before, and I had personally buttered Jim Morrison's bread. I had a stinking cold and was consuming regular doses of a medication called Beecham's Powders, which came in folded wraps of plain white paper.
It was hard work feeding legends. I was … Read more »
I had seen his stout performance in _No Country for Old Men_ just the night before. I was watching my dog Berlin jump up into a tree in Manhattan's Lafayette Park when a guy in a ski cap came by and started marveling aloud at my dog's athletic feats (he jumps and climbs quite high into trees). It was Woody Harrelson!
Alas, having lived in New York City for … Read more »
After college, I shared a railroad flat on East 10th St. with two struggling actors. We worked for a temp service that paid theater people eight dollars an hour. I lied about being an actor, and the money was just enough to pay the rent and buy food.
One of my clients was a wealthy art dealer who lived in the eighties off Central Park West. The lady … Read more »
We landed in a helicopter on a pier in the Hudson, took a taxi to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, scribbled some notes for an art class assignment, headed over to Broadway to get something to eat at a deli, saw Jimmy Durante sitting at a table, gawked, and asked for his autograph.
"C'mon, girls. Sit down and have a bite with us."
We were 16 and victims … Read more »
It was the mid-1990s, and I was living in West London at the time. I was in Hammersmith one evening. I think it was spring, because though it was bright I didn't have the car windows rolled down.
I was driving west along King Street to drop off my then girlfriend, who needed to run into a shop there and pick something up quickly. Because she was going … Read more »
It was at a crowded art opening in a small bookstore. She was dressed in black and wearing the signature sunglasses. They function as an optical barricade; it's as if she's within a dark-glassed limousine at all times, even when she isn't. I wanted to tell her how much I liked her work. I wasn't even going to talk about her husband, the second one, who was part of that … Read more »
I was teaching English in China back in 1985/86, three years before the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. China had only recently opened up to foreign influences after its experiment with a closed-door policy. Foreign "experts" were honored once a year with a huge banquet for their contributions to modernizing China. There were not many foreigners there back then, so such an event was manageable.
The one I attended was … Read more »
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