Shopping on Melrose, Walking down Hollywood, and Hanging on the Sunset Strip
Saturday is now my official day off. I spent it wisely [Insert King Arthur from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade].
Earlier today I managed to get myself to Melrose to do a little shopping and get my ultra-fabulous doo.
I was told to go to the BuZz Stop to get this guy, London, to cut my hair and there were no if's, and's, or shaking the salami's about it.
"Go to him," my friend told me.
"He does crazy hair," he explained. "You'll like the Buzzsaw too."
He was right. I enjoyed the experience thoroughly. Like me, London, was a former rocker, and I had fun shooting the shit with him about playing in a band, the trials and tribulations, and the wonders of no good or bad, as he snipped away with a razor and scissors:
"There is no good or bad."
"Right or wrong."
"Dude," London smiled. "You're welcome here anytime."
I thought that was so sweet. I didn't really say anything. We just talked about good and bad and its relation to not knowing, because how could we when we were not God. Period, point blank, that was it.
But how fun to meet him. He was really a joy, and he gave me a great haircut.
"I love doing hair," he told me. "I get to create every 5 minutes."
"Mmmm," I said.
"I just," he paused and sprayed some water on my hair, "wish I remembered my camera."
Fantastic human being. He told me that in Europe right now the music craze is moving towards glam rock again. I thought that was so interesting.
"From Morrison, to Iggy, to Axl," I said.
"Yeah," London agreed. "Crazy."
L told me where Axl lived and said he would hook me up with this paintball video game. He said it's real fun.
That sounded good to me. I gave him a 20 dollar tip for being a NY Doll, because it felt like the right amount, and then I headed down Melrose for a little buying action. That was when I ran into a record label exec who is managing WUSE. He told me they were trying to get Wuse on Warner Brothers and that he was out on Melrose handing out records to create some buzz.
"Any donation will help," he said. "We're just doing our thing, you know?"
I am all about self-promotion, subversive PR work, and the underdog, so I handed him 5 bucks grabbed a record and headed into Wasteland.
It was slim pickings, but I did manage to find this pretty cool black army shirt that comes off very rock 'n' roll.
I think I made a good choice. When I got home and tried the sucker on, my little brother, Panauh, giggled. First, about the mohawk, then about my shirt.
"Your chest hairs are showing," he said.
"What can I do about that?" I asked.
"It looks good," he said. "Your hair is like a mohawk."
"Yeah," I agreed.
"That's very L.A." he nodded.
I nodded as well and walked out the door to meet Dacheux.
She was in the Sabe when I walked in. She looked very cute. A little hat and her traditional red designer jacket. Hair in pigtails.
"What do you want?" I asked, heading to the bar.
"Nothing," she said.
"How about a matte latte?"
"Okay," she agreed. "A little one."
I got her a little one and we decided to take a walk down Hollywood towards Vermount. She wanted to look for some gifts for Alabaster's BDay (March 12 for those who want to congratulate him), and I was the accomplice.
We had a nice chat down Hollywood. We talked about how weird I was, and that it would probably take a lot before I found a woman that would be my everything.
"Yeah," Dacheux agreed. "You're a weird guy."
"I think I might need a prostitute or some crazy art rock girl that could hold onto me."
"Yeah," Dacheux agreed again.
She told me how it would come with time. You know the dilly. And then we shot the shit about small presses and the possibility to bring one of a kind works of art to the public as a viable option to traditional publishers.
I liked that idea very much and told her so.
"I like that idea very much," I said.
I went with that idea into Skylight Books. I was lucky enough to find some writing that actually interested me. It was the #16 issue of McSweeney's. I read the first sentence and I was interested. I decided to get it.
"22 dollars," the cashier said.
"Expensive," I replied, and handed him the cash.
That was when I caught wind of the Warhol uber-book lying out on display. I forgot all about expensive. I was in Warhol land. I went through the whole thing.
God, I love Andy. He was fantastic.
When I got to "Ten Punching Bags" I just stopped and marveled.
The piece had ten punching bags lined up in the Bishofberger gallery. Each bag had a Basquiat portrait of the Virgin Mary, and then scrawled throughout the collection of ten was the word 'judge.'
I thought that was remarkable. Probably my favorite art piece ever.
Really. Ever. It was great.
"Sounds good," Dacheux smiled.
We went right next door for some Miso and tempura. Very tasty. Almost as nutirtious as our conversation. We were still going on about about small presses. Dachex brought up Ken Mikelowski, and that made me happy. I love Ken. He is a fantastic poet. I can even remember one of my favorite poems by him.
Things To Do In an Economic Crisis
Buy low. Stay high.
That sounds about right to me, I thought.
I had a chance to get high on life later too. I hit a theater party late in the night, and hooked up with Jesse and Paiman, and said hello, and made a date to play chess, and smooched all the pretty girls who offered me their cheeks.
Then I got a call from Mark Parsia, who played in an old band with me, and headed off to the Sunset Strip for a healthy discussion on knowing.
His girlfriend, K, (who is awesome btw), couldn't understand why I kept saying 'I didn't know.'
"I am going to get you to change your mind about that," she said.
"I don't know," I told her. "Maybe, it's possible."
"Hey!" she shouted. "That's good. I like that. I like your philosophy. I agree with it. You don't know. But what about when it comes to family. Like my sister, the other day I gave her advice. I asked her a question. And I don't do this all the time. But, sometimes you got to throw the card down. You got to ask them something. You can't just say, 'I don't know and good luck with it.' "
"I don't know," I said.
"Hey!" she laughed.
"No, really," I said. "I don't know. For me, it has been wonderful to let go of the story that I am somehow resposible for anyone in my family. I don't even pretend like I know. I really don't. I just don't."
"So you're saying that if someone was about to commit suicide, you wouldn't ask them - or you wouldn't help them out by letting them know how much you love them?"
"Well, people need that. That's what makes people stop from killing themselves. They think about how much somebody else would need them or how upset their parent would be."
This was where Mark got into it. He said the opposite and I didn't say anything.
The idea that I would let go of this 'not knowing' was finally brought back to me again, but I didn't really make any headway in explaining it. It makes sense to me, but I don't really know how to explain it to anyone else.
It was fun to listen to K. and Mark talk about their experience of L.A., and how much they loved New York, and the wonderful unity they felt in the recent transit strikes in the city.
"She volunteered for the Red Cross," Mark told me.
"Yeah," K nodded. "It was great. I made hot chocolate and coffee for all the people coming over the Williamsburg Bridge. It was great. You had such a diversity of personalities. People biking and roller blading down the whole way (she mimics rollerblading in her chair). People just walking from the East side all the way into town."
"And it was so cold," Mark said, as his eyes acknowledged the gravity of how cold it was by growing as wide as it must have been cold.
"Oh, so cold," K agreed. "5 hours out there and I was drained. But it was so great to see the people coming through. And there was this one kid who was little. Like 12 years old. He was the oldest and he was walking all these other 7 and 8 year olds to school. And when they found out that the drinks were free, he was like, 'Okay, everybody can order a drink.' As if, now it was allowed. Oh, it was so funny."
It was good to talk to both of them.
I walked out of the Rainbow Room and down Sunset. A couple hoodlums gave me the eye. I kept walking. It was cold. I got in my car. I blasted the heat, and then I zoomed up to La Brea, took a left, a right on Franklin, and pumped The Slipshod Swingers the whole way.
It's good to be alive, I thought. It's nice to drive fast in L.A.