I barely make it home, figuring I’ll throw myself into bed, after Jake’s complete fucking of every erogenous zone of my body. Instead, I take a long hot shower. Refreshed and feeling steadier on my feet, I figure why not go out to Oki Dog. It’s still Saturday night. I need to catch Jimmy and resupply my stash of joints. I drive by the Whiskey and Roxie (just up Sunset), but they are dark and closed. Everyone is home digesting the last of their turkey leftovers. Parking at Oki Dog’s lot, there are only a couple of discouraged tricks sitting at the tables out front. Even the johns are home tonight. I go to the window and spark up a conversation with the boss, Oki Yoki.
“Where cute boy who pay?” he asks for Jack.
“Home with parents.”
“Same-o same-o. No business tonight.”
“Maybe you save. Not give away food.”
He laughs, ‘Plenty customer when boys pick up and make client buy them Oki Dog.”
“Sound business plan.”
“Oki Dog number one on Santa Monica.”
“I like to sit at Astro Burger,” I nod to the competition across the street, “and watch the action here.”
“See. Oki Dog number one attraction in Hollywood. You want Oki Dog?”
“Why not?” I didn’t have dessert with my fancy steak.
He won’t take my money. “You good for business. Sit out front.”
Life can’t get any better, pimping myself out for a $1.25 hotdog. Oki Yoki is right. Although my post-coital vibration has stopped, I must be putting out a strong sexual vibe. I soon have prospective clients cruising by, slowing down, and motioning for me to come over to their cars in the bus loading zone. I have several second-stringers to pinch-hit for me. Everyone is satisfied. The few exceptions that insist they want only me get me singing like Mick, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.’
Saturday night of a long holiday weekend is slow with everyone out-of-town. A little entertainment helps drum up business. I draw in the street walkers from up and down Santa Monica. The johns, after having their every need satisfied, bring their tricks back and buy Oki Dogs. If they persist in pestering me, I hand out Jimmy’s phone number. As it gets late and traffic slows down, I take my SG and practice amp from the Wreck’s trunk and have five or six underemployed tricks backing me up as we sing Mott the Hoople’s ‘All the Young Dudes’
‘All the young dudes
Carry the news
Carry the news
Now Jimmy looking sweet though he dresses like a queen
He can kick like a mule It’s a real mean team
We can love Oh we can love
All the young dudes
Carry the news
Carry the news’
Songwriters: DAVID BOWIE
© EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC
We all end singing to the empty street, our arms around each other. We own Santa Monica. We close the joint. Oki Yoki passes out what little product is not sold. He promises I can bring my guitar and amp the next night, as Sunday is going to be even slower. I can drum up business by promoting myself to Sunday afternoon locals-only at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go.
Home at the Canterbury I fall asleep dreaming about my first solo Hollywood gig al fresco on Santa Monica Blvd. Maybe Nicky will play drums on a table top. All I need is a few of Jimmy’s joints and the followers will show up.
Sunday morning – time for Mom’s blueberry pancakes for the gang at Doug’s. I feel guilty for ignoring my first Hollywood friends, especially after Doug put together Otis Day and the Knights. I stop by the Fairfax Farmer’s Market. Somehow, I find fresh blueberries. Maybe they come from Hawaii. I let myself into the house. Everyone is still asleep. Am I weird for keeping my Iowa farm boy up-at-the-crack wake-up hours? I make coffee, which gets Tony’s attention as he wanders in nude.
I offer my strongest brew of the instant Chock Full of Nuts.
“Jock Fulla?” Tony is in on my inside jokes.
“Just add cream and a touch of sugar,” as I lean over and kiss him on the cheek.
That wakes him up. “Jesus, Tim, I thought you no longer cared.”. There is life Down Under.
“How was your Thanksgiving?”
“Fucking South Bay. I stayed here. Doug said he was with you Friday, but you were too busy being a rock star to come over.”
“Yer a trip, Tim.”
We laugh. Next we bring coffee into Doug’s bedroom for him and Jimmy. Doug has his face planted into his pillow. I can guess how that happened.
“Up and at ‘em, boys. Time to eat and get to Church.” Everyone moans.
“No way,” Jimmy complains. “My head’s spinning and aching at the same time.”
“Surest way to cure a hangover – Church on Sunday morning.”
Doug has yet to move.
“Did you fuck our patron to death last night?”
He rolls over and stretches out his arms. Tony and I jump into the bed and hug him simultaneously.
“Ah, the only way to wake up,” he smiles. No hangover for our newly christened bottom. “Give me a cup of that coffee.”
“You really need to buy a French Press,” I suggest.
“If it isn’t the Harvard snob and his East Coast needs.”
I go back to the kitchen and start the blueberry pancakes.
“With blueberries from the Farmers Market. Last night I was selling Okie Dogs on Santa Monica as my Japanese persona.”
I just smile, remembering how I could not stop vibrating from the fucking Jake gave me. It bothered me at the time but is a pleasant memory the next day. I remind myself to take a long bath at Doug’s. The Canterbury only has a shower. As they devour the flapjacks, I retire to the bath.
Half an hour later, I reemerge in my Sunday best. They’re surprised I really am going to church.
“Com’n. I can’t go by meself,” I urge. Tony and Jimmy convince Doug he will not be struck dead for entering a Catholic church. Doug finds suits that fit the two boys. Well-scrubbed and dressed, we walk into the noon Mass at St Victor’s on Holloway close to West Hollywood. We are so overdressed that we create a stir among the mostly young and seemingly gay parishioners. The service is short and the priest personally welcomes us as we leave. Doug admits he’s never been to a Catholic Church before.
“All the better, Mr. Weston,” the priest already knows who he is. “You won’t be put off by old-fashioned ways and dogma. Join our Dignity group on Wednesday nights. You’ll enjoy the singing as well. If you have been to Baptist services, you’ll feel right at home.”
“Maybe you need to recruit Tim, here. He’s the one who convinced us to come today. He’s a singer in a band.”
The priest looks startled. “Tim? From Jace’s Place at St Patrick’s?”
“Jace was my boyfriend,” I confirm, feeling slightly uncomfortable to admit it on the steps of the Church.
“No. Jace is Teen Jesus. And it’s just a parable.”
“Please come to our group on Wednesday. The whole church is in a tizzy about Teen Jesus being gay.”
“I’ll be glad to. I’m sure Jace will come as well.”
“I thought he died?”
“He did, but his spirit will be there.”
“Bless you, son.”
We beat a hasty retreat. Even I feel too welcome. I drive everyone to Du-Par’s at the Farmer’s Market. Time for more pancakes. Comfort food for the soul. No one wants to change their sinful ways.
“They treat you like a saint, Tim,” Doug notes.
“It takes sixty years of sinless behavior to be a saint. Jace is dead, so it’s easier for him. The Church wants to put me in a seminary. Lock me away just to add to the rolls of the sin-free.”
Tony and Jimmy think it is hilarious. They are not sure they want to become regular church goers.
“Now you see the Miami side to my life,” I add it to the Boston, Ames and LA sides.
Doug is silent, contemplating how to market my complicated life.
“So, who is Jace? I thought he was just the inspiration for creating homeless shelters for teens.”
I worry that Doug is too locked into his own ways to be open to Jace’s spiritual presence. So, Jace tries touching him with no result. The typical glow is surrounding Tony and Jimmy, but I decide not to bring them into our circle of trust if Doug is excluded. I know it is stereotypical to exclude Doug due to his age, but that is what I think. We all have our prejudices.
“Yes,” I joke.
Doug gives me a sharp look.
“We just want Catholics to recognize that rock n roll can be spiritual music, as gospel music is for the Baptists. We’re fighting two thousand years of repression.”
“I think I’ll pass on the Dignity group, sounds beneath my dignity to be praying and exalting some myth,” Doug decides.
“Faith is built on rituals. Don’t force yourself. But there’s a multitude of gay Catholics that need to express themselves freely. It’s a real show when they let go of their repressions. You should make the Troubadour a church of the unrepressed every Sunday morning with services and old-time gospel music.”
“That’s not happening.”
We drive back to Doug’s. With the top down, Doug and the boys sit in the back, waving at anyone who stares at them. Jace stays with me, snuggled up riding pussy as I drive. LA is outstanding when the sun is out. Back at the house, I swim laps in the pool, while everyone else lays in the sun. Once my workout is done, they join me in the hot tub. It’s Doug’s chance to revive his homo-dominance by fucking us all in the warm water.
“My,” he remarks as he enters me while I lay in his arms, “You’ve become nicely relaxed down there.”
The boys giggle at my expanded horizons.
“I guess LA does that to you. Even you, Doug.”
“After forty years of being uptight.”
We all laugh. We hold him up, floating in the middle of the hot tub. He cums like a fountain shooting up a foot above us. We quickly jump out and threw in a gallon of chlorine.
Time for Sunday Afternoon at the Whiskey. Back at the Canterbury, Nicky and Alice have returned, hoping for a ride to the Sunset Strip in the Wreck. I tell them about Jack’s pink VW Cabriolet.
“So, your boyfriend’s rich,” Nicky only cares about salient details.
“Totally. But he does sing good and has learned both guitar and MOOG. He even played drums when the old band jammed in Miami Thanksgiving night. He says you gave him lessons.’
“He and I did ‘Helium Bar’ and everyone freaked out. Last time we jammed, I’d told them I’d gone country and that the band’s new name was The Hillbilly Brothers.”
“They like our song?”
“It was a shock. I played some of our Harvard songs which went over better.”
“You should come jam with us tonight.”
“Hollywood and Western.”
“Is that near Larrabee Studios?”
“No, duffus. In East Hollywood.”
“Sounds cool. I promised Oki Dog I’d play on the street. I’ve got my guitar and practice amp.” The Wreck’s trunk is humongous.
Nicky insists he check out my SG.
“Wow. It’s what Johnny Thunders plays.
“Ya just a rich bitch, huh, and can’t really play?”
“Give me a chance and come by Oki Dog tonight.”
“Yer on. I’ll play drums for ya.”
It is all working out.
“How come the Weirdos or the Bags aren’t playing here?” I ask him when we get to the Whiskey.
Alice’s answer was simple. “They won’t book East LA bands.”
“We played here but no longer perform without being paid, especially on an afternoon. We’re more of a midnight band,” Nicky replies.
“You are kinda threatening,” as I sing:
‘I’m a joker I’m a smoker I’m a mid-night toker I get my lovin’ on the run Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh’
Songwriters GRAYSON, MILES
Published by Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
“I hate that song,” Nicky always shares his opinions. “How come yer always singing? Got a bird up yer ass?”
We all laugh. Time to go in. I leave the Wreck at Tower Records’ parking lot. Nicky has to talk the door into letting me in for free. I agree with him that since the bands don’t get paid, why should we pay. He and Alice make a beeline upstairs to hobnob with the bands. Jimmy has already supplied me with joints, but I figure I’ll look for him and Tony to hang out. The pit area in front of the stage is filled with clusters of soch’s, chatting like it is a cocktail party. I miss my Miami posse – no one to share a spliff with. The house music is mostly English punk. I do not recognize the bands. It is cool that the sound engineer is up on new music. My body has not fully come down from the fucking it received from Jake, as well as from Doug. The fast beat of the punk music seems in tune with my internal vibrations. I start walking around quickly, moving through the crowd like an East Indian Cobra, slithering between groups of chattering trendies. I knock into a kid my age as I squirm through a non-existent space.
“Sorry,” I apologize.
“There’s a line?” I laugh.
“Yeah, and we’re all goin’ to hell. Why be first?”
“I went to church today. I get a pass on hell.”
“There’s always tomorrow,” he grins.
“Yeah, why rush it?” I pull out a joint.
“Spark it up,” he pulls out a Bic.
I take the first drag and pass it to him. He takes a hit and starts to pass it back. I shake my head and indicate to pass it to a guy who is instantly interested. Before passing it on, my new friend takes a second hit. The next guy takes two. I don’t know where it goes after that. I know it isn’t coming back.
“You look familiar. I’m Jimmy. What’s your name?”
“I’m Tim. Everyone I meet is a Jimmy. Can I just call you Jim?”
“We’re from Huntington. Call me HB Jim.”
“You won’t get paid here.”
“We never get paid. No one in Hollywood will book us ‘cause we’re from the OC.”
“Maybe you should call yourselves the Out Crowd,” I steal my friends’ band name.
“Too much like the In-Crowd.”
“I’m in with the In-Crowd,’ I sing. We giggle.
“Too trendy for me,” OC Jim admits.
“You may want to downgrade your look,” I point at his mismatched outfit. “Is OC ready for plaid?”
“I upgraded from polyester.”
“I was the new kid in school last year. Everyone wanted to know if I was a jock. I told ‘em I was a bowling jock. Goodwill was soon sold out of everything polyester.”
“Is bowling a high school sport?”
“We started it. We were national champs by the end of winter.”
“You’re a total trend setter.”
“You’re not from LA?”
“I grew up all over, a military brat. I live in Hollywood now,” I exaggerate.
“I’ve always lived in HB. It’s boring.”
“HB, like Huntington Beach? You surf?”
“Everyone surfs there. It’s uncool not to.”
Looking at his outfit, I had assumed he was uncool.
“Having a band’s cool.”
“Not if you can’t play in Hollywood.”
“Stick around. My friend Tony books bands. He’s from South Bay.”
“We hate South Bay.”
“Too trendy for you.”
“No way. I bet he’s from Lawndale. They don’t even have a beach.”
“I thought you hate the beach?”
“We hate people from other beaches because they hate us. Everyone hates people who don’t have a beach and invade ours.”
“I went bodysurfing at Zuma on Friday.”
“Everyone hates bodysurfers. They just get in the way.”
“Anyone you like?”
“Not really. Just the people who come to our shows.”
“I thought you couldn’t get booked?”
“We play at parties in our friends’ backyards.”
“When’s the next show?”
“Saturday afternoon in Newport. We hate Newport. They’re all snobs.”
“I’ve only seen a couple of bands – Weirdo’s and Zero’s. But it seems that the audience really gets into them. How can you have followers if you hate everyone?”
“They all hate the same people we do.”
“So, not part of the love and peace generation. Are you the new hate generation?”
“If that’s what it takes.”
“Are you a dealer?’
“My old drummer dealt to all the neighborhood kids. Sometimes I made deliveries at school.”
He flicks his Bic. We start laughing again.
“Wanna learn to surf for real?”
“So you can hate me?”
“Probably, once you’re all conceited about how you can walk on water.”
“I’ll stick to bodysurfing. You hate that on general principles. That I can deal with.”
Tony and Jimmy show up, locating us in the crowd by knowing what their weed smells like.
“I know that band. People say you play Texas two-step country music.”
Tony is added to Jim’s hate list.
“That’s ‘cause everyone hates them. It’s a sure sign that they’re better than all the other bands. They’re from the beach.”
“Oh, great, the new Dick Dale.
Jim looks disgusted. The first band is setting up.
“I’m gonna try to jam with the Weirdos tonight. Come along.”
“Jamming with the Weirdos. Sounds like a horror movie,” Jimmy comments.
“You said the Weirdos hate you,” Tony observes.
“That’s not always a bad thing. Their drummer Nicky lives in my building.”
“When are you planning to tell us you have your own place,” Tony laughs.
“Oh, it’s the Canterbury. Las Palmas and Yucca.”
“Well, La dee da,” Jimmy snarks.
OC Jim is calculating how much he hates us. When Jimmy asks if he can bring tricks over from the Pussycat Theater, it seals the deal. He walks away.
The first band is ready to play. The singer had nothing to say, just starts with ‘1,2,3,4.’
He goes into convulsions or a simple spazz-attack, shouting lyrics without any semblance of melody and finally falling over and writhing on the floor. Most of the crowd ignores his death throes. A few people get it and fall down in the pit, thrashing by themselves in response to the non-music. The band plays on. I push Jimmy and Tony into the dog heap of bodies, where they trip and fall into the pile. I dive in and pretend it’s a Baptist revival, mouthing nonsense words in ‘tongues.’ Someone grabs my dick but lets go quickly when it hardens. I don’t take offense, chalking it up to my growing reputation. Jimmy notices and grabs hold. I roll on top of him and start humping. The band instantly stops playing. Tony pulls me away from Jimmy before it becomes too obvious what’s happening – abnormal teen hormones. Gerber spots me and takes over from Jimmy. I herd her to the spot at the left of the stage where only those in the immediate vicinity can see us go at it. I shove her face against the wall and ride her plump butt cheeks until I feel her orgasm go off. I leave her there without looking back, joining Tony and Jimmy who high-five me. One of Safety’s friends runs over and slaps me.
“It’s not rape when you both get off,” I defend my honor.
She just glares at me and walks over to Gerber, who just shakes her head, still coming down from her own orgasm. The rape patrol declines to press charges for lack of a victim willing to testify. I cheer the band for inspiring a public orgy. The musicians walk off, leaving the singer laying on the stage.
“We’re Saccharine Trust,” he shouts into the mic, “from San Pedro.”
“Go back to the beach,” someone yells.
“There is no beach in San Pedro,” the singer informs us. He wanders off stage.
Everyone claps, mostly glad they are gone.
Safety comes over and thanks me for fucking Gerber, a task he claims he’s not ‘up’ to.
“We changed our band name to ‘Sophistifuck,” he brags.
“That’s too much like old rock n roll. How about ‘Sophistifuck with the Dildos,” I suggest.
“Fuck you,” he mopes. “It’s our band. We did use ‘Forming’ for our first original song.”
“That makes sense.” I laugh. He storms off.
The next band is up. They call themselves the Screamers. They hand around a flyer. It’s a cool cartoon by Gary Panter, but it doesn’t say anything about a show or about the band. I figured they’re art fags. They all play synthesizers.
I know Jack will love them. The singer keeps ripping off successive pieces of clothing, stopping only when he has jeans left to remove. I can tell there’s nothing underneath. I appreciate how well he has choreographed his strip tease. They play non-stop for about thirty minutes, and then march offstage, leaving their keyboards in an endless loop. The stage manager finally cuts the power. Everyone cheers, begging for an encore. That does not happen. They are real arty farts.
I go to check on the Wreck, parked illegally at Tower Records. It’s fine. I notice a kid through the window, looking furtively as he tucks a 45 inside his shirt. After he walks out, I follow him up Sunset, far enough behind so he won’t think I’m an undercover security guard.
“What did you get?” I ask, laughing to show I am on his side.
He almost drops the 45 and runs, until he realizes he is not busted.
“It’s an Oi! band from England.”
“Is that like punk?”
“Naw. It’s hardcore, not art and fashion,” he shows me the sleeve. It says Sham 69. I never heard of them. ‘If the Kids Are United.’
“It’s for kids?” I guess.
“No shit, Sherlock,” he mocks me.
“You from OC?” I suppose.
“You hate everyone, too?” I ask.
“They all hate me.”
“Were you at the Whiskey for the last band?”
“Naw. They won’t let me in.”
“Com’n. I know the bouncers.”
They let him in. His name is Mark. He works at Goodwill. He displays the Goodwill fashion sense, all in polyester. I want to ask if he bowls, but figure he’ll take that as an insult.
“My favorite place to shop,” I announce, omitting that my outlet is in Iowa.
The next band is already playing. Tony tells me they’re from Pasadena, Mammoth (soon to be ‘Van Halen.’)
“I want Doug to book ‘em,” Tony is a fan.
They are definitely rock n roll, a tight band with a screaming guitar and a singer with an aggressive attitude. The older fans are excited, standing in place and moving like they’re into it. I even see some Bics ready to flick at the end of the song. The kids are not too into it. They spin around, but are threatened with retaliation whenever they bump into one of the stationary, older rockers. Hair waving seems like the ultimate ‘into it’ gesture. They have a black bassist, who seems out-of-place with the long-haired white boys. They definitely are R & B, not punk. At least their sound is loud and abrasive. I wonder how Tony is going to convince Doug to book a new band at the Troubadour.
We go upstairs and meet the band’s manager. He wants his charges to move into the big leagues. I start talking with George, the bassist. His afro is never going to whip back and forth no matter how much he head-bangs.
“I know. It’s just that I’ve known these guys since high school,” he argues why he stays in the band.
“Since last year?” I joke.
“Naw we graduated in ’73. I started playing with Eddie and Alex in 4th grade.”
“You’re dinosaurs of rock.”
“Your friend can book bands. He looks younger than you.”
“He’s Doug Weston’s assistant at the Troubadour.”
“Oh, man. I’d die to play there.”
“I’ll hold you to that.”
“I saw you humping your other friend, and then that little girl. Are you a porn star?”
“Naw. It was like a Baptist service, rolling in the aisles and speaking in tongues. I got carried away.”
“You can carry me away, anytime you want.”
I just laugh. Later, Tony tells me the band is about to drop their old buddy George for a fat white guy. Out with the funk, in with the blues.
The show is over by 8 pm, with everyone hanging out on the sidewalk in front of the Whiskey. I’m talking up my performance at Oki Dog. The locals laugh, feigning disdain for hanging out on Santa Monica Blvd. The suburban kids are happy to have some other place to go other than home to the ‘burbs. Nicky and Alice say they’ll perform with me.
“I don’t have a mic,” I warn Alice.
“What are we gonna play?” Nicky ask.
“Helium Bar?” I suggest.
“Hell, John’ll shit kittens if he finds out.”
“Good. I wanna see that. We’re just promoting your band. What’s he got to complain about?”
“He just likes to complain.”
“We’ll make him happy, then.”
The Wreck pulls into Oki Dog, just a dozen or so blocks from the Whiskey. I check with Oki Yoki who complains that it’s dead on a Sunday night.
“We got about 100 kids coming down from the Strip,” I warn.
His eyes light up. “Ever’one pay tonight,” he decides.
“Mostly suburban kids, spending daddy’s money.”
He makes a sign, “Sunday Special – Oki dog/fries – two dollar.”
It’s double the regular price.