“Fuck that guy,” is the general opinion of my peers (Tony and Jimmy) and everyone else to whom I complain about Chris Miller. But he has set me back on my heels. I mistakenly assumed that in Hollywood being gay isn’t a big deal, let alone the moral equivalent of the antichrist. Landis starts locking his office door which effectively thwarts Miller’s entitlement to rush in whenever he wants. I take messages and continue to needle Miller, as if we’re still Santa Monica Blvd. buddies. He fumes and stomps away. Landis finds he can finally get his work done without constant interruptions. Miller’s revenge is to inform the other staff of my sexual deviancy. I get some funny looks, but I can usually tell who the real haters are. My real problem is older staff who start flirting with me. I accept all luncheon invitations, leaving before requests for ‘afternoon delight’; my excuse is I have to bring Landis his takeout lunch. To anyone who is too persistent, I explain I practice the same age rule . To those aware of my slutty ways, I explain that the one exception proves the rule.
I know that Doug expects to be an exception. Staying at his house is not going to work. The first week, I join Tony and Jimmy in triple teaming him. His newly discovered preference for bottoming is too demanding for me. I start actively looking for my own place. Rent is cheap in run-down Hollywood. I had a more than adequate salary to afford a small apartment. I just don’t know where I want to slum it.
After Miller’s upbraiding by Landis, I call Jake. I need to vent to an adult. His advice is direct.
“Hell, I’m Jewish. I’ve been told there was no place for me in all the halls of music. That’s why I chose classical. Classical’s not about trying to sell your music. You’re going for perfection.”
It was good advice for my privileged and entitled white ass. I remembered Joe, the Cuban bass player, who so wanted to be a part of our Coral Gables life. A little intolerance by the likes of Miller may be good for me. The remainder of the week passes with little drama, other than Miller’s feeble attempts to burst into Landis’s office. I am told not to call Security, rather, to ‘deal with him.’
Friday’s audition at the Troubadour is becoming a major event. The ‘Animal House’ star, John Belushi is interested in the music. He arranges to be off his regular Saturday Night Live gig and flies to LA for the weekend, starting with Friday’s auditions. Miller insists he personally attend, dragging the other writers along despite their indifference. Universal also wants to observe Landis’s directorial skills and insists on sending junior executives. They bring along my old nemesis Edgar Bronfman Jr, another music ‘expert.’ Landis tells me to put on a good show for all the brass attending. I’m fully confident that I can put on the show but worry that things tend to get out of control in unexpected ways. Starting out with the Weirdos is sure to cause controversy. I plan for them to bring excitement but not be a real contender for the movie gig. We’d need a more professional band to set a higher tone, but still show some rock n roll excitement.
I’m worried enough to ask Doug for advice. I’d need him to come up with a couple of generic r&b bands, assuming we’ll do several audition sessions before making a choice.
“The bands I got for you are typical LA cover bands, playing late sixties country rock, like the Eagles with a bit of Beach Boys thrown in.”
“We want a party band with some soul thrown in,” I counter.
“To play at a frat, right?” Doug asks. “Do they have to be all white?”
“No. A black band than can really rock is okay.”
“That’s not what I lined up.”
“Can you add a band.”
“Okay. I know a cool band. They’ll never play at the Troubadour, though.”
“Tell them it’s their big chance to break into the big time.”
Doug says he’ll get them there, stating the singer had been bugging him for years. Doug has a hard time saying the guy never has a chance.
“Well, tell ‘em this is what they’ve been waiting for.”
Belushi is in Landis’ office on Friday morning when I walk in.
“Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger,” I mimic him and wink.
“No Pepsi, Coke,” he finishes the line and we all laugh.
“This is Tim. He’s the music coordinator and arranged the auditions for this afternoon.”
“Thanks. Aren’t you due for rehearsal at Studio 8H?”
“I got fired so I could attend your band auditions today.”
“I’m cancelling my TV service.”
“I’ll tell NBC.”
I stay at my desk while Landis takes Belushi around to the other staffers, working on the film. About lunch time, they return, ready to eat at the studio cafeteria.
“You should go to Tommy’s,” I suggest.
“You sayin’ somethin’ ‘bout my waistline?” Belushi looks insulted.
“Are you worried? Tommy’s is a real LA experience.”
They are sold. All three of us jump into my Rent-a-Wreck, sitting three across in the front with the top down.
“No. This is cool, man,” Belushi defended me. He was on the outside with Landis squeezed in the middle. Every time Belushi saw a pretty girl or two he stands up and proposes marriage as we speed by. Looking in the mirror, the girls are too blasé, with the odd exceptions who recognize him from SNL.
At Tommy’s there’s a line, which means Belushi strikes up conversations with every chick, kidding them that they were jeopardizing their figures by eating here. He hands me five bucks to get his order for him and sits down at a table with three girls by themselves.
“That mean you want a double,” as I hold up his five.
“Naw, man. Keep the change.” He’s a big spender.
“I needed to get away from the studio. I’m taking my Director role too seriously. LA’s nothing, if not fun,” he proclaims.
“Let’s not go back to the studio, just head to the Troubadour, once we eat.”
He just smiles.
The burgers are an excess of everything bad. Belushi loves them. I have to spend the ‘tip’ he’d gave me on a second burger, while Belushi chats up the girls. He gets all their phone numbers. It’s still early for the three o’clock auditions, so I take them down to Wilshire Blvd and up the elevator to the top floor of a six floor office building. We climb the stairs to the roof. The LA skyline stretches out in front of us. Luckily Jimmy isn’t up there giving a blow job.
“Is this the lowlife tour you gave Miller?” Landis asks.
“Naw,” I motioned to the skyline. “This is the Highline tour. But to appreciate it fully, we need to high ourselves,” as I bring out the de rigueur joint. Landis looks shocked, but Belushi socks him on the arm. We all get high, contemplating the LA Highline. LA in the afternoon.
We roll into the Troubadour just before three. There’s a crowd – four bands, including the Weirdo’s pack of groupies and hangers-on (I recognized Safety and his chubby girlfriends), the Studio execs with Bronfman, Miller’s writers team, and Doug, Tony and Jimmy.
Landis pulls the writers group aside. “Why are you all here?” he demands.
Miller speaks up, “I told them to come. We need to know what kind of music you’re planning.”
“Well, you’re not the boss,” my slightly stoned boss states. Turning to the five other writers, “Do you want to be here?”
They looked cautiously at Miller, “Not really,” one says, while the other shake their heads.
“Take the rest of the day off,” Landis orders. “You can stay, if you want.” He turns to Miller, “Keep your mouth shut.”
Before we got settled, Belushi announces he wants to sing in the movie.
“It’s not a musical, John,” Landis explains.
“And I ain’t no Broadway star. I just wanna sing. I’m a blues man. Call me the Blues Brother.”
“You’ll need some accompaniment,” Landis observes.
My attention addiction kicked in. “I can play guitar for you,” I offered.
“What songs do you know?” Belushi was buying it.
“Any song you know,” I dared him.
“Sure, but that guy died.”
“I grew up on the Big Bopper.”
“The Great Pretender?”
Doug gets Tony to MC the auditions, with the Weirdo’s going on first. Jimmy herded the groupies in front of the stage. John Denney walks out with the band setting up behind him. He skips the introductory chat and they rip into ‘Helium Bar.’
The groupies go into action instantly (such good fans). Thrashing around, Jimmy is right there, pogoing too, but also keeping the kids up front. I assume Doug assigned him to crowd control after my audition last Spring went awry. Belushi pulls me away.
“Let’s see if you can really play those songs. Where’d you get that guitar. It looks familiar.”
“Her name is Lucille.”
“No shit. Why do you have it?”
“It’s Doug’s,” motioning toward Weston.
“Fuck me.” is Belushi’s thought.
I take him up to the green room, where the other bands are enjoying rock heaven while tuning up. They are in awe of the TV personality. I plug into an amp and began the intro to Chantilly Lace.
Jace is right there to show me how to turn Lucille into a honky-tonk sound. Once Belushi finishes his spoken word, I switch to a guitar sound. We do ‘The Great Pretender’ next.”
“Okay. You pass the audition. Let’s get on down there and rock the socks off these studio execs.
The Weirdos have done a second song. Miller is sitting there with a scowl and grimace on his face. Landis is shocked by the raw energy and distressed that I’d want it in his movie. The studio guys are not pleased either. Tony brings out the next band, who look off their game, unable to match the punk energy. They sound weak and their song is barely loud enough to hear. In the middle of their set, Belushi jumps up.
“Let me play. These guys are lame.”
It isn’t in Landis’ playbook, to have his star be a singer, but he can’t turn him down. Belushi and I rush back stage and get Tony to give the band still playing the bum’s rush. I plug in and Belushi bounces onto the stage and takes the mic.
I play the honky-tonk notes and we are off. He must’ve been singing these lyrics in the mirror to himself since he was twelve. When there’s a pause in the singing, I move forward, so he sings to me. He totally trusts I can play whatever he wants to sing. It was all fifties and early sixties pop. We rush through all the fast paced songs, ending with the Trashmen’s ‘Surfing Bird.’
“And that’s all, folks,” Belushi needs no applause or an encore. I wink at Doug, who just shakes his head. I quickly return Lucille to lock-up. Tony has the third band on stage, and again they are too intimidated by our flash dance set to compete.
I see a skinny black guy watching from the side of the stage.
“Whatcha think of my act?” I ask him.
“Y’all ain’t Chuck Berry, but fer an audition it was fun. Do we gotta compete with y’all.”
“Naw. That was just ta git the movie’s star his performance addiction fix. Y’all the final band?”
“Sure thing. I’s bin tryin’ ta play here fer years.”
“It’s yer big shot, then.”
“These white boys’ll neva let us play here fer real.”
“This here’s about a movie, not rock dinosaurs.
He laughs and turns to get ready
Tony was on the mic again. “Our final audition is Dewayne Jessie and friends. Dewayne told me he has a soul connection with the Coasters.”
Out troops a ragtag ensemble with a horn section. They rip into a scorching version of ‘Shout.’
They have everyone’s attention. Landis has a big smile, punching me like Belushi does. Even Miller stops scowling. Bronfman smiles at me. We did it.
They play another song. Belushi runs down and asks them to play ‘Louie Louie.’
After they finish, the movie’s star decides, “We have our band.”
We all jam on ‘Sweet Home Chicago.’ I get my chance to jam real blues guitar.
Doug has Tony end the session. I’m sure we could have gone on all afternoon and night. Dewayne had his Troubadour show.
After discussing the auditions with studio execs, it’s unanimous to work with Jessie. He had the excitement factor that the punks also showed and the musical versatility to play whatever cover songs would fit the movie’s needs. Landis and I go to the green room to explain the decision to all the bands. After dismissing the two white boy bands, I explain to John Denney why the Weirdos were not right for the movie
“You guys did great. You really set the excitement bar high. Those other two bands couldn’t compete.”
“Yeah, but you’re going with the black band, right. We can do ‘Louie Louie’.”
“Do you really want to do covers?”
“You didn’t say that was what you were looking for.”
“We didn’t want just a cover band. You’ll get your shot but not until people are ready for the Weirdos.”
He stomped away.
I grabbed Safety before he leaves. “Whatcha think?”
“I like them for their youth and energy. Without them, we’d be stuck with a lame band that has no soul.”
“You get to choose the band?”
“Yeah. I’m the music coordinator.”
“You’re just a kid. How’dcha get hired. Yer daddy’s a studio honcho, huh?”
“My daddy makes weapons for the military in Miami.”
“Right,” he dismisses me by walking off with the Weirdos’
I get no respect.
I tell Doug to meet me in his office after he had cleared out the club.
“Work is making you bossy,” he laughs.
I need to be alone with Jace. It has been too long since we interacted. I always feel his presence but his help with the honky-tonk introduction to Chantilly Lace made my heart ache from missing him. He quickly appears, knowing I need him.
“I love playing with you. Who was that fat guy? He’s really old.”
“He’s really funny. He’s on TV. He’s the star of my movie, John Belushi.”
“Your movie, huh? Timmy’s growing up.”
“It’s Hollywood. You havta own it to get anywhere.”
“Jack’s mad at you. You never call.”
“I get his messages from Tony.”
“He expects to meet you at the airport in Boston tonight.”
“Oh, fuck. I’m too busy for football.”
“What about Trudie, your girlfriend.”
“It’s just kids stuff. You helped me seal a deal today. This is on another level.”
“What do I tell Jack?”
“That I’m on drugs, doing heroin with Joan and Tom.”
“That’s a lie.”
“Well, say I’ve cut you off, too.”
“You’ve cut Jack out of your heart?”
“He’s too busy being a soc at Harvard. He’s forgotten how to feel my heart.”
Doug, Tony and Jimmy walk into his office.
“Why the tears, rocker boy?” Tony catches my moment of weakness. “You killed it.”
“It’s been a busy week. Just talking now with Jace made me sad. He really helps me make Lucille capture a rockabilly honky-tonk sound.”
“I sent your bosses from Universal over to Dan Tana’s to eat,” Doug notes. “They were really pleased with the outcome. I’ll represent Dewayne as his agent. Get the universal legal people to contact me.”
“I’ve got my own lawyer, but I’ll work that out. I think he’s great. Does his band have a name?”
“No. They just got together to help him get the movie gig.”
“Wow. They sounded tight.”
“Lots of black talent in Hollywood. They all work session gigs and one offs like today. I’ll get a real band together for him. I owe him after years of being pestered. He deserves a break.”
“You’re the rainmaker, Doug.”
“Ya got that. Just let me know before you screw him over.”
Belushi doesn’t want to sit around and eat; he leaves by cab to the Chateau Marmont on the Strip. He has those phone numbers from Tommy’s to follow-up. I order a pepperoni and onion pizza. I sat down next to Landis. Edgar Bronfman Jr moves over to renew our friendship.
“Good show, Tim. I like how you presented all those acts. Think we can sign the last band to Universal?” He has landed there now.
“Actually, they just got together to support, Dewayne. His brother’s in the Coasters. I think Doug’s his agent. He said he’ll put together a backup band for him if he gets the role.”
“Well, have him talk with our legal guys,” one of the other execs says.
“Let John and me handle it as part of the movie casting. I’ll have my lawyer deal with the artist.” I hope I’m not overplaying my hand. I noticed that Miller is not sitting with us. I kicked Landis under the table and gave him a wink.
The studio execs pause. “You’re still at Harvard, Tim?”
“They haven’t kicked me out yet. I’m on the Lampoon. They suggested I’d be helpful on the movie because I’ve worked for Scorsese on two movies and Ry Cooder represented my band last year.”
“You looked pretty comfortable up there, jamming with Belushi.”
“That was fun. I think the movie’s gonna be fun, too.”
“You can control this kid, John? You’re the director.”
“He sits right outside my office and controls who sees me. I think we work well together. I already gave him a raise.”
“What do you think, Edgar?”
“Don’t get into negotiating with him. He got six million out of MGM for Scorsese and flew Liza Minnelli out from New York to appear with Elton John this summer for a week of cabaret next door.”
“Okay. We’re warned. Listen John, Animal House is not a major project. This kid put on a show today. I’m impressed. You stay under budget and you’ll be doing something major next time. And kid, tell Harvard they need to keep the National Lampoon under their wing. Creativity doesn’t come cheap. My job is to squeeze as much profit out of as few bucks as possible. What was your raise from Landis?”
“Ten bucks a week.” I admit, grabbing a slice before it gets cold.
Everyone laughs. I took another slice. They’re all waiting for veal Parmesan.
It’s Friday night. I’m supposed to fly to Boston and resume my college life. Jace will cover for me. It’s a mistake to use him against Jack. But he’s still fifteen and knows where his loyalties lay. I’ll have to deal with Jack later. It’s the first time I realize we’re breaking up. He needs to be at Harvard while I need to be in Hollywood. I worry he’d try flying out here to change my mind, forcing me to go back or leave Harvard himself. To remain a Harvard student, I still have to go back for finals in December. I won’t burn bridges yet. I call Kurt at the Lampoon.
““Working late on a Friday night?” I ask him.
“Hi, Tim. Tonight’s the big 100th year anniversary issue publication party. The article Jill authored is a big hit. Having fun out there in LA LA Land?”
“Working my ass off. I love it.”
“Any progress on Animal House.”
“Yeah. The Universal execs told Landis that the National Lampoon needs to stay under Harvard’s wing today. I put on a show to audition bands for the screenplay. We found the perfect fit, a black soul singer who can play all the hits of the 50’s. I even got on stage with Belushi and jammed on all those songs, too. It was sweet.”
“That’s great. How did Chris Miller react?”
“He hates me, thinking I’m totally gay because I put an erring in my right earlobe. Landis has totally shut him down, telling him to stay out of the music end of the movie.”
“You don’t mess around.”
“Well, it’s a long battle. Miller showed up at the auditions with all the writers. Landis sent them away. I know it just infuriates Miller more. But the major victory is having the studio tell the Lampoon people that they need Harvard.”
“So, you ready to come home?”
I pause and think about it.
“I want to stay and work on the soundtrack and keep Landis in charge overall. I’ll be back for finals, so I can get full credit this semester, but home is here now. I’m going to get an apartment in Hollywood.”
“What does Jack think?”
“I guess we’re breaking up. He doesn’t know yet. I’m supposed to be on a plane to Boston right now. Can you help me make it easier on him?”
“Is it my fault for separating you two?”
“No, Kurt. You were right to see I’m not really Harvard material.”
“No way. I just felt the two of you were headed for trouble with the Administration. We’ll talk when you get back.”
“I have to choose my battles. Jace and I are trying to change 2000 years of Church policy about sex. I’m not sure Harvard’s 300 years of male dominance is another battle I should take on as well.”
“Well, stay out there and help us keep 100 years of Lampoon dominance going. I’ll keep Jack going. He plans to put on a full football game of rock music tomorrow. Sure you want to miss it?”
“I love the little nerd. I can see him gloating in the announcer’s booth. We both have our own battles to fight.”
“Jeez, Tim, life’s not all battles. Take a moment to enjoy your accomplishments.”
“Thanks, Kurt. It’s Friday night. I won’t miss my parties. You go back to yours. Send me a copy of the issue.”
“Right. I miss you, Tim.”
“Don’t be turning gay on me. Jack’s still my boyfriend. Hands off.”
I go to Doug’s office where he and Tony are getting ready for their Friday night.
“Why do you look so sad?” Tony asks.
“I’m breaking up with Jack. If he calls, tell him I’m off doing drugs in Hollywood.”
They don’t argue with me, knowing it’s a common Hollywood occurrence.
“You wanna hang out here tonight?” Tony asks.
“Kinda old and chubby for you?”
“He has the party spirit. I’m betting he’s trying to bed the three lovelies we met at Tommy’s today.”
“A little hetero action might be a way to get over breaking up.”
“I’m in my slut phase, for sure.”
Doug just shakes his head.
I park on the street near the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip. Belushi has one of the bungalows near the swimming pool. As I approach the room, the noise confirms he’s partying. Banging on the door, Belushi yells, “Go away. I can make as much noise as I want.”
“Shut up, John. It’s me, Tim, from the movie.”
“Go away anyway. I’m not working now.”
“Fuck you, let me in. I wanna party, too.”
He opens the door. “Oh, the kid.”
“That’s right. The kid who found you these lovelies at the burger stand.”
“Yeah, Tommy’s. Meet Fatty # 1, #2 & #3,” he ushered me in.
None of the girls approached fatty-hood. They have their tops off, exposing the kind of fat I like. #3 is sitting by herself while John’s attention was elsewhere.
She laughs. I slide onto the chair she’s sitting on. We go at each other’s titties. Mine blossom into hard points. Her’s expand into fried eggs. John stays busy on the bed. I lead #3 outside to the pool where we begin making out on a chaise, both of us still topless. She discovers how big I got when hard but remains strictly interested in topside action. After twenty minutes or so, John yells at us to get back in the room.
He looks at our stimulated nipples and my obvious erection and says, “They told me you were a fag.”
“Sometimes,” I didn’t deny anything.
He laughs. “You’re only 21?”
I just laugh.
I’m adamantly against hard drugs, but coke isn’t heroin. I believe it’s ‘natural.’ My standards were in flux. “Sure.”
The initial rush is intense. It stays that way as John and I make the rounds of the three girls in his king-sized bed. It’s alternate three-ways and regular couplings. No homo action and my cunnilingus abilities are put to good use. The girls provide rubbers. John goes through about five or six. I hold off cumming as long as I can and only need three. The girls are thrilled to be star fucking. I’m an added attraction as the teen Lothario. They aren’t prostitutes. I don’t care, a semi-prostitute myself. Belushi ignores me, other than being glad to help out his band mate getting laid. At midnight, after at least three hours of continuous fucking, I suggest we eat at Oki Dog. The girls are not thrilled about hanging out on Santa Monica but they’re too exhausted to complain. John wants to do more coke. I argue we should eat first. He brings his stash with us. We all jumped into my Rent-a-Wreck, with the top down, Belushi in the back with an arm around #1 & #2. #3 sits next to me, riding pussy. Coke isn’t the best vitamin for my juvenile driving skills. We are weaving in and out of traffic, with Belushi yelling and waving his arms. As we near Fairfax, the West Hollywood Sheriffs pull me over for erratic driving. Recognizing their favorite TV star gets me off with a warning. The officer gets an autograph, just not from me. I remain the unnamed co-conspirator in this incident. We skid into the Oki Dog parking lot. Belushi socks me on my arm, “You kept your cool, dude. I’m holding an ounce of coke.”
Jimmy and his cohort of hustlers surround us as Belushi rants about police harassment. We get several offers of joints which enhanced our appetites.
“You’ll love Oki Dogs. They’re even better than Tommy’s.”
He looks at all the chilli on his dog and farted.
“So much for your Tommy’s,” I laugh.
“Just wait,” Belushi brags.
I farted and a round of farting takes place. John pulls out his lighter. A fat Mexican kid is the winner for the longest ass flame thrower, burning his trousers. Jimmy tries too hard to fart and produces a golden nugget. Luckily he’s wearing boxers and loose pants as it rolls out his pant leg. The girls have had it with our juvenile behavior and insist we leave. John ignores them as we sit and have a second Oki Dog.
“You’re from New York?” he asks.
“It’s my adopted home. My band mate’s’ parents have an apartment at the Dakota on Central Park. Who told you I’m a fag?”
“That writer guy who Landis kicked out of the auditions.”
“My arch nemesis. I took him here after scouting bands. He smoked out and ended up on top of the Hollywood sign. The next day he was hung over and angry. He thought I was gay ‘cause I put a safety-pin in my right ear. Apparently that means you’re gay.”
“I just thought you were an English Punk poseur.”
“Get him over here.”
“Hey, Safety,” I yell, “Get over here and meet a star. You can use some star tricks for your band.”
Safety looks shocked but comes over, followed by his groupie hoard.
“Gimme some drugs,” he demands, trying to impress his posse.
Belushi breaks out the coke, but for just the three of us. Safety snorts two lines before handing it back.
“Tell us about your band,” Belushi demands. “Are you like the Weirdos?”
“They’re rich cunts from Santa Monica Canyon. We’re rejects at Uni High. Tim wouldn’t let us try out for the movie. You rocked on those oldies.”
“Finish high school before you start to make a living in this business.”
“Fuck you, Safety. Wanna go climb the Hollywood sign?”
“Sounds like work.”
” How old are you?”
“Jesus, Tim. You’ve attracted the jail bait crowd.”
I remember my advice to Springsteen when we were sixteen. “Hey, you’re the star of the 70’s, your generation. We’re just the kids who come next. You’re still young, unlike our parents who are too jaded to understand us.”
“Whatcha think, Safety?”
“I’m a Lexicon Devil.”
‘I’m a Lexicon devil with a battered brain
Searching for a future the world’s my aim
So gimme gimme your hands gimme gimme your minds
Gimme gimme your hands gimme gimme your minds
Gimme gimme this gimme gimme that…’
The Germs Songwriters DARBY CRASH, PAT SMEAR
Published by Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
“Break out the coke,” he demands.
“At the top of the sign,” Belushi dares him.
The Fatties are sick of teenagers and insist I drive them to their car. They’re not interested in mountain climbing. Safety jumps in the front of my Rent-a-Wreck with #3 and me, Belushi and the other Fatties are in the back. We promise to meet Tony and all the other punks who could fit in his Datsun at the top of Beachwood Canyon. I drive more carefully after one incident with the cops. #3 gives me her number to call as the Fatties abandoned our mission to top the Hollywood Sign. Belushi moves into the front of the wreck.
“Ya ain’t scared of Tim ‘cause he’s a fag, are ya?”
“What?” Safety is clueless, unable to decide whether to move next to me and ride pussy or stay next to Belushi who was a gross hetero. We both squeeze him into the middle.
“Don’t worry, Safety. That’s just my cover. Your reputation is safe with us.” I have no idea what his orientation is, but suspect his chubby groupies aren’t following him for sex.
Tony and his crew are waiting for us at the upper gate, the one with all the warning signs to stay out. The guys all climb over. Safety stays with the girls who are told to beep the horn if the cops show up. We mocked Safety for being a wuss until the girls push him over the fence. He tumbles over, looking distressed.
“This is supposed to be fun. You do want more coke, right,” I punch him on the arm. We’re bro’s.
Belushi is our pied piper, leading a group of teens invading Griffith Park. There are six of us, three each climbing the scaffolding of the pair of O letters. Safety and I join Belushi on one letter while Tony, Jimmy and a girl who says her name is Gerber scales the other letter. Jimmy has an adequate supply of joints for their experience. Looking southward from the height of the letters the whole LA basin opens up to us, lit up by thousands of street and freeway lights. No towering skyscrapers yet, but an impressive beehive of pre-dawn activity. The “Jesus Saves’ beacon shines on Temple Street in downtown LA and a fiery furnace glows bright red at the large steel mill in City of Commerce . We are little gods watching over our domain perched high above the city. Belushi shares his coke, laughing that he had planned to use it as the aphrodisiac to get him laid that weekend.
“Here you sit, sharing it with a couple of gay punks.”
Safety goes wobbly, from the drug or from being called gay. We steady him from falling into the pit of LA darkness below us.
“I’m not really gay,” Safety complains.
“Don’t be afraid to admit you like guys,” I advise. “You can still screw girls. They kinda like ‘saving’ you from your perversion.”
“Ah, the wisdom of teenagers.”
Safety looks confused and embarrassed.
“How’s the band coming along? Your guitarist looks good.”
“Really? Pat’s a cool cat. We’re all in the ‘special’ program at Uni High.”
“Short bus, huh?” Again, I just embarrass him.
Belushi is in his own world. He starts singing ‘Louie Louie again. We all sing,
‘Louie Louie, oh baby
We gotta go now’
We all clamber down the scaffolding. No cops show up.
I wake up in Doug’s bed with Tony and Jimmy. Doug complains that the Rent-a-Wreck is depressing home values in his neighborhood. I’m relieved to know my ride at least made it back with no further problems, police or accident-wise. My head is hammered with a post-coke and pot hangover. Jimmy says Jack has been calling, expecting me to be in Boston already. Jimmy claimed ignorance of my whereabouts. I was not ready for any drama. It surprises me that Jack is unable to reach me through my heart. I feel like a hardcore drug addict. Jace tells me that the pre-game rock show went off with Minehan’s Neighborhoods rocking the Mower courtyard. The Game is proceeding in Cambridge with Jack barely able to keep up his end of the cheer leading routines, blindly believing I may still show up. I listlessly stumble to the kitchen to make coffee. Sitting down I summon Jack into my heart. He’s in shock that I’m so wasted.
“It’s heroin, isn’t?” was his conclusion.
“Get over yourself. It’s just Hollywood.” I try to explain how I’m ‘working’ day and night, but Jack won’t listen. He starts crying.
My head can’t take it and he fades out. I leave him ‘hanging on the telephone.’
Coffee helps. I worry that Belushi has been left to his own devices with the auditions finished. I remember how Doug assigned Tony to babysit Elton John when he was performing at the Troubadour. What the hell. I’ll take on the role for my boss, Landis. I drive to the Chateau and find Belushi passed out with the remainder of his coke stash spread out on a coffee table in the bungalow.
“Wake up, coke-head. I’m taking you to the Valley,” I shake him and roll him out of the bed. I’d been just as out of it before I had coffee. He stumbles after me to the Rent-a-Wreck. With the top down, we roar up Laurel Canyon Blvd over the mountains separating Hollywood from the San Fernando Valley, where the morning overcast has already burned off. Fresh air and sunshine revive him.
“Why the Valley?” he asks.
“Pancakes at Du-Pars can’t be beat.”
I worry he’s about to barf, but he soldiers on. Coffee does the trick. Soon we’re both eating double stacks. A pair of young women come up to us, asking why Belushi is in LA when he’s supposed to be on the SNL show in New York live that night.
“They fired my ass,” is his canned response. Instead of eliciting sympathy, they walk away, now that he no longer is a TV star – typical LA attitude. Fame and its attendant worship are only as good as it lasts.
“See what it’s like being washed up,” I laugh and tell him how I always played second fiddle to a dog.
“So, what’s happening today?” he asks.
I have no plan but since we’re in the Valley, I want to see Tom Petty. I call Jimmy at Larrabee Studios and get his address. Belushi drives us to a rundown motel off Ventura Blvd. “You drive like a pussy,” he claims.
We bang on the door for five minutes before Petty finally answers, cracking the door and peeking out.
“Afraid we was the cops?” I kid him. “Takin’ y’alls time hidin’ yer dope?”
“Hey, it’s the Cracker from Alaska. Ya got that right, ‘cept all the dope got used up last night.”
He gives Belushi a suspicious look until he recognizes him.
“Jesus, Tim. Ya always a star fucker?”
“Yeah. He claims to be a Chicago bluesman. I want to show him some real southern blues.”
Tom lets us in. The two double beds for the whole band bring back memories. The drug paraphernalia on the one table gets Belushi’s attention. He takes out his baggie of coke and plops it down.
That gets all the other Heartbreakers out of bed. Coke was their wake-up fix. No need for coffee.
“Y’all’s in the movie bizness now?”
“Yup. We’s auditionin’ bands for a frat boy movie.”
“What happened ta Hahvahd?”
“It’s my class for this Fall. I’m doin’ work-study.”
“If’n that coke’s from Hahvahd, it must be primo.”
“You know he don’t talk like this with me,” Belushi notes.
“Yeah. Ol’ Tim’s our favorite rebel wannabee. He had me playin’ Dixie at the Florida State Swim Championships last year.”
“You played with his band?”
“We all opened fer Skynyrd. His drummer and I incited a riot. The police shot Tim’s dog. The crowd panicked. Skynyrd came out and we all jammed to a packed stadium. His band had the quickest burnout in rock history. They’s Southern legends.”
“He and I jammed at the Troubadour yesterday.”
“I’m gonna be a singing star in the movies now. The director don’t know it yet.”
They continue to dissect and disrespect me. I think maybe the Heartbreakers should be the movie’s band. I worry they’d be insulted to play cover songs. Their own material is great for a certain audience but not universal. There is no reason to not give them a shot.
“We gonna jam?” I demand, sick of being their object of derision.
“Yeah. Let’s do it. Our equipment’s in a storage unit nearby. We jam there as long as it’s daytime.”
“What ‘bout the coke?” the bassist Ron Blair demands. Bass players have their priorities.
Belushi dumps a pile of coke on the table and the adults in the room (everyone but me) goes at it until it’s gone. We’re ready to fly.
“Perfect,” Tom pronounces when he sees my convertible Rent-a-Wreck. Their van has been on its last legs for years. I take the keys from Belushi and chauffeur five crazed musicians and a TV comedian to the local storage facility. It’s the Heartbreakers’ practice studio, barely sound-proofed with egg cartons. An extension cord provides power from the facility’s outlet.
No one knows where to start, so I grab a guitar and play Tom’s Rebels song.
“I can’t sing that song,” Belushi exclaims. “The brothers will lynch me.”
“Wot kin y’all sing?”
Tom isn’t particular. “Here’s our Indiana song, ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’
They’ve been in LA long enough to lose their redneck ways. Belushi pulls out a harmonica and blows some Chicago blues.
At the finish, we all laugh.
“Too slow fer a frat party, tho,” I reject it.
Next we do covers for which Belushi knows the lyrics, including ‘Louie Louie.” After doing ‘Runaround Sue,’ Tom wants to play their runaway song ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’
It’s more up-tempo but has long solos which I nix.
“Here’s a song fer y’all, Tim, another Hollywood hustler.” He is so right. ‘Yer so Bad’
We’re both singing and playing rhythm guitar. When we get to the chorus Tom and I turn and sing to each other
‘But not me baby, I’ve got you to save me
Oh yer so bad, best thing I ever had
In a world gone mad, yer so bad’
Songwriters: TOM PETTY, JEFF LYNNE
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
He winks at me, causing me to rip a long lead riff. Campbell Tench bursts out laughing, “Tom’s got hisself a boyfriend.”
We just keep smiling at each other.
When the chorus comes up the second time, Belushi sing with us, stepping on my leads with his harmonica. Everyone breaks up.
“Okay, well, try out this song.” I rip into ‘I Won’t back down’
‘Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell
But I won’t back down’
Songwriters: JEFF LYNNE, TOM PETTY
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Once we’re done, everyone laughs.
“If you only knew,” I confess.
“Where’s yer old partner in crime?” Tom asks.
“Ya mean our drummer, Robby?”
“Not that piss ant. Yer boyfriend.”
“We broke up this mornin’. He thinks I’m a drug addict.”
“Welcome to Hollywood, son.”
Belushi laughs. “You fucked my three lovelies last night. Maybe you ain’t no fag.”
“Here’s a song fer y’all, ‘A Face in the Crowd,’ starts singing.
‘Before all of this ever went down
In another place, another town
You were just a face in the crowd
You were just a face in the crowd
Out in the street walking around
A face in the crowd’
Songwriters: JEFF LYNNE, TOM PETTY
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
“No matter who y’all is fuckin’, Tim, yer purdy loveable.”
There I go, turnin’ straight guys gay, again.
“Don’t know ‘bout that but this is hella more fun than Saturday Night Live rehearsal in the City,” Belushi sees it his way.
We do some more covers, with Belushi singing and sometimes blowing blues on his mouth harp. We’d been at it for three hours. Belushi is ready for Tommy’s.
It takes about 45 minutes on the freeway to West Covina. My driving skills improve by the minute as the six passengers stand up and make a scene every time we pass any young lovelies. Going 80 mph is a steep learning curve. Tom suggests I stay within the lines after I pass two cars by straddling the lane marker. I stand up and holler, which scares everyone, including the other nearby drivers. No Highway Patrol to lecture me. The Wreck responds to its second life. I suggest we take the drive-thru. Belushi is on pussy patrol. We go inside, singing the ‘In n Out, Out n In’ commercial over and over.
The staff hads heard that song before. It fails to elicit a positive reaction by any of the suburban high school eaters until a group of college girls recognize Belushi. They aren’t ready or willing to double-team the seven of us. They’re in a sorority and promise additional partners if we follow them to Pomona College.
“This is research for the movie,” Belushi declares. At the sorority, Belushi gets all the attention. Five unknown rockers and a teenager are not as popular, until some less lovelies decide we deserve second place in their hearts. Afternoon delight after lunch lived up to In and Out’s promoted slogan. Three hours of fucking was enough for Belushi. He lured three girls back with us to the Chateau to watch SNL that night. It was the first show after he was supposedly ‘fired’. Tom promises additional drugs through his Hollywood connection to fuel our evening of anger at NBC for disrespecting our new best ex-TV star friend.
Once back in Hollywood, Tom and I go for ‘take-out pizza,’ with a second mission to score additional drugs. I maintain my drug resistance as the designated driver. Everyone is mentoring me on giving up my gay ways. I had some crazy thought that I should abstain in order to get back with Jack. Mixed messages. Tom directs me to a small converted hotel on Cherokee, the Ojai. There was even parking for the Wreck on a short cul-de-sac in front of the building above Franklin Ave in the Hollywood Hills. Cherokee and Franklin is a well-known transvestite pick-up site. Many of the trannies live in the Ojai, using their SROs for business. I’m down the rabbit hole again. Tom uses the Alice in Wonderland imagery in several Heartbreaker videos. As an Ojai regular, he knows the manager, Barbara, an ex-priest transsexual with big tits and a bigger heart, especially for the pros living in her building. The dealer, name withheld at his request, lives on the sixth floor. When he finds out I’m abstaining from heroin, he throws in a joint with our purchase. Tom and I goup on the roof and smoked out.
“Y’all rilly broke up with ol’ Jack taday?” he asks.
“Not his fault. I ain’t neva gonna be no student at Hahvahd.”
“He’s a purdy gud singer. Ain’tcha neva gonna git the band tagether again.”
“Y’all gonna eva git Mudcrutch back tagether?”
“That time’s gone fer good.”
“Ya neva knows.”
“Best ta move on. Life don’t stand still fer the past.”
“Time fer that when ya’s old.”
“Ya got that right.”
We finish the joint, staring at the lights on Hollywood Blvd below us. Two good ol’ boys, jist enjoying a high together. I feel so straight by being so bent by pot. Silence between guys is a solid.
“You know I ain’t gonna recommend y’all fer the movie,” I’m being too honest because I’m so high.
“Ya mean we ain’t gonna be no movie stars?” Tom joshes.
“Y’all’s too good fer this movie. It’s rilly dumb.”
“What’s not dumb ‘bout good ol’ boys from North Florida?”
“I jist wanna learn ‘bout makin’ movies. Our songs is all stories ‘bout our lives. Three minute capsules of real lives of the down ‘n out.” Tom has ambitions.
“I kin getcha a spot on the crew so as ta show y’all how the magic is done in Hollywood.”
We go to Two Guys for the pizzas and return to the Chateau. Our additional dope is appreciated as everyone is on edge from the coke. I remember my Viet Vet adventure with Joey. They did their speedballs in reverse order. While Belushi has a sorority slut in the bedroom, we attack the pizza, waiting for him to finish before attacking the H. The pizza totally satisfieds my pot driven high.
The girls are in my camp about heroin. I volunteer to drive them back to Pomona College while the guys get fucked up. I win points for refraining from dope. When they learn I’m at Harvard, they turned on the charm. With no rushing need to return to Hollywood, I spend the evening at the sorority in one of the three girls’ bedrooms. I move up onto their A list from my pleasure of satisfying their every need. Jace joins me, adept at keeping each girl engaged. I receive many compliments on my lovemaking. I notice that they all keep their eyes closed, unwilling to see how I was able to keep them stimulated from all sides, as well as top and bottom. Jace is even more adept than me. Perhaps his life with Tommy is paying dividends in the sexual experience and expertise departments – the primary lesson plan in high school.
Back at Doug’s I park down the block and sneak into Tony’s room. I’m out in less than a minute. All work and all play is too much for me. In the morning, I make coffee, joining the gang in Doug’s bed. He looks disappointed with me, but the boys wink and just hug Doug more. I need to find my own place soon. At the Chateau, I gather the Heartbreakers and drive them to the Valley. They’re all worse for wear. Belushi is on New York time and comes along after I promise pancakes at Du-Par’s.
The Southern boys perk up on coffee and hotcakes, missing grits in a faux-sentimental way. I suggest we try South Central. They aren’t about to go for collared greens. After finishing I knew the sure cure for drug hangovers and make everyone attend mass at St Catherine’s on Lake Balboa in Van Nuys. It’s a Spanish mass, so no one needs to understand what’s going on. Southern boys have mostly Baptist ways.I feel extra blessed at broadening their horizons. Tom swears it’s the only time he’s ever been to church.
“That’s not something to brag about,” I tell him.
We’re all invited for a parish lunch but excuse ourselves politely. We have to work. I insists we go back to the storage unit where we continue our jam, without the coke, which is long gone.
Ben Tench tunes his synthesizer to play honky-tonk piano. We do old Jerry Lee Lewis songs that we all know, starting with ‘Great Balls o’ Fire’
Belushi takes the lead on the vocals, no time for mouth harp. With inspiration from church and pancakes, he’s all great balls a’fire, jumping and running around the confined space. Tom, Mike and I are stepping all over each other’s rhythm guitar tracks. We do ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’’
and finished with ‘Breathless’
Belushi is so out of breath I worry he’ll have a stroke. He’s laid out on the floor as we double over from oldies fever. Tench switches to Leon Russell’s ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ and ‘Delta Lady’
Belushi jumps up, recharged. “Fuck all this Southern boy moanin’ and groanin’. This here’s the Chicago Blues.”
He hits the harmonica intro to Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘How Many More years’
We are done. I drive the boys back to their motel.
“Okay, boss. Did we pass the audition?” Mike is hoping to be in the movie. But I have to be honest. They play best on their own material. Their blues roots are Southern deep but the movie is about frat boys in the 50’s.
“Y’all is always my favorites, Tom. I could probably sell ya. I know yer headed fer glory doing your own music. Doin’ a movie’s only a detour to real fame.”
We leave it at that.
Belushi wants to drive the Wreck back to Hollywood. He has flight back to the City that night. We tear up Laurel Canyon. I pretend it’s a roller coaster ride, sitting on top of the seat back with both arms in the air. My Baptist ways must have gotten God’s attention because I don’t die. Belushi is recklessly driving the wreck while wrecked.
“Wanna go to the beach and check out the surfer girls?” I suggest. “We could eat at Wimpy Burgers at the Huntington Pier.”
“Enough with the tour of LA Burgerland,” he complains. “I got a Hollywood party to attend. You can be my driver to the soiree of the stars.”
“A soiree’s at night,” I note.
“Always complaining. Not enough pussy, gay boy.”
“Them sorority girls found out I’s from Harvard. I had my way with three of them. You’ve trained me well.”
“They was just missin’ me. Y’all got sloppy seconds,” he drawls.
“Pick up a bit of a Southern drawl, Chi boy?”
“Yer a bad influence but don’t turn the gay on me.”
“Jist like them boys have the Negro in them.”
I drop him at the Chateau and go on a run to Tommy’s. He comes out of the shower to a double helping of chili burgers and fries. He looks like he was gonna barf. I pull out the remainder of the joint I shared with Petty on top of the Ojai.
“Pot don’t do it no more fer me,” he complains while taking a long drag.
He stops complaining and finishes his double double Tommy’s, stopping me from sharing his fries.
“Where’s the party?” I ask.
“Nicholson always has a pool party on Sundays. He lives in the hills.”
“Any hillbillies be there?”
“Fuck you. It’ll be all surfer girls. Better than hanging out at Wimpy’s.”
I break into the Beach Boys’ ‘Barbara Ann.’ It’s cooler than ‘Little Surfer Girl.’
Belushi jumps in, even Jace attempts to harmonize the falsetto. It’s truly horrible. And I thought he had some talent.
We stare at each other. Belushi swears it was a third voice that screwed up the duet. Jace looks chagrined.
“Let’s find some surfer girls. I refuse to do falsetto ever again,” he declares as we jumped into the Wreck, heading for the Hills.
At Nicholson’s, valet parking refuses to take the Wreck. Belushi stares real hard at him, until the valet recognizes him. I throw him the keys. We walk into the upper level of Jack Nicholson’s five level Hollywood Hills house. The party is on the bottom level by a large pool. Belushi puts his arm around me. We march to the bar. He’s wearing Bermuda shorts, sandals and an oversized logo tee-shirt. I’m in my Miami beach drag, jeans, buttons-missing button-down and no shoes. People are already gossiping. My New York Post fame means nothing at Nicholson’s. I know I look like a Santa Monica pickup on an extended date. We dispell those rumors by plopping next to four bikini-clad lovelies, giving them the bum’s rush. At least they recognize Belushi. We stuck our feet in the pool.
“You ladies need drinks,” Belushi decides, sending me off to obtain the punch of the day, at least that’s what the hand-drawn note said at the bar. We down our first cup, tossing them over our heads. Somehow I manage six cups of punch with much spillage.
“You better watch out,” the girls warn us too late. “Jack always provides a LSD spiked punch .
“Too late now,” Belushi declares. “Acid makes me horny.”
He was making out with the two girls on either side of him.
My eyes are bugging out. My lovelies, spotting a lightweight, took charge of me. Off to a convenient cabana. I’m freaking that the Guardian is coming for me. Jace is right there, ready to take our final journey together. The acid hasn’t hit yet. What the hell, time for final fantasy sex. Jace finds the girls receptive, making them super horny before I make a move.
I start slowly with cunnilingus on the blonde and fingering the redhead. They lay back, as Jace starts working on red’s tits with his tongue and blondie’s tits with his hand. Neither one closes their eyes, so I kept switching positions hoping they wouldn’t figure out they’re being double teamed. They look to have some lesbian tendencies as they stare deeply into each other’s eyes, not paying any attention other than at their erogenous zones. Jace is smiling at me. We start giggling, which creates a new sensation for the girls’ cunts. They start moaning and squirming, both quickly coming to climax. Time for dick action. I roll blondie over as Jace enters her doggy style. She arches and takes all of his dick, thrusting back at him. I roll over on top of red, letting my dick tease her labia while I French her. They lose interest in each other and soon are orgasming separately. Jace and I wink, knowing we can keep this action going for quite a while. True to her hair color, Red starts squealing and screaming, making so much noise that someone is banging on the cabana door. We are doing it in the midst of a pool party.
“Open up. I’ve got a key,” a husky voice demand. We’re not about to stop.
The room gets lighter. An older man comes in. Nicholson only sees a three-way going on.
“I don’t know or care who you are boy. You’ve got these two nymphomaniacs so worked up, it’s disturbing my guests. I’m taking over the blonde.”
Jace is shoved aside. I continued fucking Red with an aging star pumping away next to me. Not exactly the star fucking my teenage fantasies anticipated. Jace is on the bench. I feel sorry for him, so he joins me on red. Her screams reach a higher pitch, as she achieves her fourth and fifth orgasms. Jack was doing his duty, obviously near his climax. I know my time is coming soon. We finish all together – girls – 7 orgasms, boys/seniors – only 2, ghost – 1. Jack leaves the three of us plus Jace, to return to the party. He gets a hand from the poolside audience. I’m too embarrassed to knowledge my applause, so Jace takes the bows, which no one sees. The girls are collapsed on top of each other, looking at me with adoring, satisfied eyes from the back of the cabana.
I walked out of the cabana in just my briefs on. I jumped into the pool, doing butterfly laps, kicking off the shallow bottom, so I dolphined completely out of the water. I get a hand for being a jock, not a porn star. The girls have spread the word. Soon I have a covey of lovelies to meet my every need as I sit with Belushi at the pool’s edge.
“I had a little help there, so don’t feel you were second best. I’m used to being second dog.”
We laugh. It’s time to drive him to LAX. He’s already checked out of the Chateau. It’s a short drive to the airport. I promise to be his personal assistant when he comes back for the shoot. We slip into the men’s for a quick snort of his remaining coke stash.
“Got to save some for the mile high club,” he announces. “Com’n, we gotta do a farewell version of ‘Louie Louie’ in the boarding area. I need to pick out at least two lovelies to join me in flight.”
We pick a spot near the agent’s desk. By the time we had finish the first verse, he has three or four contenders. We sing it all the way through.
‘CHORUS: Louie Louie, oh no Me gotta go Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said Louie Louie, oh baby Me gotta go
Fine little girl waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it home
CHORUS: Louie Louie, oh no Me gotta go Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said Louie Louie, oh baby Me gotta go
Three nights and days
I sail the sea
Think of girl, constantly
On that ship,
I dream she’s there
I smell the rose in her hair.
CHORUS: Louie Louie, oh no Me gotta go Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said Louie Louie, oh baby Me gotta go
Okay, let’s give it to ’em, right now!
See Jamaica, the moon above
It won’t be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
Tell her I’ll never leave again
CHORUS: Louie Louie, oh no Me gotta go Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said Louie Louie, oh baby Me gotta go
Let’s take it on outa here now
Songwriters: RICHARD BERRY
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Time to board. The girls and anyone else young do a conga line out the jetway. “Bye Bye, Miss American Pie.’