“Fuck that guy,” was the general opinion of my peers (Tony and Jimmy) and everyone else to whom I complained about Chris Miller. But he had set me back on my heels. I had mistakenly assumed that in Hollywood being gay wasn’t a big deal, let alone the moral equivalent of the antichrist. Landis started locking his door which effectively thwarted Miller’s entitlement to rush in whenever he wanted. I took messages and continued to needle Miller, as if we were still Santa Monica Blvd. buddies. He fumed and stomped away. Landis found he could finally get his work done without constant interruptions. Miller’s revenge was to inform the other staff of my sexual deviancy. I got some funny looks, but I could usually tell who the real haters were. My real problem was older staff who started flirting with me. I accepted all luncheon invitations, leaving before requests for ‘afternoon delight,’ with the excuse that I had to bring Landis his takeout lunch. To anyone who was too persistent, I explained the same age rule I practiced. To those aware of my slutty ways, I explained that the one exception proved the rule.
I knew that Doug expected to be an exception. Staying at his house was not going to work. The first week, I joined Tony and Jimmy in triple teaming him. His newly discovered preference for bottoming was too demanding for me. I started actively looking for my own place. Rent was cheap in run-down Hollywood. I had a more than adequate salary to afford a small apartment. I just didn’t know where I wanted to slum it.
After Miller’s upbraiding by Landis, I called Jake. I needed to vent to an adult. His advice was 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 passed with little drama, other than Miller’s feeble attempts to burst into Landis’s office. I was told not to call Security, rather, to ‘deal with him.’
Friday’s audition at the Troubadour was becoming a major event. The ‘Animal House’ star, John Belushi was interested in the music. He arranged to be off his regular Saturday Night Live gig and flew to LA for the weekend, starting with Friday’s auditions. Miller insisted he personally attend, dragging the other writers along despite their indifference. Universal also wanted to observe Landis’s directorial skills and insisted on sending junior executives. They brought along my old nemesis Edgar Bronfman Jr, another music ‘expert.’ Landis told me to put on a good show for all the brass attending. I was fully confident that I could put on the show but worried that things tended to get out of control in unexpected ways. Starting out with the Weirdos was sure to cause controversy. I planned 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 was worried enough to ask Doug for advice. I’d needed him to come up with a couple of generic r&b bands, assuming we’d 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 countered.
“To play at a frat, right?” Doug asked. “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 said he’d get them there, stating the singer had been bugging him for years. Doug had a hard time saying the guy never had a chance.
“Well, tell ‘em this is what they’ve been waiting for.”
Belushi was in Landis’ office on Friday morning when I walked in.
“Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger,” I mimicked him and winked.
“No Pepsi, Coke,” he finished the line and we all laughed.
“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 stayed at my desk while Landis took Belushi around to the other staffers who were working on the film. About lunch time, they returned, prepared to eat at the studio cafeteria.
“You should go to Tommy’s,” I suggested.
“You sayin’ somethin’ ‘bout my waistline?” Belushi looked insulted.
“Are you worried? Tommy’s is a real LA experience.”
They were sold. All three of us jumped 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 stood up and proposed marriage as we sped by. Looking in the mirror, the girls were too blasé, with the odd exceptions who recognized him from SNL.
At Tommy’s there was a line, which meant Belushi struck up conversations with every chick, kidding them that they were jeopardizing their figures by eating there. He handed me five bucks to get his order for him and sat down at a table with three girls by themselves.
“That mean you want a double,” as I held up his five.
“Naw, man. Keep the change.” He was a big spender.
“I needed to get away from the studio. I was taking my Director role too seriously. LA’s nothing, if not fun,” he proclaimed.
“Let’s not go back to the studio, just head to the Troubadour, once we eat.”
He just smiled.
The burgers were an excess of everything bad. Belushi loved them. I had to spend the ‘tip’ he’d given me on a second burger, while Belushi chatted up the girls. He got all their phone numbers. It was still early for the three o’clock auditions, so I took them down to Wilshire Blvd and up the elevator to the top floor of a six floor office building. We climbed the stairs to the roof. The LA skyline stretched out in front of us. Luckily Jimmy wasn’t up there giving a blow job.
“Is this the lowlife tour you gave Miller?” Landis asked.
“Naw,” I motioned to the skyline. “This is the Highline tour. But to appreciate it fully, we need to hit this up,” as I brought out the de rigueur joint. Landis looked shocked, but Belushi socked him on the arm. We all got high, contemplating the LA Highline. LA in the afternoon.
We rolled into the Troubadour just before three. There was 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 pulled the writers group aside. “Why are you all here?” he demanded.
Miller spoke 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 stated. Turning to the five other writers, “Do you want to be here?”
They looked cautiously at Miller, “Not really,” one said, while the other shook their heads.
“Take the rest of the day off,” Landis ordered. “You can stay, if you want.” He turned to Miller, “Keep your mouth shut.”
Before we got settled, Belushi announced he wanted to sing in the movie.
“It’s not a musical, John,” Landis explained.
“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 observed.
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 got Tony to MC the auditions, with the Weirdo’s going on first. Jimmy herded the groupies in front of the stage. John Denney walked out with the band setting up behind him. He skipped the band introductory chat and they ripped into ‘Helium Bar.’
The groupies went into action instantly (such good fans). Thrashing around and pogoing. Jimmy was right there, pogoing too, but also keeping the kids up front. I assumed Doug assigned him to crowd control after my audition last Spring went awry. Belushi pulled 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.” was Belushi’s thought.
I took him up to the green room, where the other bands were enjoying rock heaven while tuning up. They were in awe of the TV personality. I plugged into an amp and began the intro to Chantilly Lace.
Jace was right there to show me how to turn Lucille into a honky-tonk sound. Once Belushi finished his spoken word, I switched to a guitar sound. We did ‘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 had done a second song. Miller was sitting there with a scowl and grimace on his face. Landis was shocked by the raw energy and distressed that I’d want it in his movie. The studio guys were not pleased either. Tony brought out the next band, who looked off their game, unable to match the punk energy. They sounded weak and their song was barely loud enough to hear. In the middle of their set, Belushi jumped up.
“Let me play. These guys are lame.”
It wasn’t in Landis’ playbook, to have his star be a singer, but he couldn’t turn him down. Belushi and I rushed back stage and got Tony to give the band still playing the bum’s rush. I plugged in and Belushi bounced onto the stage and took the mic.
I played the honky-tonk notes and we were off. He must’ve been singing these lyrics in the mirror to himself since he was twelve. When there was a pause in the singing, I moved forward, so he sang to me. He totally trusted I could play whatever he wanted to sing. It was all fifties and early sixties pop. We rushed through all the fast paced songs, ending with the Trashmen’s ‘The Bird.’
“And that’s all, folks,” Belushi needed no applause or an encore. I winked at Doug, who just shook his head. I quickly returned Lucille to lock-up. Tony had the third band on stage, and again they were too intimidated by our flash dance set to compete.
I saw a skinny black guy watching from the side of the stage.
“Whatcha think of my act?” I asked 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 laughed and turned 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 trooped a ragtag ensemble with a horn section. They ripped into a scorching version of ‘Shout.’
They had everyone’s attention. Landis had a big smile, punching me like Belushi had done. Even Miller stopped scowling. Bronfman smiled at me. We had done it.
They played another song. Belushi ran down and asked them to play ‘Louie Louie.’
After they finished, the movie’s star decided, “We have our band.”
We all jammed on ‘Sweet Home Chicago.’ I got my chance to jam real blues guitar.
Doug had 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 was unanimous to work with Jessie. He had the excitement factor that the punks had shown and the musical versatility to play whatever cover songs would fit the movie’s needs. Landis and I went to the green room to explain the decision to all the bands. After dismissing the two white boy bands, I explained 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 left.”
“I like them for their youth and energy. Without them, we’d probably chosen 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 dismissed me by walking off with the Weirdos’
I get no respect.
I told Doug to meet me in his office after he had cleared out the club.
“Work is making you bossy,” he laughed.
I wanted to be alone with Jace. It had been too long since we had interacted. I always felt his presence but his help with the honky-tonk introduction to Chantilly Lace had made my heart ache from missing him. He quickly appeared, knowing I needed 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 walked into his office.
“Why the tears, rocker boy?” Tony caught my moment of weakness. “You killed it.”
“It’s been a busy week. Just talking with Jace made me sad. He really helped me make Lucille capture a rockabilly honky-tonk sound.”
“I sent your bosses from Universal over to Dan Tana’s to eat,” Doug noted. “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.”
“Lot 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 didn’t want to sit around and eat; he left by cab to the Chateau Marmont on the Strip. He had those phone numbers from Tommy’s to follow-up. I had already ordered a pepperoni and onion pizza. I sat down next to Landis. Edgar Bronfman Jr moved over to renew our friendship.
“Good show, Tim. I liked how you presented all those acts. Think we can sign the last band to Universal?” He had 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’d put together backup band for him if he gets the role.”
“Well, have him talk with our legal guys,” one of the other execs said.
“Let John and me handle it as part of the movie casting. I’ll have my lawyer deal with the artist.” I hoped I wasn’t overplaying my hand. I noticed that Miller was not sitting with us. I kicked Landis under the table and gave him a wink.
The studio execs paused. “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 admitted, grabbing a slice before it got cold.
Everyone laughed. I took another slice. They were all waiting for veal Parmesan.
It was Friday night. I was supposed to fly to Boston and resume my college life. Jace would cover for me. It was a mistake to use him against Jack. But he was still fifteen and knew where his loyalties lay. I’d have to deal with Jack later. It was the first time I realized we were breaking up. He needed to be at Harvard while I needed to be in Hollywood. I worried 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 had to go back for finals in December. I wouldn’t burn bridges yet. I called Kurt at the Lampoon.
““Working late on a Friday night?” I asked 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 infuriated 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 paused and thought 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 went to Doug’s office where he and Tony were getting ready for their Friday night.
“Why do you look so sad?” Tony asked.
“I’m breaking up with Jack. If he calls, tell him I’m off doing drugs in Hollywood.”
They didn’t argue with me, knowing it was a common Hollywood occurrence.
“You wanna hang out here tonight?” Tony asked.
“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 shook his head.
I parked on the street near the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip. Belushi had one of the bungalows near the swimming pool. As I approached the room, the noise confirmed he was partying. Banging on the door, Belushi yelled, “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 opened 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 had their tops off, exposing the kind of fat I liked. #3 was sitting by herself while John’s attention was elsewhere.
She laughed and I slid into the chair she was sitting on. We went at each other’s titties. Mine blossomed into hard points. Her’s expanded into fried eggs. John stayed busy on the bed. I led #3 outside to the pool where we began making out on a chaise, both of us still topless. She discovered how big I got when hard but remained strictly interested in topside action. After twenty minutes or so, John yelled at us to get back in the room.
He looked at our stimulated nipples and my obvious erection and said, “They told me you were a fag.”
“Sometimes,” I didn’t deny anything.
He laughed. “You’re only 21?”
I just laughed.
I was adamantly against hard drugs, but coke wasn’t heroin. I believed it was ‘natural.’ My standards were in flux. “Sure.”
The initial rush was intense and it stayed that way as John and I made the rounds of the three girls in his king-sized bed. It was alternate three-ways and regular couplings. No homo action and my cunnilingus abilities were put to good use. The girls provided rubbers. John went through about five or six. I held off cumming as long as I could and only needed three. The girls were thrilled to be star fucking. I was an added attraction as a teen Lothario. They weren’t prostitutes. I didn’t care, a semi-prostitute myself. Belushi ignored 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 were not thrilled about hanging out on Santa Monica, but were too exhausted to complain. John wanted to do more coke but I argued we should eat first. He brought 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 sat next to me, riding pussy. Coke wasn’t the best vitamin for my juvenile driving skills. We were weaving in and out of traffic, with Belushi yelling and waving his arms. As we neared Fairfax, the West Hollywood Sheriffs pulled me over for erratic driving. Recognizing their favorite TV star got me off with a warning and the officer got an autograph, not from me. I remained the unnamed star in this incident. We skidded into the Oki Dog parking lot. Belushi socked me on my arm, “You kept your cool, dude. I was holding an ounce of coke.”
Jimmy and his cohorts of hustlers surrounded us as Belushi ranted about police harassment. We got several offers of joints which enhanced our appetites.
“You’ll love Oki Dogs. They’re even better than Tommy’s.”
He looked at all the chilli on his dog and farted.
“So much for your Tommy’s,” I laughed.
“Just wait,” Belushi bragged.
I farted and a round of farting took place. John pulled out his lighter. This fat Mexican kid was the winner of the longest ass flame thrower, burning his trousers. Jimmy tried too hard to fart and produced a golden nugget. Luckily he was wearing boxers and loose pants as it rolled out his pant leg. The girls had had it with our juvenile behavior and insisted we leave. John ignored them as we sat and had a second Oki Dog.
“You’re from New York?” he asked.
“It’s my adopted home. My band mate’s’ parents have an apartment at the Dakota on Central Park. Who told you I was 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 we ended up on top of the Hollywood sign. The next day he was hung over and 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.”
“More likely. But see that guy over there,” I point across the parking lot. “He called me a poseur until I let him stick the pin through my ear. I call him Safety.”
“Get him over here.”
“Hey, Safety,” I yelled, “Get over here and meet a star. You can use some star tricks for your band.”
Safety looked shocked but came over, followed by his groupie hoard.
“Gimme some drugs,” he demanded, trying to impress his posse.
Belushi broke out the coke, but for just the three of us. Safety snorted two lines before handing it back.
“Tell us about your band,” Belushi demanded. “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 remembered 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 demanded.
“At the top of the sign,” Belushi dared him.
The Fatties had enough of teenagers and insisted I drive them to their car. They were not interested in mountain climbing. Safety jumped in the front of my Rent-a-Wreck with #3 and me, Belushi and the other Fatties were in the back. We promised to meet Tony and all the other punks who could fit in his Datsun at the top of Beachwood Canyon. I drove more carefully after one incident with the cops. #3 gave me her number to call as the Fatties abandoned our mission to top the Hollywood Sign. Belushi moved into the front of the wreck.
“Ya ain’t scared of Tim ‘cause he’s a fag, are ya?”
“What?” Safety was 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 squeezed him into the middle.
“Don’t worry, Safety. That’s just my cover. Your reputation is safe with us.” I had no idea what his orientation was, but suspected his chubby groupies weren’t following him for sex.
Tony and his crew were waiting for us at the upper gate, the one with all the warning signs to stay out. The guys all climbed over. Safety stayed with the girls who were told to beep the horn if the cops showed up. We mocked Safety for being a wuss until the girls pushed him over the fence. He tumbled over, looking distressed.
“This is supposed to be fun. You do want more coke, right,” I punched him on the arm. We were bro’s.
Belushi was our pied piper, leading a group of teens invading Griffith Park. There were six of us, three each climbing the scaffolding of the pair of O letters. Safety and I joined Belushi on one letter while Tony, Jimmy and a girl who said her name was Gerber scaled the other letter. Jimmy had an adequate supply of joints for their experience. Looking southward from the height of the letters the whole LA basin opened 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 shone on Temple in downtown LA and a fiery furnace glowed bright red at the large steel mill in City of Commerce . We were little gods watching over our domain perched high above the city. Belushi shared his coke, laughing that it had been planned as the aphrodisiac to get him laid that weekend.
“Here you sit, sharing it with a couple of gay punks.”
Safety went wobbly, from the drug or from being called gay. We steadied him from falling into the pit of LA darkness below us.
“I’m not really gay,” Safety complained.
“Don’t be afraid to admit you like guys,” I advised. “You can still screw girls. They kinda like ‘saving’ you from your perversion.”
“Ah, the wisdom of teenagers.”
Safety looked confused and embarrassed.
“How’s the band coming along? Your guitarist looked good.”
“Really? Pat’s a cool cat. We’re all in the ‘special’ program at Uni High.”
“Short bus, huh?” Again, I just embarrassed him.
Belushi was in his own world. He started singing ‘Louie Louie again. We all sang,
‘Louie Louie, oh baby
We gotta go now’
We all clambered down the scaffolding. No cops showed up.
I woke up in Doug’s bed with Tony and Jimmy. Doug complained that the Rent-a-Wreck was depressing home prices in his neighborhood. I was relieved to know my ride had at least made it back with no further problems, police or accident-wise. My head was hammered with a post-coke and pot hangover. Jimmy said Jack had been calling, expecting me to be in Boston already. He had claimed ignorance of my whereabouts. I was not ready for any drama. It surprised me that Jack was unable to reach me through my heart. I felt like a hardcore drug addict. Jace told me that the pre-game rock show had gone off with Minehan’s Neighborhoods rocking the Mower courtyard. The Game was 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 stumbled to the kitchen to make coffee. Sitting down I summoned Jack into my heart. He was in shock that I was so wasted.
“It’s heroin, isn’t?” was his conclusion.
“Get over yourself. It’s just Hollywood.” I tried to explain how I was ‘working’ day and night, but Jack wouldn’t listen. He started crying.
My head couldn’t take it and he faded out. I left him ‘hanging on the telephone.’
Coffee helped. I worried that Belushi had been left to his own devices after the auditions finished. I remembered how Doug assigned Tony to babysit Elton John when he was performing at the Troubadour. What the hell. I’d take on the role for my boss, Landis. I drove to the Chateau and found 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 shook him and rolled him out of the bed. I had felt just as out of it before I had coffee. He stumbled after me to the Rent-a-Wreck. With the top down, we roared up Laurel Canyon Blvd over the mountains separating Hollywood from the San Fernando Valley, where the morning overcast had already burned off. Fresh air and sunshine revived him.
“Why the Valley?” he asked.
“Pancakes at Du-Pars can’t be beat.”
I worried he was about to barf, but he soldiered on. Coffee did the trick. Soon we both were eating double stacks. A pair of young women came up to us, asking why Belushi was in LA when he was supposed to be on the live SNL show in New York that night.
“They fired my ass,” was his canned response. Instead of eliciting sympathy, they walked away, now that he no longer was a TV star – typical LA attitude. Fame and its attendant worship was only as good as it lasted.
“See what it’s like being washed up,” I laughed and told him how I always played second fiddle to a dog.
“So, what’s happening today?” he asked’
I had no plan but since we were in the Valley, I wanted to see Tom Petty. I called Jimmy at Larrabee Studios and got the address. Belushi drove us to a rundown motel off Ventura Blvd. “You drive like a pussy,” he claimed.
We banged on the door for five minutes before Petty finally answered, cracking the door and peeking out.
“Afraid we was the cops?” I kidded 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 gave Belushi a suspicious look until he recognized 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 let us in. The two double beds for the whole band brought back memories. The drug paraphernalia on the one table got Belushi’s attention. He brought out his baggie of coke and plopped it down.
That got 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 noted.
“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 continued to dissect and disrespect me. I thought maybe the Heartbreakers should be the movie band. I worried they’d be insulted to play cover songs. Their own material was good for a certain audience but not universally. There was no reason to not give them a shot.
“We gonna jam?” I demanded, 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 demanded. Bass players have their priorities.
Belushi dumped a pile of coke on the table and the adults in the room (everyone but me) went at it until it was gone and we were ready to fly.
“Perfect,” Tom pronounced when he saw my convertible Rent-a-Wreck. Their van had been on its last legs for years. I took the keys from Belushi and chauffeured five crazed musicians and a TV comedian to the local storage facility. It was the Heartbreakers’ practice studio, barely sound-proofed with egg cartons and an extension cord bringing in power from the facility’s outlet.
No one knew where to start, so I grabbed a guitar and played Tom’s Rebels song.
“I can’t sing that song,” Belushi exclaimed. “The brothers will lynch me.”
That was ironic.
“Wot kin y’all sing?”
Tom wasn’t particular. “Here’s our Indiana song, ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’
They’d been in LA long enough to lose their redneck ways. Belushi pulled out a harmonica and blew some Chicago blues.
At the finish, we all laughed.
“Too slow fer a frat party, tho,” I rejected it.
Next we did covers for which Belushi knew the lyrics, including ‘Louie Louie.” After doing ‘Runaround Sue,’ Tom wanted to play their runaway song ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’
It was more up-tempo but had long solos which I nixed.
“Here’s a song fer y’all, Tim, another Hollywood hustler.” He was so right. ‘Yer so Bad’
We were both singing and playing rhythm guitar. When we got to the chorus Tom and I turned and sang 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 winked at me, causing me to rip a long lead riff. Campbell Tench burst out laughing, “Tom’s got hisself a boyfriend.”
We just kept smiling at each other.
When the chorus came up the second time, Belushi sang with us, stepping on my leads with his harmonica. Everyone broke up.
“Okay, well, try out this song and I ripped 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 were done, everyone laughed.
“If you only knew,” I confessed.
“Where’s yer old partner in crime?” Tom asked.
“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 laughed. “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’
‘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 saw it his way.
We did some more covers, with Belushi singing and sometimes blowing blues on his mouth harp. We’d been at it for three hours. Belushi was ready for Tommy’s.
It took about 45 minutes on the freeway to West Covina. My driving skills were improving as the six passengers stood up and made a scene every time we passed any young lovelies. Going 80 mph is a steep learning curve. Tom suggested I stay within the lines after I passed two cars on each side of me by straddling the lane marker. I stood up and hollered, which scared everyone, including the other nearby drivers. No Highway Patrol to lecture me. The Wreck responded to its second life. I suggested we go through the drive-thru, but Belushi was on pussy patrol, so we went inside, singing the ‘In n Out, Out n In’ commercial over and over.
The staff had heard that song before. It failed to elicit a positive reaction by any of the suburban high school eaters until a group of college girls recognized Belushi. They weren’t ready or willing to double-team the seven of us but were in a sorority and promised additional partners if we followed them to Pomona College.
“This is research for the movie,” Belushi declared. At the sorority, Belushi got all the attention. Five unknown rockers and a teenager were not as popular, until some less lovelies decided we deserved 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, the first show after he was supposedly ‘fired’. Tom promised 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 went for ‘take-out pizza,’ with a second mission to score additional drugs. I maintained my drug restraint as the designated straight guy. Everyone was 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 directed 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 was a well-known transvestite pick-up site. Many of the trannies lived in the Ojai, using their SROs for business. I was down the rabbit hole again. Tom used the Alice in Wonderland imagery in several Heartbreaker videos. As an Ojai regular, he knew 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, lived on the sixth floor. When he found out I was abstaining from heroin, he threw in a joint with our purchase. Tom and I went up on the roof and smoked out.
“Y’all rilly broke up with ol’ Jack taday?” he asked.
“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 finished the joint, staring at the lights on Hollywood Blvd below us. Two good ol’ boys, jist enjoying a high together. I felt 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 was being too honest because I was too high.
“Ya mean we ain’t gonna be no movie stars?” Tom joshed.
“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 had ambitions.
“I kin getcha a spot on the crew so as ta show y’all how the magic is done in Hollywood.”
We went to Two Guys for the pizzas and returned to the Chateau. Our additional dope was appreciated as everyone was on edge from the coke. I remembered my Viet Vet adventure with Joey and how they did their speedball in reverse order. While Belushi had a sorority slut in the bedroom, we attacked the pizza, waiting for him to finish before attacking the H. The pizza totally satisfied my pot driven high. The girls were in my camp about heroin. I volunteered to drive them back to Pomona College while the guys got fucked up. I won points for refraining from dope. When they learned I was at Harvard, they turned on the charm. With no rushing need to return to Hollywood, I spent the evening at the sorority in one of the three girls’ bedrooms. I had moved up onto their A list and had the pleasure of satisfying their every need. Jace joined me, adept at keeping each girl engaged. I received many compliments on my lovemaking. I noticed that they all kept their eyes closed, unwilling to figure out how I was able to keep them stimulated from all sides, as well as top and bottom. Jace was even more adept than I was. Perhaps his life with Tommy was paying dividends in the sexual experience and expertise departments – the primary lesson plan in high school.
Back at Doug’s I parked down the block and sneaked into Tony’s room and was out in less than a minute. All work and all play was too much for me. In the morning, I made coffee, joining the gang in Doug’s bed. He looked disappointed with me, but the boys winked and just hugged Doug more. I needed to find my own place soon. At the Chateau, I gathered the Heartbreakers and drove them to the Valley. They were all worse for wear. Belushi was on New York time and came along after I promised pancakes at Du-Par’s.
The southern boys perked up on coffee and hotcakes, missing grits in a faux-sentimental way. I suggested we try South Central but they weren’t about to go for collared greens. After finishing I knew the sure cure for drug hangovers and made everyone attend mass at St Catherine’s on Lake Balboa in Van Nuys. It was a Spanish mass, so no one needed to understand what was going on. Southern boys had mostly Baptist ways, so I felt extra good at broadening their horizons. Tom swore it was the only time he’d ever been in a church.
“That’s not something to brag about,” I told him.
We were all invited for a parish lunch but excused ourselves politely, claiming we had to work. I insisted we go back to the storage unit where we continued our jam, without the coke, which was long gone.
Ben Tench tuned his synthesizer to play honky-tonk piano. We did old Jerry Lee Lewis songs that we all knew, starting with ‘Great Balls o’ Fire’
Belushi had to take the lead on the vocals, no time for mouth harp. With inspiration from church and pancakes, he was a ball on fire, jumping and running around the confined space. Tom, Mike and I were stepping all over each other’s rhythm guitar tracks. We did ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’’
and finished with ‘Breathless’
Belushi was so out of breath I worried he’d have a stroke. He was laid out on the floor as we doubled over from oldies fever. Tench switched to Leon Russell’s ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ and ‘Delta Lady’
Belushi jumped up, recharged. “Fuck all this Southern boy moanin’ and groanin’. This here’s the Chicago Blues.”
He hit the harmonica intro to Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘How Many More years’
We were done. I drove the boys back to their motel.
“Okay, boss. Did we pass the audition?” Mike was hoping to be in the movie. But I had to be honest. They played best on their own material. Their blues roots were Southern deep but the movie was about frat boys in the 50’s.
“Y’all is always my favorites, Tom. I could probably sell ya but I know yer headed fer glory doing your own music. Doin’ a movie’s only a detour to real fame.”
We left it at that.
Belushi wanted to drive the Wreck back to Hollywood. He was due to fly back to the City that night. We tore up Laurel Canyon. I pretended it was a roller coaster ride, sitting on top of the seat back with both arms in the arm. My Baptist ways must have gotten God’s attention because I didn’t die. Belushi was recklessly driving the wreck while wrecked.
“Wanna go to the beach and check out the surfer girls?” I suggested. “We could eat at Wimpy Burgers at the Huntington Pier.”
“Enough with the tour of LA Burgerland,” he complained. “I got a Hollywood party to attend. You can be my driver to the soiree of the stars.”
“A soiree’s at night,” I noted.
“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 drawled.
“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 dropped him at the Chateau and went on a run to Tommy’s. He came out of the shower to a double helping of chilli burgers and fries. He looked like he was gonna barf. I pulled out the remainder of the joint I had shared with Petty the previous night on top of the Ojai.
“Pot don’t do it no more fer me,” he complained while taking a long drag.
He stopped complaining and finished his double double Tommy’s, stopping me from sharing his fries.
“Where’s the party?” I asked.
“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 at Wimpy’s.”
I broke into the Beach Boys’ ‘Barbara Ann.’ It was cooler than ‘Little Surfer Girl.’
Belushi jumped in, even Jace attempted to harmonize the falsetto. It was truly horrible. And I had thought he had some talent.
We stared at each other. Belushi swore it was a third voice that screwed up the duet. Jace looked chagrined.
“Let’s find some surfer girls. I refuse to do falsetto ever again,” he declared as we jumped into the Wreck, heading for the Hills.
At Nicholson’s, valet parking refused to take the Wreck. Belushi stared real hard at him, until the valet recognized him. I threw him the keys and we walked into the upper level of Jack Nicholson’s five level Hollywood Hills house. The party was on the bottom level by a large pool. Belushi put his arm around me and we marched to the bar. He was wearing Bermuda shorts, sandals and an oversized logo tee-shirt. I was in my Miami uniform, jeans, buttons-missing button-down and no shoes. People were already gossiping. My New York Post fame meant nothing at Nicholson’s. I knew I looked like a Santa Monica pickup on an extended date. We dispelled those rumors by plopping next to four bikini-clad lovelies, giving them the bum’s rush. At least they recognized Belushi. We stuck our feet in the pool.
“You ladies need drinks,” Belushi decided, sending me off to obtain the punch of the day, at least that’s what the hand-drawn note said at the bar. We had already downed our first cup, tossing them over our heads. Somehow I managed six cups of punch with much spillage.
“You better watch out,” the girls warned us too late. “Jack always provides the LSD special .
“Too late now,” Belushi declared. “Acid makes me horny.”
He was making out with the two girls on either side of him.
My eyes were bugging out. My lovelies, spotting a lightweight, took charge of me. Off to a convenient cabana. I was freaking that the Guardian would be coming for me. Jace was right there, ready to take our final journey together. The acid hadn’t hit yet. What the hell, time for final fantasy sex. Jace found the girls receptive, making them super horny before I made a move.
I started slowly with cunnilingus on the blonde and fingering the redhead. They lay back, so Jace started working on red’s tits with his tongue and blondie’s tits with his hand. Neither one closed their eyes, so I kept switching positions hoping they wouldn’t figure out they were being double teamed. They looked to have some lesbian tendencies as they stared deeply into each other’s eyes, not paying any attention other than at their erogenous zones. Jace was smiling at me. We started giggling, which created a new sensation for the girls’ cunts. They started moaning and squirming, both coming to climax quickly. Time for dick action. I rolled blondie over as Jace entered her doggy style. She arched and took all of his dick, thrusting back at him. I rolled over on top of red, letting my dick tease her labia while I Frenched her. They had lost interest in each other and were soon orgasming separately. Jace and I winked, knowing we could keep this action going for quite a while. True to her hair color, Red started squealing and screaming, making so much noise, that someone was banging on the cabana door. We were doing it in the midst of a pool party.
“Open up. I’ve got a key,” a husky voice demanded. We were not about to stop.
The room got lighter and an older man came in. Nicholson only saw 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 was shoved aside. I continued fucking Red with an aging star pumping away next to me. Not exactly the star fucking my teenage fantasies had anticipated. Jace was on the bench. I felt sorry for him, so he joined me on red. Her screams reached a higher pitch, as she passed her fourth and fifth orgasms. Jack was doing his duty and obviously near his climax. I knew my time was coming soon. We finished all together – girls – 7 orgasms, boys/seniors – only 2, ghost – 1. Jack left the three of us plus Jace, to return to the party. He got a hand from the poolside audience. I was too embarrassed to get my applause, so Jace took the bows, which no one saw. The girls were collapsed on top of each other, looking at me with adoring, satisfied eyes.
I walked out of the cabana with 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 got a hand for being a jock, not a porn star. The girls had spread the word and I had a covey of lovelies to meet my every need as I sat 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 laughed. It was time to drive him to LAX. He’d already checked out of the Chateau. It was a short drive to the airport. I promised to be his personal assistant when he came back for the shoot. We slipped into the men’s for a quick snort of his remaining coke stash.
“Got to save some for the mile high club,” he announced. “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.”
We picked a spot near the agent’s desk. By the time we had finished the first verse, he had three or four contenders. We sang 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 did a conga line out the jetway. “Bye Bye, Miss American Pie.’