Eighteen – Chapter 6

I barely make it home, figuring I’ll throw myself into bed, after Jake’s complete fucking of every erogenous zone of my body.  Instead, I take a long hot shower. Refreshed and feeling steadier on my feet, I figure why not go out to Oki Dog. It’s still Saturday night. I need to catch Jimmy and resupply my stash of joints. I drive by the Whiskey and Roxie (just up Sunset), but they are dark and closed. Everyone is home digesting the last of their turkey dinner leftovers. Parking at Oki Dog’s lot,  there are only a couple of discouraged tricks sitting at the tables out front. Even the johns are home that night. I go to the window and spark up a conversation with the boss, Oki Yoki.

“Where cute boy who pay?” he asks for Jack.

“Home with parents.”

“Same-o same-o. No business tonight.”

“Maybe you save. Not give away food.”

He laughs, ‘Plenty customer when boys pick up and make client buy them Oki Dog.”

“Sound business plan.”

“Oki Dog number one on Santa Monica.”

“I like to sit at Astro Burger,” I nod to the competition across the street, “and watch the action here.”

“See. Oki Dog number one attraction in Hollywood. You want Oki Dog?”

“Why not?” I didn’t have dessert with my fancy steak.

He wouldn’t take my money. “You good for business. Sit out front.”

Life can’t get any better, pimping myself out for a $1.25 hotdog.  Oki Yoki is right. Although my post-coital vibration has stopped, I must be putting out a strong sexual vibe. I soon have prospective clients cruising by, slowing down, and motioning for me to come over to their cars in the bus loading zone. Tim 531 I have several second-stringers to pinch-hit for me. Everyone is satisfied. The few exceptions that insist they want only me get me singing like Mick, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.’

 

 

Saturday night of a long holiday weekend is slow with everyone out-of-town. A little entertainment helps drum up business. I draw in the street walkers from up and down Santa Monica. The johns who have their every needs satisfied bring their tricks back and buy Oki Dogs. If they persist in pestering me, I hand out Jimmy’s phone number. As it gets late and traffic slows down, I take my SG and practice amp from the Wreck’s trunk and have five or six underemployed tricks backing me up as we sing Mott the Hoople’s ‘All the Young Dudes’

 

‘All the young dudes

Carry the news

Boogaloo dudes

Carry the news

Now Jimmy looking sweet though he dresses like a queen

He can kick like a mule It’s a real mean team

We can love Oh we can love

All the young dudes

Carry the news

Boogaloo dudes

Carry the news’

 

Songwriters: DAVID BOWIE

© EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC

 

We all end singing to the empty street, our arms around each other.  We own Santa Monica. We close the joint. Oki Yoki passes out what little product isn’t sold. He promises I could bring my guitar and amp the next night, as Sunday is going to be even slower. I’d drum up business by promoting myself to Sunday afternoon locals-only at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go.

 

Home at the Canterbury I fall asleep dreaming about my first solo Hollywood gig al fresco on Santa Monica Blvd. Maybe Nicky will play drums on a table top. All I need is a few of Jimmy’s joints and the followers will show up.

 

Sunday morning – time for Mom’s blueberry pancakes for the gang at Doug’s. I feel guilty for ignoring my first Hollywood friends, especially after Doug put together Otis Day and the Knights. I stop by the Fairfax Farmer’s Market. Somehow I find fresh blueberries. Maybe they come from Hawaii. I let myself into the house. Everyone is still asleep. Am I weird for keeping my Iowa farm boy up-at-the-crack wake-up hours?  I make coffee, which gets Tony’s attention as he wanders in nude.

“Nice visual, dude,” I comment.   “Have a cuppa,” I offer my strongest brew of the instant Chock Full of Nuts.

“Jock Fulla?” Tony is in on my inside jokes.

“Just add cream and a touch of sugar,” as I lean over and kiss him on the cheek.

That wakes him up. “Jesus, Tim, I thought you no longer cared.” His limp dick gives a twitch. There is life Down Under.

“How was your Thanksgiving?”

“Fucking South Bay. I stayed here. Doug said he was with you Friday, but you were too busy being a rock star to come over.”

“Hell, last night I was at Okie Dog, drumming up business for the tricks and singing to the johns. Come by tonight. It was slow until I started shaking my ass on the boulevard.”

“Yer a trip, Tim.”

We laugh. Next we bring coffee into Doug’s bedroom for him and Jimmy. Doug has his face planted into his pillow. I can guess how that happened.

“Up and at ‘em, boys. Time to eat and get to Church.” Everyone moans.

“No way,” Jimmy complains. “My head’s spinning and aching at the same time.”

“Surest way to cure a hangover – Church on Sunday morning.”

Doug has yet to move.

“Did you fuck our patron to death last night?”

He rolls over and stretched out his arms. Tony and I jump into the bed and hug him simultaneously.

“Ah, the only way to wake up,” he smiles. No hangover for our newly christened bottom. “Give me a cup of that coffee.”

“You really need to buy a French Press,” I suggest.

“If it isn’t the Harvard snob and his East Coast needs.”

I go back to the kitchen and start the blueberry pancakes.

“So, this is your Iowa persona, flapjacks from Aunt Jemima?” Doug kids me.

“With blueberries from the Farmers Market. Last night I was selling Okie Dogs on Santa Monica in my Japanese persona.” japan_flag_wallpaper_by_jozuan-d61ml4j

“I’ll bet that wasn’t all you were selling,” he cracks.

I just smile, remembering how I couldn’t stop vibrating from the fucking Jake gave me. It bothered me at the time but is a pleasant memory the next day. I remind myself to take a long bath at Doug’s. The Canterbury only has a shower. As they devour the flapjacks, I retire to the bath.

Half an hour later, I reemerge in my Sunday best. They’re surprised I really am going to church.

“Com’n. I can’t go by meself,” I urge. Tony and Jimmy convince Doug he would not be struck dead for entering a Catholic church. Doug finds suits that fit the two boys. Well-scrubbed and dressed, we walk into the noon Mass at St Victor’s on Holloway close to West Hollywood.  We are so overdressed that we create a stir among the mostly young and seemingly gay parishioners. The service is short and the priest personally welcomes us as we leave. Doug admits he’s never been to a Catholic Church before.

“All the better, Mr. Weston,” the priest already knows who he is. “You won’t be put off by old-fashioned ways and dogma. Join our Dignity group on Wednesday nights. You’ll enjoy the singing as well. If you have been to Baptist services, you’ll feel right at home.”

“Maybe you need to recruit Tim, here. He’s the one who convinced us to come today. He’s a singer in a band.”

The priest looks startled. “Tim? From Jace’s Place at St Patrick’s?”

“Jace was my boyfriend,” I confirm, feeling slightly uncomfortable to admit it on the steps of the Church.

“You’re Teen Jesus,” He announces. I have to hold him from kneeling to me. He’s pretty young.

“No. Jace is Teen Jesus. And it’s just a parable.”

“Please come to our group on Wednesday. The whole church is in a tizzy about Teen Jesus being gay.”

“I’ll be glad to. I’m sure Jace will come as well.”

“I thought he died?”

“He did, but his spirit will be there.”

“Bless you, son.”

We beat a hasty retreat. Even I feel too welcomed. I drove everyone to Du-Par’s at the Farmer’s Market. Time for more pancakes. Comfort food for the soul. No one wants to change their sinful ways.

“They treat you like a saint, Tim,” Doug notes.

“It takes sixty years of sinless behavior to be a saint. Jace is dead, so it’s easier for him. The Church would put me in a seminary. Lock me away just to add to the rolls of the sin-free.”

Tony and Jimmy think it’s hilarious. They’re not sure they’re ready to become regular church goers.

“Now you see the Miami side to my life,” I add it to the Boston, Ames and LA sides.

Doug is silent, contemplating how to market my complicated life.

“So, who is Jace? I thought he was just the inspiration for creating homeless shelters for teens.”

As always, Jace pops up, enjoying any discussion of his immaterial life.

I worry that Doug is too locked into his own ways to be open to Jace’s spiritual presence. So, Jace tries touching him with no result. The typical glow is surrounding Tony and Jimmy, but I know not to bring them into our circle of trust when Doug will be excluded. I know it’s a stereotype to exclude Doug due to age alone, but that’s what I feel. We all have our prejudices.

“Jace creates miracles when we play Pink Floyd at mass. The last time was at Harvard when two twelve-year-olds played ‘Wish You Were Here’ on guitar. Golden snowflakes flew out of the crucifix.”

“Jesus.”

“Yes,” I joke.

Doug gives me a sharp look.

“We just want Catholics to recognize that rock n roll can be spiritual music, as gospel music is for Baptists. We’re fighting two thousand years of repression.”

“I think I’ll pass on the Dignity group, sounds beneath my dignity to be praying and exalting some myth.”

“Faith is built on rituals. Don’t force yourself. But there’s a multitude of gay Catholics that need to express themselves freely. It’s a real show when they let go of their repressions. You could make the Troubadour a church of the unrepressed every Sunday morning with services and old-time gospel music.”

“That’s not happening.”

 

We drive back to Doug’s. With the top down, Doug and the boys sit in the back waving at anyone who stares at them. Jace stays with me, snuggled up riding pussy as I drive. LA is outstanding when the sun’s out. Back at the house, I swim laps in the pool, Tim 273 while everyone else lays in the sun. Once my workout is done, they join me in the hot tub. It’s Doug’s chance to revive his homo-dominance by fucking us all in the warm water.

“My,” he remarks as he entered me while I lay in his arms, “You’ve become nicely relaxed down there.”

The boys giggle at my expanded horizons.

“I guess LA does that to you. Even you, Doug.”

“After forty years of being uptight.”

“Literally.”

We all laugh. I am still a good fit for his long skinny pole. I miss his usual throbbing and expulsion. He is holding back on all of us, needing to be anally stimulated to cum. The three of us go at him, mouth, tit and butthole. We hold him up, floating in the middle of the hot tub. He cums like a fountain shooting up a foot above us. We quickly jump out and threw in a gallon of chlorine.

 

Time for Sunday Afternoon at the Whiskey. Back at the Canterbury, Nicky and Alice have returned, hoping for a ride to the Sunset Strip in the Wreck. I tell them about Jack’s pink VW Cabriolet.

“So, your boyfriend’s rich,” Nicky only cared about salient details.

“Totally. But he does sing good and has learned both guitar and MOOG. He even played drums when the old band jammed in Miami Thanksgiving night. He says you gave him lessons.’

“That’s right.”

“He and I did ‘Helium Bar’ and everyone freaked out. Last time we jammed, I’d told them I’d gone country and that the band’s new name was The Hillbilly Brothers.”

“They like our song?”

“It was a shock. I played some of our Harvard songs which went over better.”

“You should come jam with us tonight.”

“Where?”

“Hollywood and Western.”

“Is it near Larrabee Studios?”

“No, duffus. In East Hollywood.”

“Sounds cool. I promised Oki Dog I’d play on the street. I’ve got my guitar and practice amp.”  The Wreck’s trunk is humongous.

Nicky insists he check out my SG.

“Wow. It’s what Johnny Thunders plays.

 

Ya just a rich bitch, huh, and can’t really play?”

“Give me a chance and come by Oki Dog tonight.”

“Yer on. I’ll play drums for ya.”

It’s all working out.

“How come the Weirdos or the Bags aren’t playing here?” I ask him when we get to the Whiskey.

Alice’s answer was simple. “They won’t book East LA bands.”

“We played here but no longer play without being paid, especially on an afternoon. We’re more of a midnight band,” Nicky replies.

“You are kinda threatening,” as I sing:

‘I’m a joker I’m a smoker I’m a mid-night toker I get my lovin’ on the run Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh’

 

Songwriters GRAYSON, MILES

Published by Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

“I hate that song,” Nicky always shares his opinions. “How come yer always singing? Got a bird up yer ass?”

We all laugh. Time to go in. I leave the Wreck at Tower Records’ parking lot.  Nicky has to talk the door into letting me in for free.  I agree with him that since the bands don’t get paid, why should we pay. He and Alice make a beeline upstairs to hobnob with the bands. Jimmy has already supplied me with joints, but I figure I’ll look for him and Tony to hang out. The pit area in front of the stage is filled with clusters of soc’s, chatting like it’s a cocktail party. I miss Michael and Grant’s posse – no one to share a spliff with. The house music is mostly English punk. I really don’t recognize the bands. It’s cool that the sound engineer was up on new music. My body has not fully come down from the fucking it received from Jake, as well as from Doug. The fast beat of the punk music seems in tune with my internal vibrations. I start walking around quickly, moving through the crowd like an Indian Cobra, slithering between groups of chattering trendies. I knock into a kid my age as I squirm through a non-existent space.

“Sorry,” I apologize.

“Chill, dude. Are you on speed or something?” a surfer looking guy in a sports coat and plaid trousers slows me down. “You trying to cut the lineup?”

“There’s a line?” I laugh.

“Yeah, and we’re all goin’ to hell. Why be first in line?”

“I went to church today. I get a pass on hell.”

“There’s always tomorrow,” he grins.

“Yeah, why rush it?” I pull out a joint.

“Spark it up,” he pulls out a Bic.

I take the first drag and pass it to him. He takes a hit and starts to pass it back. I shake my head and indicate to pass it to a guy who becomes instantly interested. Before passing it on, my new friend takes a second hit. The next guy takes two. I don’t know where it goes after that. I know it isn’t coming back.

“You look familiar. I’m Jimmy. What’s your name?”

“I’m Tim. Everyone I meet is a Jimmy. Can I just call you Jim?”

“We’re from Huntington. Call me HB Jim.”

“Who’s we?”

“Our band, The Crowd. We hope to play here.”

“You won’t get paid here.”

“We never get paid. No one in Hollywood will book us ‘cause we’re from the OC.”

“Maybe you should call yourselves the Out Crowd,” I steal my friends’ band name.

“Too much like the In-Crowd.”

“I’m in with the In-Crowd,’ I sing. We giggle.

“Too trendy for me,” OC Jim admits.

“You may want to downgrade your look,” I point at his mismatched outfit. “Is OC ready for plaid?”

“I’ve upgraded from polyester.”

“I was the new kid in school last year. Everyone wanted to know if I was a jock. I told ‘em I was a bowling jock. Goodwill was soon sold out of everything polyester.”

“Is bowling a high school sport?”

“We started it. We were national champs by the end of winter.”

“You’re a total trend setter.”

“Super trendy.”

“You’re not from LA?”

“I grew up all over, a military brat. I live in Hollywood now,” I exaggerate.

“I’ve always lived in HB. It’s boring.”

“HB, like Huntington Beach? You surf?”

“Everyone surfs. It’s uncool not to.”

Looking at his outfit, I had assumed he was uncool.

“Having a band’s cool.”

“Not if you can’t play in Hollywood.”

“Stick around. My friend Tony books bands. He’s from South Bay.”

“We hate South Bay.”

“Too trendy for you.”

“No way. I bet he’s from Lawndale. They don’t even have a beach.”

“I thought you hate the beach?”

“We hate people from other beaches because they hate us. Everyone hates people who don’t have a beach and invade ours.”

“I went bodysurfing at Zuma on Friday.”

“Everyone hates bodysurfers. They just get in the way.”

“Anyone who you like?”

“Not really. Just the people who come to our shows.”

“I thought you couldn’t get booked?”

“We play at parties in our friends’ backyards.”

“When’s the next show?”

“Saturday afternoon in Newport. We hate Newport. They’re all snobs.”

“I’ve only seen a couple of bands – Weirdo’s and Zero’s. But it seems that the audience really gets into them. How can you have followers if you hate everyone?”

“They all hate the same people we do.”

“So, not part of the love and peace generation. Are you the new hate generation?”

“If that’s what it takes.”

“You don’t hate pot, do you?” as I take out another joint.

“Are you a dealer?’

“My old drummer dealt to all the neighborhood kids. Sometimes I made deliveries at school.”

He flicks his Bic. We start laughing again.

“Wanna learn to surf for real?”

“So you can hate me?”

“Probably, once you’re all conceited about how you can walk on water.”

“I’ll stick to bodysurfing. You hate that on general principles. That I can deal with.”

Tony and Jimmy show up, locating us in the crowd by knowing what their weed smells like.

“Hey, Tony. Meet OC Jim. Book his band, The Crowd, at the Starwood.”

“I know that band. People say you play Texas two-step country music.”

Tony is added to Jim’s hate list.

“That’s ‘cause everyone hates them. It’s a sure sign that they’re better than all the other bands. They’re from the beach.”

“Oh, great, the new Dick Dale.”

 

 

Jim looks disgusted. The first band is setting up.

“I’m gonna try to jam with the Weirdos tonight. Try to come along.”

“Jamming with the Weirdos. Sounds like a horror movie,” Jimmy comments.

“You said the Weirdos hate you,” Tony observes.

“That’s not always a bad thing. Their drummer Nicky lives in my building.”

“When are you planning to tell us you have your own place,” Tony laughed.

“Oh, it’s the Canterbury. Las Palmas and Yucca.”

“Well, La dee da,” Jimmy snarks.

OC Jim is calculating how much he hates us. When Jimmy asks if he can bring tricks over from the Pussycat Theater, it seals the deal. He walks away.

The first band is ready to play. The singer had nothing to say, just starts with ‘1,2,3,4.’

 

 

 

He goes into convulsions or a simple spazz attack, shouting lyrics without a semblance of melody and finally falling over and writhing on the floor.  Most of the crowd ignores his death throes. A few people get it and fall down in the pit, thrashing by themselves in response to the non-music. The band plays on. I push Jimmy and Tony into the dog heap of bodies, where they trip and fall into the pile. I dive in and pretend it’s a Baptist revival, mouthing nonsense words in ‘tongues.’ Someone grabs my dick but lets go quickly when it hardens. I don’t take offense, chalking it up to my growing reputation. Jimmy notices and grabs hold. I roll on top of him and start humping. The band instantly stops playing. Tony pulls me away from Jimmy before it becomes too obvious what was happening – abnormal teen hormones. Gerber spots me  and takes over from Jimmy. I herd her to the spot at the left of the stage where only those in the immediate vicinity can see us go at it. I shove her face against the wall and rode her plump butt cheeks until I felt her orgasm go off. I leave her there without looking back, joining Tony and Jimmy who high-five me. One of Safety’s friends runs over and slaps me.

“You raped my friend,” she accuses me.

“It’s not rape when you both get off,” I defend my honor.

She just glares at me and walks over to Gerber, who just shakes her head, still coming down from her own orgasm. The rape patrol declines to press charges for lack of a  victim willing to testify. I cheer the band for inspiring a public orgy. The musicians walk off, leaving the singer laying on the stage.

“We’re Saccharine Trust,” he shouts into the mic, “from San Pedro.”

“Go back to the beach,” someone yells.

“There is no beach in San Pedro,” the singer informs us. He wanders off stage.

Everyone claps, mostly glad he’s gone.

Safety comes over and thanked me for fucking Gerber, a task he claims he’s not ‘up’ to.

“We changed our band name to ‘Sophistifuck,” he brags.

“That’s too much like old rock n roll. How about ‘Sophistifuck with the Dildos,” I suggest.

“Fuck you,” he mopes. “It’s our band. We did use ‘Forming’ for our first original song.”

“That makes sense.” I laugh. He storms off.

The next band was up. They called themselves the Screamers. They hand around a flyer. It’s a cool cartoon by Gary Panter, tim-899 but it doesn’t say anything about a show or about the band. I figured they’re art fags. They all play synthesizers.

 

 

 

I know Jack will love them.  The singer keeps ripping off successive pieces of clothing, stopping only when he has jeans left to remove. I can tell there’s nothing underneath. I appreciate how well he has choreographed his strip tease. They play non-stop for about thirty minutes, and then march offstage, leaving their keyboards in an endless loop. The stage manager finally cuts the power. Everyone cheers, begging for an encore. That didn’t happen. They are true arty farts.

 

I want to check on the Wreck, parked illegally at Tower Records. It’s fine. I notice a kid through the window, looking furtively as he tucks a 45 inside his shirt. After he walks out, I followed him up Sunset, far enough behind so he won’t think I’m an undercover security guard.

“What did you get?” I ask, laughing to show I was on his side.

He almost drops the 45 and runs, until he realizes he isn’t busted.

“It’s an Oi! band from England.”

“Is that like punk?”

“Naw. It’s hardcore, not art and fashion,” he shows me the sleeve. It says Sham 69. I’ve never heard of them. ‘If the Kids Are United.’

“It’s for kids?” I guess.

“No shit, Sherlock,” he mocks me.

“You from OC?” I suppose.

“Yeah, Fullerton.”

“You hate everyone, too?” I ask.

“They all hate me.”

“Were you at the Whiskey for the last band?”

“Naw. They won’t let me in.”

“Com’n. I know the bouncers.”

They let him in. His name is Mark. He works at Goodwill. He displays the Goodwill fashion sense, all in polyester. I want to ask if he bowls, but figure he’d take it as an insult.

“My favorite place to shop,” I announce, omitting that my outlet was in Iowa.

 

The next band is already playing. Tony tells me they’re from Pasadena, ‘Van Halen.’

“I want Doug to book ‘em,” Tony is a fan.

They are definitely rock n roll, a tight band with a screaming guitar and a singer with an aggressive attitude. The older fans are excited, standing in place and moving like they’re into it. I even see some Bics ready to flick at the end of the song. The kids are not too into it. They spin around, but are threatened with retaliation whenever they bump into one of the stationary, older rockers. Hair waving seems like the ultimate ‘into it’ gesture. They have a black bassist, who seems out-of-place with the long-haired white boys. They definitely are R & B, not punk. At least their sound is loud and abrasive. I wonder how Tony is going to convince Doug to book a new band at the Troubadour.

We go upstairs and met the band’s manager. He wants his charges to move into the big leagues. I start talking with George, the bassist. His afro is never going to whip back and forth no matter how much he head-bangs.

“I know. It’s just I’ve known these guys since high school,” he argues why he’s staying in the band.

“Since last year?” I joke.

“Naw we graduated in ’73. I started playing with Eddie and Alex in 4th grade.”

“You’re dinosaurs of rock.”

“Your friend can book bands. He looks younger than you.”

“He’s Doug Weston’s assistant at the Troubadour.”

“Oh, man. I’d die to play there.”

“I’ll hold you to that.”

“I saw you humping your other friend, and then that little girl. Are you a porn star?”

“Naw. It was like a Baptist service, rolling in the aisles and speaking in tongues. I got carried away.”

“You can carry me away, anytime you want.”

I just laugh. Later, Tony tells me the band is about to drop their old buddy George for a fat white guy. Out with the funk, in with the blues.

 

The show is over by 8 pm, with everyone hanging out on the sidewalk in front of the Whiskey. I’m talking up my performance at Oki Dog. The locals laugh, feigning disdain for hanging out on Santa Monica Blvd. The suburban kids are happy to have somewhere to go other than home to the ‘burbs. Nicky and Alice say they’ll perform with me.

“I don’t have a mic,” I warn Alice.

“No problemo, miyo. I got a voice,” she is confident.

“What are we gonna play?” Nicky ask.

“Helium Bar?” I suggest.

“Hell, John’ll shit kittens if he finds out.”

“Good. I wanna see that. We’re just promoting your band. What’s he got to complain about?”

“He just likes to complain.”

“We’ll make him happy, then.”

 

The Wreck pulls into Oki Dog, just a dozen or so blocks from the Whiskey. I check with Oki Yoki who complains that it was dead on a Sunday night.

“We got about 100 kids coming down from the Strip,” I warn.

His eyes light up. “Ever’one pay tonight,” he decides.

“Mostly suburban kids, spending daddy’s money.”

He makes a sign, “Sunday Special – Oki dog/fries – two dollar.” It’s double the regular price.

 

A stream of kids starts coming in from the west. We set up on the side of the hot dog stand, where there is power for my amp. Nicky pulls a round plastic picnic table next to my amp for drums and Alice jumps up on the table. She was her killer Chola self in stiletto heels and heavy mascara.  She sings the opening bars to one of her band’s songs, ‘We Don’t Need the English.’ I pick up the chords from her singing. She claims we had to wear bags over our heads to play one of the Bags songs. Oki Yoki gives me plastic bags. I announce we are the Plastic People. I’m afraid we’ll asphyxiate ourselves trying to sing.

I open the show with a bag on my head. I mumble, “We’re the Bags Incognito.” Our song is ‘We don’t Need the English.’ After two muffled lines, she ripped off her bag. Nicky and I stay incognito.

 

 

“Fuck this,” Nicky yells, ripping his bag off. I follow suit. He repeats drum rolls to the opening of Helium Bar.  I tell Alice to repeat our own lyric: ‘Bob Dylan won’t bop tonight’ instead of the Weirdos’ line, so John Denny couldn’t complain. I figured punk is a throwback to 50’s bop shu bop.

 

 

The kids are already whipped up from the Whiskey show, doing the pogo in the parking lot. I escape to the far side of the round picnic table, standing on a seat.  Alice is bouncing on the table and Nicky sits across from me, banging on the hard plastic table top. We sound horrid, exactly what the crowd wants.

My new frenemy, Mark the shoplifter, is standing in the front.

“Wanna sing that song about kids you got at Tower? Com’n up.”

His eyes light up. Without a hesitation he’s up on the table top with Alice. He whispers for her to come in on the chorus, a real pro.

 

 

‘For once in my life I’ve got something to say

I wanna say it now for now is today

A love has been given so why not enjoy

So let’s all grab and let’s all enjoy!

If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided

Just take a look around you What do you see?

Kids with feelings Like you and me

Understand him, he’ll understand you

For you are him, and he is you

If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided

If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided

I don’t want to be rejected I don’t want to be denied Then it’s not my misfortune That I’ve opened up your eyes

Freedom is given Speak how you feel

I have no freedom How do you feel?

They can lie to my face But not to my heart

If we all stand together It will just be the start

If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided

If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided If the kids are united Then we’ll never be divided

 

Songwriters ALEXANDER WILKE, D. PARSONS, J. PURSEY

 

It’s definitely the song to get everyone singing along. I see George, the recently fired Van Halen bassist, with an arm around a Mexican kid, singing and jumping up and down. Our impromptu band, beating and jumping on a plastic table, is a hit. Until the LA County Sheriffs show up. A hundred kids jumping and shouting in the parking didn’t qualify for al fresco dining. We take a break.

“Let’s go to the studio,” Nicky is frustrated without high hat, toms and snare. Although he improvises a crash cymbal on the beat up Toyota parked next to us. I run over to Oki Yoki, who is gleefully telling a long line of hungry teenagers that all he is serving is the Sunday Special. He gives me the thumbs up. I ask for a dozen Oki Dogs, which he wraps up in a takeout bag. I figure they’ll be a hit at the Weirdo’s studio. We all pile into the Wreck,  Alice and Nicky in front with me. An odd assortment of young punks, including OC Mark and OC Jim glaring at each other, in the back. I weave through traffic, which thins out once we clear the Oki Dog corner.

The studio is in an old, rundown office building on the corner of Hollywood and Western, in a square one room unit. We make all the kids wait on the corner while we ply the Denneys with Oki Dogs. The’ve been waiting for Nicky to show up.

“Where ya bin, Nicky? We bin waitin’ fer ya.” Dix complains.

“Oki Dog,” he explains. I hold up the bag of treats for the boys. They dig in ravenously.

“It don’t take that long to get take-out,” John is suspicious.

“There was a long line. All the suburban kids from the Whiskey wanted to hang out on Santa Monica.”

“Yeah. And sell themselves for nothing.”

“It’s a punk life in West Hollywood,” Alice pipes up. “We entertained them with a few songs.”

“I knew it,” John looks accusingly at me.  His is an older version of OC hatred toward everyone.

“Alice sang a Bag’s song, ‘We Don’t Need the English.” We had to wear bags over our heads,” Nicky defends her.

“When are we goin’ hear yer band, Alice?”

“Only place we can play in Hollywood is on the street. You guys refuse to come to East LA.”

“And get shot by gang-bangers?”

“Better to grow up where things actually happen than to be surfer wannabees,” Alice doesn’t back down.

“So, you all wore bags?”

“Totally in disguise,” I affirm.

“What song did you do?” John is not my fan.

“We got a beach kid from OC to do ‘If the Kids Are United.’ Everyone sung along until the cops came.

“How are we ever gonna make it if you play on the streets for free?”

“We changed the lyrics of ‘Helium Bar’ to ‘Bob Dylan don’t bop tonight,” Nicky confesses.

“Jesus Christ. That was your idea, wasn’t it, country boy?”

“Why not. It’s a one line song. I don’t really know the chords. I just stole your energy.”

“Show me what you played, so I can sue your ass,” John is feisty.

I pick up my axe  and Nicky gets on the drums. Alice joins me on the mic, while Cliff Roman picks up his bass. The Denneys look unhappy. As soon as we start playing, the kids who are waiting outside the door rush in and started thrashing in front of us.  Dix forgets where his loyalties lie and joins in. His version of the pogo is to bounce on his toes and occasionally kick backward like a mule, whenever one of the kids gets too close.

 

 

It sounds a lot better with a full band.

John is apoplectic at the invasion of his studio. As soon as we finish, I announce we’ll do the Sham 69 song we learned from OC Mark

 

 

Dix again can’t resist the energy, grabbing his guitar and joining in. One of the kids sees the bag of Oki Dogs and attacks it, drawing over his friends. Dix throws down his guitar, causing a huge feedback loop. We all stop. John retrieves the remains of the Oki Dog stash.

John tries to shove the kids out the door, including Tony and Jimmy who followed us to East Hollywood.

“Com’n, John. Let ‘em stay. We never play better by ourselves. They make me drum faster than I ever do,” Nicky begs.

“When do you become in charge,” John is quick to assert his leadership. “Yer nothin’ but trailer trash from San Pedro.”

“Fuck you, rich bitch, from Santa Monica.”

I pull Tony away from the soon-to-be outcasts. “This is Tony. He does the booking for the Troubadour. You need him to play in Hollywood.”

“We ain’t gonna play the Troubadour. Do I look like Elton John?”

“Well, maybe if you wore glasses.”

John turns dark red with everyone laughing at him.

“I don’t care what you think, John. I like your band. I’ll set you up as a regular at the Starwood. It’s up to you to bring in the fans,” Tony asserts.

“Yeah,” Nicky adds. “And, let’s play faster. That bomb song needs more energy.”

I put my guitar down and grab one of the remaining Oki Dogs. The rest of the band gets the last ones, and we take a break.

 

OC Mark and OC Jim are secretly finishing their dogs in the corner.

“See those two,” I point at them for John. “They hate each other, but Oki Dog unites us.”

He finally laughs. “Okay, slick. I ain’t never gonna stop hating you.”

‘Good. That’s a solid basis for our friendship.”

He hiccups and chili runs down his chin and across his tee-shirt.

“Fuck.”

 

After the break, they go through the songs they want to rehearse. The kids are into it. Because John kept stopping in the middle of songs to make adjustments, the kids finally lose interest. I hope they’ll let me play some of my songs. I wait for the next break. John goes out for cigarettes finally. I pick up my SG.

“Wanna hear some Iowa attitude,” I ask. Nicky stayed on the drums, while Dix and Cliff stand there, still hooked up to their amps. I plug in.

“I wrote this song  after we got jumped by the football team at a New Year’s Eve party. It’s called ‘Fuck Off’

 

‘Don’t fuck with me

Might take ya down

Gots ta be free

Hate makes me drown

 

Anger sees me seethe

Can’t seem to breathe

Yer arms on me

I gots ta be free.

 

Get outta my face

This ain’t the place

To make a stand

To be a man

 

Your nose I’ll crunch

My knockout punch

Will put ya down

La La Land bound.

 

With Nicky’s drumming, I have to speed it up so much that I decide to do it twice.

 

You get beat up by them football players?” Dix snarks.

“Naw. I knocked out two and put three down to stay,” which is the truth.

“Oh. So yer a redneck, too” Dix puts down his guitar and charged me.

I chest-bumped him. When he jumps back, I knock the legs out from under him. Down he goes. My foot holds him down by the neck.

“See. It’s easy if you don’t back down.

I pick up my guitar and start playing the Tom Petty/Heartbreakers song.

Cliff and Nicky join in, complaining it’s too slow while laughing at Dix under my heel.

 

 

 

John comes back and sees Dix being held down. He attacks me. I let Dix loose and hold the two of them off while still playing the rock song. The other players keep going while the OC boys run up and hold John back. I have my own bouncers.

“This is fucked,” John complains. He storms off, with Dix following him.

“Sorry,” I apologize. “I didn’t mean to bust up yer rehearsal.”

“It usually ends one way or another,” Cliff remarks. “Ya wanna be our new singer and guitar player?”

“NO! man. I got a job remember?”

“Yer really a movie producer?”

“Assistant Producer. I just do the music soundtrack.”

“You seem to like our music. Why’d we not get hired?”

“I love you guys. I wanted to let you audition. We’re looking for a cover band to play 50’s pop.”

“John says you screwed us over.”

“I just wanted to promote you. Wait until a more modern movie needs your kind of energy.”

“We just wanna get signed.”

“Don’t be disappointed when you get what you hope for.”

“Why? We just wanna get paid as musicians.”

“We told Springsteen to stop tryin’ to be Dylan and change his song from ‘Runaway American Dream’ to “Born to Run.’ He cut his beard and hit the big time.”

“Ya know Springsteen?”

“Yeah, before he was the Boss.”

“Yer a trip.”

 

We help them close up the studio, making sure no one steals Dix’s guitar. We’re in East Hollywood. I drive everyone back to the Whiskey, with Alice and Nicky again riding in the front. The kids like the back seat but Santa Monica is dead late on a Sunday night. Driving past Oki Dog, the parking lot looks like Hiroshima. I beeped and Oki Yoki waves while sweeping up. We made his night.

 

Alice and Nicky have that ‘we need to be alone’ look, so I leave them at their door.

“You goin’ to work in the morning?”

“Eight o’clock. Up with the cows. I’m still a country boy.”

They laugh.

“Hardest working faggot in rock n roll,” Alice observes. She never gives a guy any slack.

 

The only good thing about coming in on time in LA is that no one else is there. I make coffee, depositing John’s donuts on his desk. I decide it’s a new regime after the long holiday and leave his door open. If Miller resumes his obnoxious behavior, I still have  my one-two knock-out punch. I draw a sketch of a trophy and titled it “All Hollywood Ivy League Lightweight Boxing Champ.” I post it next to John’s door, just to the left of my desk. tim-761 ‘All interlopers beware of the slugger.’

 

As I anticipated, the next person to show up is Miller. He sees my poster and looks ashamed.

“John won’t be in for a while,” I advise.

“It’s okay. I came to apologize. I’ve been a real jerk.”

Maybe he is being sincere. Still, my role is to undercut him.

“It’s okay, Chris. You didn’t know I have quite a few fights under my belt. Can I count on you to check with me before going in to see John?”

He looks confused. No one has told him that in the Hollywood pecking order, writers are somewhere below assistants.

“No hard feelings?” He sticks his hand.

“Of course,” I manage a fairly manly shake. “Just don’t expect me to get you stoned again.”

“We never smoked pot at Dartmouth.”

“That explains why the script’s not funny for stoners.”

“Huh?” It’s a news to him that he isn’t funny. “I never thought about how stoners think.”

“They don’t think, but they love Mack Sennett comedy.”

All sorts of lights are going off in his head. He runs off to get it on paper.

 

When Landis finally arrives about eleven, I tell him that Miller apologized.

“Did you graciously accept?”

“Of course. I just told him his writing isn’t funny and suggested he study Mack Sennett to learn how to write comedy.”

“Sennett’s Canadian. I’m not sure that’s an improvement.”

“Chris ran off all inspired.”

“I was warned not to let you take control of my movie.”

“Now, that’s funny.”

“Thanks for the donut. Where’s my coffee?”

“Spoken like a true boss. It’s ready. What do you want for lunch?”

“We’re going out. I’m not ready for a full day’s work.”

“How about you put in an hour before lunch. We’ll take the afternoon off. I have a hankering for Tommy’s and some downtown roof-top sight-seeing.”

“Now, that’s funny, too.”

 

We get down to work. While John answers calls and organized future meetings, I come up with a list of 50’s pop songs, all dance-able. When he has been off the phone awhile, I knock and sit in his office.

“You know I have to go back to Harvard for finals next week. I’m planning not to return until after the holidays.”

“You just started and now you want a three-week vacation?”

“It’s the holidays, John.”

“We’ll talk about it. You have been working day and night since you started.”

“And I got Miller put in his place. That should save you several hours a day, not having to deal with him.”

“Okay. We’ll talk later. I just don’t want you leaving and not coming back. Let’s go eat. Debbie won’t let me eat anything but health food.”

“It must not be good for you. It’s making you old.”

“You mean more of an adult.”

“Oh, the horror. I can’t work with anyone older than 25.”

 

Naturally we take the Wreck to Beverly and Rampart, about a mile north of MacArthur Park. Landis is inspired, as we ride down the Hollywood Freeway with the top down, to sing that depressing song about MacArthur Park by Richard Harris. He’s trying too hard to be cool

 

 

 

‘MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark

All the sweet green icing flowing down

Someone left the cake out in the rain

I don’t think that I can take it

‘Cause it took so long to bake it

And I’ll never have that recipe again

Oh, no Oh, no No, no Oh, no’

 

Songwriter: Jimmy Webb

 

“That has to be the worst song ever.” I complain.

“I didn’t do it justice. You havta hear the music.”

“I’ve heard the music. It’s 50’s TV soundtrack.”

“Isn’t that what we want for the movie?”

“Only if you want Belushi to kill himself.”

I appreciate that he wants to sing with me. I turn to him and start singing Lulu”s ‘To Sir, with Love.”

 

 

‘And as I leave I know that I am leaving my best friend

A friend who taught me right from wrong and weak from strong

That’s a lot to learn, but what can I give you in return?

If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start

But I would rather you let me give my heart ‘To Sir, With Love’

 

Songwriters: DON BLACK, MARK LONDON © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

He laughs and starts up another 60’s movie hit, a trifecta of Swinging London ballads, ‘Georgie Girl,’ except he changes the lyrics to ‘Timmy boy.

 

 

‘Hey there! Timmy boy

Swinging down the street so fancy free,

nobody you meet could ever see

the loneliness there inside you.

Hey there! Timmy boy

why do all the boys just pass you by?

Could it be you just don’t try,

or is it the clothes you wear?

 

Songwriters: JIM DALE, TOM SPRINGFIELD

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

It’s great. We laugh and laugh, until we pulled into the strip mall parking lot behind Tommy’s Hamburgers.  As always, there’s a line for the chili and cheese smothered burgers. We’re in no rush; we’ve taken the afternoon off.

“What was the Lampoon like, when you were there?” I ask.

“What makes you think I went to college, let alone Harvard?”

“Everyone else, other than Miller, went there,” I guess.

“I started working at Fox in high school. I wasn’t giving up that opportunity for a vaguely glorified future as a college grad.”

“Jack says college prepares you for life. I’ve been living real life for the last two years, since we started the band.”

“This is the third movie you’ve worked on. Scorsese is probably the best director in New York. I don’t know what you did for him, but I know he’s not gay.”

“We did a ‘Little Rascals’ skit for his mom.  He’s sentimental about his Mom.”

“And now you’re working with the best director in Hollywood.”

“I won’t do otherwise.”

“No one gets that many breaks and blows them off.”

“Are you worried I’m staying at Harvard?”

“I’m not worried. The pleasure I get from eating greasy hamburgers is not anything like I got watching you destroy Miller in the ring last week. You are the champ. But if you start acting conceited, you’re fired.”

“Yes, boss.”

“And, look at your car.”

“I love the Wreck.”

“Don’t you want a Beemer?”

“I’s ridin’ my ten-speed at home this weekend ’til Jack showed up in his gay Cabriolet.”

“Is it pink?”

“Yup.”

“And this country accent is for real?”

“I grew up in the military. They call me the Alaska Cracker.”

We keep carrying on, laughing at each other. I’m so happy my boss isn’t another Harvard twit. Our grease fix satisfied, I know how to top a perfect meal. We drive to Wilshire Blvd and take the elevator to the roof of our favorite office building. I know Jimmy had been there recently, as two lawn chairs are spread out on the eastern side of the roof, a perfect view of Downtown LA.  The thirteen story limit on all California buildings has recently been repealed. The Met Life/Interstate Bank building near the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) is the main landmark, with the circular Hyatt Regency going up as a precursor to the new LA. Sitting comfortably with our feet up against the outside railing, I take out the compulsory joint. We get toasted together.

“I know you’re always three steps ahead of everything,” John repeats what other adults have concluded, “but the kicker is, you plan it so life is always a fun trip.”

“Yeah. I always keep on a’truckin.’”

“You’re just too damned adorable, Tim. What’s your secret?”

“Last night I met these two kids from Orange County, who hate everything about their suburban lives. They even hated each other. We went and jammed with that punk band we rejected for the movie. Everyone hated each other, but we had the best time. Both kids got up and sang with the band. Dix, the guitarist, kept kicking everyone. Hate is such fun.”

Being high is totally absurd. We sit there and enjoyed our time without Miller, the Studio, or anyone else bothering us.  Until a security guard comes up to bust us. Except Landis convinces him he works in the building, so he leaves us alone. He’s another Mick, just like at the Ritz in Boston. I start to light up another joint to share with the guard, until Landis warns me not to push our luck.

“Let’s go to the Beach,” Landis decides. It’s about 2 pm. We have to beat the rush hour traffic. Taking the 10 Freeway and south on the 405, we exit on Washington and go west to Venice. Wandering the boardwalk, which is more of a bike path, I pull out another joint. We lean against the wall around the Muscle Beach workout area and smoke out. This bronzed Michelin Man with a bubbled up body and a South African accent comes over and smokes with us.

“Yah, dis is gud shit,” he pronounces. “Much betta than local weed.”

“Only the best for you, Arnold.”

“Yah.”

We wander and mixed with the crowd. This chick on skates in a string bikini likes us,  or, at least our weed. When she asks us to come back to her ‘pad,’ we both giggle. I told her we’re gay. John gets all red.

“Now you can tell Debbie what we did today and not havta lie.”

It’s totally funny. But, it reminds him that our afternoon was coming to a close. We sit in the swings and watch the sunset. It comes early in December.

“What do you think about the opera themes for each character in the movie?” I ask.

“The only thing I liked about that whole discussion is using bed sheets for the toga party.”

“You are a cheap son of a bitch,” I laugh. “My composer boyfriend will be disappointed.”

“I know something was up with you two. He’s twice your age.”

“He’s interesting. Trouble is he’s kinda serious about me. Jack showing up was not part of the plan.”

“Okay. I see you have it under control, like everything else. What else don’t I know about you.”

“Oh, I’m so complicated at 18.”

“Tell me,” his stoned brain demands.

“Okay,” I confess just part of it. “I have to write a business school case study about the movie for Harvard.”

“You going to write about everyone getting stoned with you?”

“Only if it affects the outcome.”

“You think our movie has a chance? It’s so different from regular Hollywood films.”

“You mean all those unfunny comedies?”

“Can Miller write a comedy?”

“I told him he needs to write for the stoner audience. He ran off with a whole new perspective.”

“Maybe we better get back to the office.”

“Too late. Just give him a few days to rally the writers. I think he’s the only straight writer on staff.”

“I think I’m coming down.”

“I got more joints.”

“No. Take me home to the Valley. I wanna crash.”

 

I deposit him in Woodland Hills. Debbie insists I spend the night, so I can drive Landis to work in the morning.

“He’ll have to get up early so we get in by 8 am.”

“That’ll be his punishment for getting high.”

“I have more joints,” I offer her.

“Let’s go smoke out those hillbillies at the motel. I have many ideas about how they should dress.”

It tweaks my interest, imaging her undressing Tom and his band. Straight boys gone bad.

 

It turns out less than exciting. Debbie shows them how to upgrade their look. The fashion show over, I drive Debbie to the studio so she can drive John’s car home. I tell her we should go to Oki Dog to eat. We compromise by hitting the Formosa, next to Paramount Studios on Sunset and La Brea.  I eat three entrees of Chinese food with unlimited white rice. Debbie sits there feeling like my mom as I eat. She only has spring rolls, sharing with me between main dishes. The place s another Hollywood landmark, with autographed head-shots of long forgotten movie stars. I drive home and fall asleep on the floor with a bulging belly. I wake up about 10 pm. Naturally I’m hungry again. Off to Oki Dog. It’s dead. Oki Yoki made me pay that night – $1.25. He’s exhausted from the run on his product the previous night.

“Me sick of boys never pay,” he complains.

“Success breeds contempt,” I quip. He understands and laughs.

“Maybe you play again next week.” I’m fired from being the house band. ‘Fashion – one day you’re in, the next, you’re out’ – Heidi Klum (age 3)

As I’m eating, several guys sit down at my table. Nobody says anything. The brotherhood of Hollywood hustling.

 

I’mat work by 8 am. Miller comes by shortly.

“He’s not in yet, Chris,” I’m being nice.

“I came to see you,” he hands me several sheets of script revision. “Tell me if stoners find these funny.”

“I’m not stoned right now. You’ll have to wait.”

“You’re not leftover stoned?”

“You mean hung over?”

“When you got me stoned,” he still blames me for his actions, “I wanted it to be over the next day but I was still totally messed up. That’s why I was so mean to you.”

“My drummer Robby believes you have to stay stoned all the time. He says it’s super-stoned.   He calls it maintaining. You learn to create an alternate reality which is better than a boring life.”

“That’s what I hated.”

“I’ll get my stoner friends to read the revisions and let you know tomorrow.”

“Cool,” he turns and walks away.

Dartmouth must be the most backward place.

 

I call Jay in Miami to discuss the song-list. He suggests we get cast members to record the 50’s hits. It’ll be cheaper than paying the original artists.

“Belushi will love that. He auditioned ‘Louie Louie’ for us already. He claims to be a bluesman.”

“Send me his contract. We don’t want to pay him extra to sing.”

“How about Sam Cooke. He’s dead. Will that save us money?”

“Well, he can’t re-record his songs at least. Otis Day & the Knights have refused to do ‘Twistin’ the Night Away.’ We can use the ASCAP version by Sam Cooke. It’ll be cheaper than paying the full band.”

Jay was following the Hollywood tradition of screwing over the bands. After we review other songs that Jay will research, he tells me that Mike Sr. wants to speak with me.”

“Hi, Mike,” I pipe up as he comes on the line.

“Tim. Are you coming home at Christmas?”

“I have finals at Harvard next week and a Christmas concert at St Paul’s in Cambridge. I have to go to Iowa for Christmas after that. Maybe I can make the Gables for New Year’s.”

“I’m thinking of putting up the Globe Theater replica for a New Year’s Eve party.  The two bands are in disarray after you veered from rock to country this year. They lacked leadership with you gone and Michael at the University.”

“Is this is request I can’t refuse, Godfather?”

“Pretty much if you want the band to keep going.”

“Everyone’s growing up.”

“Jay says you’ve taken over the movie production company.”

“Just the music. I actually punched out the Dartmouth writer I told you about. He’s very submissive now.”

“You had to fight someone?”

“We had a boxing match on the ‘Rocky’ set. It was a second round TKO.”

“He isn’t threatening to sue you or the studio?”

“Naw. He was the one who attacked me. I gave him a choice of boxing or being arrested. He underestimated me.”

“People should learn not to do that.”

“If you’re rebuilding the Globe stage, I’ll be there to knock it down.”

“Michael said you’ve found a new kind of rock n roll – anarchy.”

“We call it punk.”

“Like what you use to set off firecrackers?”

“Kinda. It sets the fans on fire.”

“I can hardly wait. I’ll buy extra fire extinguishers.”

“Good idea.”

My Christmas holiday dance card is filling up. I’m reluctant to abandon my apartment in Hollywood for so long. It makes me want to see Jake. I have to let him down about the movie score. Maybe we can tweak it so it fits our B movie genre.

“Hey, Jake. Miss me?” I get him on the phone.

“I’m still getting over Saturday night,” he moans.  Maybe he does miss me.

“I didn’t stop vibrating until the next day when I went to Church.”

“That’ll do it every time.”

“We found a gay Catholic church in West Hollywood.”

“Beware of ex-communication.”

“I haven’t told you about Teen Jesus yet.”

“Sounds like an invitation for dinner.”

“I can’t afford Musso & Frank. How about the Formosa on Sunset?”

“Sounds like you’re getting out and about.”

“My boss’s wife took me there after I brought him home stoned. She had to retrieve his car at work.”

“You make everything an adventure.”

“Well, let’s go out and find some place new. I’ll pick you up about six if you don’t mind riding in the Wreck.”

“Park and come up, before we go out.”

“I know where that’s going.”

“It’s not an adventure if there’s no excitement.”

“I’m not sure I’ll be able to eat if I feel like I did on Saturday night.”

“You’re revving my engines.”

“Let’s see how long you stay hard thinking about tonight?”

“You are a devil.”

I was indeed, as well as hard as a rock.

 

Landis finally shows up. I’ve taken about fifteen messages from the Studio, plus several from the legal department, who I had told to call Jay in Miami. He seems pretty hung over, or maybe still coming down from yesterday’s pot. I know not to agitate him, lest he have a Miller-style meltdown. I have his coffee ready for him.

“No donut today. You’re having sugar withdrawals. I did put some in your coffee.”

He smiles. I’m a bright spot in his day. He gives me half the messages and tells me to deal with them.

I call everyone back and tell them to attend an end of the day staff meeting. We’ll work it all out then.

 

Finally, I have a chance to read some of Miller’s stoner jokes. They are all lame, mostly because no one smoked pot in the 50’s. I write him a note saying that talking about pot isn’t funny. I suggest he have the joker pretend to talk as if he isn’t stoned. I tell Landis I have to see the writers and leave him alone.

Miller sn’t there, but I just wanted to meet the other writers and get them work on their own ideas.

“The stoner jokes don’t work because no one in this era smoked.”

“Then, why’d you tell to write them.”

“I was just distracting Miller,” I admit. “I want your ideas, not his.”

They smile, knowing exactly what I mean. We spend an hour throwing out ideas.  They are fixated on the runaway parade float.

“Those are stunts, which is fine. But we need actual humor, like the frat boys making mischief while the float runs amok.”

Miller walks in, barely refraining from scowling at me.

“Remember to run these ideas by yourselves and add laughs wherever you find them.” I walk out as Miller starts interrogating his staff. Maybe I should stop harassing him. But tit for tat is fair payback. I bring Landis his donut with a second cup of coffee. Time to make a lunch run.

“Who are you seeing after lunch?” I ask.

“I need to get rid of the legal guy before I get lunch.”

“What do you want? I’ll bring two portions and you can hash it out over a meal.”

“You chose. Not too sloppy, like Tommy’s. The guy’s a neat freak.”

I call the Formosa and ordered take-out. Greasy Chinese would seem like comfort food to the sanctimonious prick.

I have to drive down the hill to Hollywood. I leave early and put the top down. I stop by Rent-a-Wreck to renew for another week. They offer me an upgrade but I praised the Wreck too much. They raise the rate $5 on me. I could have taken the upgrade at the old rate but I’m not about the give up the Wreck. I can’t help but feel I was beaten on that negotiation. I have to remind myself that I’m still the All-Hollywood lightweight champ  and not going to put up with bullying salesmen.

The manager at the Formosa recognizes me as a loyal customer. She ask if I had a head shot I’ll sign for her. She asks what movie I’m doing. When I say it’s ‘Animal House,’ she looks disappointed and gives up on a photo.

“You must like Chinese food,” she notices I’m picking up three entrees.

“Oh, it’s for the Director and his boss,” I explain.

“Here,” she says, “chose the right fortune cookie for their meeting.”

She had a box with the fortunes described. I chose “You will make a lot of money,” “ Fortune smiles on you today,” and “Make up your mind.”

When I get back, Landis has the door shut. I knock and leave the take-out order. They stop talking while I lay out the food. I leave the fortune cookies prominently displayed. I go back to my desk, as they continue their argument.

The legal eagle finally leaves. I go in to collect the leftovers for my own lunch. Only one cookie has been taken.

“What did your fortune cookie say?”

“I haven’t taken it yet.”

Good. “Good meeting?” I ask.

“Maybe. I have to wait for his decision.”

“I bet he gives in?”

“You were listening?”

“No way. I just know you convinced him.”

“You know what we were arguing about?”

“No idea. I just believe in you.”

 

About ten minutes later the legal guy calls. Once they speak, Landis comes out.

“You were right. I owe you dinner. Debbie wants to fill you up with health food.”

“I knew you’d win. But I’ve got a date tonight. Health food some other night.”

“You got a rain check. Legal agrees we can go with your guy in Miami.”

“Alright. Let’s see what your fortune cookie says.”

He laughed, ‘Fortune smiles on you today.’

I smile into my carton of Kung Pao Chicken. There’s still sweet & sour pork and mu shu dumplings to finish. I know I’ll need the energy that night. I end up in a bathroom stall, calming my dick down with a quick jerk. I haven’t jerked off by myself since that night with Pete in Miami when I was 14. It feels so decadent being the chased rather than the predator. If I act chaste, it will make me a tease. I’m in for it tonight.

Landis makes a long call to the New York minders. As long as he was on with them, I’m safe to call Kurt in Cambridge;

“I’ll be back for finals next week. I’m wrapping up the music deal here. Miller has been demoted. He physically assaulted me and I knocked him out. He’s working on ideas on how to make his script funnier. Landis loves me. His wife asked me to come to dinner tonight.”

“So, you’re back for good? Everyone’s holding their breath here. Jack has promised you’ll perform a Christmas miracle at St. Paul’s.”

“Oh, Jesus,” I moan.

“No. Teen Jesus,”  Kurt corrects me.

“I’ll deal with Jack. I’m not sure I’m going to give up my spot on the movie. I’ve rented an apartment here.”

“No, Tim. That’s not the deal. You have to come back. You were supposed to find out how important a Harvard education is for you and Jack. I’m not splitting you two up.”

“Of course not. We’ll talk next week. What’s happening at the Lampoon Castle?”

“Parties and Christmas break once exams are over. The highlight of the year was the 100th anniversary issue party you missed. The rumor had it you were strung out in a Hollywood opium den. Jack had to go out and rescue you.”

“I couldn’t have been too strung out if I knocked Miller out.”

“Jack related that story. He thinks you’re coming back for good.”

“Who knows where I’ll land after Christmas. Look for me next week. We need to do a complete debriefing on how it has worked out here.”

 

“Who were you talking to?” Landis sticks his head out.

“Harvard.  I have finals next week.”

“Really. You don’t want to be a dropout like me?”

“I thought you never went in the first place?”

“Touché.”

“If I don’t go back, it’ll screw up the whole work/study program. Harvard needs my tuition.”

“I’ll bet. What about the case study?”

“I’ll do that once I’m there. My boyfriend believes I’m going to perform a miracle at St Paul’s Christmas pageant.”

“I don’t doubt it.”

“I’m serious. He’s deranged. We teach rock guitar to twelve-year-olds. They played Pink Floyd as a processional at mass and gold flakes fluttered down last month.”

“What did the Church say?”

“We were banned from working with the kids. They barely agreed to let the boys play in the Christmas pageant.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Can the prop department make me up a bunch of fake golden flakes?”

 

My day ends soon enough. I was all aflutter about seeing Jake. I go home first to shower and prepare myself to be ravished. I decide that my turn-on with Jake is that I make him feel like a young stud again. I’ll have to confess my growing ageist prejudice, but only to Father Frank. Maybe the young priest at St Viktor’s will have experience in dealing with the sins of the boys from West Hollywood (Boystown). It reminds me that his Dignity group meets the next night. I plan to get through the current night before renewing my dignity.

 

Jake is sitting on the steps to his building, waiting for me.

“I found the perfect place for our dinner date,” he announces. “We can go now. You look like a nervous virgin on a high school date. Let’s save the sex for later.”

I must admit I feel relieved.

He jumps into my car. We take Western to Hollywood Blvd. Turning right and going several blocks is a hole in the wall called ‘Mongolian Barbecue.’

“Why are you laughing?” Jake asks.

“Just that our band played barbecue joints in the South. We were drenched in beer and got to pig out on ribs after each show.”

“Sounds fun.”

“We drove an old De Soto convertible from Miami to New York City. Maybe that’s why I love the Wreck so much.”

“Well, park in front, so we can keep an eye on it.” It’s not so a great neighborhood.

 

The restaurant serves the meals buffet style. The Mongolian lady running the place (who looks Korean) tells us we can eat as much as we want, but if we leave food on our plates, we’ll be charged for uneaten food – very environmentally sustainable for 1976. The chef stands behind a grill and mixes the different slices of beef, pork, lamb and possibly dog with mild to hot sauces plus several veggies: onions, cabbage, peppers, sprouts and things I have no idea what they are. I stood there salivating as it cooks in front of me. Again, they serve unlimited rice. I wonder if I’m becoming a rice queen. One look at Jake disabuses me of that misconception. I go back for three helpings and make sure to clean my plate. Jake eats a normal amount, leaving him to stare at me as I shovel in second and third helpings. His intense staring actually calms me down, knowing he’s so enthralled with me. What had been a semi-hard-on all afternoon is fully erect, knowing what is planned for dessert. The Asian lady says we got ginseng ice cream with our meal.

“Good for you know what,” she winks at us.

“No need!” we both exclaim.

 

I pay for us – $12 plus tip and jump into the Wreck. I want Jake to snuggle next to me, but he teases me by sliding against the passenger door. We fly up Western to his place. He shows me where to park in the lot. The Wreck is no longer banned to down the street. I refuse to wait for the elevator and we run up the stairs to his fifth floor penthouse. He keeps brushing his fingers against my butt as we climb the stairs. Each time he touches me, I jump and twitch.  The tip of my dick is sticking out the top of my jeans. Breathless, I pause on the fourth floor landing and pull Jake into a tight embrace. I can’t stop myself from cumming. It goes off all over him.

“That is so cute,” he excuses my faux paux.

I hold him in the embrace, feeling his hard-on through our trousers. I’m so glad he has better control.

“Let’s see if we can make it into my place before I have to rape you in the stairwell,” as he pulls out of my clutching embrace. He is out of breath, maybe from running up the stairs. I’m still panting from the orgasm. He drags me up the final flight of stairs, as I pull on his shirt and pants, trying to undress him.

Inside his door, he turns and opens his arms to allow me to pull off the rest of his clothes. They’re a sticky mess, as are my shirt and jeans. We need to be naked, immediately.

He picks me up, carrying me to the bedroom with my legs locked around his lower back.  I can feel him vibrate from need (or, maybe because I’m so heavy from all the meals I’ve eaten lately).

I kiss him madly with my arms around his neck.  He falls backwards onto his queen-sized bed. I feel completely at home, relaxing my arms and legs as we uncouple. I slid up and down on his stomach, my dick completely hard again, as I rub and bounce against his dick.

“Stop. Stop,” he orders. But it’s too late as he geysers all over me.

Smearing his cum on my dick and into his ass, I lift his legs up onto my shoulders and entered him in one thrust.

“Whoa, whoa,” he tries to slow me down. It just makes me crazier. My dreams of being totally fucked by Jake are shattered as I start an involuntary ride in and out of him. My body jerks. My dick thrusts in quick humps that weren’t going to last long. My mind is unable to regain control. Jake is just recovering from the painful surprise of penetration. He senses I’m about to pre-maturely ejaculate again.

“Stop,’ he orders, holding me deep inside him.  Luckily I’m not quite ready to explode. I take several deep breaths and slowly calm down. I’ twitching all over, as he holds my dick firmly inside him. My head is spinning, telling me I needed him inside of me. My dick is not listening, as I slowly began thrusting again, getting a longer and calmer motion going. His body responds to my rhythm. We rock up and down on the bed. Jake’s hands clutch the sheets, pulling them loose as he grimaces and relaxes. He was stuck between the pain of my forced penetration and the relaxed giving in to the increased pleasure that stroking his butt and prostrate evoke. I feel like a stud riding a mare. My mind imagines ‘m a jockey urging my charge down the homestretch of the Kentucky Derby. I’m whipping Jake’s butt cheeks with an open palm as we both reach the finish line. I go off and collapse on top of him.

He looks at me and shakes his head. What happened to simultaneous orgasms? I roll off of him and present my butt, wiggling to make sure he knows what I want and need.  Always the gentleman, he rubs his dick into the smeared cum on our bellies and teases my butt by rubbing his slick dick against my anal canal. I moan and try thrusting my butt onto his dick. He laughs and continues to tease me. He notices my dick is still totally engorged. He gives in to my need to be fucked. Lifting my hips and kneeling behind me, he finds his favorite fucking position.  The tip of his dick enters me as my anal rings hang on to it for dear life.  I squeeze and release as he lowers himself into me. When I sense his pubic hairs rubbing my butt, I fall forward, bringing him with me as his dick sinks fully into my ass.

“Ah,” I moan. Finally. I needed it so much. My mind spins. My butt takes over this time. I rock myself forward and back in rhythm to his strokes. We go slowly, like a locomotive engine gaining steam. My head moves to the top of the bed, banging into the headboard, until Jake places a pillow to stop him from fucking my brains out. He’s in charge. I luxuriate in the fucking that keeps going faster and faster.

“I think I can. I think I can,” my mind sings an old nursery rhyme. My arms reach back, grasping his butt cheeks as he thrusts fully into me. I pull him back when he tries to withdraw. As his breathing becomes ragged and deep moans escape his lips, I’m squealing like a stuck pig.  I try not to sound like a little girl, but the pitch keeps going higher. I try panting to hide my embarrassment. Jake is gasping for air. He rolls us over, swinging my legs so they’re planted on the bed as I sit on his dick. He arched upward, pulling me down on the straining dick. I was riding him like a bull at the rodeo. With one arm on his shoulder and the other waving like a cowboy, I do my best Scott Watt imitation, whooping and hollering. Now Jake is into the involuntary quick thrusts. His eyes are lost in the coming climax. I hook my feet behind his arm pits and lean over to kiss him. His tongue thrust into me at the same time I receive his dick’s thrust at the other end. Huffing and puffing, he is close to orgasm. He rolls me onto my back, violently impaling me, as I screamed in ecstasy.

“Yes. Yes. No. No,” I shout. I feel him explode deep in my belly, “Yes. Yes, yes..”

My legs are locked around his waist. I hold his shaking head, as if he’s saying he doesn’t want it to end. I kept kissing him on the lips,  finally collapsing back into the bed. He falls beside me, my butt making an embarrassing popping noise as his dick slips out. We start laughing and laughing, hugging each other. My left leg is over both his legs and my left arm reaches across his chest. The vibrating I experienced after our previous time fucking starts again. I shudder, fearing I’m becoming epileptic. Jake holds me and begins vibrating himself. It’s like we were bouncing off each other. Finally I shudder once and when the vibrations start again, we’re in synch. I start purring like a cat,  in time with our vibration. Max would be upset. I laugh.

We can barely talk between the vibrations and shuddering. “What’s so funny?” Jake asks.

“I’m purring like a cat. My dog, Max, will be so upset. He hates cats.”

“Does he chase them?”

“Yeah. I may be in trouble.”

“Well, Max will have fun.”

That is too hilarious to even think about. Jace pops up and laughs at me.

“You’re really fucked now.”

“Totally and completely,” I sign to Jace.

“What are you doing?” Jake notices I’m not paying attention to him.

“Just imaging Max chasing and catching me in a sexual frenzy.”

“That sounds like bestiality.”

“And you are my stallion, Jake.”

“Okay, but let’s not talk about dogs.”

“Okay. But your dick is still as hard as mine,” I point out. He touches me, setting off another bout of shaking, ending with sneeze-like shuddering.

“We may need wait a bit,” he admits. His dick was still erect. I move to stroke it, but he jumps away.

“We’re having sex withdrawals,” I note.

“And I thought I was too old for new experiences.”

“Not when you’re with a teenager.”

“Jesus, Tim. Is this some pedophile guilt trip?”

“I’m not a kid. I’m 18 and have been having sex since I was 14.”

“14? That is a kid.”

“I’m over my issues about that. It was with my 19-year-old cousin. He set me up with several girls to cure me from being gay. When that didn’t stop me from lusting for him, he flew to Miami and we fucked non-stop for a whole weekend. That did it.”

“Is he around? Do I have competition?”

“He’s my favorite cousin. I’ll always love him. He’s 22 now and a junkie. That’s a dick-killer.”

 

We try cuddling in bed, but between the hard dicks, the vibrating, and the spontaneous shuddering, it’s impossible to get comfortable.

“I gotta go, Jake,” I moan miserably. “I can’t even touch you now.”

I can barely find my clothes. Jake tries to help dress me. I’m really afraid of becoming epileptic and hold him off. We laugh. I just hope I’ll still need him when the vibrating stops.

I kiss him goodbye, but it only makes the vibrating worse.

“Call me tomorrow?” he asks. “I’m worried about you now.”

“I promise,” I look at him. “It’s worth it, Jake. That was the best ever.” I feel like a sex junkie.

 

I barely make it to the Wreck. I sit there trying compose myself for the drive home. I want to run back upstairs to Jake. The thought of him makes me vibrate and shudder more. Finally I carefully drive home. I’m not drunk or high, just fucked out. I run the shower for twenty minutes. I lay down after drying off. The whole room is shaking. Roxy Music runs through my addled brain”

 

 

Oh oh catch that buzz

Love is the drug I’m thinking of

Oh oh can’t you see

Love is the drug, got a hook in me

Oh oh catch that buzz

Love is the drug I’m thinking of

Oh oh can’t you see

Love is the drug for me’

 

Songwriters: ANDREW MC KAY, BRYAN FERRY

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC