Plastic People – Chapter 7

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

‘These little town blues, are melting away

I’m gonna make a brand new start of it, in old New York

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere

It’s up to you, New York, New York’

Songwriters: ADOLPH GREEN, BETTY COMDEN, LEONARD BERNSTEIN

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

 

It’s obvious that Jack has adjusted to Westside chic, expecting limos, instead of the subway, to get around, a concierge to be available for every need, and life at the Dakota Tim 498to be a self-contained bubble.  We argue every time I insist we go underground to Soho or the Bronx. I’m not about to give up the freedom to roam as we please. Despite our arguments, we spend every second together, even bathroom breaks. I swear if we menstruate, we’ll cycle together. It doesn’t take long for our new best girlfriend, Liza Minnelli, to recognize her soul mates.  We are quickly adopted as her personal assistants. Bobby De Niro thinks it hilarious that we are her gay pets. tim-708 He makes outrageous demands to get us away from her. His status as an Academy Award nominee for Taxi Driver means we never hear the end of how our movie bombed while his role as Mean Street’s mailbox bomber led to an Oscar nomination as a cabbie. We finally shut him up by shaving off all our hair tim-692   and adopting his skinhead persona when he is around. Liza is bereft, although we do make Page Six when we meet Andy at Max’s one night. We make up stories about cruising the Lower Manhattan meat-packing district and as gay skinhead defenders beating up bashers.

“Those are my people,” De Niro complains.

“Right, closeted faggots who take out their repressed needs on prostitutes. Sounds just like ‘Taxi Driver.’

“Hay. I rescued Jody from prostitution,” he reminds us.

“See. And you don’t even know she’s gay.”

“Jody’s a kid. Can’t be a lesbian,” he rejoins.

“Kids can’t be gay?” as we kiss in front of him. Tim 611

“Fuck you.” He walks off to his trailer. We start calling him trailer trash. Liza retaliates by insisting she get a plush Airstream, as she asserts her seniority for winning an Oscar before De Niro. We secretly called her RV trash but maintain our loyalty as her pet PAs.

Marty keeps out of these star spats, Tim 619 frustrated that no one is immersed in their roles as jazz musicians. We convince him to hire Nina, as her father was a songwriter on Westside Story. Of course, Julian tags along. The four of us are more useful as extras and appear in many of the movie’s backgrounds. Liza identifies herself as one of the kids, a spoiled uptown brat. Bobby and I love to tease them about their entitled attitudes. Marty complains his stars fail to exhibit a blazing on-screen romance due to their frenemy attitudes off-camera. Both camps are coming from different senses of superiority. Our PA days seem tenuous as we are more of a distraction than not.

As a result, we’re often sent to the Warhol Factory to coordinate the footage from our movie, to keep us away from his real stars. Andy enjoys our stories of goofing off with celebrities.  He even accompanies us back to the set to ostensibly work on the editing with Marty. Usually he just takes candidsTim 503 and some portraits while there. Marty tells us to stop bringing him, as it is just another distraction. It means Andy has Marty coming to Union Square to work on the editing. Bobby often comes, making blatant remarks about all the degenerates at the Factory.

“You’ve made a career of playing degenerates,” I accuse him.

“At least I’m no sex degenerate.”

“That’s ‘cause ya ain’t sexy,” Jack pipes up.

Bobby chases him around the photo studio, upsetting the Big Shot camera. Andy loses his temper, Tim 504 banning the three of us. Marty leaves with his star. The editing on Jace’s Place is further delayed. All this playing around reminds me that Jack is a kid who needs distraction. I’ve given up playing a country bumpkin but he remains an Upper Westside dilettante. I find a movie theater playing ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ midnight_cowboy_postertaking Jack to a late night showing.  I insist we move back into the Chelsea for a week so we can immerse ourselves in acting out the Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo roles. midnight-cowboy Jack takes a while adjusting to the down and out Ratso. Giving blow jobs to each other in deserted stairwells is fun practice. It helps that we talk Liza and Bobby in getting a room there as well. Liza loves the slumming. We lecture De Niro on encouraging Liza’s half-Italian heritage. She is too overwhelmed by Judy Garland’s fame to own her own. It all comes to a head while we entertain Bobby in Liza’s Airstream with our a Cappella singing. He sings ‘It’s Amore’ to Liza. When she starts to sing ‘Over the Rainbow,’ I stop her, insisting she do her own song, ‘Cabaret.’

 

Bobby takes it as an insult to do with their Oscar rivalry, but she really belts it out, which wins him over. Marty shows up wanting to know what we were doing on his set. We all sang ‘Money, Money’ at him, to insult him as well. Jack and I finish up with ‘Willkommen,’ channeling Joel Grey.

“We’ve moved to The Chelsea,” Jack announces. “We needed to get back to our roots.”

“Your roots are a silver spoon,” Marty contends.

“All the more reason to stop pretending we’re too famous to be performers. If you want your film to play in Little Italy, you better get some sparks going between Minnelli and De Niro. They’re also sharing a room at the flea bag.”

Thus began our short ‘Berlin in the Village’ phase. The stars agreed to take cabs, not limos. We drag them to Max’s,  where De Niro puts up with Andy’s fey antics; tim-709 Liza is entranced. One night, they get up and reprise their ‘Cabaret’ act, backed by the New Wave band, Television. The chaos overcomes the talent but it was all in fun. Page Six makes the most of the romance between Marty’s stars, especially since Liza is still married to one of her father-substitute husbands. Bobby makes her feel better by explaining that all Italian men are jerks to their families. Apparently he is exempt as he isn’t married and dislikes his own father. At night, we hear lots of bedroom noise through the cheap walls. Later she confesses she  previously preferred gay lovers. It’s a revelation to be with an Italian Stallion. She relies on us to assuage her ruffled ego, admitting it is a turn-on to be dominated. Jack promptly tries to act macho, Tim 631to everyone’s amusement.  Marty has to admit that the dailies are much improved with real sparks flying between his stars. Jack asks to be promoted to assistant director.

“This is no business for kids,” Marty reminds us.

Our week at the Chelsea ends with a visit to our favorite writer, Bill Burroughs.

He remembers us because I had told him about the ‘Wild Boys’ performance at Doug Weston’s house. Burroughs now receives royalties for the rights to perform it. It keeps him in dope while his career revives. ‘Naked Lunch’ is out on spec with a screenwriter. Hollywood is ready for Burroughs. We are anxious to use his magic typewriter. He warns us it can be too truthful and hurtful, essentially revealing naked emotions. Jack and I separately sat there and auto-typed our feelings. We share each other’s typed page. It contains the same, single word: ‘Breaking-up.’ We cry.11c

Burroughs is sympathetic, “But I told you it was too honest. Take it as a warning.”

We stifle our tears and swear to each other that we will never break-up. We know it will take work. We also know both of us are worrying about it.

Andy is contacted by LA art collectors  about the Jace’s Place exhibition. He is to fly there and wants to use the Stone’s Lear. Marty knows it’s time to settle down on the set. He believes we’re a bad influence on his buddy Bobby – he has misjudged us but is more than glad to see us flying off to LA. He even gives us scripts and dailies to deliver to United Artists. We promise to relay what they think back to him. Jack is in pretentious assistant director mode. Andy’s assistant Blair comes along as well, ostensibly to look after Andy, but more likely to keep us under control.

We land at Santa Monica Airport and stay at the Beverly Wiltshire. tim-860 We share adjoining suites. I suffer déjà vu. It has only been a few weeks since I was there with Dad. I also want to see Tony and Jimmy and hope to run into Joan Jett and Tom Petty. Jack remembers Tom as trouble at the Skynyrd concert. I tell him Tom has gone ‘Hollywood,’ and not to worry that I’ll revert to country boy mode.

“You’ve done so well all summer,” he attempts to compliment me.

“Right. I’m so entitled now.”

I sneak off and call Doug. He is effusive and wants to come over, especially anxious to meet Andy. He promises to bring Elton John,  who was doing a reprise of his breakout shows at the Troubadour.

“We’re here on business, so I’ll get back to you,” I put him off. It makes me feel so LA.

Blair is concerned that I’m hijacking the trip to my own purposes. Andy says we should go to the Elton John show and meet Doug & Elton later. I call and tell Tony to set up a reservation at Dan Tana’s between Elton’s shows. Tony confirms it with Doug. Blair agrees. Tony is taking Elton shopping on Rodeo and asks us to join him, just Jack and me. I know about Elton’s shopping sprees for his boyfriends. Whew, so much scheduling.

“Are you the object of his attentions now?” I ask Tony.

“No way. He has this stuck-up London punkTim 402 he lavishes his credit cards on.  I’m just the tour guide. The tips are good, though.”

“You’re driving Elton around in your Datsun?” tim-697

“Naw. He always has a limo.”

“We’ll look for it and the London punk.”

I explain to Blair and Andy that we were going out, asking if they wanted to hang out with Elton and 4 teenagers.

“Not tonight. Andy has to rest if he’s going to the show later,” Blair is the personal assistant Nazi.

Andy looks pained.

“Why don’t you walk with us and meet Elton? Just avoid the shopping spree.” I suggest.

“Nobody walks in LA,” Blair knows.

“Well, it’s just up the block to Rodeo Drive. You can take Elton’s limo back here if you get tired.”

“We’re coming,” Andy decides. Blair gives me a nasty look.

I call Tony, who agrees to call me when they arrive.

“We have to wait. Elton and Trevor are  in the bedroom working out what they will be shopping for.”

“Then it may be a while. Andy is delaying a nap in order to meet us.”

“Andy? That’s your Iowa name.”

“Right. But this is Andy Warhol. tim-709 I’m here on business with him.”

“My, ain’t you the star fucker.”

We laugh.

“Just let me know when you’ve arrived. We’re across the street at the Beverly Wiltshire.”

“And, it’s paying off well for ya,” he continues his needling.

“Ya seen Joan Jett.” tim-647

“Yeah. She likes it I kin get her into clubs. She’s mad at you fer ditching her.”

“Did you tell her why?”

“Naw. I don’t get into people’s drug issues.” Tim 583

“Wise move in LA.”

“Yeah. I’ll call soon as I knows.”

His Southern accent was from South Bay.

Jack has been listening in.

“Who’s Tony.”

“He’s my best friend here. We became ‘tight’ during an orgy at Doug’s two years ago,” I’m being more honest than cautious.

“Did ya fool around last month?”

“Just in an adult theater for the benefit of a crowd of perverts.”

“So, he’s a prostitute?”

“Naw. He’s Doug’s boyfriend. We was jist havin’ fun. Doug’s old, you’ll see. You’ll like Tony and his friend Jimmy.”

“Who’s Jimmy? Someone else from an orgy?” Jack is getting jealous. tim-692

“Jimmy was too young. He felt left out when no one picked him. We then made him feel part of the group.”

“Group? How many were there at this orgy?”

“It was the Burroughs’s ‘Wild Boys’ performance. I told you all about it.”

“The tee-pee boys. Oh my god, I thought that was just a story.”

“They know you’re my boyfriend, so don’t worry. It won’t be like Tommy.”

“Yeah. They’re all junior high dropouts by now.”

“Don’t be a snot.”

“I will if you start acting like a tramp.”

“Is having fun beneath your standards now?”

Blair is listening, now that Andy is taking a nap.

“You boys fighting now?” he is put off.

“Ever since William Burroughs’ magic typewriter  Tim 163said we were breaking up.”

“Please don’t break up while we’re in LA. Andy’s very fragile.”

“You’re right. I’m being selfish, wanting to hang out with my LA friends. We’ll just cool it with them. We’re here about Andy’s art and Marty’s movie business. I forget that Andy’s not a teenager.”

“We’ll make it all about Andy,” Jack agrees.

“I’ll let you take care of the movie side, Mr. Assistant Director,” I tell Jack. He is mollified.

Jack goes to take a bath, saying he still feels dirty from our week at the Chelsea.

Blair and I order room service. He laughs at my expensive hamburger and fries.

“I’ll take you to Okie Dog. It’s far superior to this fare and only $1.25 with fries.”

“Is that a Japanese dog?”

“Naw. Jist a hot dog with chili, onions and cheese, wrapped in a tortilla by a Japanese cook. He’s like the John Belushi character on Saturday Night Live. ‘Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Coke, not Pepsi.’”tim-698

We both finally can relax.

“How old are you, Blair?”

“Twenty-five. Sounds old, huh?”

“No way. Yer jist gettin’ started in life. We’s still kids, jist tryin’ ta git a’goin.’”

Blair’s mouth drops open. “You don’t have that country accent when Jack’s around.”

“I’s havin’ ta learn how to talk proper so’s I don’ts embarrass ‘im at Hahvahd.” I am off and running, getting’ it all out while Jack is lazing in the bath.

“So, you really are a country boy.”

“Naw, my roots don’t run deep. I grew up in the military. In Miami they called me the Cracker from Alaska.”

Blair laughs.

Last year ‘bout now I’s livin’ it up in the Everglades, eatin’ fish chowder, singing to a black panther at night, Tim 421 and keepin’ an eye out fer mean ‘gators.” tim-703

“Y’all gots talent, that’s fur shure,” he quips.

“See how easy t’is? Jist don’t try too hard.”

“Don’t has to. I growed up in Alabama.”

“She-it, y’all’s jist like me, havin’ to stop myself from soundin’ like a redneck.”

“I ain’t no redneck. My daddy’s gotta plantation. I jist growed up wid rednecks.”

“’Scaped ta New York City, didcha?”

Jack comes into the room, wrapped up in a over-sized white terry cloth robe, drying his almost bald head of hair.

“What are you guys talking about?”

“Nothing. Just goofin’ on each other. Blair’s a good ol’ boy, growed up on his daddy’s plantation in Alabama.”

Jack looks pained, Tim 585 knowing the attempt to rid me of my country accent has suffered a setback.

“People don’t take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously.”

“Oh, Jack. It’s serious when you have to speak other than how you think. Remember Grant’s New English. Maybe we can practice some before we move to New England.”

That thought brightens him up, knowing we’ll be together as roommates in college.

“Okay. Only speak country when everyone’s country. Like ‘when in Rome.’”

“Fine by me,” I quip. Jack shoots me a sharp look.

“Okay. It is fine by me.” I correct myself.

“What is fine?” Jack can’t help himself.

“Okay. Okay. I will only speak like a hick when I’m in the sticks.”

“Thank you,” he concedes.

“I guess that makes me a hick from Greenwich Village,” Blair adds.

“Naw. You’s some cracker whose mummy sent yer baby ass off to some fat Black mammy for breast feedin’, where y’all learned jive and gospel a’fore you’d learnt to speak proper,” Jack lays it on.

That makes us howl which wakes up Andy. He comes into our room, looking disheveled and sleepy still. Tim 472

“What are you laughing about.”

“Nothin’ yer Pennsylvania coal miner hillbilly ass that jist came up from a holler don’t know,” Jack is on a roll.

Andy turns around to go back to sleep. All three of us jump up, hug him, and lead him back into our room.

“We’s all admittin’ we’re jist country boys at heart, workin’ hard ta make a livin’ in the City,” I explain.

He laughs. “I ain’t no cracker from sum holler. My daddy’s folks come over from Poland. They’s coal miners there.”

“That explains the Warhola that is always on your checks,” Blair exposes Andy’s ethnicity. “I thought it was some anti-nuke form of protest.”

“Well, are we meeting Elton John for shopping,” Andy changes the subject.

“Just waiting for him to finish fucking his rent boy so he can decide how much jewelry to buy him,” I joke.

“That sounds expensive,” Andy begins to question going to Rodeo Drive with five teenage shopaholics.

“No worries, Andy. Jack buys me everything I need. Just be cautious with my LA friends. They have no scruples about the material world.”

“I’m going back to sleep,” he decides.

 

Tony calls an hour later. Just Jack and I meet them at Fiorucci’s on the corner of Rodeo and Wilshire. tim-699 Elton is right inside the front door, ensconced at a pinball machine, reprising his ‘Tommy’ role as the Pinball Wizard. Of course he has a crowd, which he eats up. Tony and Jimmy wave us over.

“Meet Trevor. He’s with Elton,” Jimmy is host. The boy is our age, dressed like an English poof, Tim 481 with eyeliner and puffy hair.

“Good to meet ya, mate,” I put on my worst English accent, sounding like a limey from Australia.

The boy barely acknowledges us, keeping his eyes on Elton and the pinball.

“He’s not too talkative,” Tony explains.

“This is Jack,” I told Tony and Jimmy.

“You’re Tim’s boyfriend,” Tony is effusive.

“Yup. My main squeeze,” as I hug him.

“Yer a lucky guy,” Jimmy vouches for me. Jack beams.

This activity distracts Elton, who promptly loses his balls (he plays two balls at once) and it is ‘Game Over.’ He inserts another quarter but relinquishes the game to Trevor.

Elton has had enough performing and comes over to join us. The store personnel disperses the onlookers. Beverly Hills sales clerks know how to keep you shopping.

Elton is 30 and dresses flamboyantly. tim-700

“Oi, mates. Who are your buds?”

“Oh, Elton,” Jimmy is still the host. “This is Tim and Jack. They’re from New York and are with Andy Warhol at the Beverly Wiltshire.”

“I’m at the Sunset Marquis. It’s tres trashy.”

“We stay at the Chelsea in Soho when we need trashy,” Jack puts on the charm.

“That must mean true trashy,” Elton quips.

“They never ask any questions as long as you don’t complain about the cockroaches.”

“Ew. I just get noise complaints.”

“Maybe after the show tonight we can create some noise,” Jack winks at him.

“You’re with Andy? Didn’t I see you in photos from Cannes last year?”

“That’s me. Our movie bombed but Andy rescued me.”

“You’re even cuter in person. Why did your movie bomb.”

“Too much fagging off with my boyfriend, Tim,” Jack grabbed me around the waist, kissing me for show. Tim 307 The flashbulbs go off. Trevor is instantly at Elton’s side.

“You must meet these boys, Trevor. They have a band and already a movie in which they flaunt their sexuality.”

“That’s what rock’s about,” I pipe up.

“You said I could be in the band,” Trevor complains.

“All in due time. This tour I’m going solo.”

“We’re going to eat dinner with you between shows tonight,” I tell him. “You’ll love Dan Tana’s. It’s right next door. It’s Italian.”

“I’ll bust my sequins if I eat between shows.”

“We’ll keep it exciting, so you burn off all those Italian calories,” I smile at Elton.

“I want to play more pinball,” Trevor whines.

“Let’s has a competition to see who’s best,” I suggest.

“I’m already the pinball wizard. This is my machine,” Elton likes competition. Trevor is one of many victims.

He’s right about the machine. It is themed from The Who’s ‘Tommy.’ Elton’s round face with outsized glasses is on top of the scoreboard.   He puts in six quarters, pleased to be paying.

Jack goes first. It isn’t long before both balls eluded him. His score is paltry and doesn’t make the top scorers’ list. Elton can’t wait, going next. His piano playing skills make him a real wizard, eventually putting two balls simultaneously in play. We’re standing beside the machine cheering him on. Trevor resents being out of the spotlight and accidentally hits the side of the game, causing it to ‘tilt.’ Game over. Elton’s score is good enough to make the top ten list. Jimmy goes next and is an ace, beating Elton and getting the top score. Tony plays casually, barely shaking the machine (to rack up extra points by rattling his balls up against a scoring post). I go next, showing Tony how to really get extra points. We play as a team, each taking a flipper button. We almost reached Jimmy’s score but cause our own ‘tilt’ by hitting the buttons too hard.

“Watch me, dolts,” Trevor is last. He’s as skillful as Elton, putting two balls in play at once. The points are flying up the scoreboard. Once he has the top score, he let the balls pass the flippers, confident that he is the winner. Elton has the last word though, putting in another quarter for a second turn.

“You sabotaged me by causing the tilt. I get a replay,” he commands. All except Trevor laugh. Soon he has passed all of us, only stopping when the scoreboard approaches all nines. He knows it’s ready to flip to all zeros. He has the best possible score and proudly typed ‘EJ’ at the top of the high scorers list. We cheer while Trevor sulks. A photo of Elton at his machine surrounded by five teen boys makes Variety the next day, along with a blurb about his shows at the Troubadour.

“When do I get to meet Andy?” he asks. Even celebrities worship other celebrities, especially when they are in different fields.

“Tonight at dinner,” Tony confirms. “He’s anxious to meet you, as well.”

“Are you his pets?” Elton asks both of us.

“More like he’s our fairy godfather,” Jack jokes. tim-725

“Can I be your fairy godmother, then?”

“Sure. We love to share. Just ask Andy,” Jack responds.

Tony calls for the limo. Before it arrives, I brazenly promoted myself, my new Hollywood persona.

“Want to hear the update I’ve created to ‘Crocodile Rock?’”

“Stealing from my pal, Bernie?” Elton laughs.

“Me and my friend Tommy spent four months hiding out in the Everglades and bein’ terrorized by this humongous crocodile. I got a song inspired by that and set to Bernie Taubin’s song, your greatest hit.”

“Don’t know if it’s the greatest,” Elton wants more idolizing.

“It’s certainly great.”

Jack gives me a sharp look. We’ve never discussed a cover of the hit.

“Just go with it. We’ll make it up as we go,” I whisper to him.

He looks worried.

“Where can you play this plagiarism?”

“I’ll call my friend Jimmy at Larrabee Studios. We can go there on the way to the Sunset Marquis.”

“I like your spunk, kid.” Elton remark while Trevor looks pained.

“Wanna play with us, Trevor?” I figure we need to include the rent boy.

Jack looks even more pained. I run to a pay phone outside. Jimmy answers and says they were tied up, recording Joan. He relents when he hears Elton is involved.

“Tell Joan she can jam with him,” I instruct Larrabee Jimmy. “We’re reworking ‘Crocodile Rock.”

“Still playing rock wannabee, Tim?” Tim 419

“Yeah. Cain’t help meself. Set up a piano for Elton.”

“Com’n by,” LJ laughs. “Will he play on an electric one?”

“Sure. I got him wrapped around my little finger.”

“No doubt.”

I walk back inside Fiorucci’s.

“Okay to play an electric piano?” I ask Elton.

“Oh, am I in the band?” he snarks.

“You promised Trevor, didn’t you?”

Everyone laughs, except Trevor, who now looks more panicked than elated.

“Limo’s here,” Jimmy announces.

The Fiorucci’s staff is relieved we were leaving,  as the paparazzi follow our entourage out to the limo. We pose for them before jumping in. Tim 609 Jack and I kiss Elton on both cheeks. Trevor fumes.

At Larrabee Studios, Joan and Jimmy are waiting for us. I introduce Joan as guitarist and singer for the Runaways. tim-647

“I know, the all-girl band that plays hard rock,” he quips.

“Yeah, and yer the piano man who plays soft rock,” she laughs.

“We’ll play songs by both of you,” I compromise. “Trevor here wants to be part of Elton’s band. This is his tryout.”

Trevor is mortified, as Joan gives him the once over.

“It’s all set up in the main studio,” Larrabee Jimmy announces.

Elton looks around the small one story building. “Is there another studio in here.”

“Just the main one,” LJ admits.

“I guess we’ve got your attention. Any recording done must remain in my possession. I want that in writing.”

LJ runs off to get the paperwork, while we saunter into the recording space. Elton walks over to a Yamaha electric piano with a scowl on his face. His expression changes when he spots a beat-up upright piano in the corner. He sits down and quickly hits a few notes. They sound tinny and flat. LJ runs up with the contract for our session.

“You don’t want to play this old thing. Someone put thumb tacks on all the striking pads to make it sound honky-tonk. We never fixed it.”

“It’s perfect,” Elton declare. “Mic it up in the middle of the room.”

LJ scurries away to change the set-up. Jack and I find suitable axes to play while chatting with Joan.

I introduce Jack as my boyfriend, making her smile.

“I’m still pissed you split when I went off with Tom last Spring.”

“I had just come from Hollywood Pres, where my cousin had OD’d. It was not my moment to try junk.”

“Grow up, kid. It ain’t the end of the world.” tim-719

“I felt bad, but I wasn’t about to indulge.”

“Your loss.”

“Naw. We always have fun together.” Tim 485

“Don’t get romantic now. You have a boyfriend for that.”

“I’m an equal opportunity kid,” I laugh.

“Ya ain’t gonna get far with that line.”

Trevor is looking lost as he checks out the guitars available for his tryout. He’s shaking his head.

“Not happy with the choices?” I ask.

“Maybe I should get my own guitar from the Sunset Marquis.”

“You’ll do fine, Twit,” I call him, making him even more uncomfortable.

Elton is banging on the up-right, loud and ringing. He has a smile as he ran through several chords from his hits.

“Play something,” Jack shout, getting Elton to do a solo, as LJ adjusts the mic levels.

“How about something about the Blues,” he answers. He starts playing and singing.

We grab our guitars and play along. Joan doesn’t play but joins at the chorus, ‘I guess that’s why they call it the blues.’ Trevor looks lost. We all join in at the end.

“How about a Runaways song?” Elton encourages Joan.

“This one is what I call Tim, Cherry Bomb.”

Elton has no problem joining in, banging on the old up-right. Trevor continues to look lost. Jack and I come over and show him the chord fingering and when to come in. As soon as he tries to follow us, LJ turns down his amp, so it doesn’t get too discordant. Jace appears at this moment to rescue the poor Twit. Unfortunately, Twit isn’t open to his ministrations. His amp stays turned down at the mixing board. Jace moves over and sits with Elton, tinkling on the high octaves while Elton keeps banging the lower range. Elton isn’t fazed that the instrument is acting like a player piano.

“That’s one magic honky-tonk piano,” he declares after we finished. “Let’s hear what you’ve done to ‘Crock Rock.”

I move over to a vocal mic.

“This version is dedicated to Tommy,” I wink at Jack, who is not happy. “To Tom and Huck, livin’ large in the Everglades. With kudos to Elton and Bernie.” I wink at him and play the opening notes. He jumps in right away.

‘I remember when rock was young

Huck and Tom had so much fun

Campin’ in the ‘Glades and skipping stones

Livin’ large in a lean-to of our own

But the biggest kick we ever got

Was what we call the Gatorsaurus Rock

While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock

We were hopping and bopping to the Gatorsaurus Rock

(Jack and Joan jump in) Tim 566 Tim 458

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking

When your feet just can’t keep still

I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will

Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights

Tom and Huck was gettin’ tight

Gatorsaurus Rock was out of sight

(I motion to Twit to sing the backup with Elton) 10

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

(I come back in) tim-646

But the days went by and the ‘Gator just cried

Tom got sick and almost died

Long nights on a breathing machine

Dreaming of the ‘Glades and stolen blue jeans

But they’ll never kill the thrills we’ve got

Burning up to the Gatorsaurus Rock

Learning fast as the weeks went past

We really thought Gatorsaurus Rock would last

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking

When your feet just can’t keep still

I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will

Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights

Tom and Huck was getting’ tight

Gatorsaurus Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

I remember when rock was young

Huck and Tom had so much fun

Campin’ in the ‘Glades and skipping stones

Livin’ large in a lean-to of our own

But the biggest kick we ever got

Was what we call the Gatorsaurus Rock

While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock

We were hopping and bopping to the  Rock Gatorsaurus

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking

When your feet just can’t keep still

I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will

Tom and Huck just gettin’ tight

Gatorsaurus Rock was out of sight

(Everyone came in together for the closing chorus)

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la.’

 

Songwriters: BERNIE TAUPIN, ELTON JOHN

© Universal Music Publishing Group

 

We all bust out laughing, especially Elton. Even Twit relaxes and feels okay about his non-playing.

“Okay, kid. You made your point. That is cool. Who’s Tommy, and why were you being Tom & Huck. Even I know that book.”

“We’d escaped the juvenile authorities together. Gatoraurus ate the hounds that tried to track us in the Everglades. Which was fine until he chased us up a tree trying to eat us. Tommy was petrified of ‘gators. We built the lean-to under the tree as an escape route, and Gatorsaurus never returned. Y’all gots ta hear ol’ Tommy tell it. He really gits into describin’ the ugly 28 foot croc.” Tim 351

That is the end of the session. Elton tells Twit he’d done great but he’d have to wait to perform with the band after the solo tour was done. Twit looks relieved. At least he knows he hadn’t played well. But it is all about how great we feel playing together. He figures he’s passed the audition. Joan gives us a preview of her latest creation, ‘The Queens of Noise.’

We all just smile at what really is just noise.

LJ asks Elton if he wanted to add a track to the Runaways song, but he just shakes his head. We all head out to the limo. Elton has two shows that night. We promise to meet him at Dan Tana’s between shows. Jace is sitting alone in the corner, resigned that Twit never let him into his heart and learned nothing about playing from the heart. I sign to him that he should stick around for afternoon delight at the hotel, which perks him up.

“What about her?” he signs, pointing at Joan. tim-719

“She’s totally cool,” I assure him.

Jace floats over her head. She instantly noticed his aura, looking all about. Jace signs that Joan is into him.

“Let’s go back to the Beverly Wilshire,” I announce to her and Twit. He declines, needing to stay attached to Elton. A needy bitch, that Twit.

“I’ll show you real rock n roll,” I tempt Joan.

“Once you’ve sold millions of records, you can show me rock n roll,” she sneers.

“Girls cain’t rock. Yer all about tits and ass, Like Queens of Noise?” I totally insult her.

“Ain’t no way I’m goin’ up to yer room, even if yer gay,” she motions at Jack.

“We’ll tell ya hows we both did Patti Scialfa in Asbury Park last year.”

“Springsteen’s bitch?” tim-714

“She came so many times, she ran out of the hotel screaming. Bruce complained the next day,” Jack relates.

“I’ll hang out, only ‘cause I wanna see you boys get it on.”

“Oh, you’ll wanna get it on, too,” I brag. “And we don’t need drugs, neither.”

Jace has a big grin on, knowing he’ll be the star of this performance. Jack looks a bit nervous until I mention Patti. Our three-way with her was a memory he’d forgotten.

Joan isn’t a bit reluctant. Once we drop Elton and Twit at the Sunset Marquis, it’s just the three of us in the back of the limo. Tony and Jimmy have to stay with the rock star, per Doug’s orders. We drape our arms around her and Jace hovered above us, stroking her short black hair.

“Why do I feel like someone’s running their fingers through my hair?” Joan seems uncomfortable.

“Oh, that’s Casper.  He showed up to help Trevor on guitar, but the twit refused his help.”

“That boy is useless.”

“I’m sure Elton finds some use for the Twit. And, Jimmy turn down his guitar, so no one noticed his poor playing.”

“Yeah, there were four guitars on Croc Rock, my version.”

“What’s the story behind Gatorsaurus?” tim-703

“We need Tommy to tell it righteously.”

“Yeah, Tom and Huck, the Righteous Brothers,” Jack snarks.

“A little jealousy here?” Joan spots a tale of possible gossip.

“I had to escape from a monastery in Switzerland to get my boyfriend back,” Jack puts his arm around me.

“You boys just make up stories like this?”

“No way. Ya gotta have real adventures at our age, before yer too old,” I contend.

“Ya got that right. I go to Japan where I’m idolised. But Kim keep us locked up. Cheri’s cool, but the other two are mindless fucks who don’t even pleasure themselves,” Joan confesses.

“Too much information,” we both cover our ears.

“A little girly masturbation too much fer ya? Y’all need to be more creative if’n ya wants to get it on with me.”

“Don’t worry. We have a secret y’alls gonna find real excitin.’”

“I’m creamin’ my pants.”

Jace reaches down and strokes the crotch of her leathers. Joan jerks and looks startled.

“Told ya so,” we both laugh. Tim 609

 

The limo stops at the hotel and the doorman rushes to let us out. Jack is prepared with a tip. Joan and I laugh at his sense of entitlement. We have arrived. All of us, including Jace, skip through the lobby and into the elevator. Jack and I laugh at Joan holding Jace’s hand as we ascend. When she sees us laughing and realized we’re not holding her hand, she lets go and shudders. By then the door opens and all four of us trip down the hall to our room, Joan and Jace holding hands again. We all threw our jeans and tees off and jump into the king-sized bed. After a minute or so of fumbling and making out, mostly me turning Jack on while Jace keeps Joan busy, she stops everything.

“What is going on?” she demands.

My legs wrap around Joan, while her legs have Jack tied up. He’s loving that. Jace is naked and fully aroused, with his legs around Joan. We’re not interested in explanations.

“Relax, babe. Enjoy the ride,” I assert myself. Tim 578

“Fuck that. I’m too horny to relax,” she counters. Reaching into her bag on the floor by the bed, out she pulls out a contraption with straps and a huge dildo. tim-729

“What the fuck is that?” Jack’s eyes open wide. tim-724

“Never seen a strap-on?” Joan explains.

Jace, the perennial 15-year-old, stops humping, not sure he was ready to be penetrated by a device.

“That’s better,” she relaxes. “I don’t like being attacked by a dick I can’t see.”

“We can pull the shades and turn out the lights,” I get up to make her more comfortable.

“I may be fucked up but I ain’t getting fucked by an invisible dick,” she decides. “Tell me what’s going on.”

Three dicks fully aroused are stymied by a rubber cigar.

“Okay,” I pull everyone off her, “I told you Patti ran out screaming last time we did this. You can’t see Jace because he’s Casper, the Friendly Ghost.”

“This ain’t Saturday morning cartoons, dickhead. Who’s Jace and why’s he a ghost.”

Our dicks are quickly wilting.

“How about we get it on, and then we’ll explain. First things first.”

“Seems like it didn’t make Patti feel so great having done it. I ain’t fucking a ghost.”

It does seem pretty pervy for Jace to fuck her without her knowing what’s up.

“You want the long story or just what’s happening right now?”

“What is going on?”

“Jace is a Ghost.  Only people with open hearts, like you, can feel him. You instinctually trust him and let him into your heart. Jack and I love him. We love you for trusting him. It makes sex great because we all love and trust each other.”

“How can I trust someone I can’t see while he’s trying to fuck me?”

That’s a real dick-killer. We settle back against the big bed’s headboard in order to tell her the long story.

“Let me ask you what it’s like to be fucked by your strap-on. Is it better to bury my Casperhead in the pillow and let you go at my ass, or should I be on my back looking into your eyes as we go at it?”

“Both are cool. I guess it depends on how much you trust me. Sometimes you just want to be fucked or do you need to be loved while fucking?”

“Yer right.”

“Laying here talking about it is definitely not as cool as just doing it,” she remarks.

“Well, at least you’re not running out the door screaming because you got fucked by a ghost.”

“Patti’s a pussy.” Tim 296

We all agree to that.

“I don’t wanna fuck someone who sees me as a skank.”

“Jace is still 15. Fucking isn’t so complicated. We know how much love is in his heart. Now we share it with you because you trust him like we do.”

“So, let’s all fuck, then.”

Joan knows the magic words. Jace looks confused from all the talking, but seeing our dicks perk up makes him horny as well. He stays out of the scrum for a minute or so while Jack and I take turns turning  Joan on. Fucking shouldn’t be so complicated. We talk our way back to the initial orgy start. Joan strokes my dick as well as Jack’s. When we are sufficiently hard, she positions me on top of Jack with his legs around my hips.  Grabbing my dick, she rubs the tip against his anal entrance, causing him to moan with desire. Out of her bag of tricks comes lube which she applied to my hard dick and Jack’s ass. As soon as I enter him, she puts on the strap-on, rubbing the dildo against my ass. I quicken my thrusting into Jack, wanting her inside me. Jace thrusts his dick against Joan lips which open to give him head. Jace is lightly sitting on my shoulders as Joan enters me from behind while continuing to suck Jace off. Jack pulls Jace’s hips so he can stimulate his ass with his tongue. This complicated coupling can’t go on for long. Jace’s dick is its usual uncontrolled self, going off in Joan’s mouth after less than a couple of minutes. She pulls out of me and pushes Jace away, positioning the dildo for easy access to Jack’s ass. Jack pushes me away,  in order to start fucking me. Tim 302 I get on my knees and pull Joan and Jace under me and entered her cunt doggy-style.  This arrangement stabilizes and all four of us are going at it simultaneously for quite a while. I see that Jace was about to cum for the second time. I reach around Joan and grab Jace’s throbbing dick in a vice-like grip-of-death. Thrusting as deep as possible into Joan, I hold my dick rigid as it approaches climax. Joan’s strap-on is gyrating wildly into Jace as she reaches orgasm just as my reach-around causes him to go off. I’m holding my breath while rigid inside Joan. As I gasp for breath I come in a huge spurt. My body shake and vibrate from the orgasm, causing Jack to go off in my ass. All four of us collapse simultaneously. Tim 100 At least the bed doesn’t collapse, thanks to the luxury of expensive hotels.

 

We lay there breathing hoarsely. Joan is massaging Jace.

“Can you see him now?” I ask.

“Is he a blonde kid, kinda young?”

“That’s Casper. He’s been 15 for two years. Stuck there ‘cause he died.”

“He don’t look dead.” Casper is licking her left tit. “or, act it,” as she giggles.

“We was all the same age when his brother killed him.”

“That’s not cool.”

“Right. But I’ve got a spirit guide who brought him back. He’s a ghost until I die. Then we enter the spirit world together.”

“Soul brothers?”

“Except for the skin tone.”

“I’m pretty fucked up. So I won’t really remember all this. Not sure I want ta ‘member fucking three guys at once, especially one who’s dead.”

“Don’t wanna be a death rocker?”

“I’ll leave that to Ozzie. tim-730 I’m in an all girl band”

“Casper’s crazy on guitar. He taught everyone to play from the heart. Ya wanna learn?”

“Like that Twit fag?”

“Naw. He couldn’t feel Casper. You not only feel him, ya already see ‘im.” It took Jack 24 hours on non-stop fucking before he could.”

Jack turns red. tim-723

“How’s he gonna teach me guitar. I already play.”

“Ain’t there nothin’ ya wanna play but don’t know?”

“I know all the Suzi Quatro songs, but I kinda wanna learn Heart’s ‘Barracuda.’”

“Really?”

“Don’t mock me. I’m in a girl band. How’s it work?”

I grab the acoustic guitar we brought.

“Just let him show you the fingering to start and feel him in your heart. Start playing from there. Your heart will tell you the notes.”

Joan relaxes as Casper controls her fingers. The song just flows, even better than Heart does it.

 

 

“That’s fucking cool,” she shouts.

“It’s the  same as how we learn to sing. Your voice just knows the notes.”

“What about all those notes in church hymnals?”

“Yer a church girl now?”

“Was, but no more.”

“Well, them notes is just fer white folk who cain’t sing fer shit. Ever see a black choir reading notes. It hasta be from the heart, in church or on stage.”

“I’m too wasted ta ‘member all this,” she admits, sliding back and snuggling up between Jack and Casper. tim-647

I follow and we’re all asleep in seconds.

 

Blair bursts in, laughing at us all bunched together in a torn-up king-size bed.

“Showtime, boys, and girls. Andy’s ready for the Troubadour. We’ll catch the early show before dinner with Elton.

Joan stays asleep as we hastily got dressed. We look worse for wear in dirty tees and jeans. WTF.

 

Tony ushers the four of us plus Jace Incognito to a special table upstairs. Andy orders champagne and no one is asked for an ID. The vibe is definitely West Coast, with little excitement in the air. Most of the crowd is preening for themselves, trying to look interesting, rather than being interesting. Andy says he feels like he was back in Pittsburgh.

“Don’t worry. Elton knows how to put on a show.”

True to form, the star is electric, playing his hits and chatting in his Cockney accent with the crowd that is standing in front of the stage. When he does his version of ‘Crocodile Rock,’tim-700 the crowd goes wild, actually dancing and bopping on the dance floor. I’m disappointed that my version hasn’t affected his performance of the classic. He ends it with ‘Daniel Was Leaving,’ changing the title to Trevor. I’m sad that Trevor might actually be leaving. Elton points out the Twit before he starts singing. The Twit looks too pleased with himself. After two encores, we leave to eat at Dan Tana’s.

It isn’t long before Elton arrives with Twit on his arm.

“And don’t get your hopes up,” he lords it over me, “I am not leaving.”

“What a perfect ending for Elton’s set.” I reply.

Twit just smirks at me.

“Now, boys, you know I love being fought over,” Elton responds.

“Well, Tim’s been mine since he was 14,” Andy adds to the drama.

“Well, that must be a long time ago,” Twit sticks a knife in.

“I’m only 17,” I confess.

“Not really,” Jack adds. “You turn 18 today,” as he leans over and gives me a big fat kiss. Tim 563

For the fourth year in a row, I’ve forgotten my own birthday. Everyone but Twit insists on birthday kisses.

“You can paddle me, if you want, Twit,” I dare him.

He reaches over and mock slaps me on the cheek.

“Calm down, boys. You’re obviously both still kids,” Andy declares, giving a kiss of approval to Jack, who just smirks at me. The Little Prince. tim-724

Just in time to add to the commotion, Joan shows up, disheveled and looking wasted.

“Why’dcha leave me alone?” she complains.

“You wouldn’t wake up,” I answer.

“Then why didn’tcha call 911?”

“You were still breathing.”

“I remember this lovely.” Elton states..

“I’m Joan Jett, lead singer of the Runaways. I’m your ghost of rock n roll future.”

“I ain’t Scrooge, so sit next to me and tell me about the Runaways. I’ve read about you –  Kim Fowley’s Monkees girl band.”

“Bull shit. We can play our instruments.”

“The Queen of Noise,” Jack added.

“We’re all musicians here,” Elton adds, “except Andy, but he’s a star in his world.”

“All except Twit,” Jack and I shout.

“Don’t call me that. And I played at the studio today,” he claims.

We all laugh. This repartee keeps up until the food arrives. Elton digs into his veal and pasta, to no one’s surprise.

Soon Tony arrives to gather Elton (and Twit) for the second show. The hardest working piano player in rock n roll. tim-728

Much to Twit’s disgust, Elton leans over, kisses me on the cheek, and whispers Happy Birthday. “I won’t play Croc Rock in my set. I’ll call you up when or if I get an encore.”

That’s the kind of birthday I like. We all leave Dan Tana’s together. I run up to Doug’s office and grabbed the vintage Fender Mustang he’d been given by Bo Diddly, to have if Elton gets that encore. tim-731

“Why ya got a guitar out?” Jack whispers to me at the VIP table.

“I’m gonna do Gatorsaurus Rock,” I whisper back, “if Elton gets an encore.”

“I wanna play too,” he whines. “And what about Joan?”

“Okay. Okay, Just don’t tell Twit. I’ll find two more axes.”

When I’m scrounging around his office, Doug walks in.

“The money’s locked up,” he answers to my harried look.

“Naw. I need two guitars, so Jack and Joan can do an encore with Elton.

“Jesus, you’re trashing my Classic Rock image. Take the Mustang.”

“Already did. We need two more guitars.”

He shakes his head, takes out his keys, and unlocks the office closet. There are at least a dozen axes stacked inside, with cords and fuzz boxes to spare.

“Joan needs a Suzi Quatro and Jack should have Lucille. I’ll bet you have ‘em.”

“Jesus, kid. Whatever happened to the sweet boy who let me fuck him in the hot tub?”

“I ain’t a boy no more. I turned 18 today.”

“Well, happy birthday. Grab what you need. Don’t let anyone know I said it’s okay.”

All the guitars were signed originals. They were actually Quatro and James Brown axes.”

I run over to the VIP table with a guitar in each hand.”

“What are you doing?” Twit is quick to complain.

“We’re rushing the stage once Elton gets done and make him play real rock n roll,” I lie.

“There’s no way that will happen,” he jumps up and goes to find Tony to act as bouncer. Little does he know that Tony hates him, too.

“What the fuck, Tim. They’ll just throw us out,” Joan knows about Hollywood bouncers.

“Don’t worry. It’s Elton’s idea of a birthday present.”

When she looks at her guitar and sees Suzi Quatro’s signature, she is hooked. Joan is still a 17-year-old. Jack worries he hadn’t worn spats to do the James Brown shuffle on stage. “Ah, kids,” I reminisce, now that I am 18.

Elton does his set, omitting the hit ‘Crocodile Rock.’ The crowd is older and less into it, making me concerned there’ll be no encore. When he does Daniel, everyone is standing,  either clapping or crying. Sentimental fools. He walks off stage, nodding at us up in the balcony. We gather our equipment and rush backstage. Twit, unable to convince Tony to do his bidding, insists on coming too.

“Listen, Twit. This is Elton’s idea. We’re going to play a couple of songs. When we’re done, you rush on stage and give him a big hug, okay?’

He looked perturbs but realizes it is the best plan. All he wants is to be on stage. Being a fag is his only talent.

Joan is all nerves. “What songs are we playing?”

“Don’t worry. Just play from the heart. Jace is right here. You’ll know what to do. Just channel Suzi Quatro.”

“I can do that,” she affirms.

 

The cries for an encore keep up. LA audiences want their money’s worth. Elton walks back out, to cheers and louder clapping.

“Got sumthin’ special for you tonight. My friend Andy Warhol (he bows toward the VIP table) brought some young, talented musicians tonight. Tim’s 18 today. He’s from New York and thinks he can do ‘Crocodile Rock’ better than Bernie’s original. How about we give him a chance to prove it. Happy Birthday, Tim?”

There are a few scattered cheers, and then a thunderous round of boos. Thanks Elton.

I walk out, with Jack and Joan behind. A few people yell Joan’s name, a home crowd advantage. I go up to the floor mic.

“My friend Tommy tells this story about a humongous alligator in Florida we knew, but since he’s only 15 and can’t be here, I changed Elton’s hit around to honor the beast, ‘Gatorsaurous.”

I nod to Elton and we both started up with the opening riff. tim-664 He lets me do the singing, while Jack and Joan back me up on  guitar. It really rings out in the club.

 

I remember when rock was young
Huck and Tom had so much fun
Fishin’ in the ‘Glades and skipping stones
Livin’ large in a lean-to of our own
But the biggest kick we ever got
Was what we call the Gatorsaurus Rock
While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
We were hopping and bopping to the Gatorsaurus Rock

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
Tom and Huck just gettin’ tight
Gatorsaurus Rock was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

But the days went by and the ‘Gator just cried
Tom got sick and almost died
Long nights on a breathing machine
Dreaming of the ‘Glades and stolen blue jeans
But they’ll never kill the thrills we’ve got
Burning up to the Gatorsaurus Rock
Learning fast as the weeks went past
We really thought Gatorsaurus Rock would last

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking

When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
Tom and Huck just getting’ tight
Gatorsaurus Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

I remember when rock was young
Huck and Tom had so much fun
Fishin’ in the ‘Glades and skipping stones
Livin’ large in a lean-to of our own
But the biggest kick we ever got
Was what we call the Gatorsaurus Rock
While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
We were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock

Well Gatorsaurus Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Tom and Huck just gettin’ tight
Gatorsaurus Rock was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la
La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la
La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

 

Songwriters: BERNIE TAUPIN, ELTON JOHN

© Universal Music Publishing Group

 

Joan is sneering her tough girl look while Jack can’t help doing James Brown’s strutting and riffing on the chorus. Elton is standing up and banging on the Steinway. I see Doug upstairs worrying that his equipment, especially the signed guitars, will be destroyed. The crowd gets into it, laughing at us having so much fun. Whether they like my version is irrelevant.

 “Okay. I think Bernie isn’t worried, but someday I’ll get Tommy up here to tell the real story about livin’ large in the Everglades. But how about another oldie? It even predates Elton and is from New York New York”

I turn around and told everyone we’d do Freddie Cannon’s Palisades Park. Jace shows me how to make my guitar sound like an electric organ.

 

The older crowd loves a song from their youth. People are even swing dancing in front of the stage. The cheers are the strongest of the night. Twit comes running out and not only gives Elton a hug but also a big kiss. That stopped the show. Elton never speaks about being a homo. It is a statement.

 I whisper to Jack and Joan, “Nancy Sinatra – Boots.”

 

We end with ‘Start walkin’’, chasing Twit off the stage. Elton, looking pained, chases after us.

The crowd s stunned, then the clapping starts and goes on for five minutes. Elton drags Twit out and they take a final bow. As the cheers keep up, he motions for the three of us to come out for a bow. Jack and I have our arms around Joan. Jace is standing behind us, hanging on as well. We bow and all 5 ½ of us leave for good. The cheers keep echoing.

 Doug is in the dressing room, to collect his prized guitars. After making sure each survives, he compliments Elton. “You know how to put on a show. I suppose you want extra for these house musicians.”

“Just their cut of the last hour’s bar tab.”

“I guess that’s fair. They’re lined up out there after dancing their asses off. And, they’re all old farts, too.”

“Just like you, Doug,” I kid him.

“Hey I’m deducting rent for use of my equipment. That’s about $50,000 in guitars right there.”

“Spoken like a true club owner,” Jack quips. tim-722

“And you,” he looks accusingly at Jack. “Who said you can act like a Black man.”

“Hey, the hardest working man in rock n roll.”

Andy walks in, laughing at us. “You never fail, Tim. What’s your next idea?”

“How about bringing the Big Shot to Oki Dog and taking homeless kids pix?”

Blair looks pained when he sees Andy’s eyes light up.

“Who’s the Big Shot?” Doug needs to know.

“It’s a camera. Let’s start with Joan here,” Andy suggests.

“Hey, I ain’t homeless. I live at the Canterbury. It’s one step up.”

“Later,” Blair insists.

 

We retire back to Dan Tana’s, where Elton has a second dinner and revels in our joint show.

“Those lyrics don’t quite work,” he opines.

“Does it matter. I’ll call Tommy and get him to fly out from Florida. He knows how to tell a tale.”

“And you don’t?”

“Well, it’s his tale, not mine.”

“Well, it’s my song, not yours.”

“Well, it was our show, not just yours.”

“Well, it’s my club, not any of yours. Your birthday’s over,” Doug points to his watch.

“And what a birthday it was,” I glow.

“Shut up,” Joan complains. “Let’s go to Oki Dog.”

okie-dog

Little do I know she needs to score. Andy had Blair gets the Polaroid Big Shot and we’re off to Santa Monica Blvd in a black limo. We are going to be very popular.

Andy sets up the Polaroid inside the limo and has a steady stream of homeless punks lined up to be shot.

“Come be shot by a Big Shot,” Jack and I announce to the crowd.

“Who thinks he’s a Big Shot,” one of them asks.

“It’s some New York artist,” someone else knows.

“What’s he paying?” the first one asks.

“The standard twenty bucks.”

“That’s nothin’ but a blow job for me.”

“Naw. He’s a New York perv. Ya only gotta pose.”

“What the fuck?”

“Yeah.”

 

It’s a great success. Jack and I try to get Casper to eat an Oki Dog. He spits it all out, making a mess. Someone asked us to smoke weed, Tim 583 Tim 600so we go out to the parking lot. Joan is gone, so we get high alone. Casper goes to find Joan. “I know just where she went. Y’all stay here. It ain’t fer kids.”

“Yer still fifteen.”

“Plus been dead for two years. Makes me feel like a junkie.”

“Oh,” I then know where Joan went.

 

Tony and Jimmy arrive from the Marquis, and Blair corrals them into plotting Andy’s escape from Oki Dog. Jack and I sit with him as Andy interviews and shoots photos of the last few hustlers. tumblr_mnl2daSrLj1st5zmbo1_250 Andy is in high spirits from all their tales of woes and wonders of life on the street. There are so many homeless teen kids in the year-long summer of LA that the pimps can’t compete. The kids have devised a system later called ‘survival sex,’ where they find horny adults to provide room and board for an occasional blow job. I’m well aware of the arrangement from time at Doug’s house – the tee-pee boys. Once Andy’s interest wanes and he’s obviously tired, Tim 503 we shoo away the stragglers and tak off for the Beverly Wilshire. It is 4 o’clock in the morning. The efficient hotel staff cleaned up our room and we tuck into a made-up bed, Casper sleeping between us. Before falling asleep, he signs to me that he had seen what Burroughs’ magic typewriter predicted. I kiss him good-night and move over to the other side with Jack, who murmurs, “I love you.” Tim 128