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 was obvious that Jack had 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 argued every time I insisted we go underground to Soho or the Bronx. I wasn’t about to give up the freedom to roam as we pleased. Despite our arguments, we spent every second together, even bathroom breaks. I swear if we could menstruate, we’d cycle together. It didn’t take long for our new best girlfriend, Liza Minnelli, to recognize her soul mates.  We were quickly adopted as her personal assistants. Bobby De Niro thought it hilarious that we became her gay pets. tim-708 He’d make outrageous demands to get us away from her. His status as an Academy Award nominee for Taxi Driver meant we never heard the end of how our movie had bombed while his role as Mean Street’s mailbox bomber had 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 was around. Liza was bereft, although it did make Page Six when we met Andy at Max’s one night. We made up stories about cruising the Lower Manhattan meat-packing district and beating up gay bashers.

“Those are my people,” De Niro complained.

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

“I rescued Jody from prostitution,” he reminded us.

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

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

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

“Fuck you,” and he walked off to his trailer. We started calling him trailer trash. Liza retaliated by insisting she get a plush Airstream, as she asserted her seniority for winning the Oscar before De Niro. We secretly called her RV trash but maintained our loyalty as her pet PAs.

Marty kept out of these star spats, Tim 619 frustrated that no one was immersed in their roles as jazz musicians. We convinced him that Nina had to be hired as her father was a songwriter on Westside Story. Of course, Julian tagged along. The four of us were more useful as extras and appeared in many backgrounds. Liza identified herself as one of the kids, a spoiled uptown brat. Bobby and I loved to tease them about their entitled attitudes. Marty complained his stars failed to exhibit a blazing on-screen romance due to their frenemy attitudes off-camera. Both camps were coming from different senses of superiority. Our PA days seemed numbered as we were more of a distraction than not.

The result was we were often sent to the Warhol Factory to coordinate the footage from our movie, to keep us away from his real stars. Andy enjoyed our stories of goofing off with celebrities.  He even accompanied us back to the set to ostensibly work on the editing with Marty. Usually he just took candidsTim 503 and some portraits while there. Marty made us stop bringing him, as it was just another distraction. It meant Andy had Marty coming to Union Square to work on the editing. Bobby often came, making blatant remarks about all the degenerates at the Factory.

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

“At least I’m no sex degenerate.”

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

Bobby chased him around the photo studio, upsetting the Big Shot camera. Andy went off, Tim 504 banning the three of us. Marty left with his star. The editing on Jace’s Place was further delayed. All this playing around reminded me that Jack was a kid who needed distraction. I’d given up playing a country bumpkin but he remained an Upper Westside dilettante. I found a movie theater playing ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ midnight_cowboy_postertaking Jack to a late night showing.  I insisted we move back into the Chelsea for a week so we could immerse ourselves in acting out the Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo roles. midnight-cowboy Jack took a while adjusting to the down and out Ratso. It helped that we talked Liza and Bobby in getting a room there as well. Liza loved the slumming, while we lectured De Niro on encouraging Liza’s half-Italian heritage, too overwhelmed by Judy Garland’s fame to own it. It all came to a head while we entertained Bobby in Liza’s Airstream with our a Cappella singing. He sang ‘It’s Amore’ to Liza. When she started to sing ‘Over the Rainbow,’ I stopped her, insisting she do her own song, ‘Cabaret.’

 

 

Bobby took it as an insult to do with their Oscars, but she really belted it out, which won him over. Marty showed 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 finished up with ‘Willkommen,’ channeling Joel Grey.

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

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

“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 dragged them to Max’s,  where De Niro put up with Andy’s fey antics; tim-709 Liza was entranced. One night, they got up and reprised their ‘Cabaret’ act, backed by the New Wave band, Television. The chaos overcame the talent but it was all in fun. Page Six made the most of the romance between Marty’s stars, especially since Liza was still married to one of her father-substitute husbands. Bobby made her feel better by explaining that all Italian men are jerks to their families. Apparently he was exempt as he wasn’t married and disliked his own father. At night, we heard lots of bedroom noise through the cheap walls. Later she confessed she had previously preferred gay lovers, but it was a revelation to be with an Italian Stallion. She relied on us to assuage her ruffled ego, admitting it was a turn-on to be dominated. Jack promptly tried to act macho, Tim 631to everyone’s amusement.  Marty had to admit that the dailies were much improved with real sparks flying between his stars. Jack asked to be promoted to assistant director.

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

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

He remembered us because I had told him about the ‘Wild Boys’ performance at Doug Weston’s house. Burroughs received royalties for the rights to perform it. It kept him in dope while his career revived. ‘Naked Lunch’ was out on spec with a screenwriter. Hollywood was ready for Burroughs. We were anxious to use his magic typewriter. He warned us it could be too truthful and hurtful, essentially revealing naked emotions. Jack and I separately sat there and auto-typed our feelings. We shared each other’s typed page. It contained the same, single word: ‘Breaking-up.’ We cried11c.  Burroughs was sympathetic, “But I told you it was too honest. Take it as a warning.” We stifled our tears and swore to each other that we would not break-up. We knew it would take work. We also knew both of us were worrying about it.

Andy had been contacted by LA art collectors  about the Jace’s Place exhibition. He was to fly there and wanted to use the Stone’s Lear. Marty knew it was time to settle down on the set. He worried we were a bad influence on his buddy Bobby – he misjudged us but was more than glad to see us flying off to LA. He even gave us scripts and dailies to deliver to United Artists. We promised to relay what they thought back to him. Jack was in pretentious assistant director mode. Andy’s assistant Blair went along as well, ostensibly to look after Andy, but more likely to keep us under control.

We landed at Santa Monica Airport and stayed at the Beverly Wiltshire. tim-860 We shared adjoining suites. It had only been a few weeks since I was there with Dad. I suffered déjà vu. I also wanted to see Tony and Jimmy and hoped to run into Joan Jett and Tom Petty. Jack remembered Tom as trouble at the Skynyrd concert. I told him Tom had gone ‘Hollywood,’ and not to worry that I’d revert to country boy mode.

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

“Right. I’m so entitled now.”

I sneaked off and called Doug. He was effusive and wanted to come over, especially anxious to meet Andy. He promised 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 made me feel so LA.

Blair was concerned that I was hijacking the trip to my own purposes. Andy said we should go to the Elton John show and meet Doug & Elton later. I called and told Tony to set up a reservation at Dan Tana’s between Elton’s shows. Tony confirmed it with Doug. Blair agreed. Tony said he was taking Elton shopping on Rodeo and would we join him, just Jack and me. I knew about Elton’s shopping sprees for his boyfriends.

“Are you the object of his attentions now?” I asked 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 explained 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 was the personal assistant Nazi.

Andy looked pained.

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

“Nobody walks in LA,” Blair knew.

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

“We’re coming,” Andy decided. Blair gave me a nasty look.

I called Tony, who agreed to call me when they had arrived.

“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 laughed.

“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 continued 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 had 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 was 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 was 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 was listening, now that Andy was taking a nap.

“You boys fighting now?” he was 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 agreed.

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

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

Blair and I ordered room service. He laughed 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 could 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 dropped 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 was off, getting’ it all out while Jack was 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 laughed.

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 shur,” he quipped.

“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 came 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 looked pained, Tim 585 knowing the attempt to rid me of my country accent had 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 brightened him up, knowing we’d be together as roommates in college.

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

“Fine by me,” I quipped. Jack shot me a sharp look.

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

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

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

“Thank you,” he conceded.

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

“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 laid it on.

That made us howl which woke up Andy. He came 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 was on a roll.

Andy turned around to go back to sleep. All three of us jumped up, hugged him, and led 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 explained.

He laughed. “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 exposed Andy’s ethnicity. “I thought it was some anti-nuke form of protest.”

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

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

“That sounds expensive,” Andy began to question going out 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 decided.

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

“Meet Trevor. He’s with Elton,” Jimmy was host. The boy was 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 acknowledged us, keeping his eyes on Elton and the pinball.

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

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

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

“Yup. My main squeeze,” as I hugged him.

“Yer a lucky guy,” Jimmy vouched for me. Jack beamed.

This activity distracted Elton, who promptly lost his balls (he played two balls at once) and it was ‘Game Over.’ He inserted another quarter but relinquished the game to Trevor.

Elton had had enough performing and came over to join us. The store personnel dispersed the onlookers. Beverly Hills sales clerks knew how to keep you shopping.

He was 30 and dressed flamboyantly. tim-700

“Oi, mates. Who are your buds?”

“Oh, Elton,” Jimmy was 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 put on the charm.

“That must mean true trashy,” Elton quipped.

“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 winked 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 went off. Trevor was 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 piped in.

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

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

“We’re going to eat dinner with you between shows tonight,”” I told 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 smiled at Elton.

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

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

“I’m already the pinball wizard and this is my machine,” Elton liked competition.

He was right. It was a machine themed from ‘Tommy.’ Elton’s round face with outsized glasses was on top of the scoreboard.   He put in six quarters, pleased to be paying.

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

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

“You sabotaged me by causing the tilt. I get a replay,” he commanded. All except Trevor laughed. Soon he had passed all of us, only stopping when the scoreboard approached all nines. He knew it was ready to flip to all zeros. He had the best possible score and proudly typed ‘EJ’ at the top of the high scorers list. We cheered while Trevor sulked. A photo of Elton at his machine surrounded by five teen boys made Variety the next day, along with a blurb about his shows at the Troubadour.

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

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

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

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

“Can I be your fairy godmother, then?”

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

Tony called for the limo. Before it arrived, 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 laughed.

“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 of course, Bernie Taubin’s song, your greatest hit.”

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

“It’s certainly great.”

Jack gave me a sharp look. We’d never discussed a cover of the hit.

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

He looked 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 remarked while Trevor looked pained.

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

Jack looked even more pained. I ran to the pay phone outside. Jimmy answered and said they were tied up, recording Joan. He relented when he heard Elton was involved.

“Tell Joan she can jam with him,” I instructed 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 laughed. “Will he play on an electric one?”

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

“No doubt.”

I walked back inside Fiorucci’s.

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

“Oh, am I in the band?” he snarked.

“You promised Trevor, didn’t you?”

Everyone laughed, except Trevor, who now looked more panicked than elated.

“Limo’s here,” Jimmy announced.

The Fiorucci’s staff was relieved we were leaving,  as the paparazzi followed our entourage out to the limo. We posed for them before jumping in. Tim 609 Jack and I kissed Elton on both cheeks. Trevor fumed.

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

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

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

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

Trevor was mortified, as Joan gave him the once over.

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

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

“Just the main one,” LJ admitted.

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

LJ ran off to get the paperwork, while we sauntered into the recording space. Elton walked over to a Yamaha electric piano with a scowl on his face. His expression changed when he spotted a beat-up upright piano in the corner. He sat down and quickly hit a few notes. They sounded tinny and flat. LJ ran 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 declared. “Mic it up in the middle of the room.”

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

I introduced 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 laughed.

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

Trevor was looking lost as he checked out the guitars available for his tryout. He was shaking his head.

“Not happy with the choices?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

“How about something about the Blues,” he answered and started playing and singing.

We grabbed our guitars and played along. Joan didn’t play but joined in the chorus, ‘I guess that’s why they call it the blues.’ Trevor looked lost. We all joined in at the end.

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

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

Elton had no problem joining in, banging on the old up-right. Trevor continued looking lost. Jack and I came over and showed him the chord fingering and when to come in. As soon as he tried to follow us, LJ turned down his amp, so it didn’t get too discordant. Jace appeared at this moment to rescue the poor Twit. Unfortunately, Twit wasn’t open to his ministrations. His amp continued to be turned down at the mixing board. Jace moved over and sat with Elton, tinkling on the high octaves while Elton kept banging the lower range. Elton wasn’t fazed that the instrument was acting like a player piano.

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

I moved over to a vocal mic.

“This version is dedicated to Tommy,” I winked at Jack, who was not happy. “Tom and Huck, livin’ large in the Everglades. With kudos to Elton and Bernie.” I winked at him and played the opening notes. He jumped 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 jumped 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 motioned to Twit to sing the backup with Elton) 10

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

(I came 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 busted out laughing, especially Elton. Even Twit relaxed and felt okay about his non-playing.

“Okay, kid. You made your point. That was 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 was the end of the session. Elton told Twit he’d done great but he’d have to wait to perform with the band after the solo tour was done. Twit looked relieved. At least he knew he hadn’t played well. But it was all about how great we felt playing together. He figured he’s passed the audition. Joan gave us a preview of her latest creation, ‘The Queens of Noise.’

We all just smiled at what really was just noise.

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

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

“She’s totally cool,” I assured him.

Jace floated over her head. She instantly noticed his aura, looking all about. Jace signed that Joan was into him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joan wasn’t a bit reluctant. Once we dropped Elton and Twit at the Sunset Marquis, it was just the three of us in the back of the limo. Tony and Jimmy had to stay with the rock star, per Doug’s orders. We draped 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 seemed 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 turned down his guitar, so no one noticed his 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 snarked.

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

“I had to escape from a monastery in Switzerland to get my boyfriend back,” Jack put 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 contended.

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

“Too much information,” we both covered 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 reached down and stroked the crotch of her leathers. Joan jerked and looked startled.

“Told ya so,” we both laughed. Tim 609

 

The limo stopped at the hotel and the doorman rushed to let us out. Jack was prepared with a tip. Joan and I laughed at his sense of entitlement. We had arrived. All of us, including Jace, skipped through the lobby and into the elevator. Jack and I laughed at Joan holding Jace’s hand as we ascended. When she saw us laughing and realised we were not holding her hand, she let go and shuddered. By then the door opened and all four of us tripped down the hall to our room, Joan and Jace holding hands again. We all threw our jeans and tees off and jumped into the king-sized bed. After a minute or so of fumbling and making out, mostly me turning Jack on while Jace kept Joan busy, she stopped everything.

“What is going on?” she demanded.

I had my legs wrapped around Joan, while her legs had Jack tied up. He was loving that. Jace was naked and fully aroused, with his legs around Joan. We were not interested in explanations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three dicks fully aroused were stymied by a rubber cigar.

“Okay,” I pulled 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 were 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 did seem pretty pervy for Jace to fuck her without her knowing what was up.

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

“What is going on?”

“Jace is a Ghost. Casper Only people with open hearts, like you, can feel him. You instinctually trusted him and let him into your heart. Jack and I love him and 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 was a real dick-killer. We settled back against the big bed’s headboard in order to tell the long story.

“Let me ask you what it’s like to be fucked by your strap-on. Is it better to bury my head 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 remarked.

“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 agreed 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 knew the magic words. Jace looked confused from all the talking, but seeing our dicks perk up made him horny as well. He stayed out of the scrum for a minute or so while Jack and I took turns turning  Joan on. Fucking shouldn’t be so complicated. We had talked our way back to the initial orgy start. Joan stroked my dick as well as Jack’s. When we were sufficiently hard, she positioned me on top of Jack with his legs around my hips.  Grabbing my dick, she rubbed the tip against his anal entrance, causing him to moan with desire. Out of her bag of tricks came lube which she applied to my hard dick and Jack’s ass. As soon as I entered him, she put on the strap-on, rubbing the dildo against my ass. I quickened my thrusting into Jack, wanting her inside me. Jace thrust his dick against Joan lips which opened to give him head. Jace was lightly sitting on my shoulders as Joan entered me from behind while continuing to suck Jace off. Jack pulled Jace’s hips so he could stimulate his ass with his tongue. This complicated coupling couldn’t go on for long. Jace’s dick was its usual uncontrolled self, going off in Joan’s mouth after less than a couple of minutes. She pulled out of me and pushing Jace away , positioned the dildo for access to Jack’s ass. Jack pushed me away and reversed positions in order to start fucking me. Tim 302 I got on my knees and pulled Joan and Jace under me and entered her cunt doggy-style.  This arrangement stabilized and all four of us were going at it simultaneously for quite a while. I saw that Jace was about to cum for the second time. I reached around Joan and grabbed Jace’s throbbing dick in a vice-like grip-of-death. Thrusting as deep as possible into Joan, I held my dick rigid as it approached climax. Joan’s strap-on was gyrating wildly into Jace as she reach orgasm just as my reach-around caused him to go off. I was holding my breath while rigid inside Joan. As I gasped for breath I came in a huge spurt. My body shook and vibrated from the orgasm, causing Jack to go off in my ass. All four of us collapsed simultaneously. Tim 100 At least the bed didn’t collapse, the luxury of expensive hotels.

 

We lay there breathing hoarsely. Joan was massaging Jace.

“Can you see him now?” I asked.

“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 was licking her left tit. “or, act it,” as she giggled.

“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, and 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 not one who’s dead.”

“Don’t wanna be a death rocker?”

“I’ll leave that to Ozzie. tim-730 I’m in a 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 turned 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 grabbed an acoustic we had brought.

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

Joan relaxed and let Casper control her fingers. The song just flowed, even better than Heart did it.

 

 

“That’s fucking cool,” she shouted.

“It’s how we all 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 are 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 admitted, sliding back and snuggling up between Jack and Casper. tim-647

I followed and we were all asleep in seconds.

 

Blair burst 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 stayed asleep as we hastily got dressed. We looked worse for wear in dirty tees and jeans. WTF.

 

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

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

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

It wasn’t long before Elton arrived with Twit on his arm.

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

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

Twit just smirked at me.

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

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

“Well, that was a long time ago,” Twit stuck a knife in.

“I’m only 17,” I confessed.

“Not really,” Jack added. “You turned 18 today,” as he leaned over and gave me a big fat kiss. Tim 563

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

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

He reached over and mock slapped me on the cheek.

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

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

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

“You wouldn’t wake up,” I answered.

“Then why’d you not call 911?”

“You were still breathing.”

“I remember this lovely.” Elton stated..

“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 added, “except Andy, but he’s a star in his world.”

“All except Twit,” Jack and I shouted.

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

We all laughed. This repartee kept up until the food arrived. Elton dug in to his veal and pasta, to no one’s surprise.

Soon Tony arrived 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 leaned over, kissed me on the cheek, and whispered Happy Birthday. “I won’t play Croc Rock. I’ll call you up when or if I get an encore.”

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

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

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

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

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

When I was scrounging around his office, Doug walked in.

“The money’s locked up,” he answered 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 shook his head, took out his keys, and unlocked the office closet. There were 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 was okay.”

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

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

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

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

“There’s no way that will happen,” he jumped up and went to find Tony to act as bouncer. Little did he know Tony hated him, too.

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

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

When she looked at her guitar and saw Suzi Quatro’s signature, she was hooked. Joan was still a 17-year-old. Jack was worried he hadn’t worn his spats to do the James Brown shuffle on stage. “Ah, kids,” I reminisced, now that I was 18.

Elton did his set, omitting the hit ‘Crocodile Rock.’ The crowd was older and less into it, making me concerned there’d be no encore. When he did Daniel, everyone was standing,  either clapping or crying. Sentimental fools. He walked off stage, nodding at us up in the balcony. We all gathered our equipment and rushed backstage. Twit, unable to convince Tony to do his bidding, insisted 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 perturbed but realized it was the best plan. All he wanted was to be on stage. Being a fag was his only talent.

Joan was 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 affirmed.

 

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

“Got sumthin’ special for you tonight. My friend Andy Warhol (he bowed 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 were a few scattered cheers, and then a thunderous round of boos. Thanks Elton.

I walked out, with Jack and Joan behind. A few people yelled Joan’s name, a home crowd advantage. I went 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 nodded to Elton and we both started up with the opening riff. tim-664 He let me do the singing, while Jack and Joan backed me up on  guitar. It really rang 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 was sneering her tough girl look while Jack couldn’t help doing James Brown’s strutting and riffing on the chorus. Elton was standing up and banging on the Steinway. I saw Doug upstairs worrying that his equipment, especially the signed guitars, would be destroyed. The crowd got into it, laughing at us having so much fun. Whether they liked my version was 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 turned around and told everyone we’d do Freddie Cannon’s Palisades Park. Jace had taught me how to make my guitar sound like an electric organ.

 

The older crowd loved a song from their youth. People were even swing dancing in front of the stage. The cheers were the strongest of the night. Twit came running out and not only gave Elton a hug but also a big kiss. That stopped the show. Elton never spoke about being a homo. It was a statement.

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

 

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

The crowd was stunned, then the clapping started and went on for five minutes. Elton dragged Twit out and they took a final bow. As the cheers kept up, he motioned for the three of us to come out for a bow. Jack and I had our arms around Joan. Jace was standing behind us, hanging on as well. We bowed and all 5 ½ of us left for good. The cheers kept echoing.

 Doug was in the dressing room, to collect his prized guitars. After making sure each survived, he complemented 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 kidded 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 quipped. tim-722

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

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

Andy walked 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 looked pained when he saw Andy’s eyes light up.

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

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

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

“Later,” Blair insisted.

 

We retired back to Dan Tana’s, where Elton had a second dinner and reveled in our joint show.

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

“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 pointed to his watch.

“And what a birthday it was,” I glowed.

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

okie-dog

Little did I know she needed to score. Andy had Blair get the Polaroid Big Shot and we were off to Santa Monica Blvd in a black limo. We were going to be very popular.

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

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

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

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

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

“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 was a great success. Jack and I tried to get Casper to eat an Oki Dog. He spit it all out, making a mess. Someone asked us to smoke weed, Tim 583 Tim 600so we went out to the parking lot. Joan was gone, so we got high alone. Casper went 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 knew where Joan went.

 

Tony and Jimmy arrived from the Marquis, and Blair corralled them into plotting Andy’s escape from Oki Dog. Jack and I sat with him as Andy interviewed and shot photos of the last few hustlers. tumblr_mnl2daSrLj1st5zmbo1_250 Andy was in high spirits from all their tales of woes and wonders of life on the street. There were so many homeless teen kids in the year-long summer of LA that the pimps couldn’t compete. The kids had devised a system later called ‘survival sex,’ where they found horny adults to provide room and board for an occasional blow job. I was well aware of the arrangement from time at Doug’s house – the tee-pee boys. Once Andy’s interest waned and he was obviously tired, Tim 503 we shooed away the stragglers and took off for the Beverly Wilshire. It was 4 o’clock. The efficient hotel staff had cleaned up our room and we tucked into a made-up bed, Casper sleeping between us. Before falling asleep, he signed to me that he had seen what Burroughs’ magic typewriter had predicted. I kissed him good-night and moved over to the other side with Jack, who murmured, “I love you.” Tim 128