Thursday, February 15, 2018

Today's Blind Items - The Eternal Order Of Elvis Presley Pallbearers - A Himmmm Blind

We four Himmmms (and our occasional cronies) have all decided to take turns with sharing one special story from each of us.  One person will write them all up for you, but each person takes a crack at their best memory (that they legally can share anyway).  Since I'm the "scribe" of the class, I go first.  It was easy to choose, as one great night shines above others for me.  A legendary Hollywood night for me, and the others who lived through it.  Yes, it's totally real and most of those involved are still alive.  I normally apologize for the length of the blinds, but in this case it may be pointless.  If you think this blind is long you should've experienced that night.  After nearly 22 years (!), I can still recall every word spoken, every smell, sound, bodily fluid and hairstyle.  I blame PTSD, but probably it is because it turned out to be a night that cemented lifelong friendships, business partnerships, and even love.  It's a very personal story.

I'm sorry if it is a departure from the normal blinds of scandal, evil abusers, or cheating/drugs/whatever.  Although it does have celebs in it, this is not some major mystery to CSI-out.  It's just about sharing a story that is very special and very crazy.  Real life usually is.  I'm sure you may have survived crazier nights than this, but probably not with such an amazing group of people.  Some who were legends then, and others who have become legends since.  So, for you my friends here at Crazy Days and Nights – I share my memory of my crazy night.

Let's set our DeLorean time machine back to the mid-90s.  This was a time when the internet was young, social media and reality television didn't exist, AOL, Netscape, and Microsoft were kings, and a cell phone was for talking.  YouTube, iPods, and Google didn't even exist; and Yahoo! and Miramax did.  Boys still wanted to play football for Penn State; and college MBA students wanted to work at Bear Stearns.  Neither Viagra nor the Dept. of Homeland Security had been rolled out; the Twin Towers stood tall; and MTV showed music videos.

In the sweet days of late 1996, there was a bar/pub place on Sunset then called The Cat and Fiddle Pub.  It was a English-style pub with a large outdoor patio area and they had the best alcoholic Ale and warm cider that would knock you flat-drunk-da-fark-out.  This bar was a Mecca for many British ex-pats in Hollywood, and especially with musicians.  It was no shock to sit down and see Robert Plant at the next table when he was in town.  The "young" hipsters in those days like Drew Barrymore, Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, etc. were often there too.  Best thing was that it wasn't on the radar of tourists, paparazzi, or leeches.  It was a familial haunt for celebs dating back to The Who and Rolling Stones but open enough to just be a place to meet and hang out.  It has since moved across town, but at the time it was on Sunset Blvd. here in Hollywood.  My friends and I usually would go swing-dancing at the Derby, or drinking at the Dresden room.  But sometimes you just need to relax and take it easy.

I had received a call from a crazy friend of mine, a legendary British rocker (singer from legendary band) who wanted to go have some fun that night.  We will call him LC.  I'd been spending lots of time working with friends in movies and music, even trying to prod LC back into new life making music again.  Meanwhile, he'd occasionally make himself home at my house.  I was living in the artsy BoHo-chic area of L.A. called Silver Lake; in a big Old Hollywood Mediterranean-style mansion built in the 1920's for some dead silent screen star up a hill.  We'd installed a top-rate recording studio and film screening room inside the old house, so it attracted lots of musical friends from the neighborhood.  Down the street lived Flea, Jerry Cantrell, Kirsten Dunst, and many others.  Best of all it had a clear view of the Griffith Park Observatory and the best view in Hollywood.

This particular night I had been down at Paramount Studios helping a friend with a project, and watching crews refill the parking with the huge blue sky backdrop to shoot a movie about a boat in the ocean. I needed to unwind.  But hanging out with LC was never relaxing, because he was sort of ADHD you could say.  He said he'd talked to another pal who wanted to have a drink that night.  This other guy was more legendary than LC, but possibly less known in this period – unless you were a folkie, hipster, or alcoholic.  This older guy (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer/Oscar nominee/winner) we will call RW.  I was all for it, so we planned to meet at the Pub around dark. (Our rule was first there saves the table/seats, and last to leave pays the tab).

Whenever LC says he wants to go out, you cancelled your plans for the next day and put your attorney on speed dial after pre-authorizing bail money.  His idea of pub crawls could take you to another country if not careful.  Seriously, we wound up in Tijuana once.  Ever see a "Tijuana Donkey Show"? Uggh. Just…don't. Anyway, LC was also the world's worst driver, and had a habit of losing his cars.  Yes, "losing" his cars.  Forgetting where he parked them, and waiting til a towing company called for him to get it out of impound.  In L.A. that's crazier than anything.  But that's LC, in his lovable hyper-lost puppy dog way.  So he said he'd drive over to the Pub to meet us, and I knew it would be a crazy night.  I just never knew I'd end this night by falling in love.

Another friend of mine had stopped by my house and I invited him to join us for drinks too.  This guy (A list director with more than a handful of Oscar nominations/wins) was a young filmmaker who had directed some small/indie things but not yet had his big break.  We'll call him DK.  At this time he was working hard on putting together a movie that would become his first big hit, and become a legendary film that kicked off his incredible career.  I'd helped him edit a short film previously, and we'd have these nights where we'd spend hours and hours creating the story for this one project that he obsessed over.  A very dedicated filmmaker.  At the time we were going out drinking he couldn't even get into a club or elite restaurant by himself.  He was kind of a shy "Hollywood Kid" like I was, growing up inside the entertainment biz, so we had much in common.

DK and I met up and arrived at Cat and Fiddle and found RW already there, sitting by himself and drinking.  No LC yet.  I wasn't that close to RW but he knew of my family and knew any friend of LC was cool.  So RW was very gracious, and welcoming – and had already secured our table.  I introduced DK, who was awestruck by RW.  We made small talk until a woman walked outside to our patio table.  This lady was middle-aged and breathlessly gorgeous.  The kind of beauty that takes your breath.  It didn't take but a moment for me to recognize her and – WOW!  I was stunned.  It was (back in the day all around A- list actress/singer/celebrity).  We will call her BN, and in the years since her peak of pop-music singing fame she had gotten even hotter. Plus, she still had that amazing voice.  RW introduced us, and said she got bored with her date and was going to join us for drinks – my pleasure.

As we all four got to know each other better, I realized not only was I in the midst of two true legends – but two of the most legendary voices (whether talking or singing) to ever exist!  The patio there at the pub was starting to get more crowded, and a few people were giving that "Hey, isn't that…?" look over at our table.  Both DK and I noticed a table next to ours full of lovely young women who were looking over and whispering to themselves.  We pretended not to care, but one short-haired brunette young lady was just too pretty not to notice.  It took a gruff laugh from RW to break my stare.

When RW spoke, you pretty much gave him your undivided attention.  Not just because his voice and presence commanded it, but because everything he said seemed like some powerful nugget of truth from a wise man's lips.  Him asking for a cigarette held the same gravity as reading the Ten Commandments.  It truly did seem like most of what he said ended up in lyrics for a song.  However, other things were just the most bizarre non-sequiturs – relating to absolutely nothing – that you could ever imagine.  Timing was not exactly his strong suit either.  When BN asked if we all thought maybe there was "a cure for cancer somewhere but was being held back for money reasons?"  We all sort of pondered it a moment.

Except RW.

He just nodded his head, and replied: "Never get caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy".  Apparently thinking his contribution to the conversation made ANY sense whatsoever.  DK was trying to suppress his laughter and frequently spewed cider on the patio.  Otherwise I tried to keep a stone face with RW.  We all did, except for BN.  It was not in her nature to ever patronize, coddle, or go with a flow.  As we'd all stare at each other quizzically, saying "mmm-hmmm", not wanting to offend our Jaegermeister Yoda, BN said: "That makes no fu#k%ng sense…at ALL.  What the f*#k does that have to do with cancer?"  And RW, being RW – just shrugged.  "I don't know, and I didn't say it did".  BN rolled her eyes and went to the bar for more drinks.  Lots more drinks for us all.  A whole lot.

Still no sign of LC after we'd been there a good 2 hours.  I told RW that he's probably been outside for two hours trying to park his car.  RW nodded, but BN called B.S.  She swore that even a kid could figure out how to drive and park in L.A., since (she claimed) the streets were lined out in a grid pattern to help bimbo actresses get from audition to audition.  Cute.  She wound up betting with me.  If LC said he'd been struggling to park? She buys the next round. Otherwise? My treat.

Finally, not long after, our lost sheep comes slinking through the growing crowd.  Completely undetected by the throngs of hipsters, young executives, and kids.  In fact, if you'd put one of his hits on the sound system I doubt half the crowd could sing along.  To say he was at somewhat of a loose end was mild, and I often got calls from his terrific wife asking if I knew his location.  He even called this period, his "wilderness years".  From the looks of his hair and beard he meant it as a fashion description.

LC rolls in, looking like he was hiding from a bookie, ducking under his jacket collar.  I stood to give him a welcome, and he plopped right down in my chair.  (No that's okay, go ahead and sit there, I wanted a new chair anyway).  LC didn't do these things to be rude or egotistical – it was just him.  Like the thought never crossed his mind that I may want to sit back down, in my chair.  After saying "hey" all around, he explained his anxiety thus: "Do you have ANY fu#k%ng idea how hard it is to park the curbs in this fu#k%ng town? I been out there like an hour like trying to park a lorry in a Mini's stall".  We all burst out laughing.  I won the bet, and BN grudgingly bought the next round.

When I got up to search for a chair, the only one I saw was sort of near a table that held the pretty brunette I'd been staring at.  Along with her pals, an extra female, and what looked like a grunge refugee from Seattle.  All their attention was turned away, so I figured I'd get that pesky chair away from their area for them.  Didn't want anyone to trip.  As I was pushing the chair in between DK and LC (who was yammering on about the dammed parallel parking), BN says: "Hey buddy – you're busted." Huh? She said my "girlfriend" – the stunning brunette I'd been eye-stalking – was trying to figure who stole her chair as all her pals were pointing fingers.  Right. At. Me.  Oh shit.  "Dude, she's sooo hot", said DK.  I decided to be honorable, and return the chair.

Before I could even pull it from our table, she was there in front of me.  Those warm hazel-brown eyes shooting daggers, steam exhaling from her ears.  Horns starting to sprout from her head.  "Excuse me, f#%khead – that's my chair.  Which you know, because you've been staring at me for half-hour.  I know it's America but even American guys must have some modicum of decency here."

I froze, tried to stutter out an apology.  BN snorted loudly.  LC says: "Holy hell man, she totally owned you."  RW (being himself), says: "Yep, and that's the problem with technology these days." (which, of course, made no sense whatsoever).  I was offering my apologies and excuses and for the first time, the beautiful brunette noticed my assorted lunatic friends.  She looked to my side and said: "Are you…wait…you're – HO-LEE-S-H-I--Z! Are you?".  Recognizing LC, she gasped, covered her mouth and stared straight at him.  I said "here's the chair" and she took her other hand (without ever taking her eyes off LC), and gently pushed my arm downwards toward the chair.  I sat.  She sat on my leg.  All without looking away from LC, or even blinking.

"Oh heavens, I'm so sorry.  Where are my manners.  I'm (foreign born A- list mostly movie actress)" – who we will call QT.

"I'm (LC)", he said.

"Yes, I know.  I'm a huge fan.  I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to be rude to your friend, of course you can have my chair for your friend".  The always on-point RW then says, "Hey doll, you may not notice but you're actually sitting ON his friend."  BN says: "Yeah…but I don't think he's complaining."

At which she apologized profusely, and continued sitting on me.  From my leg, to my lap.

LC asked her about her accent, and she explained her home in England, and that – in fact – a relative of hers (A- list mostly television actor in his own country) knew LC and his former band mates.  Stunned, LC couldn't get over the coincidence.  We all went around the table, introducing ourselves.  Our new guest QT remembered BN from the 80s, had no clue who or what RW was, and ignored both me and the quietly shy DK at first.  But the longer we sat together (literally) the more we talked.  When I spoke French to BN about QT's attractiveness, and BN – who is American but speaks French – replied, it was then that I learned QT was totally fluent in French.  She lived in Paris recently, and was shocked at my comment to BN.  This wasn't my best night for impressing a beautiful young lady.

Turns out that QT and I did get along rather well.  She told me her life story, about her parents (famous acting couple in her home country), and that she was also an actress.  She'd recently done a couple of prestigious-type movies in her home country, and had been trying to break in to Hollywood.  Just this month she'd wrapped both a film back home, and another costume movie for television back there.  She was in town now staying with pals, and had auditions for a few films – one she hoped would break her through in America.  I told her about me, and my nutty friends and nuttier family.  We had much in common, and she'd attended a very impressive college recently and studied abroad.

Best of all, it felt like we'd known each forever.  I was glad she was sitting and drinking with us.  Actually, sitting ON me.  In fact, she'd decided to hang out with us when her pals all headed to a club down the Strip.  She said her gal pal fixed her up with some preppie douchebag type guy who looks like a date rapist.  She'd rather hang with us.  After some discussion, BN suggested that we should also head down there.  They were having some 80's night thing there, and she also had pals going.  She also knew the owners, so we could go hang in the VIP area if we wanted.  Sounded great.  I paid the huge bar tab, and LC said he'd meet us there.  I figured with him and cars? We'd see him next week if ever.  RW volunteered to drive.  He said that as the oldest alcoholic, he probably had a higher tolerance, thus able to drive his car safer than the rest of us.  Why not?  It was only the other end of the Sunset Strip anyway.

We all ambled out to the sidewalk, and there sat the ugliest pile of crap clunker car I'd ever seen.  Ev-er.  This was RW's car.  He called it the "death wagon", and it certainly smelled like it.  It was like some junkyard mechanic on LSD welded four clunkers together.  Made the Blues Bros. car look like a Bugatti.  But not wanting to insult a legend, we gave in (and sort of side-eyed each other).  Climbing into RW'S car- this battleship-sized 1960s-era behemoth (which got about 4 mpg and had the original tires still on it), we piled in like condemned prisoners.  Myself, QT and DK in back and BN and Commodore RW up front driving.  Even the radio seemed sad to be in this car, as it belched out classic songs on FM to barely hide the noise of the skipping motor.  DK looked over at me, grinning like a kid, and said "this is so cool!".  QT just looked at me in disbelief: "Sure, riding in the Manson Family Truckster".  (Catching the National Lampoon's Vacation joke cemented my love for this lady).  The radio played Men At Work's "Down Under", and we debated the Aussie term "chunder" as it applies to puking, and how being a "chunder-cat" sounds cooler than "yelling for a Buick".  Down the Strip we cruised.

Alas the club came into sight.  This neon-draped venue with an outside Jumbotron had formerly been the legendary Gazzarri's rock club.  Former home of many 60's-era rock groups and dancers, it was where Van Halen and many hair metal bands called home.  Now, it was The BILLBOARD LIVE and was a hot, hip, new place to be and was packed with lots of club kids and young celebs of the moment.  Crowds snaked down the sidewalk, and paparazzi were out on the curbs looking for celebs.  RW parked the Tank of Doom behind the block, facing down the cross street.  He said "Never know when you gotta make a break for it".  Uhhh, okay, thanks for the insight Confucius.

Thankfully, BN had called ahead from the Pub, and a manager met us and escorted us through the crowd past the velvet rope.  Lots of confused young clubbers on the concrete.  We could go downstairs to the secret VIP den if we wanted, but I suggested hanging in there a while.  Have a few drinks, and enjoy the fun.  That place was packed.  Some of QT's friends from earlier were just waiting to get in, and had lobbed some confused shouts at her as we blew by them.  Now they were inside too.  QT pointed and showed me this one big douchebag guy who had been bugging her.  It was the date she was supposed to have been on at that moment.  He looked like a Fraternity snob from Animal House and a born date-rapist.  Popped Izod collar and all, with a sport coat (even if it was a retro 80s night this was still the 90s!).  I told QT it was fine, that he'd never get near her – much less spike her drink and roofie her.

The first person I saw inside was an old friend of mine, another up-and-coming Director (A list director great at action movies).  Back East our families were close, and I'd known him forever.  He'd not yet hit the big time but would soon.  We chatted and I introduced him to QT, and he confirmed my instincts as a quality choice for a date.  He returned to his group and we made our way through the throbbing club full of music, lights, and sweaty drunk people.  The manager led us to a reserved table close to the bar, and everyone was having fun.  At the table next to us was an odd group of foreign-looking people who seemed to be sitting very close together and taking turns leaning over their table.  Then whipping their heads backwards.  Maybe they had sinus problems? Yeah, that's the ticket.

BN introduced us to several other 80's era stars, and the whole vibe of the place was great.  After a drink, QT and I went to dance.  I discovered a secret sweet spot high on the nape of her neck, and she really enjoyed the massage I was giving her.  Her skin tasted like sweet peaches.  It was all good until Mr. Roofie and one of QT's friends came over to us, playing 20 questions.  QT said she was fine, having fun, and would see her pal later that night.  The Roofie douchebag guy didn't seem to like that, and being drunk, started talking trash.  To both of us.  QT and I just ignored him, and made our way back to the table.

Waiting there was our lost friend LC, who miraculously made it – and even made it inside and found us!  He'd ordered several hyper drinks for us all, including flaming drinks.  We drink this FLAMING alcoholic soft drink with a Whiskey shot dropped into it.  Ugggh.  They make one and it is great.  But then – LC orders them for everyone. QT drinks hers and turns green.  You could see the puke bubble up her throat, but she held it down.  LC starts drinking his second one and while on fire – from nowhere Mr. Roofie Douchebag drunkenly barrels into us, knocking QT into me, and LC's flaming drink goes EVERYWHERE.

I leap up and SAIL over the table onto Mr. Roofie, punching his adam's apple and then his nose, repeatedly.  The other flaming drinks spill and spread.  I hardly notice his coat is literally flaming on FIRE in the middle of a BRAWL.  Three of Mr. Roofie's no-neck pals have jumped in, pulling me off him, as LC throws punches at them.  QT jumps up – and VOMITS LOUD AND HARD all over me and the now-bloody/gasping Douchebag. I turn back to QT, and she's sick but she's okay.  LC is beating some big guy's fist to death with his face.  DK jumps in to help him.  People fighting, pushing, and Security coming.  As this typhoon of chaos swirls around, I catch a glimpse of RW.  He's sitting there, calm as a meditating Buddhist, sipping his drink and looking at the action.

The fire spread from Mr. Roofie's coat, down his pants, as someone pushes that hyper-pituitary Goliath towards RW.  So RW politely extinguishes the blaze.  By pouring an entire pitcher of beer on him. Instead of thanking him, the guy swings at RW – which is caught in mid-air by the back of LC's head.  BN and DK both are trying to help QT.  Another body flies past me, sailing onto another table and POOF! – a cloud of white powder blasts up into the air from that table.  Apparently it wasn't powdered sugar for their sinus problems, because the group at THAT table got super pissed and started gang-punching the drunk who'd blasted their cocaine everywhere.

I feel someone smacking my back – it's BN because I'd also caught on fire.  I swear I saw BN throw a bare-knuckle punch straight into a guy's face.  The entire fight blows up into a ruckus, which blows up into a bar-brawl, which blows up into a total riot inside a packed nightclub on the Sunset Strip after midnight. Security comes barreling in with fire extinguishers.  People trying to run away outside, as others push their way sneaking inside.  People yelling, fighting, throwing drinks – and THUMPING 1980's Duran Duran reverberating.  Total third-world epic chaos.  Dogs and cats living together in sin, I mean total mayhem.

RW points to an emergency exit, and makes a quick departure amidst the carnage.  The music is still BLARING.  We follow RW and shuffle out of the emergency side-door fire exit which triggers fire alarms.  RW hoofs it down the sidewalk to grab the car.  QT is on the sidewalk, puking and retching all over my shoes and everything else.  In between heaves and coughs, she's yelling "HOLD MY HAIR! I'm PUKING IN MY BLOODY HAIR".  I do.  BN comes busting out the door saying "we gotta get the hell out, now.  Cops are coming and those frat boys are blaming us for this."  She pauses only long enough to say, "What's wrong with you? Can't you see she's sick? Hold her HAIR!", and rolls her eyes at me.

Like a deranged Batman scene, RW comes roaring down the side-street, and halts the clunker right at us. "GET IN KIDS!".  Just as we're throwing open doors and piling in, DK and LC explode out of the side door, laughing, falling, and yelling drunk.  Both covered in white stuff (either from extinguishers or the cocaine explosion next to us).  Somehow, LC had ripped off Mr. Roofie's popped collar. He actually had the guy's shirt collar in his hand, laughing. "GET IN" we all yell. They do, and with a belch of smoke from the exhaust, RW'S death wagon car skips, lurches, and knocks its way out into the street.  Hitting the horn and sailing through traffic nearly sideways until we're clear.

I look back and see Fire Trucks and Police cars all racing to the front of the Billboard Live club.  Holy hell.  People running across Sunset like a bomb went off.  Then I look over at QT - this beautiful brunette British goddess, with her short, mussed hair, streaked makeup, alcohol, and various bodily fluids around her mouth (and on me).  She focuses her heavy leaden eyes at me and says: "I'm soooo sorry. You're such a gentleman…and I chundered on my gentleman.  Can I have some gum? I got a bit of yak breath."

Always prepared for any crisis, (like a deranged den mother from hell) BN opens her bag, whips out a travel bottle of mouthwash.  "Drink up sweetie" she says.  I see DK with his head now in BN's enticing lap, grinning, and LC is riding shotgun with our brave pilot RW roaring us down Sunset through traffic.  He yanked the wheel hard, shooting us down a cross street, and then down another street to avoid the Sunset crush.  All of us escaping the melee at the club (which actually made the news the next day about a group of unidentified ravers starting a fire and brawl. It honestly was on KTLA).

QT gave me the mouthwash, which I drank.  Bad idea.  This all-forsaken car had a very nasty smell inside. Like any good diplomat, LC belted out: "Tha hell IS that bloody smell man??". LC kept swearing it was sewage, but RW said it was probably from dead bodies.  RW swore he only paid $100 for it, because a pal bought it from a funeral home.  It wasn't a hearse but was used for "other" transport.  BN and I looked at each other, eyes wide.  DK, who was cramped in between us, asked RW if he'd ever checked the trunk?

"Nah man.  Don't really dig what may be back there", he quipped.  And kept on driving.

I asked, out of courtesy, "Do you care if I smoke in here?".  LC said, "Care? Dear God man! PLEASE SMOKE! Smoke, fart, or do SOME-THING to get that fu#%in' rank stench outta here!".

QT and I lit our cigarettes, and I couldn't take my eyes off of her.  Just staring.  Maybe it was the alcohol, or the elation of the crazy night.  But I couldn't stop staring, until I caught DK's gaze too.  He shot me a smile and a nod.  He knew it too.  Saw the same thing in her.  Probably thought the same thoughts too – as in, this young lady is going to be a massive star one day.  Not just her looks, or her smile.  She had a glow.  An aura.  A charisma that I doubt even a movie camera would capture.  She was transcendentally incandescent.  Didn't matter how well she even acted, she had "presence".  I'd spent my whole life growing up around glamorous old era movie stars, from Liz Taylor, Ava Gardner, to Natalie Wood.  I'd known them all – and even have a photo of me as a kid in the lap of Greta Garbo.  I know what that presence is, and means.  Even sloppy drunk.  DK knew it too.  If justice exists?  She'll be an Ava Gardner, or a Liz Taylor.  A throwback to glamorous actress of the old days.  The world will notice her.  If not? I'm in the wrong business.

Out of the front seat, came an very loud eruption of that unmistakable voice:

"We need us a name man!", said RW.

We all kind of looked around at each other, but had long since given up hope of making sense of anything he asked.  "Like the Hell's Angels?", was DK'S reply.

"Nah…man, nah.  Like there was the Rat Pack, and the Hippies, and them Yuppies…shit, we need US a name!  You know like Jarmusch and those guys got that Lee Marvin club."  He was referring to director Jim Jarmusch whose resemblance to the actor Lee Marvin spawned a group of pals called "Sons of Lee Marvin".  Where Hollywood actors and musicians resembling the famed icon all get together and…I don't know.  Sit around and look alike maybe?  But hey, the RW wants what the RW wants.

But he did have a point.  We wanted something we could us to identify ourselves.  A name with dignity, class, and honor to fully reflect the success and brilliance of our combined existences. (Yes, we were drunk).  Then LC chimed in, "Hey? How about the Knights of the Diarrhea wagon??".

QT exploded with laughter, and mouthwash – all over me.  Better than her vomit. Like a shower of peppermint.  Probably the best that car had smelled since it was new.  DK said, "Classy name."  RW, without considering the insult of his car, continued on.  "How about something with Elvis?  Because, you know, he was the King right?  But he had to fight too."

Then DK suggested "Elvis' Pallbearers".  LC brought it all home for us: "I know – I got's it! Got's it here…THE Eternal Order of Elvis' Presley Pallbearers."  A long hush fell over the car.  Only the whop-whop of the tires, low hum of the FM radio…and one of QT's occasional hiccups echoed through the interior.

"Perfect! Man, that's PURRR-FUCT!!", said RW.  Oddly enough, everyone agreed.  And thusly, a true Hollywood legacy was born.  We decided then to meet back every year, no matter what, to reunite and live out our adventures.  Without flaming alcohol this time.  RW asked about if we would have to be a dues-paying membership club, like the Friar's Club or something, or if we'd have uniforms or a secret handshake.  We agreed not to, since we were all likely too drunk to remember a handshake.  "Good", he said.  "'Cause I've already paid my dues, man."  Which may have been the most relevant, lucid, and meaningful thing he'd said all night long.

We finally made it back to our cars near the Cat & Fiddle on Sunset, but I was in no shape to drive.  QT asked if I could run her back to her pal's place later…maybe? Uh, sure.  BN told RW he was obligated to take her for early breakfast. House of Pies, baby!  So I asked RW to point the death wagon towards Silver Lake and please, drive us home.

Do you remember in the Hangover movies, the scene of the morning after? Or Sixteen Candles when Farmer Ted wakes up with the prom queen in the parking lot?  All those scenes of half-drunk, fully wasted, exhausted, dirty survivors of a party war straggling onwards? Well, that is what we were at that moment.  Not one of us untouched, or not reeking of some awful foul substance.  We were all either burned, wet, bloody, dirty, and very tired.  Even Queen BN didn't escape with her crown un-tilted and those sexy fishnets un-ripped.  Yet we survived.  There, in that car, hardly speaking a word.  The chug-a-bang-thud of the death car and the feeble droning of the radio is all we heard.  Minus ringing of the ears and QT's eternal hiccups.  Cruising towards an epic walk of shame, slouching towards the curse of twilight waiting in our immediate future.

Just about that time I didn't think this bizarre night could get more bizarre, a true Twilight Zone moment occurred.  Call it Synchronicity, coincidence, or the mighty hand of God playing around with us…it was some very odd stuff.  Just as we'd all settled inside the "death wagon" LC turned up the radio.  Amazingly enough, the radio still worked, picking up that classic FM station.  More amazingly, a song had just started playing.  A song written by RW, which had become a huge hit for another singer (permanent A+ list foreign born singer).  The song was in the first verse.  BN said: "Whoa – isn't that your song?".  RW said, "Well, it used to be.  Guess it's his though.  He did it good – and I made enough to buy this luxury automobile."  (He wasn't joking – he really did write it, and it was a huge hit for the singer.  No clue how much he earned in royalties but I hope it was more than $100.).

Without any prompting, or planning, RW began singing.  Talk about a private concert!  Then BN joined in.  Then LC pipes in too.  It was only then that it dawned on me the true epic-ness of these three legendary singers – and now all three singing this big song of RW's which, even drunk, was incredible!  Even DK begins to come in on the next verse.  QT looks at me, eyes WIDE OPEN at me like "oh God is this really happening?".  I just grinned, nodded, and even she started to hum and sing it too.  Then, when the epic chorus hit – we ALL were singing it, loudly.  VERY LOUDLY.

All chiming in, cruising down the eastern ends of Sunset Blvd., at 3am…together.  An earth-shattering, life-defining moment that shall live in my personal history eternally. (Or until my dementia hits. Either/or).  With that final rousing chugging beat kicking in – we did too.  All of us yelling, singing, laughing and making bark at the moon noises.  THIS is what the true Hollywood dream is all about. Vomit, clunker cars, and surviving flaming epic party fights! By the song's end, we were all laughing, coughing, and having a great time.  All the burns, puke, fights, and everything else were forgotten.  Well, mostly anyway.

We'd made it back down Sunset and over to Silver Lake.  Not really sure if RW's tank-mobile would make it up the hill, and it dragged the ground going uphill.  A cloud of smoke trailing us that could've put L.A. on a next-level smog alert all by itself.  Heading up Micheltorena, passing the old houses, I directed our driver where to go.  Coming to the driveway, he didn't want to go up to the house.  We said our goodbye at the curb, and LC got out with us.  BN tried to invite LC back with them to eat and to get their cars.  He declined.  She then said: "Yeah – but do 'ya think maybe they wanna be alone? Huh?".  LC just stared at us, and back at her.  Like somebody just asked him to do long division or calculus.  "Look at the size of that f*#kin' house man! You think they'd hear me? Besides it's like my home too."

He was right.  He stayed there.  A LOT.  I wanted to claim him on my taxes by now.  I came around to the driver's side window, and RW stuck out a hand.  We didn't really say much, just a wink, nod, and a big scary grin.  "Thanks old man…it was a blast.  Thanks for everything."  He shook my hand, and said: "You bet.  It was for me too.  I think it was one for the books, Kiddo. Best time I've remembered in years.  Via con Dios!"  Coming from that legend, there's hardly a compliment to compare. And...he called me Kiddo!

I stepped away, as he rolled up the glass.  No electric windows. Hahahaha.  Love it.  After hugs and goodbyes, and a pledge to reunite next year – I led the way with QT and LC following up the drive.  Up to the old Mediterranean-style house that was popular with movie folks in the 1920's, I led QT on a little tour around the outside and the pool.  LC helped himself to my fridge, and was nice enough to play the answering machine.  I still don't know why he did that all the time as if anyone assumed him to be there.  Maybe he expected a psychic to know he was crashing there? But we all loved him, and our casa was his casa.  Mostly, anyway. After many, many, many hints that it was getting late – or early – he agreed and asked if I was going to lock the door or if I wanted him to do it before going to sleep.  Uhh, sure LC, you're always welcome.  Anytime.  He went down the hallway to one of the guest rooms, and retired for the night I think.  "Elvis has left the building", he shouted loud enough for people at Graceland to hear.

I took QT on an extended tour of the old house, and she talked about her plans, dreams, and what she hoped the future held for her.  She was now more sober than was I, and after a bird bath wash-up in the bathroom, was radiant.  She told me she'd been dating another actor back home, but kinda on-again/off-again.  I didn't mind that it was now off-again.  I was less occupied with what the future held for her and more occupied with holding her in my future.  When we arrived to the master bedroom, she wouldn't let me turn on the lights.  I told her I had a CD she'd enjoy hearing, and flipped on the stereo and took her out to the balcony. Said she wanted to see the city glow.

A mix CD I'd played the day before came on, as Jane's Addiction "Three Days" began.  The balcony doors wide open, and the linen shears over double French doors did little to conceal the gorgeous view across Los Angeles.  Maybe only the Chateau Marmont has a better view.  She was speechless.  The Hollywood sign, Observatory, all of Hollywood – all lit up with the haze of the night sky reflecting it back.  She stood there on the balcony, and it was possibly the most beautiful view I'd ever seen.  Not the city, or the lights…but her.  In the reflected glow of the city.  "I can't get over this.  This view.  This night.  Your friends…you.  This place, it's all so…so…so...perfect."

She turned, neither of us said a word.  A long…very long…kiss.

The music played and she asked with a soft whisper, "What about your friends? What about…Elvis?"

"Elvis is dead.  He won't mind."

We resumed that kiss.  The balcony doors stayed open.

Several hours later she arose from the bed, wrapping the thin gauzy sheet around her.  She lit a cigarette, and appeared to almost float out to the balcony.  Dragging the sheet beneath her.  The song "Fade Into You" by dream-pop band Mazzy Star was playing.  That song, with Hope Sandoval's breathy vocals – it was perfect timing with what was in front of my eyes.  A song and a vision that's forever seared in my mind.  Unforgettable moments.  Just…perfect.

I sat propped up on the edge of the bed for the longest time just staring at her figure on the balcony, the linen barely shrouding her tan figure.  The pink light of the sun was threatening to peek up over the opposite side of the house, just enough for a faint purple glow bouncing off the hazy sky.  The lights still all bright below, all reflecting off her flawless face.  She looked like she'd just walked out of a makeup trailer, even her messed short hair looked stylish.  That warm California wind blew across her face, her hair, the linen shears, and the sheet all gently dancing in the breeze.  Her back, neck, and shoulders all exposed to me as she held the sheet to her chest.  Smoking, staring...totally blissed.

"I never want to leave", she said.

I walked behind her, wrapping my arms around her and joining her stare.  "Then don't", I replied.  She asked if I had thought about anything beyond this minute.  I told her all that I knew was that I wanted to feel like this minute forever.  She smiled, and agreed.  But we both knew it would never be more than this.  Reality.  Commitments elsewhere.  Plans, futures, and responsibilities.  But then and there, everything in the world was perfect.  If I'd died at that moment? Life would've been well spent.  Especially after a night like that.  I asked her if she wanted breakfast and I nuzzled into the nape of her neck.  She was perfect.  She still tasted like peaches.

She laughed and simply said three words: "No.  Just lunch."

We didn't leave that bedroom or balcony for nearly six hours.  Even then it was only for the shower.  She cleansed my second-degree burns on my back.  I made sure to gently wash all the alcohol off her body.  Pore by flawless pore.  It was a very long shower that probably caused the L.A. drought of 1996.

When we finally did leave the house it was around 1pm, and I promised to take QT to the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel for her first "Hollywood lunch".  I knew the staff there well, and she'd never been.  She reminded me my car was still at the Pub, or maybe towed. Damn…I was turning into LC.  We took my other car but before we got out of and down the driveway to the street, LC came roaring in.  He parked at the end of the drive, half on the curb and half on the street.  I rolled my window down and invited him to join us for lunch.  He declined, saying he'd left after we'd gone upstairs and been out drinking with another pal (back in the day A+ list mostly movie actor who is probably A- list now) and other friends until sunrise but finally retrieved his own car.  An epic hangover.  I told him to make himself at home, and I'd return one of these days.  He smiled, wished QT well telling her to look him up back in England.  He said "You two crazy kids invite me to the wedding okay?", and with a laugh he stumbled up the driveway to the house.

As much as I wanted us to spend every moment together, I knew we couldn't.  So after lunch, QT and I went our separate ways.  We had one last kiss goodbye, fittingly just off Sunset Blvd., when I took her back to her friend's place.  We each had obligations that were unbreakable, and we both felt a long, hard tug at our hearts as we parted.  "One for the record books, Kiddo".  She said to me, laughing in her impersonation of RW.  "Always, kiddo", was my reply.  She went back to her friends, to her auditions, and then returned back to England and her life there.

It was a few months after her return home that she called me out of the blue.  I could tell she'd been crying, and she finally told me the news.  Turns out something from our night together was going to bind us together forever.  But a physically dangerous problem arose.  It was not to be.  I offered to fly over, or fly her here – but she didn't want that.  I respected her enough to not push anything.  We talked for hours and hours, and I truly felt more love for her than ever before.  But some things work out, and others don't.  Time marches on, and we made our own private vows that night to each other and she bravely went on with her life, relations, and dreams.  A strong woman whom I will forever love, admire, respect, and protect.

I went on with my life too, and about a year later had a "reunion" of sorts of the group of friends from that night.  Our gang reunited at Cat & Fiddle Pub one night, and had another great night.  Sadly, QT didn't make the return trip.  She was still in England, still with her on-again really nice boyfriend.  Her career was gaining full steam, and in a few years she'd be expecting her first child with her boyfriend.  I was happy for them both.  Although I missed her horribly, I knew we had our own lives.  When we see one another in times since, we always smile and often share a hug.  No matter the miles, years, or anything else between us…I'll never forget that night, and the image of her on that balcony.  Some things remain truly magical.  She always calls me "kiddo" in a low, gruff voice – and I call her the same.

The night of our reunion at the Pub would be the last time our group of friends all got together in one place.  Time marched on from then until now, and people went different ways.  Even the Cat & Fiddle Pub moved.  Although still around, they were forced from home on Sunset and now are at a new place off Melrose down the corner from the Paramount lot.  I still pop in on occasion for a warm cider, but things have changed.  I sip my warm, non-alcoholic cider.  Things have indeed changed.  My buddy, friend, brother, and favorite loony named LC died not long after from a health problem he never knew he had.  A hard funeral to get through, and I love his widow and family as if my own.  It's not like he's dead, because I still expect to hear him staggering up the driveway any given morning asking if I'd seen his car.

Good old RW made the epic album of his career shortly after our adventures, and made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Lord knows, he deserves it.  The eternal lovely Queen BN made it back to performing, re-igniting her band and her incredible singing (all while marrying an entertainment lawyer and having kids!).  My upstart shy buddy DK really hit the big time.  He soon made the defining big movie of his career, which shot him to the instant A+ list where he's been ever since as one of the greatest living directors (and that rare good guy in Hollywood).  Happily married to a great woman and they've got a hundred kids.

Yes, my QT - the brunette goddess who stole my heart and body that night? She also got her big break in America – and proved me, and DK, and LC, and everyone correct who predicted her success.  She became a franchise star, hailed as one of the most beautiful women alive, and married a different guy in the biz although that one didn't work out exactly either.  She's spread her wings doing art films and indies and is a true evergreen.  A talented actress and a talented human being.  A lady in every respect.  Of course things change over the years, but if one day when our paths cross and we've had the right amount to drink, hear the right song, and live through a bar brawl? Who knows?  Maybe she'll chunder upon me once again.  One never knows down which path or aisle such things may lead.

I'm sharing all of this with you not only to share (with you my friends) the events of a crazy night.  But also because that silly drunken promise we all made that fateful night to remain as a group...well, it may yet come true in a special way.  The events of that night (plus a few others) may be made into a small little indie film in the near future.  With all the participants from that night on board, except for one (R.I.P.).  It won't be a summer blockbuster or a franchise mega-hit.  There's no superheroes (except for RW's car), and probably won't make a blip in the awards.  But it'll share with the world the crazed, chaotic, and eternal moments that bonded a group of friends together in a crazy night in Hollywood. 

It may even be called: "The Eternal Order of Elvis Presley Pallbearers".

And it'll be one for the record books…Kiddo.

301 comments:

1 – 200 of 301   Newer›   Newest»
Katie S. said...

Can someone TL;DR this for me?

MontanaMarriott said...

RW-Bob Dylan?

Brayson87 said...

We got novelist Hmmmm this time.

Pamela Olson said...

Wow, coming back later

Donald Cox said...

Wasn't Kirsten Dunst like 11 in the mid 90s? What a curious drinking friend for the Himmmms

MontanaMarriott said...

DK-Soderbergh?

Charles Fromage said...

Longest. Blind. Ever. (Or so I'm assuming.)

Dena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sandybrook said...

I didn't finish this: I'll say LC was Lou Gramm and QT was Liz Hurley RW was Arlo Guthrie and the middle aged hot rocker female was one of the Wilson sisters? The rest if there are more I never got to.

MontanaMarriott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ancoranonhocapito said...

RW sounds like Tom Waits

Gea said...

LC is Joe Strummer.

sandybrook said...

Maybe LC was Jeff Lynne from ELO or Ian Hunter from Mott the Hoople? Or one more Paul Rodgers from Free and Bad Company?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beansy said...

QT is Kate Beckinsale

MontanaMarriott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beansy said...

BN - Debbie Harry?

Mrs. EM said...

I think QT is Kate Beckinsale too.

Newbomb said...

So to summarize... someone? Please.

supapimp said...

Try reading it stoned ��

Soapy said...

DK= Dark Knight= Christopher Nolan pre Memento

The Equalizer said...

I'll eat my hat if RW isn't Tom Waits. It all fits, and the song they sang was probably Rod Stewart's cover of "Downtown Train".

Brayson87 said...

+1 Beansy, I got Kate Beckinsale for QT too.

The Equalizer said...

Yep, @beansy, Debbie Harry is all I could think of for BN.

Simon said...

Can’t read. Too long! Short attention span. I’ll wait for reader comments!

Wee S said...

Kate Beckinsale for QT

B626 said...

LC is Harry Nilsson
Lime & Coconut

Randaleese said...

If I’d wanted to read a novel, I’d buy the latest best seller..
DK=DC
Pass.

Samantha Willow said...

Love the writing, I used to hang out at the Cat & Fiddle with my friends and play darts, miss that place and those friends as well actually.
Thanks for the awesome story and trip down memory lane! (Also glad you're sober now, mate. That's a tough sled.)

Unknown said...

BN is currently married to an entertainment lawyer and still sings. Also said she still looked fantastic in 1996 which... nah. Doesn’t fit.

Brayson87 said...

Many nights with random strangers coming together for great adventures. But you know they're movies not television, and the sequels are rarely as good.

Desi Derium said...

Jeeeezus...this story is amazing. All I know is that I imagined RW to be Bob Dylan, and the song to be "Forever Young", which Rod Stewart re-imagined.
Seriously, though, this story is beautiful. The moment when everyone is singing along in the car...those are the moments in our lives that are magical. I've had one or two of those myself, and those moments make life worth living.
Thank you, so much, for this story.

DK said...

BN - Terri Nunn of Berlin

gadfly said...

Synopsis:

Mid 90s

LC - legendary British Rocker, now dead

DK - At time, up and coming director, Hollywood kid who grew up in the business, now A list director with handful of Oscar noms/wins, married and has lots of kids

RW - older guy, member of Rock and Roll Hall of fame and an Oscar non/winner

BN - gorgeous, middle aged actress/singer/celeb, bit past her peak years, American who speaks fluent French, now married to entertainment lawyer

QT - Foreign born A-list, mostly movie actress, unknown at the time, fluent in French and love/lust interest of author's

Jimbonius said...

This is a fantastic story and well told to boot!

Dorvannnn said...

He says LC died of health problem he didn't know he had. Harry Nilsson died of heart failure a year after a massive heart attack so I'm not sure that entirely fits (unless you interpret that statement more broadly).

Bubble said...

Can I borrow that DeLorean?

My uneducated college dropout self don't dispose knowledge to guess these people, but awesome story Mister. Good luck with the movie!

MontanaMarriott said...

Yes Beckinsale speaks Russian French and German
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYbh53zjvJs

Desi Derium said...

So...guess would be:

LC - Harry Nilsson

DK - Christopher Nolan

RW - Bob Dylan

BN - Terri Nunn

QT - Kate Beckiknsale

Man...this sounds like an awesome group to party with. <3

overit122 said...

You rock!

Dena said...

Terri Nunn is a great guess, I had no idea she was an actress.

ancoranonhocapito said...

The thing that doesn't work with Tom Waits is the year. If this is 1996, then the signature album is Mule Variations? That's highly unlikely, the album is fantastic but TW had created already several incredible albums in the 80s including Raindogs and Swordfishtrombones...

Bradford said...

Can't be. Sex Lies and Videotape came out in 1990. He was already known in the industry. Blind says director didn't get discovered until after 1996.

Drama said...

RW is 100% Tom Waits - he's talked about the Sons of Lee Marvin elsewhere, he was dormant before Mule Variations, which re-kickstarted his career, and his penchant for living the gimmick with old cars is well known.

Dena said...

The first person he saw at the 2nd club (up and coming director good at action movies) could be Jon Favreau - Swingers came out in 1996.

Tom said...

LC is Strummer for sure, LC is English, from a legendary band, died unexpectedly, only missing piece is stuff on him living in LA

gadfly said...

Harry Nilsson isnt British

The Equalizer said...


LC - Joe Strummer

DK - Christopher Nolan

RW - Tom Waits

BN - Debbie Harry

QT - Kate Beckiknsale

Dorvannnn said...

He says LC is a legendary British rocker (singer from legendary band). That certainly does not describe Harry Nilsson who is an American.

Retailprofit said...

LC -Joe Strummer

gadfly said...

And Christopher Nolan is a Brit, not a Hollywood kid...agree on Tom Waits and Kate Beckinsale

Desi Derium said...

Good point. LC (London Calling) is most likely Joe Strummer.

ancoranonhocapito said...

@Desi Bob Dylan being "less known" in the 90s? unlikely...

Another problem with Tom waits is that, as the story goes, by 1996 he was long sober, but RW seems to be drinking in the story

rosie riveter said...

I wanted to leave work and go day drinking by the time I got to the 6th paragraph

Kate K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Desi Derium said...

@ancoranonhocapito I was in my 20's in the 90's, and you'd be surprised by how many people I knew that had NO idea who Bob Dylan was. Granted, I live in Wisconsin, which isn't exactly a bastion of good taste, but still.

Unknown said...

DK is definitely Paul Thomas Anderson. Boogie Nights came out in 1997. His dad was a part of the business as Ghoulardi, he grew up in the Valley.

pkelly491 said...

Without reading the comments here's what I got

LC is definitely Joe Strummer
RW I think is Tom Waits (karaoke song would be Downtown Train covered by Rod Stewart, and big album right after this event would be Mule Variations.)

Not sure on DK, BN or QT but there are enough clues so I'm sure you guys got it somewhere.

Sara, Making It Work said...

@Kate K- Teri Nunn is not dead. I met her last year at a concert.

Desi Derium said...

Good call about "Downtown Train". I totally forgot about that one!!

As a youngster, I had SUCH a crush on Terry Nunn in the "No More Words" video.

And I agree about this making me want to go day-drinking. Maybe with less fire and punching, though.

Boldblonde said...

You'll Just have to read @Newbomb

Lisa Wolfinger said...

Is there a cliff notes version available for this Blind Item?

pkelly491 said...

Reading comments I am on board with DK being PT Anderson and QT being Kate Beckinsale.

So BN is the one who I am not sure on yet.

ladybugmo1 said...

He died in 1994.

ladybugmo1 said...

She isn’t dead.

Sara, Making It Work said...

I thought Joe Strummer immediately for LC, but it wasn't clear at the beginning if he was alive or dead, so I also thought Elvis Costello. Which made me think RW was Burt Bacharach but that didn't seem right 😆
I like Debbie Harry for BN.

But I submit PT Anderson for DK. Breakthrough film being Boogie Nights (Dirk Diggler for DK), released the following year. Nolan was from the UK, and Anderson grew up around Hollywood. He better fits the description.
And if him, it's easy to figure out (this) Himmmm (which I did, but I won't out him).

pkelly491 said...

I like Terry Nunn as BN too

So I think we've got it

LC = Joe Strummer
RW = Tom Waits
DK = PT Anderson
BN = Terri Nunn
QT = Kate Beckinsale

What a crew...

ancoranonhocapito said...

Teri Nunn fits 100%. Married to an attorney, got rights to Berlin in 1996 etc

Sara, Making It Work said...

I love Tom Waits but he's not more legendary than Joe Strummer, sorry. I can get on board with Dylan.

Desi Derium said...

@pkelly491 Agreed, I think that's the list.

Sheesh...good job, people!

ladybugmo1 said...

So far, I am liking Joe Strummer, Terri Nunn and Kate Beckinsdale. Emma premiered in 1996 and she had a very short pixie at the premiere.

JWill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don Kieballs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JWill said...

Terri Nunn is not dead!

Unknown said...

LC=London Calling

ancoranonhocapito said...

@ I don't see Dylan driving in a jalopy nor being so accessible as to sitting in a bar or in the middle of a brawl. Waits would fit much better but there are some problems, mainly his being sober since when he met wife Kathleen Brennan in the 80s and also the statement that Mule Variations should be THE album of his career. Who else could it be who while being older didn't release his most important album until the 90s?

David Howes said...

Best line:

"LC is beating some big guy's fist to death with his face."

I used to hate when that happened.

It's the reason I stopped going to clubs to drink.

=)

JWill said...

Okay, so who is the writer of the blind?

Lalalisa57 said...

Did Strummer have a beard????? I’ve only seen him clean shaven....

“ To say he was at somewhat of a loose end was mild, and I often got calls from his terrific wife asking if I knew his location. He even called this period, his "wilderness years". From the looks of his hair and beard he meant it as a fashion description.”

I also saw a Bark at the Moon reference...

Desi Derium said...

We don't discuss who the writer of the blind is. We love the Himmmms and don't want to give them a reason to stop what they're doing.
At least that's the way I look at it.

no said...

Harry Nilsson died in 1994. So it's not him. I appreciate hearing a fun story in these dark, dark times, but this could'a used an editor, tbh.

Desi Derium said...

The Clash's "Lost In The Supermarket" is one of the best songs ever.
Just saying.

Brian said...

LC is definitely Strummer. You can find references to his "wilderness years" and stories about his propensity for losing cars.

Don Kieballs said...

I deleted my comment because I do believe it revealed who this particular himmmm is. My apologies to himmmm and hopefully no one caught that

ancoranonhocapito said...

What if LC was Lou Reed?

James Robison said...

This sounds like a Jim Jarmusch film.

zerooptions said...

Holy shit!
What is the illuminatus trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson?
All that's missing is a hijacked yellow submarine!
BN = Diamanda Galas?
If not any blinds about her?

Sara, Making It Work said...

FWIW, Tom Waits was born less than 3 years before Joe Strummer. So it's an odd thing to mention him being "older" if him.
Dylan was born 11 years earlier.

But maybe we haven't found him yet?

one_eyed_bob said...

Great story, great blind, thanks for sharing.

ladybugmo1 said...

He is American.

A dumb idiot said...

LC Joe Strummer
RW Tom Waits, did a lot of things with Jarmusch through the 90s
DK Paul Thomas Anderson, short film Coffee and Cigarettes (ironically also the name of a Jim Jarmusch film with Tom Waits in it), breakout would be Hard Eight, which was a hit at Cannes and launched his career.

QT is probably Kate Beckinsale, but I think she got with Micheal Sheen in the mid-90s, so I'm not sure it works.

Tom Waits and his cars
http://www.tomwaitsfan.com/tom%20waits%20library/www.tomwaitslibrary.com/cars.html

Waits and Strummer did a little movie together in the late 80s/early 90s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0skzAL6C9Y

Doug said...

@supapimp: LOL

Desi Derium said...

I'm going to pretend that the up-and-coming director is Tommy Wiseau. And that after leaving the big brawl at the club, they all just kind of toss a football around.

A dumb idiot said...

@Zerooptions: read it and you'll start seeing the fnords ;)

Farmgirl said...

Qt - Kate Beckinsale

ladybugmo1 said...

Here is a portion of an article on Joe Strummer. It mentions the “wilderness years.”

“ Then it was really over. Strummer entered what he would refer to later as “the wilderness years”—depression, hedonistic flounderings, solo records of fitful quality. The late ’90s found him reenergized, hoisting the tattered standard of his voice over a band called The Mescaleros: the world seemed to need him still. And then, one afternoon in 2002, after taking his dogs for a walk, he sat down on his couch and succumbed to a previously undetected congenital heart defect”

veenlijk said...

Paul Thomas Anderson:

"At this time he was working hard on putting together a movie that would become his first big hit, and become a legendary film that kicked off his incredible career."

That would be Boogie Nights.

Farmgirl said...

None of the other comments were here!
Bollocks!

A dumb idiot said...

Strummer and Waits were both in Midnight Train by Jarmusch too.

C C said...

Himmm used the word breathless in describing BN, and Terri Nunn/Berlin did the song Take My Breath Away.

nancer said...

cannot be bob dylan. absolutely not. i guess younger people don't get the importance and yes, A+-ness of bob dylan but anyone who grew up when i did sure does. he was the voice of my generation.

Here ButnotThere said...

So who is the author?

xyzxyz33 said...

What I love about stories like this is it takes me back
to the nights I've had with my own personal pallbearers.
Mine was in the back of a car on our way to Sean Parker's party
in Davos Switzerland with names of people who would blow your mind.
We did lots of singing, laughing and later snowballs.

Nights like these are once in a lifetime and if you're lucky twice.
Memories are a beautiful thing.
1996 was a great year. No social media. No Google. Cell Phones were not quite a THING.
Everyone had answering machines.
Those were the days.
Can we go back?
Please?

Thank you for sharing.
This made my day.

Deborah Frueh said...

I cannot wait for the film❤️

Jen S said...

Lol. Me too.

Allie Gator said...

Blue sky backdrop film was Titantic.

Joshua said...

Can someone help me out with a movie scene that I know was shot at the Cat & Fiddle? A couple are inside having beers, someone is waiting for them outside. It's driving me nuts.

Jen S said...

Great fucking story.

Unknown said...

UUGGGHHH!

Dusty Fairy said...

This is the best. I was in LA then too, and also hung out at those places and loved the bands and songs mentioned. Def Tom Waits (his voice!) plus he was totally friends with Jarmusch and in his films (so was Joe Strummer, and Strummer lived in LA the last years of his life). Love this so much! Thank you himmmm

Allie Gator said...

Casablanca?

Digitalis said...

THE HOUSE OF PIES.... *sigh* my cuz and I often ewnt there at the end of a long night. I still miss it to this day...

Don Kieballs said...

Lita Ford was hanging out on the Sunset Strip back then too, and Nikki Six did have a couple fights on Sunset. Just adding names

Gator said...

Shit, Enty, I'll have to take a week's vacation just to read this thing

Desi Derium said...

It’s just Himmmm. That’s all we need to know.

Holly Would said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poppymann said...

RW is Tom Waits

Holly Would said...

96 movie big break of Swingers

AngryLiberalKTS. said...

Yep, +3

Jen S said...

Could LC be Lemmy?

MyTwoCents said...

DK = Cameron Crowe (was”the kid” wrote for Rolling Stone / Almost Famous)

Papa_Luvs_Mambo said...

@Jen S - I thought of Lemmy immediately too. He seems like the kind of person who would utter that funny nonsense with a body of work that would not be as familiar to some.

mooshki said...

Anyone who thinks this is "too long" to read is really missing out. And also needs to grow an attention span. Great story!

PhyllisWhitweed said...

Everyone bitching about the length is missing an epic story. Can't wait for the movie! These stories make my favorite movies. Please make it happen. And thank you so much for taking us on the ride. This is why I come here. I 💖 Himmmm!

Kate K said...

Yeah, sorry, my bad.

Matt said...

Too bad The Cat & Fiddle closed. Cool place.

MyTwoCents said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cheesy said...

So it's courtesy to not try to guess Himmmmm? I have a not-so-confident guess assuming DK is PTA.

Brayson87 said...

There’s a belief that we know people from somewhere else, but in this existence we’re meant to travel different paths. Every now and then though we get thrown back together and share some time before returning to our original course.
Past lives, after life, parallel dimensions etc, it’s probably bs. But there is definitely a feeling when you run into people and you feel like you’ve known them forever. Like greeting old friends and you’ve all done this before.

Desi Derium said...

Yes, we don’t try to guess Himmmm.

Florin said...

I don't care who anyone in this story is. I just really loved reading it. Thanks, Himmmmm!

Don Kieballs said...

legitimate guesses at him we try to avoid. I like the blinds and trying to figure out who they're about, but I love when himmmm posts. It's a personal story from someone who is actually in or around the industry.

Charles Fromage said...

"Turns out something from our night together was going to bind us together forever. But a physically dangerous problem arose. It was not to be."

Pregnant? Then a miscarriage or abortion?

Happymostofthetime said...

Great story. But easily unmasks a Himmmmm, no?

Desi Derium said...

It does, but as long as we don’t discuss it, I think it’s ok.

Han Niam said...

This is the best blind ever. I’m going to be smiling for days with Himmmm’s memories and all of my memories of good times in 1990s LA.

I’m completely in agreement with Joe Strummer for LC. Huge fan, and this is one of the most fun storytellings of his eccentricity.

Can’t wait to read the other Himmmms’ best memories.

Thanks for the memories, Himmmm!

L. T. said...

Dear Himmmm, whoever you may be, I'd love to read your memoir. Thanks for sharing the tale.

Han Niam said...

@nancer: I was your typical clubbing age during this blind and the vast majority of people I knew could sit at a table with Bob Dylan and not know him from Adam.

It was a strange time in that listening to music that wasn’t “current” was terribly uncool.

At least that was my experience with people back then perusing my 50 year span multi-genre CD collection.

Speech_teacher said...

I like this guess.

Maurice Agonistes said...

I was thinking Leonard Cohen for RW and Hallelujah for the song as I was reading g through, but Tom W fits better. I guessed Kate B for QT right away.

Desi Derium said...

By most accounts, Kate B has never drank alcohol...
Maybe she doesn't count this night, because this night is WHY she doesn't drink.

Unknown said...

Lemmy? No. Lemmy held court at the Rainbow, as it was walking distance from his condo. He didn't drive. If he wasn't on tour or at home, he was at the Rainbow, at the end of the bar, playing the slot machine and drinking jack and cokes.

Here ButnotThere said...

What does that mean "we don't guess himmm"?
Ridiculous, people throw out random names all day here. I love himmm, but if you are guessing everyone in this blind, why not start with the author.

Unknown said...

Awesome story!

Sugar Kane said...

+4

aseay said...

He and Jim jaramusch both used the title Cigarettes and Coffee for a movie. Helps with the reference to Sons if Lee Marvin reference.

Desi Derium said...

It’s just out of respect. The Himmmms have done a lot, providing us with these blinds and behind-the-scenes stuff. We want them to keep doing it.

Becki said...

I adore this story!! I love the 90s and this is so epic. I can't wait to see the movie :)

BayAreaGirl said...

DK is Chris Nolan for sure. He holds dual British & US citizenship, split his childhood between London & Evanston, IL. Wiki says he lived in IL during his formative years. Chris started working on Momento with his brother Jonathan in 1996. Sorry, but Favreau does not make great movies & Swingers is nothing more than a "bro" movie.

Nolan's movies are produced by his wife. They have 4 kids, a lot by modern standards.

Mz Kitty said...

What a fantastic story! Thank you mucho, Himmmm. Can't wait for the other stories to come. All you TL:DR assholes, no one cares! Just skip it for fuck sake...

lutefisk said...

Glad this took place pre-internet days. Otherwise photos probably would have been splashed everywhere, taking the mystery away. Fantastic story!

cheesy said...

I don't think people guessed Favreau for DK. Favreau was the guess for the first person Himmm saw in the club that was "an old friend of mine, another up-and-coming Director (A list director of great action movies). DK is described as "a shy "Hollywood Kid" like I was, growing up inside the entertainment biz." That describes Paul Thomas Anderson better than Nolan, although I'm not sure if PTA and Maya Rudolph are actually married.

Unknown said...

BN could be Terri, but I don't get the BN part. And, she was in her mid 30's when this was supposed to have gone down (96, 22 years ago), and 35-6 is not middle aged by any definition of the phrase. Enough pieces fit for it to be her, though, not a hill I want to die on.

Tiff said...

Yes to
Lc--Joe Strummer
RW--Tom Waits
DK--Paul thomas Anderson (dad was in the biz) And a side-note Joe Strummer was very good friends with John Cusack and Johnny Depp.




Fairylights said...

What a great adventure, awesome story!
loved the Cat and the Fiddle, I haven't been there since they moved, but I can't imagine the new place has the ambiance of the old one.
I have no clue who any of these people could be, I'll have to rely on the rest of you.

Missy Bigbritches said...

Ahhhh, I love this story. Can't wait for the bio/movie! Thanks so much for sharing.

Sharpie said...

Lends even more credence to the LC = Joe Strummer theory: https://sabotagetimes.com/music/i-need-a-dodge-in-search-of-joe-strummers-lost-car

Muckduck said...

This was so fun to read! I was a teen growing up in the 90s in the south and would dream about wild LA nights. I wish I had a time machine so I could live in LA in the 90s. Thanks, Himmmm!!

La-Juice said...

I feel like QT is definitely Kate Beckinsale- especially since she had a kid with her on again off again boyfriend Michael Sheen right during the time period HMMMM talks about. and she gets a franchise, etc....

ANyone else think Hmmmm sounds like John Cusack? I know its seems too easy, but hanging out with the rock and rollers, always makes me think of Cusack or depp, and refuse to think its depp.

Freckles said...

Great story! The length does not bother me it was entertaining. I got Strummer right away but was picturing RW as Robert Plant

VRWC said...

+1 except I thought of Tom Waites

Mrs.MuHa said...

LC= London Calling. It came out I was a senior in High School. I had been listening to KROQ for about a year and was already a huge Blondie fan. I think Rolling Stone named London Calling the best album of the 80s. Train in Vain was also a great song. I remember being bummed when Joe Strummer died. He never got the recognition he deserved. Ahhhh sweet nostalgia. I hate being old.

Me2 said...

this was FABULOUS. loved every word, felt like i was there. really loved this blind himmm, I wish there were more like it on this site.

Here ButnotThere said...

Kate Beckinsale back in late 1990's, my god

Scandi Sanskrit said...

OMG the Netscape and AOL days!!!! You guys... 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

Brendee said...

I love this blind, please make into a movie. You can still feel the fondness our Scribe has for QT. Isn’t she available now?

klg said...

Ugh..gave up reading this.

Kalamota Kook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin McHendry said...

Thank you for sharing this. I've been reading this site for about a year now, and this is by far my favourite story of them all. Beautifully written, too. I hope I get to see the film.

Amazing.

KGB said...

Booorrrr-iinnnggggg

Sekrit said...

This has got to be my favourite story I've ever heard, and I thought I heard some doozies. Thank you, Himmmm. It's a good story if you can get me to read the entire thing!

"Excuse me, fuckhead" instantly made me think of Kate B. She has an incredible use of swearing vocab, and had cute, short brown hair around that time.

I have no idea who else everyone could be. I was thinking of Joe Strummer for LC (I'm a massive Joe/Clash fan and the idea he would be a part of this awesome story makes my heart soar) but honestly, all the players in this story are amazing.

Speech_teacher said...

I absolutely loved this story. It was beautifully written, exquisitely expressed and exemplified love, friendship and adventure. I read it twice. I want more!

Wantsapphires said...

LC is beating some big guy's fist to death with his face. Lol


I REALLY enjoyed reading this. I could imagine everything. I have no clue who the people are, but I don't think this hiiimmm is RDJ. I kept imagining Rob Lowe though....

More Cowbell said...

Very well-written blind!

As many of you have commented similarly, it brought me back to my own dreamy/fun/wild 1990's experiences both in New York and LA.

QT ("Cutie") is definitely Kate Beckinsale. Take one look at her Wiki page, and she checks every box.

I agree with many posters that DK is Paul Thomas Anderson (BOOGIE NIGHTS fits in the time-line as his break-out movie, he grew up in the Hollywood world, and he has four kids).

I like the Joe Strummer guess for LC,

I know we aren't supposed to "out" himmmms, but I'm dying to figure it out. If anyone who has figured it out can hit me with a subtle clue, I'd appreciate it. :)))

Juliaph said...

I'll tell you true: I will take this kind of blind any day over the numerous, daily, identical blinds about which latest flavor-of-the-week is being stupid. Again.

Don't get me wrong. Enty is doing his job and he does it well. He is in "Hero Class" so people: Stay Off His Case! His writing is fine, the grammar is fine, His "Fifty Shades of Writing" is my private, secret masochism... "Beat me, Enty, beat me!!!

But every single day I do approach the unopened site with hope that there will be a written word that appeals to my higher state of mind. I am tired of the "seedy". Maybe it's because I am older, but I do not appreciate the "titilation" of this current crop of crap called "stars". But, hey, there are a lot of readers and I realize that there are different tastes, etc., and many people have to be pleased. But for today, whichever, whomever, whatever Himmm is speaking: "...bless you, dear boy..." You have blessed me. (And, yup, that "dear boy" IS a clue...)

Peter Fenerk said...

Agreed.

McJ 2051 said...

Started working my way through this. An hour later I admit defeat (Tom Waits for sure though - alcohol, folkie, RnR HoF). Will instead try to crack the Zodiac Code. Probably finish sooner. Great story though. Made me wonder what the most starry group of people ever assembled in the one place was (and not work-related like The Oscars).

Overbrook71 said...

And he claims,as I read this, he got QT pregnant. QT liked him so much she barebacked him.

Juliaph said...

Uggh, I blew my line... it wasn't "dear boy". It was "precious boy". Anyway, Himmm will know that I know.

Alana Smithee said...

Amazing story! this story is just so beautifully told, bravo!

I'm not much of a guesser, but the selection for RW are quite limited ( oscar winner and Rock and roll hall of fame? Tom Waits is an oscar nominee but not a winner ( Golden globe only)

RW - Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan or... Randy Newman??

ancoranonhocapito said...

I don't see how outing this particular himmmm would be a problem seeing that there's a film coming out which I guess will tell us who this was? Besides if you can guess it the bad guys can too, if that's what you are trying to avoid.

What I really want to know now is whether Kalamota Kook is BN or QT...

dachsiemom said...

I’ve been reading this site as a lurker for four years. When you mentioned “Fade into You” by Mazzy Star, I went to a place and a memory that I had forgotten until now. Thank you.

Cherry Coleman said...

LOVE this Himmmmm please never telling us these wonderful stories. My favorite Himmmmm I wouldn't have cared if it was twice as long.

Cherry Coleman said...

**never stop

tetsujin said...

Strummer and Waits absolutely have to be in this. Those would have the Jaramusch connection, and being in those New York indies reintroduced Waits to a new generation of the hip. It would also make sense for PTA to be linked up with those two for the JJ connection. WHO THE FUCK can forget the way Auster/Wang used the Waits song at the end of SMOKE? That movie dropped in '95.

Strummer and Waits were in Jaramusch's MYSTERY TRAIN set in Memphis and the film referenced Elvis a lot. Pallbearers of Elvis . . .

Now, me I would have loved for QT to be Dame Kristen Scott Thomas, who speaks French, but she was already a name in the mid-90s. Isn't as if Beckinsale hadn't already done a lot of work by 96. Well she is from an acting family as y'all say on here. I would have been way more jealous of HIMMMMM than I'm already if it were KST.

Funny that Favreau makes an appearance since this is like the plot of SWINGERS

No love for Bone Machine?

tetsujin said...

Jarmusch, not Jaramusch, sorry.

h3dge said...

BN = Big Nose = Barbra Streisand, a known french speaker, and one of the greatest voices of all time. The term "evergreen" mentioned in the blind as well - not exactly a common phrase.

Wantsapphires said...

Cheryl, while I do enjoy this hiimmm, the conversational writing style one is my favorite, lol.

pkelly491 said...

BN is not Streisand, though I thought of her for a bit too.

She's married to James Brolin, not an attorney, and has no kids with him. Also, she was never really part of a "band" per se...and probably was higher than A- at her peak. Probably Permanent A/A+.

This is still one of the best blinds I've ever read. Thank you so much for this himmmm it made my week.

Wantsapphires said...

Ok. Streisand does have the evergreen connection, but BN for big nose? Please no. Plus, is Babs this cool? (Maybe?)

Kalamota Kook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wantsapphires said...

BTW, I lost my virginity while a Berlin CD was on. ;)

idris89 said...

Long time lurker, first time commenter.

We can all agree on one thing, LC = the late legendary,Joe Strummer

I can roughly figure out which Himmmm is this, but I’d rather not say.
Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed weekend everyone.

Wantsapphires said...

Excuse me! Tape player lol. Not CD

Starry-eyed said...

+1 First name that came to mind .

Starry-eyed said...

Thinking of films JC has been the main role / narrator for, this totally fits him.

Mystique99 said...

Agreed. Terri Nunn was born in 1961, no way middle-aged in 1996. And her husband is a family lawyer and I wouldn't think she was A-. I am 2 yrs younger than her, I remember Berlin, but wouldn't have recalled her name or recognized her face. I had to look her up. But I'm wondering if there are some intentional red herrings in this BI, because the author states she went on to marry and have kids. After middle age? Something doesn't either add up or my reading comprehension is off. I think it's someone more famous and older than TN.

Buddy Bones Smith said...

My favorite blind ever....Mazzy Star was so perfect.

QT has to be Kate Beckinsale. I pictured RW as Tom Waits, and although I KNOW I’m wrong, I saw BN as Stevie Nicks.

ancoranonhocapito said...

Sorry to raise more problems but If this himmmm is who it has been suggested, then he would have been together with Beckinsale on Serendipity in 2001. The blind seems to suggest that they never crossed paths again...
I see that everyone goes with TW and I also immediately thought of him but I hang on to the stary according to which by the 90s TW was sober and wouldn't go out for drinks.

Anyway, yes this blind was glorious. Those were the 90s. I was 24 then and that was life. The 9/11 scam was soooo far away

Mystique99 said...

Probably something like serious toxemia where she had to abort to save her life or an ultrasound uncovered that the fetus had congenital abnormalities (like anencephaly-deformed skull/brain) that would result in still birth or death shortly after. One of the main reasons for late term abortions, those may not have been found till 2nd trimester, especially back in the 90's.

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