Friday, July 06, 2018

Blind Item #10 - Elegant Degradation – A Himmmm Blind Item Story – Part 3

12AM on Tues., 16 of July 1996: THE WHISKY – HOLLYWOOD, CA

We had cell phones (and interwebs too!) back in those ancient days; neither of which worked very well or consistently.  Through the invention of the "land line" phone some 100+ years before, we still managed to keep in touch.  Luckily, Duke had called ahead and we had friends waiting for us up the street.  A quick knock on the load-in doors (and knowing the management) allowed us to avoid the main doors.  Inside the hallowed/stained walls of the nightclub, we ran into more friends, actors, actresses, and musicians.  There were also lots and lots of very attractive models.  All of whom Doc was sure to tell "it's my Birthday", while pointing to himself.  Amazingly enough, Doc had been married for a couple of years by now.  I'd never seen him cheat, ever – but he was the Michael Jordan of world class flirts.

There was a very aggressive young lady who was hanging all over Doc like a drunken prom date, much to Ben's hilariously-constant laughter.  She was very short, very young, and very talkative about Doc's celebrity career.  None of which interested my friend in the least.  I think it was Ben who said she looked like the mix of Steve Guttenberg and Wallace Shawn.  In hindsight, we were so messed up that the girl may actually have been Wallace Shawn.

Rock groups came on, played, and moved through their sets.  One after the other.  Meanwhile, Duke kept chatting up a very disinterested lady with lots and lots of hair.  I told Doc that Duke should definitely invite her to the motel.  Doc smiled.  "She looks like Doug Henning.  You know, the poodle that does magic tricks." I told him to behave.  He didn't.  "I once knew a trick that did magic poodles."  Just stop, Doc. Really.  Stop.

As the last band was blasting through a Ramones cover, we saw it was now almost 2AM.  I grabbed Duke and told he and Ben it was time to head to "the Annex to party".  Duke's eyes got huge: "You mean THE Annex?".  Yes.  Ben was trying to convince the magic poodle to join us.  Doc just yanked Duke away, very hyper, dragging him through the crowd.  Much to the crowd's dismay.

Duke yanked free, and stepping through the hallway he began to vent his spleen at me, Ben, Jess, Sara, and everyone around…except Doc (who had somehow slipped off through the mob).  "I'm sick of that shit man! I know it's your birthday and everything but he has to cool it.  Why's he gotta be such a dick every time we go anywhere? And he gets so fu%&d up? I was talking to that girl and he had to be a dick! Just 'cause he's the big hot-shot??".

I was trying to keep Duke cool, as our little crowd was easing to the exit doors.  The house lights were threatening to come up inside and that's a harsh light in which nobody In L.A. ever wants to be seen.  As we half-stepped out, Duke ranted: "It's like I swear, every single time we go out; people always point, and shout…"

With flawless timing, Doc walks up totally out of nowhere, deadpan - he sings:

"…there goes John-Jacob-Jingleheimer-Schmitt. Nah-Nah-Nah-nah-na-na!".

Jessica and Ben EXPLODE in cackling laughter, as does everybody around us.  Except poor Duke – who just seethes at Doc.  Trying to remain sincere, I fight back the chuckle. "It's okay buddy, he means well."  Hopeless, I too start laughing.  Thankfully, Duke also breaks down, and we're all enjoying it, heading back out to the Sunset Strip crowd on a beautiful July birthday night.


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