Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, Michael

Mike Bloomfield would have been 63 today.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Now that power has finally been restored and I have the cleanest refrigerator this side of the Mississippi, I'm goin' truckin' in this:

They (U-Haul) promised me a newer model truck since I am doing a one-way trip. In other words, I wouldn't be getting one of their falling-apart trucks that they rent out for in-town moving. When I picked the truck up this morning, it looked like it had been sitting in the back of the storage facility for several months. It chugged and sputtered and coughed a little as I started it - as you can see, the front bumper has molded itself into a very cute frown - but the air conditioner spat cold air out in a matter of seconds. After sweating it out in my house for several days, cold air continues to be in the forefront of my little mind.

I don't think the lady who rented the truck knew what she was doing. She didn't run my credit card, didn't fill out one of those long contract forms where you have to initial your life away, and she didn't even note the mileage nor the gas tank level (empty, btw). She just gave me a single-sheet computer print-out called a contract receipt. Can you get a contract receipt without getting a contract?

As I was driving the truck home, I noticed an illuminated yellow warning light..."Engine service needed soon." And then I saw the mileage... 158571. Great. Tomorrow I am going to fall out of bed, get in the truck, hit the local Starbucks and make my way up the I-5 to San Francisco. Is this truck going to make it?

And now I can't get this song out of my dead head:

"Truckin' got my chips cashed in. Keep truckin', like the do-dah man
Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin' on."

So, I decided I better dip into my dead musician files and scan the G.D. negs. Wow...I was as awestruck seeing these soundcheck photos today as I was when took them:

I am at the very back of the Coliseum...that thing is huge.

Yes, that's J.G. second from the left.
How many speakers does one little Truckin' band need?
Can you say, "Loud"?

If you happen to see me puttering up the northbound side of the Grapevine tomorrow, don't forget to honk and wave. And if I'm stopped on the side of the freeway with the engine smoking, you better damn well stop.

In the meantime....

"Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been."

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Almost 24 hours since my power went out and guess what? It's still out! I'm not complaining, mind you. After hitting Starbucks last night to upload yesterday's post, I went home and read a book with a flashlight as I sweated myself to sleep. It was a good lesson.I don't read enough books. But without the distraction of TV and the internet...

The continuing power outage has made me realize how spoiled I (we) really am (are). What is a minor inconvenience for me is a daily nightmare for a lot of less fortunate souls here and around the world. Plenty have people have no power...ever. Think about it. I'm not going to mention any of them here because it's too depressing and the list is too long. Make your own list and appreciate all the conveniences you don't have to live without.

Of course, I'm also lucky I didn't have to sit in my house all day. Last report, it was 96˚ inside my house. I have spent the whole day at my over-air-conditioned Starbucks, doing a little work, helping a friend with her short film script and generally chit-chatting with the regulars and meeting a few new people.

And just when I put down in the old blog - which I liken to setting in stone - that I never recognize actor walks in here...I look at him...and immediately recognize him. Any of you watch Crossing Jordan? It was Steve Valentine, the English guy that plays the the morgue doc who mans all the cool scientific gadgetry. Okay, not such a big star but, come on, I recognized him all by myself. Probably 'cause he's tall and English. I hope I haven't reversed my affliction. I don't want to have to book weekly appointments with my chiropractor.

One last thing...anybody know how long the food in my fridge and freezer will last?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Dinner With...

I went out to dinner last night with a writer/producer friend. Since it has been freakin' hot here lately I was wearing a pair of just-below-the-knees white shorts, a white shirt and black sandals. I thought we were going somewhere casual.

My friend doesn't live in my area so he asked of friend of his who does where to go to eat. His answer was Ventura Blvd. between Coldwater Canyon and wherever, so we drove off to wherever until he passed this restuarant with a bluish neon sign he liked. "Let's go there," he said as we passed the restaurant. He made a left by Casa Vega and turned around twice, pulling up to the valet behind an ultra-expensive Porsche with some Hollywood nobody it-couple climbing out of the car.

We walk in the restaurant and I immediately notice the perfectly ironed, perfectly white table clothes on the candle-lit tables. Uh, this place is expensive. The maitre d' descended on us with speed and grace. Uh, this place is really expensive. "Are you with the Lieberman party?" "No. Two for dinner. We don't have a reservation." "Well, I'm sorry I don't have anything at the moment. You'll have to wait." I volunteer to go elsewhere. Maybe Denny's will have a table. "How long?" my friend asks. "Fifteen or twenty minutes." "No problem."

We stand by the door. All the seats at the mahogany bar are occupied by well-dressed patrons. I glance at a menu. Uh, this place is really, really expensive. My friend doesn't seem to mind. He says he's happy to have dinner with me because I crack him up. Great. More pressure. The maitre d' seats us sooner than later at a small table for two wedged between a similar table on my left and a round table for three to my right. We are close enough to the other two tables to eat off their plates.

We had barely ordered a glass of wine when my friend signaled me to check out the woman seated at the round table to my right. In some foreign tongue he mumbled something like, "is that who I think it is?" I glance at the table. First I see the balding probably past middle age guy. Couldn't miss him. He's as large as the restaurant is expensive. Trying not to be obvious my eyes wander farther to the right and I'm looking at a very beautiful woman who is maybe fifty. It took me a couple of minutes of casual glances to even realize who he thought she was. Not that she didn't look like who he thought she was but I just don't have a knack for recognizing people. Especially famous people.

[Damn. The power just went out. And it's well over 100 degrees outside. Going to check if it's just my house or the neighborhood.] [Okay, I took a walk around the neighborhood. It still feels like the 115 it was a few hours ago. The guys across the street have power. It seems like it's only affecting 3/4 of my block and the block behind me. And the power company phone lines are busy. Crap. It's already heating up in the house. 1:30 left on the laptop.]

So, where was I? Oh yeah, I don't recognize famous people. I think that's a good affliction to have if you live in L.A. Otherwise, I'd be craning my neck every which way on a regular basis and probably end up with whiplash. The only time I recognize people is when someone says, "Hey, look, it's so and so." The Starbucks I generally write at has its share of famous people streaming in and out who I recognize now because someone told me who they are and I see them on a regular basis. They include Kelsey Grammar, Dick Van Patten, Harry Hamlin and his soapy wife Lisa (she owns a boutique down the street), Roger Rabbit (he's a regular so we sometimes chat), a couple of well-paid screenwriters, the guy who played Viggo's son in A History of Violence and Ashlee Simpson's on-again off-again boyfriend, Ryan Cabrera who I'm sure would prefer to be referenced on his own merits. There's probably a lot more but I don't notice.

Back to the restaurant. We have snails - oops, I mean escargot - and one of them leaps out of my friends tongs and skips down the front of his shirt, leaving a trail of melted butter. Much laughter ensued. But he's still trying to decide if the beauty at the next table is the person he thinks she is. I don't think so...she's too young. We have to talk in code about this because they are that close to us. And she and I have a straight on view of each other when I move my eyes 20ยบ right. Yes, between me cracking him up, identifying the woman has become an obsession.

As luck would have it, my friend happens to be acquainted with the assistant to the beautiful woman - if that is her. How weird is that? So, in the middle of dinner, in this classy upscale really, really, really expensive restaurant, my friend pulls out his cell phone and gives his friend a call. "Do you know where your boss is tonight? I'm at a restaurant in Sherman Oaks. Could she be having dinner with a really fat guy?" I look over at the woman for identifying jewelry. "Ask if her boss wears rings on her right index finger." "Does she wear rings..." "No, wait, it's her left index finger." He finally hangs up and confirms that it could be her.

Well, now I gotta know. They finish their dinner, we finish ours. I had a chicken dish that was to die for. We talk a little bit about the biz and screenwriting and gossip - even though my friend is also tuned into the conversation at the other table. Then it happens. At the precise perfect moment in their conversation, but out of the blue, my friend looks at them and lets out a little laugh followed by something like, "you guys are really getting into it." Hide me under the table now. They laugh politely and the fat guy says something like, "no, it's all in fun" and my friend interjects, "Do you happen to know Christine (whatever her name is)?" The beuatiful woman's face lights up and she says, "Why, yes" and he cuts her off and says, "Because she just called me and I asked her if it was possible that you were you."

Introductions all around and a little small talk and all was well. Who was the beautiful woman at the next table?

I trust I don't have to tell you her name.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mighty Mites

I've been MIA the past few days, for a number of reasons.

First and foremost is a problem I've been trying to deal with...unsuccessfully. It's a "tiny" problem that feels enormous. The biggest problem with the problem is I couldn't identify it. I googled and researched for days and found nothing.

I have also been otherwise indisposed because I am working on a new script - one that is quickly developing into a story I am very passionate about and can really sink my teeth into. I'm working on it with a partner which I don't normally do - his name is John and has been previously referred to in my blog as "Big Hollywood Executive." This script is really exciting and we are hoping to complete it within the next month.

So, John comes over this morning to work with me and I show him my "tiny" problem and lo and behold the Big Hollywood Executive has the answer. This is what I showed him:
My problem is the tiny specks surrounding the penny. Even though these little guys are close to microscopic, within two seconds John says: Mites. I couldn't believe it. Mites? I google food mites and come upon an article about grain mites. I had looked at one of my little critters under my photo lupe and sure enough, it looked suspiciously like this drawing that accompanied the article:
Damn. John was right. Well, that should dispel some of the misconceptions we writers have about Big Hollywood Executives.

Now the hard part. I have to get rid of them. I already dumped all the boxed cereals that were on top of the fridge. And I emptied out a cupboard that had crackers, pasta and rice - even stuff that appeared to be sealed because I figured these little guys could get into anything. The article confirmed my suspicion. Not only can they sneak into closed containers, they can eat their way into sealed cardboard boxes and plastic ziplock bags. In order to rid myself of the vermin, I have to throw most everything away, vacuum all the cupboards and wash them down with soapy water. They said not to use insect spray in the cupboards - oops. I'm also going to empty/clean the fridge and pull it, and the stove, out from the wall and bleach the floor. Then I won't bring cupboard food in the house for at least a week, just to make sure they've all met their demise.

How did I get grain mites? Probably from something I bought from a store that was already infested. I can only imagine how many of them I digested before I even realized I had a problem. Ugh! I'm definitely not a candidate for Fear Factor.

What else has kept me MIA? I had my garage sale. I have two words about that. Never again.

And last but not least, I tidied up the office. Heres the before picture I put in my "I'm Ashamed of Myself" post:

And this is the after picture:
What did I learn from this? Public shame is a great motivator.

And by the end of the week that bulletin board will be covered in index cards, mapping out the new script.

I can't wait.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sticks and (no) Stones

I was planning to do a Pink Floyd post.

Something like "Syd Barrett is dead...but I didn't shoot him." He was a founding member of Pink Floyd, even gave them their name. But then he went a bit wacky and left the band in 1968. That was before my time.

Anyway, I pulled out the Pink Floyd slides and negs I shot when it was my time, thinking I'd put some up in tribute to their former bandmate. But then, printed on the top of the neg sheet was "PINK FLOYD/STICKS." Did I shoot Styx and not know how to spell their name? I hope not.

Put the negs in the scanner. Okay, there's Pink Floyd and there's...wait, that's not Styx, it's some guy sitting behind a drum kit. Sticks? Hmmm. A guy named Sticks. A drummer, no less. Vaguely familiar. But on the same neg strip as Roger Waters? I'm not's the proof:

Who is this guy Sticks? In keeping with my credo to honor those I've shot who are dead, it's my duty to find out. But how do I google I guy named Sticks? "Sticks"=93.5 million hits. No, I'm not checking every single one of those. Try "drummer named Sticks", 4 hits - actually 2 duplicated to 4.

First one: Electro-Harmonix LPB-1
I did some sessions with a drummer named "Sticks" that did some gigs with Hendrix, and he said that Hendrix had one of these on his Marshalls. ...

Sticks played with Hendrix? Impressive. It's a post by a guy named Ryan Bruner, reviewing an Electro-Harmonix, whatever that is. He had a band called Feet of Clay and has a couple of IMDB credits. And there's an email address on his review. I'll email him and see if he has any info on Sticks.

And the other hit? Something about him playing with the Jimmy Snyder Band (?) at a club in Nashville.

In the meantime, here's a photo of the drummer named Sticks. Anybody out there know anything about this guy? Maybe I have a Jimi Hendrix expert on board? Much appreciated, as usual.
A drummer named Sticks. I remember thinking that was funny when I met him and shot the photos. It's even funnier now.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Your Wish Is My Command

Yes, I have become subservient to the readers of my blog.

This is what transpired in the comment section of another post:
The Moviequill said... yeah, I have way too much fun captioning than to be a neutral judge... by my calculations we're do for another photo too
Chesher Cat said... Anything specific you're wanting to see, Sir Quill?
The Moviequill said... hmmm, how about a sexy female rocker in a provocative pose? this will bring out my worst.. I mean best caption prowess ha

Sir Quill's request spurred me into pulling out my as yet unscanned Tammy Wynette negs (which means I actually did some work on the book today) because I knew I had this sexy female well-maybe-not-rocker on the same show.

Feel free to post captions on this or any of the other photos, Sir Quill.

Whenever I go into my old photos I always find some sort of surprise. This batch had two. First, I was happy to see I have photos of Tammy Wynette singing with then husband George Jones. It had to have been one of their last performances together before they split, as in D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Let's see if anybody gets that.

The second surprise was photos of Chaka Khan. Don't ask me what Chaka was doing on the same roll as Dolly, Tammy and George. Must have been the next show I shot. She was touring with Rufus at the time and since she fits Sir Quill's requirements I decided to throw her up here too.
I guess she's looking a little more provacative than Dolly.

And I couldn't put up female rockers without including Suzi Quatro. Okay, I know most of you don't know who she is but she wears leather and was one of the first female glam-rockers - need I say more? She's American but when she couldn't crack the US charts she moved across the pond and found success in England. Here she is chillin' backstage:
And on stage, with slightly provocative highlighting on the leather:
And, in case you like your female rockers a little on the wild side:
Or maybe a little more educated:
The classes the Quatro band enrolled in were "R" rated. Hopefully. you couldn't make out all those dirty words on the blackboard when you clicked on the photo to make it bigger.

Anybody who knows the names of the band members, please chime in. I think the guy on the far left might be the drummer and the guy next to him, the keyboard player. And I'm pretty sure the guy on the far right is the guitar player, who Suzi Quatro married a year later. I have no idea who the other two people are - just backstage whoevers, although the girl looks like she could be the naughty school teacher.

And to come completely clean here - since it's summertime and I'm in that mood - I don't know what I had going with the two guys on the left, but I have other pictures of them. Like a shot of Mr. Second-to-the-left taking a picture of me (yes, it looks like I may have made a habit of that) and a cute little shot of Mr. Guy-on-the-far-left peeking his head out at me from behind a door (No, not that head!).

So, anyway, I have decided that I am going to cop to sleeping with every male musician that came through town. Why not? It's just easier that way. And maybe it will up my rock'n'roll cred. Ah, hell, I slept with all the women too. There you have it. You heard it here first. And in case you were wondering, I'm sorry to say all the plaster casts were destroyed in the '94 earthquake.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Waylon Wailin'

Congratulations to the late-great Waylon Jennings on his long over-due induction to Hollywood's RockWalk yesterday. His widow, Jessi Colter was on hand at the ceremony as well as Kris Kristofferson, who was also inducted.

Did I mention sexy?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Remember That Contest?

You know, the Ron Wood et Moi photo caption contest I put up a really long time ago? I do, sort of. You were probably thinking I decided my own caption was the best and awarded myself the prize. Believe me, I thought about it but then decided that wouldn't be fair.

So, I finally got off my butt and recruited some awesome independent judges. And they are so diligent, I even got some of the votes back. But now I'm thinking I could use three more judges. For some reason, I like my judges in sevens. Which means, if you are a regular or even occasional reader of my blog and you feel qualified to determine the fate of all those contestants that are on the edge of their seats waiting for the results, send me an email ( and I'll give you a robe and gavel and put you on the bench.

If you're one of the contestants, don't even think about sending me an email under some assumed name so you can vote for yourself. Like E. Poe or J. Rotten or R. Wood for that matter. I will know who you are and you will be immediately disqualified. Then I will hunt you down, I better not say in case it can be used against me in a court of law.