Posted: Apr 22, 2011 1:12 pm
Furthest west I'd ever been before was either Bozeman, MT or Phoenix, AZ (whichever is further). Last week I went to Orange, CA for work. Had a one night stay at the end because the best, quickest flights were the next day. So, the last day of work we got out early, changed into regular clothes & drove to Newport Beach.
Walked out on the pier, watched dudes fish & surf, then stuck my toes into the Pacific ocean. Badass.
Walked arounsd the shops, had a huge prime rib sandwich & beer at some place called Malarkey's (Irish pub at the beach? o.k.), then drove up the PCH into LA County close to sunset. Lot's of oil wells, it seems, although I wondered if the rigs were pumping oil in from the dereks in the bay.
Went back to the hotel, ditched my co-worker, and Gore came to pick me up.
I was worried he'd have a hard time getting there, because the hotel overlooked Anaheim Angel's stadium, and they had just wrapped up a 12 inning game against the Indians. Not a hard time at all, it seems.
I hadn't seen Gore in forever (he shaved his most awesome moustache; but, hey, everybody needs a change).
He drove me into LA, and we talked alot about Memphis and goings on here, and then I saw the City Hall building from the interstate. For some reason, my mouth let loose this "Eeeeeeeeeee!" sound, and I was clapping like some little girl.
Gore pointed to the hills (it was dark, but you could see all the house lights) and said "see that big dome on the hill? that's the Griffith Observatory."
"Eeeeeeeeeeee!" and more clapping.
We got off the interstate, somehow got on Sunset, Hollywood, Vine, and other streets I've only heard about; drove past all manner of landmarks and places I've seen a million times on tv and movies. The Whiskey, the Rainbow, lots of strip clubs, the Capitol Records building (got to get out for a second and look at the stars on the side walk - George Harrison and Ringo are close to the front entrance, but Garth Brooks gets the center spot, apparently). Also, accross the street I noticed two Paramount Pictures port-a-pottys on a trailer, then noticed the area was sectioned off. "Are they shooting a movie, or something?" Gore said, "Probably".
Gore showed me all sorts of Hotels and Venues that were supposedly haunted, including one place that's some kind of old folks home now, haunted by Marrilyn Monroe, or somesuch.
Saw the Ed Wood movie theater, Graumanns Chinese Theater; Dath Vader was walking around outside. "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!"
Then he took me to this tinyTaqueria place where you walk up and order stuff, then sit at some picnic tables next to it.
I ate Carnitas and Al Pastor tacos for the first time. I also tried this weird drink called Horchata made out of rice, cinamon and vanilla. I had two glasses. Delicious. Gore ordered everything in spanish; his family has lived in that area since before California was a state, or something.
We drove around some more, saw the Beverly Hills sign, pulled up next to some dude's new Lambroghini (eeeeeeee). I apologized to Gore for getting all touristy, but I couldn't help it. You know what he said? "How do you think we feel when we come to Memphis?"
I swore right then, the next time Gore comes to town, Bruce and I will give him the Grand Memphis midnight tour.
Saw the Los Angeles River, and immediately thought of Grease. I mentioned it, and then we drove past the school where the Rydel High terack and field stuff was shot. Drove by Glenn Danzig's house. Went accross some bridge called the "William Shakespear Bridge" where apparently goth kids go to get pictures of themselves made looking like they are trying to jump off, or something. Then we drove to some other neighborhood, where I Am the Arm's band was playing. It was inside some other Mexican restaurant, that had a Beatnik Crab painted on it, but also had this awesome Mariachi mural inside.
The show was hilarious for a number of reasons. 1) Who knew Arm knew how to play accordian? 2) the band broke up in three songs 3) while some of the members were having some kind of weird tantrum, Arm is just up there playing accordian, smiling like a motherfucker, like nothing was going to ruin his good time. I haven't seen such a great and complete meltdown on stage since the Final Solutions. Met Arm's new wife and hugged them both. After a few beers, Gore took me back to the hotel and we had a long talk about music, family, history, and all manner of things.
Thank you Gore; best night in California ever, and I hope to come back.
In California none of my predisposed notions came true:
1. No one tried to convert me to vegitarianism
2. No one made me join a cult
3. Drivers are suprisingly friendly
4. Everybody I met was totally nice.