Memoirs of a dreamer who lived amongst the many dreamers in the city where every dream is possible for the right price, but where most dreams crash and burn. The one place where they pay millions for a love scene and fifty cents for your soul, as Marilyn Monroe used to claim, is the haven for aspiring artists worldwide. You can always check into Hotel Hollywood....but as many have learned throughout the years, you can never check out.
Every generation hopes that they grow up in interesting times, never knowing what they are going to end up with. Will they make a difference? My generation wanted to “Feed The World” with a Band Aid, unfortunately the world is still hungry. I grew up in the city of a million beautiful dreams. I never really thought much about it, but I grew up in a world that could be considered by some a dream itself. I was surrounded by dreamers who had come from all over the country and the world in some cases, to Los Angeles; to become rock stars, movie stars, artists, models, in other words: famous, that is what they all wanted really; to be famous. Some of them made it there, and some just became legends in the community. I never really knew what my dreams were back then. So I was just happy to help along everyone else on their dreams. I grew up in the middle of some really fantastic times looking back on it now.
We spent every night going somewhere. There was always somewhere to go. Scream, The Cat House, The Krypt, The Rainbow and who can forget Kontrol Factory the place that turned away Madonna and her entourage, unless of course they wanted to pay to get in, they didn’t and we didn’t miss them. We lived in an apartment right behind Rock and Roll Ralphs, and just down the street from the Seventh Veil. Some of the guys from Jetboy lived up the street, and Slash lived in an apartment right across the corner, and we saw him pretty regularly at Rock and Roll Ralphs, late at night usually with a girl or two trying to get someone to buy him some Jack, unfortunately it was usually after 2:00 a.m. funny how the bottle is never empty before 1:58 a.m.
I worked at a record store on Melrose Ave, that only sold vinyl (yes kids actual record albums) when I started there. By the time I’d moved on, the store was filled with CDs, and Videos, as well. How times have changed. Some of the people we used to hang out with actually made it. Maybe he didn’t become the rock star he’d dreamed of being, but he did get nominated for an Oscar, he did end up a pretty big movie star. Some burned bright then ended up crash landing on Celebrity Fit Club; now that was something to see. The thing is the ones that did make it were singularly focused on their dreams. There was little room for anything else, well maybe a little fun and insanity on the side, but always the dream was the focus. In this column I’d like to share some of those fun and insane times I was privy to as a part of the then scene. That record store has moved off Melrose, I’ve grown up, well somewhat, most of the clubs are long gone and Hollywood just isn’t what it used to be. Times have changed, only the memories remain. Consider this column a bit of a comeback tour, revisiting those glory days of the Hollywood scene circa 1980’s through the early 1990’s.