I write this statement as if I am a scientist on the verge of proving this theory, but I am not; however, I am an individual who has experienced this phenomenon many times over throughout my life.
On the night of my 49th birthday, those odd occurrences that remind you that there is Something the Fuck Going On culminated in a concert that had been proclaimed for decades would never happen.
At the beginning of the year, it was announced on the official Electric Light Orchestra mailing list that Jeff Lynne would play three consecutive shows at the Hollywood Bowl on Septembers 9, 10, and 11, and to be on the lookout for the announcement for when the tickets went on sale, ‘cos they’d probably go quickly.
I wrote every friend I had to let them know, to see if anyone would be interested in seeing this concert enough to buy tickets, with me making arrangements for everything else, from travel to lodging to food. One of my oldest friends and most fun faux musical nemesis, Andy, opted in. Not long after, the tickets went on sale, and I went to work making arrangements, which included couch surfing with Brian, the man who plays the spoon-wielding demon, the Ginosaji, himself.
I got into town first, in amongst about 30 surly homeless people who were arguing with the police. You gotta love Greyhound! Making my way to the airport, I waited to Andy, fetched him, fetched the car, then off we went to Brian’s, who was just getting home himself. He had weekend for luxury in the desert. After a while of visiting, Brian gave us fierce hus and went off on his own adventure, leaving us to it.
After a late dinner at the House of Pies right down the street, Andy and I crashed for the night with tentative plans to explore some better known areas of the city – at least better known to us Gen X’ers – and soak up some architecture.
Up early the next day, we went for pancakes (Andy) and eggs and tomato juice (me), then set to figuring out where we wanted to go and how we were going to get there. GPS is a thing of wonder.
Andy at Melrose Place (I think?!)
First was the Ennis House, which is closed to the public, but that doesn’t stop people from lurking up and down the winding road upon which it rests. Although a famed Frank Lloyd Wright creation, it is also known for being the location for many movies, not the least of which is the original Vincent Price film, House on Haunted Hill. Even though it only has two bedrooms and three bathrooms, the structure is huge. It has some amazing windows, from what we could see from the road, and I simply fell in love with the gate. There was a massive, heavy chain blocking the gate from the road, but that didn’t stop me from shimming underneath to get a blurry picture of LA through the intricate design. There was a camera trained on that particular area, so I’m probably a wanted woman by now. I don’t care. Come get me.
Afterward, we headed to the Griffith Observatory, but could find no place to park, so enjoyed the drive and scenery up, took a couple of pics , then back down, going next to another Frank Lloyd Wright home, the Hollyhock House.
I called Paul when we got back to make arrangements to meet the next day. We decided on House of Pies at 3 PM, as he had a film showing to attend in the area a little while after that, and we needed to be at the concert venue about an hour prior to the concert beginning. All seemed in order.
We then crashed. Hard.
Come 10 September. Another early day, but we both seemed more energized than the day before. Extended travel, no matter what form, can suck the life out of you like Cadmus Pariah snacking on the first two rows of an audience at a Magnificat concert.
On Paul’s suggestion, we ate at Mel’s Drive-In, which is a 50’s style diner in the style of Pulp Fiction, which was something Andy was jonesing to experience. I opted for a Popeye’s Breakfast, a super vitamin/protein shake made of spinach, kale, beets, and parsley.
Just a guess, but I’m thinking Andy was wondering what the draw vegetarianism has for me, so he ordered – and I may be wrong about the name – eggs verde. It was primarily green in colour, with tomatoes, corn, soft-boiled eggs, and toast. Even though he wasn’t impressed with the taste (non-vegetarians seems to need to get accustomed to the rich flavour and aroma meat can add to any dish), he later admitted to feeling really energized. When food is no longer a major priority, taste isn’t that much of a thing, but fuel is. I think it kept him going a lot long than the day before, and he admitted to not feeling as weighed down or as sluggish. One note before I move on to our next adventure, Andy went down for coffee before we began our day, and spied a t-shirt in a window of cats in UFOs attacking dogs, which he had to have. This comes into play later.
After breakfast, we drove downtown to stare menacingly at the Cecil Hotel, which is now called Stay on Main, but everyone still calls it the Cecil because of its notorious reputation. Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger both stayed there whilst on their festive killing sprees. Being one of those big honkin’ donkey Sith girl cowards, I was satisfied taking pictures from the car, but was fortunate enough to get pictures of the famed water tanks, one of which contained the two-week old body of Elisa Lam, whose decomposition made the hotel’s water black for a short time. If you haven’t heard the strange story of Elisa Lam, you really should do yourself a favour (or disservice) by watching what happened with this unfortunate Canadian tourist, who thought it was a good idea to party in a bad part of town whilst staying at a hotel that offers amenities like hostel shared bathrooms and showers, and a death or two.
Despite our long and deep friendship, Andy and I had radically different interests in the story of Los Angeles. Our themes, other than meeting friends and basking in the glory that is Jeff Lynne, were architecture and gruesome happenings. Opposites attract indeed.
To be continued.