I'll only be posting a fraction of the images I took whilst in LA, but you can click this pic to access all of them, if you wish. Also, the original size pics are only a click away from the pics I posted here, so get that mouse to moving!
Our only two forays into Touristville was our trip to the La Brea Tar Pits museum (the Mother Unit and I went to the pits last year, but did not go into the museum.). I don't think I've ever been in the presence of so many bones and fossils. It was awesome.
Then Andy needed to go to the Harley store to get his sister-in-law a shot glass that said Los Angeles on it, so we found ourselves battling the cast of thousands on the streets, who oblivious to nothing but the stars embedded in the sidewalk, and legendary locales like Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I stayed in the car while Andy ran his Harley errand. I would only have slowed him down, and the clock was beginning to tick by then.
After escaping the tourist traps, it was off to House of Pies. This is a great hang-out place, and my biggest regret is not actually getting a piece of actual flipping pie from there! There’s always a next time, and a slice of blueberry cheesecake with my name on it, trust me.
Now, I was under the impression we were meeting only Paul, because Richard was in Las Vegas. When I got a text on the way to the restaurant informing us that we were on for 3 PM, I thought it was Paul. Andy and I got there a little early to get us a booth and, shortly thereafter, Paul showed up. I was taken aback a little, because I had forgotten he’d shaved, so I was expecting the furry edition of the beleaguered Jack Cucchiaio. We gleefully chatted for a few minutes and Paul and Andy got acquainted, when Richard Gale showed up, which surprised the fuck out of me. I figured we wouldn’t have a chance to meet him, because he was out of town, and all. He even brought me a Ginosaji spoon, which is the last thing I expected, because I contributed without requesting any perks. The perk for me is to see this film come to fruition. If I had my way, the people with the real talent, in my opinion, which is the only one that matters, would have endless funds for their projects, frighteningly organised promotional work, everything they need at their fingertips, and 100% creative control of their own work. It was the only way to change the music business, which we’ve seen on almost every level, and I believe that’s how it’s going to end up in what we still call “Hollywood.” Anyone with any shred of talent, and imagination, and a Tribe that will back them up no matter what will eventually own the world. Jeff Lynne found that out initially at Hyde Park. He’s still being shocked by it all. It couldn’t happen to a better person, except people like Barry Andrews and Richard Gale.
The Spoon of the Ginosaji has found a place of honour next to my baby dancing Groot. Behold the oddest couple in fandom!
Our early dinner lasted longer than expected. We talked movies, film-making, music, and general tomfoolery until it almost ran Paul and Richard late. I thanked them for being two of about ten people on this planet to make me genuinely happy and laugh since 2011. That means more than most everyone can possibly realise.
Richard introduced Andy to the wonders of Uber, which saved our butts as far as getting to the Hollywood Bowl in time, we took an awesome picture, courtesy of the kind cashier at House of Pies, and reluctantly parted ways, promising to do it again soon.
Both Paul and Richard are funny, talented, delightful souls, filled with stories about what it’s like to live and work in Los Angeles. It was deeply insightful, none of which I’m sharing here, because I haven’t asked permission to share, and there are some things that just shouldn’t be public without the consent of the persons to whom it happened.
I will say that the Ginosaji movie is progressing nicely and is beginning to live up to its description as epic on a level that’s hard to imagine. Impressed doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel about the project. I can’t wait for it to all be a reality.
Before heading back to the apartment, Andy wanted to go get the tee with the space cat invaders, so we hied down to the shop to find it. Whilst there, I found a shirt that was so anti-this trip, I knew I had to have it. I’m not one to buy frivolous stuff for myself, but I knew this would always conjure the memory of the grooviest birthday I’ve had so far whilst incarcerated in this current veil of tears, and it was only $10, so I took my chances, in more ways than one. They only had the one shirt, and it was a woman’s medium. Since I’m still having problems figuring out what can and can’t fit me, I decided to go for it anyway. Luckily, it fit perfectly, so I wore it with my galaxy pants, because you can’t go to an ELO concert without having the cosmos nearby for their spaceship to have a place along which to triumphantly coast.
Jumping into our Uber with a tad of time to spare (we would have been woefully late, had it not been for Richard’s suggestion. Thank you for that!), Andy and I were on our way to what I believed would be a defining Life Moment, and Andy was keen on a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. He specifically said that he wasn’t tingly like I probably was.* Since I tend to try to keep my emotions in check, my tingle factor was definitely present, but I did my level best to keep it together as we hunted for our seats, which was relatively. The folks who work at the Hollywood Bowl are quite courteous and helpful. They’ll also read you the riot act and not give you entrance if you have a camera that even vaguely looks professional. Mine does not, but I didn’t want to take the chance of losing my camera, so I took my iPhone, which has a very good camera, so I wasn’t too very lower-lippy about leaving the camera at Brian’s apartment.
Andy’s phone had very little charge and he was responsible for the Uber ride back from Hollywood Bowl, so it was up to me to get as many decent pictures as I possibly could. I even managed to get part of All Over the World, which was personally important, since it was Xanadu that officially introduced me to the Electric Light Orchestra.
The concert began with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by unspeakably cool Thomas Wilkins, playing pieces from English composers, like the lush Nimrod by Edward Elgar, which thrilled Andy no end, considering it’s one of his favourite pieces and and he can play it on organ. I wish I had that kind of talent.
Being raised on various Classical composers (like Antonín Dvorak and Johann Strauss) along with the Beatles, the Carpenters, and early Electronica like Popcorn by Hot Butter, I was eating the opening act by the orchestra up like a thirsty dude in the desert who just found a water fountain.
When Jeff Lynne and his band finally took the stage, it was nothing short of a religious experience, especially since the opening song was Tightrope, which is one of the closest songs you’ll ever get Jeff Lynne to being cynical. Even then, it turns out in the end. Yes, I admit, I got teary.
All of the songs the band played were their classics, and they were played with precisions. The only exception was the single release from the new album, Alone in the Universe, When I Was a Boy. Despite his hearing the new album prior to the concert, Andy was very deeply impressed with Jeff Lynne’s autobiographical opus.
After the concert, I said on Facebook, “No words.” Honestly, I’m still having problems putting into words the experience I had at the ELO concert. It turned me into Ellie Arroway, no doubt about it.
I had a suspicion he might do All over the World, but knew there was no hope for Xanadu or the title track from Eldorado. Jeff just doesn't consider Xanadu to be his best work, and Eldorado is just too obscure for your "basic fan", whatever that means.
There was one song that brought me by surprise, and that was Wild West Hero, which they did with the a cappella in tact. I thought I was taping that portion of the concert but, unfortunately, I screwed that up big time. Wild West Hero is my second favourite ELO song, specifically because of the a cappella portion of the piece. You can hear the breath, albeit very slightly and you need headphones, in between each phrase in the song. It makes it real. It makes it human. It makes it breathtakingly beautiful. Anyone interested in seeing the concert, along with this exceptional performance, you need only click the embedded video here, with the masterpiece in question beginning at 50:30:
As Richard and I had discussed earlier, the subtly of sound makes all the difference in anything, be it music or film. If you can’t appreciate that, you’re losing a completely vital portion of your creative process. Unless it’s a silent film or sommat, then you have to be living in the 20s or be Mel Brooks!
I must freely admit that it was during this song that I lost my shit. I never expected to hear Wild West Hero live. Ever. EVER. EVER EVER EVER. And that harks back to my initial statement that you never know what’s going to happen in this crazy existence. Ten years, I never expected to be in England meeting one of my heroes. Ten years later, I never expected to be in the presence of my first ever hero singing a song that only hardcore fans know by heart and audiophiles need a cigarette after hearing it.
Just as I’d heard from concert goers from previous concerts, there were moments Jeff would forget the lyrics. None of that mattered, though. The audience, most of us who had already forgotten what we had for breakfast that day (except for me and the Popeye’s Breakfast I’m craving like crazy right now), filled in the blanks for him. Besides, it showed that Jeff Lynne is human and aging along with his fans, both older hardcore fans, and his new generation. It shouldn’t be held against him for interchanging the occasional lyric the man wrote 40 years ago. We should all just be lucky he’s willing to get up there and sing it live for us, when none of us expected to ever see him on stage again, especially not in this capacity.
His typical banter in between songs was “Thank you so much,” with his thumbs in the air. This wasn’t surprising, coming from a man who said four words after being cornered in a studio back in 1979, that made me fall in love with him. He was ambushed by an interviewer who asked why the band were named “Electric Light Orchrstra.” Jeff’s reply, short, sweet, to the point, was, “Uhm...well… why not?” Right then and there, I wanted to be an eccentric recluse. Got my wish. Haha! What surprised me was that, even after all the concerts he’s done since Hyde Park, and the worshipful reception he’s gotten every single place he’s played, he’s still shocked and humbled that so many of us are there for him, singing with him, celebrating his life like he never expected it would be.
Paul saw the band at their lowest point in 1986. I wish he could have been there to see how drastically times have changed that ebb in their career, and see how the band was always supposed to be seen live. Even though always called Electric Light Orchestra, the orchestral part would still be lost to the electric instrumentation, despite the sound department doing the best they could with what they had to work with at the time. Technology has finally caught up with Jeff Lynne’s vision, and we who never got to see the orchestra during their supposed heyday, got to see and experience something that is unique and miraculous to our times. We got to see ELO the way Jeff Lynne always envisioned it. There were live bands, then there were bands whose light shone brightest in the studio. What Jeff Lynne finally got to do was bring his fans into his studio and let us see, at least in part, what he sees in his mind when making the music we so adore.
Prior to the concert, Andy asked me what I thought their opener and encore would be. Getting it completely wrong, I suggested Last Train to London and Mr. Blue Sky. As mentioned above, Tightrope opened and the perfect marriage of Rock and Classic closed us out with Roll over Beethoven along with perfectly-timed fireworks.
It took us a while to get out of the area, and it was such a relief to get back to the apartment and just lie there, basking in the glory I just had the honour of experiencing. Even though I was exhausted, I didn’t sleep the entire night. My inner vision was too filled with astronomical imagery, and my inner song was pure harmony. I figured I wouldn’t sleep the night of the concert, so I had it in my head to do all the laundry and perform any other duties to ensure Brian’s apartment was exactly as he had left it, or at least as close to that as possible. The problem was, I didn’t know where the washer and dryer were and couldn’t find them. Texting Brian, I revealed my intentions, but he would have none of it. So I limited my restoration to cleaning everything I could, and triple-checking everything I could think of… I haven't heard any complaints, so I'm hoping we left Brian's uber-groovy pad just as fabulicious as it was when we arrived.
*I would like to note that, by the end of the concert, Andy admitted to being more than a little tingly. HA!
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.
Okay, y'all are probably gonna get sick and damned tired of this post, but it's one of the most important things in my life ever, so please be patient with me. I have spent 36 of my life waiting for this moment, which means I was just 12 years old when I discovered the genius that is Jeff Lynne. So here goes.
Hold on Tight to Your Dreams
Hello. My name is Tracy Angelina Evans, a long-time fanatic of Jeff Lynne/Electric Light Orchestra since 1980, who is, is thanks to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Andrew, and I are going to to go to the Hollywood Bowl concert in Los Angeles concert on my birthday, 10 September 2016. To see ELO growing up in the Southeast of the US, with little money to make long distances to get to the venues the band were playing, I never had the chance to see the band with their wonderous spaceship and special effects, especially for that day. Now that I am living in South Diego and one of my dearest and olded friends' bucket list is to attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, it woud seem that the stars are finally aligned to make mutual dream come true, as well as getting to see one another in many years. I will be turning 49 years old on September10th 2016, and wanting to seeing Jeff Lynne playing his greatest songs of all time since since the age 13, I can honestly say that this is is at the very top at my Bucket List.
In addition, Andy and I will have the honour of meeting the cast and crew of 'Ginosaji: The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Ineffiencent Weapon', all for whom I have promised drinks for the multitudinous abundance of laughter and joy they have brought me over the years, which means more than they can possibly conceive. I owe them too very much, upon facing some of the bleakest time of my life.
So that said, living on a fixed income, it would be an incredible amount of help for my friends to assist me in a decent tee shirt and and some souvenir fundage to make one the most important moments of my life, as well as help to offer thanks and appreciation to my best friend Andrew and my new incredible friends the Ginosaji posse, who are intent on persisting again, again, and again!
As soon as I can start acquire the moneys, the more appreciated. I hate having to ask for help in this way, but if it weren't one of my most important moments in my life, I would not be asking. And I promise that, if I can reciprocate in the future, you can can count on me.
Hold On Tight To Your Dream
My name is Tracy Angelina Evans, a long-time fanatic of Jeff Lynne/Electric Light Orchestra since 1980, who is, is thanks to one of my oldest and dearests friends, Andrew Welchel, I are going to to go to the Hollywood Bowl concert in Los Angeles concert on my birthday, 10 September 2016. To see ELO growing up in the Southeast of the US, with little money to make long distances to get to the venues the band were playing, I never had the chance to see the band with their wonderous spaceship and special effects, especially for that day. Now that I am living in South Diego and one of my dearest and oldest friends' bucket list is to attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, it would seem that the stars are finally aligned to maker our mutual dreams come true, as well as getting to see one another in many years. I will be turning 49 years old on September 10th 2016, and wanting to seeing Jeff Lynne playing his greatest songs of all time since since the age 13, I can honestly say that this is is at the very top at my Bucket List.
In addition, I will have the honour of meeting the cast and crew of 'Ginosaji: The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Ineffiencent Weapon', all for whom I have promised drinks for the multitudinous abundance of laughter and joy they have brought me over the years, which means more than they can possible conceive. I owe them too very much, upon facing some of the bleakest time of my life.
So that said, living on a fixed income, it would be an incredible amount of help for my friends to assist me in a decent tee shirt and and some souvenir fundage to make the most important night of my life, as well as help to offer thanks and appreciation to my best friend Andrew and my new incredible friends, the Ginosaji posse, who are intent on persisting again, again, and again!
As soon as I can can start acquiring the fundage, the deeper I will appreciate it. I hate having to ask for help in this way, but if it weren't one of my most important moments in my life, I would not be asking. And I promise that, if I can reciprocate in the future, you can definitely count on me.
My name is Tracy Angelina Evans, a long-time fanatic of Jeff Lynne/Electric Light Orchestra since 1980, who is, is thanks to one of my oldest and dearests friends, Andrew, he and and I are going to to go to the Hollywood Bowl concert in Los Angeles concert on my birthday, 10 September 2016. To see ELO growing up in the Southeast of the US, with little money to make long distances to get to the venues the band were playing, I never had the chance to see the band with their wonderous spaceship and special effects, especially for that day. Now that I am living in South Diego and one of my dearest and olded friends' bucket list is to attent a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, it woud seem that the stars are finally aligned to make mutual dream come true, as well as getting to see one another in many years. I will be turning 49 years old on September10th 2016, and wanting to seeing Jeff Lynne playing his greatest songs of all time since since the age 13, I can honestly say that this is is at the very top at my Bucket List.
In addition, I will have the honour of meeting the cast and crew of 'Ginosaji: The Horrible Slow Murderer with the Extremely Ineffiencet Weapon', all for whom I have promised drinks for the multitudinious abundance of laughter and joy they have brought me over the years, which means more than they can possible conceive. I owe him to very much, upon facing some of the bleaking time of my life times.
So that said, living on a fixed income, it would be an incredible amount of help for my friends to assist me in a decent non-tee shirt and and some souvenir fundage to make the most important important of my life, as well as help to offer thanks and appreciate to my best friend Andrew and my new incredible friends the Ginosaji posse, who are intent on persisting again, again, and again!
As soon as I can can start acquire the moneys, the more appreciate, I could appreciate it. I hate having to ask for help in this way, but if it weren't one of my most important moment in my life, I would not be ask. And I promise that, if I can reciprocate in the future, you can can count on me.
- Sun, 19:31: Hello. My name is Tracy Angelina Evans, a long-time fanatic of Jeff Lynne/Electric Light Orchestra since 1980, https://t.co/WrmJmBaLmd
- Sun, 19:33: who is, is thanks to one of my oldest and dearests friends, Andrew, he and and I are going to the Hollywood Bowl in https://t.co/ga07eo5KkM
- Sun, 19:36: I recommend #TallTweets by @labnol for writing tweets longer than 140 characters. https://t.co/D6wTmL72Aj https://t.co/ESJq5cNEit
- Sun, 19:52: Please help with my @JeffLynnesELO Lynne b-day fund.Any amount will do.Thks https://t.co/7WDSEaSnwn #ELO #PLSRETWEET https://t.co/MQHTaW5Qwo
- Mon, 14:19: I'm raising money for Hold 0n Tight to Your Dreams. Click to Donate: https://t.co/UDhVD7t7oi via @gofundme
- Mon, 14:20: Hold 0n Tight to Your Dreams https://t.co/W3Mo57OrwQ
I am obviously from a burgeoning Internet Old School, particularly when it comes to blogging or social media. I tend to be honest. Some people don't appreciate that, especially on Facebook. I'm not changing anything here on Live Journal because this is my place, and I will do as I fucking please. But, as far as Facebook is concerned, if any personal matters must be addressed, I'll just link them here if they aren't full of fucking rainbow vomit. Deal?
The only problem with this is that some news may need to be shared there, in the event of some unfortunate occurrence. So, does anyone want to be my Walter Cronkite, if the need arises? I'm kind of looking at you, Michelle, xevokitty, or brujah. Any other volunteers are more than welcome and met with gratitude.
In the meantime, let's just have fun dissing politics and listening to great songs and videos on Facebook until the world blows the fuck up. When it does, I'll do my best to let you know, if you even want to, that is.
You know, the time before last (which was three days ago out of desperation from migraine pain), when I seriously tried to commit suicide, within a week of getting to the house, I was offered a stay in England and in Australia. When I was in serious danger of losing the place Smidgen and I live, I was offered a place to live, at least for Smidgen, which is my first priorty.
All this started in 2014.
I have gone nowhere and still have no home for Smidgen.
This is why I have trust issues with people. They will say anything if it makes them think they will with either help and things will get better or I will choose to live.
The hopelessness of my chronic pain only seems to get worse with every passing day. I live in isolation in this room in a house with people who hate me.
The harness is easily prepared for idiots like me who never learned how to tie a knot. It'll be fast and no one will notice. I'll be taking Smidgen with me, since no one wants her.
When will this happen? I don't know. Probably on the spur of the moment, when I have enough money to get to the park. Sometime in July, probably. All I know is that I'm sick of the exasperation I receive when I have to go anywhere, even the doctor. I'm tired of being treated like a criminal because of the illnesses I have. I'm tired of being tired and not being able to sleep. And I'm tired of being placated to just to keep me alive, when no one really wants me alive. It's a reflex. What's the point in living when there is no one and nothing to live for? I'd rather just have honesty and be told that, yes, I am a throaway who was only ever loved by Aunt Tudi.
She's dead now. What's the point of anything? I am constantly in pain, these migraines are getting more frequent, no hospital or doctor but Sharp will give me any relief, there's no point in continuing like this.