Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wreck Creation (every BITCH for HIMSELF Chapter 4our)

11:45 AM. Downtown Los Angeles. Jason had some concerns about the boys’ lack of experience in handling firearms, so he called Robotman and asked him to get the gang together and engage in some target practice at the Los Angeles Gun Club downtown. The five of them converged in the parking lot.

“Now remember, you fuckin’ knuckleheads, this isn’t a bowling alley or some shit like that”, Jason advised. “There's some pretty heavy fucks in here so let’s go a little light on the clownabilly shit”.
“Sure, Jason, don’t blow a gasket”, King Steve said, looking visibly hurt at being admonished in advance.

The five yobs of varying hair and skin colors entered and immediately got the fish eye from a heavy set middle-aged man with cop hair and a handlebar moustache wearing a stained, khaki green polo shirt.

“Can I help you boys?” he blurted slowly as he chewed on a thick chaw of tobacco.
"We're here to partake of your quality firearms and your savage shooting range", Jason bullshitted.
The desk clerk sized them up sideways. "Do you guys even have any money? You all look like you don't have two pennies to rub together".

Big Jason pulled out a healthy wad of cold cash. Everybody, especially the desk flunky's eyes widened.
"Read the green - we came to shoot - are we locked and loaded?"
The flunky nervously licked his fat, purple lips. "Pull out your ID's and they better be real. I don't want no monkey business from you fellas, either!"
Jason pulled the most serious face of his life. "My word is my bond, my man".

Four firing booths were taken: Big Jason squeezing off a Colt .45, Robotman blasting off a ridiculously long-barreled .357 Magnum, almost spending as much time posing as he did shooting, Allen Wrench slowly popping shots off with a .38 Special, and King Steve and The Fireball Kid sharing a booth alternating shots with a Baretta PX4 Storm as nervously as two grown men can possibly be.

Jason took a break from shooting and strolled behind his men watching their gun work, nodding his head at the mutilated targets across the range, appraising their gun play, correcting the way Allen held his .38, and kicking King Steve's legs further out so the stance was better planted for gunfire.
"Good, good, very good", he mumbled as he strolled by them, inspecting their work, all to deaf ears since they had earplugs on.

Every once in awhile someone would blow their cool and holler "WHOOOO!" firing like crazy and posing like a badass cowboy.
When Allen Wrench got his spent target back he draped it around his chest proudly.
"Now this would make a totally killer t-shirt. I'm gonna wear this fuckin' target at the next Skulls show".
"Fuck yeah!" King Steve hollered.

"Nice work, you guys. You make me proud!" Jason snorted. He spun towards his target and ripped four rapid shots that tore up the bulls eye and left the paper hanging in half. He took out his ear plugs and decided to leave them out because he loved the noise of guns popping off.

"Say, that's some mighty good shootin' you got there, brother", A policeman dressed in blues and a badge put his hand on Jason's shoulder, beaming proudly. "Have you ever considered a promising career in The Force?"
"Fuck no, I don't want to be some fuckin' pig".

In less than five minutes all five punks were tossed out of The Gun Club.
"God, Jason. What the fuck did you have to pop off like that for? I was squeezing off some sweet shots!" The Fireball Kid whined.
"Bullshit, you and Steve were shooting like a coupl'a chicks at The County Fair. You pussies were jumping like the gun was gonna bite your dick off".

"That pig could'a run us in".
"I gotta call it like I see it. Fuck him".


12:55 PM. Marina Del Rey. Just to ensure the day wasn't a total washout they went to Dockweiler Beach. The afternoon was unusually cold so the normally crowded beach was empty. The guys sat by a fire pit roasting frankfurters and marshmallows together and drinking tequila.

A bomber joint passed hands and everyone took turns taking drags, looking at each other with big smiles. They chortled and made fun of each other and occasionally screamed when a low flying airplane zoomed above them with its supersonic rumble and tail of burning smoke leaving its monstrous trail in the sky.

"It won't be long, guys. All that money, all ours. This I promise", Jason vowed.
King Steve shoved some batteries into his cassette player and turned it on, blasting some 999, The Adverts, Ramones, The Damned, Devo, The Zeros and tons more.
The Fireball Kid was lying back and fading fast from all the food and booze. "Ah, this is too good".
Voices started fading into the distance for him.

"There's some good fishing in Frisco...."
"My dad was a Petty Officer in the Navy...even has a Jap flag to show for it..."
"I saw this film where piranhas tore up this was brutal...."
Ocean waves crashing in the background. A low-flying TWA jet rumbling and whistling so you can barely hear their voices. The Fireball Kid lifted his head up and Robotman smiled at him.

"X, The Controllers and The Alleycats...I got a ride to The Fleetwood but my ride left me high and dry...I had to fuck this fat girl to get a ride back home...I never sweated so much in my life..."
"Is that the girl who wears that smelly Cramps t-shirt to every show..."
"We should just move to Alcatraz Island, bro..."
Ocean waves crashed in the background. A Cessna 182 Skylane grumbled loudly above in the sky. The Fireball Kid's eyes shut lightly and the voices were now gone.


The Fireball Kid quickly stirred quickly when he felt heat on his face as if it was catching fire. Opening his eyes slowly he saw lit matches being thrown in his face. The next thing he knew someone was kicking him in the ribs, hard.

"I heard these punks like getting spit on".
"Hey, Punk, you like being spit on?"

Sitting upright on his elbows, The Fireball Kid noticed his friends were all gone and in their place were four guys, three white, one black. One wore an old vintage Sixties suit, another wore a parka with a hairy sweater and the other two wore Fred Perry white tennis sweaters. They all wore Ben Sherman pegged trousers and Hush Puppies. They wore their hair cropped short. They were four Mods and surrounded him, hating the sight of him.

The black guy got in his face. "Hey boy, yeah you boy, get up. Punk white boy! You Darby Vicious, you fuck?"
"You Arthur Ashe with your faggot tennis outfit?" The Fireball Kid returned.
"Tell him, Warren", the Mod in the parka chewed on some gum, grinning from ear to ear.
The Fireball Kid got up nervously, considering his options. How do I get out of this? Fuck!

"Hey Bruce, I heard these punks like to choke each other when they dance", the Mod in the suit re-adjusted his tinted glasses.
"Let's choke him. On the count of four, ha! One..."
"Today's your big day, Punk!"
"...Two..." The Mods edged in closer.
"You wanna be a Dead Kennedy, White Boy?"

The Mods turned around to see Big Jason, Robotman, King Steve and Allen Wrench standing behind them. Wrench had a Colt .45 in his right hand held up in the air.

"I'm sorry", Big Jason fluttered his eyelashes. "Are we interrupting something?"
"Let's get these fucks, boys", Warren growled. "I'll take the big guy".
"You take them, Warren", Bruce stammered. "They're packing heat".

And they were. All four of the yobs pulled out guns from the back of their jeans and aimed them at the Mods.
"Very observant, and by the way, there's four of you and five of us. That's what's called a math problem. A BIG problem".

"I like these boys, Jason", Allen Wrench grinned. "They dress real cute. Like a barbershop quartet".
"Hush Puppies, huh?" Jason smiled. "How menacing! What's it say on that button, Andy Williams?"
The Mod in the parka nervously said, "Secret Affair, asshole, what's it to you?"
"Secret Affair?" King Steve chuckled. "Shit, is that what all you boys are having with each other?" The punks all chortled at the joke.

"We Are The Mods, fuck you punks!"
"These guys are like bad comic books, Jason", Allen Wrench revolved his pistol aim from Mod to Mod.
Jason scratched his chin, thinking. "Okay, since you love our friend so much, here's what we'll do. All of you, take your clothes off. C'mon, MOVE IT! You, Secret Affair, take that snow plow tuxedo off. Off with the pants, too!"

"What are you gonna do, kill us?" The Mod in the suit gave his best angry look, tears welling up in his eyes behind the tinted shades.
"They're gonna rape us. These punks are gay and they're gonna pull a train on all of us", the white Mod in the tennis sweater whined, trembling.
"Nothing like that, Perry Como", Jason waved his Luger at the stripping Mods. "Step it up, you preppy fucks".

All of the Mods were stripped down to their boxers and shivering, save Warren who stood tall, black and defiant to Jason.
"Alright, Johnny Mathis, what's the problem? I told you to strip".
"FUCK YOU, WHITE MOTHERFUCK!" Warren spit in Jason's face.

"Okay, that tears it", Jason wiped the spittle off and stared hard at Warren. "Allen, remember those scooters we saw on top of the hill?"
"I can see them right here, Jason", Allen smiled, knowing what was going to happen next.

"You see that pretty fucking purple scooter with all those fruity little mirrors? I'll bet that's Johnny Mathis' circus spinner. Isn't that right, Johnny Mathis?"
"Fuck you!"

Allen turned towards the hill and fired off two shots, one at the rear tire of the purple Vespa, flattening it, and the other bullet shattering the windshield.
"Missed!" Allen gritted his teeth. "Fuckin' queer scooters!"
He squeezed off another shot at the rear of the bike, hitting the gas tank, the scooter blowing up, clouds of smoke billowing out from the hill. BOOOOOOM!

The explosion terrified the Mods so much they took off all their clothes and stood before the punks naked. Warren came unglued, his face twitching uncontrollably and began stripping.

"You see how it is now, don't you?" Jason smiled. "Take it all off, boys. Now throw all of your pants here or you'll get the same treatment Johnny Mathis' scooter got".
The pants now all thrown at Jason's feet, King Steve jumped over and grabbed all the wallets and pocketed them.

"Oh my God, look at their dark, deformed dicks! HOHOHOHOHOO!" The Fireball Kid hooted and the other guys laughed.
"We're going to play a game, it's called The Shrinking Violet, it's a game you're gonna love, honest to God, I want you all to run into the ocean and go as far in as you can. Move, Perry Como, you too, Andy Williams", Jason ordered, his finger still on the pistol trigger.

Robotman started shooting in the air, screaming. The naked Mods all ran into the ocean fearing for their lives and shivering from the cold water.
Allen shot out the other three scooters on the hill, watching them topple over one by one.

"Gawd, Jason", King Steve grabbed the rest of their clothes and threw them into a waste can. "These guys are stupider than I thought".
"You don't know the half of it, kid. They're all huddled by the sewage pipe. They'll be shitting mildew for the next six months!"

And indeed, the four naked Mods were shivering in the water right by the sewage pipe that drained out into the ocean.

The sun finally setting, Big Jason and his henchmen walked up the hill with Allen Wrench holding up the rear with his gun still trained on the Mods as they left the beach with their new found swag.

The complete edition of EVERY BITCH FOR HIMSELF is available in eBook form via Amazon Kindle, iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook and other eReaders. Don't miss it!

(c) 2013, Andy Seven. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Needles and Thread and The Whole Damn Thing

Well, Autumn's here and a young man's fancy turns to tops, warmer, stretchy tops. Pictured above is a quick black and blue top I made with a low scoop neck and chunky cuffs, just the way I like it. The quasi-femininity of the pattern is offset by a more masculine color palette. The end result is a top that surfs between both genders but in the long run exudes a mod look that's appealing for both boys and girls alike.
Another project that's been floating my boat are shoe bags, and lots of them. Disgusted with clunky shoe boxes that allow cockroaches to move into and better than those shoe trees with their tiny pockets that won't accommodate your chunkier boots, your best bet is to simply sew a few awesome shoe bags. I like really radiant material that gleams as much as the boots inside.
Pictured are three bags in particular: the glam bag with black stars is the bag I keep my Fluevog Prince George high heels in; the blue op art bag keeps my Doc Martens Langston petrol patent boots, and the gold paisley bag holds my gorgeous H by Hudson Alaska boots. Let them wear boots, but cover them in fabrics as exciting as the kinky kicks themselves!
One of the more peculiar pleasures to be had driving around West Los Angeles is the bizarre double-billboard spectacle on the corner of Santa Monica and Sepulveda Blvds. monopolized by the now deceased clothes designer Bijan Pakzad, known more commonly as simply "Bijan". A Persian emigre who became the toast of Eighties Beverly Hills, his entire style was one of obscene opulence - my first exposure to him was three-page ads in Vanity Fair every month (!) espousing The Bijan Philosophy. Some of his remarks were lame ("There's no sight more beautiful than a pregnant woman") while others were kind of funny ("Wisdom's a gift but you'd trade it for youth").
He drove around in a bright yellow Rolls Royce, yes the big vintage ones and even designed a Limited Edition Bugatti, also bright yellow. Yes, Bijan had made it into fashion history, even garnering a mention in none other than the movie American Psycho - "Not the Bijan!" Patrick Bateman firmly commands Sabrina the hooker.
Bijan was the ultimate Beverly Hills Persian made good and lived large, well, up until 2011, when he suffered a fatal stroke. But even his tragic passing could not forestall the continuous flow of billboards showing his deliriously happy smiling face. After his passing the billboard on the western side of SM and Sepulveda announced "The Legend...BIJAN!" with Mr. Pakzad smiling from the beyond, letting us know he's still keeping tabs on things in West LA. Now the billboard on the eastern side announced, "The Legacy...BIJAN!" with his young heir Nicolas cracking a similar goofy smile.
Several months passed by and Nicolas seemed rather shy by posting new billboards that displayed the luxe line that captivated Beverly Hills. No pictures of Dad or himself, at all. Will this be the new standard? No more smiley faces? Could this be the future of Bijan???
Hell, no! Two months passed by and the new billboards are out with the newer, au courant Bijan smiling reassuringly at us from both billboards, proclaiming, "BIJAN...Designer For Men!" Hope has returned to the Westside. Take that, Ralph Lauren!
If there's anything more exciting than fashion magazines it's stumbling upon some great books about fashion, and I've recently had the pleasure of enjoying two great ones.
The first book is "Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped And Smoothed" by tailor extraordinaire Richard Anderson. Bespoke is one of the best books written about menswear and is absolutely mandatory reading for anyone involved in the craft of tailoring at all.
Anderson goes into great instructional detail all through the book on how to best fit a suit or pants on someone with an uneven body - like 99% of us out there. He explains how to even out a higher shoulder or a lower leg and make everything perfectly fitted. There's a wealth of information in his book that you'll find indispensable, complete with an excellent glossary of tailoring terms. There's also a fairly amusing back story on Abercrombie & Fitch that has to be read to be believed!
The other gem is "Couture Hats" by Louis Bou. Couture Hats has page after page of avant garde hats that stand somewhere between the corner of Alexander McQueen and Paco Rabanne. Even if you're not crazy about hats in general this is still an excellent standalone fashion photography book.
Part of the enjoyment of Couture Hats is picking your favorite designer. My favorite milliner is Stephen Jones for his broad scope of versatility. His designs run the gamut from classic Forties Black Widow noir chapeaux to demented Mardi Gras nightmare chapeaus and beyond.
Both books are available wherever good books are sold and Couture Hats is available on Kindle, too. Both books are highly recommended by me, the man in the polka dot top and silver biker jeans. Aloha.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The International Morphine Variations

I have a tendency to connect certain areas to events in my life, so whenever I'm in the Miracle Mile District I think of Morphine. This is due to the unforgettable show they played at the El Rey Theater on Wilshire Blvd.

Supporting their "Like Swimming" album (1995), it was one of their last L.A. performances before band leader Mark Sandman's untimely death. The show was a colossal feast of wild and raucous sounds, hitting every nerve in my body and reminding me why music changed my life forever.

A power trio consisting of an explosive drummer, a fiery baritone saxophonist who literally doubled on tenor sax a la Roland Kirk and a cool singer who looked more like Richard Hell than Hell himself and played a grungy slide bass. Morphine's eccentric musicianship perfectly suited a bizarre repertoire of dark but highly melodic blues songs.

Their sound had a simultaneously urban and rural style that I found uncanny, the slide bass dredging images of murky Southern swamps and the growly sax bursting out cinematic scenes of psychotic detectives shooting guns at brick-lined housing projects.

When I had my band Cockfight I tried to get my bassist to play with a slide in tribute to Mr. Sandman, but the resident jughead couldn't appreciate the concept and refused. Opting instead for a lousy chorus pedal - how Goth - I unplugged it and told him to expand his horizons.

Anyway, posted here for your entertainment are a few covers of Morphine songs from various bands. Whether you like the way they're covered or not doesn't matter; the point is that Mark Sandman wrote a lot of songs that people to this day love listening and playing, the mark of a truly great artist.

Night Shark are a Morphine tribute band from Amsterdam, Holland and play a pretty faithful version of "Thursday" complete with slide bass and growly bari sax. Good work.

Indie & The Jones do a damned wicked hard rock cover of "Honey White" with a wah-wah pedal guitar doing all the sax lines. The harmonies on the chorus sound surprisingly cool and add to the song. I think they added a good spin to the original. Very acid rock and audacious enough to be fun.

Then we have a Morphine cover band from Bulgaria (!) doing "Super Sex" and playing it with an almost wholesome Gerry & The Pacemakers luvvability. Dig those mad Bulgar boho chicks mouthing the lyrics to Super Sex. Weird! As weird as that scary Italian cover of Sonic Youth's "Starpower" that sounded just like Journey!

The last video on this blog comes from post-Morphine band Twinemen featuring Dana Colley and Billy Conway playing with bassist/singer Laurie Sargeant. "Spinner" is a great song and compliments Mark Sandman's oeuvre just fine. Long live the Sandman.