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Friday, August 13, 2010

The Rolling Stone Groupie Issue

In 1969 Rolling Stone Magazine did a cover feature on a heretofore unreported phenomenon in the world of rock, the emergence of the groupie (one of the first mentions was in The Mothers of Invention’s “Motherly Love” in 1966). Here are a few scans from that issue for your entertainment. Sorry about the yellowed paper, Photoshop and I can only do so much.

Miss Mercy

I met Miss Mercy from The GTO’s in 1978 when we were both extras for the filming of The Ramones’ “Rock and Roll High School”. She had a baby by guitar whiz Shuggie Otis named “Lucky”, and Lucky’s governess at the time was Linda Jones, eventually Texacala Jones of Tex & The Horseheads fame. If you hang around long enough you get to meet everybody.

Pamela Miller (Des Barres)

Miss Pamela, the future Ms. Des Barres, a very nice lady and one of the few surviving members of The GTO’s (Girls Together Outrageously), also known as The Laurel Canyon Ballet Company. She had the best song on The GTO's album, "Permanent Damage" titled "Circular Circulation, or Do Me In Once And I'll Be Sad, Do Me In Twice And I'll Know Better".

Plastercasters of Chicago

Cynthia Plaster Caster still makes casts of rock star’s pudenda: The Muffs, Demolition Doll Rods, etc. To date she hasn’t done Justin Bieber, Thurston Moore or Henry Rollins so she has a lot of catching up to do.

Spider Eyes

The spider eye make-up was a big deal at the time, and it has been reported that Alice Cooper copped that look from the groupies that were lurking around the scene. Frankly I think it’s a great look, especially given how gruesome Alice looks without his makeup.

Trixie Merkin

I haven’t got the foggiest idea who she is, but if she rates a great Baron Wolman photo shoot then she has my blessing. Baron Wolman was Rolling Stone Magazine’s original photographer (along with Jim Marshall) and I still prefer his work to the Annie Liebowitz Seventies smarm photography that ruined the magazine.

Miss Christine

Legend has it that Russell Mael from Sparks stole her away from Todd Rundgren while he produced their album. In all fairness Christine really got around, may she rest in peace (she passed in 1972).

Miss Sandra
The late Miss Sandra. The “Miss” title preceding The GTOs member's names was invented by Tiny Tim, who christened every woman with a “Miss” title, and even referred to his wife at the time as “Miss Vicky”. God bless Tiny Tim, and God bless groupies everywhere.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rhinocratic Oaths

It was sometime around 1978-1979 when my friends The Alleycats were playing the Whiskey-A-Go-Go opening for a new band that was touted as The Next Big Thing from Australia, AC/DC. I entered the club during a highly shrill guitar solo that sounded constricted like tight underwear, reflecting neither joy nor freedom. I walked up the balcony to sit down when a fat, beefy guy yanked me by the arm, tearing the sleeve of my jacket.

“Hey, asshole!”
“Piss orf, mate”, Stupid Oz belched.

Directly behind me was a skinny guy who looked like a circus geek bobbing his head up and down wildly playing a guitar, spazzing like a bulleted wolverine. He had his ass up in the air like Jeff Stryker taking a big one and twitched down the aisle with Oz Fuckface Roadie shoving nightclubbers out of the way.

Twitchy the Circus Geek finally got back on stage and the band finished their rhythmically uptight set. As soon as they left the stage some guy on the dance floor yelled, “Fuck Australia!”
He turned around and some bruiser punched him in the face, cold-cocking him with a nauseating crack you could hear all the way to West Covina. It was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone knocked out cold. That motherfucker sank right to the floor.


Rebecca’s played “ Grey Gardens ” about 100 times, so I figured if she enjoyed Little Edie Beale’s ravings and mad dance skills the time was right to pull out “Andy Warhol’s Heat”, which she’s never seen. “Andy Warhol’s Heat” gives more Beale for your buck: just about everybody in it’s as scary as The Beales: Pat Ast, Eric Emerson, but the Grand Prix winner is Andrea Feldman. Rebecca is now obsessed with the insanity that is Andrea Feldman and her bizarre vocal inflections. “I wannnnnna be ahhhh lezzzbyahhhhhnnnn”.
“Maaahhhhthahhhh give me suhmmm muhhhnnnny”.
For the next three days she marched around the house imitating Feldman like some demented parrot. A suicidal speed freak parrot. “Jooooeeee, fuchhhck meee!”
The next thing you know my arm got twisted into renting “Andy Warhol’s Trash” so more Feldman hijinx can be enjoyed, even better in “Trash”, possibly the only low-budget movie Rex Reed has ever lauded as a masterpiece.

Andrea’s at her acting apex here, bugging Little Joe, “You got any ahhhhcid?” For the next sumpteen minutes she nags obsessively about him holding acid.
“Let’s shoot up together”, establishing for the first time in the history of drugs that acid can even be shot. She starts stripping for him, offering her body in the bargain for some possible windowpane.
“Can I waaaaatch youuu shoot uhhp?” He complies passively, tying, fixing, blah blah blah.
“Is it acid Is it acid Is it acid Is it acid Is it acid Is it acid Is it acid Is it acid Is it acid?” she asks rhythmically. Alas, she cops not a whit.

Poor Little Edie, in our household she has been dethroned by the magic that is Andrea Feldman. (Holly Woodlawn’s no slouch either!)


The times are a changin’ at Rock & Roll Ralphs. Once earning that name for being located on the Sunset Strip within close proximity to the Guitar Center and other Heavy Metal havens, it was also within spitting distance of many strip clubs like the Seventh Veil where Metal dude girlfriends earn their keep stripping for their boyfriend’s beer money. Many was the day when Metal dudes would shoplift steaks by sticking it in their rotting leather pants. Those days seem to be long gone, as evidenced by the last few visits I made shopping for groceries.

The Quiet Riot types have been replaced by angry models, that’s right, angry models. I’ve never seen so many beautiful couples in my life, the type that model for underwear adverts to pay for their Brie. It’s amazing, picture yourself leaning over to grab a bottle of water, when a Guess Jeans couple cut in front of you burning stink eye as they grab the bottle you were reaching for. You would think with their astounding good looks they would be a little happier or mellower, but no, they’re irritable as fuck.

Note to mannequins: attitude’s a major part of beauty, not your chiseled features. Douchebags.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Pot of Sh*t At The End of the Rainbow

Once you reach a certain age it doesn’t matter how hot or fresh you look, your eyesight’s gonna fail, your hearing’s gonna be shot and remembering stuff is, well, a thing of the past. You end up losing a lot of shit in the process, misplacing it here and there, and don’t get me started about all the stuff you’ll break no matter how careful you are. It’s not that bad in your personal life, but when it happens in the office/workplace, you’re fucked. People give you all sorts of grief, laugh at you and you can’t say, “Listen you snot-nosed fuck, I’m over fifty cut me a fuckin’ break my brains are falling apart”.
I’ll be 54 this October, which means that under my retirement plan at work I can retire next year at age 55. So, just to prepare myself to what I’ve got to look forward to, I attended a Pre-Retirement Workshop held by the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA). Basically, this is what happened:

The majority of the attendees were told that retiring early would be foolish, because if they retire at age 55 they will only get 12% of their highest pay rate for their monthly retirement allowance, but if they hang in there for another 15 years (age 70) they’ll get a whopping 30% instead. Does that sound like a large enough increase to justify putting up with people’s shit – if you can survive that long - for another 15 years? Of course not. And no mention of inflation either, you’re getting more in the future but you’ll probably be paying more, too.

The great bullshit Pie In The Sky dream they hand you at the workshop is that once you retire you’ll be covered for the rest of your life and you’ll never have to work again. “So if you retire too early” (glaring at the boyish 54 year old in the room) “you’ll be stuck flipping burgers or greeting folks at Wal-Mart”. Everyone’s retirement fantasy revolved around sitting around a rocking chair watching the sun set with their grandchildren beaming up at them, or worse, sipping martinis on a fucking cruise ship. The truth of the matter is that if you stop working you’ll more than likely be sitting on a park bench by yourself while your relatives wait for you to die so they can collect your meager nest egg.

Let’s be honest: the coolest old guys you know are the ones that fix your shoes, tailor your clothes, repair your car, etc. One of the last things my Uncle told me before he died was, “If you want to work forever, learn a trade”. This came from a 71-year old guy from Hungary who fixed motorcycles for bikers in Rhode Island. He was in demand until the day he died. Once I retire from County service I’ll be working for Rebecca making clothes, exactly what I did before I started with the County 15 years ago. Will I retire from tailoring? Fuck no.

Another bizarre concept people have is that once they die their record collection, toy collection, comics collection, etc. will be inherited by their children. “I’m leaving Spider Man #100 for my kids, and my children’s children”. As if their children have the same interests, right? I know a toy hoarder who died last year, and do you think her kids are enjoying her vast collection of dolls? Even as I speak, they’re all on sale at eBay. Her kids are having the last laugh. Her tombstone should read, “Buy it now!”

I guess my message is that advancing old age needs to be planned in a more realistic basis, because so much of it is shrouded in fantasy, and fantasy can be a form of senility in itself. If you dream too hard the pot at the end of the rainbow won’t have gold in it, but something much worse.