Monday, September 26, 2011

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.A. (Or, “The Return Of Warren Zevon’s Pioneer Chicken Stand”)


Seeing how much flak (and attention) I got from all y'all over my short story 'PAIN MANAGEMENT', I considered turning that idea into a series. It seems most of my friends who read that piece experienced half a shade of anxiety from it - thinking that perhaps it was a gussied-up suicide note.

In response to that overreaction, it seemed to me that perhaps I should begin a new series titled "The Weekly Suicide Note". The concept being that every Monday morning I will post a creatively conceived suicide note, and your job is to guess which of them will eventually turn out to be the "real" thing. Like it? (Yuck!-Yuck! Jocularity!-Jocularity!)

Alright, m-m-m-ove along now. Th-th-there's nothing left to see here. That's all folks.

Yeah, that's what I OUGHTA DO! But since I rarely do what I oughta do, all y'all are off the hook on that one.

Instead, what I'm going to do is post pictures from my recent trip to My Homemegalopolis (Los Angeles), and add some really brilliant commentary . . . if I can find a brilliant commentaryist

As some of you know, my brother Nappy and I spent a few vacation days out L.A.-way at the beginning of this month and, for me, the trip had a kind of "Rock 'N' Roll" theme to it, as I spent some time photographing notable Rock 'N' RolL.A. sites. I'm splitting this vacation recap blog bit up into 2 segments because yer always pissin' 'n' moanin' about how long my blog posts are. (Just grow a pre-MTV adult attention span, will ya?)

Part 1 has to do with the Rock music aspect of the trip (and other "entertainment"-like stuffs); Part 2 - coming soon - will be titled "Disappointment In Riptide City" and will be about . . . everything else. As Howlin' Wolf said, "Alright, let's get on it!"


Nappy and I stayed at some hotel in Hawthorne. Nearby in Hawthorne is a monument to The Beach Boys boyhood home. (And I loves me some Beach Boys!) The house was long ago demolished, but here's a picture of where it stood and the monument there to the Wilson Brothers - Brian, Carl, and Dennis:

According to Art Fein's 'The L.A. Musical History Tour' book, the Foster's Freeze at 11969 Hawthorne Blvd. is notable for the following:

Local legend has it that it was at this burger stand that young Brian Wilson saw a girl driving her daddy's T-Bird, which was subsequently taken from her, inspiring the song, "Fun, Fun, Fun".

Apocryphal? Perhaps, but it's certain that the adolescent Wilson boys spent plenty of time here, since it is just around the corner from their family home at 3701 West 119th  Street.

Well, it's obvious that Art Fein was never here, because if he had been, he would know that this Foster's Freeze is hardly "around the corner" from the Wilson family's home (in fact, the site of their former home was a royal pain in the ass to find!). Nevertheless, the Wilson Boys probably did spend plenty of time at this Foster's Freeze, and the "Fun, Fun, Fun" legend might well be true:


[The following photos were taken by Henry Diltz in 1969.]

At 1246 South Hope Street, in downtown Los Angeles, was the Morrison Hotel, where Mr. Diltz photographed The Doors for the cover of their album of the same name:

I took the following photos, showing what the site looks like in September of 2011. The boarded-up section is what was once the Morrison Hotel's front window, which served as the front of the album cover:

Look closely and you'll see that on the plywood board that covers the former entrance to the hotel, someone has scrawled "Morrison Hotel" and "L.A. Woman", utilizing the Dodgers' way of integrating the L and the A:

The back of the album cover showed the first, the  original "Hard Rock Cafe" at 300 East Fifth Street, downtown Los Angeles (or, "On The Nickel" as the Skid Row inhabitants refer to that dilapidated street in that part of the city) :

Here's a rarely seen Henry Diltz photo showing The Doors out in front of the original "Hard Rock Cafe" on L.A.'s Skid Row:

And below is a photo I took earlier this month of the same site. What was once the "Hard Rock Cafe" is now the "Green Apple Market". Standing out in front is my brother Napoleon (or, Nappy) on the left, in the white T-shirt and powder blue UCLA baseball cap, and our dear old friend General Poohregard in the light green Hawaiian shirt stands beside him. I went inside and bought a soda pop, which Jim Morrison would have found unacceptable:

Does anyone remember the old 1970's TV show 'Baretta' starring Robert Blake? Tony Baretta lived with his cockatoo pal Fred in apartment 2C of the King Edward Hotel. Below is a picture I took of that hotel, also located on Fifth Street downtown, just a couple blocks west of what would be officially considered "Skid Row". One could have easily gotten falling-down liquored-up at the Hard Rock Cafe and then stumbled home to their room at the King Edward Hotel:

Below is a photo of me, circa 1978 or '79, when I was 18 or 19 years old. My friend The Flying Aardvark said I look like Jim Morrison in that photo. [Remember that, you'll need it later.]

About 28 years ago, I introduced my friend General Poohregard to a small, almost hidden bar/restaurant in downtown Los Angeles on Sixth Street called "Cole's" [as Randy Newman sang: "Sixth Street - We love it!" ]

Below is a photo of brother Nappy (right) and me (left, at age 52) having a beer at Cole's before heading to the Dodger game. Remember my "Jim Morrison" look from the photo above? Yeah, I found out firsthand that as we age... Shit Happens to our appearance!


If you've been faithfully reading this blog "Stuffs" then you know that I am a fan of the one and only David & David album "Boomtown". Back in the mid-'80s when life seemed so crappy to me, I played the living hell out of that album. That was around the same time I was semi-regularly visiting at night, after work, a bar located in a hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I had long forgotten the name of that hotel or on what street it could be found. But I always mentally associated it with the David & David album "Boomtown".

Well, that hotel bar has now been identified: Shortly after returning from our L.A. trip, I accidentally stumbled upon an old illustrated "Downtown Los Angeles" map I had saved from decades ago. I immediately recognized the spire-topped rounded roof in the drawing on that map.

The bar in question is located at the Embassy Hotel on Grand Avenue at 9th Street. I showed it to brother Nappy and the first words out of his mouth were: "Not a good neighborhood, idiot!"  And that's coming from the toughest Mofo I know.

Below is a photo I found of the Embassy Hotel on Grand Avenue. Wanna meet me there some night for a Grand Marnier on the rocks? I'll buy. We'll just pretend it's 1986 all over again. ("And when I pour they smile, and say to me that I'm a rock for the forgotten.")

Below is a music video for the David & David song "A Rock For The Forgotten" - one of my very favorites on that criminally underrated and mostly forgotten "Boomtown" album . (I think you should play it. That's why I included it!) Listening to "Boomtown" on the way home from our trip, Nappy called their stuffs "Music Noir" because, as he said, "You can't listen to it without imagining long, dark shadows". Good call, brother Nappy!

At the Firefly we all tell lies
And the cleanup kid hangs his head
He's the quiet type, came to L.A. to write
But he never made it out of the fringes
Keeps a low profile, you kick him he'll smile
Thinks blood is his payment for losing
~ 'A Rock For The Forgotten' by David & David

[It seems there really is a Firefly bar on Ventura Blvd. in "The Valley", I don't know if it's the same place that David & David had in mind when they wrote the song below, but either way, my own personal "Firefly" was the Embassy Hotel bar on Grand Ave.]


I got to spend one day of my vacation with my friend The Flying Aardvark, and she drove me around in the bumper-to-bumper traffic of the Hollywood area in order that I could snap the following series of pictures:

Now on Hollywood and Vine
By the Thrifty Mart sign
Any night I'll be willin' to bet
There's a young girl
With sweet little dreams and pretty blue wishes
Standin' there just gettin' all wet
~ 'A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun'
by Tom Waits

Here's a picture of the Hollywood & Vine intersection - undoubtedly the most disappointing tourist destination in the entire world. There's no Thrifty drug store there now, but unless my memory really fails me, I do vaguely seem to recall that there was one there in the 1970s when this Tom Waits song was written. And I want to say that it was on the Southeast corner as seen in my photo below. [Can I get an assist on this from any old-time Angeleno native out there?]

Now there's a place off the drag
Called the Gilbert Hotel
And there's a couple letters
Burned out in the sign
~ 'A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun'
by Tom Waits

Much of Hollywood is really raunchy looking, and it made me laugh when I got back to the Aard’s automobile after taking my “Gilbert Hotel” picture to find she had locked herself in the car for the couple minutes I was out of it. Ha! Smart girl though!

[Note to Doctor DiscConnected: By the way, the Gilbert Hotel is no more than a few blocks from Amoeba Records.]


From the spoken Introduction to Tom Waits' song "Better Off Without A Wife":

Well, actually, I don't mind going to weddings or anything. As long as it's not my own, I show up. But, eh... I've always kind of been partial to calling myself up on the phone and asking myself out. You know... (whoops from the audience). Oh yeah, you call yourself up too, huh? Yeah... Well, one thing about it, you're always around! Yeah, I know. Yeah, you ask yourself out, you know. Some class joint somewhere. The Burrito King or something. You know... Well, I ain't cheap, you know.

At the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Alvarado stands the first in what eventually became a chain of fast food burrito joints called Burrito King.

Although I had eaten at one of the other locations before, the first establishment is now the only one still operating. Nappy, Pooh and I stopped by this infamous ROCK 'N' ROLLAS hangout. Below are some photos of Nappy and Pooh debating whether or not to chance it. (I had the Chile Relleno burrito. I can’t say it’s the best I’ve ever had, but it damn sure was the hottest! I had to wait 5 minutes for it to cool down sufficiently to take my first bite.)

Here’s a really cool video of Warren Zevon visiting the same Burrito King in 1977:

At the end of this blog bit I am including a link to an interesting article about L.A.’s defunct Burrito King fast food chain. It appeared in, of all places, the New York Times. I thought it was a good read, and I also found the mention of the Campos burrito chain neat because, in fact, the League Of Soul Crusaders and I were partial to Campos. We often visited the one on Pico Blvd. near the Pigwalk, and later were regular customers of the Campos on Lincoln and Ocean Park Blvds. (the latter joint inspiring the saying, “Never ask for extra chips!” – but it’s a long story).


I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was staring in my empty coffee cup
~ 'Desperados Under The Eaves' by Warren Zevon

In my opinion, “Desperados Under The Eaves” was Warren Zevon’s all-time greatest song. What is now the ‘Princess Grace Apartments’ at Yucca and Grace streets in Hollywood was actually ‘The Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel’ back when Zevon wrote and recorded his masterpiece. It can be seen at the right in the photos below:

Well, I pawned my Smith-Corona
And I went to meet my man
He hangs out down on Alvarado Street
By the Pioneer Chicken stand
~ 'Carmelita' by Warren Zevon

If you Google "Warren Zevon/Carmelita/Pioneer Chicken stand" you will find that there is a lot of confusion on the Internet about whether or not there ever really was a Pioneer Chicken stand on Alvarado Street in the Echo Park area of L.A., as mentioned in his song. I'm here to clear this question up once and for all.

As I recently posted on someone else's website, YES, in the 1970s there WAS a Pioneer Chicken stand on Alvarado Street.

Back when I was a kid, (1969 through the mid-'70s) my Grandfather used to take us to Dodger games. He would take Venice Boulevard [not the Santa Monica Freeway, as I mistakenly wrote on that other bloke's website], turn left (North) on Hoover Street, and then turn on to Alvarado Street where it intersects with Hoover. We’d continue on Alvarado north past MacArthur Park, pass under the Hollywood Freeway (the 101), cross Sunset Blvd., and then turn right on Scott Ave. which would take us right up into the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Well, right on Alvarado Street, on the east side near the Alvarado Street/Montana Street intersection, there used to be a Pioneer Chicken Stand. And I can still distinctly remember seeing all these scroungy looking characters hanging around the place every time we passed by. (My Grandpa had Dodger season tickets, so we passed by the Chicken Stand a lot!)

At that intersection today is a Von’s grocery store. I believe a grocery store was always there (although not necessarily the same chain). The Pioneer Chicken stand was essentially in what would today be the western edge of the Von’s grocery store parking lot.

I’m convinced that this was the Pioneer Chicken stand Zevon referred to in ‘Carmelita’ because it meets the criteria: it was directly ON Alvarado Street and just 3 or 4 blocks from Echo Park itself, and it was a haven for hippie-lookin’ dudes who probably weren’t waiting around there for the freshest batch of chicken to arrive.

Below are a couple photos of my ol’ buddy Pooh at the site of Warren Zevon's long lost Pioneer Chicken stand on Alvarado Street. In this first one, he's holding up a package of chicken. The chicken stand actually stood just a little to the left of and behind that left-most bright yellow post in the parking lot.
In the far background, you can see a red ambulance parked beside the Von’s Grocery Store. The paramedics had been called to tend to a dude who was comatose and lying underneath the newspaper rack in front of the store. Yeah, things haven’t changed much in the Echo Park area.

Here’s another photo, one that Poohregard cleverly put together for me. “Don’t eat that drumstick, Pooh! You don’t know where that chicken leg has been!”


I was thinking that the gypsy wasn't lyin'
All the salty margaritas in Los Angeles
I'm gonna drink 'em up
~ 'Desperados Under The Eaves' by Warren Zevon

Anytime I listen to that song, the line about drinking all the margaritas in Los Angeles immediately makes me think of El Coyote mexican restaurant on Beverly Blvd. I’ve always thought they made L.A.’s best margarita.

Our first night back home, Nappy and I met up with a group of friends at El Coyote and had a margarita or two. It was loud and it was fun. Here’s “the evidence”:

L.A.'s best Maggy?

Hoodlums hangin' out after all the loudness . . .


Did any of you see the movie "Lords Of Dogtown"? Dogtown is the nickname given to South Santa Monica and North Venice, the area where Pooh, Nappy and I grew up. One scene in that movie was filmed at Rae’s, an authentic 1950s diner that used to be a regular Breakfast Club meeting place for The League Of Soul Crusaders. It's on Pico Blvd. at the Eastern edge of Santa Monica.

Nappy and I stopped in for breakfast one day, and I took a picture of the interior, in the same spot – as fate would have it – where the “Lords Of Dogtown” scene was filmed.


OK, we’ll bring this blog bit to a close at Venice Beach, where the idea for The Doors was born, and where Rickie Lee Jones honed her performing style before she had a record contract.

On Speedway, right down near the Venice Boardwalk you’ll find a large mural of Jim Morrison:

And further North on the Boardwalk you’ll find The Venice Bistro where at some times you can catch a Doors tribute band called “Strange Days” . . .

On the last full day of our trip, Nappy and I met for breakfast with our Bitter Brothers (a collection of current and former UCLA Parking Dept. employees) at the Sidewalk Café restaurant and bar on the Venice Beach Boardwalk (I love that restaurant!) . . .

Here’s a very old photo of the Sidewalk Café that I found on the Internet. Is it possible that the guitar-playing street performer shown at left is Slavin’ David? Sure looks like him to me:

Just down at the end of the block from the Sidewalk Cafe on the Venice Beach Boardwalk is Big Daddy & Sons Pizza. Painted on their wall is an advertisement claiming that they have the “WROLDS BEST FUNNEL CAKES”. Those of you who read my recently posted short story “Pain Management” ought to be having one of those “Ah-Ha!” moments right about now.

Below are the Bitter Brothers bitchin’ at their Sidewalk Café Bitter Breakfast meeting. From front to back, starting on the right: Ricki B, whose dad held every Los Angeles Rams rushing record until Eric Dickerson came along; my brother Nappy; General Poohregard.

Front to back from the left: Larry (“Lelly”) Rosen, a guitarist with Slavin’ David’s Blues/Rock band ‘Loose Gravel’; cartoonist Lonnie Millsap; and some weirdo in a cowboy hat who just happened to be strolling along the Boardwalk and begged us to let him be in the picture. [I've told you Venice Beach is full of strange people these strange days!]

You can read a review of Slavin’ David And Loose Gravel’s latest album “Rock And Roll Road” by clicking HERE.

The album cover was designed by Lonnie Millsap whose latest cartoon book “I Hate My Job” can be purchased by clicking HERE.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Related Reading:
By John M. Broder for The New York Times
Published: May 18, 2003

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


DiscConnected said...

This post concerned me.

I was worried you might be opening a Pioneer Chicken Stand.

Back down to the nickel.....


Eve said...

Holy Crap! This is absolutley fascinating! I love the David&David song, I'd never heard it before. Also all the Jim Morrison and Doors's excellent to be able to see them today.It's a shame Morrison Hotel is in such crappy shape. Man, that gigantic mural of Jim looks fantastic!
I also love love love Tom Waits!! It was awesome to see the sites where he was...I love his song Kentucky Ave. that a real street? Also, What's he Building in There? is a great song, I think so anyways...reading your blog is like reading a book. I swear to god I'm gonna read more, it's wonderfully fascinating. In my whole life I've spent about 3 and a half hours in LA, but there are things there I would love to see, and now, thanks to this virtual tour, I've seen some of them!
You did look like Morrison in that one old pic...actually, I thought it was Jim Morrison and you were just saying it was you, hhaha! You're right about what age does to our looks! WTF??? It's just not fair!
Thanks for the tour...I don't know what 'Ye Olde Comment Policy' is, but I hope I didn't violate it!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

That would be an odd business for a vegetarian like me to operate.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 1 Of 2

>>...Holy Crap!
Ha! I found your comment immediately after watching a few episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond". If you're not familiar with the show, Raymond's Dad, Frank Barone, has a well known catch phrase: “Holy Crap!”

Hey, thanks a lot for your comment! I’m pleased that you enjoyed this post so much.

David & David’s “Boomtown” album is an unrecognized Rock classic! The Davids couldn’t get along and broke up after making one album together. They are also a “One-Hit Wonder” as the song “Welcome To The Boomtown” got to 37 on the Billboard Top 40 charts in 1986. The song is about the dirty and dangerous underbelly of the L.A./Hollywood scene – sort of a darker version of the Eagles’ “Hotel California”.

I posted the official video for “Welcome To The Boomtown” in my 6-part blog bit about L.A. called “My Homemegalopolis”. I would suggest you watch/listen to it, and if you like it, then I’d say, buy the David & David CD while it’s still in print and available for a reasonable price. (My favorite song on the set is “All Alone In The Big City”, but “A Rock For The Forgotten” comes in a close second.)

>>...I also love love love Tom Waits!! It was awesome to see the sites where he was...I love his song Kentucky Ave. that a real street? Also, What's he Building in There? is a great song, I think so anyways...

I have a Love/Hate attitude toward Tom Waits. I think that prior to 1983 he was the greatest song lyricist who ever lived. After that, he became an “artiste” and a person who I believe was trying to be weird just for the sake of being “cutting edge”, and there were very few songs recorded after his brilliant score for the movie “One From The Heart” that I like.

“Kentucky Avenue”... Hmmm. You got me there - if there is a Kentucky Ave. in the Los Angeles area I am not familiar with it. I’ll have to look into that. I did read a biography about Waits once, and I know that all the people he mentions in that song were real kids he knew – including the wheelchair-bound main character. I forget where he was born and raised but I know it was a Los Angeles suburb, and considering how accurate the rest of that song was, I’m going to bet that Kentucky Ave. was a real street in his neighborhood.

Waits later claimed that he felt the song was too up-front and he was sorry he had released it, but I agree with you that it’s a really good one. (You must be a sentimentalist, eh?) I remember once listening to “Kentucky Avenue” in my car, and while it was playing I looked to my right and saw a person being pushed along the sidewalk in a wheelchair. I thought I was going to cry.

I don’t know the song you mentioned: “What’s He Building In There?” It must be a post-’82 tune. I’ll have to see if I can find it at YouTube.

Continued Below...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 2 Of 2

>>...reading your blog is like reading a book.

Ha!-Ha! That’s my most commonly heard complaint pertaining to WHAT’S WRONG with this blog. Everyone says my posts are TOO LOOOOOOONG!

It’s very, Very, VERY refreshing to see someone say the opposite . . . for a change.

>>...In my whole life I've spent about 3 and a half hours in LA, but there are things there I would love to see, and now, thanks to this virtual tour, I've seen some of them!

Thanks, Eve! Then you should check out my recently posted 6-part blog bit titled “My Homemegalopolis”. It duplicates a little of what’s in this one, but not too much, and even in 6 parts I was barely able to scratch the surface of L.A.

What did you see in the 3 and a half hours you were in L.A.? What part of town were you in?

>>...You did look like Morrison in that one old pic... actually, I thought it was Jim Morrison and you were just saying it was you, haha!

Seriously?! That’s quite a compliment then, because I think Morrison was a really good looking guy – and, incidentally, I am “straight” as a razor.

I wonder, then, why I was always so lonely.

>>...I don't know what 'Ye Olde Comment Policy' is, but I hope I didn't violate it!

[*Chuckle*] Not even close!

Thanks for the mahvelous comment!

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I checked into it and sure enough there is a Kentucky Ave. - it's the street Tom Waits grew up on in Whittier, a city in the L.A. metropolitan area.

And by the way, anything you might ever want to know about Waits can be found here:

That's an incredible website that is truly comprehensive in its Waitsian scope. Scroll down to the bottom of the lyrics of any song and you'll find all kinds of info pertaining to the song's background, etc. really is like a library entirely geared toward preserving the history of the man and his works.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Eve said...

You know, I've never seen 'Everybody loves Raymond'...I know it was really popular, but I've never watched it...I watch way too much TV, but there are actually a lot of sitcoms I've never seen...
I like most of Tom Waits stuff, but I like so many artists that are very different from each other. The only genres I can't really take a lot of are country and hard core rap...other than that I like most everything, and some I like more than others of course...I know what you mean about people just trying to be weird for the sake of being weird. So many are wanna-be-weirdos! It gives us who are truly strange a bad name! I don't know enough about Tom Waits to form an opinion on whether he's a true,bred in the bone weirdo, or a wanna-be.. I just know that I like most of his stuff.
"What's He Building in There?" is on his album 'Mule Variations'...some people absolutley hate it..but I think it's great. Hey, thanks for the info on Kentucky Ave! I know I am a sentemental person! Some times I piss myself off so bad because of that! haha!
I had never heard of David and David, I'd like to hear that for the Eagles, I've never really liked them a whole lot. I always thought they were a little over rated..or maybe just overplayed! Or maybe that's not it...some people I can listen to all day long and not get sick of them.
You're right, Jim Morrison was a very good looking's such a shame that at 27 he looked about 57! I sometimes wonder what he'd be doing now had he lived...I think he'd be some old Blues guy, living in seclusion, making the odd appearance on late night TV. I don't really get sick of listening to the Doors..Texas Radio and the Big Beat,When the Music's Over, Moonlight Drive, Horse Latitudes, (what exactly IS 'Mute Nostril Agony'?)
Glad I didn't violate any rules! I'd hate to spend the next few months on some kind of virtual probation!

Arlee Bird said...

That was another epic post. I'm glad you decided to break it up and no, it has nothing to do with an MTV attention span as much as it has to do with trying to be fair and visit all the bloggers who leave comments for me. It takes a while to get through these long posts and gaze at the photos and listen to the videos.

That David and David song is fantastic. I really liked that one a lot.

Great post. You put together some of the coolest travel excursions. I liked the thematic nature of the tour. Interesting sites and stories.

Now, in regard to the weekly suicide posts, I think you should start a whole separate blog devoted to this topic. You could invite anyone who is going to commit suicide to email you the note to post on your site. You'd probably become notorious and the new blog would amass hordes of readers. You'd probably even make the national news. Why make up stuff when you can shoot for the real thing? Call me perverse and demented but you planted the seed that got me thinking. It ain't my fault.

Someday I might try to check out all the cool places you talked about in this post. First I've got to figure out how to get out of my house.

Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Welcome back, my friend, to the blog that never ends!

I watch almost no TV programming at all. 99% of the time that I turn my TV on it’s only because I’m about to watch a DVD.

Some people didn’t like “Raymond” – I think it may have struck too close to home for some folks. But I think it might well have been the second funniest sitcom ever (after “Frasier”). But one needs to see several episodes before passing judgment on it, because you need to learn where the characters are all coming from, psychologically.

I’m with you on the Rap (for me, ANY Rap), and I only like about half a dozen Country artists (all of them Old School, not this MOR Pop that passes for Country today). Waylon Jennings is one of my very favorite singers of all time, and the best live act I ever saw.

>>...So many are wanna-be-weirdos! It gives us who are truly strange a bad name!

Ha! I know, I know! I hate it when pseudo-weirdos try to hijack my shtick!

I wish we’d had this conversation BEFORE I went to L.A. (which, of course, was impossible), because then I would have made it a point to go to Whittier (not far from where I was staying) to take a picture of Kentucky Ave. for this blog bit.

I went to YouTube and listened to “What’s He Building In There?” I didn’t mind it, but for me it was kind of a non-entity; one of those spoken word pieces he sometimes does. But there are a couple others I like better (i.e., “9th And Hennepin”, and especially “Frank’s Wild Years” from Swordfishtrombones – two of only a few post-'82 Waits recordings I can appreciate).

>>...I had never heard of David and David, I'd like to hear that album

Here’s a "linc" to the official video for their one and only (minor) radio hit, “Welcome To The Boomtown”, filmed in L.A.: “Hello, my name is LINC, and I was with the Squad when it was Mod.”

About the Eagles - I feel they were a bit overrated but now they are unjustly criticized. It seems to have become really “in” to jump on them now, and they weren’t bad. Hell, they may have been the first band to cover a Waits tune ("Ol’ '55"), and deserve some credit for recognizing a great song when they heard one. And I must say that I gained some respect for them when I read what they had to say about The Troubadour club – which I posted in one of the Parts of my "My Homemegalopolis” series.

And I agree with your take on Morrison. I think he’d be a semi-reclusive cult figure who would show up periodically to make some curmudgeonly observations before disappearing again for a couple of years into his home recording studio. Good call, Eve!

“Texas Radio..” would definitely make my Top 6 Doors Songs list. (“Peace Frog” would be at the top of it.)

>>...what exactly IS 'Mute Nostril Agony'?

What?! Are you serious? You REALLY don’t know?! Oh, sheesh, Sister!...

...I always figured that I was probably the only person who didn’t know that!

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


>>...I'm glad you decided to break it up and no, it has nothing to do with an MTV attention span...

Yeah, yeah. Tell it to the judge.

Oh, wait! I AM the judge.

>> much as it has to do with trying to be fair and visit all the bloggers who leave comments for me.

Well, if you responded to your commenters not according to the order of their comments but according to the QUALITY of their comments, I would always be the first person to receive your attention. (...Well, in the top 5 anyway. I give good comment.)

>>...That David and David song is fantastic. I really liked that one a lot.

There's not a bad track on the disc. In fact, the "hit" song is probably only about my 4th favorite on the album!

>>...Great post. You put together some of the coolest travel excursions.

Thanks, Brother! Thanks a lot! I DO try.

>>...You could invite anyone who is going to commit suicide to email you the note to post on your site.

Ha!-Ha! Damn! I'm as sick as you are because... I LIKE the idea!

I'll make it clear that this blog is NOT a suicide prevention site, but exists solely "for entertainment purposes only".

The slogan will be: "If you're going to commit suicide, then JUST DO IT! ...And be quick about it! But not so quick that you don't have time to first Email us your suicide note."

Thank you, and enjoy your flight. We know that when you fly you have choices and we appreciate your choosing ''.

Oh, God! Someone stop me!

>>...You'd probably become notorious and the new blog would amass hordes of readers. You'd probably even make the national news.

In all seriousness, you are almost certainly right. I mean, this world we're living in today is SO MESSED UP that one really needs to push the envelope big time in order to get noticed. I think this idea would do it.

>>...Someday I might try to check out all the cool places you talked about in this post. First I've got to figure out how to get out of my house.

Try 30 capsules of Temazepam. That oughta get you "out of your house". (But send me a note first!)

Stop me! Stop me, I sez!

Great comment, Boidman!
(We're both sick.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

Go for it. McCarthy's suicide blog. I'd read it. "Goodbye Cruel World" is a great title. I see a big break coming in your future. You'll be on TV. Maybe even "Dancing With the Stars". Yeah, I'd watch that for sure.

And yes, I would rank you among my top 5 commenters. You leave comments of substance.

By the way did you check out Kelly's blog (the one you interchanged with on my comment thread yesterday)? She's an old friend of mine and I think you might enjoy her writing. She probably has some different political leanings than you, but she has a somewhat similar outlook to the one you radiate. Check out her blog and give her a follow to encourage her.
Kelly's link is:


Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I'd be on "Dancing With The Stars"?!

That does it! I'm out.
Take it away, Boidman.

I communicated with Kelly on your blog yesterday but we didn't "interchange". Just how easy do you think I am? I don't interchange with women on the first blog encounter!

>>...She probably has some different political leanings than you,...

Well, you know how I feel about people "different from me".

>>...but she has a somewhat similar outlook to the one you radiate.

You mean she's a manic depressive too? How nice. Someone not to cheer me up.

No, I didn't check out her blog yesterday, although I did read her Profile. Based on that I figured her blog would probably just be more "writing about writing", so I didn't bring it up. But I'll take a look. Thanks, Lee.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Pooh Lynth said...

What a wonderful musical journey through LA. And Nap was right most of the places (in addition to the song) are very noirish. In fact, I bet if you close your eyes and think about Coles/Hard Rock cafe will only imagine them in black and white. In fact "it all fades to back and white like the streets of downtown LA in the rain." An unfinished poem.

You know I think Eddie Money must have observed us hungover in line at Raes...where else would he have gotten the title Shakin? Good times/bad times at the same time. Talk amongst yourselves.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

You have more unfinished poems than anyone I know!

Yeah, in fact, I wish you had sent me the black & white version of the picture of Nappy and me in Cole's; I would have used that one instead.

Actually... is it too late? I'd love to replace the one on the blog with a black & white version of same.

Eddie Money... Few songs say "Post-Bay Street Daze" to me like his song "My Friends, My Friends". I can listen to that one sometimes and even find that I miss you blokes.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

What an amazing tour... I love it!!! I really liked the pictures. Very nice.

Ahhh... I like this part:

"I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was staring in my empty coffee cup
~ 'Desperados Under The Eaves' by Warren Zevon"

You see? Coffee, coffee cup again... There must be something about coffee that makes happy endings :-)

Thanks for stooping by my blog. Mike has been the only homeless patient I have had who was able to overcome his situation. The few other ones either ended up back to the streets, or died of HIV or Cirrhosis, etc. But again, Mike was the only one carrying a coffee cup with him at all times. I am sure it had to do with the coffee :-))

Lady Doris

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Many thanks! Glad ya liked it.

And, yep, I'm with you: For "Happy Endings" just add coffee and stir... in a little Irish Whiskey.

What could be happier?

Very glad that Mike made it. Hooray for that hot, brown liquid!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Sheboyganboy VI said...

Well, I was sitting around eating bon-bons today with several hours to kill, and I thought: "hey, I have enough time to read one of Stephen's blog bits. Maybe. I'll give it a try!" Sure enough, I just fit it in with time left over to sort my sock drawer."

Jes teasing, Bro! Them blogs is long, but they is WORTH IT!

Eve is right: it was fascinating. I love your travel blogs, and you are at your peak when discussing your "hometown."

I listened to the David and David song. Like some other stuff(s) you have shared, I liked it... but I don't quite "get it" the way you do. I think that it is something particularly special to you and certainly associated with what was going on in your life at the time. Don't get me wrong... I LIKED it. But I certainly didn't love it or see anything terribly compelling about it.

I liked the pics of you and your friends. Say... is Ricki B. the son of Dick B??? If so, cool! What a runner. I was a teenager when he was runnin', but I remember him.

You don't post many pics of yourself, and fewer still of Nappy. You don't need to write self-deprecating comments. You both look like famous people. Nappy (and this is a compliment, toughguy: don't hit me) looks like Clint Eastwood about 20 years ago. Stephen, you still look a bit like Morrison... only older, with glasses. Frankly, had he lived, he'd look like hell by now, either in a wheelchair or walker with narrowed eyes and a Michael Jackson nose after several plastic surgeries. Reclusively, of course.

I enjoyed the Zevon clips a lot. I really liked Warren and was very sad he left us early. One thing I learned about your blog site reading it this time is that the embedded clips will play simultaneously. This makes for a discordant cacophony if you jump into another one early.

And DiscConnected: Were you mocking me a bit for taking Stephen's last post so seriously? No need: I'll never read anything into StMc's blogs again!

Arlee's comments about a suicide blog were, sadly, accurate. You would have a Top 100 blog within a year. But you're right at what a sorry commentary it is on our society.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 1 Of 2:


Laugh it up, Funny Boy!

>>...I love your travel blogs, and you are at your peak when discussing your "hometown."

Thanks, man. But, seriously? I think I’m at my peak between Noon and 12:15, or when I’m passed out underneath a table.

>>...David and David song … I LIKED it. I think that it is something particularly special to you … But I certainly didn't love it or see anything terribly compelling about it.

Well, Bro, first of all, they totally nailed the dark, metropolitan angst angle. But you, having been born and raised in the Orlando of the West Coast, . . .

Uh . . . Wait! Let me start over! (Ha!)

Actually, in all seriouslynessnow . . . they had some very unique musical arrangements. (WTF is that “spring” sound going on in “A Rock For The Forgotten”?! Ever heard it before?)

The long, dark, raw, guttural notes of six-string sustain . . . the down and out outlook with little glitterings of held-out hope . . . Snarky, winking, face down in the gutter, hoping . . .

In the song “All Alone In The Big City” there is one point where you hear some muted trumpet blasts way in the background - the only horns heard on the entire album. They brought in a trumpet player to play maybe 15 or so notes – on ONE song – and yet, when you hear it, you recognize it as being the PERFECT sound at the PERFECT place. These dudes really had an ear for arranging and for capturing the desperation of the desperate.

Ya know, Bro, it’s music and no one can really explain it, as we both have acknowledged in discussions past. But go to YouTube and you’ll find that I am far from being the only person who believes that David & David was one the most creative, imaginative groups of the ‘80s, and that “Boomtown” is a true Rock masterpiece. But in the final analysis, your opinion is no less valid than mine.

When I think of David & David, they remind me of no one else – even though they were making mainstream Rock music. And that’s quite a comment on their originality. If told to combine 2 or 3 other musical artists who would equal the general sound of David & David, I couldn’t do it.

You know, like, “Bruce Springsteen + Rick Springfield = John “Cougar” Mellencamp. Or “The Beatles + The Boston Pops Orchestra = ELO”. Or “Styx + Journey = REO Speedwagon”. Or “David Bowie + U2 = Shit Squared”. But with David & David, I can think of no combination that would get me there. That’s ORIGINALITY.

Continued Below...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 2 Of 2:

>>...Say... is Ricki B. the son of Dick B??? If so, cool! What a runner. I was a teenager when he was runnin', but I remember him.

Not only do you leave some of the very, very best comments I get, but you are an educated, informed man; I love how expansive your knowledge is!

Yes, sir, you “got it” that time. Rick B., Dick B. Yep. Rick B. played minor league baseball, and we used to play together on the UCLA Parking Service softball team. He’s the only person I’ve ever known who could sting my hand through the glove . . . with a SOFTball! When playing catch with him, I always had to be conscious of catching the ball with the web of my glove, and making sure it didn’t make contact with the leather-covered palm. Otherwise there was pain to pay.

Anyone who thinks that major league baseball players aren’t WAY-FREAKIN’-BETTER than they are need only play catch with Ricki B., and bear in mind that R.B. didn’t even make it to the major leagues.

>>...You don't post many pics of yourself, and fewer still of Nappy.

Oh, no, SBB6 - I have posted far more contemporary photos of Nappy than of me.

Nappy? A younger Clint Eastwood? Hmmm… I think he looks a bit like Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I can’t see Morrison having gone in for plastic surgery, but I do think that – at the rate he was going - had he lived to 52, he would have looked even worse than I do at that age.

I had no idea you liked Zevon’s zongs! You’ve never mentioned him, even when I have done so on this blog numerous times in the past.

I would rate Warren as one of the 6 best lyricists ever.

>>...Arlee's comments about a suicide blog were, sadly, accurate. You would have a Top 100 blog within a year. But you're right at what a sorry commentary it is on our society.

Entirely correct! I wasn’t joking when I said that I thought a blog like that would be a MASSIVE hit in today’s Reality-TV society. There is no question that it would become one of the most popular blogs in the U.S. in no time flat. (Nevertheless, I wouldn’t even touch that idea!)

As you said, “what a sorry commentary… on our society”. It’s enough to make a guy drive to Vegas and take 30 Temazepam! [Kiddin’!]

By the way, you were far from being the only reader to read too much into my "Pain Management" short story. So, you shouldn't feel bad about that. You had plenty of company.

Thanks for another fabulous blog comment, Brotherman 6!

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

Kelly Robinson said...

Warren Zevon is one of my heroes. "Enjoy every sandwich" is wisdom for the ages. Thanks for all the nice comments on my blog, BTW! Since I'm just starting out, it's quite welcome.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I don't say "stuffs" I don't mean.
(Unless I'm just joking... or being an S.A.... or lying... or...)

Nah, seriously, I'm really digging your blog. Keep up the good work!

And... I think anyone who can appreciate Zevon's stuffs has to be a little twisted, a little warped. In other words, "my kinda person!"

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Sig Wynne-Evans said...

WoW!!! That was a GREAT post!! So fascinating. The LA area has so much pop history...I bet you could really feel the ghosts of what once was.

I really reading it!


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I'm glad you liked it, and I'm especially glad you dropped in because I've wanted to tell you something:

Recently I have begun having yet another problem with the Blogspot system. A new bug - oh, joy!

With about 25% to 30% of the blogs I "Follow", I can no longer leave any comments. When I try, I get the following message:

We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.
The following errors were found:
Input error: Cookie value is null for FormRestoration

I have NO IDEA what any of that means, and unfortunately, YOURS is one of the blogs I can't post comments on! I tried 4 times to leave a comment on your last installment but got the above message every time.

Blogspot makes me so mad sometimes because it's buggy as a madhouse.

Anyway, I hope eventually one of those brilliant technogeeks [Cough!-Cough!] at Blogspot will discover that there's a problem and fix it. If that doesn't happen soon, I may have to try to find help from outside the system.

In the meantime, know that just because you don't receive any comments from me doesn't mean I'm not checking in at your blog.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Missed Periods said...

That was a great tour. My grandparents used to take us to Pioneer Chicken on the weekends. And I am pretty sure I've been to El Coyote.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks! I'm glad ya enjoyed the tour. (At least the price is right!)

Growing up, there used to be a Pioneer Chicken about a 2 or 3 minute drive from my house. We'd go there sometimes when we couldn't afford KFC.

And if you think you have been to El Coyote but you're not sure, then, yes, you've probably been there. Those margaritas they serve can wreak havoc on one's memory.

Some people claim that the food at El Coyote is bad (I'm not one of those persons). But the truth is, after the second El Coyote margarita, no one is going to give a damn whether or not the food is good or bad.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Anonymous said...

So---has anybody ever bothered to ask the internet community for a photo of the Pioneer Chicken Stand on Alvarado Street? Somebody must have a picture 🤔.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

My guess is that no picture of the Pioneer Chicken stand on Alvarado exists. Because I can't imagine WHY anyone would have taken a picture of the place, wasting a frame of film in their 21 pictures roll. (It cost money to take a picture in those days.) And the Pioneer Chicken stand may have already been razed by the time Warren's album was released in '76.

I can't recall when I noticed that I no longer saw it there on the way to Dodger games.

It was a dirty looking fast food joint with dirty looking young dudes always hanging around there. An eyesore and magnet for scroungy people. I'll bet much of the community was glad when it was gone. And for that reason, as I said above, I can't even imagine what would prompt anyone to take a photograph of the joint until AFTER Warren Zevon had become famous. And by then it was too late to photograph it.

~ D-FensDogG
STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'