Monday, November 28, 2011

“MOTEL, MONEY, MURDER, MADNESS”

.


It was at 6 AM a week and two days ago that I once again got "On The Road" and headed West toward my homemegalopolis, Lost Angels, California.

This was only a Lya Graf-sized vacation: Six-hour Saturday drive there - Sunday - six-hour Monday drive back to Phoenix, Airheadzona. I really toyed with the idea of calling my good friend General Poohregard to see if he wanted to get the Bitter Brothers together for a Bitter Breakfast Meeting, but I opted not to bring any spur-of-the-moment disorder into anyone’s already disordered life just a few days prior to Thanksgiving. So, this was going to be a short solo all the way.

My primary objective was to see if I could relocate my long lost friend Eric – you know, that bloke I told you about in my story ‘Goblins, ‘Gators And Things That Go “Who” In The Night’ - that bloke I was lost with in the Okefenokee Swamp in ‘83. The last time I’d seen Eric he was working at some very fancy Santa Monica Beach hotel, the name of which I couldn’t recall but I knew I’d know it when I saw it.

Just west of the gigantic space alien flower garden near Palm Springs, I stopped to let out and take in some fluids at Hadley’s Fruit Orchards store.

I happened to be wearing my “Robert Johnson – King Of The Delta Blues Singers” T-shirt and a woman working the cash register – Margie was her name, if I recall correctly – began asking me a lot of questions about Robert Johnson. Her husband is a fan of Blues music and after listening to me yak about the singer, she decided to get him an RJ Blues album for Christmas this year instead of the usual gift card for Home Depot.

Because of the poor running order of songs on 'The Complete Recordings By Robert Johnson' box set, I suggested she buy his two albums separately in the Volume 1 & 2 format. When she asked me to recommend one or the other, I told her I preferred Volume 2. She asked if that would be available online, as someone in her extended family has a computer and could place the order for her.

Pulling back out onto I-10, I made up my mind to buy Margie’s husband a Robert Johnson album at Amoeba Records – a massive, amazing record store on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood that I was planning to visit for the first time the following day.

Before driving into Culver City and checking into my motel room, I drove into the belly of the beast: Downtown Los Angeles. I had planned to have a drink at The Embassy Hotel on 9th and Grand like I used to do during my dark nights in 1986. Due to circumstances beyond my control, that drink didn't happen . . . but that is a story for another blog bit to be posted here soon.

However, in the belly of the beast I discovered that one of the two old “Jesus Saves” signs that long ago disappeared from the rooftop of a building at Hope and 6th Streets has been relocated to the rooftop of a building near the intersection of 9th and Hill. Like, does anybody know this?

You remember the photo I posted on this blog of me posing below one of these signs in the early ‘80s right?

I’m not even certain that it’s one of the same signs as it appeared smaller to me than I think it should have but, really, how many large “Jesus Saves” signs are there?

In the photo below, you’ll see that this sign is now near the blue/green Eastern Columbia Building landmark.





You know the Eastern Columbia Building from the end of the brilliant pilot for the brilliant “Moonlighting” TV series - Maddie Hayes hanging from the clock hands, trying to recover stolen diamonds. Remember?

1x01 - 1x02 The Pilot



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SIDb5O3Q4w

Leaving the belly of the beast, I drove to my motel on Sepulveda Blvd. two blocks south of Venice Blvd. in Culver City. The Half Moon Motel  - I had stayed here once before, in the Summer of 2005, and in fact I used to live only 7 or 8 blocks from the motel. And that’s the reason I was aware of it at all; I used to drive past it all the time, coming and going, to and from adventures and misadventures.



[The Half Moon Motel on Sepulveda, looking north toward Venice Boulevard.]

As I’ve stated here previously, I once worked as a commercial sign designer and I have always had a fascination and love for old, Old School signs.



[The large yellow sign – drawn by me in 1984 – is located one block south of the Half Moon Motel.]



[Yeah, I stuck a fork in my wiener – it was done.]

There are a few things I like about the Half Moon Motel; first and foremost, of course, is that it has perhaps the coolest neon sign of all time (well, one of my very favorites at the very least) – I love the look of it, the color of it, and the alliteration of it.

Also, the motel is built in that late 1950s/very early ‘60s architectural style with rock walls and the whole thing just shrouded in a kitschy funkiness. It conjures thoughts of wispy cigrarette smoke lace floating through the air, spilled whiskey, and Ben Webster playing some low, soft-porn ballad on his tenor sax.

I can’t stay at the Half Moon Motel without feeling I’ve stepped into the 'Twilight Zone' and found myself living out some Film Noir detective story . . .

I half expect to find Philip Marlowe standing on the second floor walkway in front of the door next to mine, some clinging dame crying into the shoulder of his raincoat and a cigarette clinging to his lower lip while he tries to console her without spilling from the glass of bourbon he balances between three of his nicotine-stained fingers. He's staring at the distant flickering neon 'N' in the "Half Moon Motel" sign, trying to figure out who dun-it and whether or not he should take advantage of this grieving woman's weakened condition, knowing full well that she's Suspect Number One.

Another thing I like about the Half Moon Motel is that the place is a dump. I don’t mean that it’s filthy, just that the rooms are very old and awfully small; not the sort of place where respectable people with money stay . . .  nor even respectable people without money, for that matter.

The Half Moon is the sort of place I’ve stayed in most of my life, and to update my analogy of 1950s Film Noir to 1970s Rock, it being located in Los Angeles, the Half Moon Motel also makes me think of the Doors song ‘L.A. Woman’ and that line “motel, money, murder, madness”.

You can always catch a faint whiff of “danger” in a place like this. Stay at a Holiday Inn or a Marriott or a Sheraton or a Four Seasons and nothing is going to happen to you that you didn’t want or plan for; it’s about as uncertain and jitters-producing as a day at Disneyland. But stay at a Half Moon Motel and . . . spend all night wondering who is in that room next door. And what are they doing? And when night falls, what are they planning to do? And are they armed too? And how many rounds do you suppose they have?

The Doors - L.A. Woman Official Video HQ



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-wgIht3roA&NR=1

I’m not interested in some homogenized, sterilized, sanitized, plasticized, digitalized, uni-sized experience; I want the authentic urban life – romanticized. Just so long as I don’t have to stick my neck out or lose a limb. (“I stick my neck out for no one, baby! Including me.”) That is to say, getting lost at night in the Okefenokee Swamp makes for a great story but you do need to survive in order to tell it.

So, I’m certainly not equating the danger factor of the Half Moon Motel with the Bates Motel – it’s not that uncertain, but . . . to be sure, you might want to pour some Smoking Loon wine into that plastic cup after dark, just to take the edge off a little and to calm your nerves.
What was THAT?!  I thought I heard something!

Damn! I love that kind of place! I’m reminded of that line in ‘The Deer Hunter’ when Christopher Walken says, “I like to starve myself, it keeps the fear up.” There’s something to be said for keeping the fear up. It reminds you that you’re still alive. The Half Moon Motel: you don’t take a nap there without first engaging the bolt lock; it’s the kind of joint where you might find blood in the bathroom sink - as I did during my stay. Except it was my own blood . . . I accidentally cut myself with my Swiss army knife. I think that’s called a Hans Owie.





I’ve told this story here before so I won’t repeat the details but, just as a glance of myself in a mirror at The Townhouse Bar in Venice Beach once inspired me to write a full-length screenplay, I think someday I may need to direct my imagination toward the Half Moon Motel and see what sort of story THAT building wants to tell me.

If THIS place has a story to tell . . .







. . . doesn’t it stand to reason that THIS place has a story to tell too? . . .







[Muddy McLoon checked into his room only to find Gideon's Bible...]

Soon after checking into the Half Moon, I drove down to Venice Beach, had a couple glasses of GraMar on the rocks at The Townhouse Bar and yakked with Bartender George; then I wandered down the boardwalk to The Sidewalk Café and ordered my usual – the Garcia Lorca Omelette – and watched the carnival as it passed by my table.





Then I rambled up the boardwalk to Rose Avenue and watched the Sun setting. Below is a picture I took as I was rambling north along the beach. Let’s stop and think about this for a moment . . .


“Venice Beach Freakshow” ? Uhm . . . HULLOooooo! Being freakishly redundant, aren’t we? I mean, c’mon, everyone knows that when you say “Venice Beach” you’ve already said “Freakshow” - the Freakshow is always implied... every... single... time!

When the Sun drowned in the waters off Venice Beach, I got into my car and headed for a ‘Top Secret’ Security Clearance place I know of, but if I mentioned it to ya I’d have to kill ya. However, getting there wasn’t as easy as I remembered. I found myself shouting - not thinking, but literally shouting – "WTF?! How did The Great Western Forum get here?! Who moved it and when?"

And how could I get so turned around in the city where I was born and raised and where I once ruled? Well, by the vast empty parking lot it was easy to know that UFO wouldn’t be opening for Blue Oyster Cult at The Forum. Not tonight. But there was a time, there was a night . . .

Some years ago I coined a couple of new words: “congrutiating” and “incongrutiating”. Congrutiating is when you are simultaneously involved in two or more activities that are thematically or stylistically simpatico.

For example, if you are eating a banana while playing Donkey Kong, you are congrutiating. When you are "reading Chomsky while listening to the Star-Spangled Banner" you are incongrutiating.

One of my most memorable moments of incongrutiating came in 1980 when my friend Eric (same bloke I was lost with in the Okefenokee Swamp) and I drove through the barren Arizona desert wasteland to see the Sun rise over the Grand Canyon. While driving through the desert we listened to my cassette of ‘1969: The Velvet Underground Live’. Now that, people, is incongrutiating.

But while staying at the Half Moon Motel, I engaged in some memorable congrutiating: I played some cool jazz while the neon beckoned to the night through my open door. Here’s the scene . . .



And here’s the tune . . .

Stan Getz - So Danco Samba [from 1963 album Getz/Gilberto]



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oyHdsQEU9k



[A night at the Half Moon in full bloom.]

It rained most of Sunday. I started the day by driving to Santa Monica Beach to see if I could reconnect with my oldest friend Eric. I mean, really, once you’ve been lost at night in the Okefenokee with a dude, that’s probably a friendship you shouldn’t let fade away.

I found the fancy beach hotel (re-cog-o-nized it instantly) – Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Nice place, but too “safe” for my tastes; I decided to keep my room at the Half Moon.

It didn’t take long before my old buddy Eric and I were yakking in the Loews Hotel lobby. The concierge called him and when he came to the phone I said, “Is this the same Eric who was once lost in the Okefenokee Swamp at night?” I think he immediately had a pretty good idea who was on the other end of the line.



[An interesting businessman/surfer statue stands out in front of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.]

Then afterwards I drove east through the driving rain and visited the highly praised record store Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd. in the heart of grungy Hollyweird.



[This external shot of Amoeba Music above is the only photograph in this blog bit that was not taken by McMe.]

Impressive? Yep. How many record stores ever had a name card for ‘David & David’, let alone a second name card for ‘David & David’ in the “Used” recordings section? Yeah, that ‘David & David’, the duo who only lasted long enough to release one masterpiece album in 1986!



I spent six days looking at every single compact disc Amoeba had in stock. Afterwards, I decided that the very coolest album cover I saw in the entire store was this one . . .



Boy, was I surprised to find myself selecting that cover. I was pretty sure no album cover art could ever top The Beatles’ “White Album”.



[Dude was walking his dog in the Amoeba record store. I think they were looking for “Stray Cats”.]





Then it was down to Antonio’s Mexican Restaurant in the pouring rain (the streets were all backed up and the LAFD even had to close some sections) and I had to walk through a twelve and a half inch deep river rushing down Melrose Ave. just to get over to Antonio’s side of the street, but it was worth it, as you can see . . .



After that, I was washed away to El Coyote for one of their legendary margaritas . . .  but that is a story for another blog bit to be posted here soon.

Sunday night I decided to check out the little cocktail lounge directly across the street from the Half Moon Motel. In my L.A. daze I passed by ‘The Cinema’ a bazillion trillion times but never even noticed it. (According to one woman I met there, it’s Culver City’s oldest bar and dates back to the late 1940s.) Check out the glow of the cars’ headlights in the rainy street. Pretty cool looking, huh?



[The Cinema: L.A.’s best kept secret.]

I swear to you, I hadn’t taken more than five steps inside The Cinema before I was absolutely head-over-heels in love with the place; it is
so-ooooo my kinda bar! First off, it’s small – the size of a Klondike Bar. Seriously, it was no bigger than two and a half rooms at the Half Moon Motel put together. In one corner is a stage the size of a razor blade, and the bar hosts live bands 7 nights a week.

I got to The Cinema a little before that night’s band showed up and I left while the band was setting up, but I met some very nice people between my first and second Beefeater and tonics.

Two middle-aged couples and I engaged in some discussion about the weather but, believe it or not, it was actually interesting discussion about the weather. Then this character named Eric entered (not related to the Eric I got lost with in the Okefenokee Swamp). Eric was clearly a “regular” and when he told me it was his third time visiting The Cinema I responded, “I don’t think so.”

I can see how a little bit of Eric would go a long way. And maybe that explains why I was the only person who burst into laughter when he said what I thought was one of the funniest things I’ve heard in awhile (maybe the others just thought: ‘Typically Eric’).

I can’t remember how the subject of “East” came up – maybe it was the fact that two football teams back East, the Giants and the Eagles, were playing Sunday Night Football on the boob tube – but regardless, Eric half-shouted: “Fu#k everything east of Lincoln Boulevard!”

Ha!-Ha! I’m still laughing as I type this. If you don’t know the L.A. area that won’t mean much to you, so let me tell ya that 99.75% of Los Angeles is east of Lincoln Boulevard . . . not to mention the rest of the U.S.A. In fact, The Cinema cocktail lounge itself is east of Lincoln Boulevard!

I was the only one in the bar laughing, but I was laughing so hard that I made up for the silence of the two couples and the bartender. I was laughing so hard that my head hit the bar!

Just as I was walking out of the cocktail lounge, the LAPD and the LAFD showed up. It seems there was a scene at The Cinema. Everything stopped, I heard five quick shots, the cops came up for air. And then the Dogtown Gang from the Westside, they’re shootin’ up the street. This cat from Venice starts lettin’ loose but he gets blown right off his feet. And some kid comes blastin’ around the corner but a cop puts him right away. He laid on the street holding his leg, screaming something in Spanish... still breathing when I walked away. And somebody said, “Hey, man, did you see that? His body hit Sepulveda with such a beautiful thud!”





Nah, I’m just kidding. I think some homeless cat was having a medical emergency (probably dying for some of that medical marijuana).

The following morning, I checked out of my room at the Half Moon Motel and just before getting on the 405 freeway, heading to the I-10 and home, I stopped by the apartment of my friend The Flyin’ Aardvark and left a note on her door. It read: “Vote Ron Paul in 2012 / Motel, Money, Murder, Madness --  HiYa, L.A. Woman”.

On the drive home, just before getting to the gigantic space alien flower garden near Palm Springs, I stopped again at Hadley’s.



Margie wasn’t working that day but I dropped off for her and her husband Robert Johnson’s “The Centennial Collection” compact disc which I’d purchased for them while at Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd. The employee I left the CD with asked me if I wanted to leave a note on it. I told her: “No. Just tell Margie it’s from Santa Claus”.

Nothing too interesting happened to me the rest of the way home . . . except that I suffered terribly from ‘White Line Fever’ and died in a
12-car pile-up “On The Road”, twenty-six miles west of Blythe. Had I survived, I would have told you this story exactly as it appears above.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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 Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
.

24 comments:

Arlee Bird said...

So you came to L.A. and didn't even tell me you were coming. Not so much as a wave as you passed on the interstate. Alright, so maybe you waved, but I can't see the interstate from my house.

Sounds like you did just fine without me though. Let me know next time you're coming this way so I can make an excuse to be somewhere else so I don't have to see you.

"L.A. Woman" sounded good and made a nice background for reading the story. I didn't watch the video though. It was a choice between watching and reading and I'd rather read what you had to say. I still need to watch the evolution guy.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Enjoy my delightful interview with Susan Kane on
Wrote By Rote Saturday 11/26

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

ARLEE BOID ~
Do you mean to say you didn't get the "Vote for Ron Paul in 2012" note that I left on YOUR door? (Then I guess some Mitt Romney supporter must have pulled it off and ripped it to pieces before you got home.)

Thanks for stopping by here. And, yes, you gotta watch that anti-Evolution guy at some point. I found him to be highly entertaining - good stuffs indeed!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Sheboyganboy VI said...

Mr. McCarthy ~

As always, I enjoyed the travelogue. I don't get the title reference, so you should explain it to me and your other dim readers. WAIT! I think I am your only dim reader. The rest are smart!

You are clearly an extrovert, making friends and conversation with ladies at highway stops and guys in bars (I mean that in the most innocuous way). And it was very nice of you to give Margie a gift that expands her soul... just because you could.

I was very glad to learn that someone (Jesus?) had saved the "Jesus Saves" sign!

And finally: I must stop by that record store, and I must stop at Antonio's Restaurant next time I am in L.A. Hopefully that will be in January, if my son is invited to audition at USC for their Popular Music program. Then, if he is accepted, perhaps I will get to eat at Antonio's often.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. SHEBOYGANBOY SIXGUN ~
Thanks for reading and commenting, my McFriend!

>> . . . I don't get the title reference, so you should explain it to me and your other dim readers. WAIT! I think I am your only dim reader. The rest are smart!

Actually, Bro, you are the ONLY reader, dim or smart!

Nah. Not true. I have two regular readers: Arlee and you. (Hmmm... That sounds like it could be the name of a movie or a song - "Arlee And You".)

But you missed the reference? AHEM! You missed this paragraph?:

The Half Moon is the sort of place I’ve stayed in most of my life, and to update my analogy of 1950s Film Noir to 1970s Rock, it being located in Los Angeles, the Half Moon Motel also makes me think of the Doors song ‘L.A. Woman’ and that line “motel, money, murder, madness”.

You missed the inclusion of the video for The Doors' song "L.A. Woman"? [Where can I score some of what you been smokin'? It seems like the very thing I could use right about now!]

The idea behind that reference being... the Half Moon is a "motel", and it strikes me as the type where one might witness an exchange of money (Some sort of "deal" goin' down... For drugs? Sex? Purloined 'Top Secret' government documents? Or, God only knows what!] It's the perfect place to shoot a Film Noir murder scene... or commit a real one? And the "madness"... well, use your imagination... it DOES have a kind of "Bates Motel" quality to it.

As I said, I think the Half Moon Motel would be an ideal foundation from which to build a screenplay; I think that building has a story to tell, and a "mad" person might be able to hear its voices and translate them onto page or screen.

>> . . . You are clearly an extrovert, making friends and conversation with ladies at highway stops and guys in bars

HA! No, not an extrovert at all. Quite the opposite, really. But I am an enigma, even to myself, and I do have my moments when I step outside of myself and become someone else. Don't forget, I was once an actor, after all, so I can put on different personas when I choose to. I'm just a very simple complex guy.

>> . . . I was very glad to learn that someone (Jesus?) had saved the "Jesus Saves" sign!

Yeah, isn't that just the greatest thing?! I knew YOU would dig hearing that because I remember you saying on a previous post that you could recall that old sign when it was in its former location near the downtown L.A. library.

>> . . . And finally: I must stop by that record store

Dude, you will go bonkers in that place! It is truly a great record store.

Now, since you didn't catch the "motel, money, murder, madness" reference - which was explicitly stated - is it fair for me to assume that you also didn't notice the entire paragraph that I stole from an old Bruce Springsteen song and tweaked to suit my own purposes?

[PLEASE don't get upset, McBrother! I'm not whacking you here. I'm just bustin' yer chops in a very playful, friendly McRibbin' 'n' McJoshin' kinda way!]

If you didn't get the Sprinsteen rip-off, then when you have a spare minute or two, Google the lyrics to the song "Lost In The Flood" and see if you find something in there that feels awfully familiar... like you've encountered it elsewhere recently.
[;-O

Yak Later, Mr. Sixgun... and thanks again for being a reader and a commenter. "Love yer work - don't wanna lose ya!"

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Six said...

See what I mean? I am even dimmer than I thought I was, since I actually asked you about something you included in the piece!

In my defense (the insanity plea), I read half of the blog the day you posted, then got very busy and read the other half just before I wrote my crappy comments. I didn't remember that you answered my question!

And I will fess up that I did NOT watch The Doors vid, as I have heard the song before and (as you know) am not a Doors fan. Now, maybe I SHOULD be, and you've suggested that I give them another chance.. but I did NOT give them a chance by listening to the video. SO... I missed the whole damned thing.

As for Springsteen, although I used to be a major fan, I felt he drifted away from me, or vice-versa, and I am not familiar with the "Flood" song. I googled it, and indeed, you DID swipe the fantasy paragraph feel near the end of your piece from dat dude. Good job! Sorry I missed it; just too dim again.

As for my reading: I will remain a reader as long as you write. I just may not be timely about it.

And finally, "Arlee And You" would be written and performed by Kris Kristofferson. And I'd hate it.

Missed Periods said...

I also prefer old motels to fancy hotels. Maybe I've seen too many movies or maybe it's because we used to stay in them when I was a kid. I'm interested to know what an interesting conversation about weather sounds like.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. McSIXBOY ~

>>...In my defense (the insanity plea)...

The Insanity Plea is a wonderful tool; it nearly always works!

>>...and (as you know) am not a Doors fan. Now, maybe I SHOULD be, and you've suggested that I give them another chance.

Well, I was once a HUGE Doors fan - in my wild, rebellious youth - and have only recently kind of "rediscovered" them. Some songs, however, - like Peace Frog, Roadhouse Blues, Texas Radio And The Big Beat, The Changeling, Riders On The Storm, L.A. Woman - I never stopped digging.

But I think I've finally got a handle on our musical likes and dislikes: The Jazz and Blues stuffs we see mostly eye-to-eye on. But with much/most of the Rock stuffs our tastes are drastically different.

Therefore I think it's safe to say that if you didn't dig the Doors before, you won't dig 'em now.

>>...I am not familiar with the "Flood" song...indeed, you DID swipe the fantasy paragraph feel near the end of your piece from dat dude...Sorry I missed it; just too dim again.

Not too dim at all! NOBODY was going to pick up on that bit. So, I'm glad you gave me an excuse to "out" it.

I kinda liked the way I turned the line "...his body hit the street with such a beautiful thud" into "his body hit Sepulveda with such a beautiful thud".

>>...And finally, "Arlee And You" would be written and performed by Kris Kristofferson. And I'd hate it.

Ha!-Ha! Good call... I feel you're right. (Probably tapping into that "Me And Bobby McGee" theme.) And I probably wouldn't like it either.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MISSED PERIODS ~
Well, unfortunately, I didn't record the conversation and I don't have phonographic recall. But I can tell you that we were all discussing bizarre weather-related incidents we had personally experienced.

They were telling me about softball-sized hail in the Dakotas that broke out windows and dented cars. And I told them about how some people in Phoenix, during the Summer months, forget to crack their car windows a tad and the heat builds up so much inside that the windows just explode, as if someone blew them out from within using a shotgun, etc., etc.

Only "EXTREME weather" conditions and incidents are worth discussing, and that's what we were in fact discussing, so it WAS kinda interesting.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

mousiemarc said...

Man that record/CD store reminds me of Music Millenium up in Portland Oregon. Well the one you pictured is like Music Millenium on steroids I bet. Music Millenium is bigger than what you pictured, but I bet there are more rooms you didn't picture.

Br'er Marc

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BR'ER MARC ~
Yeah, I took the photos from the landing of the staircase to the second floor, and they don't show the Jazz/Blues/Classical room. Also not seen is the space behind me on both the first and second floors.

But it sounds like Music Millenium would give Amoeba a run for its money. I mean, if it's bigger than what shows up in my photos that's really saying something, because I think I've only been in two other record stores in my life that were bigger than what I pictured here: The old Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. and maybe the long gone Tower that was in Westwood Village (counting both floors).

Well, Licorice Pizza on Wilshire was pretty big too. But Music Millenium must be a hell of great record store. Do they sell "used" merchandise also?

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Nas Dean said...

Great travelogue and the photos! Wow! I feel I was on that journey too!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

NAS DEAN ~
Hey, thanks a lot. I mean, like, "A LOT!" You can visit and comment here anytime.

Incidentally, that is one very cool name you have. I know I ain't never encountered another "Nas Dean" in my life before. And I'm always partial to the name Dean (e.g., James Dean, Dean Moriarty).

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Nas Dean said...

Thanks! Dean was my Dad's surname, and we were always known as the Dean girls!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

NAS ~
It just so happens that my Sister's married name is now Deans (but with an "s" at the end).

"The Dean Girls", eh?
I LIKE that! It sounds like a gang. Were ya dangerous?
[;o)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

mousiemarc said...

Heck ya Music Millenium does both used and new. Actually Portland Oregon has a good number of actual RECORD stores as well as CD stores. We have good music here for being a smaller city. Lots of Jazz musicians. Not to compare it with really big Jazz cities but for it's size Portland has some of the best music around. We also have more Porn shops per capita than New york city, and more child predators than just about any big city per capita. I love the area and weather, but would move in a heart beat if my wife would join me because of the sickos here. Were known to be stranger than San Francisco. Plus the knuckle heads downtown in the occupy movement have almost caused two riots. Police in riot gear, violence, pepper spray. I need a shack on a mountain somewhere.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>...Were known to be stranger than San Francisco.

BR'ER MARC ~
Well, to out-sicko 'Frisco that takes a heap o' sickness, dude!

I find that hard to believe... but you might be right... or close to right, anyway.

My guess is that over the decades a lot of 'Frisco's freaks have migrated North into your territory.

I remember decades ago, I had a perception of Oregon being this very woodsy place inhabited mostly by down-to-earth traditionalists. I even used to say, "What I need is a nice, sweet girl from Oregon".

But that was THEN, and this is NOW, and I haven't made that remark for close to 2 decades. The more I learned about the political demographics of our country, the more I came to realize that Oregon is now overrun by old tree-huggin' hippies and Generation Text people.

Nowadays I say, "What I need is a nice, sweet girl from somewhere outside of the United States".

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

mousiemarc said...

Stephen,

Funny thing is when I was six Portland Oregon was probably a poor mans Green Bay. Small SMALL city. Heck a couple miles east of downtown you had cattle and farm land. Most of the state is conservative if you go by the map. Problem is the city of Portland and Eugene. Both crazy and communistic in nature. Funny thing is that if you look at the geography they are such a small portion of the state, but they hold ALL the political power do to the number of people living there. If Oregon had a state sized electoral college it's very possible the state government would look very different. It was Portland's Multnomah county that made abortion legal when the rest of the state voted against it. It was Multnomah county that always determines the govenor, the land use laws, taxes, you name it. The state almost divided at one point over this. I now live in Washington state but the same can be said about King county and Seattle. Oh and your right, one of our biggest influx of people is from California and specifically San Francisco.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McBR'ER ~
Yeah, man, you seriously gotta keep an eye on those Californians! They'll quietly infiltrate and the next thing you know... you've been Californicated!

And being a Californian, I oughta know!
[;o)

The politics of 'Frisco make ultra-Leftist L.A. seem almost like Bakersfield by comparison.

(Pssst... Bakersfield is redneck Country country.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Pooh Lynth said...

Thanks for thinking of calling me. I understand the stealthiness of the trip. Do tell more about Eric.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

...AND POOH...
Eric has been working at that hotel for many years, but he is no longer in the Landscaping Department. Which sounds like it's a step up in money.

He has been married for ten years to a woman from Brazil ("Bossa Nova, ba-AAA-beee!") and he has a son who is five years old.

He looks about the same. Maybe a little less hair up top than he once had, but he's still tall and thin. You would definitely be able to pick him out in a crowd or in a hotel employees photo.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

farawayeyes said...

Alright, you found me out. I'm chained to the computer, editing today. I can only take so much. I hate editing, especially my own stuff. I just don't see the boo boos, like I can in other people's work, the commas alone will drive me over the edge. Anyway.... while doin' some surfing, I ran across this post.

Oh yeah, fun, fun, fun. You definitely should write that story about the 'Half Moon'. I love places like that, as it has been my lot in life to vacation there also. But hey, the Marriott has no past and no STORY.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

FARAWAYEYES ~

>>...But hey, the Marriott has no past and no STORY.

Indeed!

But, oh, the places I've been
And the motels I've sinned in!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

George Vreeland Hill said...

Your photos and stories are awesome.
I know all of these places.

George Vreeland Hill

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

GEORGE ~
Thanks for the kind words! Sorry I am so late in responding but I have been offline since March... uh... 11th, I think. Due to an out-of-state move. Just got Internet hooked up again about ten minutes ago.

Hopefully you'll return and see that I wasn't ignoring your complimentary comment.

Wow! Your name seems very, very familiar to me. Why do I seem to recognize it? Are you a writer? Have we exchanged comments before? If so, please refresh my (lousy) memory. Thanks!

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'