Sunday, June 10, 2018

Kid Myself I'm Having Fun

Every little facet of our lives enhances who we become. As we get older, we get more comfortable in our own skins. You'd think that with all I am able to report in these posts, that I had paid more attention. I didn't; too wrapped up in the cool to really get the details (if I had an eidetic memory, you'd get three or four posts per day! - if I could type faster). No matter where you were, how trendy or chic (didn't matter if River Phoenix was there or some actress you had a crush on), there was always somewhere cooler to be. Leaving a club or a bar, that outward display of dissatisfaction, was the ultimate kiss off, and the dernier cri that you were cool's cool. 

That said, on a myriad of levels, I hated my wild years. Cool was too hard. I lived, at the time, in a seedy deco apartment on Orange Street in the Miracle Mile, in a building that a friend called "El Presidente," as if it were a cheesy bordello in Tijuana. Kenya and Cathy lived down the hall, and I was never more content than when the girls would just come over and we'd get high and dance around the living room and make pancakes. I liked daytime better, shopping on Melrose at Cowboys and Poodles or Poseur and Vinyl Fetish, grabbing a chili-dog at Pink's, coming back to the apartment and making cocktails. Ultimately, though, you'd step out into the night. Girls just want to have fun, you know?

Hollywood Blvd.
Nonetheless, there was one club where I felt at ease, a place where I seemed to fit in best. I grew up in Mid-Century Modern L.A. and by the 80s, in my 20s, amidst the punks and the metal heads, there was a nostalgic revival of early 60s style, and my circle of fiends bought into it in a most tragically hip way. That theme fit well onto Hollywood Blvd., right across from the Chinese and C.C. Brown's. Any given night you could find me, there at the Seven Seas.

While Hollywood Blvd. in the 80s was at its worst, the once glamorous restaurants and venues struggling to survive, we'd invaded a storied Hollywood nightspot from the 30s. The Seven Seas in Hollywood was one of the Tiki nightclubs, just down the street from Don the Beachcomber's, that were all the rage in the late 50s. The inside was decorated with tropical plants, nautical souvenirs, lava rocks and a corrugated metal roof on which, several times a night, there'd be a rainstorm replete with thunder sounds from a sound effects record. When I was little, my parents took me there for my birthday, one of the few times we spent together as a family. Nothing within had really changed by the 80s, not the red pleather banquettes or the velvet oil paintings, but club kids had commandeered the 7.

Cathy and Kenya
To set the scene, we'd get there at ten, drink other people's drinks when they'd get up to dance, or sit at the bar. It was New Order and Depeche Mode, Haircut 100 and ABC, and at 1:50am, when liquor laws dictated the time, they'd turn on the lights, last call, and you'd order two or three more drinks and the party would continue. At 3:00 they'd play "Springtime for Hitler" from The Producers, I don't know why, and sweep the stragglers out the door. The banquette in the corner was ours, like we were Frank Sinatra or something, like we were the chairmen of the board. From there I could survey my little kingdom, and plot this conquest or that, the little blonde over there or, hmm, she’s new…

As a writer I'm lucky; it's a part of my job description to relive the past, but I always liked it best when the lights came back on and it was time to go home.

I think it's time to cook a meal
To fill the emptiness I feel
Spent my money going out
I've nothing I'm left without
Clean my teeth and comb my hair
Look for something new to wear
Start the nightlife over again
Kid myself I'm having fun

-Bedsitter, Soft Cell