UPDATE: WITH HOT NEW LINKS!
Wow. L.A. is exactly as I had expected, but so much weirder.
Every band I like -- besides, like, three from NYC and a ton from UK -- came from the City of Angels. But then there's the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who I despise. Still, where else could such a group exist?
The mere mention of any street name or town calls to mind a song. From "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" to RATM's "Down Rodeo," there's a tune for every byway, avenue and 'hood.
I can now understand why the Doors and Jane's Addiction (to name two L.A. bands I like) came out sounding the way they did. Both groups offered a peculiar mix of sleaze, glamour, decadance, anger, sex, joy and nihilism. And Los Angeles was their spiritual source.
Yesterday, at the behest of Brooke's folks, we took a shuttle tour of the city. I'm actually glad we did. The driver/MC was great, and offered charmingly scathing opinions of L.A.'s power elite. He was an older German man with a dry humor; it was a bit like having Werner Herzog show you around town.
Highlights? The Magician's Club Castle. They won't let you in, unless you're a member or have a guest pass. I so terribly wanted to go! Guess there's just some stuff you don't get to experience.
Venice Beach. The muscle cage. Jim-fucking-Morrison slept on one of those rooftops, man. Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection! I was hoping to see the crazy heay-metal-rollerskating-turban-wearing-dude from every movie and music video in the world. No go.
Farmers Market was neat, as was Melrose. It's funny to see where all the cheesy rock fashions get their start. I wish we could've gone to Necromance. Alas, there wasn't time.
And Hollywood itself was surprisingly cool. I liked the hills and the weird hanging houses. It looked like an Ed Wood movie, minus the flying pie plate saucers. We walked the boulevard looking for Bela Lugosi's star -- I had wanted my picture taken laying next to it, arms folded across my chest -- but gave up, due to the throngs of people and general over-commerciality of the area.
Downtown L.A. is surprisingly clean (and dead).
The highways are psychotic.
Brooke graduates today; more later.