California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – That’s Not a Guitar. Put it Down

I was with my bandmates passing through Santa Barbara CA. headed to Orange County where we had a gig the next day. While walking around browsing stores and enjoying the nice day we found ourselves in this huge store that had a little bit of everything including a lot of used items. I ran across an odd sized guitar case that was leaning up against the wall so I opened it to see what it contained. Turned out to be one of those latin style instruments with the courses of 3 strings together, can’t think of the name at the moment, but I had never seen one in person and was kinda thrilled and excited to mess with it.

I was plinkin’ away and about that time this kinda dumpy old Hispanic man came up and tried to take it from me. He couldn’t speak English and though not getting especially angry or too physical he was obviously trying to get it from me. I’m like “Hey gramps, I saw it first”. But he wouldn’t let up. I finally gave him a pantomime of “Dude, back off”. With that he walked away and I look at my buddies like what was that all about? A few minutes later the guy comes back with a younger man that could speak English. Turned out the old man was a street musician and that was his personal guitar. He was friends with the store owner and he would set it in that particular spot whenever he took a break.

I was so embarrassed. I told the young guy to explain what happened and that I was very sorry. He was actually pretty cool about it smiled and shook my hand.
But I got ribbed about that the whole weekend. My band mates were all “You big bully stealing an old man’s guitar”.

 

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Tales of Rock – The Rainbow Bar & Grill

I’ve got some interesting tales coming up in this series that occur here at the Rainbow, so I thought I’d supply you all with some background.

The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CaliforniaUnited States, adjacent to the border of Beverly Hills, California. Its address is 9015 Sunset Boulevard.

The bottom level of the building is the restaurant, The Rainbow Bar and Grill. Upstairs is an exclusive club called “Over the Rainbow”, which consists of a full bar, a dance floor, and a DJ booth. The restaurant is next to The Roxy Theatre and The Key Club.

The restaurant was founded in early 1972 by Elmer ValentineLou AdlerMario Maglieri and others,[1][2] opening on April 16, 1972, with a party for Elton John.[3] At the time, the word “rainbow” signified peace and freedom. It quickly became known as a hangout for celebrities of all types.[4] John Belushi ate his last meal[5](lentil soup) at table No. 16[citation needed]. For many years, the owner was Mario Maglieri.[4]

Before becoming the Rainbow, the restaurant was the Villa Nova restaurant, which was originally owned by film director Vincente Minnelli, at the time married to Judy GarlandJoe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe met at the restaurant on a blind date in 1952.[6]

The Rainbow became known as a hangout for rock musicians and their groupies. Notable regulars at the Rainbow in this period include Keith MoonAlice CooperMicky DolenzHarry NilssonJohn LennonRingo Starr, and Neil Diamond.[5] Elvis Presley was known to have occasionally visited the Rainbow[citation needed]. The group of musicians calling themselves the Hollywood Vampires made the Rainbow their home away from home in the mid-1970s. In the last two decades of his life, Motörhead frontman Lemmy was a daily fixture at the Rainbow whenever the band was not on tour, and often played a video poker machine at the end of the bar table.[7]

Los Angeles songwriter Warren Zevon referenced the scene at the Rainbow in the last verse of his 1976 song “Poor Poor Pitiful Me“.

The musical group Rainbow was named after this club.[8]

The track “Rainbow Bar & Grill” from the Cheech & Chong album Let’s Make a New Dope Deal takes place in the bar and restaurant.

Producer Kim Fowley used to hang out at the Rainbow, especially in 1975, when he formed the all-girl group The Runaways. Actress and musician Cheryl Smithwas given her pseudonym Rainbeaux Smith early in her career as a result of her frequenting the Rainbow; she briefly replaced Sandy West as drummer of The Runaways at the end of that band’s existence.[citation needed]

As musical trends on the Strip changed towards heavy metal in the 1980s, the Rainbow followed suit. Members of Mötley Crüe,[9] Poison, and Guns N’ Roses frequented the bar.[10] It was mentioned in a number of songs, such as “Sunset and Babylon” by W.A.S.P., “Vampire” by L.A. Guns and “Peach Kelli Pop” by Redd Kross, and featured in the videos of “November Rain“, “Estranged” and “Don’t Cry” by Guns N’ Roses and also, although briefly, “Rock Out” by Motörhead.

Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers noted in his book Scar Tissue that he often sat with his father, Blackie Dammett, at the club along with various members of bands such as Led Zeppelin. Often the waitresses and bartenders were groupies as well as those who frequented the establishment. In Pamela Des Barres‘ book Let’s Spend the Night Together, the author commented that as a barfly in the early 1980s she met a number of celebrities including Billy Idol.[11]

In June of 2016, the Rainbow started having live music every Wednesday night from 10pm until closing. Various musicians would host the live jam every week. Local acts, as well as different well known musicians would show up to perform random classic rock cover songs every week. During this time, there were many jam band gatherings being established on Sunset Boulevard around the area. Viper Roomand The Whisky a Go Go also joined the Rainbow by allowing musicians to host jams on various week nights as well.

On January 18, 2017 the Rainbow was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History (created by Pat Gesualdo and Joe Dell) for introducing the world to new Heavy Metal acts. [12]

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Frank – Lost Breakfast

Not me in this one but my roommate/band mate, Frank. He struck gold while suitably plastered up in West Hollywood.

He woke up the next day, in a strange apartment. Pleased with himself that he was not alone. Lying next to him was a beautiful babe from the night before. Frank, still suitably enamored, offered to cook her breakfast, tackling the short walk to the store for bacon and eggs by himself.

Alas, all was not well and after 2 hours of knocking on doors he realized he had totally forgotten where she lived.

He called me from a payphone on Sunset while he was walking to the store and told me that he couldn’t remember whether her name was either, ‘Emma’ or ‘Anna’. Then called me again in a panic some time later while looking for her house asking what two names he’d told me she might be called having forgotten both of those as well.

He returned home to me and our stinking apartment where he prepared breakfast for us both with a heavy heart and the bluest of balls.

It was delicious, but he never saw her again.

 

I love this story!

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 13 – Los Angeles – Pacific Sands Motel

We get to L.A. and I’m starting to feel like this is how California should look like. All the tall skinny palm trees, beaches, surfers, and beautiful people.

We pull into the Pacific Sands Motel at 1515 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. We decide to rent a room for a week and look for jobs and an apartment. Because it was the off season, (March) the rental for the week was really cheap. But it felt like summer to us. Everyday in southern California it’s sunny and 70. That’s why the film industry originally came out here. The weather is consistently nice and that gives them more days to shoot.

So day one we head out to explore. I’m walking by the Santa Monica Bay Club and I see Lee Majors shooting a scene for his series The Fall Guy. I’m instantly blown away because I loved him in The Six Million Dollar Man back in the 70’s when I was a kid. I knew he and his lovely wife Farrah Fawcett had split up and I absolutely worshipped her since seeing her on Charlie’s Angels. Should I drive up to Bel Air and see if I can find her? (No you shouldn’t. That would be stalking!)

We stop in a few places and apply for jobs. Within two days, I got a job as a busboy in a restaurant called Café Casino and Frank got a job as a cashier in bar/restaurant called Merlin McFly’s. So we were set! We didn’t start our new jobs until next week so we started looking in the local newspaper for an apartment and also do a little exploring.

There was a place close by called, Tom’s Number 5. I’m assuming there were a few others  around town since they were numbered. Every time I ordered from that place they always ended up putting chili on whatever I ordered. I’m from a super White suburban neighborhood in Philly. I’ve never eaten chili and don’t know anyone who has. But the L.A. obvious has a huge Latino community so there’s Mexican food all over town. Anyway, I didn’t like exotic foods back then. I was used to a very bland diet. So chili was alien to me and would probably give me stomach disorders. So every time I ordered I’d say hold the chili. I’d get the food back to the house, and boom slathered in chili. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken all blasted with chili. Just culture shock for a Caucasian kid from the burbs.

The motel was right near the beach. It’s different than beaches on the east coast. East coast beaches are really flat and so is the land mass leading up to it. We had to walk out, and there is like a huge embankment covered in grass with a bunch of beautiful palm trees everywhere. You have to walk down these wooden steps to get down to the beach in Santa Monica.

Venice is more flat. That’s a fun area. All along the beach there are shops bars and stores. Kind of like the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. There’s all kinds of street musicians and performers down there on any given day. It’s a cool hip place to hang out.

Now to find an apartment!

 

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Tales of Rock – MÖTLEY CRÜE Movie ‘The Dirt’ Is Hated By Critics, Loved By Fans, Says NIKKI SIXX

MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx has dismissed the influx of negative professional critic reviews the band’s biopic “The Dirt” has received, insisting that the fans love the movie.

He tweeted on Friday: “The album is number #1.The fans are going crazy over #TheDirt. The critics hate it. @MotleyCrue @netflix WORLD FUCKING WIDE.”

“The Dirt” currently has an 86% audience score from 324 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, an online review aggregation service that allows the public to score the movies alongside critics. It has a 42% critic score from 36 reviews on the same site.

Indiewire David Ehrlich called “The Dirt” “wonderfully bad” and compared it to last year’s QUEEN biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”“Bohemian Rhapsody” has a 61% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes but won four Oscars.

“For all the unique details of their story (and their sound), QUEEN‘s big screen bow was so generic that it felt like Bryan Singer was trying to gaslight everyone into forgetting that ‘Walk Hard’ had already reduced this entire genre to a joke,” Ehrlich wrote. “And for all the legendary hedonism that defined their lives, MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s movie feels like it could have been made about any one of a zillion other bands. Hell, it could even have been made about QUEEN!”

Los Angeles Times called “The Dirt” “horribly timed,” “astoundingly tone deaf” and “as vapid and misogynistic as the band members and the book they wrote with author Neil Strauss.”

The Daily Beast said that “The Dirt” “spends almost two hours glamorizing shitty behavior, and then attempts to exonerate its stars with a few vague voiceovers about regret and rehabilitation.”

The Atlantic wrote: “The danger of a document like ‘The Dirt’ is in showing pigheadedness as not only fun and cool, but also elemental, inexplicable, and unstoppable.”

Deadline wrote that “The Dirt” has been “bleached pretty clean from its feral and self-admitted sordid source material,” citing frontman Vince Neil‘s drunken car crash that killed HANOI ROCKS drummer Razzle and the death of his daughter after a battle with cancer as “rare exceptions in this straight to MOR movie that has a limited emotional range outside of party time.”

The New York Times concurred, saying that screenwriters Rich Wilkes and Amanda Adelsonhad “sanded it down to a junior varsity ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.”

Some media outlets were kinder in their assessments, with Decider writing: “Lower your expectations, throw caution, decorum and good taste to the wind, and file it under ‘guilty pleasure.'” The Guardian praised the performances of actors Douglas Booth (who plays Nikki Sixx), Iwan Rheon (who plays Mick Mars) and Daniel Webber (who plays Vince Neil), saying that they “possess similar abilities to navigate between charm and repulsion, all working together to create such a chummy group that their power as an ensemble elevates the material. Just like their real-life counterparts.”

“The Dirt” movie, which was helmed by “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” director Jeff Tremaine, was picked up by Netflix after being previously developed at Focus Features and before that at Paramount.

“The Dirt Soundtrack” accompanies the movie and features a collection of MÖTLEY CRÜEclassics that meaningfully underscore significant moments that shape the film. Exclusive to the film’s soundtrack, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded four new songs, including the single “The Dirt (Est. 1981) (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)”“Ride With The Devil” and “Crash And Burn”, plus a cover of Madonna‘s “Like A Virgin”.

 

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Tales of Rock – Nothing Seems as Pretty as the Past

Top Groupies Of All Time: Sable Starr and Lori Maddox

I love writing Tales of Rock, but this is the most lurid and heartbreaking part of this series.
The musicians I loved have done some deplorable things.
But when I think back to my time in L.A. I kind of get it.
I’m not saying it’s right but a lot of artists and musicians did stuff.
Top Groupies Of All Time: Sable Starr and Lori Maddox

 

Hanging out with musicians is any girl’s dream come true. Well, these girls did just that. Mind you, these two girls, Sable, the unofficial queen of the 70’s LA glam rock scene, and Lori, her best friend, were only around 13 at the time. These baby groupies strutted around Sunset Boulevard  on their shiny platform heels, eyes and ears peeled for the likes of Led Zeppelin or David Bowie to show up. I personally don’t like these baby groupies very much, their personalities leaving a lot to be desired, but then again, what 13 year who thinks they’re the hottest thing around isn’t catty? Still, they deserve a mention, these were wild times and these were wild girls.
Due to the comments I keep getting on this particular page, I felt the need to write this. The reason for this post was to not only post a collection of photos of music and fashion from the 70’s, but to also talk about a certain period of time, a moment in history, and the people involved. Nowhere on here does it say I approve of the behavior of the musicians and the groupies. Not once did I say that what they did was ok. It’s like if I made a post about the Holocaust – another period in time that I’m interested in and I’ve read so much about- and saying that I condoned what happened during the Holocaust. I love history (and history has good and bad parts) and the only reason I made this blog was because I like to write about things that interest me, I like to collect pictures, and I like when a person discovers my blog and learns something new or rediscovers something they had forgotten.

Lori modeling with fellow baby groupie Shray Mecham for Star Magazine.

Queenie Glam, Shray, and Sable.
With Iggy Pop.
With Debbie Harry.
With Keith Moon and Annette Walter-Lax.
With Led Zeppelin and groupie Morgana Welch at the English Disco and not the Rainbow Bar & Grill even though to me the booths in the back looked exactly like that. I’ve actually been there a couple of times, not as amazing as I thought it would be, but still crawling with would-be groupies and musicians. I even saw a certain special someone there, coming out of the bathroom before their first gig at The Key Club. Anyroad, the caption to this picture is pretty hilarious.
With John Bonham.
I’m sure you all know what went down with Jimmy and Lori, so I won’t bother to repeat it here.
Just like Jimmy and Lori were a complicated pair, so were Johnny Thunders and Sable.
With Iggy and Johnny.
With Sylvain Sylvain.
With Stiv Bators.
With BP Fallon.
With Dave Hill.
Sable with Mackenzie Phillips and the unofficial mayor of the Sunset Strip, Rodney Bingenheimer, posing outside of the English Disco.
Sable with other baby groupies posing with Rodney outside the Continental Hyatt House (The Riot House).
Young girl – Gary Puckett

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Tales of Rock – Lori Maddox – Part 2

MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES
COURTESY OF LORI MATTIX

 

 

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