a jaded hack is me!

Okay, so you all read “Perry and Me,” my account of how a $2.50 blurb caused famed rock star Perry Farrel to stalk the fuck out of me for months. I just ran across evidence of another bit of similar hilarity.

Another $2.50 blurb I wrote was for Henry Rollins in 1987. This was when Henry was just starting out on a literary career by doing “spoken word.” “Spoken Word” meant rock musicians doing standup comedy with occasional blank verse.

One of the regular venues for music and other things was BeBop Records, a little store on Reseda Blvd owned by a guy named Rich. In the mid to late 1980s Rich booked an impressive series of events there: live music, performance of all kinds, and art. Henry was slated to do one of his “spoken word” gigs there. I’d just seen Henry do this thing at UCLA and I wasn’t very impressed, but I didn’t pan it or tell anyone to avoid it; I just described in a very few words what it looked like.

Henry’s response is here: Hack Writer (.mp3, 5.3M). It went into a book, too, not sure which one.

The funny part was that not much later I interviewed Henry for publication. He actually came to my apartment in Hollywood on the bus from where he was living in Echo Park. I opened the door to see a very tentative and anxious rock star in black t-shirts and black shorts. He was clearly worried that I had taken his shtick to heart, but we had a good laugh and did the interview. I was impressed with how serious he was about publishing and writing.

By the time I saw him again, for another interview when he and Weiss were putting out Wartime, it was a running gag.

And now, of course, he’s Dick Clark. But that’s another story.

28 thoughts on “a jaded hack is me!

  1. BeBop records rocked. If I remember correctly it was right off of Reseda Blvd. on Sherman Way. Growing up in Woodland Hills, we used to go there all the time – mostly for rock-a-billy bands. But I did see my only spoken word performance ever there, and it was Exene.

      1. Re: Rollins Boned Over Denny’s
        I was asking you, just for the hell of it – I was there, all seventeen years of me at the time & hadn’t thought of it ’til I looked at your writeups and realized we were probably at a lot of the same shows for about a three-year period

  2. First time I read either story, actually. Excellent. Thanks for sharing.
    I don’t really have a problem with Rollins, but his show on the IFC is a little annoying, not in the least for being the hip, liberal equivalent of a Fox News show, but also because everything he says seems forced as hell, as if he’s terrified of fucking up in front of the camera. It’s actually hard to watch.

  3. Maybe I’m ready for a career as a writer! I’ve spent years now having someone say mean things about me on the Internets just about every week! I guess I can pick my battles a little better.
    I’m always amazed these stars have such thin skins. They FREAK when they get criticized, start screaming and ranting and breaking shit, even if they have millions of devoted fans. What’s up with that?

    1. Seriously. I had a rule when I was a critic that I only mocked the big-time people because they couldn’t possibly care. Guess I was wrong. Although Henry at least understood the silliness of the situation. Perry, not so sure.

      1. He’s very manipulative at least. One of the reasons I felt vindicated in my attack later was the fact that he got his bandmates hooked on heroin so they’d be easier to cow.
        He’s a few years older than me and had already been in a band that hadn’t gone anywhere. I think he’s driven entirely by the need for success and money and will do just about anything to get it.

      2. Honking/bonking/jonesing
        We’ll make great pets!
        We’ll make great pets!
        We’ll make great pets!
        We’ll make great pets!

  4. Some observations
    I think I hear my laughter right at the beginning, the lone cackle, but I didn’t grow blue hair until 94.
    If you really want stalkers, write about Scientology.
    I LOVED BEBOP! Easpecially the night they had a Grateful Dud spinoff band across the street at Country Club and some kid in a tie-dyed tee shirt crashed his car and a bunch of his heppie-brethen chased him donw and tackled him, holding him for the cops.
    Dids you ever go into the bar around the corner to the north of Be Bop, the Canby Sweet (so called because it was on Canby, only their was nuthin’ sweet about the clientele–seriously gnarly bikers)? Me, neither.
    I saw soooo many bands at Bebop.
    And oh that Perry story was fabulous.
    I was listed the phonebook (okay by my initials and my last name), and someone called me at 8.30 in the morning to congratullate me on a cover story I wrote for New Times. “You don’t know me but I just wanted to tell you how much I liked your story…”
    “Gee uh thanks…”
    Then his voice got a littl emore frantic.
    “Seeee, seeee, you really pointed out how things are, how I knew they are…”
    “Thanks, look, it’s 8.30 in the morning and I appreciate the call, but I have to go to work.” (I lied, I had been fired from my record company job the week before).
    More silence.
    “Thanks again,” I said perkily. Then I hung up. I think he got the hint; he never called back.
    My roommate who is a writer (www.hollywoodinterrupted.com) had a serious fan stalker a few years ago, a sitch that ended up requiring the LAPD Threat Assessment Unit, which didn’t do much, and pair of private eyes who solved the problem. He is NOT allowed to have lady friends over as a result, and he maintins a seperate mailing address.

    1. Re: Some observations
      Further evidence that we were in the same room many times during the 1980s. I probably had a crush on you.
      The idea of stalking a journalist makes me giggle. Ink-stained wretches looking up from our desks to see Glenn Close boiling our bunnies. Ha! But if I’d kept at it and succeeded I would no doubt have had that problem. Spell your name right in public for a decade and you’re going to be someone’s obsession.
      My regular gig only lasted a year so I just got some praise, a little notoriety in a tiny scene, and two immortalizations via indie rockstar invective. Not such a bad deal.

    2. I loved BeBop too
      Rich was such a great guy. I hope things worked out well for him. He had a genuine love for the arts and really worked his ass off to make neat things happen. The number of now-famous people who played there is huge.

  5. Did you interview Andrew Weiss? You mention him by last name only, which suggests either major fame (which I don’t think he has) or mutual familiarity. You’re probably not aware of this, but I’m a long-time, all-out, unapologetic Ween fanboy (actually, a little bit apologetic lately).

    1. Yeah, it was a Rollins/Weiss double interview because they were still working together; Wartime was their project. And, in fact, Weiss had just finished producing Ween for I think the first time and was raving about them.

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