A&M chapter three

Certain times of year, a full fat butter moon would billow up in the west over over the main gate and guard shack. A dish hanging over the ocean with even more drama than it did over Hollywood.  I saw it on the water. It was huge.  It kept place for the sun next afternoon.

Our star busted hard on those mornings and then withered reluctantly as did the moon at the end of my day. I worked nights. Six p.m. until whenever.

There to the left, day and night, was the A&M sign with the trumpet in the logo. Some nights in the fall, it’s luminous disc did harmony with a crescent moon.

A night for me and Jimhead to climb to the roof of the Chaplin stage and throw mustard bottles and leftover fruit at cars on La Brea.  Jimhead would suggest we “throw shit at cars”.  He had a well developed sense of chaos and a fine nose for the absurd. We were both fond of explosives.

We barely hit any. It was a good fifty feet up. Years later, we would have parties up there. Five or ten of us drinking and doing bong rips at three in the morning, striving merely to avoid the attention of the record company’s crack security. We failed at that over and over.

Remind me to tell you about The Secret Pizza Lounge.

Like a promise, said solar star heated those slate steps in front of the monolith door at A&M Recording to a point where you could feel it around your head when reaching for it’s enormous handle.   Twelve hours later, the giant moon would cool them again with equal parts sugar and mint.

The end of the Raygun Bush years, late eighties early nineties. Iran Contra and the first Gulf War. Homeless population way up. Crazies on my block.

For the eight and a half years I worked there, the studio barely ever, really closed.  There was almost always someone there.  If not, the respite was brief, a few minutes or barely a few hours.

For a decade, I had a key to that sixteen foot high front door. I may have it still.

I was to struggle for years.  Behind in an environment that challenged me in every way.  Worse, being surrounded by people at least as smart as me if not smarter.  Some of them a lot smarter.  I was overwhelmed by the confidence I encountered everywhere.

I was a a goddamn hick.

Nothing in life had prepared me for this.  I was always the brain.  The most capable.  The one everybody else looked to for leadership.

I got my ass handed to me every fucking day.

I laid low.  Did my job.  Sucked up.

I became ‘King of The Fruit’.  Seniority.  Everyone underneath me had either not been there as long or had been fired.  As King of The Fruit I had certain privileges.  Some control over my schedule and the ability to delegate responsibilities to other runners.  I had become an excellent runner.

Good news?


I was to be sequestered, to serve time elsewhere, for nearly a year.

Drinks for my friends.

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