They don’t have goons at the Philharmonic

Was at the Hollywood Bowl yesterday for the L.A. Phil’s press party. The spread is onstage in the bandshell. Food, drink, reporters, musicians, hustlers, hangers on, sundry rich people, a lotta suits and some nice legs even. Gustavo Dudamel is really little. Maybe 5’6″. I’d seen him milling about in  the mix last night, just another fast talking kid scamming on the free grub/drinks because he works in the mail room of an advertising company or something. Lucky for me I didn’t smack his hand down when he reached for the purple potato wedge things. His goons would have been on me in a second.  Well, they don’t have goons at the Philharmonic. Unless those little gay kids are goons. And Dudamel isn’t gay. I was stereotyping. You can do that with that crowd. Or maybe I’ve just been around Hollywood too long.

The potatoes were purple, though. Weirdest food was the gazpacho in a spoon. Big white spoons with a big mouthful of gazpacho in each. You take a spoon off the silver tray the silent, expressionless waiter holds out for you, slurp the thing down, and then put the slurped spoon down on a tray another silent, expressionless guy holds out for you. It was one of those revoltingly decadent things, a silent servant  holding a spoon for you to slurp, something out of the Last Emperor, maybe, or like the French Revolution never happened. I slurped but felt guilty about it. I mean imagine that gig—you’re the guy who holds the slobbered spoons tray. He probably was an actor. They all looked like it, the waiters/waitresses. All handsome or pretty, the girls in the same outfits as the guys—black pants and shirts and a bright pink or yellow tie. Maybe they were color coded. I didn’t notice what color tie the slobbered spoon guy had on. I doubt anyone else did either. I doubt they noticed him at all.

I wonder if a generation ago people held out spoons for people to slurp. I doubt it. I think that’s something new. And I think it says a lot.

(2010)

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