Strange notes

I remember doing drugs with Darby Crash. Only one time, I think–joints don’t count–and it must have been 1980. We–me and my wife, or wife to be at the time–were at the Capital Records swap meet. If you were in L.A. back then you’ll remember that scene, a parking lot full of record geeks and Hollywood freaks. The Capital Records building towered over us just like marble, a huge concrete stack of 45’s. We were new in town but knew people who knew people who knew everybody. We were hanging, a bunch of us, nicely stoned and digging the weirdness when up walks Darby Crash. He was already legendary by that point, a superstar in the tiny punk rock world of Los Angeles. Scenesters and heavies circled round. Someone–a chick with wild dyed hair and black nails–pulled a jar full of variously colored pills from her purse. We all reached in for a few and washed them down with warm beer. No idea what they were. The night swirled by in slow motion and euphoria, colors and weirdness and sounds. Strange notes hung in the air from a hundred portable phonographs. As the witching hour drew near the event began to break up. People followed Darby over to Oki Dog. We wandered off on our own, down Vine past the weird bars and the drag queens dressed just like Garbo. There was a strange, giggly bus ride home. Sex all night. We were young and punk rockers and in love and L.A. was crazy and exciting, and the matter that ran through our heads was too concerned to fall.

Atomic Cafe

Found this tucked away in the drafts folder, not sure how old it is. Someone told me the corner is now a hole with a subway in it. I remember the city was trying to sell the building for a dollar. All you had to do was move it. Maybe they were asking too much. 

That Senor Fish on the corner used to be the Atomic Cafe. Had dinner there with Darby Crash. We’d been next door at the Brave Dog. Probably summer of 1980. Darby had the wiener gotcha, a dude in a blue mohawk eating wiener gotcha. My wife got fried chicken. Banquet. I watched the cook open the box. The service was awful, food worse, it was wonderful. Wouldn’t last a week now. Hipsters want only the best food. Jonathan Gold made it impossible for any more Atomic Cafes. No more wiener gotcha. Now it’s overpriced ethno-hipster slop from food trucks. Oh well.

Atomic Cafe

Atomic Café in the daylight. 1980’s. The Brave Dog was this side of the Imports place.