Sunday, June 3, 2012

Belinda Hangs Out On The Sunset Strip And Parties With Rock Stars While Still Underage

It's 1975. You are two young Valley Girls, at the tail end of high school. You're into music, but the punk explosion is still roughly a year or so away. What do you do for a good time?
Theresa and I joined the regulars who hung out at night in the Sunset Strip parking lot between the Rainbow and the Roxy. That spot was the late-night nerve center of L.A.'s rock scene. Between eleven P.M. and two A.M., rock stars and wannabes, groupies and insiders gathered there and waited for something to happen, though looking back I realize the party itself was in the parking lot and that just by being there we were where it was happening.

If you were a poseur, this was where you posed. If you wanted to pass around a joint or score quaaludes, you showed up there. The lot was always filled with shiny Rolls-Royces and Excaliburs, clues that a VIP was having a good time inside.
Some of the bands that Belinda and Lorna Doom saw in concert that summer: Roxy Music, Thin Lizzy, Bad Company, ELO, and the Kinks. Allow me to paint the scene.

Theresa and I got a small, very cheap one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood. Other than our beds, we didn't have any furniture. We didn't have food either. I ate instant oatmeal with margarine and Sweet'N Low three times a day.
Theresa and I began our nights at the Rainbow and as soon as we heard about a party, we sped through the Hollywood Hills, looking for the address. As young, attractive girls, doors opened easily for us. Once inside, I needed a couple of drinks to get loose enough to enjoy myself. A quaalude also helped. At the time, my drug use was strictly recreational.
Note: at the time. Key words here: at the time.
But still, a girl had to be careful. The city was full of predators. There were old letches like "What's Happening" Bob, a guy in his sixties known for laying his slimy hands on girls as he drilled his smile uncomfortably close and asked, "What's happening?"
Sounds like a great guy.
... I never felt as much a part of the scene as when I met the Who's drummer Keith Moon. I was inside the Rainbow and noticed that he was with a black hooker whom I knew from the parking lot. As I passed their table, she grabbed my arm and pulled me into their booth. The three of us shared a pizza. I'm sure I didn't eat.

I smoked my Shermans and let Keith buy me a drink. No one was terribly strict about carding kids back then, and certainly the waitresses weren't going to stop Keith from buying drinks for the women at his table, even if one of them was still in high school.

I had a similar encounter with Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC. That also took place late at night inside the Rainbow. But he was whacked out of his mind. Keith had been inebriated, but Bon was wasted. He grabbed my shirt as I walked past him and said something along the lines of "My, aren't you lovely, let's have sex."
What a charmer.

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