MTV Awards Pre-Party...but who are these people?

I once believed that Hollywood lured all the crazies. But I recently discovered that Tinseltown has nothing on the music world.  I went to a music awards pre-party and saw dudes with outfits made from glued-on plastic gems, Elmer's oozing off the sleeves and dripping onto the bar. Wannabe groupies  in outdated rubber dresses, snapping their ankles in 6-inch platforms. Guys with Rockin' Like Dokken long hair, circa Sunset Strip 1987. Guru types with shaggy grey hair and white linen suits. And holy Corey Hart - so many people wearing sunglasses at night.

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budget Jiffypop Gaga
he's not a musician, but he's everywhere
While in Hollywood everyone strives to remain current, some people in the music scene (and I use the word 'scene' very loosely) become ensnared in very specific times in music history. For some, the world screeches to a halt once they find their favorite band, like Captain and Tennille. Or worse, their favorite song, like Kiss Me Deadly. And not in a cute vintage way. 

with the dudes from Confessions of a Superhero


Casa de Charles Manson

I won't mince words - I have a fascination with the macabre. I read Helter Skelter before I entered high school. My idea of a perfect weekend is a Forensic Files marathon and some take-out. I read true crime books by Ann Rule and thoroughly enjoyed the Dearly Departed Tour here in Los Angeles.

George Spahn, O.G.
One of the first things I did upon moving to Hollywood was speed over to the Santa Susana Pass. Charles Manson and his "family" lived there at Spahn Ranch, a crumbling Wild West movie set that had downgraded to a place that offered the public horseback riding. The owner of the property, George Spawn, allowed Manson's commune to live there for free, since Manson ordered the women in the "family" to have sex with the nearly blind eighty year-old man.

But when I arrived at Spahn Ranch, there was no ranch. George Spahn had long since died and the Manson "family" incarcerated, but I expected the dusty movie set to still be standing. Gone also were any remnants of commune life there. Call it denial, but I was convinced I was at the wrong place, misled by shoddy internet references. But then I found this video.

all the way to the Simi Valley for nothing!
Scott Michaels, founder of Dearly Departed Tours is as obsessed as I am with all things Helter Skelter, and when all he found was a hubcap and can of Coors on the property (with the aid of a metal detector), I knew I was at the right place, and that there was no point in going back.



You never see German restaurants around Los Angeles anymore. There's a great restaurant in Big Bear and a few generic Steer & Stein chains that make mild referece to mother Germany, but otherwise, the restaurants seem an old throwback to the 50's. I've seen a few great places closed down that have the dark wood and stucco look of South Germany, and it's a shame Los Angeles lost the much-needed interesting architecture.

These days, if you want killer beer and sausages, you need to hit up the sleeker joints. Case in point? Wurstuche in downtown Los Angeles has a formidable beer list and specialty sausages to inspire shock and awe, such as Rattlesnake Rabbit Jalapeno and Alligator and Pork. This may not be classic German fare, but the quality of the menu would impress people from any country. Besides, it beats the Steer and Stein chains, filled with screaming babies in high chairs and watered down coleslaw. Did I mention that Wurstuche serves truffle fries? If Germany doesn't do that, well then they should.