Following our day trip to Hollywood and with our departure from Los Angeles inching ever closer, our gracious host and all–around nice girl Becky decided we should all go see a show at the Roxy — the very same club on Sunset Boulevard where NOFX recorded their 1995 album “I Heard They Suck Live!!”. Plus, since she garnished the invitation with the (later proven fallacious) claim that Keanu Reeves’ band would be playing there, we were even more excited by the prospect.
I mean come on. Keanu Reeves’ band? Don’t you realize the quality of the heckling material that provides us?
We spent the day in Beverly Hills, since we’d passed it on the way to Hollywood a few days prior, figured it was a nice touristy place to visit, and didn’t come away disappointed. Not that we did anything in particular there beyond walking the streets, but the general quality of those streets is what impressed me most. Cool cars, hot women (well, hotter than Venice and Santa Monica at any rate, but the relative attractiveness of America’s women is a post for another time), and some great stores to peer into: Armani, Versace, Ferrari, Georgio… all that jazz. Beyond that we had only one thing on our agenda: be at the Roxy by half seven. Hardly a demanding schedule.
The one thing everybody is dumbfounded by when they speak with us is the sheer distances we have traveled by foot since we arrived. On the first night we met Becky in Santa Monica, whilst driving us home to Venice she commented “you couldn’t have walked this far… I think you’re lost, do you really know where your hotel is?” and she was wrong. So very wrong; a few
hours minutes later we were home. Hey, when you don’t have a car and you’re new in a city, you walk; and we traversed that distance between Venice and Santa Monica between two and six times a day. I won’t miss that walk, even though it was the one thing that would likely prevent me from packing on some serious pounds during this trip.
So when we arrived at the Roxy and answered the fairly simple question “how did you get here” with “we just walked from Hollywood up to here” (West Hollywood), they didn’t believe us. “Naw, that’s like, twenty blocks!” — “well, yeah, we walked it” — “you couldn’t have” — “we just did… we started around 7000 on Sunset and walked up here: 9009”. It’s not a tough concept to grasp, although Dave kept singing “Walking in LA” by Missing Persons, which might explain the locals’ mindset. Truth be told, there’s probably less distance between my house in Perth and the CBD, but I’d never want to walk that — I have a car, fer chrissakes.
The show at the Roxy was… entertaining. I won’t say the bands were fabulous, because even though they were very tight and oftentimes inventive, they were more of the same ol’ SoCal emocore blandcore mediocre punk rock we’ve been hearing come out of that city for the last decade. Mike made the aside: “I can’t believe there’s a 21+ market for this music here, at home you grow out of it before you’re 20”… which is probably true because we get the drink at 18. If you start a punk rock band in your garage at age 16 in Australia (like we did), you’ll be playing gigs at bars by the time you’re 17 or 18 (like we did) and be totally over the whole scene before you’re 19 (like we were). Here, you’ll be rehearsing and writing songs for five years in your garage —maybe playing some all–ages gigs around the place in the meantime— before you start playing to pub crowds; it’s a whole different dynamic that seems to foster this particular music culture.
As was mentioned earlier, Keanu didn’t play. I can’t say I’m disappointed —I honestly doubt I missed much of anything— but it would’ve been fun. Instead, I had the pleasure of having some aggro bitch try and pick me up all night in front of her boyfriend. She even introduced me to him, before pulling me down and whispering in my ear “I dumped him like a week ago, but he keeps calling! I told him I’d come to this show with him if he paid for my entry and paid for all my drinks, but he keeps following me around, it’s really annoying!”
Bitch has problems, clearly.
- I’ll be really pissed off if your boyfriend comes over here and smacks me one in the face just because you’re being a slut.
- Nah, he’s a pansy. You wanna come to the after–party with me later? I know the guy on the door.
After the ‘slut’ remark, and after calling her ‘a bad person’ a few times for torturing her ex–boyfriend, she finally got the message and disappeared. I pity the fool who actually did end up going home with her.
So, after a post–gig visit to the Hustler store on Sunset and a bus ride home, we readied ourselves for the next day: the train ride to San Francisco. I can’t say I’d like to live in Los Angeles, even though Santa Monica was kinda nice and reminded me of home, but it was a good place to start the trip. Now, onward and upward.